Written by Judy Hill, CtK and Global Mission Team Member
Christ the King’s Global Mission Team is excited to present Pastor Christopher Smith as our 2020 Global Mission Sunday preacher. A Minnesota native, he has served as a pastor in several Minnesota communities and has also taught at Luther Seminary and the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity at St. Thomas. He and his wife Mary, also a pastor, attended graduate school together at Harvard. Some years ago they accepted a joint call to serve at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Apple Valley.
During Pastor Smith’s 19 years serving a variety of pastoral roles at Shepherd of the Valley, the church began and developed its long and rich partnership with the Iringa Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT). He and his parishioners learned much about the country, and he led groups to visit Tanzania. The Saint Paul Area Synod then asked him to found and lead an affiliate of Bega Kwa Bega that would partner with the Huruma Centre Children’s Home, and “Friends of Huruma” began in 2017. He now divides his time between being the Volunteer Coordinator of Friends of Huruma and serving as an interim pastor for a local congregation.
Pastor Smith has visited Huruma Centre several times, working directly with its director, staff, and the children who are under its care. He also works with the Iringa Diocese of the ELCT. His role is to learn what the Centre needs to thrive, providing a safe and loving home and education for homeless children. He works with communities of faith in Iringa, in the St. Paul Area Synod, and beyond to gather the resources to accomplish those goals. Friends of Huruma also has a special partnership with the Evangelical Church in Germany, particularly in the Berlin area.
Here are some quotes from Pastor Smith, reflecting his passion for ministry:
Pastor Chris Smith
Written by Julie Philbrook, Faith Community Nurse
I hope you are staying well in the middle of this outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. It seems that every day we are faced with change and loss. Changes to how we work, learn, and worship. Loss of physical connection with others including hugs, handshakes, and even smiles are hidden by masks. While hard to deal with for these past several months, we do have hope of a COVID-19 vaccine on the horizon. While we follow the health expert recommendations for dealing with the pandemic, there are other things you can do to assure you and your family stay as healthy as possible.
I have always enjoyed organizing our CtK annual Flu Shot Clinic. It was fun to connect with people and make it easy for members to get this important yearly vaccination. This year it is more important than ever to do all you can to prevent the flu. Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer the flu shots at CtK this year.
There will be Flu Shot Clinics* set up around the community in September and October. It may be at your regular clinic, a pharmacy, or a location that can accommodate the physical distancing requirements. Plan ahead, as some clinics may require appointments or may have longer lines do to spacing. The cost is usually covered by your health plans and/or Medicare, so come prepared with all your health cards. All family members should be vaccinated against the flu for their own health and that of others.
If you do develop symptoms here is a link to a guide to help determine if you might have the flu, a cold or COVID-19 (Symptom Chart). Contact your health provider if you have any questions or concerns.
Stay well, stay safe and God bless,
Julie Philbrook, RN, DNP
CtK Faith Community Nurse
*For those looking for a Drive-thru Flu Shot Clinic, click here to see the attached flyer.
Written by Elaine Foell, Faith Community Nurse
How many times since March have you heard “ we will get through this “ or “ we are all in this together”? As the light at the end of the tunnel hasn’t emerged yet, what can we do to help relieve our stress and anxiety?
For me, I have to keep to a routine and stay busy. I do distance learning for two of my grandchildren three times per week. After they leave, I wipe down everything and I have hand sanitizer everywhere! I wear a mask when out and about. No risk taking here! I read a lot and take advantage of all the PBS DVDs on loan at the library. I knit, which studies have shown releases serotonin to help me relax. I don’t watch the news until 5:30pm and don’t channel surf. I golf and it feels very good to whack that poor golf ball. Bye-bye stress! If the weather doesn’t cooperate, you’ll hear loud music from the 60’s and 70’s coming from my house. Staying in touch with others is doable with Zoom, and I’ve held socially distanced coffee hours on my patio.
Planning for fall and winter will need to be more intentional. I’ll probably need to walk, masked, at the gym. I’ve made lists of movies, books, and podcasts that have been recommended for future use. I’ve become more savvy with the DVD player, my cell phone, and my computer; as I feel this will be a life line for communication. As I’ve never been in this situation before, who knows what else I’ll come up with?
I thank God for my health, my family and the CtK community. I think we all now realize that we need the help of others. I thank God for all the researchers, guinea pigs, medical personnel and scientists that are collecting new information and developing treatment options. I believe we will get through this together with God’s help. Stay safe and sane CtK!
It is completely normal to have increased stress and anxiety during this time of COVID. It is important to be gentle with yourself and others, as well as to take steps to support both your own and your family’s mental well-being.
Disaster distress line: 1-800-985-5990
National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI): namimn.org
CDC: Stress and Coping: cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK
Minnesota Mobile Mental Health Crisis Line: Call **274747
Christ the King Faith Community Nurses
Judy Benke: 651-631-2022
Elaine Foell: firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie Philbrook: email@example.com
Written by Pastor Peter Hanson, Lead Pastor
I must admit that I have long had mixed feelings about Rally Day, the somewhat arbitrary church holiday that celebrates a congregation’s return to fall programing—scheduled for next Sunday, September 13. Part of it is that I’ve never understood what exactly the “rally” is in Rally Day. A race? A campaign-type event? A surge or uptick after a time of slump? (Which of these corresponds to the fall return of Sunday School?)
Part of it has to do with my frustration about the ongoing need to point out that Church isn’t closed during the summer. That while the pace is indeed different, worship, learning, community-building and outreach continue for all twelve months of the year. Why do we celebrate returning to church when (under normal circumstances, anyway) we haven’t been away?
Of course, it goes without saying that this year is different. This year we have been closed—the building at least!—not just for the summer but for three full months before. This year, we have longed for and planned for and wondered out loud about what it will be like to be gathered together again. This year, I could practically imagine all three kinds of rally—racing towards a big event, surging again after a prolonged downtime.
Sadly, it is not yet to be this Rally Day.
As we continue to care for one another—and especially for the most vulnerable in our congregation and community—we still need to stay put, stand apart, mask up, and wash our hand frequently, ever vigilant in doing our part to stop the spread of Covid-19. At the same time, we are excited about some of the new opportunities we have to be in ministry together despite the unique nature of the times:
We may be apart for now, but we are together for good!
Written by Trish Blomquist, CtK Member
Like vines in the garden, these are rambling thoughts of expressing the joys of gardening!
God, the very first gardener, planted his garden with love. Today we plant and tend the Community Garden with love. God planted his garden with joy. We plant our community garden with joy in knowing that we are serving our friends and neighbors with food for their tables. We ask God to open our eyes to see more clearly the relationship of gardener and Father’s love for everyone.
Gardening is an important part of many people’s lives every year. Each year we come to appreciate the garden more, even though our joints and muscles might say otherwise. The word that keeps coming to me is solace. The feel of the soil in your hands and the beauty and resilience of the plants that populate the garden soothe the soul. Watching the blossoms grow and the fruit develop knowing that it will feed someone is a gift from God. Viewing a garden can fill you with peace and happiness. For me it brings joy when I am looking at the green vegetation and have the opportunity to “play” in the dirt.
Christ the King’s Community Garden has been in existence for approximately five years. The garden is not only a source of food for the community, but also as an opportunity for relationship building and connecting with our neighbors. The original stated purpose for the Community Garden was building relationships, connecting with neighbors, and providing food for the local food shelf. These goals have been met with joy and awe, especially when we harvest the produce, share at Local Night Out, share on the “Sharing Table” in the narthex, and contribute to the local food shelf. Last year we donated over 300 pounds of produce, and we are well on the way to that amount again this year. It is a joy to have neighbors walk by the garden as we are working and begin a conversation – outreach in the simplest of forms! The Community Garden “buddies” are grateful for the time together and the work we do in the name of our Lord. Gardening is a work of heart!
In the Bible, there are many references to gardens or seeds. Here are a few examples.
Genesis The story of creation and Adam and Eve in the garden.
Psalm 8:16 He is like a well-watered plant in the sunshine, spreading its shoots over the garden.
Matthew 13: 31-32 The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.
Matthew 13:37 The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man.
Mathew 14:13-21 Feeding the 5,000. This is similar to our contributing to the local food shelf.
If you are interested in being a part of the Community Garden group contact me, Trish Blomquist, at 651-283-3173 and we will get you involved. Lettuce turnip the beets in the garden together!