Pastor's Periodic Pondering  
by Pastor Josh Nelson

On May 4-5, our Minneapolis Area Synod held their annual gathering called the "Synod Assembly."  It is always an interesting time of connecting up with other area Lutheran Church representatives, dealing with our business items as a large group, and holding elections - this year Bishop Ann was reelected for another 6-year term.  Attending with me (Pr. Josh) were three voting members whom our local church council had appointed: Kris Spangrud, Susan Forsmark, and Solveig Nelson.  We thank them for representing us, and I asked them to share their experiences by responding to this prompt: "My overall impression of being with the Lutherans at Synod Assembly...:"

(From Kris Spangrud)  "I had a great time last week at the Synod Assembly with over 500 other Lutherans! We worshiped, communed, prayed, sang, studied, spoke, listened, ate ;) white food  and did the business of the larger church together over a day and a half - my soul was filled. The theme for the weekend was, 'I will Pour Out My Spirit' as 'we work together so that all experience gracious invitation into life-giving Christian community and live in just and healthy neighborhoods.'  What I realized is that the Lutheran church continues to be a church of the Reformation  - we're open to, and even embrace change! I like to believe that when we know better, we do better.  Thank you for allowing me to represent Family of Christ at the assembly, the Holy Spirit is alive and well in the ELCA."
(From Susan Forsmark)  "What a privilege to be part of this church (the ELCA-Evangelical Lutheran Church in America)!  I really liked getting to put a face and personality to leaders of our church.  This two day assembly included time for bi-lingual worship with communion, prayer, Bible study, hearing-and participating in spoken word (poetry), elections, and the passing of several resolutions.  The elections included re-electing our own Minneapolis Area Synod Bishop, Ann Svennungsen and re-electing our FoC member Leah Nelson as the youth member of the synod council.  We learned about what some of the churches in the ELCA are up to through a video series.  The keynote speaker was Archbishop Musa Filibus from the Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria (LCCN-a companion synod to the Minneapolis Area Synod).  Did you know we have a strong partnership with the LCCN!?  Rev. Musa was inspiring, and very grateful for our partnership. We passed forward-thinking resolutions on gun violence prevention, and the role of women in our church. The entire event was eco-faithful!  We were encouraged to bring our own coffee cup. Very few pieces of paper were used-everything was on an app, with constant updates to the day.  We shared several meals together on biodegradable paper goods. Overall, I quite like the Lutherans!"
(From Solveig Nelson)  "At synod assembly this past weekend, I was amazed at the amount of ELCA Lutherans that are out there in the world. We get so focused on our church's local issues with finances, relationships, and challenges to grow the church, that we forget how much bigger it really is. We are one church of many, many congregations, all preaching the same message of God's love. Each church has its own challenges, just like ours, but together we are making a difference. At Synod Assembly, everyone was connected by faith; by God's teachings of love, joy, service, and grace. You don't get to experience that a lot in life, being with a large group and being connected in such a way. And that was just in one of our synods. The church is so much bigger than we realize, and its good to remember that. Even though our actions and services might seem small, together we Lutherans make a world-wide impact. Even though our daily actions of love and forgiveness might seem small, we are a part of Family of Christ and we can make a bigger difference than we think." 

Thank you Solveig, Susan and Kris.  And let's all see each other in church, especially this week as we share our thank you's to Pastor Jeanne for her wonderful ministry among us.    - Pr. Josh

A Few More Announcements:

We have a special concert coming up this Saturday, May 12, at 7 pm, featuring Hans Peterson and his son, Nelson Morlock, and their special guest, Ray MaKeever. Hans has been the Music Director for our children and youth groups, but will be finishing up that responsibility this spring. As a joyful goodbye and proper send-off, we're inviting all to a Saturday night concert with Hans. Come enjoy his wonderful brand of music, and know that there will be refreshments afterwards, plus CDs for sale too.

The newly formed FOC Call Committee has prepared a survey to get some helpful feedback from congregation members as we prepare to search for a new Associate Pastor. We have three opportunities for you to come to the Conference Room, hear a short presentation on the survey, and then take it right then and there (or take it with you to return at a later date). The three opportunities are:
1. Sunday, May 20 after each of the three morning worship services (approx. 8:45; 10:15, & 11:45)
2. Wednesday, May 30 at 7:30 pm
3. Sunday, June 3 after each of the two morning worship services (approx. 9:30 & 11)

Did you hear the buzz?  We are having a beehive drive ; a fundraiser to support the Family of Christ beehives.  Buy a worker bee for $20, a honeycomb for $50 or a Queen Bee for $100.  All donations receive a honey stick and "queen bee" donors receive a free jar of honey.  See the collection jar in the narthex or make a payment through the Givepluschurch app!  The drive runs through today, May 13.  Family of Christ partners with the U of M Bee Squad to support two beehives at nearby Degler Farm.  For more information, talk with: Jeff Stuhr, Jim Leonard, Dawn Peterson, Scott Stockhaus, Greg Provo, Jim Sulerud or Pastor Jeanne.  
Read the latest issue of Family News  for upcoming 
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