We don't change the message. The message changes us.
Sunday, December 20, 2020
9:55am Online
Altar Flowers
this Sunday

Altar flowers for Sunday were donated by
Meg and Tom Spear
in honor of
Michelle Reber and Marilyn Erickson.
-Advent 4-
and Christmas Eve is
On Its Way

Rob Reid
Director of Music
Gather your Four Advent Candles and join us this Sunday, December 20 at 10:00am as “Together… We Wait…” a little while longer for the coming of the Christ Child. The beautiful music and encouraging messages in this service will surely help us with our waiting.

Organist Carmen Englert plays “Once Again My Heart Rejoices” and “People Look East” for her Prelude and Postlude, and during Communion an evocative pairing of the Advent hymns “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” and “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” arranged for piano by Mark Hayes. Our Hymns and Advent Candle Lighting are led by the Socially Distanced Quartet: Kevin Erickson, Mary George, Rob Reid, Jill Reid; with Hope Englert joining on Timpani. Pastor Melanie Heuiser Hill will bring another Children’s Time with “The Wandering Nativity,” Diane Nettifee Hilleren will share the Message, and Pastor Arthur Murray leads our Prayers and Communion.

And then: I will “see” you on Christmas Eve! Thursday, December 24 we will be streaming our on-line Candlelight Services at 3:30, 5:00, 9:00 and 11:00pm, with a 15-minute Prelude preceding those times. To help us all experience the Joy and Peace of that Holy Night, we will be incorporating Christmas Eve recordings from 2019 for many of the hymns and prelude pieces, led by our TLC Woodwinds, TLC Brass Choir, Chancel Choir and TLC Handbells, along with some recently recorded pieces, throughout the service: a Handbell Quintet, “Carol of the Bells” from our Oasis Music Team and their Moms, two pieces by trumpeters Laura Thelander and Arthur Murray and pianist Carmen Englert, and “O Holy Night” played by violinist Isabel Carter and pianist Karen Daniels. We will also be looking forward to another, very special addition to “The Wandering Nativity” that night – thank you, Pastor Melanie!

And thanks to some of YOU who have recorded portions in your homes, and our Interim Youth and Family Minister Pete Erickson, we will also be able to enjoy The Family Nativity Service at 2:00pm and 7:00pm on Christmas Eve. This service will also include a few 2019 Christmas Eve Hymns and two pieces by the Oasis Music Team and their Moms.
Finally, if your busy Christmas Eve plans keep you from watching those services at any of those times, you can watch the two services in alternation starting at 8:00am on Christmas Day! What an Amazing Gift our Video Specialist Brad Nolte continues to share with us – The Gift that Keeps on Giving! Thank you So Much, Brad! I can’t wait! Although I guess I have to, right? Waiting is our Advent Theme! Together!

Peace, Hope, Joy and Love,
Live-Stream Viewer Data
Last Sunday, December 13, 2020
382+ total YouTube Viewers
191 Media Devices Linked
to TLC Live-Stream on Sunday

Wednesday, December 16, 2020
HOLDEN Evening Prayer Service
139 Viewers
Poinsettia Pick Up

Thank you to all who ordered poinsettias to decorate the altar for our Christmas Eve services, which were pre-recorded in advance. You may pick-up your poinsettia(s) next Tuesday and Wednesday to grace your home for the Christmas holiday. The electronic door on the west side of TLC will be open Tuesday, Dec. 22 and Wednesday, Dec. 23 from 10:00am-3:00pm and the plants will be in the narthex. Please wear a mask when coming into the building.
Minnesota Seniors is an amazing, FREE resource service for seniors as well as family caregivers who have questions and need answers. There is a wealth of information and help -- too numerous to list. [Click Here] and see for yourself.
It's something to do and you don't need to wear a mask while browsing.
Who: YOU! All are invited—and there’s lots of fun for kids!          
What: An Epiphany Party!            
When: On Epiphany, January 6th 6-7 p.m.              
Where: Zoom, of course!             
Why: It’s the end of Twelve Days of (Covid) Christmas—let’s celebrate!
Bring your star cookies/treats and join us for an Epiphany Party as we head into the church’s next season.
We’ll have stories and games and fun—stay tuned for more details!

ZOOM.com
Meeting ID: 814 1881 2863
Click here to watch the Zoom recording of last Sunday's Women of the ELCA and TLC.
Our Guest Panelists:
  • Rev. Janice Gonoe
  • Rev. Laura Thelander
  • Rev. Melanie Heuiser Hill
  • Elizabeth Zeidler Woll
  • Diane Nettifee
  • Irene Amon
  • Jordan Zahrte
  • Pete Erickson
  • Rev. Arthur Murray
Welcome Pastor Eva Jensen
TLC's Interim Co-Pastor
Dear leaders and members of Transfiguration Lutheran Church,
 
With gratitude I write to greet you and joyfully accept your call to serve as interim pastor in a co-pastor relationship with Pastor Arthur Murray.
 
In conversations with Pastor Murray, your Executive Committee and Church Council, I have learned that you are a congregation gathered by God’s grace and love, growing in faith, and committed to ministries of service and justice. Your leaders shared their vision and commitment to leadership that will strengthen you as a community of faith united in Christ.
 
We are living in a challenging time of disruption and change that impacts every aspect of our lives as people, congregations and communities. Additionally, as a congregation, you are experiencing changes in pastoral and staff leadership. Grounding our lives and our hope in relationship with God who walks with us is essential for wholeness and communal healing. I thank you for inviting me to walk with you in your journey of faith. I believe God will be with us in the questions we explore, the varied perspectives we share, and the ways we commit to learning together from one another. I ask you to pray for us as we commit to this journey together.
 
I am an ELCA pastor who serves as an interim pastor in the Minneapolis Area Synod. Over the past five years I have served three congregations through transitions that have led to vitality in life and ministry. I am also a professional consultant who guides and facilitates groups and organizations through change, creating clarity of identity and mission, shared direction for the future, and a commitment to working together. I love working with congregations and related organizations through transitions that lead to new life and vitality.
 
I am excited to get to know you as members of Transfiguration Lutheran Church and as a congregation. I will begin service with you on January 16th, 2021. Our meetings and worship life will be virtual as we begin … and yet, we will gather as the Body of Christ seeking a new way through the Epiphany season, led by the star of Bethlehem and Christ’s new birth in our lives and the world.
 
 
May God’s love in Christ fill your homes, your lives and our world this Christmas,
 
Pastor Eva Jensen
Hope Lives!
TLC's
Addiction Awareness Team
Update
Mission: “This ministry exists to provide a safe environment for those seeking hope and restoration from addiction and codependency.”

The Addiction Awareness Team met this week and Griffin led a discussion on Spiritual Awakenings and Spiritual Experiences. Are you in need of a Spiritual Awakening?
 
Warning Signs of a Spiritual Awakening
An increased tendency to let things happen rather than make things happen.
Frequent attacks of smiling.
Feeling of being connected to others and nature.
Frequent overwhelming episodes of appreciation.
A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than fears based on past experience.
An unremarkable ability to enjoy each moment.
A loss of ability to worry.
A loss of interest in conflict.
A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.
A loss of interest in judging others.
A loss of interest in judging self.
Gaining the ability to love without expecting anything in return.
 
To learn more about this ministry, or if you or someone you care about is in need of support this holiday season, please reach out to one of us.


Chris Campo         
631-988-0938  campo@q.com

Dave Dickson         
612-221-6082  dadickson11@gmail.com

Al Dungan       
952-237-6037  aldungan@comcast.net

Mary George       
952-297-2767  george340011@gmail.com

Griffin Myslivecek       
612-481-1578  griffmysliv1@gmail.com

Louise Olson          
952-831-1145  glolro@comcast.net

Beth Rahn       
952-393-9817  brahnfamily@comcast.net
A Different Feeling

Did you used to stress out over Christmas? There was all the baking, cleaning, writing of cards, decorating a real tree, complaining when one light on the string of lights was burned out, etc? Someone who was wiser than I would always say, “Jesus will come whether we are ready or not” meaning into our hearts, not our houses. ,

This year has been different: We are thankful if we are well and have not caught the virus, we are relieved to know we are not even supposed to have large gatherings of relatives, people are wearing their masks, social distancing almost automatically now, and I realized that it's been a more relaxing time, not really stressful at all. The weather has even been okay-----no big storms, temperatures pretty mild.

One unexpected benefit of having to deal with a virus is that having an appointment is now the thing we have to do. Try going to the license renewal place, and the gal at the desk will say, “We don't take 'walk- ins' any more. You may feel a little frustrated about going home to call for an appointment, and it is annoying for sure. I used to just drive over to the license place on Logan Ave. and wait with several other people until there was an open spot, then just sit and wait...Back then they even had magazines to read.

Our Christmas this year will resemble Thankgiving Day with only four of us and food coming from.....well, not our kitchens! I have scrambled through the years to make even lutefisk, Swedish potato sausage (home made) and my rice pudding made in a 9x13 pan to cut in sqares and add lingonberries. We will not have any gifts this year either, which will resemble last year too. Funny how much we don't need, and tear our hair out baking, shopping, and decorating. As I said..'Jesus will come no matter what.'.

Do we need snow to put us in the mood? Maybe, but not too much, please. My whole adult life I have scurried to get to the Christmas Eve 5 p.m service, and then come back for the late service where most of the choir are away at grandma's or something. Last year Sheryl and I were almost alone in the front row. Feeling really sleepy after singing “Silent Night” and holding a candle at about 12 midnight, it would be time to pick up our poinsettia off the altar and drive home. It was always so cold at that hour...poor poinsettia had to be in a plastic bag to keep from freezing.

I have loved doing all these things, but when Covid came about a year ago now, life had to change. No hugging, no church, no eating out, remember to wash your hands and wear your mask....Maybe the much-welcomed vaccine will help to straighten things out again, but in the meantime, lets just relax, okay?

-Bloomington Bird Lady
628 LBS of FOOD from TLC
The container's at TLC overflowed nearly every day of the two week drop-off
A whopping 628 lbs. of food was donated through TLC to VEAP during our Advent food drive. There were also several generous monetary donations. Youth leader, Pete Erickson and five TLC Youth went collecting in the neighborhood this past week. Thanks to everyone!

Also, a big thank you to TLC member, Nile Plapp, and the American Legion in Savage, MN for donating through TLC all the food they were unable to use after their forced shutdown.

This Christmas Season the line-up of cars waiting to pick up groceries at VEAP is very long and it's evident that the need is great.

TLC continues faithfully to help answer the need.
We’ll look at some art of the nativity scene and we’ll make our own scene, as well. To that end, please bring your art medium of choice—legos, paper and crayons/pencils/markers, chalk and chalkboard, playdough/clay, paints etc.

(NOTE: One of my favorite Christmas decorations to put up each year is the laminated drawing of the nativity that my son, who is now 23, drew when he was very small. Be ready to squirrel away your kid’s creation…. Twenty years from now, you’ll be glad you did.)



Other Announcements:

The last ADVENT STORYTIME is on Wednesday at 6:00 on the TLC’s Facebook Page—Facebook LIVE—favorite holiday books off of my bookshelf. Also my silly skiddamarink storytime song…. If this isn’t a convenient time, you can watch it afterwards.

WANDERING NATIVITY: At the beginning of worship each Sunday we look for the characters on their way to Bethlehem. Will Mary & Joseph make it in time? Will the angel be on high? What about the shepherds? The Wise Ones?

STORIES & SONGS will continue December 27th and January 3rd—same time and place. Stories of the shepherds and the wise ones.

EPIPHANY PARTY: Mark your calendars for January 6th (Epiphany!) 6:00-7:00—a party on zoom. Games and stories and songs. It’ll be fun—hope you and yours can come! (More info coming your way.)

Love seeing your kiddos smiles on Zoom! (And you, too!) See you Sunday….

Pastor Melanie
Week of December 13-19
If you have not yet submitted your pledge for 2021, there is still time. The Stewardship Team would love to hear from you! To date we have received 160 pledges totaling $424,877 which puts us at 84% of our budgeted goal of $504,165 for 2021. Please do let us know your intent for financial support of TLC in 2021 and save the team a phone call. You can pledge by returning the physical card that you received in the mail or by entering your pledge online at www.tlcmn.com/pledge
Every pledge no matter how large or small makes a difference. Thank you!
December 2020
Financial Update
From Your
TLC Financial Team, Council and Pastor Arthur Murray

Dear Transfiguration Members,

We would like to begin with a word of sincere thanks. Throughout the extraordinary events of 2020, the commitment of this congregation to fund creative and adaptive ministry has been exceptional. Regular giving has remained solid. Without this support the ministry of the gospel would have been greatly reduced.

The decision to continue to invest in our online ministry was made according to the wishes of the overwhelming majority of the congregation as expressed in our August survey. You backed up this decision with your financial support and have allowed a vibrant online ministry to continue even as we all struggle to adapt to this different world. Those without online capabilities receive at-home worship resources weekly by regular mail.

As reported in our mid-year financial update, we are running a deficit due primarily to three factors: loss of in-person (or “loose plate”) offering, loss of building rental income, and a slight decline in pledged support due to attrition of membership. There have been some savings due to reduced building use, but the majority of expenses remain unchanged. At the end of November, the expenses for the year exceeded receipts by over $70,000. For comparison, this is less than the deficit of $85,000 that was faced at the end of November, 2019. In December 2019, a surge in year-end contributions cut the deficit to $35,000 as shown in the annual report. That enabled avoidance of a year-end appeal.

There is no way of knowing what congregational giving will look like this December with the COVID-19 situation, but our hope is that the deficit at the end of the year will be significantly reduced. Please remember TLC in your year-end giving.

The church received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) federal loan of $112,000 in March of 2020, to help with financial challenges during the pandemic. We were expecting that this loan would be forgiven before the end of 2020 so that we could report to you a balanced budget for the year. While we still believe that this loan will eventually be forgiven, we do not yet have confirmation of that as we await federal government guidelines on loan forgiveness to be established.
There is much to be hopeful for in 2021. The recent news regarding vaccine development increases the hope that we may again be gathered together for in-person worship before too long.

In the meantime, ministry continues to move ahead. 2021 will be a year of reflection and re-evaluation for us as a congregation. We are excited about the recent addition of new part-time staff, grateful for the faithful and dedicated service of our existing staff, and we are thrilled with Bishop Ann’s appointment of Interim Co-Pastor, Eva Jensen, to help us through the coming transition. (See Interim Pastor Announcement for more detail). Please prayerfully consider how you believe God is calling this community and what your role might be in that promised future.

With gratitude for your partnership in ministry,

TLC Financial Team, Council and Pastor Arthur Murray
Special Edition for the TLC Weekly
Hopes for Advent
By Pastor Al Dungan
What are your hopes for this season of Advent which comes at the darkest time of the year?
 
It seems that during the past 9 months we have been surrounded with the darkness of a world-wide pandemic that has caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands in our country alone, as well as so much death and suffering in other countries. And, it has been a very dark time politically in our country during which people have separated into very divisive camps, unwilling to hear what each side has to say about their political hopes and fears even to the extent of sending death threats to those who disagree with them.
 
Darkness. Darkness. Darkness all around seasonally, politically and serious attacks on our lives from the pandemic which has touched 6 members of our immediate family.
 
Into that darkness, into ALL of that darkness, comes the season of Advent with its message of hope. Hope that promises light. Hope that promises the potential of new life. Hope that the end of the darkness is near. And... it is both coming and right here, right now.
 
The People of God throughout the ages have clung to that hope in spite of how difficult and dark the world around them has seemed--the exile of Israel into Babylon, the Black Death that threatened all of Europe in the 16th century, the Civil War and 9/11 in our own country and now the pandemic are just a few examples of that darkness.
 
 And because of this, we are reminded that we are to be People of Light in a world of darkness. We are to be People of Hope when so much seems hopeless. We are to be those who are willing to light one small candle to chase the darkness away.
 
And, when we each, as the People of God, light our Advent candles, the world becomes a brighter and more hopeful place.
 
We can light a candle of acceptance of all people as Children of God. We can light a candle of caring so that the vulnerable in our world can receive the basic necessities for life. We can light a candle of giving out of our abundance which will bless both us and those to whom we give.
 
Advent IS the darkest time of the year, and to that dark time, we bring the hope, the wholeness and unmerited love that God has shared with us in Jesus Christ and which we can joyfully share with others.
 
These are my hopes for Advent. What are yours?

Blessing,
 
Rev. Al Dungan
Celebrate the holidays with us at our
Holiday Lights Drive-thru Event!


Join us for a festive display of lights this season at Martin Luther Campus that is FREE and open to all!
 
NOW THRU JANUARY 3, 2021
Daily; 5:00pm to 10:00pm
 
LOCATION
1401 East 100th Street
Bloomington, MN 55425
Join us for Merry Mondays on December 14 & 21 between 6 pm - 7 pm to pick up a special treat!
Make a donation to our community partner:
Make your donation at:
 
 
to support Meals on Wheels this holiday season!
BLOOMINGTON
EDEN PRAIRIE
As we enter a unique Christmas season at Transfiguration Lutheran Church, we want to take a moment to express our gratitude for the generous gifts we receive this time of year.

Your support throughout the year makes our work possible, but during the holidays, we are especially aware of your generosity and how it benefits our community.

While you are planning your seasonal giving, we have a suggestion to offer: Consider making your gift using our electronic giving tools. Giving on our church webpage, tlcmn.com, clicking on the “Online Giving” link at the top of the webpage or just above on this article, is easy and convenient, plus it will ensure that your contributions are received in 2020. And while you’re on the site, you can plan ahead for next year by setting up your regularly scheduled gifts to be recurring throughout the year. If you have any questions, please contact the church office.

Thank you once again for your continued gifts. Wishing your family a blessed Christmas.
OUR WINTER MEAL PROGRAM IS LAUNCHED
Over 50 locations for children and families to access meals
We at Every Meal (formerly The Sheridan Story) have launched our Winter Meal Program, providing Minnesota children and families easier ways to get the food they need. Over 50 locations throughout the Twin Cities now have our meal bags available for free with no qualification requirements. Locations include local libraries, YMCAs, fire stations, faith communities, schools, businesses, and recreation centers.

  • What: Free shelf–stable meal bags
  • When: Available December through January (while supplies last)
  • Where: Use this map to find the locations
  • How: Simply go to the front desk and ask for a bag of food
  • Hours: Hours vary by location.
Our efforts to add new locations forged through strong partnerships with organizations across the metro area – specifically new locations such as libraries and fire stations – will make it easier for kids and their families to get the nutritious and delicious food they need to learn and grow.
Please join us in providing 50,000 meals per week to Minnesota kids this winter. For every $100 donated, we can serve 25 children with multiple meals. To contribute, please visit www.everymeal.org/donate.
Thank you for your support as we continue towards our vision of Every Child. Every Meal.
 
Rob Williams
Founder and Executive Director
Every Meal
Since 2012, loved ones who had their funeral or memorial service at TLC now have a place and a webpage on our TLC Memorial Garden website. Please visit these saints, honor and remember them; read their obituary, the bulletin and homily, watch the live-stream archive of their service, browse their personal photo album, and, if so inclined, leave a personal message on their page.
Visit soon: www.tlcmemorial.com
FREE COVID TESTING SITE IN BLOOMINGTON
In order to expand access to free, "no barrier" COVID-19 testing, the Minnesota Department of Health has opened a new saliva testing site in Bloomington.

The Bloomington location is Ridgeview Elementary School, 9400 Nesbitt Avenue South (see map below). Pre-registration is advised to avoid long lines and wait times.

[Click Here] to pre-register. People who walk in without an appointment might have to come back later or on another day.
COVID Testing at Ridgeview Elementary School
~ ~ ~
COVID VACCINE INFO
Health authorities have made the COVID-19 vaccine front and center in media outlets. There is some positive news regarding this topic. If you would like to know 8 things about the vaccine planning, please [Click Here].
Now through December 30
FREE Meals for ALL of the
Bloomington Community
We're now offering grab and go meals for adults in our community through Dec. 30, thanks to a grant! All adults are welcome, whether or not they have school-age children. Meals can be picked up from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., Monday - Friday at Kennedy High School, Door 5.
A great gift Pastor Grace shared with TLC was her “Hope for the Day” devotional. I for one found it very enlightening and healing during this Pandemic. I found myself looking forward to receiving and reading it daily. I so enjoyed the different writings penned by different TLC family members!
I have been asked by Pastor Arthur to keep a form of this devotional going. We have agreed to make it a weekly [e-mailed] publication called “Hope for the Week”.  If you would be willing to share an inspired devotional(s) going forward with your TLC family, please contact me at weeyin57@aol.com. I’d love to hear from you!
Blessings,
Norma R. Macdonald-Ockwig
Hello fellow TLC members! Allow me to introduce “Pathways to Justice,” a new weekly short article e-mailed every Thursday morning. Pastor Arthur has asked me to take the lead with members from the Racial Justice and RIC teams assisting with writing. We will tackle and explore -in small chunks- ideas that may be new to some of us. In doing so, we will be allowed opportunities to ask ourselves and each other how we really actively can, as Micah 6:8 states, “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God.” Please feel free to let me know if there are any topics that you would like addressed and please do consider contributing your own thoughts on what it means to be on a Pathway to Justice. I look forward to hearing from you!

Shelley Smith
The Church office is staffed with Marilyn Erickson and Michelle Reber available Monday through Thursday, 9:00am - 4:00pm. You need to call ahead for an appointment, wear masks, use hand sanitizer (available at the entrance to the office) and practice social distancing during your visit.
Please call: (952) 884-2364
Committees - Ministries - Small Groups
WRITE YOUR OWN ARTICLE
FOR THE TLC WEEKLY
Thanks to the Faith, Fact and Fiction Book Club, the K3P3 group, Stephen Ministry, Welcome Diversity Team, Global Health Ministry, Coffee and Conversation, and the Nutty Knotters (TLC Quilters) for submitting photos and stories to the TLC Weekly.
Other committees, groups and ministries, we want to hear from you! Share your stories with the TLC community.

Are you meeting?
How have you adapted your meetings to keep everyone safe?
What projects are you working on?
Send a story and some photos to tlcmedia@tlcmn.com and we will share your news in the TLC Weekly. Be sure to provide names of people in your photos.
Do you ever need an extra prayer for yourself, a loved one, a world situation or a dear friend? TLC has a prayer team that is waiting to pray with and for you. Your prayer needs are sent on to the Prayer Team and kept confidential – just between you, the pray-ers, and God. If you have a prayer request, or if you would like to join the prayer team, please contact Marilyn Erickson at merickson@tlcmn.com or on the TLC website here.
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 24 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
ONLINE GIVING HELPS SUPPORT TLC
It’s important to know that we can depend on financial support from TLC members. Online 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 top of any page, or [Click Here] to start the process, or contact the church office.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY!
Free Subscriptions, sign up to be a volunteer,
request care ministry and more!
Subscribe a friend to this newsletter, TLC Weekly, or subscribe yourself and others to the TLC publication, Transcripts. Interested in TLC membership? Sunday school? Our renowned TLC music program, volunteering and more are choices on this easy online TLC Request Form. Just [Click Here] or the "Sign Me Up" button on the left.

A Reconciling in Christ Congregation
A Culture of Diversity and Inclusion
~~LINKS~~
Visit TLC's website at www.TLCMN.com
Comments and questions: TLCMedia@tlcmn.com