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Gathering in Grace • Growing in Faith • Going Forth to Serve
Fourth Sunday of Lent
Sunday, March 22, 2020
Worship at 10:00am - Live-Stream Only
Please Join
Pastor Ed, Pastor Arthur, Pastor Grace, Pastor Ben.
Scott Knight & Daughter, Julia, singing.
Soloist Amy Courts
Soloist Rob Reid
Keyboardists Karen Daniels & Carmen Englert
Lector Dave Burton
Testimony by Pamela Moe
Sermon by Pastor Ben
Farewell Ode to Pastor Ben
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The Week Past and Coming Up
Pastor Arthur
It’s been quite a week! As each of us has been adjusting to life by a new set of rules, so we at the church have been adjusting as well.
We now have a Sunday and a Wednesday of online worship under our belts, and are making preparations to continue as long as is necessary by this format.
It’s hard for some of us to imagine what this imposed isolation would be like without the internet. For others in our community the internet will not be missed. It is probably safe to say that face-to-face fellowship will be the part of our lives that is most missed by all.
Together we seek to maintain our bonds and even strengthen our little part of the body of Christ during these days. Many of you have come up with some brilliant suggestions of how to go about this. Please keep the ideas coming.
Here are some ways to connect in the coming week:
March 22, Sunday Worship

  • Watch this Sunday for Ben's parting message for us and a testimony from TLC member Pamela Moe.

  • Please prepare your own bread and wine/juice for communion.

  • Online coffee hour and Ben’s Farewell party here following Sunday worship: Fun suggestion: take a picture of yourself or your family while you are watching the service or sharing communion and email or text it to Pastor Arthur at or 646-479-6788. We will share the pictures in future live-streams to remind ourselves of those with whom we are gathered for worship.
March 25, Wednesday Lenten Worship

Jesus tells us in John 15:5, “I am the vine, you are the branches...”
Connection is important. The branches began to wither when their connection to Jesus, the Source of Life, is compromised.
As we seek to keep our bonds strong through use of newer technology, our hearts and minds naturally go to those who are least comfortable with these modes of communication. Often these are the same people who are most at risk from the virus and are sometimes the most socially isolated.
To stay in close touch with everyone in the TLC family, our hope is to establish a phone chain strong enough to ensure that everyone in our community who would like one gets at least one phone call per week.
Would you be willing to be a part of this phone chain? By doing so you will literally become the branch that connects someone else to the vine that is Christ. We will provide a script and between 1 - 5 names to call, according to your preference. Please email Marilyn at if you would like to volunteer in this way or call the church office.
Finally, please note that while the church office continues to be minimally staffed to ensure basic business functions, the hours have been further limited to 9am-2pm Monday-Thursday. To ensure the safety of those staffing the office and your own, please do not stop by without calling ahead first. The Early Learning Center, while still open, is off limits to everyone but ELC Staff and children.
For pastoral care concerns, the pastors are readily available by phone, email and social media. We love hearing from you! Please don't hesitate to be in touch!
Look for regular updates from the TLC Daily/Weekly email and also through the TLC Facebook page.
I leave you with a blessing from Colossians 1 (paraphrased)
We have not ceased praying for you, that you may be filled with the knowledge of God's will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, that you may be made strong with all the strength that comes from God's glorious power, and that you may be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to God our Creator, our Father, our Mother, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. Amen .
Pastor Arthur (on behalf of Pastor Ed, Intern Pastor Grace, Deacon Renee, and all the TLC Staff who miss you very much!)
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TLC members and neighbors talk about this sudden, unexpected change in life
I’m at list maker. There is always a list of daily To Do’s and Activities on my kitchen counter. The lists are strangely short these days. Life is significantly disrupted. My cupboards have some additional groceries and household supplies, so that is done. But now what? Everything on the lists is crossed off (crossing things off is a chief joy of making lists!). The coronavirus news is frightening and produces anxiety. But in the midst of this, I made a new list today. It says: Be quiet. Go for a walk. Reflect and be thankful for your abundant blessings. Make use of my phone. Talk with family and friends. Talk with God -pray.

All of our lives have changed in a blink. School and business closings, shortages and the real disruption of normal routines is deeply unsettling. All of my siblings remember something our mother used to say In times of difficulties. She would say with great conviction, “This too shall pass.” This phrase is not found in the Bible, but is reflected beautifully in 2nd Corinthians 4:18. “So we fix our eyes on not what is seen but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”  This helps sustain me. Blessings.
We are living in an uncertain time, there are so many things totally up in the air that I haven't thought about before, but they came crashing in on me on Monday. It was a non-school day (because the governor closed the schools), usually on non-school days we have around 40 school age children at TLC-ELC. We had 21. All of our rooms were low because of families who chose to stay home. What I couldn't shake was an oppressive feeling that seemed to be hanging over the center. It's like the weight of all the uncertainties was burying us. Would we have enough food to feed the kids? Would we have enough staff if we allowed staff to stay home due to their medical situations? Would it ever feel normal again? How long will this last? Is there an end to this? Will we make it through to the end?  Would someone I know, die? It's all every adult was talking about. By the time I dragged myself home on Monday I felt like I had been through a wringer, there was no joy.

There was a switch on Tuesday, our numbers were still very low, children and staff who could, were still staying home, but there was a feeling of hope. Kids were laughing, playing bingo with the cards they had each made from scratch, the leprechauns came and ran ransack through the Duck Tail room which brought laughter and surprise to the kids that was contagious, the kids made rainbow candy sculptures and did science experiments with skittles. There is such joy in the laughter of children. I went home on Tuesday with renewed hope. We will make it through this, I don't know how, but we will. Children are our hope and they can still laugh, so so can I.

Romans 12:12 (The Passion Translation)  Let this hope burst forth within you, releasing a continual joy. Don't give up in a time of trouble, but commune with God at all times.
As I spend more time in my apartment, I spend my time in the following ways:

  • Turn off the news. I do like to hear some of the broadcasts, but not over and over again.
  • Read books, poetry, devotions that uplift my spirits.
  • Continue to knit for those who are less fortunate than me.
  • Spend FaceTime (a newly discovered possibility) with my daughter and her children who are in Canada and going through the same changes in lifestyle that we are in the U.S. and the world over.
  • Work on staying calm, remembering that I am among the age of those at greatest risk.
  • Keep a distance when around people and don’t go out much except to come to TLC, where I am pretty much alone or distanced from the few others who are here or come into the office.

As I read my devotional yesterday I found peace in this writing with just a couple of changes in language:

  • Unload Your Distress
  • Casting all your care upon God for God cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

I’ve been told that the French translation of this phrase, “Cast all your care upon God” is “Unload your distresses upon God.”

Have you ever seen a dump truck get rid of its load?

The driver simply pushes a button or pulls on a lever and the heavy load is discharged at the prescribed spot. The truck would be of no use if it carried its burden forever.

We were never meant to be crushed under the weight of care. We can push the button of faith or pull the lever of trust, and our burden is discharged upon the shoulder of God who said He would gladly bear it. Unload the anxieties of the present moment upon God, for God cares for you. If God loved you enough to take away the burden of your sins, can’t you trust God to take away every lesser burden as well?”
Here are some of my very random thoughts this week . . . if nothing else, it feels good to just write them down. 

For the last three years I have been fortunate to work from a home office and have the ability to check in on my disabled husband throughout the day. We have our schedules figured out and space laid out so that even in our small home we don't interrupt each other's daily activities. This week, with the announcement of schools closing, I found myself anxious and overwhelmed trying to figure out how and where to add two more people to the mix. What if I have a conference call at the same time they have to listen to a teacher on-line? Will we be able to focus and do our best work with increased human distractions? And what if we have technology or internet issues? All of these concerns piled on top of the basics of making sure everyone is properly fed, socially distanced and disinfected. What has given me pause, and hope in all of this, is our two boys. This is their senior year; one that has already had challenges, anxiety, and numerous "lasts". Now, the final trimester of school may be unlike any other in the history of their school. They may not be able to celebrate a commencement, or have a graduation party with family and friends. Their high school career could very well end without closure. What they will learn and build in the days and weeks to come is resilience, flexibility and patience. These are the characteristics that can help change the world.
Jigsaw Puzzles! 

Some of you are aware of my fondness for jigsaw puzzles. I have been gifted many, which have remained untouched as working full-time limits my off time to tending to household responsibilities. In fact, I typically run errands, window shop and catch up with friends rather than be at home on the weekends. 

When I am home, guilt usually makes me do projects instead of indulge in leisure activities. In my head, I hear my Scandinavian grandmother’s voice expressing her work ethic, “cleanliness is next to Godliness,” and her constant motion. 

Taking the advice on social distancing seriously, I am relishing in the joy of assembling jigsaw puzzles, while maybe enjoying a glass of wine, without the guilt! Not sure how long my supply will last, of both puzzles and wine, but I am enjoying it while I can.  Full disclosure, Grandma Linnea’s voice still rings in my head, so I have also started my Spring housekeeping. 

Be well!
Minnesota Food Share Campaign
During the Coronavirus turmoil of March, TLC very generously supported VEAP as our Mission of the Month. With the help of a VEAP video presentation, information from VEAP representative, Debbie Belfry; the Sunday School kids collecting a ‘noisy offering’, Dolores and Paul’s pancake breakfast (PWP), and the Confirmation kids spreading flyers around the neighborhood asking for food donations to be left on their doorsteps the following Sunday, we were able to contribute $659.14 and 285 lbs of food during Minnesota FoodShare month.

The need for food, household supplies, diapers, paper goods etc will only be magnified during April, May and June. The need couldn’t be greater to help alleviate the stress on many families in our community while their lives are turned upside down. We can easily make a difference by filling the bins and/or writing a check to TLC (VEAP) in the memo line.

With gratitude to all who have and continue to recognize the needs of many in our own backyard.

During these days of “What next?” I will attempt to not mention the “you know what” virus today. Taking it for granted you are following the rules, staying home mostly, and washing those paws!

A few months ago Birdman and I were channel surfing, using DISH, our TV source. Amazing what you can find if you go through all those channels. We happened upon RFD TV, a nice, country western-farm-related channel with some music we had not heard for years, and the old guys with the guitars seemed familiar, but who knows? If you've never heard of RFD, it's Rural Free Delivery [of postal mail] and can be very informative too: Calf roping, farm news---not our usual stuff at all.

Until—we happened to tune-in on a Saturday night months ago now. Suddenly, this cute and very musical young woman introduced herself as “Mollie B,” and that the program was “Mollie B.'s Polka Party.” It starts at 9:00pm, providing an hour of fun to listen to and watch.
Do you know how to do the polka? I remember learning a bit in Phys Ed. back in junior high school. Mollie B. tours the country, even Minnesota and Wisconsin, taping her “Best of Mollie B.” shows. Probably four or five polka bands, all excellent musicians, play polkas and waltzes while her audiences get out there and dance. It is heart-warming to watch grandpas and little granddaughters dancing together, a lot of white-haired folks—enjoying themselves, some even dancing by themselves to the peppy music. The shows must have been taped during the summer... the clothing is mostly very casual.

Mollie Bruska can play right along with whichever polka band is on. She can do a keyboard, saxophone, trombone, trumpet, and also sing lyrics! I wonder if a large part of the people are either Polish or something similar, as the little kids dancing with older folks seem to know how to polka pretty well. Some of the older gals are wearing full skirts, just meant for old-time dancing. The various bands use concertinas, brass instruments, clarinets...almost any instrument: the best ones have a tuba!

Country-Western is not my absolute- favorite music, but when you see people all across the country (in groups of many more than 50) having so much fun, their kids dancing with them, and even cruise ships having polka music for entertainment, it's fun to watch.

These days, I would hesitate to take a cruise, anywhere. You might be quarantined!

-Bloomington Bird Lady
This past week brought a special milestone for Pastor Ed Treat and the church: it was the 25th anniversary of his Ordination.

Reflecting back, Pastor Ed commented, " I give thanks to God for this amazing gift of being one of his pastors. Such a miracle and blessing.

Thanks, Ed
-a continuing series-
By Pastor Al Dungan
That’s what we hear repeatedly on our TV screens lately and so we need to take a look at what does that mean for us as members of the family of God.

We’re going to take a brief detour from our regularly scheduled articles to look at an issue that affects all of us at one time or another in our lives: the issue of fear.

We have been bombarded recently with all kinds of fear producing TV, radio and news articles which insinuate, no, tell us, even insist, that we are to BE AFRAID of all that’s happening in our world.


 We are reminded repeatedly to wash our hands often for at least 20 seconds, use sanitizers and stay at least 3 feet away from persons coughing or sneezing, etc., etc.


Really? Is that how we want to live our lives over the next months?

Or will we do as the psalmist says in Psalm 121, “If I lift up my eyes to the hills, where shall I find help? Help comes only from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth…The Lord will guard you against all evil and will keep your life. The Lord will guard your going and your coming, now and for evermore.” (vv. 1-2, 7-8)

The flip side for members of the body of Christ is: DON’T BE AFRAID.

Do you have any idea how many times people in the Bible who are in really scary and life-threatening situations are told those words? I counted them and there are at least 70 times.

Just a few of them are said to Moses when God called him to confront Pharaoh with the words, “Let my people go.” And to Joshua and Samuel and David and Elijah and the prophets and Mary and Joseph and Peter and Paul, and, and, and, and to countless thousands throughout the history of the Church.

Imagine what it must have been like for Mary who was truly putting her life on the line to agree becoming the mother of Jesus. Unmarried pregnant women in her culture were stoned to death. Yet she listened and obeyed.

Imagine what it must have been like for Joseph who, though reluctant, through a dream, became willing to marry this young pregnant (not by him) woman.

We have a choice before us today. We can either quiver with fear because of what the world is throwing at us. Or…we can look to our God who says, “Don’t be afraid. Trust me. I will be with you in all situations.”

May it be so.
"Three Nails"
ELC Photographer: Lyla, 7 1/2 years old

Noticing the paraments representing the season of Lent on the TLC Altar, Lyla got really close to the nail design on the cloth. She was quite attracted to the compostion, so much so that she didn't want to see anything else in the frame of her picture, ensuring that all we can see are the nails.
Do you ever need an extra prayer for yourself, a loved one, or a dear friend? TLC has a prayer team that prays often for members, their families and friends of the congregation. Send your prayer requests to or on the TLC website here , or write your request on the yellow Life@TLC insert included in the bulletin each Sunday. These prayer needs are sent on to the Prayer Team and kept confidential – just between you, the pray-ers, and God. If you would like to be a member of the prayer team, please sign up on the yellow Life@TLC bulletin insert.

Apple Cider
Pork Chops

What you'll need:
  • 4 center-cut pork chops
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • Pat 4 center-cut pork chops dry with paper towel; sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. 

  • In 10-inch skillet, heat 2 tablespoons canola oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook pork chops in oil about 4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

  • Remove from skillet. 
  • In same skillet, add 1 1/2 cups apple cider and 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar; cook to a thick, syrupy glaze and until reduced by about half. 

  • Stir in 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard; season with salt and pepper. 

  • Pour glaze over pork chops for serving.
Blessings and stay well!
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Picture for illustration purpose only.
FOR 2020
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