Gathering in Grace • Growing in Faith • Going Forth to Serve
Fifth Sunday of Lent
Sunday, March 29, 2020
Worship at 10:00am ~ Live-Stream Only
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make your Online Offering
Altar flowers this Sunday are given by Mary Mahre to celebrate and
remember the lives of husband, Dick Mahre & son, David Mann
Watch the Sunday Service at home.
It will be repeated throughout Sunday and available on-demand Monday.
Visit www.tlcgo.live or click above at 10:00am Sunday to watch the live-stream of Sunday's service. Also featured on that tlcgo.live is a 24/7 Stream of TLC & ELCA programming, an On-Demand menu of over 650 TLC Services & Events, and a link to our regular website.
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Rob Reid
Dir. of Music
Encore Presentation!
This coming Sunday was to have been a Hymn Festival Sunday here at TLC. The Woodwinds, Bells, Chancel Choir, and Praise and Worship Team had been working on some meaningful music that they were hoping to share with you. But since that can’t happen right now, I thought we would re-play portions of last year’s Hymn Festival for you to sing along with, and to listen to.

We pray the Holy Spirit on these musical offerings, and hope, through the miracles of technology, that they can speak to you. It turns out that the words and themes in most of the music from last year still resonates with what we need to hear at this time:
"Teach Us to Love" (1st Corinthians 13), trust in God, and leaning on the strength of Jesus as our Rock, “a shelter in a time of storm.”

Please join us 10:00am this Sunday, March 29. The service will also include a new, "Live" sermon from Pastor Arthur, a Time for Children from Intern Pastor Grace, Prayers and Holy Communion led by Pastor Ed, and a moving "God Moment" from Kirsten Boehne.

Grace and Peace,

Rob Reid, Director of Music
All TLC in-person worship services, programming and activities remain suspended until further notice.

The TLC office is closed until further notice. Email is monitored by staff at their home offices and the phone is answered by an automated attendant which can direct your calls to the proper person, including pastoral emergencies.

TLC office phone:
952-884-2364

Main Emails:
Office@tlcmn.com
Pastors@tlcmn.com
Council@tlcmn.com
The Little Water Drop
Vapor? Vapor!!!
Intern Pastor Grace video recorded her children's message in the sanctuary this past Thursday.
During this Sunday's children's message, Pastor Grace will be reading a very special story about the world of The Little Water Drop.

The Little Water Drop is a celebration of opportunity, growth and the comfort of home - and a reminder that the only mistake in life is being too afraid to try.

Follow along with the illustrations as we learn about the Water Drop's life inside a fishbowl and beyond. Lured by her curiosity of the "other side" of the fishbowl, the Little Water Drop discovers new friends and gains added confidence from her experiences.

The Little Water Drop is written by Max Forstater and illustrated by Danielle Louise, both of whom felt inspired to convey to children (and adults) that you may like who you find when you go beyond your fishbowl.
By Deacon Renee Jefferson
Director of Education
What to Do?
While Staying At Home
During this time, I think we are fortunate that we are entering spring. It gives us a time to get out and breathe and observe the wonders and changes around us. I challenge families to...
  • Look for God moments every day – keep a journal – each person, where they can see the good in something each day. As big as someone helping another survive and as small as hearing the first red-winged blackbird of spring (I actually saw a wood duck today!- the beautiful, multi-colored bird that only stops on my pond one day in spring on its way to its northern summer home ).


  • Read a Bible story each day from your child’s Bible. (If you have a third grade or older – use the Bible from the church – find the devotions section and read and discuss one a day. Then, if you like, act it out – take pictures or film as you go to create your own Bible story album. If you’d like to share with TLC, all the more cool. Or draw the story in your journal.


  • Make some rituals – bless each other as your rise or as you go to sleep – make a sign of the cross on each others’ heads and say somethings like, “Remember, you are a beloved child of God.” If you haven’t ever done table prayers, this is a good time to start. If you need some, let me know and I can give you some.


  • Adopt a person in your family to be your secret buddy (kind of like secret Santa – without the season). Maybe choose new ones each week so if someone gets the “hardest” one this week, they can get an easier one next week. Talk about some ways the secret buddy system might look like in your family. Open up about things that might please you if someone did them secretly.


  • Sing “Jesus Loves Me” chorus and verse while you wash your hands.


  • Get out your vbs songs and sing like mad – make up your own actions if you can’t remember the ones we have used.


  • Pray for each other and have each person pick one other person (grandparent, neighbor, friend, etc) that they can name each time you pray.


  • Find a favorite Bible verse and print it out and say it together everyday.
NOTICE FROM VEAP
VEAP has moved the May Gala to the fall of 2020
The Gala is VEAP’s biggest fundraiser, and now more than ever your donations and financial support are needed. Priority donations of shelf-stable products, particularly pasta (especially spaghetti) and low sodium soups, as well as checks can still be brought to TLC, but please call 952-884-2364 to make sure there is someone available at the office.

NEIGHBORS HELPING NEIGHBORS
God's Tiny, Feathered,
Weather Predictors
Amid all the doom and gloom on TV continuously, I noticed that the juncos are back. We wrote about this last year too, and how these tiny birds seem to enjoy hopping around in the snow. Well, there isn't much snow left, but there they were! Little gray birds enjoying life, and telling us that “snow is coming.”
If we know that our God cares about birds and gives them extra-sensory perception or something, how much greater does he care for us? Lately the mourning doves are coming in pairs again; so good to see, and a true sign of spring, which is now officially here. Anyway...seeing the snow, maybe an inch or so, this morning, I knew those little birdies had their prediction right again.

The advice to “stay home” is good for people to hear and also to obey. Older people should not pick up the virus accidentally from younger people who tend to think they are invincible –as they always have thought– and unknowingly pass on the virus to others who may not have strength to fight it. We are staying home, as advised.

It is fun to watch birds and squirrels try and live in the same general area. Anyone who feeds birds knows the squirrels are quite obnoxious and oblivious to pounding on the windows near the feeders as they devour everything in sight. Some mama squirrels have had their first litters, so they are anxious to keep eating no matter what. The birds, on the other hand, have not nested yet, so maybe all is fair in the back yard after all.

Do you miss seeing your church friends like we do? It may be a long time until we can meet as an actual group, and it can seem like forever when those who know say it may be months yet. In the meantime, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday will perhaps happen without us in the pews. No walk to the cross and nail our sins up with everyone else's? Can't do that on Live Streaming, can we? Maybe this is the year we could try and not write down the same old sins, and actually feel forgiveness that is always there to receive.

God's blessings on all of you. We will, with God's help, get through this tough time... and we must try to be patient, obey all those good ideas about staying six feet apart, washing for 20 seconds many times a day... and for some of us staying home to just watch the birds.

-Bloomington Bird Lady
Easter Garden flower orders.    Orders for Easter Garden Flowers are being taken until (new, extended deadline) Monday, March 30. Whether we are back in the Sanctuary or live streaming only, we still want to beautify the Altar for Easter Sunday. If you still need to order, please call the office (952-884-2364) with your flower choices, remembering to indicate "In Memory of..." or "In Honor of...". Payment can be mailed or dropped off. You are welcome to take your flowers home after Easter Sunday worship.

  • Easter Lily          $10.00    
  • Blue Hydrangea   22.00  
  • Pink Hydrangea   22.00   
  • Pink Tulip            10.00   
  • Purple Tulip        10.00   
  • Pansy Bowl         24.00   
  • Bicolor Azalea     18.00  
  • Pink Azalea        18.00    
  • Fern 10”             18.00    
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN
FOR US?
-a continuing series-
By Pastor Al Dungan
Can These
Bones Live?
Face to Face
with the Power of God
Can these bones live?

This is the question that God asked of the prophet Ezekiel as they stood together in a vision overlooking a valley filled with dry bones (Ez. 37.1-14) And the obvious answer to this rhetorical question was, “No. No. A thousand times No!”
But, of course, God, being God knew different.

What God was asking Ezekiel was if what was dead could be brought back to life. And, Ezekiel, being totally bound by his human thinking, could only answer, “O Lord God, you know” because they were, for him, clearly, plainly, unmistakably dead, dead, dead.

But God had other ideas. In this vision of the valley of dry bones God said to Ezekiel, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.”

Ezekiel did as God directed him, amazingly those bones were brought back together and God breathed life into them so that they lived again.
The message to us in this 5 th Sunday in Lent is that just as God could give life back to an exiled people who had literally lost everything, God can also give us back our lives as we “shelter in place” from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ezekiel’s message from God in the Valley of the Dry Bones is this: No matter how grim, how frightening, how hopeless the current situation may appear, God is there and God will preserve our lives even when we may wonder if we’ll ever get our lives back so that things will return to normal.

Yes, we’ll get our lives back, but it will be in a “new normal”. That is the great hope we have during Lent as we approach Holy Week with all its challenges. And, yes, we’ll get our lives back when we celebrate that most powerful day in the Church Year, the Festival of the Resurrection. And, yes, we can believe in the deepest parts of our being that just as God didn’t forget Jesus in the tomb, God has not forgotten us in our time of great trial.

COVID-19 you have not seen power until you come face to face with the Power of God.

Can these bones live? What do you think?
"Pretty Moon"
ELC Photographer: Nora, 8 years old

The ELC Photo Club visited Oak Grove Presbyterian Church on Old Shakopee and Penn Ave S. earlier this winter, and discovered lots of beauty in sculptures, decor, and design structure of the sanctuary. The metal sculpture pictured above caught Nora's eye, imagination and the memory in her camera. She says she thought the sculpture "looked cool" and "it's cool that someone could make it."
Extrapolations
Data & COVIG-19
By Tom Spear
Good Morning,

Hope you are all doing well. Crazy times.

I wanted to express one minor concern - just one point of view.  There is so much data and plotting occurring right now because of COVID-19. Every day news broadcasts try to communicate the latest figures: deaths, tested positive, etc.. Plots appear and folks extrapolate based on the data on those plots. Extrapolations are used to predict, of course. Please be careful accepting those extrapolations without critical examination.

I spent many years of my career as a principal research scientist for a biomedical firm here - a position I grew into over the years that begin with a degree in engineering.  The position is really not so important, but that work did make me aware of the risks involved with data extrapolations. Extrapolations often assume future outcomes based on today's information and trends and with today's mathematical variables. Simplified extrapolations often do NOT include unknown variables - how could they - in the mathematical calculations that produce the plots and numbers we see in a broadcast. Those unknown variables can emerge and disrupt the extrapolations in either a positive way or a negative way. This can happen with scientific data or with church attendance projections or with COVID-19 data plots.

Currently, I have no doubt there are engineers, research scientists, lab workers, and businesses that are searching for treatments, technologies, and other possibilities to address COVID-19 issues of all kinds. Thousands of these folks are dedicated and asking "what if we try this …." in meetings and in labs. I worked with a number of them who were far more qualified than me to discover possibilities. Each one of these folks comprises an unknown variable that could disrupt the extrapolations - doomsday extrapolations, I call them - in positive ways. Note what some distilleries are doing currently. And Earl Bakken invented the first battery-powered pacemaker in just a few days in a garage after a young girl died suddenly when a U of M hospital lost electrical power for a day many years ago. The girl's heart stopped and she died. That moment of tragedy and creativity led to the creation of Medtronic. The greatest motivator for a researcher or technologist is to tell him or her that something is impossible. Nothing inspires so much as those words for these folks. 

Faith is a word used a lot in the work of the church, but I have learned to have another kind of faith: a faith in the creativity, ingenuity, and imagination of the people in some of these professions. It is a faith that has grown over many years and I have it more now than ever.  So, when I listen to doomsday extrapolated projections based on today's trends, I have to smile and think you have seen nothing yet. Have a little faith in the folks you will never hear anything about in those East coast newscasts. There will be challenges, but never discount the unknown variables and the folks hidden in the shadows to disrupt an extrapolation and doomsday-predicted outcomes. Just a personal point of view.

Good luck in these challenging times and thanks for the on-line services.

-Tom Spear
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 merickson@tlcmn.com 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.
Simple Beef
Stroganoff
What you'll need:
  • 1 (8 ounce) package egg noodles
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can fat free condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
  • Prepare the egg noodles according to package directions and set aside

  • In a separate large skillet over medium heat, sauté the ground beef over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until browned. 

  • Drain the fat and add the soup and garlic powder. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • Remove from heat and combine the meat mixture with the egg noodles

  • Add the sour cream, stirring well, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Blessings and stay well!
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ELECTRONIC GIVING HELPS SUPPORT TLC
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THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY!
Picture for illustration purpose only.
ALTAR FLOWERS
ORDER ONLINE
FOR 2020
See the chart online or stop in
at the church office to order.

The TLC website has an online form to order Chancel/Altar Flowers for any Sunday in 2020. Click Here to access the form now , or visit www.tlcmn.com later and look for the "Purchase Altar Flowers" button at the bottom of any page.
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A Reconciling in Christ Congregation
A Culture of Diversity and Inclusion
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