Under any normal circumstances, Minnesota wouldn’t draw as much media attention as it has in recent months. It’s where Partners Worldwide has an emerging partnership with the Firehouse, a local community institution dedicated to transformation through cultivating a richly diverse entrepreneurial ecosystem. It’s also where—last Spring—a group of police officers stopped a black man in traffic suspected of using a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill at a nearby convenience store. That man publicly died while in police custody, and the officer being held responsible for his death has been sentenced for murder. Because of this, the idea of asking for prayer for the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul is laced with anxiety—there’s an overabundance of tension at every mention of them.
The court’s rendering is cascading through towns and cities across America, causing tensions to keep rising. Complicating matters is the virally spreading, rapid-fire pace of each emerging case of public-police interaction. Yet quietly in the background, community members are faithfully meeting to plan for the future. As the greater twin cities area continues to heal, an intentionally ethnically mixed group has been prayerfully convening for the past five years to dream of a greater vision. The number of areas with concentrated poverty in the twin cities has doubled over the last four decades -- especially hard hit are near north and central sides. As a first step in addressing these concerns, this group is focused on a small block where an old building is being rehabbed into a new co-working facility. The space will also house the offices for one of the only venture capital firms in the country dedicated to serving black and Latinx-founded tech startups.
News of this promising vision is readily lost amid the larger narrative. Albeit, what happens in one circle indelibly links with another. Within one circle contains economic empowerment and opportunity, while the other contains calls for civic duty and lasting justice. At the intersection are lives of people deeply in need of both. Between the complexities of modern politics, and the tendency for pandemic fatigue, any news these days presents an emotional obstacle course for the typical viewer. And in the twin cities, there’s a measured disquiet, though not so loud as to drown out the voices of hope with which we join.
We turn to our partners in the local community for clarity and sense of purpose. We are honored to walk with them in their vision for their community and humbly commit to cover them in prayer and encouragement as they work to transform lives through holistic and practical service. We ask for God to uphold and revitalize their efforts, sustaining them in times of doubt or anxiety. We task God’s people with listening for the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, diligently seeking empathy while rejecting contentiousness. We pray for a spirit of repentance for times of avoiding challenging conversations. Most of all, we pray for the resolve to join together as the church and stand as one for healing and renewal.
We pray for the twin cities.