After a few months of living, working, and recentering in South Minneapolis, Erica Sherwood has rejoined the Minneapolis Catholic Worker community! She will continue to be a member who lives outside of the two-house structure, but who is committed to the work and the people in the houses.
We look forward to the challenge of adapting as our community changes shape, modifies its vision, and continues to grow!
Minneapolis, MN – As the Loring Park Campus of Wooddale Church ended Sunday worship, a group of Christian activists held interrupted the order of service to drop a banner and hold an worship service of their own. Offering communion and footwashing to all, the activists unveiled a banner during worship that read, “(Y)our Queerness is made in the image of God. #SilenceIsSin”, confronting the way in which many churches have ignored the epidemic of LGBT youth homelessness or the growing incidents of violence against transgender women.
“In the first two months of 2017, there have been seven reported murders of trans women–six of them black and one of them Native American. 40% of the homeless youth population are LGBT…many kicked out by parents whose actions are inspired by their religious beliefs. Some churches endorse such suffering. A few speak out. But most churches remain silent and silence is deadly,” said Zed Jensen, a member of the Mennonite Worker community in Minneapolis.
This is the second such action by the group. On March 1st the ecumenical group held an Ash Wednesday vigil at the Cathedral in Saint Paul and unveiled a banner that read, “Speaking up for unborn lives more than black and brown lives is white supremacy #silenceissin”, alluding to the presumption that many of the 60% of voting Catholics who justified casting their ballot for Donald Trump did so because of his “pro-life” campaign promises.
“Lent is a time of reflection and repentance…a perfect time for the Church to grapple with its own silence in the face of continued violence against, and rejection of, LGBTQ+ people in our midst. We don’t engage in these acts to condemn anyone, but in the hope for a moral resurrection within churches. We invite all worshippers of Jesus Christ to create a Church that reflects Jesus’ limitless love,” said Joe Kruse, a member of the Minneapolis Catholic Worker.
“We’re offering communion and footwashing in the spirit of love and unity. We’re gathering at Wooddale Church – Loring Park because, while evangelicals are partly responsible for public attitudes about LGBTQ+ people, Wooddale seems more open to this conversation than most,” said Katie Yanike, a member of the Minneapolis Catholic Worker [The Rye House].
The group promises to continue to challenge Christian churches for their silence over issues of social justice throughout Lent. Mark Van Steenwyk, member of The Mennonite Worker, explains in a recent Sojourners Magazine article that, “Just as Black Lives Matter has employed a politics of disruption to raise the national alarm about racist policing. Just as the water protectors at Standing Rock have created a human barrier against pipeline construction. So too, should we disrupt and confound any and every congregation that fuels militarism, economic exploitation, sexism, racism, Islamaphobia, or transphobia.”
After three days of trial this week in the first round of Twins Opener action hearings, Erica and Joe were found not guilty!
We feel such gratitude for the humble support and expertise of Tim Phillips, the lawyer who graciously represented Joe, Katie (who plead guilty in April), and Erica.
We at the Minneapolis Catholic Worker were delighted and overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from so many friends this week! We are looking forward to continuing that strong community support throughout the coming months as more folks come to the cities for trial.
The Minneapolis Catholic Worker community closed on a second house during the last days of 2016! It is a lovely two bedroom house directly across the street from the Rye House, where Molly and Zach (and their dog, Birdie) will live and offer hospitality out of the second bedroom.
The name of the new house is still in the works, as is the vision for the projects that will happen there. We are all looking forward to some long meetings in the winter months to imagine the possibilities that this close proximity and new space opens up for our community.
As winter truly settles over the Cities with its first thick blanket of snow, the Minneapolis Catholic Worker settles into a new season, as well.
Erica has moved out of the Rye House, but continues to be in community with us. She is seeking a new living space for herself while she digs deeper into solidarity and activist work in Minneapolis and St. Paul. While she didn’t move far from the Rye House, we will miss having her fresh energy, loving heart, and sharp critiques of the system in our house on the daily.
Mahmoud, once a guest and now a community member, has moved to St. Louis to pursue a new business endeavor! His deep kindness, loyalty, and mischievous nature (all the pranks!) will be sorely missed. We wish him well and hope to he visits often!
Ruth, one of the co-founding members of Rye House, has moved to Des Moines, IA. After spending almost five years in the Rye House/Minneapolis Catholic Worker community, she is moving on to new adventures.
It’s July, which means that the Rye House gardens are beginning to bloom. The front yard is lush with all of the chard, kale, peas, herbs, squash and more.
Recently, however, one of our beautiful hand-painted window boxes broke, leaving the front windows looking a little sadly lopsided. Ruthie and Katie, both excellent with power tools, took on the project of creating a new window box.
Below is the finished product, just waiting for a matching paint job and some plants!
On June 6th, 2015, more than 5,000 people marched in St. Paul to protest the expansion of tar sands pipelines in the Tar Sands Resistance March. Members of the Minneapolis Catholic Worker were there, joining our voices to those of other activist groups and individuals.