An email sent from Bishop Ann Svennungsen on June 28:

Dear friends in Christ,

Even while I have been busy traveling to the ELCA National Youth Gathering, the events in Minneapolis, the U.S., and the world have been intense. Many are experiencing great pain in the death of another young, African-American man killed in an interaction with police; in the separation of young children from their parents along the border; in the decision by the Highest Court of the Land to allow travel bans that have a national litmus test; in the decision by the Highest Court of the Land to restrict the collective bargaining process, making it more difficult for working people to organize for workplace protections; and in the ruling of the Public Utilities Commission on Line 3. Others within this synod may find their perspectives on these policies re-enforced, but they grieve for the pain of people with whom they are in relationship. Certainly grieving the real pain, lamenting the deep impact on our siblings – locally, nationally, and globally – is a legitimate response for people of faith.

We want to be a praying people, even as we also believe that our prayers must be accompanied by appropriate action.

So, I am asking you to share with us both ideas for prayers and ideas for activities for engagement during a time such as this.

  • Will the intercessory prayers at your congregation reflect the brokenness and pain of the society? If so, share some with us.
  • Is your congregation doing something to demonstrate your care for your neighbors? Let us know.

This page of the synod website is offered for idea sharing. It won’t be a place for debate; it will be mildly moderated.

Please send your intercessory prayers and your suggestions for engagement to both Jeni Huff and Bob Hulteen. They have agreed to check email regularly during workdays, evenings, and weekends to add to the web page.

You can visit this page to be encouraged, challenged, inspired, or emboldened to action. And, you can share with your members as you discern.

Sample Prayers


The Peer Group consisting of Mary Halvorson, Jane Buckley Farlee, Nancy Maeker, and Nancy Jahnke adapted and wrote verses for churches in the Central Conference to sing at worship and created a video:

The lyrics are:

Lord, listen to your children crying
Lord, send your Spirit to their place
Lord, listen to the children crying
Send them love, send them power, send them grace

Lord, listen to the parents waiting
Lord, send your Spirit to their place
Lord, listen to the parents waiting
Send them love, send them power, send them grace

Lord, listen to your people praying
Lord, give us hearts and minds to see
Lord, listen to your people praying
Give us strength; make us who we want to be

Used Immigrant Apostles’ Creed in worship

The Immigrant Apostles’ Creed was written by Rev. Jose Luis Casal, the  director of Presbyterian World Mission. He is an immigrant to the USA from Cuba.

The Immigrant Apostles’ Creed:

I believe in Almighty God,
who guided the people in exile and in exodus,
the God of Joseph in Egypt and Daniel in Babylon,
the God of foreigners and immigrants.

I believe in Jesus Christ, a displaced Galilean,
who was born away from his people and his home, who fled
his country with his parents when his life was in danger.
When he returned to his own country
he suffered under the oppression of Pontius Pilate,
the servant of a foreign power.
Jesus was persecuted, beaten, tortured, and unjustly condemned to death.
But on the third day Jesus rose from the dead,
not as a scorned foreigner but to offer us citizenship in God’s kingdom.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the eternal immigrant from God’s kingdom among us,
who speaks all languages, lives in all countries,
and reunites all races.
I believe that the Church is the secure home
for foreigners and for all believers.
I believe that the communion of saints begins
when we embrace all God’s people in all their diversity.
I believe in forgiveness, which makes us all equal before God,
and in reconciliation, which heals our brokenness.

I believe that in the Resurrection
God will unite us as one people
in which all are distinct and all are alike at the same time.
I believe in life eternal, in which no one will be foreigner
but all will be citizens of the kingdom
where God reigns forever and ever. Amen.

University Lutheran Church of Hope, Minneapolis, had prayer stations and candle boxes set up to pray for families who are separated at the border and the broken immigration system. Many were kneeling to pray in the front of the sanctuary, singing together, and reading some poetry (Emma Lazarus, New Collosus).  They used a modified prayer-around-the-cross open space style.

From Lutheran Church of Christ the Redeemer, Minneapolis:

For 325 people killed and 639 more hurt in shootings in this country during the past week; for their families and loved ones, and for all of us, that we may work together to end gun violence. God of love, hear our prayer.* 

*Information available from; it is up to date through June 30. (The numbers in the prayer petition do not include suicides.)

From Edina Community Lutheran Church, Edina (used on July 4):

God, as our country celebrates its birthday, may we reflect on the ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for ALL who approach and enter these man-made borders. We especially remember those indigenous communities who were here before 1776…and those who have not yet arrived. God of freedom, hear our prayer.

As we seek your spirit in all communities around us, we give thanks for the helpers who seek to create safe, livable spaces for us, from military to social workers to doctors to police offers to teachers and all who seek to create a better, safer country for all and give thanks for all who have lost their lives pursuing this dream.  God of freedom, hear our prayer.

God, we pray for the youth of our sibling congregation, Paz de Cristo in Galilea, El Salvador who because of great poverty, face the temptations of gangs. And, we pray for their families, who live in fear of violence. Give them courage in the face of adversity to trust in your providing and free them from the injustices of the world that hold them, and many others living in violence, back. God of freedom, hear our prayer.

Activities/Actions to Try

Congregants from Our Saviour’s, Minneapolis is getting a group together to march on Saturday as part of the national Families Belong Together march. They are meeting at Central Lutheran and bringing their church banner.

The 8th annual Collegiate Alliance for Immigration Reform (CAIR) Conference will be held at Harvard College on February 24th-25th, 2018. This will be a two-day event with the goal of bringing together college students, organizations, activists, scholars, and other members of the national pro-immigrant rights community to rally, share strategies, and empower ourselves in our fight to achieving comprehensive and humanitarian immigration reform and extending immigrant rights in the United States. More information >

Congregants from MN Swahili Christian Congregation and Holy Trinity Lutheran Church worshiped together.

Congregants from St. Paul’s, Minneapolis and Edina Community will worship and have a potluck together on July 29.

Holy Trinity LC orders catered meals from immigrant-owned businesses on Lake Street.