by Don Fulton and Pastor Javen Swanson
In The Wizard of Oz Dorothy says, “There is no place like home.” Minnesota is not the land of Oz, yet we call Minnesota home and consider it a special place. Not everyone can make that claim. The reality of homelessness and systemic racial injustice has intensified during this time of pandemic. These and other issues existed long before the pandemic. We need to look at some hard truths. Do we continue to react from a place of scarcity and fear, or do we respond from a place of abundance and gratitude? It is time to say enough and put words into action. Now is the time for results so that all can have a place they call home and live with dignity and respect.
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church has a history of taking on social issues and helping those in need. Our youth go on service trips to work on projects on native lands. Our members have signed up to volunteer as hosts to Project Home guests staying in the church building during the month of December. Every other month through the Loaves & Fishes program, meals are prepared for the hungry at the Dorothy Day Center. We gather food for local food shelves. A second Sunday offering is collected each month to support non-profit agencies on the front lines helping those in need. It is the time to expand the list to make sustainable systemic changes.
Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative is the partnering of over 100 faith communities committed to the vision that everyone has a home; they work toward this by creating supportive housing for those with the lowest incomes and greatest need and by promoting rent subsidies for all who need them. Beacon is about affordable housing solutions that bring people hope and a better reality. Gloria Dei has been invited to be part of this partnership ministry, and a team is emerging in our congregation to explore this possibility. There are many ways that we can learn more, including Beacon’s 30-minute Rent is Due virtual actions on the first of every month, and a rally at the State Capitol, Dwelling in Hope, on November 15. We will continue to promote upcoming opportunities with Beacon. Will you join us in exploring these next steps together?