Sunday's Gospel: Mark 1:9-15
First Sunday in Lent:
Rob Reid
Director of Music
As I invite you to this Sunday’s service, I see so much life and variety in our worship that the word Vitality just came to mind! Not what you would typically think of for The First Sunday in Lent, but the Spirit often surprises us, right? Be sure to “tune in” at 9:55am to hear a heart-felt and inspiring Prelude piece, "Lord, Whose Love in Humble Service" from organist Carmen Englert. She and the Socially Distanced Quartet of Mary George, Jill Reid, Kevin Erickson, Rob Reid will lead our Hymns, Psalm, and also the Prayers of the People this week. We want to remind you to sing along on all the hymns and Psalmody response, as the lyrics are always displayed on the screen.

We will also hear a beautiful story of healing, gratitude and generosity in a video shared by Courtney Chase and Lauren Dahlquist.

Pastor Melanie will present the first installment of her Time for Children series, “Following Jesus” - and parents, don’t forget to tune in (on Zoom) at 9:30am as she leads the children in “Stories and Songs” before church begins. Zoom Meeting ID: 832 1747 0428
Passcode: 696867

During the Offering we will hear “What Wondrous Love is This?” a recording of the Chancel Choir from 2020. And
Pastor Arthur will preach about 40 days and 40 nights; violent retribution or graceful, steadfast love? What is our place in that story for today’s world.

So, are you ready to feel some Vitality? See you on Sunday!

Live-Stream Viewer Data
Last Sunday, February 14, 2021
406+ viewers of the 10:00am worship service.

Percent watching on specified device:
  • Computer 36.4%
  • Smart TV 31.8%
  • Mobile phone 17.1%
  • Tablet 14.7%

The Koester Family took part in TLC's online Ash Wednesday service.
Celebrating Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday starts Lent by focusing the Christian heart on repentance and prayer, usually through personal and communal confession.

TLC's online Ash Wednesday service had over 200 viewers watching, and perhaps many took part in their self-impostion of Ashes as provided during the service by Pastor Arthur. The Koester family did, and shared this photo on Facebook and TLC. Pictured in front are their two boys, Jackson and Nathan. Mom, Christie and Dad, Karl above. They live in Farmington, but drive to TLC for worship services and many activities (during non-COVID times) because they, " this church."
Special Message this Sunday
Early in this Sunday's service there will be two video presentations about the miraculous story of a very young (4½ years old) Courtney Chase being diagnosed with cancer and subsequently the beginnings of organ failure. In the other short video is Courtney's cousin, Lauren, appealing for pledges to help support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Courtney Chase, Lauren Dahlquist, Alison Dahlquist
You can make a contribution to support Courtney Chase and Lauren Dahlquist's effort to raise money. Your gift makes a difference and could save another child’s life, just as it did for Courtney, a child of this congregation. All the money raised helps with research for new treatments and medications towards a cure for cancer, advocacy with the FDA for patients, and assistance to patients and their families. Click here to make a gift or send a check made out to TLC with the memo: Cancer Research.
Children's Message During Lent
Pastor Melanie helps us search
Pastor Melanie, holding the Purpleheart wooden figurine of Christ, will have a new "Time for Children" each week in Lent.
The colossal "Christ the Redeemer" statue on Mount Corcovado overlooking Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, stands nearly 100 feet tall and 100 feet wide hand to hand outstretched.
The "Time for Children" message during Lent will be focused on finding a statue of Jesus somewhere in our sanctuary. Jesus will be standing by a prop that shows us another kid-friendly/tactile way to pray, in keeping with our Lenten theme on prayer.

A word about the wooden Jesus figure…. He is modeled after the statue of Christ The Redeemer on Mount Corcovado, overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Melanie's Jesus figurine is made from Peltogyne, or purpleheart wood. Purpleheart is an unusual hardwood native to tropical rainforests in Central and South America. It can be found as far south as Rio de Janeiro. When cut, the beautiful heartwood turns from a brown to a rich purple. But light will bring in more brown hues to the purple unless it is UV protected. It is a very hard wood and difficult to cut. Melanie's husband, Burke, made this for her to use with kiddos.
Bishop Ann Svennungsen’s Statement
on Line 3 Construction
Pastor Arthur will comment on this in Sunday's Sermon
February 8, 2021

I am not a scientist, though I deeply respect those who are. I am not a business person, but appreciate the challenges they face. I am not an indigenous leader, and in my own whiteness don’t pretend to understand the long arms of injustice and oppression that have reached into Native American communities. I am not a congressional leader, but I respect the desire to serve the common good. These are all vocations to which God calls us and challenges us to do our best.

The vocation I do hold is as a faith leader, the bishop of the Minneapolis Area Synod of the ELCA. And I feel compelled in this vocation to address the construction of the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline.

I believe that we can find a better way forward than the construction of the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline. We come humbly to this place both to be changed through relationship and to seek change and justice for all, so that all people, and perhaps even creation itself, might experience a just and healthy future.

Mpls Synod of the ELCA
Bishop Ann Svennungsen
Next Sunday • February 28, 2021
Reconciling In Christ Sunday
Did you remember?

Last year, the RIC Sunday service at TLC on March 15 marked the first worship service closed to the public due to the COVID pandemic.
~ ~ ~
On RIC Sunday, we deliberately celebrate the beautiful diversity of God’s creation- namely our queer siblings. For all of time, humans have been very scared of people who are different than they are. It’s a defense mechanism. “If you are different than what my group says you should be, then you are a threat to my group and the way I understand reality,” they seem to say. The problem is that the group decides what is acceptable by looking at the majority and then kicking out the minority if they don’t assimilate. Along these lines, Christians have been afraid of queer people for quite a while.

Queer people don’t fit the mold of what the Christian patriarchy has sold us. The Christian patriarchy told us that women exist to make babies to continue the man’s legacy. But what if that woman would rather be with another woman? That’s now two women that a man cannot have at his disposal! Or, what if that man can’t tell what gender that person is? How can he decide if he can have sex with them? If we don’t follow the correct order and structure set out before us by the people in charge, how will they know who they can oppress?
RIC Sunday is the active choice to march against that kind of thinking. We rally together and we repeat these promises to each other: “I will never leave you nor forsake you. You are beautifully, wonderfully, fearfully made in the image of God. God made you this way and I celebrate that you are here.” Together, we celebrate and name the beauty in the diversity of creation.

RIC Sunday is also a time for us to reflect on how much more work we need to do as a community to be truly welcoming. We repent of our heteronormative assumptions and we remember and mourn those who have been cast out, abused, and died because of their identity.
New Way to Pray
K3P3, a knitting ministry at Transfiguration, invites you to try a new way to pray during this Lenten season. Stop by the church office and pick up a packet of yarn and directions to knit a prayer square/cloth for yourself and one for another person. You will need to provide your own needles (size 7 or 8).
$7,375 Donated to Date by 18 Supporters
$7,375 Matching Dollars
$14,750 total contribution so far.
Since God has sufficiently provided for TLC’s internal needs for 2021, are we called to do more for those in greatest need?

The TLC member who raised this question, John Thomson, has presented us with a challenge. John believes so strongly in the responsibility of Christians to care for those in need, that he is offering to match all funds committed to Mission and Outreach (also known as Benevolence) by April 1, 2021 up to the amount of $30,000. This could lead to an additional commitment of $60,000 or more in benevolence giving in 2021.

If you are able to join this effort, responding to Christ’s invitation to love our neighbors as ourselves, please click here to complete a Pledge Form before April 1, 2021. The form is also available as a menu selection [1plus1] at If you have any preference as to how those funds are to be allocated, there is a check-list on the form of programs that have been involved with TLC in the past. Your input will help inform the recommendations of the Mission and Outreach Team.

Thank you for your prayers and your participation in the ministry of TLC.
February 19, 2021 Update
Here’s the latest from the team on how Covid-19 is impacting TLC ministries
(Current Case Count/10,000 people: 20.6)

The TLC Covid Response Team will be doing a regular update of both the case counts in Hennepin County as well as the impacts on ministry and programming at TLC. Here is the latest from the team:

  • Case count/10,000 people as of February 19, 2021: 20.6 in Hennepin County
  • We are in Phase 2 of our response plan(See the full response plan at
  • Youth Ministry is opening for hybrid activities
  • Children’s Ministry will also be starting work on a hybrid schedule. It will be some monthly events and a monthly “Sunday School” potentially starting in April
  • In-person worship will be scheduled when case count drops below 30 for two consecutive weeks. Next possible date for in-person worship is March 14.

[Editor’s note: You may view the daily case count at the following website. It takes several seconds to display all the data]

TLC COVID Response Team
Brown, Jeanine
Erickson, Pete
Jorschumb, Steve
Millford, Janice
Murray, Arthur
Olson, Louise
Reber, Michelle
Reid, Rob
Wenge, Karen
Deepening our Relationships with God and One Another
Sundays in Lent (February 21– March 21)
9:30am – Songs and Stories with Pastor Melanie
10:00am – On-Line Worship at
Wednesdays in Lent (February 24 – March 24)
6:00pm –
Story Time with Pastor Melanie on Facebook Live
Club 56 with Karen Wenge on Zoom. Any 5th or 6th Grader can join.
Holden Evening Prayer On-Line Worship
6:30pm –
Messages led by TLC Staff will amplify some of the many “Pathways to Prayer” Online at
7:00pm –
Adult Bible Study led by Pastor Eva on Zoom
Time to get the Ukranian Eggs out
Can't believe that Lent is here; time to get the Ukrainian eggs out into the decanter! Remember not long ago when the churches would take turns having an early service for the high school kids? I think they had a breakfast together, too; just one more thing we are unable to do during the pandemic. Today's paper told about churches like TLC who are using kits with tiny envelopes of ashes to mix with oil, and some are putting ashes on their parishioners who are not even getting out of their cars. Years ago in my home town church we never even used ashes for Ash Wednesday! I think those things were thought to be too Catholic, and they would have frowned on anyone "crossing themself."  Now we do all those pleasant things, and it has become a nice habit.  Times can change for the better, can't they?

For ten years Birdman and I belonged to the Missouri Synod while Birdman was teaching up in Frazee, MN. It always felt just a little different to me, especially for communion when we had to call the church on Saturday evening to announce that we were going to take communion the next day. When it's cold like this, we remember one lady from a farm outside of Frazee who would never wear a coat, yet walk across the parking lot each Sunday, and everyone would feel cold just watching her. Almost unbelievable!!

Teachers are often the ones to have jokes pulled on them when least expected. We had no garage, so our car was parked out in the street in front of the duplex. One very cold morning, Birdman, who taught high school history and economics, went out to warm up the car a bit for the drive to school. The windshield looked so bad that morning, and after trying to clean it off, he realized that someone had spread Vicks Vapo-Rub all over it and now it was frozen on. It took a long time and hard work to get clean. No one would do such a thing these days, would they?

I hope all of us who received the kits for Ash Wednesday made use of of them. Not quite the same as walking up the aisle, but we can be flexible when necessary. There used to be choir rehearsal right after the evening Ash Wednesday service, and it was interesting to see all the foreheads with the black crosses. I look forward to being back in the church as soon as possible. Everyone says that. We all miss what we can't have, and maybe we'll appreciate it much more when we get it back.   

Stay well, and God bless!

-Bloomington Bird Lady
The bins inside the TLC west entrance are holding much needed donations for VEAP and the people they serve.
One week left to donate food items and paper products to VEAP—week of February 21. Fill the bins located inside the west side doors at TLC. Donations can be made from 9:00am to 3:00pm, Monday through Thursday. Thank you for helping Taylor English of Boy Scout Troop 439 achieve the Eagle Scout Rank. Taylor is the young man whose Eagle Scout project was to design and build the bins specifically for donation activities.


  • Baking essentials (flour, sugar, cooking oil, etc.)
  • Birthday items for our young visitors (cake mixes, frosting, candles, etc.)
  • Laundry detergent
  • Personal care and household items: shampoo, toothpaste, soap, shaving cream, toiletries, etc.
  • Paper products: toilet paper, paper towels, napkins
  • Gluten-free products (whole grains like brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, cornmeal; nut flours and butters; rice crackers, GF snacks, etc. Check for gluten-free product label.)
  • Whole grain cereal (like Shredded Wheat, Kashi, bran cereals, Chex, etc.)
  • Paper bags (We’ll always take your extra paper grocery bags. We are not accepting plastic bag donations).

  • Items we cannot accept include: clothing, winter gear, furniture, medical equipment, toys (temporarily suspended), and utensils.
Pastor Al Dungan
Why was the Bible Written?
The Call of Abram – Genesis 12
Now, after having answered all the questions of Genesis 1-10 (just kidding because there’s no way to answer them to the satisfaction of a “scientifically minded” culture like ours) we move on to another reason for answering the question, Why Was the Bible Written?

Once again, we revert to the story-telling culture of the Hebrews, which was their way of remembering who they were and where they came from.

His name was Abram, which meant exalted father. Her name was Sarai, which meant my princess. Noble names in any time but that was only the beginning of their story.

Their origins were in the ancient city of Ur, which was located at the northern end of the Persian Gulf and in what is modern day Iraq. Terah, Abram’s father, migrated from there with his family to Haran and settled there. It was there that Abram received this message from Yahweh (He who is): “Go from this land and from the house of your father (Terah) to a land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation and I will make your name great…and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

And, he went. At 75 years old, he picked up everything (wife, nephew Lot, all his possessions), all that was familiar to him and he went. He didn’t know where he was going. All he knew was that the Lord would let him know when he got there.

In modern theological jargon, he took a leap of faith following the command and struck out for the unknown which would be very risky in the best of times.

If you read Genesis11:27-23:20, you’ll find the story of Abram (who later became Abraham, which means father of a multitude) from the Lord’s call up to the death of Sarah (who also had a name change from Sarai, my princess, to Sarah, the Lord’s princess). In this story you’ll find recorded the wanderings of Abraham and Sarah, the renewed promise of Yahweh for a child, even though they were getting older and older and still no child; the attempts to “help the Lord out” when the promise wasn’t fulfilled fast enough (the story of Hagar and Ishmael); the story of Sodom and Gomorrah (which is another very interesting story all by itself); the promise, again, of a son, and finally the birth of that son who they named Isaac (the laughing boy), and then, the most excruciating test that one could imagine, the command of Yahweh to sacrifice Isaac and finally, the death of Sarah which ends that part of the origin story of the Hebrew nation. 

Next time: Why Was the Bible Written? The warts and pimples are never overlooked.
Addiction Awareness Team
Mission: “This ministry exists to provide a safe environment for those seeking hope and restoration from addiction and codependency.”
Problem gambling can strike anyone, regardless of their background or financial status. Gambling becomes a problem when it causes a negative impact on any area of the person’s life. A gambling addiction includes all gambling behavior patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage personal, family or vocational pursuits. The symptoms include increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop gambling, “chasing” losses (spending more to recover losses), and a general loss of control of gambling behavior.

If you or someone you know has found their gambling to be out of control, or has admitted to a gambling addiction and is in need of help, the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) has several resources available. You may call Minnesota’s 24-hour, confidential helpline at 1-800-333-HOPE, or text HOPE to 61222 to learn about local support groups such as Gambler Anonymous and Gam-Anon. In addition, DHS will pay for inpatient and outpatient problem gambling treatment for residents who qualify for help. More information may be found at where State-approved treatment providers are listed by county, city and provider. Help is available!

To learn more about this ministry, or if you or someone you care about is in need of support, please reach out to one of us directly or send a confidential email to us at
  • Chris Campo
  • Dave Dickson
  • Al Dungan
  • Mary George
  • Griffin Myslivecek
  • Louise Olson
  • Beth Rahn
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.
Camp Wapo Summer Registration is now open!
Camp Wapo is a longstanding tradition at TLC. The 2020 Summer was a difficult one for those who have been campers at Camp Wapo, but in 2021 Camp Wapo is open again with a 50% camper capacity. Here’s what that means for camp this summer:
Our youth camp (4th-8th grade and Senior High) week is June 27-July 2 and our SEEDS camp (1st-3rd Grade) week is July 5-7. Because of the limited capacity, TLC’s allotted numbers have been reduced to one for Wapo Youth and two for Sr. High. Our TLC spots are guaranteed until February 28. On March 1, all spots will be released to the public. Sign up soon! If spots fill up (which likely they will), there will be a waiting list.
You can create an account and sign up for a spot by clicking here. If you’d like more information about packing, sample schedules, themes, etc., while on the website, please click here.

Camp Wapo Summer Staff NEEDED!
Do you know any young adults that are looking for a meaningful summer job? Working on summer staff builds incredible skills in leadership, problem solving, conflict resolution, and relationship building. Being on staff gives young adults a unique opportunity to grow in faith, inspire others, and learn valuable skills they will use for a lifetime.

If you have questions, contact Suzi (Wapo & Ox)

or Nate (WCB)
Pastor Melanie Heuiser Hill
Interim Youth & Family Support
Pete Erickson
Interim Youth & Family Minister
TLC High School Leadership Development Opportunity!
STEP UP is a leadership development resource offered by Gustavus Adolphus College for high school youth who are in grades 9, 10, or 11. The STEP UP experience in 2021 is a three-part series taking place on Zoom that will introduce youth to college-level concepts of leadership and offer practical tips for developing a stronger personal plan for continuing to grow as a leader. 
·     Engage in three active seminars. The series includes seminars focused on developing valuable skills and expanding the participants vision for leadership opportunities.
·     Receive a certificate of completion. Participants will receive a certificate from Gustavus Adolphus College acknowledging their completion of the STEP UP leadership curriculum.
·     Become eligible for a renewable scholarship. Students who complete the STEP UP Leadership series and attend Gustavus Adolphus College will be eligible to receive a $500 annually renewable scholarship (up to $2000).
This three-part series is offered via Zoom. 
Each seminar is from 3:00-4:30pm CST on Sunday March 7, 14, and 21. Registration costs $40 per student (includes STEP UP t-shirt and all three seminars). 
Deadline for registration is Monday, March 1.
For more information on facilitators and the schedule for each day, visit
Questions can be directed to or 507-933-7001.
TLC Office Update
The Church office is staffed with Marilyn Erickson and Michelle Reber, available Monday through Thursday, 9:00am - 4:00pm. Please 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. If no answer, you may listen to a recording of staff names and phone extensions to select and leave a specific message.
Committees - Ministries - Small Groups
Thanks to the Faith, Fact and Fiction Book Club, the K3P3 group, Stephen Ministry, Welcome Diversity Team, Global Health Ministry, Coffee and Conversation, the Nutty Knotters (TLC Quilters), Memory Bear Group, and Linda Meyer 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 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 or on the TLC website here.
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.
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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
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