Kairos is a time each Sunday of enrichment for mind and spirit. A mix of timely topics, Bible Study, and theological exploration are presented by scholars, theologians and other professionals. Kairos meets at 8:45 a.m. and 10:05 a.m. in the Fireside Room. The same topic is presented at both times. If you typically worship at 10:45 a.m., feel free to come to the 10:05 a.m. Kairos session and leave at 10:45 a.m. for the start of worship.

Winter/Spring 2018 Themes & Speakers

Descriptions for Winter/Spring 2018 presentations will be updated as we receive information from the speakers.

January 7 and 14: Four Letter Words of the Bible

The Rev. Gary Anderson, Incarnation member

We often think of the Bible in terms of big and complicated words. The truth is there are many small words with just four letters that have great importance. In this unique approach to a Bible study, the Rev. Gary Anderson will explore some of the many four letter words of the Bible. And, no soap is needed to wash out mouths!!

The Rev. Gary Anderson has been a strong advocate for high quality life-long learning in the congregations he has served.   Following retirement in 2004 he became interim seminary pastor at Luther Seminary for two years, then worked for the St. Paul Area Synod ELCA as director of “Crossing Bridges”, a three-year  $2 million mission appeal.  He also served interim pastorates at English-speaking international congregations in Europe.  Gary and Mary Ann are members of Incarnation.

January 21: Human Trafficking Victims in Minnesota

Linda Miller, Director of Civil Society

Linda Miller, founder of Civil Society, has been recognized internationally for her work in human rights litigation. The mission of the organization is to lead Minnesota’s fight to stop human trafficking and enhance the lives of those—often immigrants– who have been victimized by providing safety, security, and legal services.

Linda Miller was an adjunct professor at Wm. Mitchell College of Law and received the Honorable Warren E. Burger Distinguished Alumni Award for 2008 for the highest values and ethical standards in serving the community. As Executive Director and founder of Civil Society, she received 2 Certificates of Appreciation from the United States Department of Justice for her best practice method of reaching out to victims.

January 28: The Path of Becoming a Pastor–One Seminarian’s Journey

Erin Coutts, Luther Seminary & Former Contextual Education Student at Incarnation

Becoming a pastor in the ELCA is often confusing for those not involved in the process. Incarnation was the site for Erin Coutts to fulfill a seminary requirement as a Contextual Education Student.  In addition to her responsibilities she regularly attended Kairos.   Erin graduates from the seminary in May.  She will share her unique experiences, giving a personal perspective and insight into her story.

Erin Coutts is a seminary student who will graduate in May with a Masters of Divinity degree.  She is a candidate for ordination in Word and Sacrament.  She has been a volunteer at Incarnation.

February 4: Gun Violence and What We Can Do About It

The Rev. Nancy Nord Bence, Project MN

Gun violence is a negative influence in America: stealing lives, devastating families, oppressing communities, and costing Minnesota over $2 billion every year. Recognizing life is precious, people of faith often hesitate to engage in issues that seem controversial and intractable. The Rev. Nancy Nord Bence will focus on gun violence as an array of inter-related public health problems that can be solved.

The Rev. Nancy Nord Bence left her position as Senior Pastor of a large Lutheran congregation to join the gun reform movement after the first San Bernardino mass shooting in December 2015. She now serves in a specialized call as Executive Director of Protect Minnesota, the only independent, state-based gun violence prevention organization in Minnesota, and as spokesperson for the Interfaith Alliance for Gun Safety, engaging people of faith in the effort to reduce gun deaths and injuries through education, organization and advocacy. www.protectmn.org.

February 11: Food for Thought–Food Insecurity and The Changing Face of Hunger

Lisa Baker, Ralph Reeder Food Shelf

The Ralph Reeder Food Shelf provides programs and service for the growing needs of our food insecure neighbors and the changing face of hunger in our community. While a stay-at-home mom, Lisa Baker, program manager,  began volunteering with the Food Shelf.  She witnessed more and more people needing help and quickly found a passion for helping others.

Lisa Baker, Program Manager for the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf, lives in New Brighton. She and her husband have raised two children who graduated from Mounds View Public Schools.  Lisa has been with the Food Shelf for twenty years.

February 18: Why Do People Buy Health Insurance?

Dr. John Nyman, University of MN

Many health economists support policies that expand health insurance, but most would have difficulty explaining why society is better off with an expansion.  Dr. John Nyman, Incarnation member, will explain how economists think about benefits and costs of health insurance, what the issues are with this view, and how health economists should think about health insurance.

John A. Nyman, Ph.D., is Professor of Health Economics, Division of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota.  His research interests lie mainly in the theory of demand for health insurance, the theory and practice of cost-effectiveness analysis, and nursing home care policy. He is the author of numerous articles and a recent book, The Theory of Demand for Health Insurance. He has been cited for excellence in teaching on a number of occasions.  He and his wife, Pat, are members at Incarnation.

February 25: Why I’m a Lutheran

Panel of Incarnation Members

Inspired by the “I’m a Lutheran” column in Living Lutheran magazine, will celebrate both the unique and the shared experiences  we have as people shaped by Lutheran faith and theology. Each session will include short interviews with three panelists. Interviews and table talk will be moderated by Rev. Rich Omland, Visitation Pastor at Incarnation.

March 4: Extremis Documentary–Palliative Care in ICU

Dr. Becky Jones, Incarnation Member

Documentary Extremis explores end of life care in Highland Hospital, Oakland, California.  The short film follows Dr. Jessica Zitter, a palliative care specialist, in her discussions with patients and families regarding choices when faced with a terminal condition.  After watching the film, Dr. Jones will lead a discussion regarding palliative care, who benefits from it and how we can have discussions with family before being faced with this tense situation.

Dr. Rebecca Jones, internal medicine physician for Health Partners, works at Regions Hospital as a hospitalist and palliative care physician.  She is also Hospice medical director for Health Partners Hospice.

March 11: Who is happiest? Generosity can change your life!

The Rev. Catherine Malotky, Luther Seminary

Many American Christians raised in the middle of the economic spectrum look for the American Dream that is promised by cultural messages. Kairos presenter, The Rev. Catherine Malotky, asks how much is enough? How do you know?  What does that mean for the communities we are called to love and support?  What about our own well-being?

The Rev. Catherine Malotky served congregations in urban and rural settings.  Many are familiar with her work for three decades as a writer of curricula and devotional material. Her interest in generosity evolved with her work in stewardship as retirement/personal finance coach, and director of development at Luther Seminary. She is a Certified Retirement Counselor and is trained as a live coach.

March 18: Bega Kwa Bega–Life Together

The Rev. Peter Harrits, St. Paul Area Synod

Bega Kwa Bega, Swahili for Shoulder to Shoulder, is the phrase we use to describe the companion relationships we share between the Saint Paul Area Synod of the ELCA and the Iringa Diocese of the ELCT and between Incarnation, Mkwawa, and Kigamboni parishes. Through them, we walk and work beside our sisters and brothers in Christ in one of the fastest growing Lutheran churches and live into our calling as co-participants in God’s global mission.

The Rev. Peter Harrits joined the synod in January 2014 as Director of Bega Kwa Bega (BKB), our Tanzania mission with the Iringa Diocese. A graduate of Yale Divinity, Peter was ordained in 2011 and served his first call as Country Coordinator in Malaysia with ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission. Peter and his wife Jenny live in St. Paul with their daughter and two dogs.

March 25: Raising a Spiritual Child in an Age of Overindulgence

Dr. David Bredehoft, Prof. Emeritus Concordia University

Kairos presenter, Dr. David Bredehoft, author of “How Much is Too Much? Raising Likeable, Responsible, Respectful Children – From Toddlers To Teens – In An Age of Overindulgence” will discuss his research on childhood overindulgence: how it affects children throughout adolescence and adulthood: the threat this poses for a child’s spirituality: and what parents can do instead.

David Bredehoft, Ph. D. is Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Family Studies at Concordia University, St. Paul. After 37 years of service he retired in 2013 as the Chair of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department. He continues his research and writing on the topic of overindulgence as webmaster for www.overindulgence.org.

April 8, 15, and 22: When the World Gets Turned Upside Down: Read Acts during Easter

Dr. Matt Skinner, Luther Seminary

The Acts of the Apostles tells a story about what God sets in motion as an outcome of Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension. The followers of Jesus populating the pages of Acts live and speak of their newfound conviction that anything is possible now that Christ has been raised from the dead. Over three Sundays we will consider how Acts lends a sense of wonder and high expectations to our experience of Easter. When our ideas about what God can make possible become too small, Acts offers a welcome remedy.

Dr. Matthew Skinner is Professor of New Testament at Luther Seminary. His book Intrusive God, Disruptive Gospel: Encountering the Divine in the Book of Acts examines how we best read the Acts of the Apostles to allow this peculiar book to inform our reflections on God, the challenges of faith, and the life of the church. His most recent publishing project, A Companion to the New Testament, provides an introduction to the whole New Testament and how the biblical writings inform Christian beliefs and life. Ordained as a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Skinner frequently teaches at conferences, on campuses, and in congregations.

April 29: Rice Street Gardens

Ron Peterson, Galilee Lutheran member, Retired Honeywell executive

Showing Christian love for their neighborhood, Galilee Lutheran reached out by starting and supporting a community garden. Upon retirement, Ron Peterson put his organizational skills to work. He helped develop 2.5 empty acres of fertile land into a shared garden that could be used by local apartment dwellers and recent immigrants from over 10 countries.

Ron Peterson, with a PhD in physics, was Chief Technology Officer at Honeywell before retiring in 2000. He states that he knew absolutely nothing about gardening (unless you count planting petunias each year) but was skilled at organizing people, lobbying government, technical tricks, and not giving up.

Questions about Kairos? Contact Pastor Jeanne Hartfield.