Local, Lutherans in the Twin Cities

Taking their faith to the streets

At its kickoff event on May 23, Spirit of Truth, a ministry of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church (ELCA), in St. Paul, showed support for Minnesota nurses in their struggle to achieve a fair labor contract for the safety of their patients.

A community based in a core belief of love and justice, Spirit of Truth lifted up the work of nurses as “sacred.” In a worship service that was attended by about 150 people, attendees were asked to fill out a card that stated “why the work of nurses is ‘sacred.’” The cards, printed on red, orange, and yellow paper, were then placed onto white poster board with the outline of a flame on it and delivered to hospital administrators.

Minnesota nurses find support from participants in the Spirit of Truth congregation, including the Rev. Grant Stevenson, the night before their one-day strike. Metro Lutheran photo: Bob Hulteen

Decent people work in management at hospitals, but we have created a system where people are awarded for the profits they make, not the health outcomes they provide

On June 9, a vigil was held at St. Matthew’s Lutheran to support the nurses as they prepared to walk off their jobs the next day. About 300 people showed support for the nurses.

At the event, Pastor Grant Stevenson, co-creator of Spirit of Truth, said of the nurses, “People in this room and thousands of others are taking a risk on all our behalf. They are assessing the needs of our patients and our hospitals, so we vigil with them.

“Decent people work in management at hospitals, but we have created a system where people are awarded for the profits they make, not the health outcomes they provide,” Stevenson said. “The nurses are willing to stand up for all of us and say, ‘It’s not about the profits, it’s about the people.’”

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