REJM – Get to Know the Team


Jeanne Voight,

Tell us about yourself and your journey with Nativity Lutheran Church.

My journey at Nativity Lutheran is not long, less than 2 years. I came from a large Catholic church, St. Joan of Arc in South Minneapolis, with a strong history of promoting social justice. For many reasons, I was searching for a church that would be equally welcoming and inclusive with opportunities for growth, community and boldness in addressing the inequalities around us. While new to addressing my own white privilege, I have learned so much what this means to me, and those who have been oppressed because of it, through educational opportunities with Nativity.

Why do you feel the work of the Nativity Racial Equity & Justice Ministry Team is important? What is your vision/hope for our congregation to make progress in this area?

The Racial Equity and Justice Ministry has given me a platform to continue learning about racial injustices and search for ways to implement societal change. My vision and hope is for the Nativity community to embrace opening themselves to many possibilities: owning their white privilege through education and its consequences of oppression, taking responsibility for finding ways to welcome all our neighbors, adopting liturgy that is inclusive to many cultures and sensitive to liturgies that might be offensive to some, creating a community that embraces diversity, a congregation of many colors.

Please share something that has educated, challenged or inspired you around this work (book, podcast, movie, local activism opportunity, etc.). Why did that resonate with you?

There are many things that have educated and inspired me this past 1 ½ years in both books, podcasts, Zoom discussions, and a civil rights tour in 2019.

  • Podcasts: “Learning How to See”, “Seeing White” (Discussion groups)
  • Discussions: “Cash Bail” system (Through Grace Lutheran & Edina Community church), Zoom calls with Sharon Seifert from Calvary Lutheran and Yolanda from Faith Lutheran in Becker, MN.
  • Books and Discussions: Healing the Heart of Democracy, Caste, Dear Church
    Just Mercy, White Rage.
  • Experiences: The most impactful experience for me was the civil rights tour with Leslie and Mark Swiggum from Edina Community Church in the fall of 2019. Until then, I was oblivious to the extent of suffering of Black people. My eyes were opened – finally! This has motivated me to begin my own journey of educating myself and others about the atrocities of the past and present. I want to be a participant in bringing change within our community.