Why We Gather
We gather, we transform, and we live our beliefs.
If you want to go fast, go alone
but if you want to go far — go together.
We cherish and prioritize relationships as a means of belonging to one another. We pray with passionate persistence, powered by the Spirit to love unconditionally. In gathering together we create community, share food, fellowship and fun; we are a safe haven for the least in our society.
We believe that love is the most powerful tool for transformation.
—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
We use our collective strength to transform the negative forces of trauma and oppression into positive energy for community change and healing. We accomplish this through awareness and deep listening, analysis, reflection and action.
In transforming we proclaim Jesus’ liberating freedom and utilize the power of God to heal our bodies, minds, and souls. We learn from our community, growing deeper in our understanding of the historical trauma that exists where we live. We share ancestral values and practice resiliency to prepare our children and youth to become the next generation of global leaders.
Live Our Beliefs
Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of lifemarking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day, right up to the end of age.
We model Jesus’s commission to send out disciples proclaiming that God’s kingdom is full, abundant and plentiful. We live and declare the values of spiritual power, equity, economic self-sufficiency and access to the power of God without bias or discrimination. We send out by preparing our children to live their faith and become leaders. We send out our community to proclaim the value system of God. In sending out, we practice profound gratitude and share our love and resources. We celebrate and welcome the next generation and their assets that are plentiful, beautiful and needed. We provide space and time for rest and healing.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.
Our values reflect our love of God and commitment to standing alongside the poor and oppressed. In doing that, we:
- Practice radical community involvement to usher in new systems of hope and equity;
- Work towards the day when there will be enough for all;
- Wait for and anticipate when peace reigns and the lion lays down with the lamb;
- Pray that no one will ever be seen as the “other,” but a reflection of Christ.
We Are Called
The Gospel of Luke is clear in its call to speak to the evil of those who wound, bringing hardship and chaos to the community. We are called to speak the truth to power and “set at liberty those who are oppressed.”
We Are A Community of Healers in Need of Liberation
We accomplish our call recognizing that we too are in need of liberation. We are the oppressed and wounded in need of healing from multiple levels of trauma and various systems of oppression. We seek to become resilient in the face of generational trauma. Healing is brought about by gathering, transforming, and sending out.
Liberty Church was chartered in 2002 as Kwanza Church, a name given to us by the Presbyterian Taskforce. Our first home of worship was at 2100 Emerson Avenue North in North Minneapolis. We are founded on the idea of liberation and the action-reflection model of the historic African American church. In this spirit, when we become aware of an issue, our response is to analyze critical data, develop a communal response based on the voices of the community, and take action.
In 2010, our governing board voted to move our worship space to a second location in North Minneapolis located at 3700 Bryant Avenue North. This allowed us to dedicate the entire Emerson building to the healing work we do with the community.
In 2016, we began a community-wide process to reflect on our name—Kwanza Church. Many in our community questioned whether it truly reflected who we had become. After many meetings, conversations, reflection and prayer, we as a community chose the name Liberty Community Church to reflect who we are and what we are called by God to do.