Lutherans in the Twin Cities

New governor meets with faith group

Gov.-elect Mark Dayton (right) spoke to a crowd of faith leaders in early December. The Rev. Grant Stevens (left), St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church (ELCA), St. Paul; Rabbi Michael Latz, Shir Tikvah, Minneapolis; and Pastor Billy Russell, Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, Minneapolis, moderated. Photo provided by ISAIAH

Gov. Mark Dayton met with more than 1,600 people of faith on December 5 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Under the theme “Shining a Light: A Faith Gathering for Minnesota’s Future,” Dayton and his transition staff listened to stories and testimonies from a wide variety of faith leaders on issues of racial disparity and economic polarization.

Organized by ISAIAH, an ecumenical community organization representing 90 congregations in the Twin Cities area and St. Cloud, Dayton heard individual pleas and panel discussions about Minnesota’s growing disparities.

“We’re in a time in our history when we’re facing overwhelming challenges, and we’re tempted to fall into three traps: to fight, to flee, or to freeze,” said the Rev. Jon Anderson, bishop of the Southwestern Minnesota Synod of the ELCA. “And we cannot do that, as stewards of the future.”

“The 1,600 people who came together represent 55 cities, 12 faiths and denominations, 105 congregations, five races and ethnicities, city, suburb, and farm,” said the Rev. Paul Slack, pastor of New Creation Church in Brooklyn Park and co-chair of ISAIAH’s clergy and religious leaders caucus. “We are proud that Sen. Dayton pledged to join us in our work to overturn the racial and economic inequities that are holding all Minnesotans back.”

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