Grace has long been a congregation focused on working for justice as a means of achieving peace in the world.
We follow the Prince of Peace in a troubled world. Where there is injustice and oppression, we seek liberation. In our worship, prayer, study, and life together, we strive for peaceful means of living out the gospel. Grace has been a designated Peace Site for many years.
Grace is involved in ISAIAH, a network of congregations in the Twin Cities/St. Cloud region. ISAIAH is a vehicle for congregations, clergy, and people of faith to act collectively and powerfully towards racial and economic equity in the state of Minnesota. http://www.isaiah-mn.org/
The Grace land working group convened in late 2021 asking the question – what racial equity work are we called to in our own congregation and denomination? We began to ask critical questions about the land on which we worship and invited the congregation on the learning journey with us. We developed a statement that was adopted at the congregational meeting in January 2023. Read more about this here: Land Acknowledgement and Beyond.
The Vincent L. Hawkinson Foundation for Peace and Justice was organized in 1988 to honor Reverend Vincent L. Hawkinson, a lifelong advocate for peace. Hawkinson served as pastor of Grace University Lutheran Church for 30 years. He was a community leader who witnessed courageously to a vision of political and social change. He vigorously advocated peacemaking and racial equality and stood up for the poor, the oppressed, and the powerless. He died in 2001 at age 86.
The Foundation was founded on the belief that alternatives to violence and the use of military power must be found for a permanent resolution of interpersonal and global conflict. Seeking new avenues to peace and justice was Pastor Hawkinson’s life work. The Foundation kept his dream alive by granting scholarships to students who have demonstrated a commitment to peace and justice and by honoring those who throughout their lifetime have pursued these beliefs. We look forward to new ways in which the legacy of Pastor Hawkinson will be embodied through the Hawkinson Fund at Grace.
In 2017, the foundation was transferred to Grace University Lutheran Church, becoming a ministry by extension of Grace. It was renamed the Hawkinson Fund for Peace and Justice. Learn more about the fund and find contribution information here: The Hawkinson Fund for Peace and Justice