Twin Cities Churches Take Action Amidst Protests

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, the people of Minneapolis took to the streets. They mourned the senseless loss of a fellow resident while calling for a change in the systems that allowed his death to happen. The initial gatherings turned to formalized protests across the Twin Cities Metro. As police presence increased and suppressive methods were employed, the protests quickly turned to riots and looting.

Through the lens of national media, it appeared as though the entire city of Minneapolis was on fire.

While there was certainly significant damage done, and buildings were irreparably damaged by fire, there was something else happening that many outside of the metro area didn’t see. The often-estranged communities of the Twin Cities were coming together.

They came together to march.

They came together to pray.

They came together to help those in need.

As businesses within city limits were forced to close, churches quickly became hubs for water, medical treatment, groceries, safety, and more. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church provided relief and medical supplies. Christ Church International provided boxes and bags filled with groceries. Lake Harriet United Methodist even organized a drive for pets, providing dog and cat food, cat litter, leashes, collars, pet waste bags, and more.

Sanctuary Covenant Church became a refuge for their North Minneapolis community as protesting and riots continued. Initially, they began by opening their parking lot and grilling food for the local residents. After the nearest cub Foods and Walgreen’s were closed, the church quickly became a food distribution center. At one point, they were providing meals for up to 500 people per day.

Organizations such as Loaves & Fishes, which regularly provides hot meals, hygiene products, and more for those in need, partnered with Salvation Army to provide free lunches in the midst of protesting.

These churches and organizations were truly living out Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

photo by Josh Hild

Meanwhile, others set out to help clean up the areas affected by riots and looting.

Within days of George Floyd’s death, Bethlehem Baptist Church formed Support the Cities, an organization created to bring people together in helping mend the Twin Cities and provide relief. Since starting, they’ve organized dozens of clean-up events, donation drives, outreaches, and more.

The city-based campuses of churches such as Wooddale and River Valley also joined and led multiple clean-up efforts through affected parts of the cities.

We are certainly not saying that it’s only been a few Christian churches that have been providing relief during this time. This is just a sample of the amazing work that has been done by the residents of the Twin Cities. People have worked across denominations, religions, political spectrums, and personal beliefs to restore their community and bring help to those in need.

While there is still much to be done in the Twin Cities, we believe that progress is being made. Now more than ever, we need to show the love of Christ to our neighbors. There is a lot of pain, confusion, and anger, and for good reason.

As Christians, we can help provide hope and peace that passes all understanding. Together, we can bring healing to our community.

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