Gathering in Grace • Growing in Faith • Going Forth to Serve
Sixth Sunday of Easter, May 17, 2020
Worship at 10:00am ~ Live-Stream Only
Altar flowers this Sunday
are given by Pamela Moe,
in loving memory of her husband,
Darrell and the joy he shared.
The Socially Distanced Singers, consisting of Scott Knight, Angela Burla, Jill Reid and Rob Reid, along with Karen Daniels on the organ, recorded their segments of the worship service this past Thursday.
This Sunday at TLC
By Rob Reid, Director of Music
This coming Sunday, May 17, was to have been the Season Finale for our Music Groups before their Summer Hiatus, so we will share archived recordings of the Chancel Choir and TLC Handbells, and Prelude and Postlude played by Organist Carmen Englert. We will also get to hear and sing along to  newly recorded hymns led by The Socially Distanced Singers and Organist Karen Daniels.
 
Intern Pastor Grace Pardun Alworth will preach and will lead the Time for Children (hint: live chickens) and the Prayers of the People. Pastor Ed will bring us the Sacrament of Communion and will lead our monthly Prayers of Healing. 
 
Do join with hundreds of your TLC friends as we worship God together on Sunday at 10:00am. 
211 Media Devices Linked
to TLC Live-Stream Last Sunday
Number of people watching can be over 400!
Why do number of views differ on your device?
People watching the YouTube site of TLC's Sunday morning live-stream may have noticed the viewer count changing throughout the broadcast; sometimes reflecting really low numbers (like 2 or 10), when, in fact, the number of media devices is significantly higher.

VIEWS, NOT PEOPLE
When displaying information about number of viewers watching a live-stream, YouTube reports "views" not "people." For example, 10 views are simply 10 different media devices (desktops, laptops, tablets, phones, smart TV's) linked to that broadcast. What they can't report, and what nobody knows for certain, is how many people are in the room watching the media device. Maybe a couple, maybe a family of four, maybe an entire group, as is the case of a local senior community that watches TLC's services every Sunday morning. So, while TLC's record of attendance reports the data provided by YouTube, we tend to think the number is, at least, double that amount. By the way, TLC's viewer data is collected hours after the completion of a service (see the reason why below)

NUMBERS VARY WHILE WATCHING
Source: YouTube.com/help - How video views are counted

YouTube video views reflect how many times a video has been watched. Views can be an important measure of a video's overall popularity.

YouTube wants to make sure that videos are viewed by actual humans and not computer programs. It takes their systems some time to determine which views are legitimate views, and which aren't. During the first few hours that a video is published, YouTube may not show all legitimate views while their system works.

After legitimate views are counted, the video's view count should update more frequently. The amount of time this takes varies depending on a video's popularity and viewership. Keep in mind that YouTube is constantly validating views, so view count can always be adjusted.

On some videos, the view count might seem frozen or not show all the views that you expect. Video views are algorithmically validated to maintain fair and positive experiences for content creators, advertisers, and viewers. To verify that views are real and accurate, YouTube may temporarily slow down, freeze, or change the view count, as well as discard low-quality playbacks such as some unscrupulous folks that like to keep clicking their mouse to "stack" the numbers. YouTube measures how many clicks come from a device's IP address -- your digital fingerprint.
Watch the Live-Stream starting at 9:55am Sunday Morning
Visit www.tlcgo.live or click above at the time of broadcast to watch the
live-stream of the service. Programming starts at approximately 9:55am

Also find us on your Smart TV...
Coffee Hour Every Sunday
We have been having a fun and meaningful time connecting on Sundays via Zoom immediately following the 10:00am live-stream. Please join us this Sunday here: https://zoom.us/j/9921615891
If you have not used Zoom before, you will need to download the free app when prompted. Bring a coffee and snack and join the fellowship!
Pastor Arthur Murray
Where God
May Be Calling Us
Dear TLC Family,
 
As I was reviewing the latest update from the governor, I was reminded that the expiring “shelter-in-place” order has been in place since March 28. This weekend marks our 10 th consecutive Sunday of livestream only worship. It has been quite a haul!
 
I remain incredibly grateful to you, the TLC family, to our dedicated staff and to our faithful and loving God who has sustained us through this time. We do not know where we will be two months from now, but we said the same thing two months ago and God has continued to sustain and provide for this community until this time. This “not knowing what will we happen next” experience certainly helps strengthen faith!
 
I am very grateful for the strong ongoing financial support. Giving in April was comparable to the same month last year. It is a blessing to be able to face the challenges of ministry in a crisis without fearing whether the ministry itself is sustainable.
 
Here are a few thoughts, in no particular order, on where God may be calling us, as a community, to focus our energy in the coming months as we head into summer:
 
  • Continued commitment to care for and check in with one another.
  • Increased prayers for our vulnerable members and for those who work on the front lines (child care, health care, emergency responders, hospice and elder care), especially as we head into June when the infections are expected to peak in Minnesota.
  • Continue to gather together for online worship and invite others into this growing community of faith.
  • Be attuned to the movement of the Spirit as She guides us as to how and where we can be of service.
 
It is a long road. Yes, there are many blessings and signs of hope along the way. Yet, at least for me, despair and discouragement are never too far away either. In our devotional practice, Laura and I have recently added a piece to our morning routine. In addition to reading the Moravian Daily texts, taking a few minutes of silence and sharing three gratitudes, we added the sharing of three feelings. That is, naming three things that we are “feeling” on any given morning. Sometimes these are very similar to our gratitudes, but other times they are a brutally honest counter balance. It can feel a little dangerous to be so vulnerable with each other, yet somehow it seems to help. It helps to name our fears as well as our joys.
 
We are finding that each time we survive this experience of awful vulnerability, as painful as it can occasionally be, our faith is strengthened. Faith in each other, and faith in God. We have found this practice to be a daily reminder that God is with us through it all - that our faith is not a feeling and it is not dependent on only one set of positive emotions. Faith is trust that God is holding us through it all.
 
May you find the days ahead to be faith-building and may you know always that God is with you.
 
In trust and hope in the risen Christ,
 
Pastor Arthur
Values-Based Budgeting
A ZOOM Workshop
Thursday, May 21, 7:00 pm.
You are invited to attend this 40 minute finance 101/budgeting workshop on Zoom, led by Thrivent Financial Professional, Durk Peterson. The workshop will cover the basics of budgeting and how to work toward important financial goals.
 
FREE: No need to pay for a Zoom account. Simply go to www.zoom.us/join and enter the meeting ID  819 251 7181 and password 393992.
If you have any questions about zoom access or the workshop, please call Durk at 612-702-5509 or Durk.Peterson@thrivent.com .
No products will be sold.
TLC Mission During Coronavirus
From the TLC Church Council

The TLC Council began this year with five new members. We knew going in that there were going to be some big decisions on the agenda for us. Before we could get to know each other and find our place we were hit with social distancing and virtual council meetings.
We held a two-day Council retreat in early March (by Zoom) led by Diane Nettifee in which we talked about discernment and core values of this congregation. The outcome of this retreat was a shared understanding of certain values that may be used as a centering point to keep us connected to God, ourselves, and each other as we grow in faith through this unusual time. These are the values which seemed most helpful to us:

  • Offering meaningful worship
  • Care of our members – nurturing relationships, tending to spirituality
  • Valuing simplicity
  • Acceptance of and invitation to people on the margins

Note: The Council does not offer these ideas to replace any current mission statement or ministry priorities. We simply want you, the congregation, to know what bubbled to the surface at our retreat and seemed to encapsulate our discussion. We hope that they may be helpful in some way as we navigate the path that lies ahead together.

Thoughts and questions are welcome. Please contact any council member.
Thoughts While Walking
If any of you are old enough to remember Cedric Adams, who was the main newscaster on WCCO radio for many years, you came to accept, without doubt, everything he reported. He also had a column for years in the Minneapolis Tribune [now the StarTribune]. He called it, “Thoughts While Shaving,” and it was humorous—good to read in the morning paper.

When we are alone, shaving or walking, some odd things creep into our minds.

Lately with the “mask thing” being so important to all, no matter who they are, and even in the Oval Office, I only take my mask off when walking... by myself, usually. The first thing I notice lately is that there is so little traffic in our neighborhood. 110 th Street goes by just a few houses down the block, and for years was almost a “raceway” using all the lanes for people who were actually driving side by side—racing! We complained about that, but saw no police stopping anyone.

Another small thing... So many people are walking their dogs, and yesterday I met a couple with four black Dachshunds, together on one leash. I was about to tell them how cute they were, but right away they told me, “The City of Bloomington allows us to have four dogs.” Hmmm. That must have been a difficult subject for a while?

I love the fact that TLC now has folks calling others to see how they are doing during this unsual time of quarantines, and possibly getting ill, or being unable to make a trip to the grocery store or pharmacy. It has been enjoyable to call my three “names” and hear what they have been up to. So far they're all doing well, and their kids come over to help out if needed. My own three kids all called on Mother's Day, but we decided to put off celebrating until there was a restaurant open—maybe soon? (maybe not.)

Another thought while walking... It's soon time to wash all the windows. Not my favorite thing, as it always manages to rain right after the last one is done. Instead, I have been sorting “stuff” that may need actual tossing out... old greeting cards, for one. I like to read each one again, and then throw it away...Yes! Do you remember when we could save the fronts of cards and they were sent to someplace for re-use? One year I had cut the cards apart, took them to church, and found that “we don't do that any more.” I still wonder why that is. So now I tear the old cards up and out they go.

One last thought while walking: Will we run out of patience and demand for things to open too quickly? It would be a disaster... People spreading this virus around, and losing some friends to it, probably.

Hang in there, friends, and ask God to help you. We need a loving Father to tell us to be strong.

-Bloomington Bird Lady
Church Office Remains Closed
Please remember that the church office remains closed to the public until further notice. Even if there is an event or matter within the church requiring your attendance, for health and safety reasons, we ask that you refrain from "visiting" the church office without prior approval or appointment. In addition, face masks are required for any activity within the church. Thank you for understanding.
Minutes & Report
There are two documents this month from the church council (and on the TLC website).

Joy is like the Rain
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN
FOR US?
-a continuing series-
By Pastor Al Dungan
In 1965 a group of singing nuns, who called themselves the Medical Mission Sisters, began publishing and singing religious folk songs.

The one that for me sticks out above all the rest, although there were some really good ones, was their first group of songs entitled “Joy Is Like The Rain."

The thing that touched me most and stayed with me the longest was the title song of that song book. And, I’d like to share those words with you now, so many years later, in a time when we really need to find JOY in our lives.

[Editor's note: Click here to listen to the original song and follow along with the lyrics below provided by Pastor Al]

1)I saw raindrops on my window, Joy is like the rain.
Laughter runs across my pain, slips away and comes again.
Joy is like the rain.

2) I saw clouds upon the mountain, Joy is like a cloud.
Sometimes silver, sometimes gray, always sun not far away.
Joy is like a cloud.

3) I saw Christ in wind and thunder, Joy is tried by storm.
Christ asleep within my boat, Whipped by wind yet still afloat.
Joy is tried by storm.

4) I saw raindrops on the river, Joy is like the rain,
Bit by bit the river grows, Till all at once it overflows.
Joy is like the rain.

How is this song like our lives today? Do you see the rain that falls as a gift from God to water our dry and parched souls in the midst of a global pandemic that seems to have no end?

How are our lives blessed by the clouds that hover overhead from which the rain falls? They cool us and show us linings of silver when we least expect it.

How can we see the storms of life as blessings? When we realize that Christ is there “in our boat” that is truly a blessing.

And, finally, drop by drop the rain causes the rivers in our life to overflow into the lives of others so that we become a blessing.

It doesn't get any better than that, Easter People!
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. Your 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.
Violets in the Snow
By Mrs. Robert Swanson
What You'll Need:

  • 2 pkgs blackberry Jello
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 8oz. carton sour cream
  • 1 cup blueberry pie filling
  • Whipped Cream

Directions:

Dissolve Jello in hot water.
Add sour cream.
Whip or blend until smooth.
Stir in blueberry pie filling.
Pour into mold and chill.
Put whipped cream around sides or fill center of ring mold.
May 2020

During this time of “sheltering” and “distancing” Mission of the Month will look a little different. 
Tapestry is the May Mission of the Month, on the Mission and Outreach calendar. This ministry is an inclusive community of faith, humbly sharing the love of Jesus with all people, and working together for the healing and restoration of the world t hat God loves so much. Please remember them in your prayers.

Thank you to those of you who donated to the ELC for the Pancakes with a Purpose at home.
This box will share the most needed ways that we can help right now whether it is as a volunteer or a monetary gift.

  • VEAP—most needed now whole wheat pasta, canned meats, large diapers
  • Sheridan Story
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Community Pantry

Other needs may be:

  • Grocery shopping (can do shopping or people who need someone to shop)
  • Continuing to make masks and a new need is surgical scrub caps (ask Jo Benson about these)

For detailed information about the above missions, please
click on their logos below to visit their websites.
PAID AMERICORPS POSITIONS AT VEAP


VEAP is currently recruiting candidates for 2 different paid AmeriCorps opportunities:

  • 2020-2021 AmeriCorps Community Outreach & Engagement Coordinator VISTA position (full-time, 12 month position, flexible start date)
  • Five MN AmeriCorps Emergency Response positions (35 hours per week, June 8 to August 15) – Applications due May 20

AmeriCorps Community Outreach & Engagement Coordinator VISTA
We are looking for a passionate leader who will spark hope and support stability for people living in poverty. This person will shape the future of VEAP by diversifying our volunteer corps and deepening partnerships with multicultural communities.

  • Serve full-time for 12 months, flexible start date 2020
  • Hold part-time outside employment and participate in part-time coursework during service with approval from your supervisor
  • Receive a pre-tax monthly living allowance of $944 during service
  • Option of $1,800 post-service stipend or $6,095 education award after completing your year of service
  • Relocation assistance is available for members moving more than 50 miles to serve
  • As an AmeriCorps VISTA you will receive your certification in volunteer leadership, attend professional development opportunities, learn about the evolving field of volunteer engagement, and network with local and national leaders in this field.

For more information or to start the application process for this Community Outreach & Engagement Coordinator VISTA position, contact Courtney Flug at courtneyf@veap.org or 952.955.8325.

MN AmeriCorps Emergency Response positions
This summer, VEAP is excited to be a part of the AmeriCorps Emergency Response Initiative! This new, statewide program has been created to help meet the urgent and emerging community needs related to COVID-19. VEAP has the opportunity to hire 5 people to assist with our core operations including: 2 with our food pantry team to assist with warehouse and distribution duties; 2 with our social services team to assist with general duties to support client assistance; and 1 with our volunteer department to assist with volunteer engagement and scheduling. The positions are 35 hours a week from June 8 - August 15 and also include:

  • A stipend of $650 every two weeks
  • Individual health insurance (monthly premium 100% paid)
  • An additional $1,289.95 for tuition or student loans

With a tight turnaround on the Emergency Response positions, time is of the essence. In order to begin serving in June, candidates need to apply by May 20 . To learn more or apply, please visit bit.ly/MNResponse .

If you have any questions or are interested in learning more about these opportunities, contact Courtney Flug at courtneyf@veap.org or 952.955.8325.
Resumes Wednesday nights with Pastor Grace
Join Intern Pastor Grace as she re-Zooms Wednesday night Bible Study. Bring your own bibles and let's learn about the interesting and often overlooked characters in our book of faith. 
 
Join Zoom Meeting
 
Meeting ID: 960 1654 7916
Password: 891335
Back Issues of the TLC Weekly
including this issue (Today!)
[CLICK HERE] to visit the TLC web page where you can choose to read from the past 16 months of weekly E-newsletters from Transfiguration Lutheran Church. This is also a great way to share TLC Weekly with those that don't receive it in email. Tell them to visit tlcmn.com/tlcweekly
ELECTRONIC GIVING HELPS SUPPORT TLC
It’s important to know that we can depend on financial support from TLC members. Electronic giving is fast, secure, and reduces administrative costs, allowing more of every dollar to support the important work we are called to do. You can give anytime, anywhere to specific funds with our GivePlus Mobile app (free from the app store). You can also schedule and manage recurring donations by visiting our website and clicking on TLC ONLINE GIVING icon at the bottom of any page, or [Click Here] to start the process, or contact the church office.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY!
Please help?

The Coronavirus has clearly upset life in Minnesota and around the world. As you know, even TLC is feeling the impact. Our church services and meetings are all on hold for now and only staff is left in the building, but our mission continues. Without the ability to gather for worship, we have no offering baskets being circulated to collect weekly offerings. In the mean time, bills still have to be paid and we need the continued financial support of our members. 
 
If you normally submit your offering in the offering baskets during service, we ask you to mail your offering to TLC at your normal interval while services are suspended. 
 
If you haven’t done so already, please consider signing up for automated giving through the Online Giving link at the top of every page on our website www.tlcmn.com . Or click here to begin your donation. This easy to set up program allows you to schedule your offering payments at an interval convenient for you so your support is given whether you can make it to service or not - and whether we are able to hold services or not! 
 
We realize that some of you may have suffered loss of your job or income during his crisis and are unable to fulfill our offering pledge at this time. If this is the case with you, please let us know and we will keep your in our prayers. 
 
Like other crisis’ before it, the Corona virus will eventually pass and our lives will return to near normal. It’s times like these that can really test our faith. Take care of each other and yourself. We will get through this together. And, please don’t forget to support TLC in the mean time.
Free Subscriptions, sign up to be a volunteer, request care ministry and more!
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A Reconciling in Christ Congregation
A Culture of Diversity and Inclusion
~~LINKS~~
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