March 28th, 2023
Spring is finally here! And so is pot-hole season. How many of you have suffered the indignity of a flat tire, bent rim or even a cut fuel line due to a bad pot hole? Sadly I can say that I have had all three of those scenarios occur during one pot hole season or another. Fortunately, I had the money and the means to fix the problems. Not everyone is that lucky.
Our April Mission focus is The Lift Garage. Located at 2401 East Lake Street in Minneapolis, The Lift Garage was founded by Cathy Heying, a social worker who saw through her work and life experience how important car repair was for people who were underserved. Clients told her repeatedly, “I can’t afford to get my car fixed, and I am going to lose my job.” Without the ability to pay rent, they could easily find themselves living on the streets. The stories were different, but everything depended on car repair. She felt somebody should do something about it, so she returned to school and in 2010 she received her two-year associate degree in auto technology at Dunwoody College of Technology.
In April 2013, with one rented bay, The Lift Garage opened in Minneapolis, a nonprofit car repair shop that offers low-cost automobile repairs and advice to those in need ($26K or less for household of 2). Initially staffed by volunteers, The Lift Garage now employs 12 people, including 6 full time techs; five on-site mechanics who operate the five bays in a garage the nonprofit purchased in 2020, and 1 mobile van triage. They service or evaluate 130 cars a month. Appointments are scheduled a month in advance, and there is always a waiting list.
They provide more than tune ups and oil changes, they provide resources and emotional support for people who are in crisis, because most people who walk through the door are in some level of crisis. They work to resolve issues in ways that honor their customers lives, experiences and intelligence with dignity and grace.
For our April Mission, we will be providing Car Care Kits for The Lift Garage. A poster of items needed will be set up in the Narthex for those who are interested in supporting The Lift Garage.
You can read more about The Lift Garage at: www.theliftgargage.org
Jesus said to Roman Centurion, “Go; let it be done for you according to your faith.” And his servant was healed in that hour. – Matthew 8:13
When I’d heard that the Missions Committee was exploring a new partnership with an organization benefitting veterans and their families, I immediately thought of Fisher House. The organization St. Luke’s had previously supported in this category turned out to be less than an ideal fit, and the Missions Committee resolved that it was time to move on.
Last month Pastor Rob, Mission Committee members Craig Brandt and Roger Lyson, and I toured the two beautiful homes near the VA. The manager, Kimberly Binh, interwove the history of the Fisher House Foundation during our tour, and she listed specific material needs of the houses as well as opportunities to volunteer,
I’ve been associated with Fisher House for about seven years, ever since I was asked by my former employer … who did significant business with the VA and military hospitals … to research and recommend a cause worthy of the company’s philanthropic commitment to veterans. Naturally, I was delighted then that the company approved of my recommendation, and it was wonderful to see how proud our employees became over time of the company’s support for Fisher House.
I’ve had the opportunity to visit several Fisher Houses, arranging tours for colleagues and serving meals to residents. My passion for Fisher House comes from listening to the residents’ stories. The gratitude that they were able to freely express despite their overwhelming burdens is a true testament to God’s work.
As a proud Legacy Donor of Fisher House, I’m delighted now that my passion has been embraced by my faith community.
The Fisher House Foundation builds comfort homes where military and veteran families can stay free of charge, while a loved one is in the hospital. These homes are located at military and VA medical centers around the world, and the Minneapolis VA has two Fisher Houses on site. Fisher houses have up to 21 suites, with private bedrooms and baths. Families share a common kitchen, laundry facilities, a warm dining room and an inviting living room. Since inception, the program has saved military and veterans’ families an estimated $547 million in out-of-pocket costs for lodging and transportation. The Foundation also manages a grant program that supports other charities and scholarship funds for military children, spouses, and children of fallen and disabled veterans.
The Fisher House is named after Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher, who were builders, philanthropists and supporters of the U.S. Armed Services. They built the first two Fisher Houses on their dime and deeded them to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, in 1990 before starting the Foundation to build more houses. There are 92 Fisher Houses today, several more under construction, and even more on the drawing board.
Giving Opportunities: Volunteer and Financial Gifts
There are a number of ways to participate. Volunteers are invited to serve meals for the residents. This can be a one-time or ongoing commitment. If you like to work outdoors there is the Spring planting event and yard care opportunities.
Those interested in volunteering on site must first take the VA’s safety and security orientation. This requires a background check which includes a photo, fingerprints, and ID documents. Craig Brandt is researching and providing the details. For more information and inspiration, see the website: https://fisherhouse.org/ or call 612-467-2050.
The Fisher House Foundation welcomes financial donations for general support its as well as to specific locations such as the two houses at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center.
What a wonderful way to thank our veterans during their time of need, as they unselfishly served our nation caring for us in ways most of us could never imagine.
St. Luke’s at play…
Cribbage – Basketball – Golf – Softball – and more…
I love the fact that our highest calling is to be children of God. And what comes naturally to children is Biblical:
And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets.- Zechariah 8:5
There are four playful activities in the months ahead, come and play or cheer on our teams…
Sunday, March 26 at 11:15 AM in Fellowship Hall.
All levels of players are invited to participate. This is a friendly game where we help one another. Standard cribbage rules will be used. Pairings, and number of matches per game, will be determined once sign-ups close at 10:00 a.m. on March 26th.
To register, either email: email@example.com in advance, or sign up prior to
10:00 a.m. on March 26th in the fellowship hall.
Holy Hoops Season-Ending Tournament
Sunday Afternoon, April 23 at Augsburg College
St. Luke’s has been a part of Holy Hoops since 2018. It is a basketball league made up of church teams. Games are on Sunday afternoons. Each game begins and ends with prayer. A home team player prays before the game and a visitor team player prays after the game. It is for 9th-12th grade students who do not play for their high school.
Currently that little church in Minneapolis, Mount Olivet Lutheran has three teams, along with teams from St. Stephen’s Lutheran, Christ Presbyterian, and one team is made up of three churches: Galilee, St. Olaf Lutheran, and Christ River of Life.
This year St. Luke’s had 4 wins and 2 losses. The seasoning ending tournament will be at Augsburg College. It is single elimination. Save the date and look for an update of the time of the first game.
Men’s Lutheran Golf League
Season begins Tuesday, May 9 at Lost Spur
The league is over 30 years old. St. Luke’s has played in it since 2018. All levels of golfers are welcome. It is a handicapped league which allows every match to be competitive. If interested contact the Office.
St. Luke’s has been playing against the same church teams for years. Friendships have been built with guys we play with and against. It’s all about fellowship and community. Look for more information in the weeks ahead. Weather permitting, there will be some practices early April. If interested contact Adam Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org
Play happens during Vacation Bible School, at Camp for 1st Grade through Grandparents, on the Mission Trip to the Pine Ridge Reservation, and Sailing for 11th-12th grade students in June and a trip for adults in September.
The devotion shared at the start of the Holy Hoops season says it all,
How do you spell Recreation? How do you spell Re-creation? Enjoy your childhood no matter your age.
9:00 – 11:00 AM, Saturday, March 25
One of the most intimate acts of discipleship is communion. I imagine the curiosity of the disciples as Jesus took bread and wine and said to them,
“This is my body, take and eat. This is my blood, take and drink.”
Following the meal. It is always a privilege to announce,
“The body and blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ, strengthen you and keep you in his grace. Amen.”
Such a beautiful and meaningful expression of our faith sadly turns into controversy. It’s as if we didn’t even hear the Post Communion Blessing, that these earthly elements, blessed and received, fill us with Jesus’ strength and grace, as we bicker over the particulars:
Children four years of age through sixth grade will receive an Evite.
All others are invited to sign up at the church office, or indicate your attendance on your welcome card after worship. email@example.com / 952-881-5801.
Between now and then, it would be fun to hear your comments on these:
What does it mean to you to receive communion?
What questions do you have about communion?