About two weeks ago, a stunningly beautiful weekend in South Minneapolis was shattered by the shot that killed Justine Damond, a yoga and meditation teacher right in the neighborhood where some of you live. Cries of grief and calls for change have risen through the streets of Southwest Minneapolis, and media from all over the world have amplified them.
A few days after Justine was shot by Officer Noor, I wrote a blog post for the widely read Salt Collective in which I meditated on the many questions swirling around in Minneapolis. I concluded that faith communities have an important voice to claim. Mayflower Church, located next door to a vibrant community of Somali and other immigrant neighbors at Creekside Commons, might have a special responsibility to be an ally to Somali folks targeted by anger and blame in these days. Whether the Twin Cities stays stuck in the scapegoating or moves toward accountability, justice, and reform will be impacted by folks like us who insist that we can do better. Here are a few ways to be part of the healing work of community this summer:
Pray – for our cities and our world. Try the compassion meditation on p. 338 of The Book of Joy by Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama.
Act fast on our Action Alerts – you can do this anywhere! Email Celeste to sign up: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be open to dialogue – employ your best listening skills to meet others where they are, and do not be afraid to share your faith that our community can heal from its wounds.
Let’s Talk About It – join us at 9 am Sundays through August to find support as we process what’s happening each week.
Come Together – attend the gathering hosted by St Joan of Arc on Aug 13, to witness how violence is affecting people in neighborhoods nearby. (p. __)
Enjoy Sabbath – If you are enjoying time away with family, with nature, you are doing something important, too. Remember, we are commanded to observe Sabbath (whatever day or week that falls on for us). As people who live in community, this does not mean we stop caring. It means, rather, that we take responsibility for the impact of the news cycle on our tired psyches, and that we care for ourselves before we attempt to serve others.
Blessings on your summer, blessings on our community.