Let’s never forget kindness.

By on November 21, 2016 in News & Musings

Nearly 125 years ago a group of Swedish immigrants built a church on the corner of 33rd and Pillsbury in South Minneapolis. Today we at Zion celebrate that heritage each autumn with a Swedish Meatball and Lutefisk Dinner but we have also thrown our doors (and our hearts) open to people who are new to this country. A recent Facebook post by the folks at Ingebretsen’s Nordic Marketplace expressed such a beautiful sentiment about our newest neighbors that we called and asked their permission to reprint it here in our blog.


We typically refrain from commenting on politics at Ingebretsen’s, our policy has always been to respect varying points of view, as it should be. As many of you know, our family is very closely connected to our own immigrant story, and because of that, we feel strongly about the importance of making a statement of support for the immigrants currently helping to shape our community.

95 years ago, our market was opened to serve the specific culinary needs of the vibrant Scandinavian immigrant community that surrounded us, much like the bodegas and halal groceries that surround us today. Our relatives began their lives here with limited to no ability to speak English, with few resources, fiercely dependent on each other’s support for survival and sense of family and community, holding tight to the traditions that helped them feel connected to their distant homes. They dedicated themselves to learning, to growing, and to participating in the health and prosperity of our neighborhood and our democracy, a sacred tradition that extends today through the 4th generation of Ingebretsens.

Today, while the countries of origin of immigrants have changed, the same basic principals of starting a life in America have not. It is long, it is challenging, it is hope filled. Over the past 30 years, we have had the good fortune to see our community enriched beyond measure by the presence, dedication and big hearts of our Latin@ and East African neighbors, among many others. We are constantly struck by how similar our relatives immigrant story is to many we hear today. We are so thankful to continue to be part of this diverse group of new, not so new, and indigenous Americans who truly want a happy & healthy life for themselves and their families- who are working so hard to make that happen.

So in the wake of an undeniably divided vote in this nation, this afternoon, our reality of connection feels important to share. What is truly great about this country is the opportunity to live and work side by side with so many. Let’s not miss trying to connect to the myriad of things we have in common, even when it feels uncomfortable, especially when we think we disagree. Let’s not forget to see the beauty and potential in one another. Let’s always strive for compassion. Let’s never forget kindness.

The Ingebretsen Family


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