Justice Seeking and Image Bearing
Minnehaha Academy’s location in South Minneapolis has always been part of its significance. From Dakota land to parcels settled by Swedish immigrants, our location along the Mississippi River has shaped our school since its founding in 1913. Our name comes from our neighborhood, where streets, parks, and landmarks are all named after Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s The Love Song of Hiawatha, and our mascots and songs, our curriculum and projects, are all tied to the river and our place.
And this place was under siege this summer. The killing of George Floyd shone a spotlight on the realities of racial inequality and racial injustice in our very backyard. Our governing body, the Northwest Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC), has been attentive to the work of racial righteousness, and our school has grown increasingly diverse over the last 10 years to now be 35% students of color, but George Floyd’s death crystalized the next step in our Teaching for Transformation journey. In addition to the deep hopes that we have for our students, we also needed to make a deep commitment to racial righteousness.
Rev. Paul Robinson, the Executive Director of Love Mercy Do Justice for the ECC, and father of a Minnehaha alumni, writes that “Racial righteousness empowers us to reimagine life together amid division, gives us tools to seek first the kingdom of God, and demonstrates that we are disciples of Christ through our countercultural love for one another.” All of the faculty and staff at Minnehaha Academy have been asked to develop a deep commitment to this countercultural call.
This summer also made clear to us how we needed to pursue the Throughlines of “image-bearing” and “justice-seeking.” Over this semester we’ve worked with our community on understanding these practices, practices that will help our students know who they are in God’s story and how to live for Him. We derived the language for each Throughline from our Philosophy of Education, and over the next semester students will create artwork around these habits of living so that we can see God’s story and be inspired to live His story; to have visible mission in our halls and classrooms.
Our school has a long legacy here in South Minneapolis, and TfT has given us the grammar to go deeper in our mission. May this next season be marked by the faithful formation and walk of witnesses who know what the Lord requires of them: to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with Him.