by Becca Buse
This past June, I arrived back to Minnesota after being a volunteer in Bolivia for over a year. Arriving in Minnesota right after the murder of George Floyd and in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, I found myself disoriented and lost. This no longer felt like the home state I grew up in.
Like many of the refugees and immigrants who have come to live in Minnesota, I found comfort by connecting to a community based around faith and shared values. Healing in the Unknown, an online interfaith group based in California, was a place for me to center myself and feel part of something larger than myself. In 2020, this feeling has become ever more necessary, as we have spent many months quarantined in our homes.
This is why I have decided to start the Minnesota Interfaith Stories blog here on MnMN’s website. The goal is to ground people and highlight the beautiful religious diversity here in Minnesota. Of course, Minnesota was not always as religiously diverse as it is today. But throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, faith communities have continued to grow and flourish. Minnesota has the largest diaspora of Somali Americans. We also have large populations of Hmong, Hispanic, and Asian communities. Throughout this blog series “Minnesota Interfaith Stories,” I hope to bring forward voices of faith that are alive and well across Minnesota.
Gradually I adjusted to living in Minnesota again, the overwhelming supply of goods at Target, the smooth roads, and giant food portions. After a month of being back I started to brainstorm how to adapt the Interfaith Starter Grant I had received in January 2020 from Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC). Eventually, I was connected to Tom and Mary at Minnesota Multifaith Network (MnMN). Together we collaborated and created an innovative grant idea to share interfaith stories of Minnesotans. This fall, I am interviewing folks across urban and rural Minnesota to highlight our religious diversity here in the land of lakes. I hope to inspire MnMN readers (new and old) to gain a greater appreciation for interfaith literacy and dialogue. Please join us and indulge in the beautiful stories. I’ll be adding new stories here weekly, or you can link to them from the MnMN email newsletter.