Lifetimes: November 2

Share the Love on Sunday, November 10 

Janet Karvonen-Montgomery, Pastor for Wellness and Generosity

Share the Love is the name of the campaign to support the ongoing ministry of Incarnation’s faith community in 2020. In late October, you should have received your third quarter giving statement along with commitment materials for 2020. You’ll have a new opportunity to prayerfully consider how you want to grow in the coming year: 

  • in faith, by making a personal spiritual commitment and  
  • in generosity, through your financial commitment  

There are a few ways you can indicate your level of support:  

  1. Attend worship on Commitment Sunday, November 10 and bring your completed commitment card forward during any of the services. 
  2. Fill out an online form indicating your financial commitment.    
  3. Return your completed commitment card to the Incarnation Office in person or in the mail. (4880 Hodgson Rd., Shoreview, MN. ATTN: Amy Faymoville) 

Your faithful engagement in the Share the Love campaign will help to support the 2020 operating budget and the 2018-20 capital campaign for the building mortgage. Thank you for helping our leadership and staff in their ministry planning for 2020 and beyond. 

From the Staff

Senior Pastor Kai Nilsen

My family has certain “ways” of being that we have fallen into over-time—sometimes intentionally, sometimes through unconscious, repeated ways of interacting. After all this time, we generally know how we are going to respond to new circumstances—who will respond verbally and who with their actions, who responds with emotion and who moves to their head. We don’t need to document the process, it just happens. Hopefully, we’ve made the adaptations over time that allow our family to function in the best way possible. But, it’s always a work in progress, isn’t it? 

Churches have certain “ways” of being that we fall into over time. Unlike families, larger churches can’t rely on informal relationships and intimate knowledge of behavior that we’ve learned over time. We have to put personalized systems into effect that help us do our best work with people who are here frequently and those who are peripherally connected, those who have been members for decades and those who just walked through the doors last week.  It’s always a work in progress, isn’t it?  

In my first four months, I’ve been able to experience some of those systems that are working well and others that we need to adapt as we move forward.   

One of the systems is the budgeting process for the congregation. You may not be aware about how these decisions are made. Let me give you a brief overview of where we are now and a few things to anticipate in the new year. 

First, the process begins with the vision for our congregationA world filled with God’s grace and love” and the mission we created to achieve this vision—” Filled by God’s grace, we feed the hungry in heart, body, mind and spirit.” 

The staff is then asked to create ministry that helps us live out that vision and mission. This year, in particular, we asked that they dream and imagine what they would love to do beyond their present scope of ministry if we had the available resources of money and people. Vision invites response. We all need to learn to dream and imagine if we want to move forward.  

Those budget requests are then compiled by our staff administrator, processed by the Finance Team and then presented to the Incarnation Council who ultimately presents it to congregation for affirmation at our annual meeting in January.  

Questions we are dealing with this year as we continue our process, include: 

  • What can we do to extend our reach beyond the doors of Incarnation? 
  • How can we engage more people in the process? 
  • What have we done in the past that we have to release so that we can open up other possibilities? 
  • What are we passionate about and will give ourselves to with great energy and commitment?  

To extend our vision, here are a few things we will be committing ourselves to in the upcoming year: 

  1.  Worship Technology: Worship is the central, communal experience where we experience the transforming presence of God. In today’s world, a significant part of that experience is driven by technology. Presently, we have sound boards, cameras and speakers that are outdated and, in some cases, limping along. We are awaiting a proposal that will enhance the experience of worship at both ends of our building. We also want to be able to create videos of our preaching, not just audio. We have many people who want to be connected to the worship life of Incarnation when they are not able to be present. We also know that the first way most people connect for the first time with congregations is through our online presence. So, we need to represent our community well through our website and social media footprint. 
  2. Outreach: From my understanding, last year we cut back on some of our monthly, ongoing outreach partnerships (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Campus Ministry, Mkwawa & Kigamboni Church Support, Lifehaven, and Solid Ground, among others) My hope is that we will be generous this year so that we can meet and exceed our ongoing commitments and have the resources to engage the new outreach ministries that we are already dreaming about. Wouldn’t it be inspiring if Incarnation could be known by more and more people throughout the community as one of the most generous congregations in giving beyond ourselves! We, indeed, would be participating in our vision to co-create . . .  

 A world filled with God’s grace and love.  

You might not know that we have a number of new people working with me to oversee this budget process. Danette Griffith, our Business Administrator, is completing her first year and has been a very important addition to the process. Wayne Boike came on as our accountant late this summer. Amy Faymoville works with weekly and special giving opportunities, like the giving of stocks. The finance team has now been meeting regularly for over a year. I’m grateful for them and their work.    

I look forward to seeing the generous commitments of this community coming in on or before Commitment Sunday, November 10. I’m excited about the ministry that will unleash!   

Peace. Kai 

A Season of Blessing 

Our Advent theme this year is “A Season of Blessing.” Throughout the Advent season, the season we prepare for Jesus’ birth, we will be creating experiences and giving you opportunities to not only receive God’s blessing and love, but to share it with others.  

On Wednesday, December 4, we will gather around tables in Incarnation Hall for an intergenerational worship service and meal. Carols will be sung. Special music from people of all ages will be included. A children’s sermon, a guided conversation about our holiday traditions and Holy Communion will be celebrated around tables. What a great way to experience the gift of all generations in the Incarnation community! 

5:30 – 6:00 p.m. Dinner is served. There is no cost for this meal and everyone is welcome, so invite someone to come along with you. 

6 – 7:00 p.m. Christmas carols, special music and an intergenerational worship experience.  

A free will offering will be taken that night so that we may be a blessing to others. The donations collected will go towards ELCA Good Gifts, specifically honeybees. 

Honeybees provide honey to eat and beeswax to transform into handcrafted soaps and candles, allowing a farmer to start a small business selling their products. And as an added bonus, these little bees boost crop growth on the farm by pollinating plants everywhere they go!” 

Apostles Library Book Review:

One Coin Found: How God’s Love Stretches to the Margins by Emmy Kegler 

Emmy Kegler is pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Northeast Minneapolis in our neighboring Minneapolis synod and the founder and editor of Queer Grace, an encyclopedia of online resources around LGBTQ life and faith. Her book, One Coin Found: How God’s Love Stretches to the Margins, talks about communities and individuals that are “on the margins” and what that means. Reading her book might just bring you a new awareness of the meaning of grace.

Kegler writes from her own experience as both a lesbian and a young person struggling with her faith in her Episcopal church. Describing a meaningful and life-changing event in her life while attending St. Olaf and being “volunteered” by her roommate to help serve communion is especially moving. (If you have ever been a communion assistant and can remember the first time you served, you can certainly understand the gravity of the situation!)

As Kegler speaks to the people on the margins because of their gender, their race, their abilities and disabilities, and their economic status, you will soon find yourself reflecting on how each and every one of us needs to “participate in God’s work of sowing seeds of welcome, inclusion and transformation . . . for all of God’s children.”

Among the Congregation

Sympathy to: Diane Gilbertson and family on the death of her mother-in-law; Wendy Steiner and family on the death of her father; Jill Ronneberg and family on the death of her mother; the family of Paul McFarlane on his death. 

Recently Baptized: Noelle Grace, daughter of Kelsey and Nate Blinn; Aidan Glyn, son of Emily Nesheim and James Bullock; Hannah Jane, daughter of Sara and Matthew Rantapaa; Ava Elizabeth, daughter of Emily and Derek Landsverk; Everly Marjorie, daughter of Lindsay and Victor Juran. 

Recently Married: Elizabeth Claude and Kyle Cunningham. 

Congratulations to: Samantha and Chris Kerkhoff on the birth of their daughter, Cassidy. 


“Light up” the Advent Season for a Solid Ground Family
Now – December 15
This year, Incarnation has the opportunity to provide Christmas trees to 45 families who do not have the resources to purchase them. Give a gently used or new artificial tree sized 4’-6’ tall or “buy a bough” with a monetary donation of any amount. Prelit trees are appreciated but not necessary. Bring trees and monetary donations to the Incarnation Office.

Faith and Fitness for Men and Women
Fridays, now – December 27. (except November 29)
Led by fitness instructor Shannon Rainey, this workout is a great way for people of all ages and abilities to improve strength and balance while connecting with others. Register in the Incarnation Office. Eight classes for $120 or $15 each.

Whisper Yoga
Chair Yoga: Mondays, November 4 – December 23 (except November 25), 11:00 a.m. – 12:15p.m., seven classes for $49 or $7 each.
Mat Yoga: Mondays, November 4 – December 23 (except November 25), 12:30 – 2:00 p.m., seven classes for $56 or $8 each.
Learn how to become quiet in body and mind to hear God’s whisper and get stronger for your everyday life. Led by certified yoga instructor, Tina Zerrath. Wear comfortable clothes. Sign up in the Incarnation Office.

Siblings: From Bickering To Bonding
Wednesday, November 13, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
Learn to prepare your kids with the skills and values they’ll need to become great spouses, parents, friends, or coworkers someday. For now, help them to be better siblings and stop the bickering! Co-hosted by Children, Youth and Family and the Incarnation Preschool. Presented by Connected Families. Free to attend. Childcare: $5 per child. Scholarships available upon request. Register at 651-484-7213 by Wednesday, November 6.

Pancakes for Preschool
Sunday, November 10, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Help support our littlest learners at Incarnation! Come before or after worship for a delicious pancake breakfast to support the Incarnation Preschool. Enjoy pancakes with toppings, sausages, coffee and juice. Gluten free pancakes and sausages will also be available. The cost has been adjusted to $8 per person and children under 2 are FREE.  Tickets will be available Sunday, November 3 and at the door on November 10.

Communion Server Orientation
November 12, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.; November 17, 9 – 10:00 a.m. or 11:00 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 Bag: Donations Needed
Monday, November 18
This month’s Primetimers (people ages 60+) will be serving together to create Blessing Bags, and items are needed to help make this happen. We are collecting items that will be most helpful in the cold climate such as socks, mittens and hand warmers, as well as chapstick and other toiletries. Please bring donations to Amy Martell in the Incarnation Office by Monday, November 18.

Primetimers: Serving Together- Blessing Bags
Thursday, November 21, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Primetimers is a time of fellowship and learning for people ages 60 and older. This month, we will be serving together, creating Blessing Bags (a bag containing useful items for those you may encounter who may be struggling). Cost: $5 (an increase from last year) and includes lunch. Sign up in the Incarnation Office by Monday, November 18.

Thanksgiving for All Concert Benefitting the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf
Friday, November 22, 7 – 9:00 p.m.
Join the community for a concert with Beatles tribute band “Rubber Soul” and words from Lisa Baker, program director of the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf on Friday, November 22 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at Peace Methodist Church. There is no admission to attend but a free will offering will be taken to benefit the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf. The concert is being made possible by Thrivent Action Team, Rice Creek Group. Would you like to volunteer to help at the event? Sign up here.

Congregational Meeting
November 24, after all morning worship services
There will be a congregational meeting on November 24 after the 8:45 a.m., 10:05 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. services. The purpose of the meeting is to elect members to the Incarnation Council, Synod Representatives and the Endowment Fund Committee. More details will be available soon.

Pursued by Grace: A Prayer and Blessing Service for People Affected by Addiction
Sunday, November 24 during 6:00 p.m. worship in Incarnation Hall
The holidays can be an especially challenging time for people living with addiction or in recovery, and for the people who love and care about them. On Sunday, November 24, the 6:00 p.m. worship service will include a special focus for people impacted by addiction or in recovery and their loved ones. All are welcome to attend and hear God’s word of grace.

Thanksgiving Service and Faith in Action
Wednesday, November 27 at 7:00 p.m.
All are invited to the Thanksgiving Eve worship service at Incarnation, which is followed by pie and fellowship. After worship, go to Grace Hall for the Faith in Action activity and create Christmas cards and ornaments for pastors to deliver on hospital visits and to shut-ins. This is a free, drop-in service opportunity for the whole family.

Blue Christmas: A Candlelight Prayer Service
Tuesday, December 10 at 7:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary
Blue Christmas is a prayer service for anyone who has mixed emotions about the holiday season. This service acknowledges that even during this joyous time of the year, some still experience sadness, loss and loneliness. While our culture proclaims it the happiest time of the year, people struggle during December for a variety of reasons. Some are grieving the loss of loved ones, others have less than ideal family dynamics and home situations, others are far from the people they love, and some are dealing with job loss or other life realities that make the Christmas season more complicated.

The Blue Christmas prayer service is a chance to name these realities and seek comfort in our God who took on flesh and walked among us precisely because this messy world needed a new way to hope. Come for yourself or invite a friend or loved one. There will be a chance to receive Holy Communion and an individual blessing.

Living Lutheran Subscriptions
Living Lutheran is a monthly magazine and website for the ELCA that shares the good news of Jesus Christ through stories, reflections, news and more. To subscribe, manage your subscriptions or to learn more, click here.

End of Year Reminders: 2019 Contribution Deadline
Checks and cash that are placed in the offering plates or delivered to the Incarnation Office on or before December 31, will be credited to your 2019 giving statement and may be claimed as a charitable contribution deduction for 2019. Online gifts are subject to business hours processing and must be processed prior to December 31. Mailed gifts must be postmarked on or before December 31. Thank you for your support!

End of Year Reminders: Stock Gifts to Incarnation
Stocks make an ideal gift to the Incarnation Operating and Capital fund with contributions of all sizes working for Incarnation’s mission. If you want to donate a gift of stock, please take action before December 1st to ensure the transfer is complete before the end of the year. Please contact Amy Faymoville to let her know of your stock transfer so she knows who is donating it as well as the number of shares and the name of the stock. Otherwise we receive stock and do not know who is donating it.

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!