‘Love God; And Love Each Other.’ – Jesus
From Your Cathedral
Friday, 09.24.21
The first time I visited The Cathedral, I felt I was home. Everyone had a wonderful smile on their face, the space was warm and inviting and others acknowledged my new face and offered their assistance. Little those kind souls know I knew my way around the church very well and I did not need instruction – I just needed introductions. Those of us who are ‘church geeks’ readily offer our gifts to help around the church and we do this easily but unless you have a welcoming community, your input might be set aside.

Our beloved Episcopal Church is steeped in tradition and I admit I love these traditions. I love the liturgy, knowing I am reciting familiar prayers and thanksgivings on Sunday mornings or in other services with countless others across the globe and I love receiving communion with those I know, and ones I don’t. These traditions and comforts have fed me spiritually for many years and I want to hold onto them. However, not all our traditions should be held onto and need to be owned, apologized for and let go so a new path can be found and taken.

Changes will not happen until we all own our prejudices, lament our wrongdoings and commit to do better. Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, you should do better.” Our church has owned we need to do better and our Racial Justice Audit team is diving deep, processing information and will find new paths for everyone who walks through our doors. I want everyone who visits and/or joins St. Mark’s to have that welcoming experience I did; whether they are familiar with the Episcopal traditions or not.

Please join us as we find this new path together. Call someone on the committee. Ask us questions; tell us your fears and your excitement and what you are learning. St. Mark’s is a powerful community of people and together we are not waiting on the world to change; we are forging a new path forward and making those changes

With peace,

Denise Graber, Junior Warden

Please read on for a message from the Racial Justice and Healing Commission leaders
Saint Mark’s Racial Justice & Healing Commission
Across the summer, your Racial Justice and Healing Commission (RJH) met four times. We studied the “Racial Justice Audit” undertaken by Saint Mark’s leadership team, clergy, staff, and Cathedral council in late 2019-2020. The RJH Team includes Tim Kingsley (Canon Pastor), Mary Lusk (Canon Community Developer), and Monica Kruger (Godly Play); David Albrecht (council member) and Denise Graber (junior warden); plus, lay members Emmanuel Wilson, Brian Childs, and Mary Ramsbottom, the latter two serving as co-chairs. Rena Turnham (Archdeacon/Associate for Community Engagement), Chelsea Stanton (deacon intern), and John Satterberg (Dean’s Chaplain) provide support.
The Dean and Council charged the RJH Team with studying the Audit Report’s findings and recommendations as a first step in this essential work.

Among other conclusions, the Audit Report identified “Six Dominant Patterns” for our individual and collective attention. We discerned the following questions as vital to Saint Mark’s pursuit of racial justice and healing. 

  • Do we honor racial difference and encourage diversity in our faith community and leadership bodies?
  • Might we broaden our practice of church worship traditions to be more inclusive of a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic Anglican way?
  • Do our institutional policies and practices privilege certain cultural norms and identities over others?
  • How might we assist each other from “getting stuck” in personal indifference, guilt or hopelessness in this challenging work?
  • Finally, what is our dream for restorative justice and healing at Saint Mark’s?
The RJH Team discussed the Report prayerfully and courageously, sharing personal stories, and drawing upon our lived experience inside and outside Saint Mark’s. Going forward as a faith community, our continuing challenge will be this: with the guidance of the Spirit, discovering, confronting, and ultimately working to dismantle systematic racism and white supremacy in our midst. 
Seeking the “Beloved Community” needs the commitment of many hearts, hands, and voices at Saint Mark’s as well as ongoing budgetary support for our racial justice and healing ministry. In coming months, the RJH Team will delve into Saint Mark’s history, develop opportunities for discernment in the wider congregation, and begin to plan concrete actions. Rachel Babbitt, ECMN Missioner for Congregational Engagement, will be assisting us. Please pray for the RJH Team and how you might join us in the process of congregational discernment and transformation.

Mary Ramsbottom (mmramsbottom@gmail.com)
Brian Childs (bmchilds@outlook.com)
519 Oak Grove Street
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Phone Number:
(612) 870-7800