Start Here!

This week, Pastor Steve continues a four-week sermon series entitled “Start Here!” It’s the beginning of a new year – a new decade actually. But it’s also the beginning in earnest of our interim period. We have to craft a path to a search for our  new pastor, and what better focus than a focus on beginnings? Join us each week as the path continues to form.

Social Seniors

The Social Seniors will meet for lunch on Tuesday, January 21 at 1:00 at the MARKET GRILL (Hy Vee), 7180 10th St, Oakdale.  There will be a sign up sheet on the bulletin board.  Last month’s lunch at the Olive Garden was very nice.  We were able to get the family table which is nice.  It's like having a private room. 

"A new year has tiptoed in.  Let's welcome the 365 days it brings."

Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting of Beaver Lake Lutheran Church, for 2019, will be held next Sunday, January 26, 2020 in the Fellowship Hall. A quorum of 30 is required by our Constitution to conduct business but all confirmed members may attend. The Annual Report has been printed and is now available so get a copy and bring it with you to the Budget Review on the 19th in the Fellowship Hall after service.

Flower Chart

The Flower Chart for 2020 is located on the secretary’s desk in the Church Office.  By signing up, you can acknowledge that special date or person in your life. Or maybe you just want to donate flowers to beautify the sanctuary. Whatever your event or reason, it’s one way for you to participate in Sunday Worship. Stop by the Church Office and sign up today. The cost is only $27.50 per Sunday.

Community Meal

The Outreach Team has decided to suspend community meals for now.  We will evaluate the possibility of reinstating this program sometime in the future.  We would like to extend a huge thank-you to the community meal volunteers.  It was so fun working with all of you!

To Members and Friends of BLLC

It appears as if there was an attempt to hack our church website. A writer created a request from “Pastorsmolin@gmail .com, requesting gift cards be sent to aid a woman who has cancer.  Please know that neither the church nor any leadership will request things of value (money, gift cards, confidential information, etc.) to be electronically sent. If you receive such an email, please notify the church office as soon as possible.

Our New Interim Pastor!

There is joyful news to share with you!  Pastor Steve Molin has accepted the part-time intentional interim position at Beaver Lake!  Pastor Steve is retired from 37 years of full-time ministry, and has been working as an intentional interim pastor for the past 6 years.  He was looking for an interim position, and God put Beaver Lake and Pastor Steve together at just the right time for everyone.  NEVER doubt that the Holy Spirit is at work, walking with us and guiding situations for the best possible outcome.

As our new interim, Pastor Steve will work ¾ time.  He will preach on Sundays, share in bible study on Wednesday mornings, participate in shared confirmation on Wednesday evenings, visit the homebound, preside over funerals and maintain stable office hours (Tuesdays and Wednesdays 9-4 and Thursday mornings).  He understands our commitment to our many partnerships and how integral they are to our lives at Beaver Lake.  He is an intent listener; this is reflected in his thoughtful, clarifying questions.  In addition to being an excellent listener and communicator, he is warm, funny, easy to talk to and delivers a superb sermon!  We have been truly and thoroughly blessed.

Choir Rehearsals

We are looking for more singers to put our choir together for the Fall/Winter season.  Dates and times for  choir rehearsals will be announced. The music will be easy to learn and no commitment is necessary to join us.  Please talk to David Swanson after the service or contact him at 651-757-0887.  Thank you!!

The Library Lounge has a New Look

Welcome to the new Multi-educational space in the Library Lounge! This room has been updated to offer a purposeful space for the children, youth, and adults of BLLC and our partnership congregations for faith formation or for use as a quiet space (i.e. nursery). You may have noticed the library shelves look quite bare; many of the books were outdated so they were removed from the shelves.  There are plans to add new books to the library so watch for announcements of future additions.  The Bible resources and remaining adult fiction/nonfiction can now be found on the far right hand side of the shelves (nearest to the kitchen). The portraits of BLLC pastors will be hung in the Education Hall.

We envision the Multi-education room will be used in the following ways:

  • ·         Sunday School classes
  • ·         ‘Hang out’ space for youth before/after worship
  • ·         Cross + Gen events (shared faith formation with youth and adults)
  • ·         Bible study
  • ·         Nursery

Library for children, youth, and adults

The Vegetable Garden & Farmer’s Market Has Ended!

The 2019 BLLC vegetable garden has been “put to bed” and the Sunday morning Farmer’s Market has closed for the year.  It has been another fantastic growing year and our garden produced lots of great veggies and beautiful Zinnias.  A huge THANK YOU to all of those who made this year’s veggie garden and Farmer’s Market a success:  Lu Larsen for washing and packaging the veggies, running the Farmer’s Market and making her wonderful jars of Strawberry Jam and Refrigerator Pickles; Kim Richardson for helping with planting, weeding, harvesting and running the Farmer’s Market; Jerry Swanson for tilling the garden; and, of course, our wonderful congregation who purchased the veggies and flowers at our Farmer’s Market every Sunday!  This year’s grand total in donations is $630 (last year’s amount was $530)!  With your generous donations, we are able to purchase 2 community gardens ($200/garden for a total of $400) through the ELCA Good Gifts and to donate $230 to the N. St. Paul Food Shelf (because the food shelf has an approximate buying power of $9 for every $1 donated, our $200 donation equals $2,070)! Thank you for your wonderful support and for your generous donations!

Susan McGarthwaite (Keeper of the Garden)

Note of Thanks from Achieve Academy

We received a lovely Thank You note from Achieve Academy for the school supplies and money we gave them.  (The note is posted on the bulletin board, if you’d like to read the originalJ.)

“Dear Beaver Lake Lutheran Church members,

You are the BEST!!  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the continued generosity and kindness you show our students and families at Achieve Language Academy.  Thank you, thank you for the school supplies and the gift of money to help us make sure every student has what they need to begin a new school year.  We are truly lucky to call you friends!  Stop by any time.

Achieve Staff”

BLLC has received a 3 year fully funded Domestic Hunger Grant from the ELCA!

We recently received some exciting news from the ELCA: Beaver Lake Lutheran Church has been selected to receive our second Domestic Hunger Grant! (As you might recall, our first Domestic Hunger Grant was used to build a community garden.)  This news is particularly exciting because we are the only church in the St. Paul Area Synod (a synod of nearly 120 churches) to receive this grant.  Many churches, including churches much larger than ours, along with a number of non-profit organizations within our synod, applied for this grant.  For us to be the sole recipients of this grant is really great news!  Another exciting piece of news is that only about ten percent of those who applied for the grant are fully funded and we are one of the organizations that is fully funded. We will receive more than $13,000 over the course of the next three years to develop community gardens on our property.

The Outreach Team will consult with the Church Council and Property Team in terms of how to best develop the land for these gardens, but the preliminary plan for the gardens looks something like this:

1) The first year we will use the money to upgrade our current community garden and begin work developing a second garden.

2) The second year, we will continue to upgrade the first two garden spaces and we will look at developing a site with raised bed gardens for people whose mobility is limited.

3) The third year we will look at further developing our raised bed garden site. 

Again, these are preliminary plans and we will work closely with the different ministry teams in developing the garden plots.  Please keep these projects in your prayers and talk to someone on the Outreach Team if you are interested in helping with the planning or if you would like to work in the garden.  There has been some talk of having a gardening  team  formed, but at least to start, we will try  to coordinate the work through the existing ministry teams. 

Our prayer is that our community garden program will help families in our neighborhood who struggle with food insufficiency.

Sign-up Sheets

Sign-up sheets for Coffee Servers and Missionary Support for 2020 have been posted on the bulletin board. Please consider signing up to serve coffee and treats on Sunday morning or to provide financial help for our missionaries.

Wednesday Bible Study & Adult Education

Our Wednesday morning Bible Study group meets from 9:30 to 11:00 am. Sunday morning adult education meets from 8:45-9:45. There is no experience necessary for either of these groups and you don't need to come every week. Please join us whenever you are able. We have some wonderful discussion, explore some outstanding resources, and really go deep in the relationships that we build.

Card Ladies

The card ladies have been busy making their creations for birthday, get well, sympathy and others.  The cost is only 50 cents/card and the proceeds support our missionaries.  Your continued support is truly appreciated!

Your Enduring Gift Foundation Reached a Milestone in helping Our Community:

We have now donated over $100,000 to primarily outreach activities!!!!! All of the money given by members of this congregation continues to grow allowing us to spend $20,000 in earnings a year forever! New contributions to the principal would allow the annual spending to grow. EGF donations are gifts that keep on giving! One example is our support to Lutheran Social Services to transform the lives of homeless youth.  Want more financial details? Talk to Rod Johnson or Bill Pringle.

Our Congregation is Already Welcoming.  Why Do We Need To Say So?

The Reconciling in Christ (RIC) program recognizes Lutheran congregations, synods, organizations, colleges, and seminaries that publicly declare their welcome to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Inaugurated in 1983 with just a few congregations scattered across the United States and Canada, the program has grown to include hundreds of faith communities. No matter the setting, the welcoming statement is affirmed and accepted by the whole community. The RIC roster has become known as a resource for people seeking a community prepared to welcome them.  Lutheran communities that publicly welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are accepted onto the Reconciling in Christ Roster which now exceeds 813 settings. Most groups start the process of consideration by engaging in a study program or series of educational meetings. Hearing the experiences of LGBT people and their families often creates greater understanding and insights.

Engaging in a welcoming process also deepens the faith life of the community. As members participate in dialogue with one another, they practice putting their faith into speech and then action, creating a more vibrant spiritual community. Engaging the community members in respectful and grace-filled conversation will allow your community to deal with other potentially conflict-laden issues in healthier, more productive ways. 

Council would like Beaver Lake to participate in this process.  The initial tasks of preparing a congregational assessment, gathering information and preparing a tentative timeline have been completed and a team of interested people has already been gathered.  The only thing missing is a leader to drive the process!  Anyone interested in chairing or co-chairing this group should talk to Deb Houtkooper or Leslie Shank.  Thank you!

Aluminum Cans

Keep those aluminum cans coming. But please, only aluminum cans go into the trailer.  No plastic bottles or plastic bags. If you bring your aluminum cans to the trailer in a plastic bag, please empty the bag and take the bag with you or put the plastic bag into the dumpster. Thank You!

Box Tops for Education for Achieve Language Academy

The Box Tops for Education program provides books, computers and playground equipment with points redeemed from participating products.  Achieve Language Academy participates in this program and were thrilled to know that our congregation will collect Box Tops and give them to the school.  If you are willing to collect and save your Box Tops, please bring them into the church office.  There is a labeled container on the counter for the Box Tops.  This is a really easy way we can all contribute to our neighborhood school and help then earn the books, computers and playground equipment they need!!

Sign Language Interpreter

Carly Fischbeck has been working as an American Sign Language Interpreter for the past several weeks and we are thankful to have her in our midst! A number of you have commented on how her signing brings a wonderful visual element to our services. Please make sure to introduce yourselves to Carly and thank her for her great work!

Families – Welcome to the Praise-Ground!

The Praise-Ground is a children’s space intentionally in the front of the Sanctuary because we recognize that children are often more engaged when they can see what is going on during the worship service.  Please use the table, chairs, toys, and other activities to keep your little one occupied.  Children’s Bibles are located throughout the pews and near the Praise-Ground

While the sounds that children make are welcome in the Sanctuary, we recognize the concerns about disturbing others can hinder parents’ ability to focus on worship.  The Children’s Library is a space where a TV monitor may be available to watch the service as the children look at books or play with small toys.  Please ask an usher for directions.

Kids’ Worship Bags

Bags filled with quiet activities and books can be found hanging at the entrance doors to the Sanctuary. Bags are labeled by age groups and contain age appropriate activities.  Please return the bags when finished.

Suggestion Box

Do you have any ideas or suggestions?  Hopes or dreams for the future of Beaver Lake?  What do you think we should be doing?  Your input is important and we’d like to hear from you!  A Suggestion Box is located on the Welcome Table in the Atrium.  All submissions will be directed to the appropriate ministry team for consideration.  Please contact any council member for more information.  Thank you!