City Of Bloomington? 100+ Faith Leaders Want A Word With You By Michael McIntee | March 2, 2015 LikeTweet EmailPrint More More on Minnesota Subscribe to Minnesota Follow this author Black Lives Matter The City of Bloomington’s insistence on prosecuting organizers of a “Black Lives Matter” protest at the Mall of America is getting more pushback from Minnesota’s religious leaders. A letter signed by more than 100 faith leaders asks City Attorney Sandra Johnson to have a community-wide dialog about race instead of prosecuting people. “The energy you have put into this aggressive prosecution needs to be redirected to a community-wide effort toward open dialogue between our justice system and those who do not receive equal and fair treatment and protection from our current system,” says the letter. “We would like to meet with you at your earliest convenience to discuss these matters.” Eleven people are charged with crimes ranging from trespassing to disorderly conduct for their attendance at the peaceful demonstration which included nearly 3,000 individuals on December 20, 2014 at the Mall of America. The protest was part of a larger nationwide demonstration reacting to police violence against African-Americans. This is the second letter faith leaders have sent to the city. The previous letter was signed by 41 clergy and also asked for the city to stop its prosecutions and invited the city to charge them too. Full text of the letter Black Lives Matter Minneapolis Faith Leaders Letter of Support Dear Sandra Johnson, We, the undersigned, members of the clergy in the city of Bloomington, write to express our support of the Black Lives Matter movement. As a matter of background, on January 20, 2015, individuals working with the Black Lives Matter Minneapolis group were invited to present to the Bloomington Conference of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Minneapolis Area Synod at our monthly gathering, at which some of the undersigned were present. A representative from the synod office was also in attendance. We did not know what to expect when we invited this group to meet with us. For most of us, the only exposure we had to Black Lives Matter was via the news media, as is the case for the majority of Bloomington residents. Whatever our expectations might have been prior to the meeting, we found that the time we spent together was fruitful and enlightening. We found that we were able to connect across lines of race and background because we share the common thread of humanity, faith, and a desire that all God’s children might live in a just and equitable society. One might ask why we, a predominantly white group of clergy in Bloomington, would be sympathetic towards the concerns of the Black Lives Matter movement. The answer is the one given to us by Dr. King, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” We are called as people of faith to walk in solidarity with those who are experiencing discrimination and prejudice. As Bloomington clergy, we stand in solidarity with those who organize for racial justice, including the Black Lives Matter representatives. We request that the charges against them be dropped. We agree with St. Thomas Professor Nekima Levy-Pounds, one of those charged, that “what started as a demonstration of Dr. King’s vision of the ‘beloved community,’ became a reminder of what Dr. King warned could destroy our nation: the triple giants of racism, militarism, and extreme materialism.” The energy you have put into this aggressive prosecution needs to be redirected to a community-wide effort toward open dialogue between our justice system and those who do not receive equal and fair treatment and protection from our current system. We would like to meet with you at your earliest convenience to discuss these matters. Thank you in advance for your consideration. We look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, Bloomington Faith Leaders: Rev. Myron Andes, Minnesota Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Bloomington Rev. Kacey Hahn, Christ the King Lutheran Church, Bloomington Rev. Hans Lee, Christ the King Lutheran Church, Bloomington Arthur Murray, Transfiguration Lutheran Church, Bloomington Rev. Dr. Ed Treat, Transfiguration Lutheran Church, Bloomington Benjamin Gieseke, Transfiguration Lutheran Church, Bloomington Rev. Thomas Olson, St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Bloomington Rev. Mark Hallonquist, Transfiguration Lutheran Church, Bloomington Laurie Beckman Yetzer, Diaconal Minister, ELCA, Bloomington Rev. David Grant, Grace Lutheran Church, Bloomington Twin Cities Faith Leaders (in solidarity): Rev. Justin Schroeder, First Universalist Church, Minneapolis Rabbi Michael Adam Latz, Shir Tikvah Congregation, Minneapolis Rev. Meg A. Riley, Church of the Larger Fellowship Rev. Dr. David Breeden, First Unitarian Society, Minneapolis Rev. Ruth MacKenzie, First Universalist Church, Minneapolis Rev. Victoria Safford, White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church, Mahtomedi Rev. Jen Crow, First Universalist Church, Minneapolis Rev. Kate Tucker, Associate Minister Emerita, First Universalist Church, Minneapolis Rev. Karen Hutt, University of Minnesota Medical Center Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink, First Universalist Church, Minneapolis Rev. Karen Hering, consulting literary minister, Unity Church-Unitarian, St. Paul Rev. Karen Johnson Gustafson, Michael Servetus Unitarian Society Mary E. Hess, PhD, Professor of Educational Leadership, Luther Seminary Rev. Luke Stevens-Royer, White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church, Mahtomedi Jim Foti, Assistant Minister, First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis Rev. Peter Weston Miller, Atonement Lutheran Church, New Brighton Lena K. Gardner, Church of the Larger Fellowship and United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities Laura Smidzik, M.Div. White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church, Mahtomedi Rev. Donna J. Olsen, Volunteer Clergy, All God’s Children MCC Pastor Marea Perry, Above Every Name Ministries St. Paul Joy Marsh Stephens, New Creation Church (Minneapolis) and ISAIAH Rev. DeWayne L. Davis, Senior Pastor, All God’s Children Metropolitan Community Church, Minneapolis Martha Schwehn Bardwell, Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, Minneapolis Terri Burnor, Candidate for Unitarian Universalist Ministry, St. Paul Ashley Horan, M.Div.; Executive Director, The MN Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance Rev. Anita L. Bradshaw, Ph.D., Interim Senior Pastor, Lynnhurst Congregational United Church of Christ Denise Butler, Community Organizer Rev. Anita C. Hill, Deputy Director, ReconcilingWorks Manu Lewis Rev. Sarah Campbell, Team Lead Minister Mayflower Congregational Church, UCC, Mpls. MN Dr. Timothy M. Johnson, Cherokee Park United Church, St. Paul Stephanie McCullough-Cain, Seminary Student and Ministerial Intern at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Minnetonka. Ariella Tilsen, Shir Tikvah Congregation and Tergar Meditation Center Hortense MacLeod, Seminarian Sarah Schaleger, United Seminary; Mount Zion Temple Member Rev. Jane McBride, Principal Minister, First Congregational Church of MN, UCC, Minneapolis Rev. Lisa Friedman Minister of Congregational and Community Engagement Unity Church- Unitarian St. Paul Rev. Jen Nagel, Salem English Lutheran Church, Minneapolis Rev. Laurie A. Eaton, Our Saviour’s Lutheran church, Minneapolis and ISAIAH Rev. James Erlandson, Pastor, Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, St. Paul Eliot N. Howard , Pastor, Linden Hills Unites Church of Christ. Minneapolis Ann Mongoven, Saint Joan of Arc Catholic Community and ISAIAH Kelley Hughes, Minnesota Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship member and Memorial Coordinator; Sholom Home West Volunteer Chaplain Baya Clare CSJ, Sisters of St Joseph Jack Gaede – Aspiring Candidate for Unitarian Universalist Ministry, Minneapolis, MN Colleen Cook, United Theological Seminary, Reclaiming Witch Rev. Julie Ebbesen, St Peder’s Lutheran Church, Minneapolis David Scherer, director of Hip Hop Outreach Pamela Y. Cook, Esq, Chaplain Intern, Redeemer Lutheran Church Grant Spencer, Certified Candidate, United Methodist Church, Burnsville Linda McCollough, Community Outreach Coordinator, Candidate for Ministry UMC, United Theological Seminary Student Rev. Gina B. Varner, Pastor, El Bethel Community Christian Ctr., United Theological Seminary Rev. Kent Hemmen Saleska, Unitarian Universalist Church of Minnetonka, Wayzata Rev. Don Portwood, Lyndale United Church of Christ Sarah Gleason, St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church (Minneapolis) and ISAIAH Rich Nymoen, St. Joan of Arc and ISAIAH Rev. Sarah Campbell, Team Lead Minister, Mayflower Community Congregational, UCC Meagan McLaughlin, Vicar, Mount Olive Lutheran Church Elizabeth A. Oppenheimer, Quaker Rev. Emily P.L. Meyer; Linden Hills United Church of Christ, Minneapolis, MN; Trinity Lutheran Church, Laporte, MN Rev. Emily Goldthwaite Fries, Mayflower United Church of Christ Rev. Joanne Sylvander, Retired UCC Clergy, Member of Cherokee Park United Church in St Paul, MN Rev. Ingrid Arneson Rasmussen, Trinity Lutheran Church, Minneapolis Amy Marga, PhD, Professor of Systematic Theology, Luther Seminary Gretchen Vanderlinden-Wang, Lutheran Church of the Redeemer-St Paul, ISAIAH Robin Mavis, WIPA MN Sharon Goens-Bradley, American Friends Service Committee Matthew Paul Schroeder, Luther Seminary Master of Divinity Student Rev. Jay Carlson, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Minneapolis Rev. Stephanie Coltvet Erdmann, Edina Community Lutheran Church, Edina Chaplain Laura Thompson, United Hospital, Saint Paul Rev. G. Travis Norvell, Pastor, Judson Memorial Baptist Church Rev. Thomas J. Daniels WJ Moussa Foster, Seminarian, United Theological Seminary and Congregational Intern at Robbinsdale United Church of Christ Philip J. Steger, Catholic Community of St Thomas More, Justice and Service Commission, St Paul, MN Arline Datu, St. Thomas More Catholic Church (St. Paul) and ISAIAH Rev. Dr. Rebecca Voelkel, Lyndale United Church of Christ, Minneapolis Rev. Doug Mork, Cross of Glory Lutheran Church, Brooklyn Center, MN Ryan Pusch, Luther Seminary Master of Divinity Student Grant Stevensen, Lutheran Pastor of the St. Paul Area Synod, ISAIAH Greg King, St. Joan of Arc Catholic Community, ISAIAH Sue Budd, St. Joan of Arc, ISAIAH Mercy Monroe, Seminarian and Member in Discernment in the UCC, Minneapolis, MN Arif Mamdani, Kaleo Center for Faith, Justice & Social Transformation The Rev. Javen Swanson, Associate Pastor, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, St. Paul, MN Lisa Fulton, St. Thomas More Catholic Church, St. Paul Peggy Ludlow, United Theological Seminary Student Sarah Mullins, St Thomas Catholic Church, St Paul Rev. Todd Bratulich, Pastor of Community and Mission Engagement, First Covenant Church Minneapolis Rev. Laura J. Thelander, Ph.D., Seminary Pastor, Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, MN Andy Jolivette, Luther Seminary, St Paul, MN Katherine M. Parent, Luther Seminary PhD Student, Minneapolis, MN Rev. Kathryn Schifferdecker, Th.D., Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN Rev. Karl L. Jones, Chaplain ordained by the United Church of Christ Rev. Dr. Susan Allers-Hatlie, Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisor Rev. Rachael Warner, Pastor, Christ United Methodist Church, Maplewood Pastor Danny Givens, Above Every Name Ministries, Unity Church Unitarian Faith Leaders beyond the Twin Cities (in solidarity): Pastor Bob Bledsoe, Unitarian Universalist chaplain, Sheboygan, Wisconsin Rev. Salim Kaderbhai, Faith and Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church parish, Madelia, MN and Butternut, MN Shawna Foster, Ministerial Candidate for Unitarian Universalism in Denver, CO Jameson Baxter, United Theological Seminary Student, Member in Discernment of the United Church of Christ, Intern at Grace UCC Northampton, PA Rev. Dr. Beth Donaldson, Lead Minister, United Church of Christ, New Brighton, MN Rev. Amy Wick Moore, United Church of Christ, New Brighton, MN ***organizations listed for identification purposes only Support this story and all the stories from The Uptake. Donate.