Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 24

WELL DONE, GOOD SERVANT

Warrendale Presbyterian in St. Paul concludes 120 years of ministry

THROUGH THE STORM


Responding to the Minneapolis Tornado

OASIS IN THE BURBS


Oak Grove provides a safe space for homeless youth

inprint
10-A and Everything Else:
Highlights from the Annual Meeting of the Presbytery

a publication of the presbytery of the twin cities area

June 2011

TWO BY TWO
A portrait of First Presbyterian-Belle Plaine

Lessons from a Little Church By Chaz Ruark


states you must make an announcement on two consecutive Sundays before convening a meeting. The new FoG states; adequate public notice of all congregational meetings shall be given. At the same time most of the foundations of our polity, such as Biblical and theological grounding for our process and our treatment of one another remains in tact. This change will require congregations, presbyteries, and synods to rewrite their manual of operations so that, decent and orderly procedures are followed. But it allows individual governing bodies to design those procedures in a fashion that is appropriate to their circumstances. It is no longer a one size fits all approach. Many governing bodies, now called councils, already have manual of operations in some form or fashion, and tweaking to this new flexibility shouldnt be too big a problem. Others may have to start somewhat from the beginning. The Presbytery office will provide some resources to help in that process. But even with a New Form of Government, the Six Great Ends of the Church are still in our constitution, and doing the work of proclaiming the gospel, nurturing the faith, maintaining worship, preserving truth, promoting righteousness, and exhibiting the kingdom of Heaven will continue just as it has when these were written 100 years ago, and as the church has done for two millennia. Things do change, and yet they remain remarkably the same. Its true for little churches and for the larger church as well. To the members of PTCA , please accept a special note of thanks for your deportment at our meeting of May 10th. We struggled with a difficult issue/vote and we got through it. Due to the high level of personal involvement no one found it perfect, but most found it tolerable. Now let us strive to live together as Christs Church doing the work we are called to do, in proclaiming, nurturing, maintaining,..

June 12th I had the privilege to attend the final worship service of Warrendale Presbyterian Church. In many ways it followed a familiar script; former members were in attendance and former pastors spoke or memories of the past. But it was also different from what one would expect at a final gathering; there was also talk of the future. Yes the future.

On

Warrendalians spoke fondly of days gone by but they also referred to the days ahead. Warrendale sold their building to an Orthodox Presbyterian congregation. So proclamation of the gospel will continue in that building just as it did in the past during Warrendales heyday. The proceeds of the sale will benefit international student ministry at Stadium Village Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis and the purchase of property for our New Church Development (NDC) Chain of Lakes Presbyterian Church in the Lino Lakes/Blaine area. Three congregations are richly blessed by the final disposition of Warrendale Presbyterian Church. So while they were sad about the passing of Warrendale Presbyterian Church, the mood was also one of celebration for the continuing work of the gospel. Change comes, relentlessly and continually, yet things remain remarkably the same, the good news of Jesus Christ is proclaimed in new ways and different places. Change comes in many forms, the most recent we have experienced in the PC(USA) is the passage of nFoG. The deciding vote was cast last week and the first part of our Book of Order will now change to reflect the desire of many of Presbyterians in recent years to make our book simpler. The New Form of Government, which takes effect on July 10th is designed to make polity more flexible. Many details have been deleted, such as the rule about calling a congregational meeting. The current Book of Order

Change comes, relentlessly and continually, yet things remain remarkably the same, the good news of Jesus Christ is proclaimed in new ways and different places.

Chaz Chaz Ruark is the Executive Presbyter of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area.

inprint/presbytery of the twin cities area/ june 2011/ 2

2. Notes from the Executive Presbyter


Words from Chaz.

6.11

contents
112 W. Franklin Ave. Suite 508 Minneapolis, MN 55404
Fax: 612-871-0698 E-mail: communications@ptcaweb.org Web: www.ptcaweb.org Twitter: www.twitter.com/ptcaweb Facebook: www.facebook.com/ presbyterytwincitiesarea Presbytery Staff Chaz Ruark, Executive Presbyter: ep@ptcaweb.org Nancy Grittman, Stated Clerk:

4. COVER STORY: 10-A and Everything Else


Annual Meeting Highlights.

8. Through the Storm


Tornado response from Kwanzaa.

12. A Brief Look at the Past


Warrendale celebration.

14. An Oasis in the Burbs


Oak Grove Photo Essay.

statedclerk@ptcaweb.org Risa Anderson, Office Manager: office@ptcaweb.org Dennis Sanders, IT/Communications Specialist: communications@ptcaweb.org

16. Two-by-Two
Find out about the ministry of First Presbyterian Church in Belle Plaine, MN.

19. What Is Per Capita?


How to support the mission of the Presbytery.

20. The Wounds of War


Churches can take part in ministries of healing to veterans.
Inprint is a publication from the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area (PTCA). Recipients include congregations, minister members, other members, committees, and friends. Please send submissions and e-mail corrections to Dennis Sanders, editor, at communications@ptcaweb.org . Usual distribution: Every-other-month. Editor: Dennis Sanders

22. My Favorite Theologians


Pastor Myra Carroll Pezella shares some of her top thinkers on God and some of them wear felt.

inprint/presbytery of the twin cities area/ june 2011/ 3

10A & EVERYTHING ELSE:


By Dennis Sanders, Duane Sweep, Nancy Grittman and Jerry Van Marter

In the months before the May 2011 Stated Meeting of the Pres-

bytery of the Twin Cities Area, people know that it would be an important event. The meeting, which was held at Peace Presbyte- The change takes effect July 10 one year from the adjournment rian Church in St. Louis Park, MN , was the annual meeting of the of the 219th Assembly, which was held in Minneapolis. Presbytery, where new officers would be elected. Secondly, the The action replaces the current G-6.0106b in The Book of Order Moderator of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Elder Cynthia Bolwith new language. That provision, bach, would be in Standards for ordained service reflect the churchs desire to which was placed in the constitution attendance and submit joyfully to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all aspects following the 1996 Assembly, rewould give the serquires of church officers fidelity mon. There were also of life. within the covenant of marriage beplans to honor the -part of Amendment 10A which will become part of the tween a man and a woman or chasfaith community of tity in singleness. Warrendale Presbyte- PC(USA) Constitution on July 10. rian Church in St. Paul which was closing its ministry after 120 years. Finally, there were going to votes on amendments to the Presbyterian Church (USA) constitution. One of them, amendment 10-A, was an attempt to relax ordination standards. What most people didnt realize until a few weeks before the meeting was the very real possibility that the PTCA would be the deciding vote in changing the ordination standards. However, on May 10 the Presbytery became 87th vote in favor of the measure, meaning a majority of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)s 173 presbyteries ratified an amendment to the churchs As a result of the vote, ordaining bodies local church sessions for elders and deacons and presbyteries for ministers will have more flexibility in determining individual candidates fitness for ordained office in the denomination. In its entirety, the former G-6.0106b states: Those who are called to office in the church are to lead a life in obedience to Scripture and in conformity to the historic confessional standards of the church. Among these standards is the requirement to live either in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman (W-4.9001), or chastity in singleness. Persons refusing to repent of any self-acknowledged practice which the confessions

constitution that removes a provision flatly prohibiting the ordination of sexually active unmarried Presbyterians as church officers. The final vote was 205 in favor, 56 opposed with 3 abstentions.

inprint/presbytery of the twin cities area/ june 2011/ 4

Hightlights from the Annual Meeting of the Presbytery.

The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area and the Presbyterian Church (USA) will now move forward while addressing the joys and the hurts of a contested vote. -PTCA Executive Presbyter Chaz Ruark in a statement to the media after the vote by the Presbytery in favor of Amendment 10A.

1.

call sin shall not be ordained and/or installed as deacons, elders or ministers of the Word and Sacrament. The new G-6.0106b states: Standards for ordained service reflect the churchs desire to submit joyfully to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all aspects of life. The governing body responsible for ordination and/or installation shall examine each candidates calling, gifts, preparation and suitability for the responsibilities of office. The examination shall include, but not be limited to, a determination of the candidates ability and commitment to fulfill all the requirements as expressed in the constitutional questions for ordination and installation. Governing bodies shall be guided by Scripture and the confessions in applying standards to individual candidates. All other ordination standards are unchanged, Parsons said. Specifically, he noted, the questions asked of all candidates at the time of their ordination remain the same. The presbyteries have previously voted three times on proposed amendments to G6.0106b. They retained the fidelity and chastity language by votes of 114-57 following the 1997 Assembly, 127-46 following the 2001 Assembly and 95-78 following the 2008 Assembly. The announcement of the vote came after the Presbytery reconvened after dinner. After the vote had been made, Executive Presbyter Chaz Ruark issued a statement during a news conference that was later shared with all pastors in the Presbytery. Part of the statement read as follows: The issue of Gays and Lesbians serving in leadership positions is one that has been addressed by several denominations, and the Presbyterian Church (USA) has voted on similar language changes several times in the past, up to this point it had affirmed its stated position of requiring that a candidate either be in a marital relationship between a man and a woman, or chaste in singleness. This is a change in the majority position for Presbyterians. As we know from headlines and news stories the nation, as well as the Church is deeply divided on this issue. This vote no doubt, is a source of elation to many Presbyterians, but at the same time it is equally disappointing to others. Good members of sincere faith view this issue quite differently, yet we are committed to honor one another in the unity of our common beliefs, in the midst of this area of disagreement. The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area and the Presbyterian Church (USA) will now move forward while addressing the joys and the hurts of a contested vote.

2.

3.

4.

Facing page: A number of people line up to speak in favor of amendment 10A at the May 2011 Presbytery meeting. 1. Cynthia Bolbach, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church (USA) speaks at a prePC(USA) Moderator Cindy Bolbach also spoke to the media after the vote. As reported in the Presbytery event. 2. Honorably Retired May 11 edition of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Bolbach shared her hopes for the denomiPastor Dwight Chamberlain speaks to the nation in light of the vote. "This doesn't mean that discussion ends," she noted. "We hope media following the vote on Amendment this brings us more together than we were before." 10A. 3. New PTCA Moderator Rev. Cindy Ray and Elder Barbara Lutter. 4. The Presbytery took up other issues during the Annual Meeting. Among them, was the Rev. Joanna Lee speaks for Amendment election of Cindy Ray as Moderator and Barbara Lutter as Vice Moderator. Ray is a minister member of the Presbytery and has served as pastor of Edgcumbe Presbyterian Church in St. 10A. All photos by Dennis Sanders.

Paul and Interim Pastor at First Presbyterian in Shakopee,MN. She currently works at Presbyterian Homes as Communications Specialist. Barbara Lutter is an elder at Arlington Hills
inprint/presbytery of the twin cities area/ june 2011/ 5

Presbyterian Church in St. Paul. Lutter is an attorney, part of the law firm of Lehmann & Lutter based in Eagan, MN. Later in the meeting, members of the Session of Warrendale Presbyterian Church, Outgoing Moderator Vince Gin, and Philip GebbenGreen led the Presbytery in celebrating the life of Warrendale Presbyterian Church in St. Paul. Warrendale requests the Presbytery officially close the church due to diminished membership. An administrative commission, elected by the Presbytery at the March 2011 Stated Meeting , has walked with the session through this process, as its building has been sold. The funds will be divided between Stadium Village Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis and Chain of Lakes NCD in Lino Lakes, after all bills have been satisfied.

Church in Plainview, MN; Rev. John Basel, an honorably retired pastor, and the Rev. Kim Smith King, who will be a chaplain Regina Medical Center in Hastings, MN. It was during the presentation by the Committee on Ministry that Severe weather moved through the area, forcing the meeting to be moved from the sanctuary at Peace Presbyterian to the basement. While in the basement, the Presbytery approved Daniel Commerford of Christ Presbyterian in Edina to be come a Candidate for Ordination as Minister of Word and Sacrament and also voted approve Matt Voytek of St. Luke Presbyterian in Wayzata as an Inquirer.

The Committee on Ministry brought forth several pastors to be considered for membership in the Presbytery. These included Rev. The next meeting of the Presbytery is schedule for Tuesday, July 12 from 4-8PM at the Associated Church in Owatonna, MN. Stephen Roberston, who will start as a new Associate Pastor at Westminster Presbyterian in Minneapolis, the Rev. John H.G. Curtiss who will become the new pastor at Community Presbyterian

Comparing G-6.0106b to Amendment 10-A


The Change in Ordination Standards of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Below is a side by side comparison of the change in ordination standards. Both versions start with the section below.

G-6.0106
(a) To those called to exercise special functions in the church--deacons, elders, and ministers of the Word and Sacrament-God gives suitable gifts for their various duties. In addition to possessing the necessary gifts and abilities, natural and acquired, those who undertake particular ministries should be persons of strong faith, dedicated discipleship, and love of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Their manner of life should be a demonstration of the Christian gospel in the church and in the world. They must have the approval of God's people and the concurring judgment of a governing body of the church.
Current G-6.0106b Amendment 10-A (Effective, July 10, 2011)

Those who are called to office in the church are to lead a life in obedience to Scripture and in conformity to the historic confessional standards of the church.

Standards for ordained service reflect the churchs desire to submit joyfully to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all aspects of life (G1.0000).

Among these standards is the requirement to live either in fidelity The governing body responsible for ordination and/or installation within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman (W- (G-14.0240; G-14.0450) shall examine each candidates calling, 4.9001), or chastity in singleness. gifts, preparation, and suitability for the responsibilities of office. Persons refusing to repent of any self-acknowledged practice which The examination shall include, but not be limited to, a determinathe confessions call sin shall not be ordained and/or installed as tion of the candidates ability and commitment to fulfill all requiredeacons, elders, or ministers of the Word and Sacrament. ments as expressed in the constitutional questions for ordination and installation (W-4.4003).

inprint/presbytery of the twin cities area/ june 2011/ 6

Frequently Asked Questions on Ordination Standards


The changes to ordination standards will take effect on July 10, 2011. What will change and what will stay the same? Below is a list of frequently asked questions to help you and your congregation better understand the coming changes.
1. How is the change in ordination standards happening?

FAQ FAQ
elders or deacons of whom they do not approve. The congregation retains the right to determine who will serve as officers.

As of May 10,2011 , a majority of the 173 presbyteries approved a 9. May a congregation continue to consider sexual activity outside change in language for ordination standards recommended by marriage between a man and a woman as impermissible for its The General Assembly in 2010. officers? 2. What does the change in ordination standards mean? Yes, as long as the application is on a case by case basis. The authority for ordaining elders and deacons is fully vested in the The ordination standards have changed from living in fidelity local congregation. The new language calls the ordaining body within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman to be guided by Scripture and the confessions in applying ordinaor chastity in singleness to joyfully submitting to the Lordship of tion standards to individual candidates. Jesus Christ. This removes a national standard categorically prohibiting the ordination of persons in sexual relationships out10. May a congregation or presbytery now ordain or install a sexuside of marriage between a man and a woman. ally active homosexual? 3. What does the change in ordination standards represent? Yes, if after a thorough examination, the congregation or presbytery believes the person to be called by God to serve as a Minister The Presbyterian Church (USA) has shifted the authority for apof the Word and Sacrament, elder or deacon and not to be living plying its ordination standards from the national level to the in violation of the churchs ordination standard, its Confessions, local presbytery and session level. This represents a deor Scripture. centralization of the church and puts more discernment in the hands of people at the local level. 11. Does the new language give candidates who are sexually active outside the covenant of marriage between a woman and a 4. May congregations now ordain people who are openly gay? man the right to be ordained? The previous standards were never based on a persons orientaNobody has a right to be ordained. Ordination is based on a tion, but on their behavior. The new standards do not list specific sense of Gods call as confirmed by the ordaining body. behaviors that automatically exclude someone for consideration for ordination. Each examining body is responsible to look at all 12. May a presbytery continue to function with the standard of possible factors to determine if someone is being called into orfidelity in marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in dained ministry. singleness when examining candidates for ordination? 5. Specifically, what was changed? Yes, as long as the application is on a case by case basis. The new language calls the ordaining body to be guided by Scripture and The primary change is the removal of language requiring those the confessions in applying ordination standards to each candiordained to live either in fidelity in the covenant of marriage date. between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness. It also adds language referring to obedience to Christ, and indicates 13. Is a presbytery required to receive, by transfer of membership, that fidelity to church standards is judged case by case by the an ordained sexually active gay or lesbian minister? examining body. 6. What practical changes will we see? No, each presbytery determines which ministers to receive into its membership.

If pastors, elders, and deacons who are ordained in one area move to another location, they shall be examined by that ordain- 14. May questions about a candidates sexuality be asked or are ing body before being able to take up their office. That body may such questions forbidden? choose to apply ordination standards differently from the offiAll questions are allowed during an examination. The acknowlcers previous body. edgment of being sexually active outside the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman does not automatically dis7. Is the ordination of sexually active gays and lesbians mandated? qualify a person from being ordained. No, it is not required, but it is no longer prohibited by specific 15. Is a congregation required to call a pastor who is openly gay or Constitutional language. lesbian? 8. Will a congregation be required to change anything? No. A congregation cannot be forced to ordain or receive pastors or
inprint/presbytery of the twin cities area/ june 2011/ 7

ON MAY 22, A TORNADO RIPPED THROUGH THE NORTHSIDE OF MINNEAPOLIS. AN EYEWITNESS RECOUNTS THE AFTERMATH AND HOW HER CHURCH IS HELPING REBUILD AND RESTORE FAITH.

THROUGH THE

STORM
BY TARA PARRISH
It had been raining all week. I thought the rain on May 22, 2011
was just another rainy day like the others that week. But I was wrong; the rain turned into a raging tempest with a funnel cloud that roared through my North Minneapolis community, causing destruction at every turn. After it was over, I received a call from one of my pastors, asking if we were all right. Others were not so lucky, she relayed, and told me of reports of damage she received from other church members. After the winds had died down and the rain stopped, I wanted to see what had happened with my own two eyes. Outside of my own home, nothing was damaged; not a stick or leaf littered the sidewalk. The sun shined deceptively. But as we walked four blocks to the west, this was no longer the case. It was as if we had walked directly into a nightmare. My community of the past 18 years, full of life with its music blaring and kids laughing and playing had come to a complete standstill. All around me, all I saw was death and destruction. The feeling that nothing would ever be the same gripped my soul. the trees our old friends, who had been with us as long as we could remember. The trees who shaded us from the rays of the sun, home to the joyfully- singing birds, who let us lean on them while we waited for the bus without complaint. Quite literally, the trees had turned on us. Our majestic trees were now horizontal huge roots previously deeply buried in the earth, now above ground, looking as if they would and would strangle or entangle you if you dared get too close. They now lay with branches snarled within one another, blocking the streets; onto and into houses, smashing out windows, crushing roofs and entering attics like unwanted guests. The full weight of them on top of parked cars, compressing them beyond recognition. An odd sense of betrayal came over me. Many walked through the neighborhood looking shell-shocked. Some blocks were so ravaged that residents were ordered to evacuate their homes, so many dragged their belongings and their children behind them. Intuitively, I knew the questions going through their minds. What are we? how could this?...where are we going to? how can we pay for this? The force of the storm had not only rocked our physical world, but our emotional world as well. The trees. One of the most shocking sights was the trees. They were everywhere except for where they belonged. No longer were My God, my God, why have you forsaken us?
inprint/presbytery of the twin cities area/ june 2011/ 8

Finally, I made it to the place I had been aiming forone of my church members home, who my pastor told me had sustained major damage. Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw. There were threenot one, but three200 foot-high pine trees against her home. The sight of it stopped me in my tracks. Juxtaposed with this was her familyseveral young grandchildren and cousins playing together, laughing and playing in her driveway. I had to hold back tearspraising God that none of these beautiful babies or their parents had lost their lives. Even in the midst of this, God was still with us.

My community of the past 18 years, full of life with its music blaring and kids laughing and playing had come to a complete standstill. All around me, all I saw was death and destruction. The feeling that nothing would ever be the same gripped my soul.

use the stove or microwave, an inability to use the telephone or access the Internet to find out where help could be had. For many, this fostered feelings of depression and hopelessness; they found themselves literally and figuratively in darkness. Mary Smith, a longtime Northside resident, has a home that sustained damage from the tornado. A tree fell on her house, there were several broken windows and the roof was damaged. Like many others, her home had no gas, electricity or water.

Another Northsiders story Relief to Northside residents came slowly. With so many power lines down, many people did not have electricity for several days. Unless a family could afford the luxury of a hotel, they spent both their days and nights in the dark, groceries ruined and unable to

Like many other tornado victims, she heard about a local park where services were being offered. She said she waited in line for five hours with a reported 1200 local residents seeking help. Just the long wait added insult to injury. People became really restless and agitated; cutting in line, even using drugs, with policemen just a few steps away, she said. Adding to the sense of demoralization, volunteers were passing out hot dogs and peanut butter sandwiches and people clamored to get themclearly they were

inprint/presbytery of the twin cities area/ june 2011/ 9

hungry. It was totally exhausting, both mentally and physically. Smith was able to secure a months worth of food stamps for her family. I was grateful for them, but I couldnt really go grocery shopping, because the power was still out at my house, she said. And, even though I had food stamps, they dont pay for household items like paper goods, cleaning supplies and everyday necessities. How Kwanzaa is helping to rebuild the Northside community Throughout history, the Black church is known for having open hearts, open hands and an unparalleled willingness to help those in its beloved community when there is a crisis. The Reverends Ralph and Alika Galloway, co- pastors of the Northsides Kwanzaa Community Church, are poised to carry on this tradition. Their strategy includes utilizing church ministries and collaborating with others to help the healing and rebuilding of the Northside community. Community collaboration

More than three weeks after the storm raged through North Minneapolis, there are still trees down everywhere you look. But there is something else more prominent than the downed treesyou see evidence of Gods grace.

Kwanzaa is participating in the Northside Community Response Team, made up of agencies who have come together to blend resources to make the greatest impact on the families in the community. Kwanzaa is planning a conference in collaboration with the University of Minnesota featuring leading experts who will address the long-term psychological and emotional impact on children after the tornado.

Providing resources and enhancing Kwanzaa ministries

The church has been distributing grocery store gift cards, assisting with transportation, disseminating and interpreting disaster relief information and assisting residents in their negotiations with contractors and insurance adjusters. The capacity of this years Freedom School has been expanded in order to serve more children. Attendance at this summer program will offer them a safe, culturally-specific, summer activity that will include reading assistance, field trips and hot meals each day. Kwanzaa now has a wonderful Urban Farm near the 2100 Emerson Avenue North site, where community members are welcome to participate in the planting and caring for a large vegetable garden. Because of the tornado, Kwanzaa has expanded the garden both in size and in scope, offering more families a way to obtain free vegetables for their families.

Below: Tornado damage in North Minneapolis. Photo courtesy of Kwanzaa Community Presbyterian Church.

A renewed sense of hope More than three weeks after the storm raged through North Minneapolis, there are still trees down everywhere you look. But there is something else more prominent than the downed treesyou see evidence of Gods grace. Volunteers cleaning debris, community agencies banding together to consolidate services, and neighbors helping neighbors. And, as we know as Christians, the winds of the storm were mighty, but our God is still sovereign! Tara Parrish is a member of Kwanzaa Community Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis.

inprint/presbytery of the twin cities area/ june 2011/ 10

How you can help


Tara Parrish added what is needed most to rebuild the beloved community:

Prayer Donations, such as:

Gift cards (Cub Foods, Target, Rainbow Foods) Cash Assistance in expanding our outreach/ ministries Used cars Professional consultative services (insurance, grief counseling)

You can contact Kwanzaa Presbyterians business office at 612.522.8467 to find out how best to donate. The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area is working with Kwanzaa in collecting donations for the Tornado Recovery effort. Cash donations are still needed. you can mail a check made out to the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area (with the words "Kwanzaa Tornado Help" in the memo line) to the following address: Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area 122 W. Franklin Ave. Suite 508 Minneapolis, MN 55404 Attn: Kwanzaa Tornado Help You can also drop off a check in person at the address listed above during normal office hours (8:30AM-4:30PM Monday-Thursday; 8:30AM-12:30PM Fridays). The Presbytery is trying to work on a way to give to Kwanzaa either online or mobile. The Presbytery will let the wider community know when and if such a method becomes available. The Presbytery office is also collecting Cub Food gift cards. You can also drop them off at our office at 122 W. Franklin. Other Ways to Donate We also encourage you to donate to the following charities: The Minneapolis Foundation has established the Minnesota Helps - North Minneapolis Recovery Fund to assist with both short-term and long-term housing and recovery-related needs on the North Side. To make a donation by credit card, visit www.GiveMN.org or send checks for the recovery effort to The Minneapolis Foundation, 80 S. 8th St., Suite 800, Minneapolis, MN, 55402. The Red Cross is also accepting donations for its Disaster Relief Fund. Donations help provide shelter, food and other assistance to victims of disasters both locally, in Joplin, MO and other areas hurt by recent storms. The Red Cross is also accepting donations for its Disaster Relief Fund. Go to www.redcrossmn.org to donate online. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter at American Red Cross - Twin Cities Area Chapter, NW 5597, PO Box 1450, Minneapolis, MN 55485. The Red Cross is also taking donations via text message. Text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make an $10 donation, which will automatically be added to your next cell phone bill. For the latest information on services available AND volunteer and donations needs, we suggest that you regularly check a volunteerrun site dedicated to tornado relief at mplstornado.info.

inprint/presbytery of the twin cities area/ june 2011/ 11

A BRIEF LOOK AT THE PAST:


Celebrating 120 years of ministry at Warrendale Presbyterian.

By Donna Dvorak

In the1840s, a certain Charles Perry grew potatoes near Sandy


Lake, now called Como Lake. In 1872, the City of St. Paul bought 650 acres of land around the lake for a public park. About that time Mr. Carey I. Warren, a land developer, purchased a large tract of land along the southwestern edge of the lake for 218 home sites including his own, at 1265 W. Como Lake Drive. The development tract was called Warrendale. Mr. Warren's plans for the Warrendale tract provided for a church. He gave the land for the church and paid about half the cost of constructing a church edifice on that parcel of land at the corner of Cross and Oxford Streets. Cross Street later was renamed Como Avenue. When the Depression of 1893 struck, Mr. Warren, who had only sold 30 of his 218 plots of ground, went bankrupt, but the cornerstone for the church had been laid five years before that in 1888. The church building was formally dedicated on February 23, 1890 as the home of Warrendale Presbyterian Church. Our congregation began as a mission of the House of Hope Pres-

byterian Church in St. Paul. We met in Como Villa Chapel, which was located across the railroad tracks to the south of our present site at Hatch and Churchill Streets. On June 12, 1889, Warrendale Presbyterian Church was officially organized by the Presbytery of St. Paul with 13 charter members - 7 men and 6 women. Our first pastor was J. M. Irwin, a seminary student from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, who served as stated supply until he left in January 1890, a few weeks before Mr. Warren's new building was dedicated. It was a good thing that we had a stable building when we began because we lacked stable leadership at first. We had 5 different pastors during the first 5 years. Mr. Irwin was the first of eleven stated supplies appointed by presbytery and who served one after the other during our first 32 years. There were Irwin, Gregory, Kops, Elmer, Makely, McCaslin, Maxwell, Pinney, Lewis, Fisher, and Farrand. Our first called pastor did not come until 1921 when Rev. George D. Fisher was installed. How did a congregation that had had eleven consecutive temporary pastors now get one who was full-time and fully paid? It

inprint/presbytery of the twin cities area/ june 2011/ 12

largely came about in 1921 when the Protestant Hungarians of St. Paul arranged with Warrendale to have Hungarian language preaching services here on Sunday afternoons. In return the Hungarians contributed $360 a year to support a full-time pastor. Rev. Milo H. McMillen served as our pastor from 1935-1951. During his tenure the Lord richly blessed us in spiritual, numerical, and material growth. That growth continued during the time of Dr. O. E. Sanden (1952-1962). Someone may ask, "What happened to the old Como Villa Chapel?" It remained vacant for 5 years until 1895 when a Roman Catholic congregation was begun there. Three years later in 1898 the congregation was officially named St. Andrew's Roman Catholic Church. Archbishop John Ireland presided for the dedication. About 20 years afterwards in 1917 a year before the end of World War I, St. Andrews bought land across from us on which they built a church edifice, a school, and a convent for the nuns. Our building was mostly rebuilt during the time of Rev. McMillen and then dedicated in June 1953. What was left of the original building of Carey I. Warren was torn down in February 1959 and in its place we erected a new educational unit, which was dedicated on December 6, 1959. A building helps a church but a building is not a church. A church is made up of men, women and children who belong to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. In 1889 we were 7 members. In 1961, during the time of Dr. Sanden, we reached a peak of more than 450 members. Today, as we close the final chapter of Warrendales 122-year history, our last pastor, Rev. Tim Held has retired, and our numbers have diminished to less than 40. And so, we turn the reins over to the Mission Orthodox Presbyterian Church with prayer and the assurance that they will continue to proclaim His Word to the community and beyond for many years to come. Memories of the past the preaching, the music, the Sunday School, the Vacation Bible Schools, the support of numerous missionaries and Christian outreaches, and the friendships will be cherished in our hearts and minds in the years ahead.

Donna Dvorak was the last Clerk of Session for Warrendale Presbyterian Church in St. Paul. A final celebration will take place Sunday, June 12 at 4PM.

Images from the life of Warrendale Presbyterian Church in St. Paul. These images were used in a slideshow honoring Warrendale at the May 2011 Annual Meeting of the Presbytery.

inprint/presbytery of the twin cities area/ june 2011/ 13

An Oasis in the Burbs


Oak Grove Presbyterian Church in Bloomington leads an ecumenical team to provide a place a safe place for homeless youth in the southern suburbs.

we think of homelessness, we tend to think of middleaged men, usually with some kind of substance abuse issue begging for change on the corner of our cities. But the face of the homeless is a lot more diverse and complex. Many teens dont have a place to call home. A number of folks from Oak Grove Presbyterian in Bloomington, MN were galvanized into offering a space for homeless youth called Oasis. The drop in center, which is partially funded by Presbytery mission funds, serves teens in the southern suburbs of the Twin Cities and was recently profiled in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. You can read the article by going to the Presbytery webpage, www.presbyterytwincities.org. Communications Specialist Dennis Sanders took some photos of the facility and its leadership team on May 20, 2011.

When

A photo essay by Dennis Sanders


Above: A bulletin board in the Common Room at Oasis for Youth. Left: The Leadership Team of Oasis for Youth meets in the basement of Oak Grove Presbyterian Church in Bloomington. In this picture are Beverly Bliss, Sue Powers, Andrea Knoll, Leslie Stiles, Marilynn Donoho, Nan Corliss and Monica Williams. On the right page: 1. Showers are available for youth at Oasis. 2. A small laundry room is available for youth to wash their clothing. 3. Sue Powers, a member of Oak Grove Presbyterian Church in Bloomington, shares a laugh during a meeting of the leadership team. Beverly Bliss, left, a member of Oak Grove Presbyterian Church in Bloomington is busy writing during Leadership Team meeting. 4. Chairs form a circle in the Common Room. The chairs were donated by the wider Bloomington community. 5. Andrea Knoll, a member of Christ Presbyterian Church in Edina, is busying writing dur- once housed at Oak Grove Presbyterian. They are now used for the Oasis program. ing a meeting of the Leadership Team.. 6. A computer room for kids located at Oasis for Youth. The computers were donated by the local school district for another program
inprint/presbytery of the twin cities area/ june 2011/ 14

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

If you would like to know more about Oasis or youth homelessness in Minnesota, check out their website at www.oasisforyouth.com.

inprint/presbytery of the twin cities area/ june 2011/ 15

First Presbyterian in Belle Plaine worships in a old-stone building that might make people think this is a museum rather than a vibrant church. Theyd be wrong.

Twoby-Two

2x2

By the Session of First Presbyterian Church, Belle Plaine, MN

HISTORY

The

theran and Catholic), plus churches in the neighboring communities of Jordan, Cologne, Waconia, Le Sueur, Le Center, Chaska, Shakopee, and Norwood-Young America. First Presbyterian Church First Presbyterian Church (FPC) of Belle Plaine, Minnesota celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2008. Our church building is the is a small, rural church in the great Minnesota River valley, southoldest in the community. It was built in 1870 from local St. Lawwest of Minneapolis. The church currently has 49 active members, rence quarry stone. After multiple changes and additions to the Sunday church attendance averages 33, and it has a decidedly church, the stone is old and has darkened, and to many, the buildaging congregation. The population of the City of Belle Plaine is ing is thought to be a museum or something rather than a living approximately 6,500, of which approximately 4,000 are currently church. unchurched. Belle Plaine is a typically Catholic and Lutheran small Over the decade or so, FPC has experienced the same dilemma rural town, with as many bars as churches. The primary churches that all mainline denominational churches have encountered. are Roman Catholic (Irish and German Catholic churches comMembership has been aging and dwindling, and the offering colbined only after extreme pressure by the Archdiocese), ELCA and WELS Lutheran, and Presbyterian. Until recently, if one wasnt Lu- lections dont match the expenses. The losses have been significant enough that the session was forced to address what the futheran or Catholic, Presbyterian was the only alternative, and ture held for the church. therefore our membership consists if ex- Methodists, Episcopalians, Moravians, Baptists. More recently, however, the nonWe gathered and prayed for Gods guidance for our church, to denominational River Rock Church was added to the mix. There send his Spirit to us. And after prayer, we met and addressed the are five smaller farm churches within a ten-mile radius (again Lusituation; first as a Session, and then in a Congregational Meeting.

inprint/presbytery of the twin cities area/ june 2011/ 16

We presented the truth in love to the congregation and began to brainstorm solutions.

Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. The members of FPC are the workers of this harvest.

We also have adopted and try to live out the vision of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area (PTCA): We fearlessly follow the Holy THE REALITY Spirit into a changing world! We have everything to gain and nothThe churchs income for the prior twelve months was about $1,000 ing to lose. We are also consciously trying to live into the Great Ends of the Church: proclamation of the gospel; fellowship; worless than bills. There was only enough money in savings to last another eight to nine months if this trend continued. The vast ma- ship and exhibition of Gods kingdom on earth. jority of the congregation is retired and on fixed income so inOne of our elders was able to provide listings of real estate transcreased giving was not an option. Other options were presented: actions in town. These listings were the initial focal point of our cut the half time pastor to quarter time or eliminate the position; visitations. As we searched, other sources for new family listings go exclusively to pulpit supply; cut expenses as much as possible; came to light. An elder and the pastor made several stops to dedo more fund raising; increase our flock; or close our doors, sell the liver Visitation Baskets on a winter night. One thing became very church and disperse to other congregations. apparent: it is very difficult to see an address on the front of the The consensus of the Congregation was to stay together as a small house or on the curb, and shining a floodlight across the homes was not a good idea. Neighbors congregation with a half time pastor, and police take a dim view of that. cut back on expenses, and run fund As a small church, we have focused raisers. Fundraisers have included The city provides local maps, liston worship and fellowship together. selling hot dogs during the parade ings of the years city activities and for BBQ Days in mid July, serving As it is written in Matthew 18: 2 For copies of some of the relevant city French toast breakfasts, baked poregulations. The Belle Plaine Hertato lunches and dinners, and having where two or three gather in my ald, the local newspaper, provides a rummage sale. During all the disrecent editions of the paper plus name, there am I with them. Our cussions, meetings, fellowship and discount coupons. The Chamber of fundraisers, one subject that kept smallness doesnt matter: it only takes Commerce provides flyers, magcoming up was that there was no two or three gathered in Jesus name nets, advertisements and coupons Welcome Wagon in the town. from local business and information Slowly we began to recognize the for God to be present and for his about other local businesses. We potential in a Welcome Wagon added our churchs pens, booktype of activity. This might be a way Spirit to give life to an old, declining marks, a refrigerator magnet with a to increase our flock. We could depainting of our church, and a mini congregation. liver Visitation Baskets. loaf of homemade banana bread. We put it all into Visitation Baskets As a small church, we have focused to be delivered during Two by Two on worship and fellowship together. visitations. Some older, shyer memAs it is written in Matthew 18: 2 For bers preferred to make the banana where two or three gather in my name, bread and pray for those receiving the baskets rather than deliverthere am I with them. Our smallness doesnt matter: it only takes two or three gathered in Jesus name for God to be present and for ing them. his Spirit to give life to an old, declining congregation. The addresses of the homes to be visited were located and plotted With about 4,000 unchurched citizens in the community, our town onto a master map. The town was divided into five sections for efficient visitation. Each section had 9 11 listings with address became FPCs mission field. Jeremiah 29: 7 Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the and names. A Two by Two team would have 6 baskets to deliver LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper. And 29:11-14 to any 6 of the addresses on their list. After each visitation event, the address list would be revised to show only addresses that had For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to not been visited. prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.3 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD. We began to IMPLEMENTATION focus our efforts on delivering Visitation Baskets to new residents We explained the procedures and goals of the Two by Two initiain our community. tive during the announcement portion of the worship service several weeks in advance. We asked people to sign up for Two by Two for the last Sunday in March. We also scheduled a potluck TWO BY TWO dinner after the worship service that day as a kick-off to the event. Luke 10: 1-2 is the Scripture foundation for our initiative: After this That Sunday, 13 people volunteered to deliver Visitation Baskets. On the first Two by Two Sunday, we had the potluck after the the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two service, and instructions were given after the meal. We read Luke ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He 10, prayed over the teams, and sent out 5 groups of 2 people each told them, The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the

inprint/presbytery of the twin cities area/ june 2011/ 17

Since we have started the fund raisers and Two by Two, our congregation has felt alive. Our belief is that the Holy Spirit is already at work in our congregation, and also in lives of the people who receive our Visitation Baskets. Perhaps all they need is an invitation to come to church and all we need to do is plant the seeds, but we are doing Gods Kingdom work here on earth. If we do the footwork then the Holy Spirit will do the rest.

to their assigned section of the city with 6 baskets. When those who cooked and cleaned for the potluck, made the banana breads, and prayed are counted in, well over 50% the congregation was actively involved on this mission.

and Two by Two, our congregation has felt alive. Our belief is that the Holy Spirit is already at work in our congregation, and also in lives of the people who receive our Visitation Baskets. Perhaps all they need is an invitation to come to church and all we need to do is plant the seeds, but we are doing Gods Kingdom work here on earth. If we do the footwork then the Holy Spirit will do the rest.

THE RESULTS The goal of the first event was to deliver 30 baskets. On that first Two by Two Sunday, 23 baskets were delivered. Those who delivered the baskets reported wonderful conversations lasting ten, fifteen, thirty minutes, and in one case an hour, with people who had recently moved into our town. One couple did try out our church the following Sunday. Another visitation led to a contact with the local grocery chain, and promised support from that chain for our project. The members who made the visits reported that their comfort zones had been expanded through the experience. The Session of First Presbyterian Church of Belle Plaine is: Elders: Class of 2012: Betsy Ollhoff and Monte Casebier Class of 2013: Kathleen Geiser and Walt Lehtinen Class of 2014: Thomas Bartholomew and Brian Stolt Clerk of Session: Elder Thomas Bartholomew Moderator: Rev. Donald Genereux

Other events in the life of the church can create difficulty in sched- Photos courtesy of First Presbyterian Church in Belle Plaine, MN. uling Two by Two on Sundays after services. During the summer months we have scheduled Two by Two for Wednesday evenings, with a potluck dinner, prayer, and then delivering the Visitation Baskets. Our goal is to have one Two by Two Visitation sesYoure probably wondering sion each month. about that post-card like imThe community benefits from the information distributed by the age above. Looks pretty good, church, and our church benefits from doing the mission and expo- huh? Its a painting by one of sure to the community. Weve been told that in establishing the members of First Presbytechurch contacts within the community, we might gain one mem- rian in Belle Plaine. Clerk of ber for every 100 we contact. With the number of unchurched Session Tom Bartholomew people in the community at 4,000, we have a big job in front of us, notes the work was done in but at the same time we have a considerable potential for memhonor of the congregations bership. 150th anniversary in 2008. It is a combination of pictures from sometime in the 1870s when the original church was comCONCLUSION: MAYBE pleted and a picture from the 1940s: Tom said. He adds that this Our goal is to be faithful to Gods call on us, from the moment we painting became part of First, Belle Plaines 2x2 efforts. With the artists permission, the image was used on refridgerator magnets are baptized to be in the Body of Christ, and to implement the for the welcome packages.. Great Ends of the Church. Since we have started the fund raisers

About that Picture

inprint/presbytery of the twin cities area/ june 2011/ 18

What Is Per Capita?


Per capita is the annual designated dollar amount that is asked of every member in the Presbyterian
Church (USA), funding the administrative functions of the three governing bodies in the Presbyterian Church (USA): the presbytery, the synod and General Assembly. Below is a graphic that explains how Per capita fosters the work of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area.

The Per Capita amount for 2011 is $30.46 per member. The General Assembly receives $6.50, the Synod of Lakes and Prairies receives $4.90 and the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area receives $19.06.

Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area: $19.06

Congregation

The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Areas share of Per Capita is used largely to provide staffing, support, and space for the Presbytery office. This gives PTCA the needed support to organize and carry out:

priorities as established by our strategic plan, constitutionally required order and record keeping decisions made by the Presbytery committee work that puts our words into action, communication tools that keep us connected such as
the website,

Presbytery

salary support for New Church Developments, central location for various meetings and the space to process that work.

Synod

Compared to other items in our everyday life, $19.06 is a very cost effective expense; For example: half the price of a modest pair of tennis shoes ($39.99) half the price of an Oxford NRSV Study Bible ($37.99) a weeks worth of hot chocolate at Caribou ($3.95 x 5 =$19.75)

General Assembly

inprint/presbytery of the twin cities area/ june 2011/ 19

The Church as a Healing Community for Veterans and Their Families


Pastoral care for returning veterans and their families

THE WOUNDS OF WAR


By BeBe Baldwin

Blumenshine calls this time a window of opportunity to help veterans and their families cope and adjust positively. She urges churches to use rituals and spirituality to help heal, comfort, and transcends politics. Regardless of ones convictions about the wars in which our nation is currently engaged, we believe that the support as veterans and families make meaning of their experichurch is called to a ministry of healing. Some have estimated that ences. The church that has accompanied soldiers and their families throughout the journey of pre-deployment and deployment for every returning veteran, the lives of sixty other persons are will be in the best position to assist after deployment. affected. We will be dealing with the physical, emotional, and spiritual aftermath of the preWe have learned much about PTSD sent wars for years to come. and the signature injury of the current conflicts, traumatic brain injury. On February 26, the Presbytery Many suffer from another kind of Disability Concerns Ministry wound: moral injury. When personsponsored a workshop that adnel are conditioned, taught, or dressed these issues. This article forced to violate accepted moral will lift out some key ideas from codes like You shall not kill, he or the workshop and recommend she may suffer moral injury and reresources for referrals and eduturn home burdened with guilt. cation. Blumenshine used this quote, My It is important to remember that nephew had to see things nobody the experience of war effects should have to see and was made to individuals and their families in do things nobody should have to different ways. We must not do. generalize. Rev. Vaughn JefferAccording to Blumenshine, caregivson helped us to understand the ers and researchers are on the cusp of finding ways to respond to military culture as well as issues raised in his work in counseling returning veterans. Rev. Karin Craven reminded us to see families moral injuries. The church has spiritual resources to assist in healin their diversity and not to stereotype military families. She urged ing: non-judgmental listening, advocacy, the assurance of forgiveus to accept and honor the gifts returning veterans and their fami- ness, the promise of Gods presence, the opportunity to make referrals. lies bring to the church.

The church has spiritual resources to assist in healing: non-judgmental listening, advocacy, the assurance of forgiveness, the promise of Gods presence, the opportunity to make referrals.

Amy Blumenshine, coordinator of the Coming Home Collaborative, says we can safely assume that everyone returning home from the war zone will need to go through a transition process.

I would like to pass on the story of one Vietnam War veteran who suffered for many years from PTSD. An older couple in the church observed that he needed help and suggested an organization.

inprint/presbytery of the twin cities area/ june 2011/ 20

They were not psychologists or clergy. They were friends who recognized an illness, who cared, and who knew where to go for help.

Because veterans are returning with a broad range of physical, emotional, and spiritual injuries, the Disability Concerns Ministry has chosen veterans issues as a major focus for this year. We have speakers from our ministry or we can recommend other resources Please go to the Disability Concerns page of the PTCA website for to meet you needs. We are prepared to speak at adult education the list of resources prepared for the workshop. We especially groups or at other church gatherings. Healing is the Churchs recommend the book, Welcome Them Home: Help Them Heal. It is a business. The need is urgent! concise, well-researched handbook. It includes specific suggestions for what churches can do. In addition, we recommend The Wounds of War: The Church as a Healing Community, prepared by Presbyterians for Disability Concerns (PDC), a network of Presbyterian Health, Education, and Welfare (PHEWA) at http://www.pcusa.org/resource/wounds-warchurch-healing-community/ Bebe Baldwin is an Honorably Retired Minister Member of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area and is chair of the Presbyterys Disabilities Concerns Taskforce. Photos on page 20 and 21 courtesy of istockphoto.com.

Selected Resources
The Disability Concerns Taskforce of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area has an extensive listing of resources to help you and your faith community extend a hand of welcome and a listening ear to veterans. The list is available at the Taskforce webpage:

www.presbyterytwincities.org/disa bilityconcerns

2011 Disability Inclusion Resource Packet


Presbyterians for Disability Concerns (PDC) is offering our 2011 Inclusion Sunday resources to equip churches for inclusive ministry. The ideas and suggestions for worship and theology, confirmation and models of ministry come from actual experiences of writers who are committed to inclusion of children and youth of all abilities. It is our prayer that this packet will assist you in your ministry with all of Gods children.
Download this resource at www.pcusa.org/pdc

inprint/presbytery of the twin cities area/ june 2011/ 21

My

Favorite
Theologians
By Myra Carroll-Pezella
PTCA Pastor Myra Carroll-Pezella shared her favorite theologians with the class of 2011. Dont think Calvin or Barth, think about a frog, a pig, a cat and a doctor (who really wasnt a doctor).
needs that are influenced by a myriad of factors. What we want; what we think; what we think others think; the culture around us; and the choices we make, all are a part of the complicated journey we call life. There is only one thing that you can truly depend on and that one thing is God. As you move into a larger world, you will be faced with more choices than perhaps in any time in history. What you make of your life is up to you. God will walk with you, but you are the only one who can do the work of life. You are not your family; you are not your friends; and you are not your school, or town, or country. You are responsible for making your life what you want it to be. From here on out you cant blame your parents, teachers, preachers, friends or anything else. Its you who will make your life what it becomes. Never forget that! You will most certainly make decisions that dont turn out as you would like them to, but in the end its how you deal with what happens that reflects who you really are. Its not easy being green, but its also not easy being human. If you dont want to stumble and fall let God hop through the pond of life with you. My second great theologian is a woman whos a bit smitten with herself. Well, in reality she is an ego maniac whose famous word is Moi. (mo-ah). Yes, folks my second favorite theologian is indeed Miss Piggy.

When I was thinking about what I might say today that


could be helpful to you, I thought about my own baccalaureate service. Honestly I can remember being there, but I have no idea who spoke, or what words of wisdom they had to say. So, my assumption was that you wont care what I say today. That assumption was cut down when I met with the students and Mrs. Starr. The students who planned this service said they really did care. So then I was under the gun. What could I say that might make a difference in your life? Then I got it. Ill share the core of my three most favorite theologians. Sounds exciting, dont you think? Well, you may be surprised at who Ive learned from. My first favorite theologian said, Its not easy being green. Yes, my favorite theologian is none other than Kermit the Frog. He grasps the core of life the importance of being. We get so caught up in what we do that we often forget who we are. We are not what we accomplish, we are not what we have, and we are not who were with. We are important simply because God made us in Gods image. Now, thats not to say what we accomplish, have, and the people we are with is not important, because those things reflect who we are. But never forget that you are important, simply because you are.

While Kermit may have grasped that its not easy being green, its The reality is you will meet many Miss Piggys on the road of life, also not easy to be human. Relationships, as a friend of mine puts people who are so egocentric that they think that the world reit, are complicated. We each have physical, emotional and spiritual volves around them. Sometimes you will see them for who they
inprint/presbytery of the twin cities area/ june 2011/ 22

are right off the lily pad. At other times they may be more subtle. And as much as we all would like to think otherwise, we appreciate Miss Piggy so much because theres a bit of her in all of us.

is Matthew Berg. How many of you know Matt?

He says something to me that is far beyond the faith most of us have. His is a simple faith; a trusting faith; a deep faith. Its not At one time or another weve all thought that we were better than, complicated with big words or long sentences. Its not written in some book he read, but in the faith he carries in his heart. or less than, someone else. Miss Piggy reminds us that we are all equal in the eyes of God. The talents we have are never better, or worse, than someone else they are simply different. A little huHis statement of faith is: Jesus loves me, and he loves you. mility can take you a long way, and trust me; you will be humbled by life. If you remember only one thing for the rest of your life remember that, Jesus loves me, and he loves you. Thats enough for a lifeBut along with her egotistical personality, Miss Piggy also has a time. very real understanding of who she is and what she wants. None of us who know her would ever imagine her being a follower. Carry it; Live it; and Look for it in all you do. Shes a woman who gets things done; a woman who wont deviate from her high standards (such as they are); a woman who isnt Congratulations! willing to accept anything but the best from herself and the peoToday is your day ple around her. And, while she takes these things to the extreme, Youre off to great places she teaches us how important it is to develop a sense of self that Youre off and away. can survive the ups and downs of life. Its also important to surround ourselves with people who challenge us to be the best that You have brains in your head You have feet in your shoes we can be. You can steer yourself Any direction you choose. None of us are the center of the universe. Were all in this life together. As you move out into the world you are going to meet a Youre on your own and you know what you know variety of people. Some will be from small towns; some from big And YOU are the guy wholl decide where to go.1 cities; some from our country and some from other countries; some will be Christian and some will not be. Be open to learn from In good times and bad all of them, because their perspective will open you up to the Whatever the day magnificence of Gods people. Dont take what they say as gospel, God goes with you my friend but think about what you can learn from them that can enrich Wherever you stay your life and your relationship with God. So focus on God Wherever you go My third theologian has a lot to say about everything that is imAnd take the right path portant. Hes a prolific writer, he critiques culture and he points out how we should live together. We all know him by a stove pipe May it always be so. Yes, you will find God red and white striped hat on one of his characters. Who is he? Of course hes the one and only Dr. Seuss. In some very strange places So open your eyes Dr. Seuss has been teaching us how to live for as long as I can reGods right here in your faces member. He challenges us in The Lorax to take care of the May God Bless and protect you, world. He taught us to read with his 225 word reader, The Cat in Celebrate, but stay safe. the Hat. He teaches us about kindness, trustworthiness, persever- Now go out and make the world a better place. ance, and faithfulness in Horton Hears A Who. He finds what is really important in, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. And perhaps the most important for today is opening up the world to you in, Oh, The Places You Will Go. Of course there are other theologians who can teach you about life too:The Velveteen Rabbit, Curious George, The Giving Tree, Mr. Rogers, Big Bird and Ernie and Bert and my very favorite of all times -Teddy Bear of Bumpkin Hollow. My favorite theologians may sound a bit strange, but they repeat the faith that we hope we have given you. You can hear Jesus words echoing through each of these folks. But the most profound and meaningful statement of faith I have ever heard came from a former student from this school. His name Myra Carroll-Pezella is the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Howard Lake, MN. This speech was given on June 1, 2011 at the baccalaureate worship service for the graduating seniors, their families and the community at the Howard Lake, Waverly and Winsted High School. 1. From Oh, the Places Youll Go! by Dr. Suess. Photo courtesy of istockphoto.com.

inprint/presbytery of the twin cities area/ june 2011/ 23

71 faith communities. 25,000 members faith stories.


InPrint is looking for stories, images, poetry, art and other ideas from members of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area. If you have something you would like to share with the wider church family, please send it to communications@ptcaweb.org.

inprint/presbytery of the twin cities area/ june 2011/ 24