November Pastor’s letter
The Norwegians were in the news this morning. Russian drones are threatening their air space. They have put Russia on notice that they will not tolerate their presence. Norwegian oil and natural gas are vital resources in the defense of Ukraine. Russia not only turned off the natural gas line to Europe, they perhaps sabotaged it so no one else (the Norwegians?) could use it.
Parish Administrator, Ann and I attended our bank’s annual community event last week. Because it had been canceled the two previous years, they went all out this year. Our bank is Northeast Bank, situated in the heart of the Ukrainian-American community and we were treated to a special performance of Ukrainian dance.
As I made my way back to North Minneapolis, I couldn’t help but marvel at the melting of cultures that is occurring here in the United States. But, I also couldn’t help being reminded as I passed the WIN gas station 10 blocks east (and across the river) that there is yet a separation of cultures in the United States. The Winner station has been nicknamed the “murder station” for the many murders that have occurred there. It’s sad that the African-American culture is taking the brunt of this unintended harm. In the September issue of the Star Tribune, University of Minnesota Law School Professor of Civil Rights said it all in the title of his essay: “In a segregated region, crime and police hurt the same people.”
Today, the Minneapolis City Council approved a new Department of Public Safety which many people see as an olive branch between the people who want to see the police defunded and those who, in the last election, felt a stronger mayor would help deter crime. To me, this action demonstrated where we need to be as a culture moving forward with the problem of race. I will again use the quote from Henry Louis Gates that I referred to in my last Pastor’s letter: “None of us are responsible for what our ancestors did. But all of us are responsible to work together to make this a better world.” (I hope you are watching his new documentary, “Making Black America: Through the Grapevine.”)
Again, as I have said before, though these are troubling times, they are exciting times. The world truly has become globalized and a new movement of global cooperation for peace is bubbling up through the muck of human sin. God is once again doing a new thing. It’s just troubling to see so many people suffer as the world comes to its senses. Keep praying and stay in church. Peace…. Pastor Dale