Lifetimes: September 2019

Sibling Conflict: From Bickering to Bonding

By Rebecca Christiansen

Rebecca Christiansen, Director of Children’s Ministry

I would like to say that raising three kids was easy, but we were faced with a few challenges. Our first challenge was we started off with twins. For the most part they got along great and still do to this day. Once in a while Twin X (not using names for obvious reasons) would come up to me and say, “my sister did this to me.” I would then put Twin Z in a timeout. Twin Z would sit in the timeout and Twin X would either go sit in the timeout with her and read books or get mad at me for putting her in a timeout. I had one get mad at me once and tell me “Don’t put my sister in a timeout!” What is a mother of to do?  

Five years later enters little sister which the big sisters loved! A real live baby doll of their own. Then little sister started getting mobile. True sibling conflict entered our house at that time. Little sister just wanted to be with big sisters. Big sisters did not want littler sister in their stuff. There would be nights around the dinner table when we would be trying to do highs and lows (a practice of sharing the best and worst part of our day) and there was nothing but silence around the table. Not often but enough. It did not help that my husband would chuckle and think this was funny. I prayed that they would just love one another and be best of friends. Do you have that wish for your kids too? 

During the month of September, Incarnation’s sermon series is #loveincarnate. We are all created to love. Jesus showed us how to love people that most did not have the time of day for, such as Zacchaeus or the women at the well. We all desire to have children that show love, especially to their siblings, like Jesus, but in a broken world it doesn’t always happen. 

On November 13 from 9:30  11:00 a.m. we will have Chad Hayenga from Connected Families at Incarnation to give us tools to facilitate joyful connection and true reconciliation. You can help your children become great friends while they’re still at home. When they are successful at home with their siblings and other kids this will set them up with the skills and values they’ll need to become great spouses, parents, friends and even co-workers someday. Parents, grandparents and guardians are welcome to join us in the Fireside Room. Please sign up in the Incarnation Office by Wednesday, November 6. Childcare is provided ($5 per child, scholarships are available upon request). This is a free event for adults.  

From the Senior Pastor

Senior Pastor Kai Nilsen

By Pastor Kai Nilsen

In a recent discussion about worship with members of the Incarnation community, one person spoke honestly about the difficulty they had with “all the music” during worship. They wondered if it was too much for people who might be new to the community. The next person in the conversation spoke passionately about their delight in the music at Incarnation, sharing how it leads them into a deeper connection with their God. And listen to this: These two voices came from the same family! 

Multiply that tension by a thousand household units and you see how decisionmaking becomes problematic.  

Many years ago I read a book by Jim Collins entitled, Built to Last. Throughout the book Collins chronicled the journey of major corporations that have endured over time, adapting to changing culture and markets, yet remaining uniquely themselves in the process. The two principles of enduring companies I remember most were:  

Preserve the Core. And Stimulate Progress. 

How will we, at Incarnation, both Preserve the Core and Stimulate Progress?  What is the Core? What will be the leading edge of progress for us? Important questions.  

I’d suggest these have been the forever questions of the church. In Acts 15, the new community of believers, made up largely of Jewish people, was encountering a “Gentile” (non-Jewish) world that seemed to be leaning into the life-affirming news of Jesus but couldn’t go all the way in because some of the centuries old traditions—primarily circumcisionwere prohibitive. Circumcision had been a central sign of Jewish identity for more than one thousand years but was now coming into question as they encountered a new world.  

Imagine the conversation if you were an adult “Gentile” convert. “Yes, I want to follow Jesus.” says the convert. “Great.” says the Jesus follower. “Now all you have to do to become one of us is to get circumcised!”  Talk about a horrible new member experience!   

It may seem absurd to us today but at the time it was a profoundly disorienting conversation. My guess is that “no small dissension and debate” described it mildly. I bet they went at it and went at it passionately. It was a matter of their identity. How would they see themselves and who would they be as they encountered a new world? 

The result: They reached a decision that “we should not trouble (with circumcision) those Gentiles who are turning to God.” Circumcision was no longer the primary sign of their common identity.  It’s hard to express the gravity of that decision. 

Yet, if you look historically, each significant pivot point for the church brings an expansion of God’s love, not a limiting of access to it.  

Back to our discussion about music. It’s obvious that if you ask any question of significance to people who are already connected to the life of the church there will be differences of opinion, different passions, different hopes. And everyone will not get their preferences met all the time. 

But, maybe the real question, based on Acts 15, is this: What will we do for the sake of others who are not here but are longing for something new in their life? How will we “not trouble those Gentiles”, using the language of the text? Or, to say it differently, how will we remove the barriers we have in our community so they can experience the energizing, life-transforming, creative power of the Spirit like we have? 

That might not be a bad question to take to our time of prayer or to bring to our common conversations as we move forward together. You know it will be in mine.  

Preserve the core and stimulate progress as we create a world filled with love and grace! Peace. Kai 

Life Happens . . . and Then Everything Changes

By Christianna Shortridge

My new “Paleo Approach” books arrived from Amazon the same day that I received the call to write this article. As my major life transition enters its third year, it seems fitting that this article and my new diet—a health transition—align. You never think your life is easy until it’s not. Looking back you might think, life wasn’t really so bad before this all hit. Retirement, kids off to college, job changes, or loss of a family member are just a few life transitions that can rock your world. Most of us don’t come through these transitions unchanged, but you don’t have to go it alone.  

Since moving from Lino Lakes, Minnesota to Truckee, California three summers ago, my life seemingly defines transition. Starting over in a new state has been a life challenge—new jobs, a different house in a new community with wild animals roaming about (deer, bears, bobcats and mountain lions), a new high school for my son and new health challengesFighting the urge to slip into doom and gloom, I’ve leaned into my faith, found a new spiritual friend who lifts me up, and am looking for those glimmering, shining lights of God in the sometimes dark places of life transitions. Here is what works for me. Listen for the voice of God through devotional practices and talking with others also experiencing life changes. Explore the beauty of creation by looking up at the brilliant Milky Way or going on a hike. Silence. Sometimes I just need quiet to think and hear that small still voice that guides me.  

Life is not static. There is an on-going cycle of changes with pivots and transitions. All transitions, the good and the bad, have an impact. Here are a few Practical Steps in Life Transitions that you may find helpfulAlso, consider attending or bring a friend to the Life Transitions Blessing and Prayer Service at Incarnation on September 26thRemember that you are not alone. 

The Great Incarnation Bake Off Winner

Congratulations to Sue Krabbenhoft!

The winner of the 2019 Great Incarnation Bake Off, Sue Krabbenhoft

New to The Great Incarnation Get Together in 2019 was the Great Incarnation Bake Off, where bakers in the community entered their favorite bars into the contest to see who’s recipe was a real winner! The competition was fierce (and delicious!) but in the end Sue’s “Jack’s Million-Dollar Bars” took first place and won her the prestige of being the first Great Incarnation Bake Off winner. Sue has generously sent in a photo of the recipe so you too can enjoy these wonderful bars.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Great Incarnation Bake Off for sharing your fabulous desserts with us, thank you to the senior choir and judges who were the taste testers, and thank you to the volunteers who made this event possible.

Among the Congregation

Sympathy To: Paul Friedman and family on the death of his father;the family of DickYorstonon his death;Brenda Walther and family on the death of her mother; the family of Bob Todd on his death;AnnieBullertand family on the death of her mother; the family of DickSandnesson his death;Mike Callahan and family on the death of his father; Pat Nyman and family on the death of her father; AmandaDePhillipsand family on the death of her father; the family of David Kangas on his death. 

Recently Baptized: LucyJune, daughter ofJessie and Bryan Clapper 


Nursery Position Available 

Are you 16 years old or older and enjoy spending time with children? The Incarnation Nursery is looking to hire some dependable, reliable, loving people for Sunday mornings, Sunday afternoons or weekday morning small groups.  Prayerfully consider being an integral part of a child’s faith journey at Incarnation! See Stefanie Straka for more information or stop in the Incarnation Office for an application.


Sewing Clothing Protectors
Would you like to sew clothing protectors for adult men and women residents of Shoreview Senior Living? The pattern is easy and available for you to pick up in the Incarnation Office so you can sew at home. For questions, contact Deb Rykken.

Communion Server Orientation
September 15 from 9:45 – 10:45 a.m.; September 17 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.; or September 22 from 11:05 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.; in Adult Room D
Interested in serving during worship as a Communion Server? Orientation will include a brief discussion of the importance of this ministry to Incarnation’s worship life. Practical preparation for serving will also be provided. Contact Becky Benson if you wish to attend or just show up.

Blessing and Prayer Service for Life Transitions
Thursday, September 26 at 7:00 p.m. in the Incarnation Sanctuary
God is present and walks with us through all of life, including times of change and transition. No matter what type of transition you are experiencing, come to this service to pause for prayer, receive a blessing, and hear God’s word in Scripture and through a message. You are welcome whether you are in a time of transition in your health, family or other relationships, job or volunteer role, school or schedule, where you live, or any other change. You are also invited to attend and pray for someone else who is experiencing a transition.

Tanzania Partnership Sunday
Sunday, September 29, following all services
Come join past travelers and supporters of Incarnation’s Tanzania ministry to learn about our growing partnership with Mkwawa and Kigamboni congregations in Iringa, Tanzania. Hear stories, see photos and learn about what we are doing together, shoulder to shoulder, and how you can be a part.

Psalms for Living
Monday, September 30, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., followed by Small Group gatherings
The Psalms have spoken to God’s people for millennia, capturing the complexity of the human experience and showing us how to connect with God in seasons of joy and sorrow, in times of change, and in ordinary days. This fall opportunity starts with a kick-off gathering on Monday, September 30 followed by four small group gatherings at a variety of times and places in October and November. Find out more on the website, including the list of Small Groups, or from Denise Floe. Contact Denise Floe via email or 651-484-7213 to register.

Beatitudes Small Group
Once a month on Thursdays, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m., October – May
Dig deeper into the meaning and messages of the Beatitudes and discover practical ways to live a simpler, more spiritually engaged life. This group will read and talk about the book The Power of a Focused Heart: 8 Life Lessons from the Beatitudes by Mary Lou Redding, while connecting with one another. Leader: Meg Gerlach. Suggested contribution: $5. Contact Denise Floe via email or 651-484-7213 to register.

Discover Incarnation is on a Sunday!
Sunday, October 13 from 1 – 4:30 p.m.
Discover Incarnation is offered for anyone who wants to learn more about Incarnation’s Mission, Vision and Values, and is required for those who wish to step into membership. An interactive opportunity is available for children three years and older, and childcare for those younger with an advanced registration. Contact Becky Benson by October 9 by 4:30 p.m. to register.

Pancakes for Preschool
Sunday, November 10 from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Help support Incarnation’s littlest learners on November 10! Join us before or after worship for a delicious pancake breakfast to support Incarnation Preschool. Come for pancakes, sausages, fruit, coffee and juice. Cost: $5 per person. Tickets will be available November 3 and at the door on November 10.

Contemplative Prayer with the St. John’s Bible Small Group
Once a month on Tuesdays, 7 – 8:30 p.m. OR once a month on Wednesday mornings, 6:45 – 8:00 a.m.
Connect with others in a Small Group to reflect on images and texts from the St. John’s Bible. Join a group on Tuesday evenings or early Wednesday morning. Both groups will use a contemplative prayer practice (lectio/visio divina) to reflect, talk about, and pray with the illuminations and texts. These ongoing Small Groups are looking to welcome new people. Leaders: Julie Omland (Tuesdays) and Claudia Wiebold (both groups). Contact Denise Floe via email or 651-484-7213 to register.

Online Giving
Electronic giving options make it easy to contribute remotely. You can donate online or make a contribution with a textFor more information about electronic giving, click here. Thank you for your faithful generosity!