School Supplies for Achieve Language Academy

Our summer is coming to an end - it always happens too quickly, doesn't it?  and it's time to start thinking about  kids going back to school.  As in years past, we will be collecting school supplies for our school partner Achieve Language Academy.  This year, thanks to the creative efforts of Leslie and Lindsey Shank, we will have an apple tree to direct our efforts!  Each apple will list items that are needed.  You get to "pick" an apple and purchase the requested item.  Please bring your purchased items to church with you and place them in the grocery carts near the main doors.  If you'd rather not go shopping,monetary donations are gratefully accepted too.  Joan or Deb will be happy to help you.  Our collection will run from August 18th to September 8th.  Thank you for your generosity in helping very appreciative little people get off to a good start in school!

The 2019 BLLC Vegetable Garden

What might you find at our Farmer’s Market today?  Well, you may find green beans, tomatoes, zucchinis, cucumbers, carrots, peppers and zinnias. Also, available at the Farmer’s Market is our homemade Zucchini Bread made from zucchinis from the garden.  And, in addition, homemade Refrigerator Cucumber Pickles! As we head into Fall, we encourage you to continue to visit our Farmer’s Market in the atrium to see what veggies and flowers are available.  We’ve planted several types of squash this summer which should be ripening up soon.  We request donations for the veggies which are then donated at the end of the growing season to both the ELCA Good Gifts – to establish a community garden in areas of need - and the N. St. Paul Food Shelf.  Thank you so much for your continued support and enthusiasm for this ministry!

Community Meal

Our next Community Meal will be held on Wednesday, September 18th at 5:30 P.M. Hope you can all join us!

Families, mark your calendars!  Sunday School begins on Sunday, September 8 – Welcome Back!

We are excited to welcome the youth back in a new space!  The library lounge will be our new ‘home’ for classes on Sundays.

In addition to a new space, our schedule will look different, too.  Sunday School will be scheduled approximately twice per month, every other week.  One of these weeks will be a class that meets during the worship, just like we have done in the past and one of the Sundays during the month will be a scheduled Youth Sunday.  On the Youth Sunday, the worship service will focus on the youth and the youth are invited to participate in one or more roles in the service (usher, reader, acolyte, serve communion, etc).

More information will be available on our Welcome Back Sunday – September 8.  Please direct any questions to Julie Johansen or Kim Richardson.  We can’t wait to see you!

Organ Recital

Mark you calendars! You  won’t want to miss this one! On September 14th at 7:30 p.m. Robert Ragoonanan will present an organ recital here at Beaver Lake Lutheran Church.

September Cross Ways

The September edition of the Cross Ways is HOT off the presses and is ready to be picked up. You will find copies in the narthex and on the table below the bulletin board.

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

God’s Work. Our Hands.

On Sunday, September 8th, in addition to being Rally Sunday and the start of Sunday School and fall programming, it’s also “God’s Work. Our Hands.” Sunday.  It is an ELCA-sponsored day of service to our communities to share with them the love of God and His love for all His people.  On this special Sunday, you are invited to wear your yellow God’s Work. Our Hands. t-shirt and as a way to be church together for the sake of the world, we will hold our first “Bagging Event” for the start of the new school year.  We will be packing groceries for hard-working families at Achieve Academy who are struggling to put food on the table for their children.  This is the 4th year our church has been involved in providing Food for Families, to ensure that the little people in our neighborhood have enough to eat and fuel their bodies for life and learning.  What a spectacular way to thank God for all He has given us!!!   (If you don’t have a yellow t-shirt, I will have them available on Sunday for a free will donation.)

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.

Flower Chart

The Flower Chart for 2019 is now ready, it is located on the secretary's desk.  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.

Sign-up Sheets

Sign-up sheets for Coffee Servers and Missionary Support for 2019 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!

2018 Block Party Report

Beaver Lake’s annual Block Party held on Saturday, July 28 was a fantastic success! Thank you to everyone who helped organize, set up, and serve. We couldn’t have done it without you! Also Thank you to the BLLC Enduring Gift Foundation and to Thrivent for their financial contributions. This  Outreach event is completely free for all people, thanks to their support. Here are some of the highlights of the day.

  • This year the Church of Acts was finally able to complete their full set of music before the rain started.
  • We ran out of the 240 hot dogs we purchased and had to go buy more during the event
  • We had a lot of people walk in from the neighborhood and from the apartments
  • We had a much bigger, better tent this year that didn’t leak in a cloudburst
  • Katie was in high demand and skillfully painted faces almost non-stop for three hours
  • The petting zoo and pony rides were a HUGE hit; we will have “Animals of Walton’s Hollow” back again next year (20+ animals: llama, alpaca, steer,  pony, goats, chickens, ducks, baby bunnies and a dog)
  • Josh from “A Touch of Magic Entertainment” twisted balloon sculptures with humor and silliness

A great time was had by all! Photos will be on the website soon and watch for a slideshow in the church atrium. Mark your 2019 calendars for Saturday, August 3rd when we get to do it again!

Report: Beaver Lake Community Get-Together
District 2 had an amazing first community party and pot luck at the Beaver Lake park on Wednesday, July 27.  The Xiong family and Julie Woodman had a information table there about BLLC and they couldn't count the number of people who came up to tell them how thrilled they were watching the progress of our community garden.  "You are the place with the garden!"  Some members from Blessed Sacrament even said, "We could learn from you; it seems you've got the idea of a community church right!"  Katie and Julie said it was fabulous being out in the neighborhood and living our mission of being a neighborhood church.  They met and talked with people in the neighborhood, formed relationships and had fun!  You might want to plan to attend next year yourself - it sounds like they are going to make it an annual event.
We are looking for people who would be interested in visiting one or more of our homebound members on a regular basis. We are also looking for drivers for those who would like to make such visits, but are unable to drive. Please contact Pastor Nate if you are interested.

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 Pastor Nate, Julie Woodman, Lynda Woodman 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!!

Website and Social Media Update

Our website  is slowly getting a face lift. Did you know that the website has the church calendar, newsletters, council minutes, youth ministry updates, announcements, information about the community garden, brochures and forms, synod news and NEW this week – Classified Ads! If you have anything for the classifieds, please email the info to or put it in Leslie Shank’s mailbox in the church office. Check out our website and see what YOU discover!

Our Facebook page is becoming more and more popular! We have over 60 followers now. If you have a Facebook account and are a church member, please go to “Beaver Lake Lutheran Church Bllc-Elca” and like/follow us. We post church information and events along with sharing posts from the ELCA, Living Lutheran, etc. The more exposure we get, the more we can reach out to our neighbors who may be interested in our Outreach programs. One of our most recent posts about breaking ground on the Community Garden reached over 600 new people in Maplewood which is great! Keep it up and like and share our posts! Any new items for Facebook, feedback or suggestions should be emailed to or put in Leslie Shank’s mailbox in the church office.

Church Space Scheduling

It’s very exciting that we have so many people and groups now using our church for meetings and activities! And with all that activity comes an increased need to keep track of who has reserved certain spaces so that there aren’t any conflicts with folks wanting the same space at the same time. Therefore, your Church Council has decided to set up a two-pronged approach to make the process easier. The first step requires that all requests for church space use needs to first still go through secretaries in the church office. If the space and time you need are available, they will sign you up on the official calendar on their desk and on a new long-range planning calendar area in the church office, where the old map of the neighborhood used to be. Then the second step of the process, the secretary’s calendar information will be transferred to monthly schedules on the doors of the following spaces: Front Lounge, Library Lounge, Sanctuary, Kitchen and Fellowship Hall –West. That way, at any time, you will be able to see when the space is available and when it is reserved. If you would like to email a time/space requests or changes, you can send them to  and copy If you have any questions or feedback about the new process, please contact Leslie Shank. Thank You!

MIssion Support

One of the ways we make Christ known to the world is through the support that we give the ELCA when we give to our church each Sunday. A portion of these dollars, known as Mission Support, go to a number of different ministries. Here are some examples of ministries supported by our own synod (St. Paul): 700 secondary school students received scholarships in Iringa, Tanzania; nine new churches opened worshipping in five different languages; 35 candidates preparing for ministry; 43 call processes and interim placements; 2000 Lutherans worshipping in 16 congregations in the Iglesia Luterana Agustina de Guatemala; 21 pastors and deacons participating in First Call Theological Education; $54,225 given to ELCA World Hunger; $36, 304 given to global missionaries, 5 Young Adults in Global Mission serving in Rwanda, Madagascar, Uruguay, West Bank, Mexico; 50 students worshipping on Wednesday nights through Lutheran Campus Ministry; plus many more! Thank you for your generous support!

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.

Bulletin Announcements
When submitting information for the bulletin insert, please include Marcia Hansen as an addressee. She will be assisting your publisher with the Sunday bulletins.  Marcia’s Email address is:  Thank You!
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 now 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!