Lifetimes: July 2019

Festival Worship: Pastor Kai’s Installation

On Sunday, July 28 instead of the regular worship times, there will be special festival worship times at 9:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. to celebrate Pastor Kai’s installation. Communion will be at all services and Bishop Patricia Lull will be preaching, with cake and coffee following worship. During the month of July, name tags will be available to wear on Sundays so we can get to know each other as a community while Pastor Kai gets to know us.

From the Staff

Senior Pastor Kai Nilsen

For everything a season.

Twenty years ago, my siblings, my parents, and I wrote a blessing book with that title because we wanted to give families and communities tools for navigating the ordinary and extraordinary transitions that occur through all the seasons of our lives. Each life transition brings with it both sorrow and joy, anxiety and anticipation, fear and hope.

For everything a season.

I look forward to entering this new season with you. Throughout the call process, you lived up to your name, Incarnation—you were an embodiment of the divine mystery of grace and love that the world experienced in Jesus. The call committee, led by Dave Katzke, was thorough in their questions, honest in their responses to my inquiries, and generous with their time and follow-up. The staff and leaders that I have experienced exude both a passion for this community and a desire to enter into all the possibilities that new seasons hold.

For everything a season.

It is obvious that the seasons leading up to this time have been fruitful. I’m sorry my first name isn’t Gary, that would have made the transition even easier for all of you. But, I’m not sorry that I am following him as Senior Pastor. As I’ve talked to area colleagues and listened to many of you, the word on the street is that Incarnation is well respected and has deep roots that will continue to feed life into the community and the world. What a gift to join you in this season.

As I ended my 26 years in ministry at my previous call, I closed with these words, “For everything a season . . . but the thing we all know about seasons is that they change.” Then we blessed the new leadership for their work.

In that spirit, we will enter this new season at Incarnation both celebrating the fruitfulness of the past and then wondering, imagining and praying together about how this new season will allow us to embody, to incarnate, the vast, inclusive love and grace of God for the world.

For everything a season.

In our strategic documents we envisioned “a world filled with love and grace!” Can you imagine it? Does your heart long for it? What might you be willing to do to embody God’s love and grace for the world? These are the questions we will be living with in this upcoming season.

For everything a season.

My wife Patty and I look forward to this new season with you. I will start my work on July 1. Patty and my daughter, Siri, will be joining me later in July because of their work commitments.

Peace for this new season,

Children, Youth and Family Summer Camps Recap

Summer Stretch

By Kristin Bloxham

Summer 2019 Theme: Faith Active in Love | Theme verse: 1 John 4:7 – 12 | Click here to read through our Bible studies that we participated in during our week together.

Summer Stretch is a week long program for 5th – 8th grade participants and 9th – 12th grade youth leaders. During our week, June 10 – 14, we completed nearly 700 hours of community service at 14 different service sites. Some of those service sites included: LSS Center for Changing Lives, Quincy House, LifeHaven, Lyngblomsten, Waverly Gardens, Shobi’s Table and Feed My Starving Children.

During Summer Stretch there was also a time of worship, Bible study and fellowship. Our afternoons were spent at Como Zoo, enjoying a movie, spending time in the sun at Bunker Beach and riding the rides at Nickelodeon Universe.

Vacation Bible School

By Rebecca Christiansen

ROAR–Life is WILD! God is GOOD!

This year at VBS Roar, we went back into the Old Testament into the book of Exodus and learned about how hard life was for the Israelites but God was GOOD then and God is GOOD now. The children experienced what it might have been like to make bricks for the Egyptians, to wander in the wilderness, to wake up in the morning to find quail for them to eat, and how God was good and provided for their every need. In addition to the Bible Stories, there were wacky games, tasty treats served to over 300 kids and adults and sciency-gizmos to tie in the Daily Bible points each day. The high energy music at opening and closing bookend the morning as well. Thank you to all the volunteers who helped ahead of time with preparations and those who helped throughout the week.

In addition to the fun at Incarnation, we discovered what life is like in other parts of the world. Our offering that was collected is going to World Vision to support new moms and their babies in Zambia. We also collected special baby donations that will be given to Marlene’s Place located in Minneapolis.

We pray that the kids will remember that when “Life is WILD . . . God is GOOD”! and that God is busy and active in our everyday lives. We encouraged the kids to watch for God every day in what we called “God Sightings.” A God Sighting is a way to help kids develop a God-focused view and a grateful heart for all that God does in our lives.

We loved having all the kids here that week and we look forward to seeing you all back next summer for Vacation Bible School!

Middle School Mission Trip to Milwaukee, WI

By Kelsey Blinn

On Sunday, June 23rd three middle schoolers and two adults left Shoreview, MN in order to join with the work that God is doing in Milwaukee, WI. They have partnered with YouthWorks, a Christian Missions Organization that seeks to help connect youth with mission trip experiences across the United States. Our team from Incarnation joined up with other churches to worship, serve, and discover how God is working to make all things new in Milwaukee, WI.

In the mornings the group focused on hands on work, like cleaning out a future warehouse site for a ministry called “Just One More Ministries” and sorted clothes for Capuchin Community Services in their House of Peace location. The afternoons were spent connecting with residents in senior living facilities, playing games, painting, and engaging in sharing stories. In the evenings the group spent time with other churches also participating in the YouthWorks week in a community picnic, soup supper, worship, and listening to a panel from Life Changers (recovering gang members and substance abusers). “I had lots of fun and had many new experiences getting to know the community members and groups from different churches, this trip gave me a new perspective on everything I take for granted.” – Trisha Wielenberg

Thank you for your continued prayers that helped to sustain our group as they served Christ by loving our neighbor in Milwaukee. Please take some time to talk to someone on this trip and discover how they lived out our mission statement, “Filled by God’s grace, we feed the hungry in heart, body, mind and spirit.” More pictures can be found on the Ignite – Middle School Ministry at Incarnation Facebook page.

Solid Ground Spring Shower Gratitude

By Elinor Jackson

On behalf of Solid Ground and Incarnation’s Solid Ground Action Group, please accept our warm appreciation and thanks for all the items that you donated for the Solid Ground Spring Shower this year. You donated over 456 items, including 137 food storage containers. We are very grateful for the willingness of the congregation to support this effort to provide families with basic household tools. Solid Ground told us that, although the list of items requested was given to us some time ago, these were the exact things that they are running low on, so it was a very timely and valued offering. In addition, you donated $475 which will be used to purchase additional Spring Shower items. This year’s Spring Shower was a phenomenal success and we again heartily thank those involved in the project.

Apostle’s Library Book Review: The Marvelous Mustard Seed

By Amy-Jill Levine (Author),  Sandy Eisenberg Sasso (Author),  Margaux Meganck (Illustrator)

“A child plants a mustard seed in an empty garden. It is an itty-bitty seed. It isn’t anything very special—yet.”

Discover the surprising potential of one small seed in The Marvelous Mustard Seed. Based on Jesus’ parable of the Mustard Seed, this inspiring children’s book shows young readers that one tiny seed—just like one small child—carries a world of potential. The Marvelous Mustard Seed features ethnically diverse characters, and it is ideal for children ages 4-8. A special note for parents and teachers is included. (Amazon review)

Sandy Eisenberg Sasso is a Jewish author who does wonderful thinking about religion for children. This is one of eleven books by Sasso in our library. While most of her titles deal with Old Testament stories, some share New Testament messages.

Find this book in the Children’s Section of the Library.

Welcome Wayne Boike

Wayne Boike is joining Incarnation as the new Accountant. Wayne’s background includes financial systems, accounting, non-profit work, IT, and church management systems. He has experience working at various types of businesses, including working at an ELCA congregation as a business administrator. He lives in Shoreview with his wife, Linda. Together they have three daughters, Jennifer, Julie, and Jackie, each with children. He enjoys time with grandkids, sports, boating and traveling. Welcome Wayne!

Among the Congregation

Sympathy to: Julie Rowles and family on the death of her father; Barb Chapin and family on the death of her mother; the family of Gretchen Anderson on her death.

Recently Baptized: Rory Daniel, son of Lisa and David Kloskin; Elisabeth Ann, daughter of Laura and Waylon Hennen.

Recently Married: Andy Dorr and Mindy Park.

Congratulations to: Emily and Derek Landsverk on the birth of their daughter, Ava; JP and Heather Lucas on the birth of their daughter, Etta.


2019 Tons of Love

Now – August 4

The Tons of Love food drive benefitting the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf is underway! Drop donations in the Ralph Reeder bins any time the building is open. Each week’s focus is detailed here. Let’s work to beat last year’s record of over 10,000 lbs. of food and over $17k collected during the 2018 Tons of Love food drive! Also, plan to shop at the Arden Hills Cub Foods on Sunday, July 21 to help fill a trailer of donations. Please be mindful of donating items only within “best used by” dates as Ralph Reeder cannot give out-of-date items to clients.

2019 Tons of Love Volunteer Opportunities

July 8, 15, 22, 29 or August 5

There are a number of ways you can help the Tons of Love campaign go smoothly and fruitfully. Move donations from Incarnation to the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf July 8, 15, 22, 29 or August 5, assemble donation bags, at Cub Foods, staff the Drive Thru Drop Off tent at Incarnation July 22 – 25, or serve at the Cub Foods day on July 21. Learn more and sign up to volunteer.

New This Year! Ralph Reeder Food Shelf Tours

July 11 from 12 – 12:30 p.m. or July 23 from 6:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Take a 30 minute tour of the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf, meet the Ralph Reeder staff, see exactly what the food shelf is, how it operates and the good that it does in the community! Pre-registration is required. Sign up for a tour spot on July 11 from 12-12:30 p.m. or July 23 from 6:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Ralph Reeder Food Shelf Farmer’s Market Volunteers

July 23, August 13, 27 from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

The Ralph Reeder Food Shelf is requesting volunteers to help at their outdoor farmer’s markets and resource fairs this summer. Volunteers will set up tables and tents, unload pallets of food, sort rescued food, direct traffic, distribute food to visitors, break down and clean up. This opportunity requires bending, lifting, twisting and turning. Dress for the weather and wear your lime green Incarnation t-shirt if you have one or contact Becky Benson if you need one. Must be at least 15 years old and there must be an adult with every two youth. More details and registration here.

Lyngblomsten Respite Q&A Sessions

Tuesday, July 23 from 10 – 11:30 a.m. at Centennial United Methodist in Roseville or Tuesday, August 6 from 10 – 11:30 a.m. at Augustana Lutheran Church in West St. Paul.

Learn about Lyngblomsten’s group and in-home respite programs at these Q&A sessions with Lyngblomsten staff which will include volunteer information, the change to observe The Gathering in action (group respite program for those with memory issues) and a time to ask questions about services and volunteering. No pre-registration needed.

Slice of Shoreview Parade

Saturday, July 27

Incarnation has a float in the Slice of Shoreview parade! Participants will be handing out beach balls on July 27. You’re invited to bring your scooters, rollerblades, wagons and wear a good pair of walking shoes to be part of this fun morning (limited number of spots for seating on the trailer). Sign up in the Incarnation Office or onnline.

Summer Giving

Getting away during the summer is a wonderful way to relax and enjoy the nice weather. Previously, this could make regular giving more difficult, but with electronic giving options it’s 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!