A message from Chris Andersen, InFaith Community Foundation's President & Executive Director.
The year 2016 has been a year in which race, prejudice and violence have come together with frightening frequency and devastating consequences. Politics has fanned the flame and many of us struggle with our contribution to this situation and wonder what role we might have in finding solutions. And many of us ask “where is the church?” and “where are people of faith?” as we wrestle with our conscience.
In the midst of our questioning, the faithful step forward with the prophet Micah and know that we must “do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with our God.” In this, the first year of InFaith Community Foundation’s President’s Grant, we join with churches that are leading, praying, organizing, convening and examining the depth of our commitment to address the sin of racism.
Two grants of $15,000 each have been made to two regional church judicatories – the Minneapolis Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Eastern District of the Baltimore Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) – to support their work in addressing racism through the engagement of their congregations and community through open and honest dialogue.
Two churches, one a church of immigrants in America and the other whose founders affirmed their humanity in the face of slavery and racism, are providing leadership to their members and to all people of faith as together we seek to be more Christ-like in our love and respect for all people.
Two communities, Minneapolis and Baltimore, also represent communities that experienced the tragic deaths of young African American men, Philando Castile and Freddie Gray. Together with others, these men helped to raise questions for all of us about of the depth and institutionalization of racism in America.
Christians are hopeful. This hopefulness is born of and rooted in the birth of Jesus and in his resurrection. And we are committed to live a life modeled after his example and will not give up nor give in to evil. It is with this commitment and our trust in God that we at InFaith support the work of the ELCA and AME in the first President’s Grants of InFaith.
President & Executive Director, InFaith Community Foundation