Introducing New Pastor Tammy Wilkinson:

Summary from the Call Committee: Tammy’s first call as a Pastor, but she brings to Beaver Lake experience in church leadership roles such as a Faith Formation Coordinator and a Children & Family Ministry Coordinator.  She expressed to us her love and compassion in working with all ages, from the youth to the seniors. She relates well to the teens in confirmation, has joined a church group of women quilters, and has even “crashed” the Men’s Bible Study.  Her eagerness to know all about Beaver Lake Church was apparent the first time we met her; she took a drive from her home in St. Louis Park to see our church grounds and the neighborhood. She loved seeing our gardens & our labyrinth.  The committee viewed some of Tammy’s online sermons which were Biblically based, and her messages related to our everyday lives. She herself viewed one of Pastor Steve’s sermons. In her humor she mentioned she had never told a joke from the pulpit before but that she might have to try that sometime.  Tammy has strong community connections and looks forward to working with our partner congregations & Cory’s Kidz Daycare.   Our committee feels Tammy is very warm, caring, creative, very approachable, very organized and a “take charge” leader.    

Food Dri\ve for Open Hands Midway a Success!

Thanks to the usual outpouring of generosity, Beaver Lake will be donating at least 570 pounds of food, toiletries and household necessities along with $2,950 in monetary donations to Open Hands Midway.  Included in our donations was a stock of groceries that Outreach had on hand for their Food for Families program.  That food was going unused while Achieve Language Academy is closed and will be replaced later when needed.  Also included was a $2,000 check from our Enduring Gift Foundation, since they also have unused funds due to program cancellations this year.  We are so fortunate to be able to realign our resources to where the need is greatest right now!  Pastor Steve, Deb Houtkooper, and Leslie & Lindsey Shank collected and totaled the items on Thursday, June 11 and Pastor Steve and Joel Hilpert delivered the items a few days later.  Open Hands Midway is a ministry of Bethlehem Lutheran Church near the corner of Snelling and University in St. Paul.  They have been an essential resource in that neighborhood for a long time but they are especially important now, during the recent unrest and damage to stores and businesses that the locals depend on.  They are always looking for volunteers and donations if anyone feels called to do more.  Check out “Open Hands Midway” on Facebook or at their website  Thank you so much donors and volunteers!

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.

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!