Lifetimes: February 2020

Lenten Worship Schedule

Ash Wednesday

February 26
12 p.m., 5 p.m. & 7 p.m.

Lenten Wednesday Worship

March 4, 11, 18, 25 and April 1
12 p.m. & 7 p.m. – No Communion

Volunteers are needed to help serve soup suppers and lunches. To view the list of ways you can help and to register, please click here.

A Team Effort to Give Back Through All Hands On Hope

By Christianna Shortridge 

“Hey, come pack food with me!” That’s the mantra of Marilee Giere who is most committed to the Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) MobilePacks held at Incarnation Lutheran Church each May. 

Meet Marilee Giere. Or maybe you’ve already come across her at one of Incarnation’s FMSC MobilePacks™. She’s been packing food since Incarnation Hall hosted the first FMSC MobilePack™ in 2007. Marilee has actually been at it longer; she’s been packing food, taping boxes, slapping on labels for over 20 years at FMSC sites across the Twin Cities.  

But Marilee does not keep her FMSC-packing passion to herself. “I’ve invited a variety of people to pack with me,” said Marilee. “People I work with, people from my Catholic church as well as from Incarnation, people I exercise with, my neighbors, my kids, the relatives from Wisconsin, anybody I know.” One year she packed six times at a FMSC MobliePack event. Most often you can find Marilee packing at the Coon Rapids FMSC permanent site, but she has also participated in group community packat the RiverCenter in St. Paul and at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. She notes the diversity of Minnesotans who come together to pack food for FMSC.

Marilee sees FMSC as an excellent way to give back to the community and the world because anybody can do it. “The strong ones can carry the boxes of rice and soy, the little ones can read the scales, the older ones can sit at a table and do labels,” said Marilee. “You feel so valued; everybody can learn, help and walk away with a feeling of satisfaction that they did something and learned to do something new.” She sees a FMSC MobilePack as an excellent team building activity for co-workers, book clubs, or the high school track team. “Your one little part can make a big difference in the life of a starving child.” 

There is another twist to Marilee’s passion for FMSC. Her daughter Bridget, who died in a tragic car accident in 2016, loved FMSC and had her 10th birthday party at a FMSC packing site. To honor the memory of her daughter and to mark Bridget’s May 25th birthday, Marilee annually organizes “Bridget’s Team” of family and former classmates, teachers and friends of Bridget’s to pack at the Incarnation FMSC MobilePack. “We’ve had 30, 60 and even 90 people packing on Bridget’s Team,” notes Marilee. 

Whether you pack on “Bridget’s Team” or with a team of your friends, you are urged to join in because children across the world need you! Marilee words ring true, “look at all the good that you can do by giving up a couple hours of your time.” Meals only get packed because people like Marilee care. People like YOU care. You and your family, your neighbors, your co-workers, your child’s soccer team can and will make a difference in the lives of starving children. Don’t hesitate. Answer this call to give a few hours of your time for FMSC. Build your team and sign up starting on Ash Wednesday to pack food for All Hands on Hope. You can make a difference! 

All Hands On Hope, the 2020 Feed My Starving Children MobilePack, will be held in collaboration with Roseville Lutheran Church. Incarnation will host the FMSC MobilePack in Incarnation Hall on May 4  8, 2020 with the goal of packing 1,023,000 meals. Interested in pulling together a team to pack meals or making a donationVisit All Hands On Hope for more information.

Holy Hammers 2020 Build in St. Paul 

Holy Hammers is an ecumenical ministry of 15 area churches working with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity to help bring affordable housing to our community. Since 1999, we have built 24 complete houses and part of 11 others making the purchase of a home a reality for more than 190 people whose low interest mortgages makes housing affordable for them. Holy Hammers has also donated over $1.5 million to help sponsor our building projects. For our 2019 project, 74 Incarnation volunteers contributed 127 days of construction labor and 8 days of lunches and morning treats.

In 2020 the Holy Hammers will spend 10 weeks starting April 14 building a twin home at 588-590 Wells Street in St. Paul. This location is across the alley from last year’s house, and Terra Lumley will again be our Habitat site supervisor. Following the Sunday morning services on March 8, March 15 and March 22 there will be an information table in the Atrium and Gathering Space to answer questions and sign up volunteers to provide construction labor or food. Anyone 16 years or older can help with construction. No particular skill is needed, just a willingness to learn and work with others. If labor and food is not something you can provide, financial gifts to Incarnation/Holy Hammers are appreciated. 

The dedication for last year’s house is expected to be held on Monday, February 10 at 6:00 p.m. at 593-595 Whitall. That will be an opportunity to tour the finished house and meet the homebuyer families.  

Apostles Library Book Review

One Plastic Bag: Isatou Cessay and the Recycling Women of Gambia by Paul Miranda 

Do plastic bags continue to multiply at your house? Do you remember to return them to your grocery story for recycling? Here’s a story of another use for them – and one which relates to Incarnation, too.  

Paul Miranda is the author of One Plastic Bag: Isatou Cessay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia, the true story shows how Isatou Ceesay and other women in her small village in the Gambia solved a big problem: discarded plastic bags, which were killing livestock and providing breeding places for disease-carrying mosquitos. Isatou and her friends cleaned the bags, cut them into long continuous strips, and crocheted them into change purses, which now they sell, both locally and abroad. (Author Miranda Paul has spent many years teaching in Gambia so knows the project well.)  

And the Incarnation connection? Are you aware that Danette Griffith, our administrator, makes and uses “Plarn” (plastic yarn) to crochet mats for people experiencing homelessness to sleep on? The mats are sturdy, washable and light in weight yet they keep someone off the cold ground at night. Danette welcomes plastic bags but loves the cut/wound balls of plarn even better. She has scheduled a work session on February 13 from 12 – 1:00 p.m. to teach us how to create the plarn and the mats. You can drop off plastic bags in the Incarnation Office until February 13, too. 

Thank You Woodworkers and Donors!

When you walk into the Atrium or the Gathering Space it’s hard to miss the beautiful Prayer Walls and tables nestled into their new spots. The Woodworkers crafted these items to enrich the prayer life of our faith community by creating visually pleasing spaces that allow people to stop by, write a prayer on a piece of paper and insert it into one of the many gaps in the wall – like the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. The prayer team then eventually collects all the paper and prays over them. The walls were made from different species of wood donated from people in the faith community and carefully pieced together by the Woodworkers: Bob Fisher, Ken Grosch, Bill Kalsow, Dale Kennen, Bob Lunde, Jack Ruff and Dick Trapp. Thanks again for the wonderful addition to our building!

If you’re interested in joining the Men’s Woodworkers group or attending any of their meetings contact the Incarnation Office at 651-484-7213.

More Advent and Christmas Generosity!

You donated nearly $500 in gift cards for Lyngblomsten’s Spirit of Giving campaign which was inadvertently missed in January’s Lifetimes “Advent and Christmas GenerosityYou Were Blessed to be a Blessing! These generous gifts allowed for many Lyngblomsten residents to receive Christmas gifts in 2019. Thank you to those of you who shared these gifts and all the many ways you gave to the surrounding community during Advent and Christmas! 

Among the Congregation

Hospitalized: Shari Hansen.

Sympathy toHeather Hoecke and family on the death of her father; Anita Christiansen and family on the death of her step-mother; the family of Pat Miller on her death; Bonnie Moore and family on the death of her nephew; Terry Swanson and family on the loss of his brother; Erica Larson and family on the death of her grandfather; Katy Gibbs and Jenny Mitchell on the death of their grandmother.

Recently Baptized: June Deserae, daughter of Nick and Danielle Pino.

Congratulations to: Charlie and Lesley Vollhaber on the birth of their son, Matthew John.


Summer Opportunities for Children, Youth and Families  

It may be cold outside but we’re thinking warm thoughts inside at Incarnation because we’re busy planning summer camp opportunities for everyone!  On Sunday, February 2, we celebrated Camp Sunday. If you missed it, no worries! Click here to check out all the exciting opportunities for summer 2020. 

“Wall O’ Money” Fundraiser – Support Children, Youth and Families participating in Summer Opportunities!   

February 16, February 23 and March 1 before and after 8:45 a.m., 10:05 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. worship

Children, youth, and families participating in summer ministry programs will be selling envelopes off the “Wall O’ Money” in the Atrium and Gathering Space to raise money for summer camps and mission trips. How it works: Choose an envelope ranging from $1 – $150, place the dollar amount on the outside of the envelope inside and return the envelope to the table in the Atrium/Gathering Space or to the Incarnation Office by Monday, March 9. More than one envelope can be purchased at a time. Thank you for supporting children and youth as they raise money for transformative summer experiences!  

Help Needed: Lenten Soup Supper Volunteers

Wednesdays in Lent, February 26 – April 1.

Each Wednesday during Lent, Incarnation serves a lunch and dinner consisting of soup, sandwiches and desserts, and your help is needed to make this possible! There are a variety of ways you can serve including dish washing, event set-up, hospitality, food prep and much more. Volunteer opportunities can be found directly at here or in the Incarnation Office.

Webinar and Conversation on Business Opportunities in Haiti

Webinar is February 13 from 12 – 1:00 p.m.; reservation due February 12. Follow up conversation is March 2 from 6 – 7:30 p.m.; reservation due February 28. Cost: $5/person for the light dinner. 

Join a webinar entitled “Business Opportunities in Haiti” and a follow up conversation over a light dinner. Attend either or both events by making your reservation with Grant Rykken at This is a great opportunity for those who have traveled to Haiti or for those who haven’t but are curious about the topic.

Men’s History Book for February

February 18 from 9 – 10:00 a.m. 

All are invited to Bethany Lounge for a discussion of the book, Hero of the Empire by Candice Millard. The Boer War, a Daring Escape and the making of Winston Churchill.

First Communion Milestone

March 8 from 3 - 4:30 p.m.

First Communion Milestone will be offered in two classes (1st– 2ndgrade and 3rd– 5thgrade) simultaneously from 3 - 4:30 p.m. on March8. At least one parent is asked to attend with each child. To register download the form from the website or stop in the Incarnation Office, byMonday,March 2at 4:30 p.m. 

Save the Date: Discover Incarnation is on a Sunday

Sunday, March 29 from 12 – 2:30 p.m. 

Discover Incarnation is offered to anyone interested in learning more about Incarnation as well as ways to engage within the community, and is required for those who wish to step into membership. An interactive opportunity is available for children three years through 4th grade, and childcare is available for those younger with an advanced registration. New: lunch will be served to all adults and children participating this day. Contact Becky Benson at by March 25 by 4:30 p.m. to register. 

Mark your Calendars – Worship Schedule Changes for Holy Week and Easter Worship 

There will be a different worship schedule on Palm Sunday (April 5) and Easter Sunday (April 12). The goal is to bring together the Incarnation and larger community in a way where we are drawn into this powerful story of Holy Week and Easter and together discover that in God there is “Another Way”. Along with the change in worship times for those two Sundays, some worship elements will change for Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, creating bigger and fuller experiential gatherings.  

Palm Sunday (April 5)
9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. in Sanctuary.
Both services will have communion and utilize musicians from both worship spaces. Children’s processional with palms will accompany Jesus into Jerusalem. SPARK students will 
sing and a children sermon will be offered. SPARK students will remain in worship instead of going to class.  No 6:00 p.m. worship this evening. 

Maundy Thursday (April 9)
7:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary with communion.
The focus will be on Passover and how Jesus gives it new significance. Worship will end with the stripping of the altar.

Good Friday (April 10)
11:00 a.m. in Incarnation Hall, 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., both in the Sanctuary
Experience the cross through Jesus’ seven last words.
 No communion.

Easter Sunday (April 12)
7:30 a.m., 8:45 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 11:15 a.m., all in the Sanctuary with communion
Celebration of the Resurrection. No 6:00 p.m. worship this evening. 

Solid Ground Volunteer Opportunities

• Drivers are needed on Wednesdays at 11:00 a.m. to bring clients to the local food shelf to pick up groceries for their families.
• The Boys Club at Solid Ground has been a resounding success. Boys have the opportunity to connect with a caring adult and socialize with others while participating in a variety of fun activities. Solid Ground would like to start another Boys Club and is looking for men to volunteer. Please contact Dylan McDonough at or 651-846-9024.

Solid Ground Donation Opportunities

The families at Solid Ground have immediate needs for shower curtains and rings, bathroom rugs and baby wipes. If you have new or gently-used items to donate, please mark them “Solid Ground” and drop off in the Incarnation Office.