About MnMN

Our Story

We are a state-wide network that gathers the energy and passion of people of faith, amplifying our efforts leading to equity, justice, compassion, understanding, and empathy.

Formed on the belief that together we can do more, we continue to weave connections among the organizations and people who are already working toward these goals. We are multifaith, relationship driven, justice and anti-racism focused, invitational, collaborative, and generative. We seek to amplify existing work and to catalyze new efforts.

From earlier work of the Twin Cities Interfaith Network (TCIN) and the Saint Paul Interfaith Network (SPIN), a group of activists have been working with the interfaith community to imagine and begin building a statewide multifaith network.

Our Vision

Faith-based and interfaith communities have great untapped potential to enhance the common good — the quality of community life and relationships — what some call the Beloved Community.

The vision of this network is that faith-based and interfaith communities will fully mobilize their potential to effectively help the broader community to address critical issues affecting our common life, particularly: divisive and destructive intergroup relationships; disparities of privilege, opportunity, equity, and quality of life; and degradation of the environment.

Faith-based and interfaith communities bring unique motivation and experience. Many fine faith-based and interfaith groups and efforts are already at work and contributing greatly. Still, there are great gaps: lack of cross-group connection, cooperation, and mobilization; much work in isolation; insufficient engagement with and untapped support from the wider public; and failure to achieve what might be done with greater attention to strengthening relationships, sharing resources, working cooperatively, and collaborating on leadership development.

We envision a society with outstanding positive growth in quality of life for all, based in part on the efforts of many individuals, faith communities, and interfaith groups working in concert.

Our Mission

The Minnesota Multifaith Network is the statewide network supporting faith and interfaith leaders and organizations working for a more just and loving world.

Our Objectives

  • Strengthen relationships through mapping, connecting, convening, and communicating
  • Support collective impact by facilitating and supporting cooperative initiatives among member organizations
  • Equip leadership through communities of practice, training, and professional development opportunities

Values and Policies

Values

  • Multifaith: People of many different beliefs and traditions can draw upon shared values of compassion and justice to work together for greater impact of the common good.
  • Relationship-driven: Intentional relationship building (networking) is a core strategy to build trust.
  • Diversity/inclusion: An ongoing intentional effort to incorporate otherwise marginalized people and their voices is necessary.
  • Anti-racist: Active resistance to white dominance in composition and functioning is necessary to achieve effectiveness and must be an ever present aspect of the work.
  • Collaboration: Greater impact and better results can be achieved when we work cooperatively.
  • Generative approach: A networked approach requires a continually flexible, learning, changing style of operation with the power of self-organizing, and non-hierarchical, circular structures.
  • Social Justice: Greater overall impact can be achieved when we recognize the interconnectedness and interdependence of various social injustices and human needs.
  • Collaborative learning and accountability: Continually assessing and learning about the social impact of efforts within and across the network is critical to deepening trust, knowledge and effective practices.
  • Public-facing: The network will work to intentionally engage with the wider public making accessible resources, information and training and encouraging the public, individuals and groups, to become active participants in the network.
 
 

Policies

Below you will find links to MnMN policies as they are developed and become available:

  • Living Our Mission: This policy outlines MnMN’s role as a convener and communicator, its stand on human rights, its policy regarding advocacy, and the principles we ask all members to embrace.

Leadership and Staff

The Minnesota Multifaith Network is served by a board of directors made up of respected leaders from a variety of faith traditions. The organization is also advised by a Network Council that provides guidance on particular issues important to the community and our mission. 

MnMN Board of Directors

  • Sally Abrams, Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas
  • Pooja Bastodkar, Hindu Society of Minnesota
  • Lee Burdge, Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints
  • Genjo Conway, Clouds in Water Zen Center
  • Charles Curry, Community of Christ
  • John Emery, Islamic Resource Group
  • Ram Gada, Jain Center of Minnesota
  • Patrice Koelsch, Common Ground Meditation Center
  • Joy Persall, Ojibwe Metis
  • Anantanand Rambachan, St. Olaf College and Hindu Society of Minnesota
  • Fr. Erich Rutten, Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and St. Odilia Catholic Church
  • Rev. Bradley Schmeling, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
  • Rabbi Adam Stock Spilker, Mount Zion Temple

MnMN Network Council

  • Zaynab Abdi, RISE (Reviving Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment)
  • Vishal Agarwal, Hindu Society of Minnesota
  • Lee Burdge, Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints
  • Becca Buse, former Interfaith Youth Core fellow (and current blogger for MnMN)
  • Zan Christ, Religious Equity Consultant/Speaker
  • Rev. Richard H. Coleman, Wayman African Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Rev. Ben Connelly, Minnesota Zen Meditation Center
  • Joann Conway, Oglala Sioux and Good Samaritan Society
  • Charles Curry, MnMN Financial Officer
  • Rev. Dr. Curtiss Paul DeYoung, Minnesota Council of Churches
  • Rev. Dr. Thomas Duke, MnMN Operations Team
  • John Emery, Islamic Resource Group
  • Ram Gada, Jain Center of Minnesota
  • Hans Gustafson, Ph.D., Jay Phillips Center for Interreligious Studies at University of St. Thomas
  • Rev. Dr. Janet Johnson, Connected to the Vine Ministries
  • Naaima Khan, Islamic Resource Group
  • Bill Konrardy, United Methodist Church
  • Anne Krisnik, Joint Religious Legislative Coalition
  • Jessi LeClear-Vachta, Luther Seminary
  • Shehla Mushtaq, Interfaith Circle
  • Carl Nelson, Transform Minnesota
  • Julia Nerbonne, Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light
  • Joy Persall, Ojibwe Metis
  • Sarah Peterka, Interfaith Action of Greater Saint Paul
  • Mary Pickard, MnMN Operations Team
  • Anantanand Rambachan, St. Olaf College and Hindu Society of Minnesota
  • Vic Rosenthal, Consultant
  • Fr. Erich Rutten, Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and St. Odilia Catholic Church
  • Zafar Siddiqui, Islamic Resource Group
  • Rabbi Adam Stock Spilker, Mount Zion Temple
  • Prabhat Tekriwal, Minnesota Hindu Milan Mandir
  • Dr. Deanna Thompson, St. Olaf College
  • Brian Zakem, Temple Israel of Minneapolis, Align Minneapolis, and Alliance for Sustainability

MnMN Operations & Consultants

MnMN Operations Team:
Charlie Curry, Tom Duke, Mary Pickard, Lee Burdge

MnMN Consultants:
BetterWorld Partners – Athena Adkins and Heidi Raschke
Brian J. Fier and Associates, LLC – Brian Fier
EmpathyWorks – Gail Anderson
Johnstad and Associates – Kristin Johnstad
Mission Write LLC – Melissa Cavanaugh

Contact Us