“Why on earth are we using styrofoam plates?!” exclaimed the total stranger standing next to me in the line for lunch just one year ago at the Minneapolis Area Synod Assembly. That gut-level moment of tension when you pick up a styrofoam cup or throw away that plastic packaging is something to listen to. Just […]
This year, Advent follows closely on Pope Francis’ visit to the US and converges with the crucial United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris (Nov 30 – Dec 11). The last two months of 2015 offer an extraordinary opportunity for churches to await the incarnation with attention to the earth, “our common home.” Through its EcoFaith […]
Bishop Ann Svennungsen recently announced that Dr. Ibrahim Bitrus has been named Companion Synod Theologian in Residence for the Minneapolis Area Synod. As such, Bitrus will work with congregations in both short-term and long-term settings on a variety of topics.
When Redeemer Lutheran Church opened an after-school program many years ago, reflected Pastor Kelly Chatman, a young girl in foster care come up and asked, “Is this a church or a magical place?” That image stuck with Chatman, especially when Redeemer first opened Venture North, a retail bike and coffee shop in North Minneapolis, something […]
The Minneapolis Area Synod recently announced two new programs that provide resources to help congregations improve the health of their neighborhoods and the energy efficiency of their buildings. The projects – one a grant program, the other a loan program — were announced at the Synod Assembly on May 15, 2015.
Every interim period within a congregation is unique. In 2010 Kris Bjorke served as Interim Director of Youth Ministry with Christ Lutheran Church in Blaine, Minnesota. Her short-term position included working alongside volunteers in ministry to discover where they wanted to go with their ministry to young people.“We conducted surveys, focus groups, did training, as […]
Reflections from Chris Okey On Thursday, November 13, 2014 I traveled with two youth from the Minneapolis Area Synod (Christian Benz- St. John’s Lutheran Church, South Minneapolis & Grace Pelowitz- Wooddale Lutheran Church, St. Louis Park) and two youth from the Saint Paul Area Synod (Rachel Larson- Augustana Lutheran Church, West St. Paul & Rebecca […]
The synod has a new worshipping community Building bridges across cultures is just what Pastor Melissa Melnick does. Years ago, as a high school Spanish and ELL teacher, she noticed that the honors Spanish students were all white and the ELL learners were mostly Latino. And the two groups never interacted. So, she worked to […]
A St. Olaf grad launches instrumental music program in Guyana When Eric Sayre was walking the halls of the music education building at St. Olaf College, he likely was envisioning that he would soon be standing on small riser, baton in hand, conducting a wind ensemble at an underfunded urban or a small rural school […]
A children’s sermon launched our healthcare campaign idea last Sunday as we began Lent. Children were offered a bottle filled with dirty water to remind them how important clean water is to each one of us. Bottles were then handled out to the congregation by a show of hands. People were challenged then to cut the tops […]