Go

Contact Us

  • Phone: 651.487.7752
  • Email: 
  • Mailing Address: 1215 Roselawn Ave. West | Roseville, MN 55113

 

 

Justice

A Prayer from Pastor Lauren - April 20, 2021
In response to the verdict in the Derek Chauvin Trial

"But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream" 

– Amos 5:24

Thousands of years ago the prophet Amos prayed that justice may roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

It’s a prayer that people around the world have voiced for centuries as they watched time and again, evil triumphing over good; the weak being overcome by the strong. This prayer has been on our lips as well.

Today, in the city of Minneapolis, the waters of justice did indeed begin to roll down. For those in our time who wait and watch, a glimmer of hope has been seen; for those who pray that a new day might dawn, today their prayers are coming to fruition; and for those seeking a better tomorrow, their future has become a little bit brighter.

As we await the ever-flowing stream of God's justice, may we grow in peace and love, with strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow. May we go forward together, knowing that God's arc of love, peace, hope, and justice gives light for all of our shared tomorrows as a people of God.

Lauren J. Wrightsman, Senior Pastor

We share this prayer on this day:

God of all, at the beginnings of creation - out of nothing you separated the waters from the sky; as your children, we have been nourished by your waters in our baptism; indeed, your entire creation is given new life and hope through your life-giving waters.

May the waters of your justice flow as we move forward in faith with you. May the waters of your hope embrace us on our journey towards justice. May the waters of your justice sustain us, keep us, encourage us and lead us. May we be given sustenance, strength and hope to create new pathways for your justice to flow. 

Amen

A Message from the Pastors - April 7, 2021

George Floyd, Justice and
Roseville Lutheran Church

The first trial in the death of George Floyd is underway. The encounter on May 25th last year erupted into widespread outrage, damaged neighborhoods and businesses, numerous protests and calls for reform. This trial is only one step that can lead to healing, peaceful community and just society.

God calls each of us to love our neighbor, without exception, without excuse. This is not always easy to do. Consummate justice will take self-reflection, change of attitude, communal accountability, personal commitment and practiced grace. 

Faith-based communities are the moral conscience of society, and Christians individually have a role in leading conversations on justice, healing, recognition and reconciliation. Love God. Love your neighbor. is about creating a world without fear, suspicion or hostility. Love means actively fostering and nurturing the personhood and security of another, usually at some personal cost. It is the way of Christ and forges a path to a more unified, more prosperous community. 

Our Work Begins

It will take courage and deliberate effort by everyone to overcome  divisions in our community. RLC has begun this work through:

  • Our Neighbors and Me (ONAM) explores resources and promotes ongoing discussion on topics of diversity, social justice and equality.
  • Lift Every Voice provides candid discussions on the presence and impact of racism in our community, meeting weekly online through the Lenten season.
  • The Inclusion Task Force is being formed to establish programs and processes that will help ensure our congregation is supportive and welcoming of all people.

Council, church leadership and staff will continue to incorporate diversity and racial equity into planning for the long-term health of RLC.

Our hope is for RLC to build bridges of understanding that unify our fractured community. We invite all to join us in these efforts.

Your pastors,

Lauren J. Wrightsman, Senior Pastor

Chris Hagen, Interim Associate Pastor

Rolf Olson, Visitation Pastor

   

What is the work of the Roseville Lutheran
Our Neighbors and Me (ONAM) team?

God commands us to “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly.”  (Micah 6:8)  The work of ONAM is about justice.  As people of faith we will enter the transformative process of taking a stand against racism and embarking upon the life giving journey of reconciliation— we begin right here, in our neighborhood.  

Request a Yard Sign

Many of you have seen and appreciated the signs around our Roseville Lutheran Church property. Some have inquired about a sign to put in your own yard as a call for justice. Click here to request a yard sign. 

Why is this work of being Christ in our community important? 

(What place does the church have in civil matters?)

The radical message of the Christian narrative of God’s love for the whole world and God’s coming into the world in and through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the foundation, the source, the paradigm for our response to suffering and injustice in our community and in the world. 

As one is shaped and formed by this truth, this way, and this life, one is drawn into becoming a follower (a disciple) of Jesus Christ. This creates a new heart open to listen to this story and how this story intersects with our human condition which transforms our lens to an ever deepening relationship to God and inspiring compassion for others, especially for the least, the lost and the less. 

This new heart and mind feels and hears other people’s suffering and joins God’s actions through the Spirit, ordering ones priorities to work individually and with others to open lines of communication and build bridges of understanding, respect and care with neighbors living in difficult situations.

This work is a Calling to Ministry for every member of RLC to be alert and attentive to “the point of entry” they have in relating to others using ones life to be the incarnate presence of God’s love to the neighbor and to the world.

This is not our own work - it is God’s work.
The Spirit calls us to humbly and with
courage to be God’s channel of
compassionate love for our neighbor.
This work gives meaning and purpose
and zeal to our life as long as we live.
  
Thanks be to God!

 

Where to Start?

Where to start:  At Roseville Lutheran we know that when we enter the waters of justice, mission work, and service to our neighbor, we all enter from a different place and perspective.  Some people are brand new to thinking about justice and advocacy on behalf of a hurting neighbor.  Others have spent years working on and thinking about racial justice.  You enter in the place that makes the most sense for you.  The key is the courage to enter at all.  

Ankle Deep

Ankle Deep - The language of white privilege and systemic racism may be brand new to you. Perhaps you’re wondering how real or how big the problem actually is. Start with this ankle deep step of educating yourself on some of the lessons that were never taught in most of our high school classrooms. Digging into these articles and videos will help you to learn about some of the historical events and decisions that have led to systemic racism in America.

  • A Time for Burning • A 1966 American documentary film which explores the attempts of the minister of Augustana Lutheran Church in Omaha, Nebraska, to persuade his all-white congregation to reach out to “negro” Lutherans in the city’s north side. **We're discussing this movie in August!** Click here to sign up and join the conversation!
  • Systemic Racism Explained • Systemic racism affects every area of life in the US. From incarceration rates to predatory loans, and trying to solve these problems requires changes in major parts of our system. Here’s a closer look at what systemic racism is, and how we can solve it.
  • Just Mercy • A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time.  Read the book, or watch the 2019 documentary
  • Waking Up White A book written by Debbie Irving about her experience of waking up to systems of racial injustice in America.  Irving’s retelling of the story of how her life was shaped is honest and accessible and has helped many white readers to consider the roots of their own perspectives in new ways.
  • Request a Yard Sign • Many of you have seen and appreciated the signs around our Roseville Lutheran Church property. Some have inquired about purchasing a sign to put in your own front yard as a call for justice. We think this is a great idea.

Knee Deep

Knee Deep - If you’re ready to go a little deeper, you’re knee deep.  What is happening in our neighborhood, across the Twin Cities, and the state of Minnesota?  How has “Minnesota Nice” contributed to segregated neighborhoods, churches and one of the highest achievement gaps in the country?  The resources listed here will help us to understand our city and church more deeply and what others are doing to advocate for cultural changes that will include those who have long been excluded.

  • Smaller and Smaller and Smaller • Macalester Professor Marlon James responds to the 2016 killling of Philando Castile by describing his experience as a black man in Minnesota.
  • An Inadequate Response from One Minnesotan • Chris Gherz, Bethel University Professor and Roseville LUtheran Member, reflects on the history of race in America in response to George Floyd’s murder.
  • Mapping Prejudice • Learn about the hidden histories of race and privilege in the Twin Cities urban landscape.
  • Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man In a series of YouTube episodes, Emmanuel Acho sits down to have an “uncomfortable conversation” with white America, in order to educate and inform on racism, system racism, social injustice, rioting & the hurt African Americans are feeling today.
  • The Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture This article presents a list of characteristics of white supremacy culture which show up in our organizations. Also in this article are antidotes to help us move our organizations toward culture change.  

Heart Deep

Heart Deep - When its time to take a look at yourself, your own biases and fragility, you’re heart deep. You might be asking yourself, how can I advocate for my vulnerable neighbors, how can I be an advocate and an ally, what can I do to be a part of a solution rather than complacent and ignorant of these issues? This a time for self assessment and the vulnerability to confront one’s own biases. This isn’t about guilt or shame, its about honest personal growth and discovering a new way to live into God’s call to act with justice.

  • Take an Implicit Bias inventory • This inventory will help us to understand when we have attitudes towards people or associate stereotypes with them without our conscious knowledge.
  • Deconstructing White Privilege with Dr. Robin DiAngelo • A 20 minute video with the author of White Fragility. All of us must seek the light of God, the light of truth in recognizing oppression. We begin to do so in this session, which focuses on the oppressive behavior that is born out of white privilege.
  • What White People can Do for Racial Justice This article is continually updated to ensure each item is accurate and needed today.  Achieving racial justice is a marathon, not a sprint. Our work to fix what we broke and left broken isn’t done until Black folks tell us it’s done.