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

As a network, MnMN has both decentralized, self-organizing leadership and traditional structures of board and staff. The Network Council bridges the broader network and the formal structure through regular open meetings and membership, advising the board and staff on particular issues important to the community and MnMN’s mission.

MnMN Board of Directors

  • Sally Abrams, Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas
  • Joy Persall, Northern Star Consulting
  • Leslie Aktan, Niagara Foundation, Rabata
  • Pooja Bastodkar, Hindu Society of Minnesota
  • Lee Burdge, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Danielle Clausnitzer, Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality
  • Rev. Joann Conroy, Oglala Sioux and Good Samaritan Society
  • Charles Curry, Community of Christ
  • Ram Gada, Jain Center of Minnesota
  • Patrice Koelsch, Common Ground Meditation Center
  • Shehla Mustaq, Interfaith Circle of Eden Prairie
  • Anantanand Rambachan, St. Olaf College and Hindu Society of Minnesota
  • Fr. Erich Rutten, Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and St. Odilia Catholic Church
  • Dr. Imam Tamim Saidi, Islamic Resource Group, Northwest Islamic Community Center
  • Rev. Bradley Schmeling, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
  • Rabbi Adam Stock Spilker, Minnesota Rabbinical Association and Mount Zion Temple

MnMN Network Council

  • Vishalv Agarwal, Hindu Society of Minnesota
  • Leslie Aktan, Wisdom Ways
  • Gail Anderson, EmpathyWorks
  • Rev. Chiemi Onikura Bly, Cities Buddhist Association Sangha
  • Bill Brian, Community of Christ
  • Lee Burdge, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Becca Buse, Interfaith Youth Core
  • Zan Christ, Religious Equity Consultant/Speaker
  • Danielle Clausnitzer, Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality
  • Rev. Richard H. Coleman, Wayman African Methodist Episcopal Church & Hope United Community Development Corporation
  • Rev. Ben Connelly, Minnesota Zen Meditation Center
  • Rev. Joann Conroy, Oglala Sioux and Good Samaritan Society
  • Charlie Curry, Apple Valley Community of Christ
  • Rev. Dr. Curtiss DeYoung, Minnesota Council of Churches
  • Tom Duke, Unity Church-Unitarian/Zion Lutheran
  • Ram Gada, Jain Center of Minnesota
  • Hans Gustafson, Jay Phillips Center for Interreligious Studies at University of St. Thomas
  • Rev. Mark S Hanson, Interfaith at Augsburg
  • Janet Johnson, Connected to the Vine Ministries & Wayman AME
  • Patrice Koelsch, Common Ground Meditation Center
  • Bill Konrardy, United Methodist Church
  • Jessi LeClear-Vachta, Luther Theological Seminary
  • Shehla Mushtaq, Interfaith Circle of Eden Prairie
  • Carl Nelson, Transform Minnesota
  • Julia Nerbonne, Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light
  • Joy Persall, Northern Star Consulting
  • Sarah Peterka, Community Relations, Union Gospel Mission
  • Mary Pickard, Unity Church-Unitarian
  • Anantanand Rambachan, St. Olaf College, Hindu Society of Minnesota
  • Phil Romine, Interfaith Action
  • Vic Rosenthal, Mount Zion
  • Fr. Erich Rutten, Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, St. Peter Claver Catholic Church
  • Zafar Siddiqui, Islamic Resource Group
  • Laura Smidzik, Michael Servetus Unitarian Society
  • Adam Stock Spilker, Mount Zion Temple
  • Martha “Marty” Stortz, Retired Augsburg and Collegeville Institute
  • Prabhat Tekriwal, Minnesota Hindu Milan Mandir
  • Whitney Terrill, MN Interfaith Power and Light
  • Deanna Thompson, St. Olaf College, Gloria Dei Lutheran
  • Brian Zakem, Temple Israel of Minneapolis, Align Minneapolis, Alliance for Sustainability

MnMN Staff & Consultants

MnMN Staff:
Jen Kilps, Ph.D. – Network Executive

Khin Oo – Communications Specialist

MnMN Consultants:
Northern Lights Digital – Brian Fier
EmpathyWorks – Gail Anderson
Johnstad and Associates – Kristin Johnstad

Contact Us