Lifetimes: December 2021

Seasonal Worship Schedule

Mid-week Advent Worship
December 1, 8 and 15 at 6:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary. Holden Evening Prayer. These services will be livestreamed. Click here to watch live at 6:00 p.m. on Mid-week Wednesdays. (please note: the livestream won’t begin until the in-person worship service begins. You may need to refresh your browser if you are a little early and don’t see the livestream.) 

Blue Christmas
Sunday, December 12 at 5:00 p.m.

Christmas Eve Worship
2:00 p.m. Worship for Families with Young Children
4:00 p.m. Blended Worship (Nursery and Livestream available) Click here to watch live at 4:00 p.m. (please note: the livestream won’t begin until the in-person worship service begins. You may need to refresh your browser if you are a little early and don’t see the livestream.) 
6:00 p.m. Blended Worship (Nursery available)
8:00 p.m. Blended Worship Service

(Please note that there will not be a service on Christmas Day, but there will be lessons and Christmas carols on Sunday, December 26.)

Worship on Sunday, December 26
There will only be a 10:00 a.m. worship service on Sunday, December 26. This will be an in-person service only (no livestream), but a recording of Pastor Joel’s sermon for the day will be emailed out in case you cannot attend and be made available on Facebook, Vimeo and Youtube.

From the Staff

Senior Pastor Kai Nilsen

We Wait . . . In Hope!

I can’t remember a time in my ministry when the Advent theme of waiting has been so poignant and, at times, so painful.

  • We wait for good news on the coronavirus as counts in Minnesota rise.
  • We wait for violence to recede and yet retribution and vigilantism rise.
  • We wait for peace in our hearts, peace between nations, peace between peoples and division and derisive comments rise.

If it were only about waiting, we would despair. But, God’s people never wait in a void. We Wait . . . In Hope.

The writer of Psalm 27 concludes with, “I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord.”

In the words of Psalm 130, “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in God’s word I hope;…”

Paul penned this benediction in Romans 15, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Waiting. Hoping.

In a quick-fix, break neck speed world, it’s a spiritual posture that seems foreign, forgotten and formidable. Yet, here we are, again, invited to wait as the world wrestles with its demons of violence and distrust and self-importance, even as we tell the Christmas story again of peace and trust and self-giving.

Can we be people who, like the writer of Psalm 27, “Believe we shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living?”

Can we be the people who commit ourselves to “Be the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living”?

If so, our waiting will not be in vain. Our hopeful acts will be the world’s gain.

We Wait . . . In Hope!

See you in worship! Peace. Kai


ELCA World Hunger Good Gifts This Advent Season

As has become an Incarnation tradition, Advent is a time for us to remember our connection with the ELCA through World Hunger. The opportunity to continue to support others during this season of gift-giving continues throughout the Alternative Giving Season. We are hopeful that the Incarnation community will be able to raise $10,000+ for ELCA World Hunger during Advent 2021. While any Good Gift is always welcome, this year each week during Advent will bring a focus on specific areas of giving but “Anytime is Good for Animals”. Consider gifting family, neighbors, teachers and friends in a unique and life-giving way this holiday season. Purchase Good Gift ornaments following worship on Sunday mornings.

The focus for each week during Advent is: (1) Food and Nourishment; (2) Health and Sanitation; (3) Education; and (4) Water and Sustainability. However, any Good Gift, including animals, is always welcomed. Watch for information about gift suggestions throughout Advent and be generous as you share God’s love this holiday season.


Council Commentary

Erin Rowles, Council President

The Council met virtually the evening of October 18. The first three items on the agenda are consistent every month:
(1) Adoption of proposed meeting agenda
(2) Group prayer including the prayer concerns of our community
(3) Approval of the minutes records from the previous month, which is required before they become available for the congregation.

Danette Griffith, Administrator, in partnership with council and the HR Committee, continues to develop a formal “Recruitment of Employees” policy. The HR Committee, chaired by Mike Styba, will review the current draft at their December meeting with the goal to present the proposed policy back to the council for formal adoption. Pending approval by the council, the policy will be shared with staff and added to the Employee Policies Manual.

Roger Schlichting, Council Treasurer, presented the financial statement of activities, as he does does at every council meeting. He noted that there has been tremendous generosity towards special projects, legacy gifts and the endowment fund. Note, a financial summary is communicated within this monthly Lifetimes newsletter.

With the end of the calendar and fiscal year in sight, Danette is working with staff to put together a proposed 2022 budget. Much of the council meeting was spent reviewing what had been put together so far and discussing questions like, “Do we think we are ready for our budget to look more like pre-Covid times?”, “Does the budget reflect who we are as a church?”, “How does the budget support the four pathways we developed in 2020?”. Ultimately the Council asked that the budget go under further review. Danette has taken the lead on responding to specific questions from Council and providing a YOY comparison. The Finance Commitee will meet November 11 to review the current state of the proposed budget. We will continue to discuss the budget for next year in parallel with monitoring how the year ends.

By way of my own research and understanding of how the budgets for our ministry partners are determined, I included in the agenda the desire to formalize the definition of a Ministry Partner. I will be engaging Becky Benson, Director of Engagement and Service, to explore more.

On the staff front, we have an opening for a part-time Formation Leader for Elementary students.This person will work with the Director of Children’s Ministry. Rebecca Christiansen, to plan and implement children’s ministry programming for children in Preschool through fifth grade. Our community’s network is vast and should be used to promote open roles at Incarnation. Please share this opportunity!

Per the last Council Commentary, Greta Grosch, Council Secretary, has connected with all Ministry teams and Action Groups for an updated roster of members. If you are interested in serving on a ministry team, please visit our website here. From that page there are links to ministry pages that include information for a primary point of contact.

A virtual meeting of the congregation will be held via Zoom on Sunday, December 5. The primary purpose of this meeting is to elect members of the Congregation Council, the Endowment Fund Committee and representatives to the synod assemblies. Wyatt Stahl, Council Vice President, is chairing the annual Nominating Committee.

By the time this article will be published, the council will have met on November 15 for its monthly meeting. The agenda will have included:

  • the pastoral acts from July, August and September
  • a finance analysis from Treasurer, Roger Schlichting
  • an update on the state 2022 budget proposal
  • development of ministry teams for CYF and Worship Services
  • an update from the Nominating Committee
  • sharing of input received from congregation and staff
  • reflection and ideation around communication from the council

Who is on the council? Check out incarnationmn.org/about/incarnation-council/

What has the council been discussing this year? Recorded minutes are available by request; please contact Danette Griffith, Administrator at dgriffith@incarnationmn.org.

Have input, questions and/or feedback for the council? Send an email to council@incarnationmn.org.


Dismantling the Myths Surrounding the Asylum Seeker

by Elinor Jackson and her housemate, Jane

 

Earlier this fall Incarnation member, Elinor Jackson, shared in a Lifetimes article, how she became interested in the plight of a person seeking asylum, what she learned about the challenges of seeking asylum and how she prepared herself to welcome a person seeking asylum into her home. Nearly two months later, Elinor and her housemate are learning how to share life together under one roof and they offer these perspectives. Out of care and respect for the privacy of Elinor’s housemate, she will be referred to “Jane” below.

From Jane’s perspective: “Contrary to what has been suggested, immigrants are not rapists and murderers. Asylum seekers are actually the ones fleeing from rapists and murderers. This is just one of many myths associated with the character of the asylum seeker, leaving a dark cloud cast over all asylum seekers.

How can you understand the plight of the asylum seeker? Heaven forbid you should find yourself under a bridge somewhere in a helpless state with nowhere to turn. So, whether people are fleeing the ravages of war, or facing the cruelties of gang violence, or fleeing the potential hazards of female genital mutilation, they deserve the common courtesy of human dignity as much as anyone. Human dignity is a human right. However, that dignity is not often offered to the asylum seeker. In fact, daunting barriers are placed in his/her path which are seemingly insurmountable. Basic needs like food, shelter, access to healthcare, and adequate healthcare for that matter, are denied. There are also permanent social needs like the need for community to curb the isolation of being displaced from your point of origin in your quest to acclimate to new terrain. Healing occurs in community.

So, the question remains, what can you do to help?

Lady Liberty sheds light on and provides guidance to this question with the cry:

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

What lamp? What golden door? Where do we start?

  1. Speak out against the dehumanization and demonization of immigrants and asylum seekers when you encounter it. Asylum seekers have a hard time adjusting to their new surroundings and would appreciate some compassion. Ease their discomfort by extending the kind gesture of a smile or a word of encouragement to them. Do for them what you would want another to do for you if you found yourself stranded, isolated, existing without the basic necessities of life, and in the realm of the unfamiliar. Pray for them.
  2. Help dethrone the myths surrounding the ‘Asylum Seeker,’ and the stigma that plagues asylees and immigrants. We can strive to put a human face on the crises that the challenge the asylum seeker and help end the perils they experience. Pray for them.
  3. Find out more about asylum seekers plights and offer either monetary assistance or volunteer to help ease their adjustment to their new lives. Pray for them.
  4. Best of all would be to contact your representatives in Congress and urge that they work on a bill that would set aside the ludicrous hurdle that requires an asylum seeker to wait for 1-2 years before being able to receive a work permit and earn a living wage, especially nowadays with employers begging for employees. Here is a huge pool of talented, willing people who would like nothing better than to feed their families and provide them with security. Pray for them.”

From Elinor’s perspective: “Do you remember your first year of college, when you were about to meet your freshman roommate and didn’t have a clue as to whether or not you would get along?  My first college roommate was as opposite from me as it was possible to be. But we had a great first year, not only expanding our world in our studies, but learning how to get along and balance our different personalities and lifestyles. That was the thought that came to me as I began my journey with my new housemate, Jane. I wondered about what was in store for us, knowing that we were from very different cultures and backgrounds.

All of my wondering came to a screeching halt upon meeting Jane. She is so very likeable. She is also a great cook, and since I am NOT, there was already synergy at work! She smashes the typical media stereotype of an asylum seeker. She is not barefoot, she is very well educated, she speaks impeccable English, and is fun to be around. She is ambitious and can’t wait to continue her career as an author and creative writer. All of this is to say, that in another world, she could be me. There, but for the grace of God, go I.

There are adjustments and concessions on all sides, but so far we are enjoying learning about each other, our cultures, and our world views. I am so very glad I have pursued this journey. It is a blessing to be useful.”

To learn more about those seeking asylum, check out the Kairos presentation from October 11 posted here.  If you’re interested in supporting Elinor and Jane in their life together, you may reach out to Elinor directly at elj@copper.net.


Incarnation’s Heritage Edition of The Saint John’s Bible

In the Season of Advent, we anticipate the birth of Christ. Our journey to the manger can be illuminated by our Heritage Edition of the Saint John’s Bible. Hopefully you have had a chance to see it, but if not, it lives in the Alleluia Chapel in a beautiful cabinet!

Click on the graphic to see a larger image.

In 1998, Saint John’s Abbey and University commissioned Donald Jackson, calligrapher to Queen Elizabeth II, to create a Bible for the new millennium. The final word was written in May 2001. For more than 10 years, Jackson worked with a team of artists around the world, combining ancient techniques and traditional materials with advanced technology and multicultural perspectives. A master work of art and faith, spanning more than 1,000 pages, The Saint John’s Bible engages readers with the Benedictine invitation to “ listen … with the ear of the heart.”

This Advent season, take in The Birth of Christ illumination from Luke 2:1-20. What do you expect to see in a nativity scene? What else do you see in the illumination that adds to your understanding of Christ’s birth, death and resurrection? You can view the Birth of Christ illumination in the Heritage Edition in Incarnation’s Chapel or at this link.

Also, the Incarnation Office has new framed prints of four illuminations from The Saint John’s Bible–Creation, Word Made Flesh, The Beatitudes and The Great Amen. Please stop in to see them and ponder how these illuminations ignite your spiritual imagination.

You will continue to hear more about The Saint John’s Bible and how we can use it in our community. If you have questions, contact Grant Rykken at gdrykken@gmail.com.

Birth of Christ, Donald Jackson, Copyright 2002, The Saint John’s Bible, Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota USA. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Keeping Our Walls Inviting–Part III

By Danette M. Griffith, Administrator

We are close to the end of the year, and we continue to work on the list of capital projects that have been determined to be priorities. Each project is important to the longevity of our facilities so that we can continue to offer a place for our community and the community around us to find a safe, up-to-date building. Once the funding has been established, the parking lot improvement, roof repair and repair to the 2005 addition can be scheduled.

  1. Sanctuary: Repair/Replace Sound System
    1. Emily Turner, Media Arts Director, and Rick Gravley, Facilities Manager, have received several bids for this project. Emily has organized a meeting to decide which company will be contracted and then the work will be scheduled. It will probably be in early 2022 since equipment shipments are slow.
  2. Sanctuary: Lighting
    1. The Sanctuary needs new stage lighting and updated LED lighting throughout. Again, Emily and Rick are working with companies to obtain an estimate. The sound system will be done first and then this project will begin.
  3. 2005 Addition
    1. We received a report from Collins Ofari that stated the damage was due to improper installation and recommended that the windows and a portion of the outside walls be replaced. If you would like to read the report, please send an email to John Miller, who is heading up the investigation. His email is jmbigturtle@comcast.net.
    2. The first estimate has been submitted from Olympic Companies, who had helped with the research. The bid is $99,900 and does not include the price of the windows. We are asking for more bids.
  4. Parking Lot
    1. The Wednesday morning Coffee Talk small group has been assisting in determining the best design for the parking lot. We have settled on a design from ATS&R architectural firm. The next step is to send out the plan for bids. If you would like to see the plan, please stop in the Incarnation Office, and talk with Danette Griffith.
  5. HVAC Systems
    1. Approximately 10 of the heating and air conditioning units need to be replaced. They are working now but are past their life expectancy. We are pursuing an estimate.
  6. Roof & Solar Power
    1. The rubber roof needs replacement. The bid is $301,000 for 286 squares of flat roof. This project has morphed into two parts–replacing the rubber roof and adding solar panels to reduce energy costs. We are working with All Energy Solar in St. Paul. We have the capacity to generate 75% of energy use with a 175-kW system. A very early cost estimate is $300,000 – $375,000. The annual energy savings of $18,000 – $20,000 per year. The remaining 25% could be provided by membership in a solar garden.
  7. Debt Reduction
    1. We refinanced our mortgage earlier this year, bringing down the monthly payment by $8,000. However, the Finance Committee and the Congregation Council determined that we would continue paying the budgeted payment of $28,540 each month–putting over $8,000 additional against the principle. For 2022, members will be able to pledge to the operating fund and to the mortgage fund. The mortgage fund will be used to pay the monthly amount.

More updates will be communicated as they happen. If you have any questions, please contact Pastor Kai Nilsen or Danette Griffith, Administrator.


Goodbye Erin Thorstad

After serving our community well for over 14 years in various roles leading to her most recent position as our Director of Communications, Erin Thorstad will be resigning on December 8. Below is the message she wrote to announce her transition.

“I have been blessed to serve our faith community for over 14 years on a staff I have loved being a part of. Incarnation has given me many gifts and I look fondly on the time I have spent here and I’m proud of the good work we’ve been able to do, together. I look forward to going back to school in January and increasing my skills in the areas of marketing and digital media. I would humbly ask for your prayers as I enter this exciting new chapter as well as for the next person who will fill my role. Thank you for being faithful people and letting me work with you as we seek to build a world filled with God’s grace and love. May God bless you with a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”

If you would like to share a note or memory with Erin, please send it to ethorstad@incarnationmn.org.

Moving forward, there are short term and longer-term needs. Longer term we will be hiring someone to lead our communications ministry at Incarnation. If you know of someone who would be a great addition to our team, let them know. We will be posting the position in the next few weeks.

In the short term, if you have these specific skills and a few hours per week you are willing to offer this community, volunteer or paid, we would love to have you let us know. Please contact Danette Griffith at dgriffith@incarnationmn.org.

  • Website editing (WordPress)
  • Worship Powerpoint development
  • Social media posts (Facebook and Instagram)

We wish Erin well on her new journey and are grateful for the love she has shown for our community during her time here.


Apostles Library Book Review: Our Friend Hedgehog: the Story of Us by Lauren Castillo

           “Sometimes you make a friend, and it feels like you have known that friend your entire life.”

Hedgehog lives on a teeny-tiny island with only her stuffed dog, Mutty, for company, but sometimes she is still lonely with no one to talk to. When a great storm carries Mutty away, Hedgehog heads off on a long and dangerous quest to find her friend. Following the trail of clues Mutty left behind, brave Hedgehog meets a wiggly Mole, a wordy Owl, a curmudgeonly Beaver, a scatterbrained Hen and Chicks, and a girl who’s new to the neighborhood, Annika May. There’s nothing that can stop these seven from finding Mutty, but along the way they discover something even more important: each other.

Our Friend Hedgehog: the Story of Us is the first book in a new series by Lauren Castillo and introduces a unique cast of characters. You will want to hear more of the “wordy” definitions from Owl, appreciate the interior of Mole’s (including his tunnel map on the wall), and “peep” along with the chicks. And you, and the children with whom you share this book, will want more.


Click here to give online.

Year End Giving
Year end giving deadlines are quickly approaching for gifts to be processed in time for them to be included in 2021 giving. Please know that we will gratefully accept any donation at any time. These deadlines are to help us better prepare for 2022 and for any 2021 tax purposes you may personally have. This includes Grants/Charitable Funds & IRA Distributions (prior to December 10), Stock Gifts (before December 10), and 2021 contributions (on or before December 26). If you give online you will want to double check that your account is correctly set up for 2022. For more details, click here.

Stewardship 2022: You can still make your commitment!
The “I’m In!” stewardship campaign is a time for us to share the resources that God has generously blessed us with so we can continue our ministries together as a faith community. There are two components to this campaign: financial and service, both of which are available online and have instructional videos to help you fill out the forms.


We honor the memory of loved ones in the memorial gifts given below:

Among the Congregation

Sympathy To
The family of Nancy Swenson on her death; Erick Mikkelson and family on the death of his mother; the family of Babs Riedel on her death; Katrina McCarthy and family on the death of her mother; the family of Carol Hawkins on her death; the family of Louise Ostergren on her death.

Recently Baptized
Presley Rae, daughter of Brittany and Craig Brand.


Announcements

ELCA World Hunger Good Gifts
Consider gifting family, neighbors, teachers and friends in a unique and life-giving way this holiday season with a Good Gift ornament benefiting ELCA World Hunger. Ornaments may be purchased Sunday mornings following worship.

Alternative Giving Season Continues
Give a gift that could be transform another’s life! Now through Advent, Incarnation has several alternative gift giving ideas detailed here will be available through the season. This page also provides specifics about which organizations will benefit from your gifts as well as whether these are online giving options or physical items may be purchased throughout the season.

Advent Family Activity
Beginning December 1, families can pick up an Advent Family Activity in a Box in the Incarnation Office. The box will have a storybook about Eli the Donkey on his greatest journey. Hearing about Eli’s journey is a fun way to prepare during the Advent season along with the fun activities.

Formation Leader for Elementary
Incarnation is seeking a part-time Formation Leader for Elementary students to begin immediately. This position is for 25 hours a week and offers prorated vacation and sick time. The candidate will work with the Director of Children’s Ministry to plan and implement children’s ministry programming for children in preschool through fifth grade. Hours will include Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings during the program year. It is preferred that the candidate have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university OR three or more years of ministry experience. To apply, please send a cover email with a brief statement of your faith formation, and resume to Danette Griffith, Administrator at dgriffith@incarnationmn.org by November 15, 2021.

Webinars on Housing in Minnesota
The Joint Religious Legislative Coalition (JRLC) continues to host a webinar series on housing.  This series takes an in-depth look at statewide housing issues in Minnesota. Sessions are held on Zoom on the first Thursday of the month from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., followed by 30 minutes of breakout group discussions. The December webinar will be December 2 on the topic “Racial Equity and Housing”. RSVP and register by contacting Joan Miltenberger at  jmiltenberger@jrlc.org.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party
Club 4/5 kids are invited to an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party at Incarnation Lutheran Church on Friday, December 3. The fun starts at 6:30 p.m. and will end at 8:00 p.m. We will have reindeer games, White Elephant gift exchange, this is re-gifting of something small or spend no more than $4 on a gift (bring it wrapped). Contact Rebecca if you are willing to help with this event. Sign up is on the Incarnation website or click this link.

Congregational Meeting
Reminder! A Congregational Meeting will be held via Zoom at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, December 5. The primary purpose of the meeting is for members of the congregation to vote on the nominees for Congregation council, Synod representatives and the Endowment Ministry team. Per our constitution, we do require a quorum to complete this annual process. All confirmed youth and adult members are asked to participate.
Zoom invite for the meeting:
Meeting Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87906394275?pwd=TmVYZDlFbmVoZGdINDRqUzM1L0gxdz09
Meeting ID: 879 0639 4275
Passcode: 697161

Dial by your location
        +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
        +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
        +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kbekkuOPVa

 

Kairos: December 6 – “The Prophetic Narratives: A Glimpse Into the Ministry of Elisha
Join us on Zoom every other Monday night at 7 – 8:30 p.m. To register click, here.
The prophetic narratives (roughly the books of Samuel–Kings) imagine a world aflame with the glory and presence of the Living God. The prophets stood in God’s presence and absorbed God’s passionate love for justice on behalf of all creation. Their words and deeds incarnate these convictions in ways both profound and baffling to us living in the 21st century. Elisha was one of these profound and baffling prophets. During our session we will look at a couple of stories from the Elisha cycle (1 Kings 19.15–21, 2 Kings 2–13) to explore the significance of Elisha’s ministry and the theological achievement of Israel’s storytellers.

About the presenter:
Travis West teaches Hebrew and Old Testament at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. He sees teaching as an act of hospitality, making space for students to have meaningful encounters with the subject matter, their classmates, and ultimately the Spirit, in order to become more fully themselves. When he isn’t at work he can be found searching for wonder, whether on long walks through the fields near his house listening to Audible, reading poetry, or hanging out with his artist wife whose art and reflections perpetually amaze him.

Racial Justice Working Group Update
Join others in an online Zoom gathering December 7 from 7 – 8:30 p.m. to learn how Incarnation has been working to move forward in our racial justice work for the last number of months. Included in the meeting will be an introduction of Pastor Kelly “PK” Chatman and Dan Bielenberg of the Center for Leadership and Neighborhood Engagement, Incarnation’s new partner. Zoom link to join the gathering is here.

Hunger at the Crossroads Webinar, December 9 at 6:00 p.m.
Understanding hunger–and working to end it–means seeing the many ways hunger and poverty intersect with so many other issues, including climate change, food production, access to housing, racial justice, gender justice and more. In “Hunger at the Crossroads,” a new webinar series hosted by ELCA World Hunger, we will explore these intersections and the ways we can be part of God’s promise of a just world where all are fed. We’ll also look at what the latest research tells us about trends in hunger and poverty around the world and in the US and the impact COVID-19 has on hunger and poverty now and into the future. Learn more and register here.

Green Lake Bible Camp Early Bird Registration
WOW! It’s December and we’re already looking at Summer Camps! Green Lake Bible Camp has early bird registration launching for summer 2022 on December 13. Early bird registration closes on February 15. NEW this year Grandparent/Grandchild camp the week of July 17 – 20, 2022 and Incarnation has blocked off the week of July 17 – 21, 2022 to head to Green Lake Bible Camp. Click here to learn more.

Come Together for Racial Justice – December Online Gathering
Join December’s online community conversation centered in BIPOC voices and leadership with others committed to racial justice work on December 16 from 7 – 8:30 p.m., Come Together for Racial Justice hosted by Incarnation’s partner, the Center for Leadership and Neighborhood Engagement, This month’s gathering will feature a dialogue with three Black young adult leaders from North Minneapolis: Jackie Beck, William Jones, and K’Sean Ewing. Learn more and register here. Former gatherings have been recorded and are found here.

Monthly Packing Opportunities at FMSC Coon Rapids Permanent Site
Join those of the Incarnation community at Feed My Starving Children in Coon Rapids to pack meals during shifts that have been reserved specifically for Incarnation.

One evening shift on the 3rd Tuesday (note change!) of each month and a daytime shift on the 4th Wednesday of each month, are available. FMSC has adjusted processes and practices following the most up-to-date COVID-19 guidelines, allowing volunteers to pack while maintaining safety.

For more information and to sign up for a shift, visit the FMSC page on the Incarnation website. Let’s continue the season of serving God’s kids! Pray, volunteer or donate today!

Seasonal Building/Office Hours
In observance of the holidays, there will be several times this season where the Incarnation Office is on limited hours or is closed. The Incarnation Office will be closed on:

  • Monday, December 27
  • Monday, January 3

The Incarnation Office hours will be limited the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Tuesday through Thursday we will only be open from 8 – 12:00 p.m. Normal office hours will resume on Tuesday, January 4.

What is the Bible: Winter Book Discussion Group  
Many of us have plenty of questions to wonder about when it comes to the Bible. This small group will discuss “What is the Bible?” by Rob Bell for a perspective that is “revelatory, revolutionary, and relevant…” Leader: Georgia Schultz. To order the book or find out more: www.incarnationmn.org/new-small-groups/. Register: dfloe@incarnationmn.org. This group will meet every other week on Mondays, 1 – 2:30 p.m., starting January 10 on Zoom.

Winter Small Groups: Be Loved
Enter a new year, knowing that you are beloved by God. Carry that love into your relationships with friends, acquaintances and strangers, in your person-to-person interactions and as a blessing for the wider community. Be light, be love, be surprised, be stretched in your connections with others, all while being rooted in God’s love for you. New small groups begin in January using a new faith study, Be Loved, to reflect on our relationship with God and relationships with one another. Watch for more information. Interested in taking part? Contact dfloe@incarnationmn.org.

Preschool Registration for the 2022-23 School Year
Preschool registration for the coming school year starts in January. We offer class sessions ranging from 2.5 – 6 hours. Visit the preschool pages of the Incarnation website for details. Registration packets will be available in early December and can be mailed to you or forms may also be downloaded from the website. Call Kirsten Barie at 651-766-0723 for more information, to schedule a tour or to have a packet mailed to you.

Preschool Open House
Come and see all that Incarnation Preschool has to offer! You will be able to see the classrooms, meet our staff, find out about our curriculum and class options, and ask questions. Thursday, January 6 from 5 – 6:30 pm. Contact Kirsten Barie, 651-766-0723 or kbarie@incarnationmn.org if you are unable to make it but would like more information.

Another Kind of Happy Hour
Want to increase your happiness and overall positive feelings? Looking to add some mental fitness to your life? You may be able to find comfort and interest in the workshop titled, Another Kind of Happy Hour. The full 10 hour course of Another Kind of Happy Hour has been scheduled for January 6, 13, 20, 27 and February 3. Sessions will be presenting two lessons each night on those five weeks. The first night will be a repeat of the material covered in the 2-hour workshop. If you already took the two hour workshop, it is your choice if you want to repeat these lessons on January 6 or if you’d prefer to start the full course on January 13. If you are interested in signing up for the full course you must register by clicking on the January 6 date even if you do not plan to attend that first night. For questions, please contact Donna McDonald at 763-458-2855. Click here to register.