A Reconciling Community
Roots is an intentionally multiethnic community of misfits on a mission, finding identity in Jesus. We consider ourselves “misfits” because many of us don’t fit neatly into the categories that are set for us by the broader society. Many of us don’t feel like we fit neatly into set ethnic or cultural categories, nor do we feel “American” enough. We also don’t feel like we fit neatly into either the “Conservative” or “Liberal” categories—same goes for “Progressive” and “Traditionalist”. We often don’t feel “religious” enough nor “secular” enough.
When we look at the scriptures, however, we see Jesus taking misfits and forming them into a new people with a new passion and a new purpose. It’s in Jesus’s Kingdom where we belong; in following Jesus we find our most important identity.
Roots’ vision is to be a microcosm of the kind of society God intends for all people. By covenanting with one another and with God, we will live into our distinct identities as well as our shared identity in Christ. We will invite others along for that journey and help them discover who God has made them to be. We will be a community that has the necessary conversations that are sometimes uncomfortable. We will make sure people are cared for as they make themselves vulnerable and loved when they are difficult to love. We will serve one another, forgive one another, and put each other’s needs before our own. And we will encourage one another in faithful discipleship, worship, and witness. In so doing, we will experience the freedom of new life in Christ—freedom from the rat race, freedom from shame, and freedom from the tyranny of our own egos.
Renewing Our City
Roots’ vision is also for the neighborhoods along the University Avenue corridor in St. Paul (e.g. Hamline-Midway, Frogtown, and historic Rondo) to experience transformation that produces lasting, generational health and vitality. We want to see families in these neighborhoods thrive: adults empowered to live into their God-given callings, parents equipped to raise their children well, and children inspired and nurtured to develop into healthy and whole adults. We want to see neighborhood institutions take pride in their stake in the community and act responsibly toward residents. We also want to see local and state authorities care about the well-being of residents and ensure their safety and freedom. We will work with other churches, non-governmental organizations, and people of peace to “seek the shalom of the city” (Jer. 29.7). We will witness to the in-breaking kingdom of God in both word and deed.