Lifetimes: November 2021

Council Commentary

By Erin Rowles, Council President

Effective communication has always been key to healthy relationships and there is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has made communication more important than ever. By way of sharing where they are at in their relationship with Incarnation, a few members of our church have enabled council leaders to better recognize where we, the council, have a responsibility to be a constant presence and voice. Particularly during a year where we’ve had a significant change in our worship service offerings, staffing and some of our programming, it is critical that the council share how decisions are being made, who is at the table making decisions, and the impact of those decisions. Transparency reinforces the congregation’s trust in the council to advance the mission and ministry of the congregation.

First, brothers and sisters, let me thank you for your grace. Although these are unprecedented times, we are 18 months in and there have been opportunities lost along the way to be more visible and to communicate more clearly and frequently. Second, allow me to share how grateful I am for those individuals that came to the council to voice their concerns or frustrations. For some, it was easy to share their feelings with a leader with whom a relationship was already established. For others, it took a bit of courage to step out and be honest about their feelings and their questions. We recognize this and we thank you for your level of care and love for our church. Third, when we know better, we must to do better. The council is working on it in collaboration with the staff. One solution we are putting into effect is a consistent section in the monthly Lifetimes newsletter for the council to have a reliable space to share discussion topics from the past month, decisions on the table or made, or points of view.

Welcome to the first edition of “Council Commentary”.

At the September meeting, the council invited Pastor Joel Vander Wal (Pastor for Children, Youth and Family), Nate Bergengren (Formation Leader for Students and Families 6th-12th grade), and Rebecca Christiansen (Director of Children’s Ministry) to share an overview of fall programming plans. This time was highly valued as it allowed for the council to further comprehend how our focus on family ministry is coming to life, to discuss feedback from families, and hear from the staff about what additional support is needed.

In addition to reviewing the standard financial report, we determined that the next steps for a 2022 Capital Campaign would include assembling a committee by Pastor Kai and Danette Griffith, Administrator. Meanwhile, Danette, with the tremendous support of Rick Gravley, is working with an architectural firm on a parking lot renovation, a forensic engineer on the water intrusion issue in Incarnation Hall, and sound technology experts on solutions and corresponding bids for the Sanctuary. Thank you for your persistent dedication to tackling these complex needs, Danette and Rick!

Pastor Kai shared that Amy Maakestad accepted the Director of Traditional Worship position, Sean Turner accepted the Minister of Worship, Music & Arts position, and that the two part-time middle and high school ministry staff positions have been filled. Welcome Adam Boldenow (Formation Leader for Middle School) and Michael Sell (Formation Leader for High School)!

Greta Grosch, who at our council meeting in September was voted to serve as Council Secretary for the balance of the year, is working with ministry teams to update their rosters as members end their term commitments. If you are interested in opportunities to serve 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.

Wyatt Stahl, Council Vice President, is chairing the nominating committee for next year’s council. An announcement will be coming out for a congregational meeting, during which candidates will be presented and voted upon by congregation members.

By the time this article will be published, the council will have met on October 18 for its monthly meeting. The agenda will have included:

  • this past quarter’s pastoral acts
  • a new HR policy that puts formal processes into place for hiring staff members
  • a finance analysis from Treasurer Roger Schlichting
  • a first proposal for a 2022 budget
  • large projects in motion, including plans for the parking lot
  • 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.


Love is Patient and Kind

Senior Pastor Kai Nilsen

By Pastor Kai Nilsen

Paul must have known something about the human propensity to rush, our personal lack of reserve for long periods of trial, and our quick triggered responses to crisis. There is wisdom in the first two descriptors for love that Paul used.

Love is patient and kind. (I Corinthians 13: 4)

Let me remind you that Paul’s description of love had little to do with his capacity to love. He was describing the love he experienced in the Risen Jesus and the new life he was invited into. The closer we walk into the heart of God, the more God’s love becomes our way of love.

Love is patient and kind.

I was with a small group a few weeks ago and I heard some variation of the phrase “We used to…” about 10 times. There was this deep longing to recapture what was pre-COVID. There was a growing impatience with this corporate journey we have had to make together.

I get it.

I’d love to throw caution to the wind and our masks in the dumpster and act like nothing is changed. But, we can’t. Corporately 700,000 families have had to grieve the loss of a loved one because of COVID-19. The numbers in Minnesota are higher than they should be. Since vaccines are still not available for our youngest community members and loving our neighbors (by being as safe as we can) is still our calling, we press on, together.

Remember Incarnation, love is patient and kind.

But, there are good signs for us as we open up possibility for ministry. In October, we launched our Sunday and Wednesday ministries for Children, Youth and Family. What a delight to see kids and their families in worship together. What a gift to see students and families learning about the faith with one another on Wednesday nights. We are figuring out how to worship and learn together in new ways.

By the time you read this we will have packaged hundreds of thousands of meals for children all around the world through our Feed My Starving Children MobilePack. We figured out how to serve together in new ways.

Those are a few internal makers that remind us we can still press forward in these difficult times, in new ways.

At Incarnation, we are also beginning to envision ourselves as a gathering place for the community in ever-evolving ways. We are hosting, again, a community Bible study on weekday mornings. Last week, we hosted a gathering of all the Minneapolis and St. Paul pastoral leaders for a morning of teaching and just being with one another. In February, we have been asked by the synod to be a host-site for their annual learning event for congregational leaders. Next summer we will host a portion of the thousands of high school students who will be sent out to serve during the National Youth Assembly.

Know that Incarnation is being increasingly seen and known as a place to be, to gather, and as a community that serves.

Envision this: Incarnation–At the heart of the community, with a heart for the community! A place the community gathers. A center for active learning. An outpost for work and service in the larger community and world.

For all of that to happen, we need one another to make a commitment to our common work. The stewardship campaign, I’m In!, is continuing for a few more weeks. You still have time to make your commitments online or by filling out a paper copy available by the Incarnation Office.

Thank you for being patient and kind as we navigate these times together. Thank you for being hopeful and generous as we imagine and co-create a more loving world, in new ways!

Peace. Kai


Seasonal Worship Schedule

Mid-week Advent Worship
December 1, 8 and 15 at 6:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary. Advent Kits will be available for pick up at Incarnation starting Sunday, November 14, while supplies last.

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)
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.)


All Hands on Hope Feed My Starving Children MobilePackTM 

By Sally Lawless

Our 2021 All Hands on Hope MobilePackTM event is in the books . . . the dust has settled, the hairnets have been removed, floors have been swept and vacuumed, and the volunteers have left the building with tired hands and happy hearts. From October 28 – November 1, Incarnation was bustling with over 1,200 volunteers over 13 shifts. After months of preparation and planning to hold a safe event, we are happy to announce that together with many from the surrounding community, we packed enough meals to feed 1,121 kids for one year. The financial donations we received to support our in-person packing and machine packing are still being counted and will be announced soon; if you wanted to donate but didn’t have a chance yet, it’s not too late to do so here. As we know, the hunger epidemic continues to surge, especially over the last 18 months due to the global pandemic and unrest in many countries where FMSC has partners. It was a joy to see all the volunteers packing together and rallying around the effort to feed God’s kids.

In addition to the Incarnation community, the volunteers represented a diverse and broad-reaching group of people, including communities from four local Hmong churches in St. Paul, Augsburg University women’s volleyball team, many National Honor Society Groups, high school sports teams, the entire upper school from North Lakes Academy in Forest Lake, Rotary Clubs, sponsoring businesses, Scout groups, a cycling group and a group from a local fitness center. All came together to help us live out our mission to feed the hungry in heart, body, mind and spirit. One family had four generations represented with ages ranging from six to 97! Overall, the event was a huge success, given the strict protocols and safety measures that were required.

Pastor Kai Nilsen summarized the event by saying, “At Incarnation, we’ve been saying that Jesus came to help us imagine and co-create a better, more loving world. Feed My Starving Children is a shining example. Our collaborative work with schools, local businesses, non-profits, and other churches reminds us of all the ways God is at work in this world. Our generosity of time, energy, and money, focused on children all around the world reminds us that Jesus’ invitation has been heeded in the hearts and hands of our community. When I was hungry, you gave me food…”

Troy Heller, of the Incarnation community, has been heavily involved in FMSC since he traveled to the Dominican Republic on a mission trip in 2018. “That trip changed me and jump started my involvement in FMSC”, he explained. At the 2021 MobilePack, he volunteered every day. He could be found packing meals with his family, doing warehouse work, affixing labels or any other task that was asked of him. When asked why he is drawn to the All Hands on Hope MobilePack event, he explains that he loves to see the vibrancy of the people in the packing room, especially families with their kids. “The energy that they bring–singing, dancing, smiling and having fun while helping kids who are starving”, he said.

The staff from FMSC summarized our event with a heartfelt note, reading:

“Becky & Incarnation Team,

Wow–what a fantastic event! Not only were meals packed, but so many spirits were fed in the packing room. Both returning volunteers and 1st-timers. Over these past few days, it’s been a true joy to see the room filled with energy–all to pack meals to feed more of God’s children, our brothers and sisters. Your team has been so wonderful to work with and partner with. 

I keep saying ‘privilege’, because it truly has been to serve alongside such faith-filled partners as you and your team. Your kindness and hospitality is much appreciated, and we look forward to serving alongside in the near future. God bless!”

Incarnation’s FMSC Action Group who planned the event would like to thank everyone who supported this experience, whether as a volunteer, a financial supporter or someone who prayed for its success. This work couldn’t be done without your partnership. Look for more information regarding our next MobilePack event in Lifetimes or by following our social media accounts:

Facebook: FMSC Mobile Pack at Incarnation
Instagram: fmsc_at_incarnation


Incarnation’s New Partnership with the Center for Leadership and Neighborhood Engagement

After better than a year of seeking ways to listen, learn and leverage the work Incarnation has been doing to grow in our ability to navigate differences that make a difference, especially regarding racial justice, we are pleased to announce that Incarnation is engaging in a new relationship with the Center for Leadership and Neighborhood Engagement (CLNE). CLNE is led by Rev. Kelly “PK” Chatman, a nationally sought-after teacher of the church in the areas of multi-cultural leadership, community engagement and congregational revitalization, he previously served for 20 years as pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church, an ELCA congregation in North Minneapolis.

From their website, CLNE states that they partner with community organizations, including churches, to provide access to coaching, training, programming and immersion experiences that teach:

  • Cultural competency
    Individuals, students, community leaders and congregations will discover their current ability to serve in a diverse context. Follow-up work on a customized development plan will enable them to engage neighbors and the community with increased awareness and cultural competency.
  • How to engage neighbors through asset-based community development.
    Through programming and immersion experiences at selected sites in North Minneapolis, participants will experience first-hand the asset-based community development of an organization or congregation that has established deep relationships with neighbors, and partnerships with other neighborhood organizations. Participants will learn to uncover their strengths and assets, forge partnerships, and develop a just and healthy community together.

Ongoing coaching in these developmental areas will likely help Incarnation create long-term positive change in our culture and our neighborhood engagement. This relationship may also yield opportunities to engage with new communities in addition to strengthening our relationships with existing global majority communities like Solid Ground, LifeHaven, Mkwawa and Kigamboni parishes, Shobi’s Table and more.

As a starting point in our new relationship with CLNE, we have been invited to participate in monthly online conversations facilitated by CLNE called “Come Together for Racial Justice”, a virtual convening for leaders to learn, share, and mobilize for racial justice. These 90-minute sessions are centered in Black, Indigenous, and People of Color voices to engage in shared conversation to learn from each other. You may learn more here. The next session is on November 18 from 7 – 8:30 p.m. via Zoom.

To be connected to the work that others of Incarnation are doing to seeking ways to listen, learn and leverage the work Incarnation has been doing to grow in our ability to navigate differences that make a difference, request to join Incarnation’s Racial Justice Working Group Facebook page.


Tanzania Education Sponsorship: Your Support Matters in the Life of Young People!

Those of Incarnation who supported Tanzania Education Sponsorship in 2020 made 2021 education possible for 38 young people from our partner congregations , Mkwawa and Kigamboni Lutheran Churches and a few youth from the Huruma Centre Home for Children. Gifts toward education over the years have given hope to these communities and they continue to help future generations develop their own God-given gifts and abilities. The importance of education sponsorship has been affirmed through Zoom conversations between Pastor Kai and Mkwawa and Kigamboni senior leadership as well as through our regular WhatsApp communications where we share our lives with one another. It’s fun to see the faces of some of those youth who Incarnation sponsors through photos we’ve received!

Some of you have already donated this year in support of 2022 education for young people of our Tanzania partners. We are most grateful for your gifts; thank you. If you haven’t given a gift this year in support of 2022 education for our partners’ youth, we are asking for your support.

Just as at home, COVID-19 has struck Tanzania . . . cases there are rising and vaccines are just now becoming available. The percentage of vaccinated citizens is still very low. Additional challenging circumstances make those in fragile situations even more vulnerable. As a result, the need for our support of education is expected to be even greater in the coming year.

Money donated to this campaign primarily supports secondary student tuition of $400 which includes full annual tuition, supplies and boarding. If you are not able to give a full $400, give what you can because every dollar you donate helps give hope. Our goal is to support students for their entire secondary experience, which makes secondary tuition our first priority. Any surplus funds gathered will support other education initiatives such as secondary school capital projects, secondary school scholarships for students within communities who don’t have St. Paul Area Synod partners and the post-secondary student scholarship fund.

Your contribution can be made in a number of ways:

Again, thank you for your generous support of Tanzania education as we together imagine and co-create a better world. Learn more about Incarnation’s Tanzania partnerships here.

If you have questions about this partnership or would like to be a part of the Tanzania Action Group which helps to ensure Incarnation’s partnership with our siblings in Tanzania is strong and healthy, contact Becky Benson.

P.S. Watch for an announcement about a new Incarnation Tanzania Partnership Facebook page! Like the page and follow our partnership with our sibling congregations in Tanzania.


2021 Solid Ground Coat Drive–Another HUGE Success!

By Claire Gilbert and Mary Hoyme, Coat Drive Co-chairs

Once again, thanks to the generosity and hard work of the Incarnation community, the families of Solid Ground are ready for the winter with warm coats, hats, boots, scarves, snow pants and gloves. Over 85 families were outfitted with these warm winter items. Seventy five adults and more than 177 children received coats and other winter wear, which is more than ever before.

In 2020, we changed the format of the coat drive from a shopping experience where families came to the community room at Solid Ground and were able to choose their own items, to a bagging system where families filled out sheets with their needs including sizes and preferred items and our volunteers made bags of those things that were then delivered. This year we were all ready to go back to a shopping experience, but ended up doing a combination of both. Twenty-nine families came to shop and 56 families had items bagged for them. The good news is that thanks to all the donations, we once again made a difference in the health and safety of keeping people warm in the upcoming months.

This couldn’t be done without the tireless work of volunteers, many of whom came several times to sort, clean, cull and label the items. We stored our bags of warm weather wear in the vestibule behind the counter in the Atrium outside the Sanctuary–and, if you were in the building in August and September you might have seen our mounds of black bags. As the number of bags grew each week, it was gratifying to know that our congregation continues to care and provide for Solid Ground.

Along with the coats and other items you donated, your generous monetary gifts of more than $1,770 will be put to use buying items that people still need to keep warm this winter. This donation, along with the many winter wear items, helped make this another very successful and much appreciated coat drive for Solid Ground. We thank you for your prayers and contributions for making a profound difference for many people again this year.


Keeping Our Walls Inviting–Part II

By Danette M. Griffith, Administrator

As we seek to be good stewards of the facilities that our community built, we are looking to address parts of the building that need updating or repairs. Continued work on the following projects has happened throughout the fall. We are grateful for the many people who have helped determine a way forward for each of these projects.

  • Sanctuary: Repair/Replace Sound System
    • The current sound system in the Sanctuary has served us well, but much of it was installed decades ago. 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, probably in early 2022 since equipment shipments are slow.
  • Sanctuary: Lighting
    • 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.
  • 2005 Addition: Water Damage
    • On Monday, September 30, a team investigated the walls and windows of the church to determine the cause of water intrusion which has resulted in significant damage. Members of the team include the following:
      Collins Ofari-Amanfo, PE- a forensic engineer
      Dan Peltier, Dryvit Technical Representative
      An experienced installer from Olympic assisted in the inspection.
    • 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. The next step will be to get estimates for cost.
  • Parking Lot
    • 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 receive development drawings that we will submit to the cities of North Oaks and Shoreview.
  • HVAC Systems
    • Approximately 10 of the heating and air conditioning units for the building need to be replaced. They are working now but are past their life expectancy and we are pursuing an estimate.
  • Roof
    • The rubber roof needs replacement. Current bid is $400,000.
  • Deb Reduction
    • 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 we become aware of them. If you have any questions or if you are eager to donate, please contact Pastor Kai Nilsen or Danette Griffith, Administrator.


The Saint John’s Bible and The Lord Bless You and Keep You

The Lord Bless You, Suzanne Moore, Copyright 2002 The Saint John’s Bible, Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota USA. Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Catholic Edition, Copyright 1993, 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

By Grant Rykken

Incarnation is very fortunate to own a Heritage Edition of The Saint Johns Bible. The Saint John’s Bible is the first illuminated, handwritten Bible to be commissioned by a Benedictine Monastery (Saint John’s Abbey in Collegeville, MN) in 500 years. Only 299 copies of the Heritage Edition exist throughout the world.

The purpose of The Saint John’s Bible is to ignite the ‘spiritual imagination’ of people around the world of all faith journeys. The artwork is intended to illuminate the Bible text, allowing the words to speak to the viewer and make it more alive and clearer. This is why the artwork are called illuminations.

Each week during the Our Story theme in worship, your spiritual imagination can be ignited by the illumination of Numbers 6:24 – “The Lord bless you and keep you.” As you read the words and look at the artwork of this illumination, think about what words are speaking you today, and how the artwork is speaking to you.

More information on The Saint John’s Bible will be shared throughout our faith community in the year ahead. If you have any questions about The Saint John’s Bible, contact Grant Rykken at gdrykken@gmail.com.


Apostles Library Book Review

Ordinary Blessings: Prayers, Poems, and Meditations for Everyday Life by Meta Herrick Carlson

Ordinary Blessings: Prayers, Poems, and Meditations for Everyday Life is one of those books that is a lifesaver when words fail you in prayer. It is a small book by Minneapolis pastor/author Meta Herrick Carlson. But her words are anything but small; they are often powerful and will often stay with you long after your first reading.

Vernita Kennen’s review of this book, “The range of subjects is wide and includes blessings for loving yourself, enduring hard things, authenticity, living with others and the rhythms of each day. Carlson helps us understand that ordinary moments of our everyday lives can be sacred. I especially liked her thoughts “On Laundry” which included the idea of leaving quarters on the counter of the laundromat which she no longer needs to use and her reference to the “hum of garment baptism”. I think I will try to think of laundry as baptism often! And who wouldn’t want to read a thoughtful prayer for “Shopping at a Superstore” before you head out to Costco?”

Highly recommended for everyone who prays.


Click here to give online.


Memorials

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


Among the Congregation

Sympathy To
Geri Rule and family on the death of her son.

Recently Baptized:
Olivia Louise, daughter of Erin and Josh Schulteis; Landon Richard, son of Eric and Jaclyn Lampert.

To be added to the public prayer concerns list, please use this online form, otherwise contact Amy Martell at amartell@incarnationmn.org. If you would like to add someone else to the public prayer concerns list, please obtain their consent first.


Announcements

Stewardship 2022: “I’m In!”
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. The open period for making a commitment is now until November 14.

Advent Kits
Celebrate the season of Advent by picking up and Advent Kit from Incarnation, while supplies last, beginning Sunday, November 14. Kits will include a tray, candles and a devotional to guide you through the season. If you already have a tray from last year you may choose to just take the candles and devotional. On Instagram or Facebook, be sure to follow Incarnation on Facebook or Instagram and then post photos of your Advent wreath or how you decorated your Advent Kit. Be sure to tag Incarnation and use the hashtag #ILCwaitinhope.


Kairos: November 8 – “Nationally Recognized Nonprofit Addresses Homelessness”
Join us on Zoom every other Monday night at 7 – 8:30 p.m. To register click, here.

Through safe, affordable housing and innovative supportive programming, Incarnation’s partner in ministry, Solid Ground, helps families break the cycle of homelessness and poverty for the next generation. Kairos presenter, Andréa Kish-Bailey will talk about the eight programs in the suburban Ramsey and Washington Counties housing nearly 570 women, men and children annually.

About the presenter:
Andréa Kish-Bailey, Director of Philanthropy, joined the staff in June 2020 after serving as the VP of Advancement at Hope 4 Youth in Anoka. Prior to that, Andréa served as the executive director of the White Bear Area Emergency Food shelf. Andréa has over twenty years of experience in non-profit management.


Come Together for Racial Justice November Virtual Gathering
Join a virtual community in conversation centered in BIPOC voices and leadership with others committed to racial justice work on November 18 from 7 – 8:30 p.m., Come Together for Racial Justice, hosted by Incarnation’s partners, the Center for Leadership and Neighborhood Engagement.  This gathering will continue to feature dialogue between Rev. Paul Slack of Lutheran Social Services and Jodi Harpstead, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services who have worked together for racial justice for years.

Each month, these conversations feature one or more neighborhood-based leaders reflecting on themes like racial healing, leading in diverse contexts, asset-based community development and more. The goal is to create a space for mutual learning and building relationships, being intentional about cultivating trust, welcome, safety, and a sense of belonging. Register in advance hereor join in at this linkIf you missed the October 28 gathering, you may listen to a recording here.


All Hands on Hope MobilePackTM  Packs Enough Meals to Feed 1, 121 Kids!
The 2021 All Hands on Hope MobilePack is complete. Overall, it was a very successful weekend where over 1,200 volunteers, including many first-time volunteers from groups outside the Incarnation community, packed 409,320 meals. That is enough to feed 1,121 of God’s beloved kids for one year. Grace Hall and Incarnation Hall were filled with energy over the five days and 13 shifts of packing, with many groups coming from area churches, schools, civic organizations, businesses and gyms. This is one of the largest MobilePacks since the pandemic began 18 months ago. Incarnation’s FMSC Action Group would like to thank everyone who supported the event–as a volunteer, a financial supporter or someone who held the event in prayer. The financial contributions made are still be totaled and if you wanted to contribute but hadn’t had a chance yet, here’s a link to donate. Look for more information about Incarnation’s next MobilePack in Lifetimes or by following our social media accounts.


All Hands of Hope Funds
While we were able to raise much of the funds necessary prior to the All Hands on Hope MobilePack Event, we are still in need of some more funds to meet our contractual commitment to Feed My Starving Children. Donate here. Remember that $88 feeds a child for a year. Thanks for your generosity in the face of continually challenging circumstances around the world!


LifeHaven Supplies Needed
In preparation for new youth moving into the LifeHaven home, a number of supplies are needed. Lists of items and how to get your donation to LifeHaven are listed here. Note that LifeHaven can only accept new items.


Alternative Giving Season: Beginning November 21 – Advent 
Give a gift that could be transform another’s life! Beginning November 21 and through Advent, Incarnation will have a dedicated webpage detailing alternative gift giving ideas. The page will also give 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.


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 4th Tuesday 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:

  • Thursday and Friday, November 25thand 26th
  • Monday, December 27th
  • Monday, January 3rd

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.


Kairos: November 22 – “Finding Hope in a Divided Country”
Join us on Zoom every other Monday night at 7 – 8:30 p.m. To register click, here.

Join us for an evening with author Angela Denker, as we investigate the rise of Christian nationalism in America and seek to more deeply understand the role of politics across American Christianity. Learn more about regional differences among American Christians, and hear stories from Christians all across the country: from coastal California to rural Appalachia.

About the presenter:
Angela Denker is an ELCA pastor and veteran journalist. She’s written for many publications, including Sports Illustrated, The Washington Post, and FORTUNE magazine. Denker has appeared on CNN, BBC and SkyNews to share her research on politics and Christian Nationalism in the U.S. Her book, Red State Christians: Understanding the Voters who elected Donald Trump, was the 2019 Silver Foreword Indies award-winner for political and social sciences. Her website is angeladenker.com. Rev. Denker currently serves as Pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Brownton, Minn. She has also pastored congregations in Chicago, Las Vegas, Orange County, and the Twin Cities.


Small Group: Looking for Hope
How will Advent be a season of hope for you this year? This small group will talk about the just-published book, “Looking for God in Messy Places: A Book About Hope” by Jake Owensby. In a time when many of us are weary, Owensby finds hope – grounded in God’s love – and he shares how to find, practice, and grow hope. Register with Denise Floe. This group meets five Mondays from 6 – 7:30 p.m., on Zoom, starting November 29.


Save the Date: Congregational Meeting
Mark your calendars down for Sunday, December 5 at 11:30 a.m. to attend the Congregational Meeting via Zoom. Watch your email for more details and a Zoom link.


Seeking New Scouts
Join scouting for fun, adventure, leadership, service and personal growth. Scout Troop 9416 has a history of participating in High Adventure camps and activities like camping, hiking, games, rock climbing, archery, canoeing, and completing merit badges. Meets at 7:00 p.m. on Mondays at Incarnation, but we’re flexible – it’s okay if you can’t make it to all the meetings. Check out the troop on Facebook: BSA Troop 416 – Shoreview, MN. If you have questions, contact Wes Erwin, Scoutmaster, at 651-728-0248 or via email.


Wednesday Morning Prayer Group
Are you a prayer warrior looking for community? The Wednesday Morning Prayer Group meets every Wednesday in the Chapel from 9 – 10 a.m. and prays for the concerns of this congregation as well as Incarnation ministries. If you are interested in being a part of this prayer group, please just show up!

Altar Flowers
If you would like to have altar flowers given in honor or memory of someone, please contact the Incarnation Office at 651-484-7213 to sign up (cost: $25). Donations help offset the cost of the beautiful flowers that the Worship Arts team provides. Altar flowers express our love for God, enhance our gathering around the Word and Sacrament, and represent changing seasons both in the church year and nature.