As negotiations proceed between the FBI and the Freemen, Helen Young, a Presbyterian pastor serving St. John Lutheran and Community Presbyterian churches in Jordan, Mont., says the community needs to set the tone for reconciliation.
"We need to be ready to welcome back the people who are at the [Freeman] ranch," including a member of St. John who still considers herself a Lutheran, Young says. "We need to let the healing begin."
Currently, Young is counseling family members of the Freemen. She also conducted an Easter worship service at FBI headquarters.
Young says education is a piece of her ministry too. "One part of this story is that it isn't just in Jordan. These beliefs spread," she says. "Pastors can anticipate running up against them at one time or another, so we need to educate about these beliefs."
In the Montana Synod, Bishop Mark Ramseth sent a letter to rostered members, asking them to remember the people of Jordan. "We are sobered by these latest developments as lines of difference are drawn within families and touch entire communities," he said. "As a church community we stand with our congregations and pastors and call for the ministry of peace and reconciliation."
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