Life Learners; Whites: Stand in solidarity; Clergy training for veteran care; the missed opportunity of a sermon; 2 grants; 6 jobs
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Our Members

African Methodist Episcopal Church
Fourth Episcopal District

American Baptist Church
American Baptist Churches of Iowa and Minnesota
American Baptist Churches, Rochester Genesee Region of New York State

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Upper Midwest Region

Church of God in Christ
Minnesota Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction

Church of the Brethren
Northern Plains District

The Episcopal Church
Episcopal Church in Minnesota

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Minneapolis Area Synod
Northeastern Minnesota Synod
Northwestern Minnesota Synod
Saint Paul Area Synod
Southeastern Minnesota Synod
Southwestern Minnesota Synod

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
Metropolis of Chicago

Mennonite Church
Central Plains Mennonite Conference

Moravian Church
Northern Province
Western District

National Association of Congregational Christian Churches
Fellowship of Minnesota Congregationalists

National Baptist Convention
Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention

Pentecostal Assemblies of the World
Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Dakotas District Council

Presbyterian Church (USA)
Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys
Presbytery of the Northern Plains
Presbytery of Northern Waters
Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area

United Church of Christ
Minnesota Conference

United Methodist Church
Minnesota Annual Conference

Affiliate Members

Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches

Interfaith Action of Greater Saint Paul

Our Programs

Refugee Services
MCC offers immigration, housing, employment, education, and case management services to refugees and their families, with the aim of guiding them on the path to self-sufficiency.

Racial Justice
With the Black Clergy Speakers Bureau and other initiatives, we help congregations to be partners in a movement dismantling racism. 

Interfaith Programming
Whether through a Taking Heart Ramadan Iftar, #BlessedRamadan sign, or involvement with a host of interfaith networks, Minnesota Council of Churches is a go-to organization for people seeking to build relationships across faith communities.

Respectful Conversations Project
Respectful Conversations is designed not to change minds, but to soften hearts. Find out how people in your community can talk about their differences in a way that stitches us together rather than tearing us apart.

Mankato Refugee Services
We support refugee community integration and transition to self-sufficiency by providing the following services: Case Management, Job Placement (must be state eligible), Immigration Adjustment, and Community Engagement and Outreach.

About "News for the Common Good"

MCC's bi-weekly e-newsletter builds the common good in the world by sharing items of interest to our statewide community of congregational decision-makers. Content is curated from submitted news, member newsletters, and other sources. We emphasize cross-pollination and bridge-building between faith, broader nonprofit, and other social sectors.

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October 12, 2016

In this Issue

   Whites: Stand in Solidarity with Afircan-Americans
   Life Learners
   "I was skeptical, but now am a fan."
   Lease space in a faith-based nonprofit incubator
Upcoming Events 
   Political Disenfranchisement and Religion
   If it Matters, Do Something!
   Building Interfaith Bridges
   Festival of Praise Concert
   Examing this Moment through Movement Eyes
   The Launch Project
   Using the Pulpit of the Press
   Where Are We Headed in Israel and Palestine?
   Clergy Training for Veteran Care
   Mental Health and the Faith community's Response
Make a Difference
   A brisk October for refugees
   No-excuse absentee voting has begun in Minnesota

   Almost every sermon is a missed opportunity
   The Beard Schism
   Jesus for atheists
   Effective leaders prioritize their personal lives
   Grant: Vital Worship
   Grant: Vocational Resources
   Administrative Assistant
   Hub Organizer
   Finance Coordinator
   Receptionist / Office Assistant
   Processing Center Chaplain
   Processing Center Management

Looking Forward  
   Submit your news


Whites: Stand in Solidarity with African Americans

Leaders of a Baptist peacemaking group have called for whites to stand in solidarity with African Americans in the United States (via News & Ideas). One way your congregation can stand in solidarity is to invite a member of the Black Clergy Speakers Bureau to speak to your congregation. Speakers reflect on being black in Minnesota and other topics, and help your congregation build racial empathy. Another way is to host a Respectful Conversation on “race” relations. Learn about MCC’s tools for fostering racial justice through your congregation.

Life Learners

Through the Minnesota Council of Churches, the body of Christ in Minnesota is stepping up to oppose racial injustice by partnering with best-practices tutoring programs, connecting people in congregations to tutoring and mentoring training and relationships to make a real difference in the lives of Minnesota’s children, one kid at a time. You can respond to God’s call to help a child learn to read, do math, or have a positive role model. Check out Life Learners and indicate your interest in helping a young Minnesotan today.

"I was skeptical, but now am a fan."

Evaluations from a recent Respectful Conversation included one shared story from someone who had been "dragged" to the event. "I was skeptical," wrote the evaluator, "but am now a fan." Be missional in your community by helping people experience positive transformation through a Respectful Conversation. Talk about guns in Minnesota, human sexuality, "race" relations, or consider designing one to address a topic specific to your mission field. Learn more.

Lease space in a faith-based nonprofit incubator

Nonprofits wishing to locate near downtown Minneapolis, Loring Park, and Eat Street in a building with on-site parking, professional reception staff, and a café can take advantage of 500-1,000 square feet of office space available in the Minnesota Church Center. The building was highlighted by the Downtown Journal as a “treasure to see,” and our Franklin Terrace Café was singled out for praise. Contact Minnesota Council of Churches’ COO Doug Swanson at 612-230-3201 for leasing details. Learn more about the Minnesota Church Center.

Upcoming Events


Political Disenfranchisement and Religion

October 13, 11:45am – 1:30pm
Olson Campus Center of Luther Seminary, Saint Paul

Current campaign rhetoric brings into focus and into question the following: Who is disenfranchised and who wields influence? Which voters have an edge and which ones encounter barriers to having their voices heard? Learn more here. (via Saint Paul interfaith Network)

If it Matters, Do Something!

October 15, 9:00am – 4:30pm
Living Spirit United Methodist Church, Minneapolis and online

In light of the shootings of Jamar Clark, Philando Castile, and other recent tragedies in the Twin Cities, this workshop will give participants tactics to unify their community around racial justice. The Rev. Dr. F. Willis Johnson, of the Center for Social Empowerment and pastor of Ferguson, MO’s Wellspring Church, will bring his experience working in the Ferguson community and across the country. Sponsored by the MN Commission on Religion and Race of The United Methodist Church. Learn more here.

Building Interfaith Bridges

October 15, 10:00am – 2:00pm
First Presbyterian Church, Redwood Falls

Dr. Sayyid Syeed, the National Director of the Islamic Society of North America, will be the headline presenter for a day of dialogue about the Muslim faith and the Muslim community in the U.S. Sayeed's speech will be followed with time for questions and answers, and there will be a panel discussion on building interfaith bridges.

Please call the Presbytery Office of Minnesota Valleys at (320) 235-7910 to register for free. A box lunch is provided.

This event is co-sponsored by the Minnesota Council of Churches. Syeed will also speak at the Redwood Area Community Center at 7:00pm on October 16.

Festival of Praise Concert

October 17, 7:00pm
State Theatre, Minneapolis

Hezekiah Walker, Fred Hammond, and others perform in a concert benefiting the Minnesota State Baptist Convention’s scholarship fund for students of color in the Twin Cities. Buy tickets.

Examining this Moment through Movement Eyes

October 25, 8:00am – 9:30am
Headwaters Foundation for Justice, Minneapolis

We live in a critical moment. From the streets of Ferguson, Baltimore, Chicago and North Minneapolis, to the roads of Central and South America, Mexico, the Middle East, Europe, and other places across the global, people are on the move demanding change. Dialogue about the range of systematic injustices is expanding, and the pace of the calls for justice is accelerating. Movements are developing that see the interconnection of these issues and seek to transform the structures of how we live. How do we understand this moment? What does it mean for us, individually and collectively, to be in this movement moment? How do we leverage our power, including the power of our faith, to achieve our purposes? Register here. (via the Kaleo Center)

The Launch Project

October 27: Nora Gallagher
Good Earth Village, Spring Valley

The Launch Project creates an intimate space for active learning where participants are expected to engage their hearts and minds, be challenged by presenters and colleagues, and feel inspired to follow Jesus' call anew. Each of our three speakers will talk about unique experiences of rediscovering Jesus as a vulnerable leader committed to peace, healing, and love. Learn more and register.

Using the Pulpit of the Press

October 28, 9:00am – 4:00pm
United Theological Seminary, New Brighton

This training will cover developing your messaging strategy, answering even the toughest interview questions, harnessing the power of your story, and generating your own media. You’ll have an opportunity to be filmed as if you were being interviewed on camera, and you’ll receive constructive feedback and support on how you can make your media skills even better. Register for the $125 training here.

Where Are We Headed In Israel and Palestine - Is a One State Solution the Only Answer?

October 28, 10:00am – noon
Minnesota Church Center, Minneapolis

Jeff Halper was at the forefront protesting home demolitions in Palestine. He argues that Israel has effectively eliminated the two-state solution to the conflict. He goes on to outline what appears to be the only just solution remaining: a democratic, bi-national state, which he explores in depth. Sponsored by the Palestine Israel Justice Project of the MN United Methodist Church.

Clergy Training for Veteran Care

November 9, 8:00am – 4:00pm
Living Word Christian Center, Brooklyn Park

Many veterans and their family members who seek help for their problems do so from clergy. Some veterans delay seeking help until crisis makes it unavoidable. Clergy and chaplains are invited to a training to learn about challenges of readjustment, spiritual and psychological effects of war trauma, VA benefits and services, how to connect to the VA, and how the community can reduce stigma so veterans are more willing to seek help. Register here or contact Chaplain Winn, (651) 282-4291,

Mental Health and the Faith Community’s Response

November 11-12
Springhouse Ministry Center, Minneapolis

One in five Americans lives with a mental health condition. Many times they are stigmatized, feared and shunned. Others suffer silently. How do faith communities minister to those who need help? Explore these questions and more with keynote speaker and pastor Sarah Griffith Lund, as well as a slate of mental health experts and community partners who will impart knowledge, tools, and resources needed to provide this important ministry in our diverse contexts. Learn more and register here.


Make a Difference


A brisk October for refugees

Refugee Services would like to thank all those who have donated recently to help us welcome record numbers of new arrivals. We expect a brisk October, with approximately 75 new refugee arrivals. You can help extend the warmth to new arrivals by donating pots and pans, sharp knives, slotted/serving spoons, and shower curtains and rings. Donations can be delivered to the Church Center during business hours.For more information, please view our donation information here.

No-excuse absentee voting has begun in Minnesota

Eligible voters in Minnesota can cast their ballots early for the November 8 General election by voting absentee. No reason needs to be provided for why you choose to do so. Minnesotans can ask to be mailed an absentee ballot or vote absentee in-person at county or local elections offices. Go here to see what your ballot will look like, and here to track the status of your absentee ballot.


Almost every sermon is a missed opportunity

An expert sermon listener says pastors don’t understand the spiritual thirst in congregations, or how hard it is to just get to church on a Sunday morning. He offers four tips for preaching that will reach someone in the pews and reminds preachers to both challenge and comfort their congregations. (via News & Ideas)

The Beard Schism

Your congregation may know conflict, but is the battle over worship style or how to be the hands and feet of Jesus in your mission field nearly as significant as the question of beard righteousness? One Christianity Today writer humorously explores the real role of the beard in the Great Schism of 1054.

Jesus for atheists

One of the biggest myths about Jesus is that he is “only a Christian figure and is off-limits to those who are not religious,” according to a Religion Dispatches interview. The author of “Confessions of a Secular Jesus Follower” hopes destigmatize Jesus’ teachings and examples (if not his divinity) in the eyes of committed secular readers.

Effective leaders prioritize their personal lives

But research indicates that this emphasis on a rewarding personal life is not zero-sum with regard to time spent on work. Truly successful people find ways to reduce conflict between work and family and create harmony. These people experienced reduce stress and greater capacity for significant accomplishment. A Wharton School professor sums up his research in the Harvard Business Review.

Grant: Vital Worship

Deadline: January 10, 2017

The Vital Worship Grants Program (PDF) at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship seeks to foster vital worship in congregations, parishes, and other worshiping communities in North America. This grants program is especially focused on projects connecting public worship to intergenerational faith formation and Christian discipleship. (via News & Ideas)

Grant: Vocational Resources

Deadline: February 1

Christian communities must be equipped to inspire young adults to explore deep questions of meaning, purpose and identity. They must have the capacity to help young leaders seek their vocation in Christian leadership as a way to make a difference in the world. FTE offers grants to diverse congregations and church-related organizations to develop vocational resources that support young people exploring Christian ministry. These grants help communities establish meaningful approaches to vocational discernment. Recipients receive up to $10,000 and gather in a community of practice with other grantees. Learn more here (pdf). (via Faith & Leadership)


MCC Job Postings

Administrative Assistant to CEO (FT)

Use your ability to coordinate complex work assignments, your problem-solving aptitude and initiative to provide support to the CEO with office support, relationships, governance, programming, and other related duties. Learn more and apply.

Other Faith-community Postings

Hub Organizer (PT), Student Christian Movement-USA, Twin Cities
Finance Coordinator (PT), Bethel Lutheran Church, Minneapolis
Receptionist/Office Assistant (PDF) (PT), St. Paul Area Synod, Saint Paul
Processing Center Chaplain (FT), Samaritan’s Purse, Minneapolis
Processing Center Management (FT), Samaritan’s Purse, Minneapolis


Looking Forward

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Every two weeks News for the Common Good reaches over 3,400 congregational decision-makers. If you want to reach an audience that's serious about faith and active in their community, then send events to us. We post workshops, trainings of interest to clergy and involved laity, thought pieces relevant to the body of Christ, jobs in faith-based organizations, and items relevant to the Minnesota Council of Churches' program areas.
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