Dear Friends,
If you're able, please consider your financial contributions to TLC during this period of COVID restrictions on attendance. Despite the canceling of activities, your church has expenses and utility bills that continue each month.

Many have provided gifts by clicking the 'Online Giving' icon above. We're extremely grateful if you would, too.
Thank you!
Rob Reid
Director of Music
Third Sunday after Epiphany
The Light Shines!

Our awakening to this year's Epiphany Theme continues: "The LIGHT REVEALS the promise of God in the most unlikely of places."

Where will you see - or sense - God's Promise this week during worship?

Will it be during the Prelude music, "I Bind Myself to You, O God," provided by Organist Carmen Englert? She will also play for us during Communion and the Postlude. Next, keep your eyes and ears open during the Time for Children led by Interim Youth and Family Minister Pete Erickson, is God revealed for you there? Discover how Fly-Fishing in the river with his brother is tied into his message for the kids.

You can once again share a Water Blessing with your family, pets or home during the Thanksgiving for Baptism, led by Pete and our new Interim Co-Pastor Eva Jensen, who will also share the Message and lead us into God's Grace and Blessing during Communion.

Or if you find a connection to God through the music of worship, you are invited to sing, move and listen to the songs and hymns led by our Socially Distanced Quartet: Kevin Erickson, Mary George, Rob Reid, and Jill Reid.

Can you hear God's call in the words of these hymns, like the disciples did when they dropped their fishing nets and followed Jesus? See if the service may lead you to serve him in an unlikely place this week!

Peace,
This Sunday at 9:00am
before the service live-stream

Meeting ID: 846 7555 0129
Passcode: 584169
Get to Know
Pastor Eva
in a 9:00am
Meet 'n Greet
Meet and chat with TLC's new Interim Co-Pastor Eva Jensen. She'll be online in Zoom at 9:00am, ahead of the 10:00am worship service (I'll bet you could figure that out on your own).

Bio Excerpt: I am a beloved child of God, living by grace and growing in faith and relationships with God, self, and neighbors. I study scripture and pay attention to socio-economic, cultural, environmental and political dynamics of our contexts and time. I seek to discern meaningful connections between God's passion, healing, and care for all that God has made and the brokenness, suffering and inequity that mark our lives.

My Grandmothers Hands Book Study
If you are interested in participating in the "My Grandmother's Hands" by Resmaa Menakem community book study with Transfiguration Luther Church, please complete the form by clicking on the above link.
The TLC Annual Report for 2020 Now Available
Printed copies are being mailed (USPS) to members known to not have internet.
Printed copies are also available at TLC outside the church office
Monday-Thursday, 9:00am - 4:00pm
Sunday • January 31 • 11:00am
Meeting ID: 890 2827 7369
Passcode: 123
Join by phone!
At 11:00am next Sunday (1/31/21) call 1-312-626-6799.
When prompted, enter the Meeting ID Code:
890 2827 7369
If passcode is requested, enter:
123

Are you wondering how TLC has been doing throughout 2020 and what plans are in the works for 2021? If you are a TLC member, please mark your calendar and plan to join us on January 31st at 11:00am on Zoom for the 2020-2021 Annual Meeting. There will be an option to phone in to the meeting for those who do not have online capabilities.

Ballots for nominees of the Church Council have been mailed via USPS today (Friday, 1/22/21), along with a letter detailing how the Annual Meeting will be held "virtually" through Zoom or, if you don't have Zoom you may phone-in to participate.

Online downloading of Ballots and the cover letter will be available here on the TLC Weekly next Friday, January 29.

Please plan to attend. You are needed to review and participate in important changes and decisions involving YOUR church, YOUR council, staff and future.
The Month of January
Join your community at TLC during the season of Epiphany to experience the transforming love that is REVEALED in the light and life of Jesus.
 
The LIGHT REVEALS the promise of God in the most unlikely places. 
The LIGHT REVEALS a world in need of people living in response to God’s promise. 
The LIGHT REVEALS the dark corners where inequity is hidden.
The LIGHT REVEALS the divine nature of Christ born within us.
Here are many opportunities to live in the light in the new year:
 
Worship Highlights: 

Sunday, January 24
Welcome Pastor Eva Sunday: The LIGHT REVEALS the promise of God in the most unlikely of places. Our Interim Co-Pastor Eva Jensen, will preach the word for us for the first time. 
 
Sunday, January 31 
Annual Meeting Sunday: The LIGHT REVEALS a world in need of people living in response to God’s promise. Co-Pastor Arthur will preach and preside at this service that precedes our TLC Annual Meeting at 11:00am on Zoom.
Live-Stream Viewer Data
Last Sunday, January 17, 2021
448+ viewers of the 10:00am worship service.

Percent watching on specified device:
  • Computer 50.6%
  • Smart TV 31.8%
  • Mobile phone 14.1%
  • Tablet 3.5%
CONTINUES!
Bloomington Area MLK Day
Virtual Scavenger Hunt

If you missed participating in the virtual MLK Scavenger Hunt, the app is still open! Families, Individuals, and small groups can still travel around the city of Bloomington to learn about the history of civil rights here, and to learn how they can continue Dr. King's legacy by engaging in social justice and peacemaking work. Your family will use a mobile app to engage in the scavenger hunt, and will be sent to locations, where they will find clues, solve puzzles, and learn together.
 
Here are the details:
  • Download the GooseChase App.
  • Enter the code: 676J39
  • Have fun learning more about Bloomington!
College Planning 101- January 31 at 6:30PM
Dreaming of college? Your path to graduating with less debt starts here. Join us for a FREE College Planning 101 workshop. Learn how to save on the cost of college and avoid excessive debt.

  • The value of college and having a plan.
  • Tips and tricks to lower your college costs.
  • The basics of college financial aid.

The workshop will be held in Zoom:
Meeting ID: 819 251 7181
Passcode: 393992

Sponsored by TLC Children Youth & Family Director, Pete Erickson and Thrivent Representative, Durk Peterson on Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 6:30PM. 
 
Please call 612-702-5509 or email durk.peterson@thrivent.com to reserve a place for yourself and a guest.
MLK Tribute Last Sunday
I hope you got to view the live-stream service last Sunday, January 17. It fit in so well with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. When I hear "There's No One Like Jesus" sung by Agnes Nushann -with a Liberian accent- the words and melody stay in my head for a few days.  [Click here to watch her performance at TLC]

"There's no one, there's no one like Jesus,
There's no one, there's no one like him.
There's no one, there's no one like Jesus,
There's no one, there's no one like him.  

Those are the words in the refrain; the verses tell about everyone looking for Jesus, and Agnes Nushann does it so well.  I can imagine little kids searching for Jesus, and not finding Him right away.  A performance of this song (done last year) had the kiddies up in front and Agnes showing them what to do. I surely hope that before too long we can meet in person and see those kiddies again, and Agnes, and try the song ourselves.

Perhaps it would be good for a pastor to then say, "Jesus doesn't need to be found, He is with us all the time."

The sermon was given by Pastor Janice Gonoe, and I loved hearing her accent too. I'll bet no one else can speak in Liberian, or whatever her language is called. It takes a while to learn English; it's not easy, so when you hear someone whose first language is not English, they are to be admired for their hard work.

Thanks to all who participated in the lovely tribute to Dr. King

Just have to talk a bit about all the birds we've seen this winter. Of course the juncos are glad there is some snow so they can enjoy it, and the birdbath that will not ever freeze over. A couple of days ago two pileated woodpeckers appeared at the same time...If you've never seen one, or don't feed birds at all, these guys are so huge and one thinks of "Woody Woodpecker" right away. We see so many cardinals at dusk, which is their feeding time, and they always look so bright with a snowy background.

As I write this, the Presidential Inauguration will take place tomorrow. I hope and pray no one thinks they need to protest over something, and each state capitol has taken precautions so that all goes smoothly. I still see reruns of the January 6th horrible incident---quite a reminder that we have a long way to go before we do not feel as divided a nation as we now are.

Stay well now...the virus is not getting better quickly and seems to have developed a worse variety.  Masks are still in style, but wouldn't you love to see smiles again?

-Bloomington Bird Lady

Pastor Al Dungan
Why was the Bible Written?
The first thing we have to know about the Bible is that it wasn’t originally a written document. That came much, much later.

For those of us who give great credence to the written word, it’s important to know that with most ancient cultures writing didn’t happen until, perhaps, 4000-3000 BCE.

[Editor's note regarding the acronym, "BCE": In history, the people who preferred a non-Christian, neutral year labeling system used CE (Common Era) for AD (After Death of Christ) and BCE (Before Common Era) for BC (Before Christ's birth). AD is considered to be the same as CE while BC is also believed to be same in place of BCE. In the era AD/CE, the numbering of years is in chronological order.]

Before that, all cultures relied on what is called Oral Tradition.

Oral tradition was just as accurate as written tradition because great emphasis was placed on the memories of certain groups of people, such as a priestly group to whom that responsibility was given.

For example, in the Celtic culture, the Druids held that responsibility and the older Druids worked with those who were younger to make sure that what they memorized was absolutely accurate.

It’s very likely that the Hebrew culture, through their own Oral Tradition, did the same thing until after an “alphabet” was finally made a part of their ongoing culture. That probably happened about the middle of the 7th century BCE. That was when, what was called “The 5 books of Moses, or the Pentateuch,” began to be written down.

Before that, all of the stories about the origin of humankind, and particularly that group of people we know as the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob or the Israelite's, were contained in Oral Tradition.

So, having said that, how did the Oral Tradition of Israel come into existence? It probably grew out of a series of ongoing questions that people asked each other such as the questions, “How did the world come to be and who made it?” Or “Why are we afraid of snakes?” Or “Why do people fear and hurt and kill each other?” Or, “Why do other nations speak languages different from ours?”

As we read the first 11 chapters of Genesis we discover the beginning of Israel’s Oral Tradition: 1) Once upon a time, even before time existed, there was nothing but a mass of darkness and turbulent water and the earth didn’t exist. Into that dark, swirling nothingness the one we call God stepped and spoke and in a very orderly progression (because we believe in a God of order) the world as we know it came to be. 2) We fear snakes because it was a snake that helped to destroy life in Paradise. 3) We fear and hurt and kill each other because way back at the beginning of time two brothers fought and one killed the other and that has continued to the present day. 4) We all speak different languages because there were people who thought that if they built a tower high enough they would make a name for themselves and everyone would see how great they were. Our words for that are arrogance or pride. The Greek word for this is hubris. God stepped into that situation, swatted them down and now we have many languages.

I could say a lot more about Oral Tradition but I’ll leave that until next time.
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.”
Out with the old and in with the new. The Addiction Awareness ministry at TLC has been active for some time - some know about it, some do not. But what was old has been made new again. We have members that have been with this ministry for some time and others of us have just joined. We have all been through new training to help us better understand who we are and what we are here for. We have always been here for anyone’s need for help with codependency and addiction in all shapes, known and unknown. We have a renewed faith with our training and our team wants to help all who need us.

The Addiction Awareness team will always be a safe and understanding place where you can come and find the help you need, with the knowledge that we have all been there at some point. We are now learning all our individual strengths and weaknesses. My biggest weakness is writing, lol! My strength is the love I feel for my church community and church family. This past year has tested us all in ways none of us could have ever thought. But with the new year comes new hope and if you ever need a lift or just someone to listen, we are here for you. 2021 has started off to be brighter and better and that gives us all the strength and hope to hang on. So, if you ever need us, please (and I really mean please) let us help you find that inner strength that we know you have.
– Dave Dickson 

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.

You may drop off donations at TLC Monday-Thursday, 9:00am - 4:00pm.
Currently, the items we most need include:

  • Diapers, size 5 & 6
  • 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. Please visit our resource page for a list of other community partners that may take these items.

Visit VEAP.org for more information.
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.
Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) was founded in 1987 and is a Christian non-profit that provides nutritionally complete meals specifically formulated for malnourished children in over 70 countries throughout the world.
 
TLC has supported FMSC efforts over the last several years through benevolence giving and volunteering. FMSC offers volunteers a one-of-a-kind experience. You’ll hand-pack rice, soy, dried vegetables and a nutritionally complete blend of vitamins and minerals into bags which are then sealed, boxed, placed on pallets and shipped to our incredible partners, working hard to reach the neediest children around the world.
 
Want to get involved? Come pack with us! Watch for sign-up dates in the TLC bulletin insert, Life@TLC and the website, www.tlcmn.com in 2021 as COVID allows us to again do group packing.
 
While packing is possible, it should only be done as a family group due to the close proximity of the packers. Click here to contact the FMSC and schedule your family.
 
We pack at the Eagan site (990 Lone Oak Rd #136, Eagan, MN 55121).
Meet in TLC’s West Parking Lot a half-hour prior to start time if you want to carpool. 
 
Contact Bob Riley for more info patriley50@aol.com
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”, which is sent to your email every Tuesday at 6:30am.

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.
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!
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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