I love writing poetry for worship. I hope you like these poems to be read in worship or to be used at home or in those quiet moments when you find yourself alone and needing a bit of inspiration...
Light One Candle - HOPE
Here at the table we gather together
We take the time, no matter the weather
To light our first candle, to bring on the light
'Cause a world filled with darkness,
Needs something quite bright!
It starts with a candle,
And spreads through the people,
And they begin shining
From barnyard to steeple.
And though some are sleeping,
And some have lost hope,
Lighting a candle is one way to cope.
So we wake from our sleep and sit at the table
Turn off the cell phone and shut off the cable
We pray together and worship in song
So the nights of this Winter,
Won't seem quite as long. (Light one candle)
Refugees coming to Minnesota could be the title of a publication in the mid 1800s in regard to people coming to Minnesota from Sweden, Norway, or Germany looking for a better life. Refugees on their way to Egypt could be the title of an article from the time of Jesus about Jesus and his parents headed to Egypt to avoid Herod and his political maneuvers to stay in power.
And in our present culture, it is the title of many articles, Facebook posts, and newspaper headlines about whether or not we should accept the wave of new refugees coming to Minnesota from Syria. Well, if you ask me, we must do this! We must welcome those who are seeking refuge and hoping for a better life - even a life at all!
Watch for details on how you can help! Many donations of in kind items are needed as well as financial donations. The International Institute of Minnesota is collecting items and donations for the newest refugees coming and we are going to help. We will be collecting items in December. Check it out!
There are refugees (from all over the world) on their way to MN as we speak!
Check out the list and see what you can donate, then we'll gather them at First Lutheran, St. Paul, on the Sundays before Christmas and we'll make deliveries! Or you can bring it to the address below!
The International Institute of Minnesota is helping to coordinate their arrival and gathering items that will make it a tiny bit easier. If you're here in the Twin Cities and you're interested in helping, here's what they need:
ONLY THE ITEMS BELOW CAN BE DONATED AT THIS TIME:
Diapers (Only New), Wipes (Only New), Baby clothes
Coats, Boots, Gloves, Hats, Scarves
Dishes, Glassware, Silverware, Tea kettles, Garbage cans (Only New)
Garbage bags, Bed linens (laundered), Blankets (laundered)
Towels (laundered), Dish towels (laundered), Vacuums, Laundry baskets
Pencils, Calculators, Pens, Notebooks, Folders, Crayons, Backpacks
Maps of the City, Gift Cards (only to Cub Foods, Target, Goodwill)
ADDRESS: International Institute of Minnesota
1694 Como Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108
Drop off times: 8:45am - 5pm Monday-Friday
This coming Sunday, we celebrate the Saints in our midst at 9:30 a.m. worship, those from our worshipping community who have passed away in the last year and those who are still our present-day heroes. We bring pictures of loved ones and light candles for those we want to remember on this day!
Following worship at 10:45 a.m., we will gather with our sister congregation, Santo Nino Episcopal Parish, to learn more about the Mexican tradition of the Day of the Dead, share bread together, and discover that we have many things in common.
Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, and acknowledged around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico where the day is a public holiday. Prior to Spanish colonization in the 16th century, the celebration took place at the beginning of summer. It was moved to October 31, November 1 and November 2 to coincide with All Saints celebrations. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas, honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. Visitors also leave possessions of the deceased at the graves.
Ten years ago, the leadership of First Lutheran decided to adopt a mission question vs. a mission statement. After reading the book, "What Great Leaders Do" by Lance Secretan, the mission question, "Does Love Live Here?" was embraced as the question we would wrestle with and continue to wrestle with it to this day. While a mission statement may draw us to a particular way of being, the question has enabled us to a way of being that is in constant motion depending on our experience and our context. This has been both messy and glorious as we have walked alongside our neighbors.
We have been transformed by each other and have discovered that the gifts around us are many. What began as free breakfast for 300 over the course of three years, has become a Wellness Center with lots of partners, partner organizations, and volunteers and guests mingled together in a weekly community that loves each other.
If you'd like to know more, contact us to come and see...on our inquiry page...
Even before First Lutheran Church was built on Dayton's Bluff, Swede Hollow existed down below. It was home to thousands of people from the mid 1800's until 1955 when the remaining houses were burned. It is now a beautiful park....
We wanted to change our web name to reflect who we are as a worshipping community. Being located on the Eastside of St. Paul is definitely a location, but the name also holds a claim to putting the eastside first in our outreach and in our hearts. While we come from a variety of places throughout the metro area, our immediate neighborhood is "beloved" and our commitment is to care for the people in this place we call home.
We also believe that life is wonderfully messy and each of us is gifted with an imperfect beauty. So, I invite you into the mess and the beauty of this time and this place...
Today, we mourn the death of The Reverend Clementa Pinckney of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina whose funeral was held today. He and 8 others were gunned down in the middle of a Bible Study last week. Along with President Obama who gave an incredible eulogy today, we mourn their passing and take up the call to stop racism in its tracks!
Today, we also celebrate a landmark decision by the Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states! We look to the future with hope in a rich diversity of race, culture, gender, age, and even economy. There is much work to do, and it's time to do it!