SUMMER 2017 // I s s u e 4
N O R M A N DA L E L U T H E R A N C H U R C H
Summer Worship @ NLC SUNDAYS / 9:30 AM / MAY 28 - SEPT 10 WEDNESDAY OUTDOOR WORSHIP / 7:00 PM / JUNE 7 - AUG 16
WEDNESDAY OUTDOOR WORSHIP SCHEDULE Each Wednesday we gather for outdoor worship and fun and fellowship. Each week is different with fun for all ages. Bring a friend. Invite a neighbor. Come as you are. All are welcome!
Youth Choir Send-Off with Summer Kick-Off Bonfire and S'mores
Camp Wapo Send-Off and Blessing of the Sleeping Bags with Canteen Treats
Bring your Pets to Worship and Blessing of the Animals
6:00 pm: Simple Supper Served
before Worship with Dessert Following Worship
Youth Montana Trip Send-Off and Blessing of the Bear Bells
Wiffleball, Popcorn, Peanuts & Cracker Jack
JULY 26 Lawn Games with Ice Cream
JUNE 28 Celebrate VBS with Root Beer Floats
AUGUST 9 Play Ball with Pastor Paul
AUGUST 16 Summer Wrap-up Bonfire and S'mores
Together Summer 2017
In This Issue
Worship & Gather Together Sundays // 9:30 am with fellowship and coffee immediately following
4 / The Spiritual Meaning of Fitness
Wednesdays // 7:00 pm outdoor worship with fun and fellowship each week (see opposite page)
6 / Have You Tried Wednesday Worship?
Visit Us Online
2 / Wednesday Summer Worship
8 / Sticky, Messy & Imperfect 10 / Partners in Ministry: Sending Forth Matt & Kelsey Schroeder
12 / NEW! Fall 2017 Sunday Worship Times 13 / Life @ NLC 15 / ATOP: Phase Two 16 / Human Family: We Are More Alike, My Friends, Than We Are Unalike
Our Mission Led by the Holy Spirit and living in God’s grace, Normandale Lutheran Church is a community proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ through love, learning, worship, and service.
Welcoming Statement Normandale Lutheran Church is called to the ministry of reconciliation. We welcome and affirm our human family’s diversity of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, age, faith history, socioeconomic status, physical and mental ability. We embrace this diversity as a gift from God. We affirm that all people are created in the image of God, and as beloved children of God, all are worthy of God’s love and grace. We welcome all people into full participation in the life and ministries of Normandale Lutheran Church. We recognize that there are differences among us, but believe that we can love one another even though we may not think alike. We proclaim this statement of welcome to all who have known the pain of exclusion or discrimination in the church and society. We invite you to join us in our faithful journey toward greater love, understanding, and reconciliation.
NLC Together // Summer 2017
by JD Devine
Summer 2017 // NLC Together
It is often said in Minnesota that there are two seasons of the year “winter and construction” as opposed to the four found on the Gregorian calendar. For many people this statement holds true with respect to wellness and health also. The older I get it seems that I, too, find myself more disposed to hibernation during the winter and more inclined to increased activity during the construction (summer) season. So why do I or better yet – why should I get moving when the summer solstice arrives? Whether it’s walking, running, or biking, all activities that are a regular part of my outdoor fitness routine, I can do it in worship. What is worship? Well, in the simplest of terms it is – what we value most. With that said, I had best explain my own worship experience; what I value most. When I am out on the trails, roads and paths, on foot or on wheels I see, hear, feel, smell and sense God's amazing and incredible omnipresence. Some time ago I read a quotation that resonated with me at the time and brought clarity to my life activities and especially my ongoing pursuit of healthy physical habits:
“Worship is our response to God for who He is and what He's done, expressed in and by the things we say and the way we live. We inhale salvation and we exhale praise. That's worship.” When I embraced the idea that my pursuit of fitness could be a means of praise, it became apparent that by focusing my attention on His presence and the outcome of what good health permits me, the opportunity to serve Him and others was strengthened commensurately. I pray that you will worship with me on the trails, roads and paths of our great state or wherever your vacation travels may take you this construction (summer) season, acutely attuned to all that is around you, in praise of His powerful presence, with thanks for His abounding gifts and with intentional purpose to be physically well for the service of Him and others.
NLC Together // Summer 2017
Have You Tried Summer Outdoor Wednesday Worship? by Jean Bonneville
Summer 2017 // NLC Together
My family has been privileged to host a number of French young people at our home over the last ten years. It has been a wonderful opportunity for us to get to know another culture, and to share American and Minnesotan culture with our new friends. One of the things we share with these delightful young people is the opportunity to come to church with us and it has always been fun to watch their reactions. No matter their church background, they are used to a more formal church experience, and often their attendance is limited to Christmas and Easter once they have been confirmed. (We usually can't get them to come to church until Christmas!) Invariably, their reaction to coming to Normandale is "Oh, I get it! I would totally go to church in France if it were like this!" They can't get over the meaningful connections made in the service as well as during fellowship. Usually we host during the school year, but last summer we had an opportunity to host Emma, a French teenager. We took her to a Wednesday Night outdoor service, and she LOVED it! She begged to go back again the next week. She had so much fun meeting people, socializing, and worshiping. It makes me stop for a moment and give great thanks for Normandale and all our fantastic opportunities for meaningful worship, meaningful connection, fun, and grace. Pictured above: Kristen Bonneville, Emma, Megan Bonneville
Come for worship, stay for fun and fellowship! It's different every week... See page 2 for details.
NLC Together // Summer 2017
One of the greatest joys of being a youth director in the summertime (other than eating copious amounts of s’mores) is the privilege of taking youth on summer trips and getting the chance to share an experience together outside of the walls of the church building. Last year, Pastor Charlie, Karrin Meffert, and I chaperoned a group of 20 youth to Wilderness Canoe Base located off the Gunflint Trail to spend a week doing service projects at camp and camping in the Boundary Waters. In taking time to reflect on the trip with the youth group, everyone came away with their own unique “God moments” or times when they felt most connected to God. As I write this article, I smile as I look back and think, “when WASN’T God present?!” Of course, God showed up and was with us in all of it. I witnessed God’s presence in the quick teamwork garnered to gather gear and flip two tipped canoes back over in the middle of Seagull Lake. I experienced God’s joy watching 15, 16, and 17 year-olds who had never camped before portage a canoe for the first time and feel true strength and pride. I heard God’s voice echo through the night-time prayer circles, the encouragement and story-swapping, the non-stop tent laughter and conversation, and the (MANY) Disney song sing-a-longs. I saw God’s beauty in the dirt-crusted fingernails, snarly hair, blueberry juice-stained shirts, watercolor sunsets, still blue lakes, and lush green portages. I felt God knit us together as we bonded through challenging work projects, hundreds of mosquito bites, snoring tent-mates, and an array of things that did not go quite as planned.
by Maggie Jones
Summer 2017 // NLC Together
When youth drive for hours on a bus together, experience worship in a new setting, spend afternoons playing outside, adventure to new corners of the state or country, pray alongside of friends, and serve communities near and far together, insecurities begin to chip away, leaving room for their whole selves to shine through.
I’ve witnessed this beautiful cracking-open on every youth trip I’ve attended. It shows up in the student who tells corny jokes and doesn’t care about telling the same one four different times, or the one who finally gets the courage to speak up and share their bright ideas, or the one who sings loudly even though they’re a little tone-deaf, or the one who encourages others instead of putting them down, or the one who volunteers to pray for the group even when they don’t know exactly what to say. If there’s one thing that I’m reminded of again and again and especially on summer trips, it is that God delights in the mess that’s uncovered when we bring our complete and authentic selves to the table, sharing all of who we are with one another. The more I continue to learn about all the ways that God works in this world, the more I am convinced that our relationships with God look and feel about as polished as a sticky, messy, imperfect s’more. Try as we might to roast our marshmallow to golden-brown perfection, things don’t always go according to plan. Maybe a friend thinks that it’s funny to hit your stick, causing your marshmallow to char on the side of a log. Maybe you don’t get as much chocolate as you’d like (3 pieces minimum, for me.) Maybe your marshmallow gets too hot and slides off into the flames. But God comes to us in the sticky mess and reminds us time and time again that we don’t need to be perfect, because we already are made perfect in His love for us. He’ll continue to stick to us and with us through all of the unexpected twists, challenges, times of doubt, and transition in our lives -- reminding us that we are loved exactly as we are.
Keep NLC Youth in your prayers this summer! JUNE 9-18 Normandale Youth Choir Tour to Washington D.C.
JULY 9-14 Youth Week at Camp WAPO
JULY 22-29 High School Youth Trip to Blackfeet Nation, Montana
AUGUST 8-10 Summer Stretch at Normandale
NLC Together // Summer 2017
Partners in Ministry Sending Forth: Supporting Future Church Leaders
10 Summer 2017 // NLC Together
Being Sent Forth Then Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38 It is compulsory to use this quote from Matthew when speaking of our church and our work together. I know it’s a cliché, but I can’t help but feel as if Jesus is speaking directly to us in our space and our time today. What we do here at Normandale echoes out into the rest of the world and impacts the lives of countless people in our community and the wider world. We are being sent forth to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world and our work touches lives. However, we need leaders and organizers to make this work possible. Some have heard that church attendance throughout the country is in decline. This is true. Attendance in mainline congregations has been on a steady decline for years now. Are we becoming a Godless nation? This is untrue. According to Barna research, in 2016 73% of Americans identify as Christian and only 20% of Americans reported that they had no faith life at all. We are predominantly a nation of believers with a majority of us claiming Christianity as our faith. Then why all this talk of a church in decline? When Barna controlled for factors such as church attendance, Christian education attendance, prayer, biblical literacy etc. they found that only 31% were “practicing Christians.” Although 3/4 of our country indentifies as Christian, only 1/3 practices their faith in a church. Where are our people? Why aren’t they coming to bible study, to choir, to worship on Sunday? The truth is that our society is not becoming less Christian, but the church is simply not offering our people what they want. What our people want most of all is authenticity, passionate leadership, and community. We need to equip and build up new Christian public leaders to go out into the world to live with God’s people. We need creative leaders who can meet the needs of their community in new and inspiring ways. We need authentic leaders who serve God’s people however they feel called. What we do not need is a cookie cutter ideal of what leaders should be, what a church is, or what the church does together. When we are open to new leaders and new ideas, we are open to making a new creation together with God. Our people are
out there, they just want a place where they feel welcomed, challenged, and called. Thanks to the Sending Forth ministry I was able to get my education at Luther Seminary and walk alongside my peers and mentors as I discerned where God was calling me. If it weren’t for the financial support of this ministry, I wouldn’t be where I am today. According to Forbes, student loan debt is the second highest consumer debt in the United States. There are around 44 million borrowers with $1.3 trillion in student loan debt. The average student in 2016 walked away with $37,172 in student loan debt. These numbers are astronomical, but they are sadly the norm. Not to mention the fact that these are undergraduate numbers alone. I have some undergraduate loans, however, I have not taken out a single loan since starting at Luther Seminary and I have the Sending Forth committee to thank for that. We are putting such a burden on our future leaders by starting their careers out so deep in the hole. If we want creative, authentic, and passionate leaders for this church we need to make the pathway clear and we need to remove as many boundaries to success as possible. We know that the harvest is plentiful and we know that our people are out there. However, the laborers are few because the laborers are often burdened with unnecessary financial woes. This Sending Forth ministry is of paramount importance because it shows a dedication to educated leaders, to future ministry, and to the future of our church. I felt affirmed and supported by this ministry and I hope that Normandale continues its commitment to the future. My wife, Kelsey, and I are looking forward to starting our new adventure down in Fort Worth, Texas. We are awaiting a congregational vote to extend to me the call of associate pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Fort Worth. We thank you, the people of Normandale, for your dedication to this ministry, for the support you have given us throughout the years, and for this gift given through the Sending Forth team. God’s peace, Matt and Kelsey Schroeder
Photo (opposite page): Matt & Kelsey Schroeder NLC Together // Summer 2017
NEW! Fall 2017 Sunday Worship Times Dear Normandale Lutheran Church Community, If you have not already heard in recent Sunday worship announcements or through the grapevine of other staff communication and conversation, it pleases me to inform you that this fall, we will adjust our Sunday morning schedule to offer worship at 8:45 and 10:45 am, with community learning and fellowship opportunity for all ages between worships, roughly 10:00-10:40 am. You may recall that after 30+ years of the same worship times offered at NLC (8:30 and 11:00 am), this past year we ventured on an experiment of adjusting worship times in hopes of making it an even more robust and vibrant part of our communal life of faith.
So, we’ve discerned that a slight shift is warranted. The new schedule will try to merge the best of what we’ve learned. It will attempt to be not too early, nor too late. It will offer time for community learning for all ages not overlapping with worship and allow for pastors to be involved in teaching regularly. It will shorten the learning time a bit, which will make it a more doable task for volunteers with children and a more attentive time for energetic kids.
As pastor, I assert that attendance and participation in worship is perhaps the single most faith-formative and basic practice of a community in Christ. In worship, we hear God’s word, we learn, we pray, we praise, we’re forgiven, we share peace, and we are fed and splashed and blessed with God’s presence and Statistics had shown that most people tend to gravitate toward then sent into the world renewed and free to love and serve. worship times on Sunday mornings beginning between 9:00I, you, we, need worship. It is a central ac10:30 am. Until this year, we did not offer worship tivity of what makes us church. Therefore, during that time slot. In addition, we noted that “Participation in we want to continue to offer opportunities for the involvement of many people leading worworship is perhaps which make it possible for the most people to ship (choirs, readers, pastors, musicians, acolytes, the single most make it a regular practice and commitment. etc.), 8:30 am worship led to quite early morning faith-formative Bottom line, we want you to be in worship prep, while 11:00 am worship became too late for any and every chance you get, because it and basic practice many would-be worshippers due to other engagematters for you and it matters to others. ments and rhythms of the day. Thus, we made of a community of the change to 9:00 and 10:30 am worship with Christ. I, you, we, I can’t stress enough how much conversation community and learning (“Sunday School”) overneed worship." and discernment has gone into this. You lapping with worship, 9:15-10:15 am. have wonderful staff and leaders who take every aspect into consideration and continue to evaluate. As There were some positives to the change this year. We experiwe’ve researched and talked with other leaders and churches, enced a new vibrancy, engagement, and robustness of fellowit has become clear that there is no perfect schedule. Each ship nurtured in the Fireside Room between worships as evcommunity adjusts to the unique needs, desires, and gifts of eryone collided and connected. We incorporated a Children’s the gathering, and each experience challenging aspects. The Message more regularly into our order of worship. Staff and beauty and goodness occurs as the community works together worship leaders found a more streamlined Sunday morning. to make the experience the best for the whole. On that note, thank you for your nimble adjustments for the good of our However, there were difficulties as well. Most unfortunatechurch! It is a blessed thing to witness the collective be willing ly, people generally reported worshiping less due to the conand able to continue to shift together in order to best receive densed schedule and the timing of Sunday School and adult and offer the goodness of Christ. learning opportunities. Sunday School teachers and volunteers reported difficulty being active in worship. It limited Beginning next fall, at 8:45 or 10:45 am, see you in worship! the children’s experience of the full worship, and we learned that this continues as a core value of our NLC community. Fellow worshipper, Opportunity for adult community learning and the pastors’ ability to be involved in teaching and fellowship outside of the worship was severely limited.
12 Summer 2017 // NLC Together
Life @ NLC
Our Blue Zone Sunday, June 25 11:00 am - 2:00 pm Come hear Danny Buettnerâ€™s dynamic presentation on the findings first published in the New York Times Bestseller The Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for Living Longer from the people whoâ€™ve lived the longest. Followed by lunch and discussion with a panel of local health experts about healthy living in our community. Register Today! Contact Zach Greimann at 952-977-9374 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NLC Together // Summer 2017
Life @ NLC
For the full calendar of NLC Happenings, visit www.normluth.org/events.
Summer Community Meal
Wednesday, June 14 | 6:00 pm Miss Wednesday night dinners? Join in a summer simple supper prepared by Chef Kimlinh before Wednesday outdoor worship! Dessert served following worship. Free will offering.
August 8-10 | 9:00 am - 3:00 pm Calling all youth graduating 5th through 8th grade. Join the NEW Summer Stretch! We'll do fun service projects in the mornings and head out for mystery adventure trips in the afternoons. Sign-up today at normluth.org/ youth-summer.
NLC Youth Choir Homecoming Concert
ABLAZE Summer Youth Group
Sunday, June 18 | 6:30 pm Come celebrate the return of our Youth Choir from their DC Choir Tour as they give their final concert of the tour at home!
Begins Wednesday, June 21 | 8:00-9:00 pm Make connections and s'mores while growing in faith! All 7th-12th graders welcome to join this summer youth group on Wednesdays following 7:00 pm worship. Bring your friends!
School Supplies Drive
Watch for more info coming later this summer about this way to give back!
Take Me Out to the Saints Game Sunday, August 20 Mark your calendars and stay tuned for more info coming your way soon!
Children & Family VBS: Maker Fun Factory June 26-29
Calling all kids ages 3 - 5th grade. Register today at normluth.org/kids-summer! Volunteers, we need your help to make this fantastic week happen. Sign-up online today or contact Kari Warnke at 952.929.1697 or email@example.com. Thank you!
Register for 2017-2018 Sunday School Today!
Sunday School will meet Sundays, 10:0010:40 am starting this fall. All children ages 3 - 6th grade welcome. Skip the craziness at the beginning of the school year and help us plan ahead for fall! Register today at normluth.org/Sunday-School.
Children & Family questions? Contact Kari Warnke at firstname.lastname@example.org. 14 Summer 2017 // NLC Together
2017-2018 Confirmation: Register Today!
Parents of students entering grades 7, 8, & 9, please sign your child up for Confirmation for the 2017-18 school year online or pick up a paper form at church! We appreciate your early sign up -- knowing who will be coming to Confirmation early helps us to prepare our program for fall. Register at normluth.org/confirmation today!
2017-2018 High School Hangout: It's Not Too Early! High School Hangout offers fun and fellowship on Wednesday nights for students entering grades 10, 11, & 12. Come as you are and join us as we love, learn, worship and serve, growing in faith and community. Signup for High School Hangout for 2017-18 at normluth.org/high-school-hangout today!
Youth questions? Contact Maggie Jones at email@example.com.
Adults & Seniors Vision for Healthy Living: Strength & Serenity Alternating Exercise Series
Tuesdays, through Aug 1 | 10:30-11:30 am Strength & Balance: June 6, 27, July 18, Aug 1 Gentle Yoga: June 20, July 11, 25 Join us every Tuesday for an alternating series of Gentle Yoga and Strength & Balance classes to improve your strength, balance, flexibility, and mental well-being. Learn more at normluth.org/events.
Vision for Healthy Living: Elder Nutrition Lunch & Learn
Monday, June 19 11:30 am - 12:30 pm | Rooms 209-211 Come enjoy a free, healthy snack and an enlightening conversation with others who want to know more about what it looks like to eat well as you age. June topic: Food for Thought: Nutrition for Brain Health. Questions? Contact Zach at 952.977.9374 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more at normluth.org/healthy-living.
Vision for Healthy Living: Our Blue Zone
Sunday, June 25 | 11:00 am - 2:00 pm NLC Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall Come learn about "Our Blue Zone"! (See page 13 for program description.) $10 attendance and lunch fee $5 for persons under 18 or over 60. Contact Zach to register at email@example.com or 952-977-9374. Respite group available on-site for caregivers who wish to bring their care receiver. Please RSVP for this group when registering. Learn more and register at normluth.org/events.
Thursdays | 1:30-2:30 pm 3rd Floor, Multi-Purpose Room North For more info, contact Patti Hankes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 952.929.1698.
ATOP: All Together in One Place | Phase Two
What's Happening Behind the Wall in Fireside Room? A chapel and new studio and gym space coming your way soon. Thank you for your generosity. On April 23, we broke ground for ATOP Phase Two. Thanks be to God!
Normandale Lutheran Church 6100 Normandale Road Edina, MN 55436
Our Mission Led by the Holy Spirit and living in Godâ€™s grace, Normandale Lutheran Church is a community proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ through love, learning, worship, and service.
Connect With Us / 952.929.1697 / email@example.com / www.normluth.org / www.facebook.com/normluth
HUMAN FAMILY I note the obvious differences in the human family. Some of us are serious, some thrive on comedy.
Mirror twins are different although their features jibe, and lovers think quite different thoughts while lying side by side.
Some declare their lives are lived as true profundity, and others claim they really live the real reality.
We love and lose in China, we weep on England's moors, and laugh and moan in Guinea, and thrive on Spanish shores.
The variety of our skin tones can confuse, bemuse, delight, brown and pink and beige and purple, tan and blue and white.
We seek success in Finland, are born and die in Maine. In minor ways we differ, in major we're the same.
I've sailed upon the seven seas and stopped in every land, I've seen the wonders of the world not yet one common man.
I note the obvious differences between each sort and type, but we are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.
I know ten thousand women called Jane and Mary Jane, but I've not seen any two who really were the same.
We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike. We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike. - Maya Angelou
All People. all creation. spirit... enlighten us, heal us, unite us, and renew us This season of pentecost NLC Together is published January, March/April, May, June/July/August, September, Oct/Nov, and December by Normandale Lutheran Church, 6100 Normandale Road, Edina, MN 55436. Periodical postage paid at St. Paul, MN. Postmaster: Please send address changes to: NLC Together, Normandale Lutheran Church, 6100 Normandale Road, Edina, MN 55436.