Page 1


Love that Shows Up


ew things are better for me than curling up on a cold evening with a great read, the fire crackling. It’s partly because the best stories never get old and always suck me in. I lean forward when the beggar Ulysses returns after 20 years, stringing the bow he alone can pull to rescue his wife; I flip pages as Richard the Lionheart sneaks back from the Crusades to aid Robin Hood; I still get chills when Aragon returns “in the nick of time” from the Mountains of the Dead to save the city in The Return of the King. C.S. Lewis wrote that the common truth underlying all great stories is people in deadly peril, in need of rescue, and longing for someone to set things right and rescue them.

Will Love really conquer the day? Will Love put on skin and show up? And will the story happen in a fresh way for you? Can you understand why Christmas never gets old for me? Why retelling the Greatest Story is as life-giving today as it was my first Christmas at CPC 24 years ago? It’s the story of people who walked in darkness, afraid of occupying armies, and a mad king, while rumors of a promised hero (Messiah) caused as

CPC Life is a monthly publication of Christ Presbyterian Church (CPC). Complimentary copies available monthly at CPC or at Mail Subscriptions: Suggested annual donation of $20. Please write Editor, CPC Life, Christ Presbyterian Church, 6901 Normandale Road, Edina, MN 55435.

much fear as hope. Then a birth takes place in the slums, far from any palace. The evil king Herod tricks the allies and slaughters innocent children to stamp out competition. The baby’s parents flee the country, raising the baby in poverty among strangers. And that’s just the beginning . . . . Now that’s a Christmas story! Will Love really conquer the day? Will Love put on skin and show up? And will the story happen in a fresh way for you? In this story there is no need for Hollywood special effects, no Rambo-style action. The Bible has the ring of Truth, where the characters are as clueless as I sometimes feel, where the religious folks come across as judgmental joy-killers, where the outcasts often understand more than the “cool” people, where the very fabric of society seems to be shaking. It’s time for Love to show up again! Join us this month as the shadows darken and the cold creeps in, so we might experience Light in the Dark, Hope in the Gloom, and see Truth incarnated in our midst.

Christmas Eve Worship Services Saturday, December 24

11:00AM, 1:00 & 3:00PM Family Services

6:00PM Traditional Service with Communion

9:00PM Traditional Service with Carols and Choir

11:00PM The Table with Communion

John Crosby serves as Senior Pastor

Email Subscriptions: To receive a link to the monthly online version, contact We welcome your letters and comments! Please email © Christ Presbyterian Church 2011.

Director of Communications: Sharon Sampson Editor: Jennifer Boardman Art Direction & Design: Jeremy Emmerich Editorial Assistant: Claire Sweem ©

Mixed Sources

Product group from well-managed forests, controlled sources and recycled wood or fiber



Give to CPC Be part of God’s work at CPC. Your year-end gifts and 2012 financial commitments enable us to advance the mission of this church. Complete a

Celebrate with us how CPC’s generations are following Jesus, loving others, and living missionally.


Advent Flowers Would you like to honor a special friend or relative this Advent season? For $15, you can give a plant as a tribute or memorial. The plants decorate

FOLLOW JESUS CPC is up to 1,357 active child sponsorships through World Vision. 160 men gathered to encourage each other in faith during the November Men’s Breakfast.

Commitment Card (available at information areas) or visit www.cpconline. org/give. For 2011 gifts to CPC, your contribution must be received or postmarked by December 31 to be credited for 2011. our Sanctuary throughout Advent and donors’ names are listed in the Christmas Eve bulletin. Complete a form located in the CPC office or the Great Room and return by Monday, December 12.


70th Street Construction Thank you for your patience during the city’s construction on 70th Street. The makeover is complete! Enhancements include dedicated left-turn lanes for easier traffic flow. Please note that the 70th Street speed limit has been reduced to 25 miles per hour.


Office Closed Due to the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, the CPC office will be closed Mondays, December 26 and January 2.


Audio from Denominational

Meetings Audio is available online from the two November denominational teaching times. On November 2, John Crosby taught about core theology; November 30 was a panel discussion with John Crosby, Tim Hart-Andersen (Senior Pastor at Westminster Presbyterian in Minneapolis), and David Lenz (Senior Pastor at Hope Presbyterian in Richfield). Visit


New Winter Classes Many new classes begin in January for adults. Topics include ethics, theology, financial peace, the gospel of grace, and raising faith-filled kids. Look on page 10 for a full listing.


Student Ministries just launched a lay care ministry to love students who are going through challenges. A new event called Soul Food brings together high schoolers and seniors for monthly dinners.

L I V E M I S S I O N A L LY $31,543 in sales is going to the world’s working poor through the Trade as One event. 1,150 bags donated for Thanksgiving Harvest to feed families through five local food shelves.

6901 Normandale Road Edina, MN 55435 952.920.8515






by Mike Hotz, Missions


uring the time of Jesus’ birth, the city of Jerusalem was in turmoil. It was occupied and controlled from afar and the people were herded and corralled for the benefit of others. In the midst of their distress, an elderly man named Simeon went to the temple and saw a child. He put the child in his arms and declared, “With my own eyes I’ve seen our salvation . . . . This child marks both the failure and the recovery of many.” This child’s name was Jesus and, as the prophecy foretold, He was the people’s renewal of hope — He is our renewal of hope.

These partners are working with a broad spectrum of kids with a variety of backgrounds and challenges. Some kids have physical and mental challenges who for the first time are hearing the story of Christ in ways they can understand through Young Life – Capernaum. Others are learning about work and life through job skills training at Youth Enterprise. Still more are learning that they have a place at Christ’s table through the ministries of TreeHouse and Young Life – Minneapolis. And for the kids at Banyan and Jabbok Family

When a child grows and flourishes, a community is given hope that a better day is coming.

Hope begins with a child, the Christ child. Perhaps it is for this reason that our hearts are so filled with wonder when we look at children. They represent new beginnings and new hope. They are full of dreams and potential. This is also why our hearts break when we see children hurt, limited, or make harmful choices. In these cases, hope seems dashed or just beyond reach.

Services, they are being equipped to break the cycles of generational poverty through academic achievement as they work to reweave the fabric of family in their lives and community.

Christ Presbyterian Church has a long history of supporting children in challenging circumstances all over the world. I believe the reason for our compassion and care is simple: when a child grows and flourishes, a community is given hope that a better day is coming. This Christmas we want to use our offering to support six local ministry partners who are walking alongside kids and their families in our own city.

This Christmas, we would like to invest over $100,000 in the lives of kids impacted through these ministries. Help sustain in them a hope for the future. To give, make your check out to CPC and mark “Christmas Offering” on the memo line. You can learn more at or visit with them as they join us in the Great Room after services on weekends during Advent.





This year's Christmas Offering will support: Youth in the Whittier neighborhood December 3/4*

Equipping urban youth with business skills December 3/4*


Teens with special needs December 10/11*


Urban teens December 10/11*

Hurting youth and families December 17/18*

Youth in the East Phillips neighborhood December 17/18* *These partners will be available in the Great Room on these dates.


by Michelle Kranendonk & Pamela Strommen, Elders

by Anna Madsen, CPC Member


hen our son, Luke, arrived last May, he was even more amazing than I’d imagined. I was awed by his wide eyes and perfect hands, and how his head seemed especially carved to fill the space between my chin and chest. Thoughts about how to keep him warm, fed, clean, and rested consumed me. He was so sweet, but powerless to care for himself. In fact, my three-year-old niece saw how dependent Luke was on everyone else and declared him “Baby Do-Nothin’.” As we enter this season of Advent, I find that becoming a mother has changed how I contemplate the birth of Christ. Luke had no other option than his C-section delivery — but certainly God could have designed an easier, cleaner, more powerful way for Jesus to arrive on the scene. To think the Omniscient, Omnipotent Lord of the Universe begins His plan of salvation by becoming, essentially, “Baby Do-Nothin’!” Why? Why start the gospel story with a teeny tiny helpless baby? I don’t pretend to understand fully God’s methods with respect to Incarnation. But I suspect there is something about the humiliation of Christ — His

making Himself powerless — that makes what He accomplished for us so powerful. We know from Scripture that Jesus experienced the fullness of humanity, including suffering and joy. He was limited by the same things that limit us: hunger, thirst, exhaustion, etc. He had to learn to walk and talk and go to school just like other children. He had some relationships that were enjoyable, and others that required patience and endurance. And our enemies — the world, the flesh, and the devil — were

We needed Him to experience everything we go through in our life on earth. His enemies too. As Isaiah says, “Surely He took up our pain and bore our suffering.” He knew what it felt like to be in our skin, not just on the cross but also in His day-to-day life. We tend to think of salvation as something celebrated at Easter — Christ’s victory over sin and death on the cross. And yet Scripture makes it clear that it is not just Christ’s death (and resurrection) that we needed, but Christ’s life. The tiny babe born in a manger in

Bethlehem long ago wasn’t a marketing gimmick — we actually needed Him to come just as He did, and we needed Him to experience everything we go through in our life on earth. The fact that He remained sinless through it all is what makes Christ’s death count for us. The book of Hebrews calls this infant Messiah our Great High Priest who “has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet He did not sin.” And 2 Corinthians explains that “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” Now that is power — that through Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, we can “become the righteousness of God!” Imagine looking at that tiny baby of whom we sing — asleep in a manger, crying when He is hungry, needing to nuzzle into His mommy’s neck — how can it be? How can that weak little infant actually have the power to bring sinners into the Kingdom of God? Jesus was definitely not a “Baby Do-Nothin’.” Indeed, because of this baby, we can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that nothing — not the power of sin, suffering, or anything our enemies throw at us — can separate us from the love of God ever again. CPC LIFE





by Ashley Barlow, The Table at CPC


his September, I had the privilege to go on a CPC GO! Trip to Lebanon and Jordan to see CPC’s mission partner, Questscope, live out its vision of putting the last, first.

Questscope starts by listening. They go into the most vulnerable and marginalized communities in the Middle East to hear stories from the poor. They listen to their needs and equip them to be a part of the change necessary to become a vibrant, self-sustaining community. I got to experience this firsthand in a Bedouin village outside of Petra called Umm Sayhun. In the 1980s, the government displaced this village to make space for excavating ruins and developing tourism. I sat on floor cushions and drank delicious, sweet black tea, facing seven men from the community as one of the older leaders told me his village’s story (in perfect English). He shared the struggles that local kids have: schools with few resources, scarce jobs, and over-dependency on local tourism. It’s a vicious cycle and kids have no real hope for larger opportunities. The experience reminded me of the power of listening to the least of these and how we all need to take the time to do so. Questscope enters communities and works with local community-based





organizations to create a self-sustaining solution. Questscope’s programs look different from community to community, because they are based on each community’s needs. The four main ways Questscope facilitates change is through educational programs, women’s vocational training, prison efforts, and one-on-one mentoring. One of my special memories was when we visited an informal education center for young girls in Jordan. In the Middle East, 65% of people are youth and 100,000 of them have dropped out of school for various reasons, mostly financial. Once out of school, kids cannot re-enter the education system. And the girls are the worst off: they have less voice, esteem, and opportunity than boys. In a room of eight girls and a young female teacher, we sat around in a circle as each introduced herself. All of them were only teenagers, all had dropped out of school, and most were without jobs and had a family that needed support. The girls revealed to us how the program had given them a voice, confidence, and community. These are poor kids who are getting a second chance at a better life because of the programs Questscope has put in place. It’s the kind of miracle you read about in the New Testament: God is redeeming kids’ stories in Jordan.

I’m excited to keep learning about and supporting Questscope along the way. Through their work and their revolutionary ways of meeting the needs of the poor, love has shown up in eight countries and has impacted 200,000 lives. Curt Rhodes, the founder and International Director of Questscope, said to our group one night, “You find your life by giving it away.” What if we took a closer look at the lives of youth in the Middle East? What miracles might we witness, here and beyond, if we stop to listen to the least of these?

Putting the Last, First Curt Rhodes, the founder and International Director of Questscope, will speak in all

CPC services on December 3/4. Curt is a Schwab Foundation 2011 Social Entrepreneur of the Year.Al TeWinkel

w w w. c p c o n l i n e . o r g




CPC Ministry Programming December 2011

At CPC, we seek to inspire all generations to follow Jesus, love others, and live missionally. Please look through the various programs for kids, students, and adults --- and join us! For fuller descriptions and more information on any of these programs, please visit

general denominational panel Wednesday, November 30 at 6:00PM in the Fireside Room John Crosby will moderate a panel of area pastors discussing the PC(USA). CANDLELIGHT MEMORIAL SERVICE Tuesday, December 6 at 7:00PM Our 25th annual service to remember loved ones and experience renewed hope. Honor those you have lost and set your heart on the coming Messiah. Dessert follows in the Great Room. Contact: Debbie Manning at 952.920. 8515 x275; WEDNESDAY NIGHT DINNERS Dinner served in the Great Room from 4:45-6:00PM every Wednesday there is programming December 7: Chicken alfredo, brownies December 14, 21, & 28: No dinner CHRISTMAS BREAK There are no Wednesday Programs December 14, 21, & 28. CPC offices are closed December 26 and January 2. MID-MONTH CHAPEL SERVICE Wednesday, December 21 at 12:00PM Message by John Crosby, hymns, and communion. Lunch follows. CHRISTMAS EVE WORSHIP Saturday, December 24 11:00AM, 1:00PM, & 3:00PM – Family Services (Childcare for Nursery-2 years)

6:00PM – Traditional Service with Communion (Childcare for Nursery-2 years) 9:00PM – Traditional Service with Choir (No childcare available) 11:00PM – Table Service with Communion (No childcare available)

CHRISTMAS & NEW YEAR worship Sunday, December 25 at 11:00AM Saturday, December 31 - No service Sunday, January 1 at 11:00AM & 6:00PM POINSETTIA DELIVERY Starting Sunday, December 25 Share the joy of Christmas by delivering a poinsettia to a senior member of CPC. Pick up a plant and a card with the name of a senior on December 25 after the service and deliver that week.

adults january CLASS OFFERINGS See page 10 for a full listing of classes. SUNDAY COMMUNITIES Sunday Communities offer a place to belong and a place to grow with people in a similar stage of life. December is a great time to visit a Sunday Community as we begin a study on the sermon series “Love that Shows Up.” 9:30AM: S.A.L.T. (30s & 40s) A.C.T.S. (50s & 60s) MIXED TAPES (20s & 30s couples) CPC Singles (40s & 50s)-2nd, 4th weeks 10:45AM: MORE (all ages) Visit

CPC SINGLES (40s & 50s) Sunday, December 11 from 9:3010:45AM in the Parlor; usually meets 2nd and 4th Sundays and 3rd Thursday We are studying The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns; study guides in Pathway. This month we’ll meet socially on Thursday, December 15 from 5:007:00PM at Granite City (5500 Excelsior Boulevard, St. Louis Park 55416). Please save your unwanted coats for the January Coat Drive. Contact:; find “CPC Singles” on Facebook. AMAZING GRACE BOOK GROUP Monday, December 12 at 1:00PM; meets 2nd Monday monthly On December 12, we’ll discuss Unbroken by Lauren Hildebrand. Contact: Carol Krebs at 952.920.8515 x224; IN THE WORD Mondays from 9:30-11:30AM in Room 107; meets weekly In the Word is a discussion-oriented Bible study for men and women. We are studying Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians. Register: James Madsen at 952.920.8515 x308; WEDNESDAY MORNING STUDY Wednesdays from 11:00AM-12:00PM; meets weekly Rick Byron leads this lively discussion of Daniel. We meet every Wednesday except Edynamoes days. Contact: Debbie Ducar at 952.920.8515 x226; CPC LIFE






PARENTAL GUIDANCE NECESSARY: REAL KIDS, REAL WORLD Wednesdays, January 11-February 15 from 6:00-7:30PM in the Fireside Room This series focuses on how to raise kids with faith that sticks. Topics include relationships at home led by Todd and Laura Mulliken; the effects of social media on kids led by Mike Bernard; raising fiscally-savvy kids led by Kari Norman. Contact: Debbie Ducar at 952.920. 8515 x226;

women WOMEN’S CHRISTMAS BRUNCH Saturday, December 3 from 9:0011:00AM in the Fireside Room Enjoy food and fellowship by the fire. Jeanette Schmidt will speak on “Simple Christmas: Taking a Good Look at Your December To-Do List.” Mom’s Morning member Jennifer Exsted will share her faith story. Cost: $15; $10 for non-CPC guests and seniors. Register: Contact: Debbie Ducar at 952.920.8515 x226; NEEDLEWORK GUILD Saturday, December 10 from 10:00AM2:00PM; meets 2nd Saturday monthly Needlework Guild’s mission is to make warm garments and blankets for local agencies that serve the needy. We have yarn, fabric, and knowledgeable knitters to get you started. Contact: Sally Stoutenburgh at 952.927.6915. MOM’S MORNING LARGE GROUP Wednesday, December 14 from 9:3011:30AM; usually meets 2nd and 4th Wednesdays monthly On December 14, Jeremiah and Vanessa Gamble will speak on “A Misfit Christmas.” Register: www.cpconline. org/register. Contact: Tonya Beck at Have you missed a Mom’s Morning talk? Recordings are available in Pathway for $3. MOMS OF TEENS Large Group Thursday, December 15 from 9:3011:30AM in the Fellowship Hall; meets monthly




w w w. c p c o n l i n e . o r g



Heather Flies, Middle School Pastor at Wooddale Church, will speak on “Understanding Pornography and Teens.” Cost: $5/session or $35/year. Register: Contact: Anita LaHaye at Small Groups Two Thursdays a month Moms meet biweekly to help navigate kids’ teen years. Contact: Ann Satterthwaite at

TUESDAY WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY Tuesdays from 1:00-2:30PM; meets weekly in Room 107 Join Carolyn Beatty as she leads an in-depth Bible Study on Romans. This group generates lively discussion and cares for one another. Contact: Judy Romine at 952.929.4983. CIRCLES Circles combine fellowship, learning, and service in a small group setting. They consist primarily of women over 50; new members welcome any time. Lydia Circle Saturday, December 17 at 9:30AM in the Parlor; meets 3rd Saturday monthly Gather together to celebrate Christmas. Please bring a treat to share. Contact: Ellen Hastings at 952.896.0066. Martha Circle Wednesday, December 21 at 10:00AM in the Parlor; meets 3rd Wednesday monthly Join for a time of sharing cookies, stories, and memories. Contact: Pat Haberkorn at 952.941.4188. Ruth Circle Meets every Wednesday at 9:30AM On the first and third Wednesday of the month, we meet in a home for food, fellowship, devotions, and prayers. On the other Wednesdays, we serve at Feed My Starving Children and at CPC, including cooking and serving lunch for Edynamoes and office projects. Contact: Barb Bucha at 952.470.4414.

50+ EDYNAMOES Wednesday, December 7 at 11:30AM in the Fellowship Hall Dick Kimmel and Jerilyn Kjellberg will present “A Country Christmas” with

bluegrass music and old-time songs. Cost: $5. Register: Judy Romine at 952.929.4983 by December 5. Please bring donations/toys for VEAP. We also welcome Jerry’s cash receipts, Campbell’s Soup labels, and can tabs.

NESTERS’ CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION (active retired-age) Saturday, December 10 at 6:30PM in the Fellowship Hall Enjoy the music of “In Tune with the Season” with Eric Allen and his woodwind ensemble. A wonderful dinner is included. Cost: $15. Register: Mary Allen at 952.920.8515 x298; marya@

care ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE SUPPORT GROUP & EDUCATIONAL SERIES Thursday, December 8 in the Fireside Room; meets 2nd Thursday monthly Support Group: 5:30-7:00PM Series: 7:00-8:30PM A series for care partners and those with an early Alzheimer’s diagnosis. December’s talk is “Ensuring Your Loved One Is Safe.” Prior to each talk, a support group meets for spouses and adult children caring for loved ones. Register: Mary Allen at 952.920.8515 x243; GRACE & HOPE FOR OUR CHILDREN Tuesday, December 20 from 7:008:30PM in the Parlor; meets 3rd Tuesday monthly A support group for parents of kids with emotional/mental health issues. We seek to be a caring community as we share our journeys. Contact: Doug Brown at 612.839.9992; dbrown@ DIVORCE SUPPORT GROUP Tuesdays through January 24 from 6:308:00PM in Room 201 Divorce Support is a Care Group for people experiencing the pain of separation and divorce. We are a place to find help, discover hope, and experience healing in your journey. Contact: Debbie Manning at 952.920.8515 x275;

w w w. c p c o n l i n e . o r g

missions ADOPT A FAMILY Adopt: November 26/27 & December 3/4 Deliver Gifts: December 10/11 Adopt A Family provides Christmas gifts for families who would otherwise be unable to afford them. Select a family the weekend of November 26/27 or December 3/4, then drop off your gifts on December 10/11 at CPC. Contact: Karen Hartwig at 612.501.1419; SALVATION ARMY BELL RINGING Ring the Salvation Army bells at a variety of Edina locations. Register: www. EYEGLASSES AND HEARING AIDS Give the gift of sight and sound for those in need around the world. Please drop off your eyeglasses and hearing aids (in any condition) in the Great Room’s Coat Room.

SERVE CPC TECHNICAL ARTS SUPPORT TEAM If you can click a mouse, we can use you! Use your computer skills to further the message of God’s hope. Make podcasts, help with videos, run the screens, and help setup for weekend services. Contact: Jeff Johnson at 952.920.8515 x209;

KIDS CPC KIDS’ MINISTRIES HOLIDAY PROGRAMMING December 17/18 – Children’s Choir in worship service. No Sunday school for elementary kids. Regular programming for Nursery-Pre-K. Wednesday, December 21 – No kids’ programming Saturday, December 24 – Childcare available for Nursery-2 years at the 11:00AM, 1:00PM, 3:00PM, and 6:00PM services. No childcare available at the 9:00 and 11:00PM services. Wednesday, December 28 – No kids’ programming


Wednesday, January 4 – Kids’ programming resumes

CALLING ALL ANGELS, SHEPHERDS, & WISE PEOPLE! Mandatory Rehearsal on Wednesday, December 21 at 6:00PM OR Friday, December 23 at 4:00PM in the Sanctuary. Your child only needs to attend one. CPC Kids’ Ministries will present the Christmas Story at the Family Services at 11:00AM, 1:00PM, and 3:00PM on Christmas Eve. We need children between 5 and 11 years old to participate in one of the three services as angels, shepherds, wise people, and kids at a pajama party. Unless they are wise people, kids need to provide their own costumes. Contact: Anne McCracken at 952.920.8515 x216; anne@cpconline. org. Please indicate which of the three services your child will attend.

students MIDDLE SCHOOL ELEVATE AND COMMITMENT CLASS Wednesday, December 7 from 6:007:30PM A night of fun, large-group learning, and small-group discussion for 6th-8th graders. If your student has not yet registered, please do so at www.cpconline. org/register. Contact for 6th-7th grade Elevate: Mandy Jester at 952.920.8515 x232; Contact for 8th grade Commitment Class: Lee Hanssen at 952.920.8515 x267; leeh@ RUCKUS: 80s ROLLER GARDEN PARTY! Wednesday, December 14 from 6:007:30PM; buses leave from CPC We’re having Ruckus instead of programming? That’s right! 6th-8th graders will be heading to the St. Louis Park Roller Garden for a night of leg warmers, neon, and four-wheel roller skates! Come dressed for fun! Cost: $8/person (includes admission, skate rental, a hot dog, and a pop). Bring cash the night of the event. Contact: Mandy Jester at 952.920.8515 x232; mandyj@



HIGH SCHOOL HOUSE GROUPS Wednesday, December 7 & 14 from 8:009:30PM; no House Groups December 21 & 28; House Groups resume January 4 If your child wants to plug in to a core group, contact Brooke Toftoy at 952.920.8515 x286 or brooket@ MISSION CHICAGO STUDENT & PARENT GATHERING Tuesday, December 13 from 6:007:00PM in the Fireside Room Parents of students going on Mission Chicago are invited to an informational gathering to meet leaders, pray together, and have questions answered. Contact: Cory Gregory at 952.920.8515 x276; HSM HOUSE GROUP BONDING NIGHT Wednesday, December 14 from 8:009:30PM Adult House Group leaders are planning a fun night of serving, playing broomball, jumping at Sky Zone, and dressing up in Christmas sweaters! Details will be communicated at House Groups and online. Contact: Brooke Toftoy at 952.920.8515 x286; MISSION CHICAGO December 27-31 One of our favorite trips, Mission Chicago, filled up in four days! We have a waiting list, however, and we still encourage students to sign up. Register: Contact: Susan Harris at HSM CURRICULUM ONLINE HSM staff writes all high school curriculum. Visit to see what your student is learning. Contact: Brooke Toftoy at 952.920.8515 x286;

the table ADVENT SERIES November 27-December 24 Over Advent, we will look at what it CPC LIFE







means to move away from the busy norms of the holidays and toward the simplicity and joy that comes with the birth of Jesus.

CALVARY CHRISTMAS CONCERT Thursday, December 8 at 7:00PM Bring your family, friends, and small group to listen to the amazing music of the Calvary choir. Don’t miss this special opportunity to support Calvary and connect with others. Please bring a little treat to share after the concert. TABLE HANG-OUT Sunday, December 18 at 7:00PM Join other Table folks post-service at Tavern on France (6740 France Avenue South, Edina, MN 55435) to eat, drink, and enjoy community. TABLE HOLIDAY SERVICES Christmas Eve - Saturday, December 24 at 11:00PM No service on Sunday, December 25 New Year’s Day - Sunday, January 1 at 6:00PM CALVARY DROP-IN MEALS: CHRISTMAS DAY! Sunday, December 25 The Table community is solely in charge of welcoming, celebrating with, and feeding the homeless Minneapolis community on Christmas Day. We need volunteers to shop, cook, serve, clean up, and decorate the space. Donations toward the cost of the meal are also welcome. Find other ways to support the homeless men of Whittier at www. OASIS: COLLEGE-AGE RETREAT! Tuesday, January 3-Thursday, January 5 This is the perfect way for college students to reconnect and reinvest in their relationship with God over winter break. We will spend three days and two nights at Grand View Lodge having fun and connecting with Jesus. Cost: $75. Register: Contact: Cory Gregory at 952.920.8515 x276; coryg@cpconline. org. JABBOK COOL YOUTH CENTER: TUTOR AND SERVE MEALS





We need tutors for students in Whittier on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Jabbok is also looking for groups of five to six who can purchase, prepare, and serve meals from 5:00-7:00PM on Mondays and Tuesdays. Contact: Ashley Barlow at 952.920.8515 x223;

upcoming events WINTER ADULT CLASSES Register at register. Contact: Debbie Ducar at 952.920.8525 x226; Parent Coffee House Wednesday, January 4 from 6:007:30PM in the Fireside Room Gather for cider, hot chocolate, cookies, and warm fellowship. Get a sneak peak of upcoming Parental Guidance Necessary talks. Starting Point Wednesdays starting January 4 from 6:007:30PM For people new to faith or who want an overview of God’s Story. Cost: $20 suggested donation for materials. Parental Guidance Necessary: Real Kids, Real World Wednesdays, January 11-February 15 from 6:00-7:30PM in the Fireside Room Help make your kids’ faith stick. Join us for three two-week series on relationships, social media, and money. Gospel-Centered Life Wednesdays, January 11-March 14 from 6:00-7:30PM Learn how the gospel of grace applies to our everyday lives. You can pick up the books at Pathway Bookstore. January Term with Seminary Professors Wednesdays, January 11, 18, & 25 from 6:00-7:30PM Seminary professors Peter Vogt, Carla Dahl, and Jeannine Brown will teach. No registration necessary. Financial Peace University Thursdays starting January 12 from 6:308:30PM Practical, biblically-based resources for financial management. Cost: $100.

Doing the Right Thing Thursdays starting January 12 from 6:308:00PM New six-week series on ethical crises facing our country. Based on a DVD series by Chuck Colson and Brit Hume. Tim Keller’s Prodigal God Wednesdays, February 1-March 14 (no class on February 22) Join us for a six-week study on the parable of the prodigal son.

MEMBERSHIP CLASSES Sunday afternoons from January 8-29 Do you like what you see at CPC? In our Membership Class, meet pastors and others, and learn what we believe. There is no obligation to join after the class, but we hope you do. Register: Beth Montgomery at 952.920.8515 x214; WOMEN IN THE WORD Mondays, January 9-April 23 We are offering two studies, done sequentially. We’ll start with James: Mercy Triumphs by Beth Moore, which includes topics on joy, hardship, faith, wisdom, humility, and prayer. Then we’ll study Jonah: Navigating a Life Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer, which shows how interruption can be God’s invitation to do more. Cost: $35 until January 2; then $40. Register: www. Contact: Jane Pooler at jane.womenintheword@gmail. com. FAMILY FEST MINISTRIES: WINTER FAMILY CAMP January 13-16 & February 17-20 Join Family Fest, CPC’s friend in ministry, at Winter Weekend, a multi-generational getaway at Grand View Lodge. Enjoy speakers, winter sports, bonfires, plus great accommodations and food. Register: Contact: Pete Larson at 952.881.0939; SAVE THE DATE! WINTER WOMEN’S RETREAT Saturday, February 11 from 9:00AM3:30PM with Dee Brestin


marriage ends and I try to support four kids, I’m leaning on Jesus. But it’s also a prayer for any of us, no matter what we’re facing. We can’t do it alone. I’m so grateful to be part of a fourgeneration family at CPC. My grandparents, parents, my kids, and I call this church home. Roger Anderson [founding pastor] introduced my parents to each other. There are people in this church who have prayed for me and my family since before I was born — and 37 years later, are still praying for me.

little girl, I’ve always felt ‘‘calledSinceto doI wastwoathings: to sing and to be

a mom. Singing is just something that I have to do. The old hymn, ‘How Can I Keep from Singing?’ sums me up. Luckily people like to hear me sing, which makes it even better. Music is how I learn things best, and also how God speaks to me. Don’t ask me where a certain passage is in the Bible, but if there’s a song about it, I can recite it to you.

“There are things to be grateful for in every situation.”

I started singing with the CPC Contemporary Team when I was a senior in high school. A year later, when I found out I was pregnant, I worried I wouldn’t be able to keep singing here. I was fully aware what message my situation — pregnant at 19, married at 20 — might send to people. But John Crosby and Heather Hood told me I was more than ‘my situation,’ that I was welcome here. I think their decision kept me in the Church. If they had turned me away, what would I have done? Being embraced by this church was a turning point for making my faith my own.

My husband, Mark, and I went on to have three more children, when I was in my later 20s and early 30s. Mark and I had issues over the years, but I thought we were committed to each other. Things started to fall apart when he was laid off in 2009. Something happened to his spirit. It got to the point where we lost our house. In October 2010, Mark said he wanted to take a few days away from the chaos and the family. What was supposed to be a couple of days has turned into . . . forever. He has never come back. He lives in Utah now.

I started going to CPC Mom’s Morning, even though it was awkward for me. All the moms seemed much further along on their journeys. Their lives

In a recent worship service we sang the song, ‘Give Me Jesus.’ Those words feel like my anthem. Amidst the chaos and rawness I’m experiencing as my

I have numerous Bible verses posted in my kitchen where I can see them everyday. One is from Philippians: ‘I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty and I have learned the secret to be content in all circumstances.’ That is definitely the truth. My family and I used to live in a fantastic house, drive great cars, and could afford to do great things — and now I’m on the other end of the spectrum. The one constant is Jesus. There is provision in His name. My joy comes from God. There is no reason why I should have the attitude that I do, why I should be happy in the middle of really cruddy circumstances. There is no other reason but that God has put something in me that I can’t stuff and hide.



looked so together, while I was working full-time and still worried about paying for groceries. But I kept showing up. Now I’ve been in a small group with the same moms for almost 12 years. That small group means everything to me. What these women have done is to grow my roots, to show me how to be vulnerable. If you had asked me 20 years ago, I never, ever would have guessed I would need a group of women like I’ve needed them. We’ve walked some hard roads together.


In My Own Words:

My dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease four years ago, when he was in his early 60s. When I see his peers, I get sad, thinking of the things he’s no longer able to do. On the other hand, we have fun finding the humor in the little things that are changing in him. His life is shifting in unexpected ways. Maybe traveling the world with my mom is no longer on the agenda, but cultivating really strong relationships with his grandchildren is. There are things to be grateful for in every situation.






richard Davis book signing Thanksgiving harvest


NPr’s Chris Farrell visits nesters

experience hope: threeday meal challenge

preschool bibles

new MEMBERS join cpc

ExperiEnce hope: freedom from fear bus tours

men’s breakfast with greg coleman

table retreat







In Our

Family Congratulations: Rachel Julianne Siedow and Scott Michael Gustafson were married October 22 in the Sanctuary. The Rev. Dr. John Crosby officiated. Erin Renee Wilson and Eric Joseph Reiner were married October 29 in the Sanctuary. Pastor Mike Hotz officiated.

IN THE HOSPITAL 10/20-11/16 Rae Funk - Fairview Ridges Bob Melander - Methodist Bonnie Bassinger - Abbott Polly Bowles - Abbott Frank Wilcox - Methodist Bob Borchers - HCMC Diana Dvorak - Methodist George Lund - Methodist Alec Mundt - Children’s Minneaplis Betty Eichhorn - Fairview Southdale Kathryn Ophaug - University of MN Halle Nicholas - Abbott Bill Rieckhoff - Fairview Southdale Hildur Shelton - Fairview Southdale Julie Parke - Fairview Southdale Jan Baum - North Memorial Rita van Rijn - Abbott Janet Karnik - Fairview Southdale

STAFF TRANSITIONS: Susan Harris joins Student Ministries as Ministry Assistant. Jesse McLeod transitions out of his role as Executive Pastor on December 31.

SYMPATHY TO: Karen and Scott Wooldridge on the passing of Karen’s father, George L. Jones, on November 6. A memorial service was held November 11 at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Edina. Sandra and Dick Devine on the death of Sandra’s father, Jim Bernhagen, on November 11. A memorial service was held November 19 at Washburn-McReavy in Edina. The Rev. Rich Phenow officiated. Steve and Karen Hartwig on the death of Steve’s father, John “Jack” Hartwig, on November 14. A memorial service was held November 21 in the Sanctuary. The Rev. Rich Phenow officiated.

FINANCIAL UPDATE June 1 – October 31, 2011 Ministry Offering Budget: $1,598,739.38 Actual Offering: $1,567,507.28 Variance: ($31,232.10) October Mission Partner of the Month (Experience Hope): $13,421 YTD Mission of the Month Total: $30,661.89 Expenses are on budget year-to-date. To make your 2012 Commitment to CPC, visit or contact David Peterson, Finance Manager, at 952.920.8515 x206 or

Harry Baker on the death of his wife, Muriel, on November 14. A memorial service was held November 21 in the Chapel. The Rev. Rich Phenow officiated.

THANK YOU, JESSE McLEOD “I told the Personnel Committee early on that Jesse McLeod reminded me of Andrew, the follower of Jesus who was ‘without guile.’ What you see is what you get: a servant who stays out of the spotlight, helping in the background. For four years Jesse has led with integrity and grace, serving CPC behind the scenes with real passion and joy as our Executive Pastor. As Jesse and Valerie move on to their next season, we wish them Godspeed, confident that they will bless any community they join, as they have blessed us!” -John Crosby, Senior Pastor


D| E C M EM AR BC EH R 2011



DECEMBER DEVOTIONAL by Jennifer Boardman, Communications & James Madsen, Adult Ministries

What does it mean that

Jesus is our Messiah? What does it mean that

Jesus is the Messiah? In Matthew 16:15-16, Jesus asks His disciples, “Who do you say I am?” Peter quickly answers, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” The word “Messiah” comes from the Hebrew, meaning “Anointed One.” For centuries, the Jewish people had looked for this Anointed One to rebuild the temple and make Israel the center of world power. But God had much bigger plans, though they were first manifested in a much smaller package: an Infant. This Infant became a Man — fully human and fully God — and He died on the cross, the long-awaited Messiah of the world. In the words of C.S. Lewis, “The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God.”

Most of the Jews of Jesus’ time missed the coming of the Messiah, because they were fixated on their own expectations for God. Even though Jesus fulfilled over 300 Old Testament prophecies regarding the Messiah, they were blind to the truth right before their eyes and unable to accept the gift God had for them. Today we are also in danger of missing the Messiah, at the very least in experiencing the best Jesus has for us. What keeps you from experiencing the fullness of Jesus? Are you consumed by busyness? What about the pursuit of the American dream? Are you fixated by your own expectations of what you think God should be doing in your life? This Christmas season, may we open our eyes to the wonder of the gift of Jesus. The Gospel of John reminds us that everyone who puts their trust in Jesus will become children of God. To be a child of God is to be fully loved, fully accepted, and completely forgiven because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. When we learn to embrace what it means to be a child of God, we can live in pure joy, contentment, and purpose in life.

What We’re Reading Integrity

An Advent Storybook: 24 Stories to Share Before Christmas

The Story: read the bible as one seamless story from beginning to end

by Henry Cloud Like many, I have a hard time retaining and applying material I read. Not so with Henry Cloud’s book, Integrity. It is supremely relevant and practical. Cloud uses the image of a boat’s wake to show the two things a leader leaves when moving through people’s lives: the task and the relationship. When integrating these two sides, character is crucial. Cloud writes about building trust, facing reality, having the courage to face our weaknesses, and seeking to understand those around us. Cloud has also developed an online class that I have piloted and highly recommend. Check it out at

By Antonie Schneider This sweet children’s book is an imaginative way to count down until Christmas. Benjamin Bear’s mother uses an advent calendar and her own imagination to create stories to tell Benjamin each night. In the stories, Benjamin begins on a long journey, following a bright star that leads to the Christ Child. His adventures are filled with unique characters and many surprises. Each story ends with a reflection on God’s gifts for us and will prepare your child for the true meaning of Christmas. A companion advent calendar is also available.

by Zondervan ANOTHER version of the Bible? That’s what I thought when I picked up The Story. But I was thrilled to discover that it was the words of the Bible . . . but in novel form. It felt like I had stumbled upon the transcript for an outstanding movie! It was simply easier to read and easier to remember. I found myself saying, “Now I get it!” as I read through the chapters with ease, rather than with fear of misinterpreting them. Thanks to this book, I can read through a traditional Bible with confidence because I finally know, and get, the story.

- Laura Crosby

- Michelle Durrett, Pathway

-Kat Nicora






Staff Spotlight:

Heather Hood

Q What led you to become a Minister of Worship & Music? I didn’t decide to become a Minister of Worship & Music; it was the hand of God that led me to where I am. I studied to be a teacher of music in a classroom setting, but God brought me to CPC where I teach music full-time in a church environment. I went on to get my Doctorate in Worship Studies, which I completed in 2003. After 26 years here, CPC is home away from home. One blessing of being in one place for a long time is the transformation I see in people’s lives. You’re not just planting seeds; you actually get to see those seeds grow.

Q What does a typical workweek look like for you?

Heather Hood has served as CPC’s Minister of Worship & Music for 26 years. Hometown: Springfield, IL Favorite Bible verse: Lamentations 3:21-23 Book you’re currently reading: Radical by David Platt Favorite Christmas carol: “In the Bleak Midwinter” Hobbies: Reading, antiquing, and needlework

Member Spotlight:

David Carroll

My workweek is a combination of music rehearsals and teaching times with children and adults, worship planning with pastors and the worship team, bulletin preparation, writing a weekly newsletter, and choosing music for worship services. I also write all liturgy and confessions for the traditional service. I love teaching music, and I especially love working with younger elementary-aged kids. They are like sponges: they soak up learning with great joy and delight.

Q Can you tell us a little about your faith story?

I was nurtured in faith long before I made a public commitment to Christ. I grew up in a Christian home and both my parents were involved in church music, my dad as an organist and my mom as choir director. I once told Mom’s Morning that my faith story is probably what we hope will be true of CPC kids: I grew up learning stories and songs about Jesus and it launched a faith journey that continues into adulthood. Though there is a moment when you claim faith for yourself, there is also a time before you make that decision and a journey after it. Faith is an ongoing experience; it’s not, “I made a decision for Christ; now everything’s perfect.” A really marking moment for me was when I worked at a more theologically liberal church before I came to CPC. I had to figure out what values I held to and how to express my faith in a church environment that I didn’t grow up in. It was a spiritually formative time for me.

Q What is your faith background and what led you to CPC?

I was raised a Catholic. My family was in church more than we were out, but it was largely a rote experience. I met my current wife in the early 90s. She lived in Chicago, so we commuted back and forth. When she moved here in 2001, we started looking for a church. The first two or three times we came to CPC — and this is a God thing — John Crosby was standing outside the doors just seemingly waiting for us. He was so warm and nice. We felt encouraged to get involved, and CPC became home.

Q How did you become a Deacon?

David Carroll serves as a CPC Deacon with Families Moving Forward and Loaves and Fishes.

When my wife and I were first nominated, I didn’t want to do it. But then I asked myself, “Well, who are you? You think you’re so important that you don’t have time to help people out? Just do it!” My wife and I are involved in Families Moving Forward and Loaves and Fishes. I had spent so much of my life thinking about me, so it’s been a phenomenal experience to take time to think about the other guy. Serving with my wife has made us a lot closer. We’re just not as selfish as we used to be. The more I serve, the more I get out of it. It is unbelievable the joy and happiness I get from doing things around CPC. I never think about it being a burden; it’s just enjoyable.

Q Please tell us a little about the Families Moving Forward (FMF) ministry. Hometown: St. Paul Favorite book of the Bible: Hebrews Book you’re currently reading: A Year with C.S. Lewis Hobbies: Travel, church activities, and outreach

Families who are currently homeless stay at CPC three or four weeks a year. We ask for volunteers to prepare meals, play with children, stay overnight, and do setup and teardown. Then in the morning, the families — mostly single women with children — go to the FMF community center to look for housing and jobs. They are just trying to survive day to day. I’m always a little conflicted because I ask myself how much we can actually help folks who are here for such a short time. But the Bible says that we are just supposed to give to others, love people, and show up. CPC LIFE




Worship Times this Month Saturdays at 5:15PM | Contemporary Worship Sundays at 9:30AM | Traditional Worship Sundays at 11:00AM | Contemporary Worship Sundays at 6:00PM | The Table (for the Next Generation) December 6 at 7:00PM | Candlelight Memorial Service December 21 at 12:00PM | Mid-Month Chapel Service December 24 | Christmas Eve Worship at 11:00AM, 1:00, 3:00, 6:00, 9:00, and 11:00PM December 25 | Christmas Day Worship at 11:00AM January 1 | New Year’s Worship at 11:00AM and 6:00PM

This Month in Worship December 3/4 | Love that Shows Up as Glory | John Crosby speaking; Ashley Barlow & Curt Rhodes at The Table December 10/11 | Love that Shows Up as New Life | Deb Kielsmeier speaking; Brad Jackson at The Table December 17/18 | Love that Shows Up as Emmanuel – Special Music from the Combined Children’s Choirs | John Crosby speaking; Brad Jackson at The Table December 24 | Love that Shows Up as Jesus


Love that Shows Up

When Jesus was born to Mary, love showed up in the most powerful — and unexpected — way. Jesus the Infant would become Jesus the Man, come to love us, serve us, and eventually save us from our sins. Throughout Advent, we will look at the Book of John for ways God’s love showed up in Jesus’ miracles, promises, and care for the lost and weak. Let the miracle of Christ’s birth be the impetus to ask how we, too, can incarnate God’s love in our world and relationships. How can our love be made flesh this year? Visit to learn about The Table’s special Advent sermon series.

DECEMBEr At A Glance (see pages 7-10 for details) SUN


27 Sunday Communities (S.C.) Adopt A Family


S.C. Adopt A Family


S.C. CPC Singles Adopt A Family

12 In the Word Amazing Grace Book Club

18 S.C. Table Hang-Out

19 In the Word

20 Romans Study Divorce Care Grace & Hope





Ruth Circle Wed. Dinner & Programs Denominational Teaching Time

Edynamoes Ruth Circle Wed. Dinner & Programs

14 Mom’s Morning Ruth Circle Ruckus HSM Bonding




10 Needlework Guild Nesters’ Christmas Celebration Adopt A Family

Alzheimer’s Group Calvary Christmas Concert



Moms of Teens CPC Singles

Ruth Circle, Martha Circle Mid-Month Chapel Family Christmas Service Rehearsal

3 Women’s Christmas Brunch Adopt A Family


13 Romans Study Divorce Care Mission Chicago Meeting



6 Romans Study Divorce Care Candlelight Memorial Service

In the Word


29 Romans Study Divorce Care

In the Word





17 Lydia Circle

23 Family Christmas Service Rehearsal

24 Christmas Eve Services

Christ Presbyterian Church | 6901 Normandale Road, Edina, MN 55435 | 952.920.8515 | |

December 2011 CPC Life  
December 2011 CPC Life  

A monthly publication of Christ Presbyterian Church in Edina, MN