I wanted to reach out and say a HUGE Thank you to all the VBS volunteers, children, and families that made it all possible. We had 32 kids this year and lots of volunteers. The children were just beaming with huge smiles all week, they certainly had a blast and so did I! VBS is one of my favorites and I look forward to it each year. It was a Food Truck Party theme this year, so of course we had to have a real food truck at our celebration. I want to thank our St. Luke’s Foundation for covering the costs of everyone’s meal at our event. We are so grateful for the foundation and I think the families enjoyed it very much! If you have not tried Scramblin’ Egg Food Truck yet, you need too! They will be at church every Thursday morning for the next couple of weeks. The food was amazing! Even though VBS is over for now, the fun songs will be stuck in my head for a long time- which is a good thing!!
Click here to view more wonderful pictures from the week.
Director of Children and Family Ministries
The only miracle found in all four of the Gospels (Matthew 14:13–21; Mark 6:33–44; Luke 9:12–17; John 6:1–14) is the Loaves and Fishes, feeding 5,000 men, (which means there were even more adding in the women and children. Matthew and Mark record a second feeding 4,000 (Matthew 15:32-39; Mark 8:1-10). What is true in all of them is that Jesus had compassion for the people, taking care of one of the most basic needs – food. As Christians we continue to meet that need is a variety of waves. This week we lift up Loaves and Fishes.
After retirement I didn’t want to do anything. Eventually, I felt the need to serve. My husband Andy and I have delivered Meals on Wheels for a number of years. When St. Luke’s needed a coordinator for the monthly meal service I said, “Okay I’ll do it.” The congregation had a need and I was available. I get to work with a really fun group of people from St. Luke’s who are dedicated.
I’m impressed with Loaves and Fishes.
Like all nonprofits, funding is always difficult. Grateful to St. Luke’s members who make additional donations to Loaves and Fishes. You can identify Loaves and Fishes when giving online to missions, or simply put Loaves and Fishes in your check memo or if cash note it on the offering envelope.
Currently there is a matching fund offered by Otto Bremer Trust, up to $30,000 for all donations given by the end of August.
Another fun way to support them is to attend their Fall Jubilee on Saturday, September 23. An evening of fun, philanthropy, and community with food, drinks, live and silent auctions, raffles and more.
Thank you to the 15 St. Luke’s Members who sign up every third Wednesday of the month at Hope Presbyterian Church 7132 Portland Ave. Prep begins about 2 PM, meal is served 5:00 to 6:00 PM, with clean up following. Members tend to sign up for a shift of prep, serve, or clean up. To join the team contact Jan Pankratz Andy Pankratz email@example.comABOUT LOAVES & FISHES
To provide healthy meals to Minnesotans in areas where need is greatest.
We are guided by our vision that all people – regardless of socioeconomic, cultural, religious, or ethnic background – deserve to meet their basic needs for food, dignity, and respect.
OUR GROWING IMPACT
We have steadily increased the number of free, healthy meals served to Minnesotans in need. In 2022, we served over 4.6 million meals and are on pace to serve over another 4 million in 2023.
Learn more at: https://www.loavesandfishesmn.org/
It is with great joy and celebration we honor the Graduating High School Students. They have been nurtured in the faith. Let us continue to keep them in our thoughts and prayers trusting in the promise…
(Name – High School. Future Plans. Current Favorite Bible Verse)
Tommy Denesen – Bloomington Jefferson. Future Plans: Gap year then college. John 11:25-26 – I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Allie Erickson – Academy of Holy Angels. Future Plans: Crown College, St. Boniface studying Biology. Jeremiah 29:11. – For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Aubrey Hendrickson – Bloomington Jefferson. Future Plans: Cornell College, Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience, while playing softball. Joshua 1:9 – Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the LORD is with you wherever you go.
Eli Norris-Weber – Southwest Minneapolis. Future Plans: Augustana Lutheran Sioux Falls, SD. for Sports Management. Romans 5:10 – For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life.
Rowen O'Hara – Yorkville High School. Future Plans: Community College for Nursing. 1st Thessalonians 5:11 – "Encourage one another and build each other up, jus as in fact you are doing."
Cole Remer – Bloomington Jefferson Future Plans: Hennepin Tech. 1st Corinthians 10:13 – No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.
Michaela Zdenek – Shakopee High School. Future Plans: Cosmetology School. John 16:4 – I have told you this so when that time comes you will remember that I warned you. I did not tell you this first because I was with you.
Lord God of our ancestors, we thank you for what you have done and will continue to do in the lives of these graduates. Walk with them in life, and keep the evil one from obstructing their path. You see all; you know where the water is deep. Keep them from danger. Order their steps and guide their feet while they run the race of faith. May the good work that you have begun in them be brought to completion at the day of Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.
Monday – Thursday, June 19-22. 9 AM – Noon!
Special Congregational Celebration, Thursday at 11: 30 AM
Food Truck Party VBS invites children of all ages to get on a roll with God as a parade of Food Trucks rolls into their neighborhood for the summer's biggest party!
Using Matthew 6:11; "Give us this day our daily bread", children are invited to pray as Jesus teaches. These words serve as a reminder that everything we have comes from God - and our daily needs are met by God.
Through stories in both the Old and New Testaments, kids' eyes are open to the countless ways God provides, loves, and cares for us while inviting them to join God in providing, loving, and caring for others. The goal of Food Truck Party is to help children build on the practice of using daily prayer to turn to God for their needs - and also to serve as the hands of God in ensuring that the needs of others are met.
Invite your family, friends, and neighbors’ children to join the fun. Register: HERE
Join the fun by volunteering for the week, a day, or provide one of the snacks: HERE
Any Questions, Contact: Emily Schoeller, Director of Children and Family Ministry. firstname.lastname@example.org / 952-881-5801 ext. 104.
Come and enjoy the best week of the summer – St. Luke’s Vacation Bible School!
You’ve heard of the 3 R’s for Education: Reading, wRiting, and aRithmetic – and we wonder why “over 50 percent of Americans and Brits earn low marks on a spelling.” (English Spelling Society 2009 – my guess is it is worse today.)
My fear is the percentage is similar or worse concerning Christian Faith. Too many live a faith based on ritual, busyness, consumerism, apathy, and neglect, corresponding antonyms to the 5 R’s of a Healthy Spiritual Life.
That is not how it was intended. Jesus invited us to, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30
Join St. Luke’s the next three weeks on Sabbath. Summer is the perfect time to reflect on the Gift of 5 R’s for a Healthy Spiritual Life.
REST – “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. 2And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. 3So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.” Genesis 2:1-3
If the creator the universe took time to rest, why do we think we don’t have to? There is a societal sickness of putting a badge of honor on for the number of hours we work. Please do not buy in or celebrate this misguided feat. Take time to rest. To do so requires…
RELAXATION – “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” Psalm 61:1-2
One of last week’s readings was Genesis 2:7, “The Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.”
For me relaxation begins with taking in a deep breath. I recall this passage and image the Spirit coming in, “The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. (Isaiah 11:2). Let me unpack “the fear of the Lord.” It is best understood as awe, and respect for the relationship we have with God and the gifts we have been given. Who doesn’t need wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, and knowledge when you’re feeling a little overwhelmed.
RECREATION – “Go, eat your bread with enjoyment, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has long ago approved what you do.” Ecclesiastes 9:7
The Book of Ecclesiastes is one of my favorites. God delights in our inquisitive nature. It is honored by having an entire book on the search for meaning and purpose. In the end the philosopher shares this understand, “Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh. You can argue the Bible supports school vacation. (Ecclesiastes 12:12b)
REVERANCE – “Observe the Sabbath day and keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. 13For six days you shall labor and do all your work. 14But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, or your son or your daughter, or your male or female slave, or your ox or your donkey, or any of your livestock, or the resident alien in your towns, so that your male and female slave may rest as well as you.” – Deuteronomy 5:12-14
I am old enough to remember remnants of the blue laws, a body of regulations designed to preserve the Sabbath by proscribing most labor, the sale of alcohol, and other things on Sundays, thus taking away obstacles for worship. This should have been settled with Jesus when he told the judgmental Pharisees, ‘The Sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the Sabbath; 28so the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.’ (Mark 2:27)
Is attending worship out of obligation truly worship? My hope and prayer is that people experience all 5 R’s of a Healthy Spiritual Life, receiving “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit,” (2nd Corinthians 13:13), and go out into the world to share it with all.
RENEWAL – “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31
This might seem like a contradiction declaring that God rested, and Isaiah writes, “God will not grow tired or weary.” Rest is why God will not grow tired or weary. We are created in God’s image. We need Rest, Relaxation, Recreation, Reverence, and Renewal to keep awake and refreshed.
Remembering in the 5 R’s we can live like the Psalmist who summed up all of this best.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 100:1-5
What “R” of a Healthy Spiritual Life are you most in need?
How do you live out the “5 R’s in your life?