Backpacks for Refugees
School’s out for the summer, but the many children arriving with refugee status this summer will need backpacks for school in the fall. This would be a perfect donation drive for your church or office. We invite you to donate one or many backpacks for all ages and genders. For more information, please email the Minnesota Council of Churches at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 612-230-3219. Thank you!
The Minnesota Council of Churches responds to Christchurch, New Zealand, March 2019:
“We offer our sympathy and solidarity with the Minnesota Muslim community, and also with the Jewish community that so recently experienced tragedy in Pittsburgh and the black church community that regularly deals with racist hate. Hate is here. This hate rooted in white supremacy has become a global terrorist movement and it exists in Minnesota. We must commit to challenging hate. The faith community also needs the partnership of government, corporations, and philanthropy as we seek to counter hate,” said Rev. Dr. Curtiss DeYoung at a rally at Dar Al-Farooq mosque in Bloomington that demonstrated support for Muslims in the wake of the Christchurch, NZ, attack.
Soon Minnesotans will have other ways to stand in solidarity with our Muslim neighbors–through Blessed Ramadan signs and Taking Heart iftar meals. Ramadan begins May 5.
Experience God Through the Eyes and Hearts of High School Christian Artists
Twenty-two high school artists from five local schools and representing 18 churches will answer the question “Who is God?” in a collaborative exhibit on display at Hope Lutheran Church, 5728 Cedar Ave. S. , Mpls. 55417, throughout April 2019.
The exhibit features artwork that visually reflects students’ thoughts and feelings on the question “Who Is God?” Accompanying each piece of art are the students’ personal faith statements reflecting their answers and the creative process they used to produce their art.
“We look forward to sharing this art with the community,” says Eric Luedtke, pastor of Hope Lutheran Church. “’Who is God?’ is a question that is on the hearts and minds of many of us as culture shifts and the religious landscape transforms. These students dare to offer an answer using the gift of art.”
Hope Lutheran Church, with landmark bell tower northwest of Hwy 62 and Cedar Avenue, is one of several Twin Cities area stops for the exhibit sponsored by local nonprofit Great Commission Artists. “Many people know our building because they drive by it on Cedar Avenue or the Crosstown – others fly over it all the time,” quips Luedtke. “This exhibit invites them inside the Ralph Rapson-designed building, which lends itself perfectly to art exhibits such as this.”
The display will be presented in the lower hall of Hope Lutheran Church on Sundays in April from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free parking is available in the parking lot between Hope and the iconic 5-8 Club. The lower hall is accessible by an elevator off the parking lot.
Hope Lutheran Church is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Hope continues to fulfill a promise to love its neighbors in South Minneapolis since its founding in 1928 and at its current location on Cedar Avenue South since 1969. In addition to Sunday morning worship, it has been a home for music and the arts that make Christ known through the spirit of hope.
For more information call the church at 612-827-2655
Shelter Dinner Servers Needed
The Our Saviour’s Housing Emergency Shelter is home to 40-45 adults during the winter. By providing a dinner, you can give its residents not only a filling and nutritious meal, but also hospitality and comfort. A good meal offers residents physical and emotional strength for the next day.
Who can participate?
Groups of 3-10 people are welcome, whether it be family, colleagues, friends, or congregation members. Children starting at age 5 are welcome to volunteer with strong adult supervision. Contact Our Saviour’s for current openings.
If you can’t organize an entire group but want to volunteer on your own, talk with the volunteer coordinator. This can be arranged!
What do I have to provide?
Each group provides a hearty dinner for 50 people plus your meal servers. The meal you serve is up to you! We only ask that it be nutritious and filling for hungry adults, and that it include a sufficient meat-free option for vegetarians. Our Saviour’s has a list of suggestions if you want ideas. Both homemade and store/restaurant-bought food are welcome. Volunteers are also asked to provide disposable plates and napkins.
What is the experience like?
Volunteers at Our Saviour’s speak highly of their experience at the shelter and most are eager to return. Because the shelter is small and community-oriented, we welcome and encourage you to eat dinner alongside our residents and enjoy their company.
We’ll provide detailed information before you come so the evening can go smoothly. When you first arrive, our staff will show you to the kitchen and help you get settled in. Some groups choose to do all of their cooking on-site; others do most of the prep work at home and just use our kitchen for reheating and finalizing. We have a full kitchen equipped with supplies, a commercial oven/stove, and a dishwasher.
When it’s time to eat (7 p.m.), you will dish up the meal for everyone. You are then encouraged to sit down with residents and visit for as long as you’d like.
After the meal, your group is responsible for cleaning up the kitchen, putting away all food, and loading the dishwasher. Most groups spend about 2-3 hours on-site.
Questions? Ready to schedule a dinner?
Contact Tamara Patton, Volunteer Coordinator, at
email@example.com or 612-872-4193 x2.
Space is Available
If you are looking for a place to hold meetings or markets or concerts or family get-togethers, consider a church in your neighborhood. You might pay a small fee and develop some new partnerships. St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in St. Paul, at Howell and Laurel, for example, is a very beautiful old church (from 1895) with an inner courtyard garden and a warm sanctuary with a 9-foot grand piano. They are very open to sharing their space with neighbors as are the churches in your neighborhood. Something to think about.
Support for the Franklin/Hiawatha Encampment
If you are interested in learning more about the Franklin/Hiawatha encampment and ways to support the people, visit https://www.franklinhiawathacamp.org/, managed by Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors.
Healing Minnesota Stories
Healing Minnesota Stories is a program of the Minnesota Council of Churches. “[It] is an effort to create understanding and healing between Native American and non-Native people, particularly those in various faith communities. Native people have suffered deep trauma over many years, losing their land, language and culture, and all who call Minnesota home are the lesser for it. While many people and institutions contributed to that trauma, it happened with the full participation of Christian churches. We all still need healing, healing is doable and churches have a role to play in healing.
We believe in the power of healing stories. Stories heal because they make invisible pain visible. The listener and storyteller are both healed by their acts.
“Churches and all faith communities can play a key role in promoting and experiencing healing by opening ourselves to our own history and listening to the stories of Native people. Through the sharing and retelling of old traumatic stories, we can create new positive ones.
“This effort began in 2012 and continues to bring together Native and non-Native people to share stories and increase awareness of the value of American Indian language, culture and our shared history.
“We can play a role in promoting and experiencing healing by opening ourselves to our own history and listening to the stories of Native people. Healing Minnesota Stories offers ‘Sacred Sites Tours’ that facilitate this interaction.”
There is no cost for the tour, but a freewill offering is appreciated. Contributions for individuals are invited in the range of $30 – $50. Donations support Healing Minnesota Stories programs and events. Space is limited to 40 people. Google Healing Minnesota Stories for more information.
The Summit Lighthouse
Mark Prophet was the founder of the New Age movement The Summit Lighthouse. Growing up in the 1930s and ’40s, Prophet considered his master to be Jesus. Later he believed that his life was guided by Ascended Masters, including Jesus. He opened his heart, mind and soul to a master from the tradition of the Far East, Morya, who led him in the rigors of discipleship. In 1957 Prophet published dictations from El Morya, “Pearls of Wisdom,” and The Summit Lighthouse movement was born. After his death, his work was carried on by his wife, Elizabeth Clare Prophet. The fundamental principle of the teachings of the Ascended Masters is that all sons and daughters of God have a divine spark inside themselves, which is their potential to realize the universal Christ within and ascend to God as Jesus did. The Minneapolis/St. Paul Community Teaching Center of The Summit Lighthouse at 6035 Nicollet Ave. S. holds worship meetings every Sunday morning from 10 to 11:30. The sanctuary is very interior, warmly lit and filled with images and statues of Ascended Masters from many different traditions.
Faith and Food Production
In summer, the Gandhi Mahal Interfaith Garden holds Open Garden Night (weather permitting) every second and fourth Sunday, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at 3201 22nd Ave. S. The gatherings are welcoming and informal. Live music happens often, and light refreshments are always served amidst garden tours and good conversation. Stop on by, and bring a friend!
The Gandhi Mahal Interfaith Garden was created to address food production issues—What are we going to eat in 20 years? Who will have access to food? What will the earth produce? Will it be enough? Will it be safe? It is a collaboration between Gandhi Mahal Restaurant; First Nations Kitchen, a ministry of All Saints Episcopal Indian Mission; and Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light, which mobilizes Minnesota’s faith communities to address climate change.
Lutheran Blind Center
The Lutheran Blind Center was started April 23, 2016, at Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, 3430 E. 51st St. On the second Saturday of every month blind people of the Minneapolis area are invited to Faith Church for a two-hour event, from 12 to 2 p.m., that includes a meal, Bible study and fellowship free of charge.
Help is needed. Please consider getting a group from your church or several friends together to help with this project. Please call Carol M. Zemke at 612-799-5782 to help or participate as a guest. Or call Faith Lutheran Church at 612-729-5463. Reservations are requested.