Creating Space for Transformational Change through listening, learning, and relationship building among diverse peoples and communities.
What is Together Here?
What does Together Here do?
Together Here prepares our synod to walk with our racialized and marginalized neighbors in a process of learning, listening, and relationship building grounded in truth-telling and the reconciling love of Christ so that transformational change and healing can occur. Together Here consists of the Advisory Board and two ministry teams: The Bridge Building Task Force and the Anti-Racism Team. The Bridge Building Task Force was created in response to the Northeastern Minnesota Synod Resolution 17.1, our synod’s commitment to partner with our Ojibwe neighbors as we repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery. The Anti-Racism Team was formed in 2020 as a Bishop’s initiative in response to the needs for social reform. Work of the Anti-Racism Team is guided by the ELCA’s Strategy Toward Authentic Diversity adopted in 2019 by the Churchwide Assembly. Together Here is committed to engaging in the ministry of mutual accompaniment through a process of learning and listening as we build authentic relationships between members of our congregations and members of Native American communities. Together Here is dedicated to forming resources and new ministry partnerships in order to allow for the process of truth-telling, listening, and healing between communities to occur.
Provides learning opportunities through events like Blanket Exercises and workshops (digitally or in person) within congregations, youth groups, and the broader community.
Meets with rostered ministers to provide information and resources they need as they walk with their congregations through the important ministry of truth and reconciliation.
Maintains a Facebook page and a Facebook group in order to post events and learning opportunities hosted throughout northeastern Minnesota.
Maintains a digital resource library to make resources readily available to people living within the NEMN Synod, and
Partners with a variety of organizations to advocate for systemic change.
The Bridge Building Task Force leads, develops, promotes, and/or monitors ministries of the NEMN Synod by:
Leading in the acknowledgement and repentance of the Synod’s complicity in the evils of colonialism in the Americas,
Leading the continuous and ongoing process of repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery
Offering a statement of repentance and reconciliation to Native Nations
Developing resources to help congregations and people understand and reduce the negative impact of the Doctrine of Discovery and its consequences for Native people in Northern Minnesota,
Encouraging the development of a renewed strategy for ministry and partnership with Native communities,
Working to ensure commitment to long-term stable funding of ELCA American Indian/Alaska Native ministries,
Promoting efforts with Native communities, and
Increasing partnerships with and between congregations to accomplish the tasks listed above.
The Anti-Racism Team leads, develops, promotes, and/or monitors the:
Leadership Development, and
Partnerships of NEMN Synod
as they relate to the ELCAs Strategy for Authentic Diversity by working in partnership with Synod staff and ministry leaders (rostered and lay) to align ministries (congregational and synodical) in a way that yield systemic change so that authentic diversity is embraced.
Anti-racism work is more like interval training than a sprint or a marathon, but this season has been an awfully long interval with rock-climbing thrown in. Notable challenges:
Building a ministry on the go.
Leading a ministry charged to stand publicly in gathered community when we cannot safely gather.
Encouraging people to discern the call of the Spirit when they are experiencing a visceral call to action reverberating throughout society.