Written by Jill Loegering, At-Large Council Member
The COVID-19 pandemic has propelled creative thinking with “out-of-the-box” accommodations for many activities. Since we are in Phase 2 of our reopening plan, hosting our Annual Meeting in-person this year was not suitable. Instead, we decided to embrace everything 2020 had taught us, and we jumped into hosting the meeting on Zoom. We knew we had a 100- person login limit with Zoom and the “know-how” necessary to ensure it would be successful.
You can review the meeting minutes on CtK’s website lifeatctk.org* or, click here to be linked to the meeting recording.
First, really good news! We exceeded the constitution-required number of members attending to achieve the quorum. As a result, the meeting was called to order at 10:37 am. We are very grateful members stepped-up to accomplish the business of the church.
There were three main things that we completed at the annual meeting. First, the election of a slate of nominees for the Congregational Council. Several new members were elected to continue their terms, and some new people were added to replace those whose terms were completed. Here’s the result of the unanimous vote:
The 2021 CtK Congregational Council will be: (*indicates elected at this meeting)
Council Officers: *Brett Kosec, President; *Diane Shallue, President-Elect; *Bob Benke, Secretary; *Dale Erickson, Treasurer
Council At-Large: (in alphabetical order) *Scott Black, Chris Frost, *Jill Loegering, Dawn Ralston, Maria Tenorio, *Paul Wilde-L’Heureux, and Peachu Yates.
The second goal was to highlight 2020 Ministry reports. No surprise, each report was given socially-distant via video by the leaders of each group. All reports included the changes in programing and activities due to COVID, along with their estimates of spring and summer plans in 2021.
The last goal was a major one. CtK’s Financial Report included two main documents. This meeting’s discussion centered around the document “Budget for Ministry: Summary of Comparison.” It centered around the concept of reduced income and reduced expenses, all due of course to the pandemic. Discussion also included the PPP loan, which we anticipate will be forgiven; if not forgiven, we will then plan to repay the loan.
Over all, the 2021 virtual Annual Meeting was a successful business meeting. It definitely didn’t have the communal feel of our previous meetings over the years, and it wasn’t immediately followed by a wonderful fellowship meal; but we march on. Thanks again to all who were willing and able to participate in this year’s style of meeting.
Jill Loegering, retiring Council Secretary
*(On lifeatctk.org, click on the words at the top of the page “About Us,” (No password is required for this page) and hover over them until you see the drop-down menu. Look down the list for “CtK Council Page,” and click on it. You will then see a highlighted box that reads: “Minutes of 2021 Annual meeting.”)
Written by Pastor Peter Hanson, Lead Pastor
“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1.
In preparation for CtK’s annual meeting this Sunday, nominees to serve as officers, church council members, and members of this year’s nominating committee were each asked to share some of their own hopes for CtK in the immediate post-pandemic times. They shared everything from the hope of soon being able to worship together, sing together, and break bread together (form the CtK bread oven!), to leaning into what we’ve learned about worship and community during this pandemic, dismantling racist systems, and serving our neighbors in need. As we still don’t know exactly when this time of separation will be over, I hear in their words a good deal of faith. The hopes they have shared reveal their own faith-filled conviction, despite not yet having seen it for themselves, nor even knowing when they might get that chance.
Faith in the God we have come to know through Jesus Christ allows us the audacity to hope for such things. Such faith reassures us during times of confusion and doubt, and sustains us when we are feeling sad, isolated, or alone. It is faith in God that will see us through to the end of this pandemic time. And as we wait, it is good to share our hopes with one another.
Written by Pepe Demarest, Pastoral Intern
Black History month has been honored every February since 1976. This date happens to be the bicentennial of America, celebrating 200 years of freedom from oppression. 1976 also happened to be the year I graduated from high school. Although I have changed quite a lot in these 45 years, the freedom, the freedom we declared 245 years ago, hasn’t come for all people. There may be a feeling that “all lives matter", and we shouldn’t have to single out Black lives or Black history. Yet, as the body of Christ, if one part suffers, we all suffer. The Declaration of Independence signed 245 years ago this July 4th states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Sometimes as we celebrate the wonderful contributions of African Americans, we may be proud of the progress we have made. Yes, progress has been made, but Black homeownership, one indicator of economic parity, is the same as it was when The Fair Housing Act was signed into law in 1967. With all of the political gains since the end of Jim Crow voter suppression, today there are no black women senators in the current US Senate. Maybe this year Black History Month can be a time to reexamine why this disparity continues.
During Lent, traditionally a season of self-examination, we will be reading My Grandmother’s Hands: Radicalized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem, a counselor and trauma specialist. We will be looking at how all of us, even white people, have been deceived by racism and whiteness. In Mr. Menakem’s words: “Italians, Irish, Eastern European Jews, and other European immigrant groups were initially regarded as stupid, barbaric, and dangerous. Within a generation or two, however, each of these new white immigrant groups was socialized, colonized, and accepted by other Americans by being introduced into the false community of whiteness” (71). We will meet virtually every Monday evening in Lent to discuss the reading and to take time to pray and reflect on how the Holy Spirit is calling us to become more of “The Beloved Community.” If you are interested in joining us, please contact me (Pepe@lifeatctk.org) and order the book (click here). I pray that you will join us as we listen and learn from each other and experience some discomfort for the sake of healing and wholeness.
Black History month can be a time to celebrate all of our history. In the words of Amanda Gorman, the Inaugural Youth Poet Laureate,
”For it’s not just in the Declaration of Independence,
but the everyday declaration of its descendants that make a people equal...
It is our right and our role to remember these words scratched on a scroll so we may heal our nation whole...
Everyday we write the future, together we sign it, together declare it, we share it for this truth marches on inside each of us.”
Written by Phil Larsen, CtK Foundation Secretary & CtK Member
In 2020, the Christ the King Evangelical Lutheran Church Foundation received grant requests totaling $106,845. Sixteen proposals were funded that totaled $69,451. A brief summary of each of the awarded grant proposals follows:
First Half 2020
Ralph Reeder Food Shelf Assistance, submitted by Dale Erickson/Local Mission Partners, $5000
Supports Ralph Reeder Food Shelf in addressing the urgent need for food assistance in the community.
Exodus Lending, submitted by Sara Nelson-Pallmeyer, $3000
Exodus Lending will use funding from the Foundation to improve its innovative, interest-free, predatory debt, refinancing program. Its mission is to provide trapped Minnesotan borrowers a just pathway out of payday loan debt and toward financial stability.
Arusha Lutheran Medical Center, submitted by Marlys Melius, $5000.
The Arusha Lutheran Medical Center (ALMC), a primary hospital in northern Tanzania, provides healing and hope in the heart of Arusha and surrounding areas. The ALMC School of Nursing (SON) is providing nursing education for 100 students spread through three class levels. This grant will provide assistance to purchase furnishings for student housing facilities.
Prayer Shawl Ministry, submitted by Judy Benke, $500.
The Prayer Shawl Committee will have an enlarged coat rack/tree or a large wall rack constructed to display Prayer Shawls they have made and to make them more immediately available to congregation members, who will deliver them to people in need of comfort.
CtK Sanctuary Sound System Update, submitted by Caleb Anderson, $5178
A new digital mixing console and related equipment will be purchased that will provide a higher quality of live sound for worship and prepare us to meet the needs of the future, while retaining the flexibility and ease of use that our sanctuary provides.
Connected Worship: Streaming Capability for CtK, submitted by Pastor John Schwehn, $6462.
Purchase of hardware, cameras and related hardware will provide enhanced communication capability to reach audiences external to CtK’s immediate facilities.
Fleece Blankets for Children at Camp Noah, submitted by Vern Rice and Ana Becerra, $2200.
Cristo Rey supports Camp Noah, a nationally acclaimed Lutheran Social Services program that helps children process their disaster or trauma experiences through creative activities and play. The intention of this project is to provide fleece material that can be cut and assembled into blankets by Cristo Rey members to provide comfort and hope for traumatized children.
Community Support Center, submitted by Karen Meyer, $5000.
The Community Support Center works to prevent homelessness through financial aid and counseling of individuals to prevent evictions.
Financial Support for 1st 2020 $32,340
Second Half 2020
Matching Funds for CtK COVID Relief Fund, submitted by Pastor Peter Hanson, $4000.
Funds will be used to match donations to a COVID Relief Fund at Christ the King that will be used to support CtK Congregation members who are experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic.
Huruma Center Well Project, submitted by Marlys Melius and Pastor Chris Smith, $7414.
The grant from the Christ the King Foundation would be allocated toward the purchase and installation of Solar and Grid Energy Systems in conjunction with a community water well project in Tanzania. These systems will power a submersible pump, which will direct water to the existing and new tower storage tanks. The grant from the Foundation will help complete the project.
Black Men Teach, submitted by Paul Gunderson, $5000.
The focus of this grant request, is to support recruitment and encouragement of young Black men to consider teaching as a career. Most Black men have never had a Black male teacher so they do not see themselves in that role and often their experience in the public education system is less than positive; nor are teachers or family members encouraging them to consider teaching. Black Men Teach is an organization that has an aggressive strategy to change this narrative including programs in high schools, with community-based organizations, and on college campuses, each employing Black male community leaders engaging our youth in this important conversation.
CtK Computer Upgrade, submitted by Pastor Peter Hanson and KC Gubrud, $5,697.
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the timeline for replacement of computers in the church office and has significantly altered the specific requirements for a larger number of staff computers. The strong likelihood of staff members needing to continue to work from home for the next several months, plus the increased technical requirements of their ministry has thrust these needs to the forefront. This project seeks to replace three (3) computers this year, ahead of what would be their customary place in the office computer replacement rotation.
Tree of Life Evening Prayer, submitted by Marissa Sotos, $2500.
Tree of Life Lutheran is a worship community that wishes to establish an online evening prayer service for its congregation members in Minneapolis. This grant will help buy a subscription to Adobe InDesign to work with the layout of the program and art associated with this unique worship approach.
Technology Essentials Core Initiative/ Daily Work, submitted by Julie Hoff and Dale Erickson, $2,500.
This grant will support the launch of a Technology Essentials Initiative with Daily Work participants that will provide a portion of job seekers with a laptop computer, modem, 3 months of internet service, and ongoing training in the use of a computer.
Community Partners with Youth, submitted by Mary Stewart, $5000.
This grant provides support for the Distance Learning Support Center associated with Community Partners with Youth [CPY]. CPY provides a safe space and low-cost programming after school and during the summer for at-risk, low-income youth in the New Brighton-Mounds View area. Recognizing the emerging needs amid the pandemic and new school norms, CPY has launched the Distance Learning Support Center (DLSC). The Center provides free supervised distance learning support, youth development, and programming to ensure youth don’t fall behind in their academics.
Ralph Reeder Food Shelf, submitted by Lisa Baker, $5000.
This grant supports Ralph Reeder Food Shelf in addressing the continuing urgent need for access to food by members of our Community.
Financial Support for 2nd half 2020 $37,111
Total Financial Support for 2020 $69,451