December 13, 2020; PBS NewsHour

For a growing number of churches, it is no longer enough to recognize racism and see it as part of history to be condemned. They are coming to recognize that what’s needed is action. Actual reparations are necessary to heal the ongoing harm our nation’s bigotry and brutality continue to cause.

The Minnesota Council of Churches, an organization that brings together the leaders of 25 separate denominations, recently committed itself to a three-point, 10-year action plan under the banner of “Dismantling the Structures and Repairing the Damage of Racism in Minnesota.” After living through the murder of George Floyd on their state’s streets, they concluded that joining protests and speaking out were no longer sufficient. As the Council’s CEO, the Rev. Curtiss DeYoung, explained to PBS NewsHour, “This particular event, because it was right here where we live, was a call to action. The first thing that we did, of course, like everyone else, was get into the streets and march…but there are deep, historic issues that require more than marching.”

Rev. Stacey Smith, presiding elder of St. Peter’s A