by Christa Meland
JANUARY 21, 2021
Last summer, after George Floyd was killed under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, Patrick Senense asked the church youth group he leads: How is it affecting you? And what can we do about it?
His 60-member congregation—Magnolia Park UMC in Burbank, California—is mostly white. But its eight-person youth group is multi-racial and beautifully diverse. Senense suspected the youth and young adults might be struggling to process the event and the nationwide outcry that followed, and he wanted to explore with them how they might respond.
Members of the youth group decided to both share their own experiences with racism and raise money for anti-racism efforts through the Minnesota Conference’s “Just Love” campaign. In December, they sent a check for $674.69 to the bishop’s office earmarked for the campaign—which is supporting ministries of mercy (crisis counseling, housing stability, food/medicine) and ministries of racial justice (education, advocacy, intervention).
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