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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve Early Service

Youth: Are you singing in the early service tonight? If so, please show up as close to 4:00pm for a rehearsal.

Merry Christmas!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Youth Christmas Party

Annual Youth Christmas Party
December 18, 2011 12:00pm-2:00pm

This coming Sunday is the Christmas Party. I hope to see you all there. Here's what Sunday's Fellowship group planned:

1. Music-bring christmas music, either on CD or iPod (and if you have a iPod speaker bring that)

2. Activites- Karaoke, Apples to Apples, Raptor Ball, Snow sculpture on Mac College Commons, and a White Elephant exchange. This year bring something you don't use anymore as your White Elephant gift. If you would rather buy, please spend no more than $4.00. Wrap it.

3. Food (so far)-Jimmy:Chili, Sam: Big Steaming Bowl of Ramen, Bergs:Cookies, Lian: Hot Chocolate, Ben: The Nog; Samantha: Chips.
If your last name begins with A-H, and you haven't volunteered something already, please bring a small main dish, if last name starts with I-N, please bring some snack item, If O-W, please bring candy or dessert.

A continued blessed Advent season and a Merry Christmas to all,


Friday, December 2, 2011

Youth Fellowship This Sunday

Hey Folks:

Big Christmas time tradition this weekend: We have youth fellowship from 12-2pm. We'll eat and then some of us will set up for Round the Table Carol Sing and the rest will go shopping for our Aliveness Project families. Please remember to bring $20.00 as able so we can provide these families with as much of the Christmas gifts we can!

Question? Contact me.

I look forward to seeing you all there!



Friday, November 18, 2011

Mission Trip Meeting 11/20/11 (with Parents)

Hey Senior High folk and mission trip adults:

Remember the mission trip meeting with parents at 6pm Sunday, November 20th. A $50.00deposit will be due at ths meeting. Youth come at 5pm for check-in and dinner.

See everyone Sunday!



Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mission Trip Dates and YF This Sunday

Hi Folks,

Sorry for omitting the Mission Trip dates, they are June 16-23.

But this also gives me the opportunity to remind people that youth fellowship this Sunday is bowling. We'll leave as soon as possible after church. $10.00 covers everything. Parents, depending on our numbers it might be ghelpful to have folks will to drop youth off at Midway and pick them up. Please check with Dale or me on Sunday.



Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mission Trip Meeting 11/20/11 (with Parents)

By now, you may or may not know that we have a mission trip site (Joplin), great work (building houses), and an organization that is going to help us get things done (New Step Ministries). Thanks to our task force of Maggie P., Clara D., Kelsea W.

On November 20, youth fellowship will be a mission trip meeting, with parents invited to join us at 6:00pm for more information and an opportunity to ask questions. A deposit of $50.00 will be required at that time.

Please note, because we will be driving, it will be especially important to know who is going earlier rather than sooner as seats will be limited.

So put that date on the calendar; youth notify your parents, and we'll see mission trip folk on the 20th!



Help Wanted-Youth Opportunity

I received a phone call this mornning from a parent of an 11 year old boy seeking a youth willing to tutor his son in science, reading, math, and generally assist him in his academics using web resources (i.e. you do not need to be an expert in these areas, more of motivator). They are willing to pay the going rate and even provide transportation if you are not licensed or do not have access to a car. Hours are flexible.

This is a great opportunity, not only to make some money but to make a connection with a younger member of the MPUC community. Contact me if you are interested. You can email me at or call me at 651-698-8871.

Peace, Tom

Saturday, October 29, 2011

For Committee Members Only

Hey, everybody, this is a last minute call for a committee meeting tomorrow at 3. We're going to be discussing our plans for the spring, so try hard to make it!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Big Doings at Youth Fellowship

Hey everyone: first of all, great work on our Sabbath discussion last Sunday. Incredible insights from each of you.

Coming up:

October 30-Board game night. Bring one. 5-7pm

November 6-Bowling! 12pm-2:30pm. $10.00 covers bowling,shoes, and food.

Coming up soon and very soon: More information about the mission trip and our annual involvement in the Aliveness Project's christmas Gift Basket program.



Thursday, October 6, 2011

October 9, 2011 Youth Fellowship

Hey All!

Meet Dale and Brian at noon in the social hall. There'll be lunch and then everyone will head off for the crop walk. Because return time on this event is variable, please have parents be on call to pick you up from church between 3-4pm. Sorry parents,this one is hard to pinpoint a finish time, something I really try to do for most events.

Note: Even if you haven't gathered pledges, please come for the walk to show solidarity for the cause.



Friday, September 30, 2011

Important Reminder for This Coming Sunday!

Senior High Mission Trip Parent's Meeting
Sunday October 2, 2011 - 6:30 PM

We would like to have a short meeting with the senior high youth who are going on the mission trip and their parents. We are going to discuss site selection, committee assignment and answer any questions people may have about the trip next summer.

Please try and make it at 6:30 PM on Sunday October 2nd. This would be for the last 1/2 hour of youth fellowship that evening.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Youth Mission Trip Service on the Web!

Our Videographer extraordinaire, Jim, has put last week's service, adult education, and the mission trip slide show on the web. Please share this with relatives and friends who were unable to make it, but would like to hear about our awesome youth and their mission work. Find this and much more at our video website.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Crop Walk Info

Details of Youth CROP Walk Participation--Sunday, Oct. 9th

Hi, folks, I'm Kelly Hulander, and Mike Morrissey and I are coordinating
Mac-Plymouth participation in this year's CROP Hunger Walk.

CROP Hunger walks raise money to help fight hunger in the U.S.
and all over the world. The Church World Service, the highly-rated
non-profit agency that sponsors the walks, uses the money raised both to meet
immediate hunger needs and to develop projects for long-term self-sufficiency
in impoverished communities.

This year's Saint Paul CROP Hunger Walk is being held on Sunday, Oct. 9th.
The walk will also be the official Youth activity/meeting for that day.

We need to be at the starting location at 1:00 p.m. for registration;
the walk begins at 1:30 p.m. This year's walk starts at Camphor Memorial
United Methodist Church, and we will car-pool together to get everyone

Here's the scoop on how to take part in this event:

For Youth:

1. If you did not sign up for the walk at the Youth Retreat, but you want to
participate, please e-mail me at, and I will get
your name on the list.

Also, you can stop by the CROP Hunger Walk table during Social Hour
on October 2nd to pick up a pledge envelope.

2. After church on Sunday, October 9th, please meet in the Plymouth
Room. We will enjoy a free lunch sponsored by the MSJ Committee,
and we will figure out rides to the event.

For Parents:

1. Since Mission and Social Justice is kindly footing the bill for lunch
for all of the MPUC walkers on October 9th, there is no need for any
of you to cook for the Youth that day.

2. We have a fairly small adult walking team this year, so we may
need help getting all of the Youth over to the walk site and back. If
you can help with transportation, please e-mail me at
You are welcome to stay and walk with us, of course.

Thanks for taking part in this important event.

:) Kelly Hulander

Sunday, September 18, 2011

New Feature - Slide Show of Pictures on the Blog

Check out the right side - A slide show of pictures from the Youth Retreat.

If you click on the slide show you will be taken to the photo directory
(a smugmug site) and you can view and/or download the full sized
pictures. (Photos from iPads not available. :-)


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Senior High Mission Trip Parent's Meeting

Sunday October 2, 2011 - 6:30 PM

We would like to have a short meeting with the senior high youth who are going on the mission trip and their parents. We are going to discuss site selection, committee assignment and answer any questions people may have about the trip next summer.

Please try and make it at 6:30 PM on Sunday October 2nd. This would be for the last 1/2 hour of youth fellowship that evening.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Countdown Begins and a Favor

Hi Folks:

I'm very excited that in 5 hours we will be leaving for the Fall retreat. As happens, we get some last minute cancellations due to illness or to frenetic schedules that just make it impossible for youth to negotiate their schedules and get away for an experience like this.

At this point we are charged for each person registered, even if they can't make it. We've not made this a bad deal in the past. This year, however, please consider, if your resources allow, making your registration fee a donation which helps us fund scholarships for families that are going through tough times. But if you would prefer a refund this is possible as well. Contact me at regarding your preference.

Either way, this weekend and the months to come, I look forward to being a part of the spiritual formation of your youth.



Thursday, September 15, 2011

Retreat Location and Emergency Contacts

Where we are going and how to contact us in an emergency:

Please be at church by 6:30pm so we can start packing the cars and leave promptly at 7:00pm. Come with a full stomach, but we will have a snack later in the evening.

Koinonia Retreat Center
7768 Pilger Ave NW
South Haven, MN 55382

Adults on the trip and their cell numbers are:

Tom Ewald 612-716-3150
Marsha Berry 651-895-9838
Norm Tiedemann 651-335-6962
John Schepers 612-730-7829
Maggie Passmore 612-716-8823

Adult Forum & Youth Mission Trip Service 9/25/11

Hi 2011 Mission Trip Youth and Adults:

Please remember that next week (the 25th) is the youth-led Adult Forum about the 2011 Mission Trip and Youth Mission Trip Worship Service at the 10:45 service.

Please show up at 9:15 to prep for the adult forum. If you cannot be a part of the adult forum, please be here by 10:15am to prep for the worship service.

We will be discussing the service on the retreat. If you are not going on the retreat, please send me an email at with a reflection topic you'd be willing to say a few sentences on at the service. If you would rather just be plugged into the service (doing a prayer,etc.) let me know and I'll make that happen.

We also need someone who knows how to put together a slide show for the service. Please contact me ASAP on this one!

I'll see most of you tomorrow for the retreat and I look forward to a great adult forum and worship service on the 25th.



Friday, September 9, 2011

Blessed with a Mess!

Hey folks:

Registrations keep coming in for the Fall Retreat and we may be looking at upward to forty people (including adults) heading up this year! This is great news, but it requires us, as in years past to beat the bushes for anyone who may be willing to make the trip to Annandale either Friday night or Sunday morning to help transport youth. It is a beautiful drive and you get the chance to spend time with some great youth. Please let me know if you would be willing to provide rides either way and how many youth you can carry. My email is

Also, just another reminder. The Mission Trip Worship Service is September 25 at the 10:45am service. We will also be speaking at the adult forum at 9:30am. Please mark your calendars for a 9:25am show-up and be thinking of things about this last mission trip that you would wish the congregation to learn.

Finally, and I'll talk more about this at Youth Fellowship this Sunday, but start brainstorming and researching opportunities for Mission Trip 2012 that can be presented at the Fall Retreat. In the past, we have discovered that people who present the most details are likely to get more buy-in than those who have general ideas. So if you are feeling a strong pull toward a specific piece of mission work we can do, become an advocate for it.

I'll see everyone Sunday!



Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Rally Day and Youth Retreat

Hey All:

I'm excited to say that we have 26 youth confirmed for the Fall retreat. If you haven't confirmed shoot me an email so I can get a number to Koinonia. Keep the registrations materials coming!

We also have a full brigade of adults, but may need drivers if the numbers keep going up.

There is no Explorer's Class on Rally Day (this coming Sunday) but come and meet Gale Robb, our new interim minister and hopefully our youth assistant, Brian, who some of you may remember as being a church mouse a few years back.

Finally, parents, on Rally Day please be sure to stop by the youth table and see Dale to sign up for meals. Our first youth fellowship is the 11th from 5-7pm and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

First Post of the 2011-2012 Youth Season

Hi folks:

By now you hopefully have received a mailing for the Fall Youth Retreat. Please get them into the office by August 31st. If you did not receive the letter or have lost it , the forms are available on the right hand column of the blog.

Also in that mailing I sprung the big news that we'd be using the blog as a way to get the most up to date information on all things youth-related: mission trip, youth fellowship, confirmation, etc. and so please make sure to check the blog often.

Thanks again to Norm for helping with all this.



Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Non-Mission Trip, But Habitat Mission Oriented


The church, as part of interfaith builders, is participating in a Habitat build the week of July 25-29. Youth over 18 are welcome to participate, youth ages 16-17 are also welcome but need an adult sponsor for the time that they are there.

I will be volunteering Wednesday and Thursday July 27th and 28th. Kelly will be with me those days as well. I am able to "sponsor" up to 3 more 16-17 year olds. So if any of you would be interested in helping with Habitat for either (or both) of those days, I would be glad to sponsor you. The work day runs from 8:30 to 4:00 PM. Lunch, snacks, water, ... are provided.

Please let me know if you are interested and available.

         Norm Tiedemann

Sunday, July 3, 2011

DOOR Denver Facebook Page

You can go to DOOR Denver on Facebook to see photos and a video from Antonio.

I believe the correct response is.... Me Like!


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Tom's Photos Are on-line.

 Finally some pictures. (Tom - I guess that iphone/ipad combo really isn't that great. :-)

Tom gave me a CD with his photos and I've put them on my smugbug website. The link is at the top on the right. Please feel free to forward this link to whoever would like it. I've also updated the class pictures along the right side as well. If others have pictures, please either send me some good ones in email, or drop a CD into my mailbox at church and I'll add them to the collection. A CD would probably be better, then whoever is putting the photo show together for the church service can use them as well.

             Norm T.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011


Hey Parents,

Tomorrow mooring, please meet your Youthie at the Group Check-In where you dropped them off last saturday. We are doing this so that everyone brings home their bedding.

Flight Information: DL1508 to arrive at 10:34 AM in MSP

Thank you and see you tomorrow morning around 10:30!


Another year come and gone

Hey Everyone!

I can't believe that Mission Trip 2011 is coming to a close. Overall, we had an amazing time here in Denver. I had the BEST work group by far (shout out to Super 8) and we visited three different sights throughout the week. By far, my favorite place we went was the Bridge Project. I was so impressed with the teacher at the Bridge Project. We need more teachers like the teacher at Bridge Project. He was so committed to his kids that he had just met, and he wants his kids to accomplish so much. Thank you for all the teachers out there, especially to my lovely sister who is teaching for the first time this summer. If all teachers were as committed as the Bridge Project teacher, the schools would be so much better.

Well that is all for now, thank you everyone for reading the Blog this Mission Trip!



Sorry everyone--we can't upload/download photos to this iPad. Not technically possible. Photos will have to go up later, once we get back.


So easy to define people.... I am so glad I went back to The Bridge (the literacy program for kids who are 2-3 years behind in reading performance). I watched Romeo again, since I had been worried about him on Monday. He sits back, eyes unfocused, refusing to introduce himself, pushing away the workbook. In other words, acting like a kid with a diagnosis of something (ADHD? FAS? etc., etc.). He was even more reserved this day and more stubborn. The more I mildly suggested he open his book, the more he gave me an angry look and refused. So, I ignored him and helped other little kids. Eventually, when he was ready, he opened his book and got to work. Later in the day, he was running and playing (though still shy, definitely engaged). Seeing him for two days, I saw the pattern. He is slow to wake up, warm up and join in. He is shy. He has problems with women (like me) who are the age of the grandmother he lives with but blossoms in the presence of older men (like John and Tom). So, who and what is Romeo? Not a diagnosis at all, a complex and changeable kid who opens up to some people, at a time of his own choosing. How easy it would be for me to observe him when he is being resistive to me, disengaged, silent, uncooperative, uncommunicable and give him a label. But what you see (and think) depends on who you are, and when you observe.

We--school teachers, social workers, maybe parents?--are so used to defining people when we see them at their worst, most stressed out, etc. For example, there are plenty of articles on the fact that homeless children test as more depressed than other poor children. As a result, they can get a label and a treatment program. But U of M researcher has found that the depression is an artifact of being in the shelter--an unfamiliar, stressful experience at best. That the depression is temporary. Therefore, she recommends: don't test children for mental health disorders while they are homeless. This is such common sense, but it extends to so many other situations. When a family loses their housing for economic reasons (i.e. they couldn't pay the rent, had to move out) and after doubling up as long as possible with all the friends and family they have, ending up in a shelter--at what point do they become THE HOMELESS? When they get back into an apartment, are they still THE HOMELESS (in many social service programs, the answer is yes)?

So when we see someone in trouble, how do we prevent ourselves from labeling other people with their trouble? How do we separate out the trouble that is caused by a troubled situation, the trouble that we cause because of the way that we interact (or what we represent)? How do we look just as hard for other moments when the same person shows skill, insight, compassion, motivation?

Romeo may have a learning disability. He may have anger issues. But he is more than the sum of his limitations. Good to keep in mind, yes?


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Something moved me today

And it took me a while to figure out what it was. I went with Clara's group (Clara D, Claire D, Julia S, Sari O, Henry B) and Marge W, to the Bridge Network, a literacy program in the Denver projects. The Bridge Network was started by the Social Work program at Denver University and is run at several sites around Denver to serve children in the projects who are lagging in reading and math. The site we were at was run by a social worker and staffed by a teacher. These kids need both. The morning group was about 25 kids from grades k-2. The emotional and behavioral problems these kids deal with was obvious as the trickled into the room. Some were sullen, some were withdrawn, some were angry, a few seemed normal. They broke into two groups and went either to a classroom or a computer lab. The teacher, Federico, was a young professional teacher with great skills and the patience of Job. These kids struggled to focus on the lesson, which consisted of identifying letters & sounds, then tracing and writing the letters, then basic vocabulary. Real basic building blocks toward reading. Second graders were struggling with this. Then we took a break and played outside, the kids were warming up to us but now attachment disorder was showing up. Back inside to the computer lab and an excerise in journaling, and more letter identification through games. It seemed like a fun and fulfilling morning. The afternoon was a repeat of the morning with the grade 3-5 group, the lessons were more sophisticated and the students needed less help. The emotional and behavioral issues weren't as obvious but still there.

At the end of the afternoon the staff and the volunteers gathered for a reflection on the day and I found myself almost too emotional to speak about my day. i was having trouble identifying why it was affecting me so. The project offered hope and that touched me. We were part of making a difference and that touched me as well. But, in thinking about it later, I found that the idea that some of these kids may never receive the gift of reading is what was making me so sad. The struggle to learn without good reading skills would mean many of them would not finish high school. The additional tragedy would be that they would never have the gift of reading for pleasure, never experience "curling up with a good book" or getting lost in the experiences of Huck Finn or Hans Solo or Harry Potter or Captain Nemo.

To sum up, my first mission trip was a success. I enjoyed bonding with the kids and the adults on this trip. I liked meeting the folks from the other congregations who worked with us. The staff from DOOR is wonderful, the people working at the agencies we served were great and the people we served were grateful and an inspiration to continue to do this kind of volunteqering at home. The fact that some of the work made me uncomfortable added to the experience in a positive way.

If the youth will have me along again next year, Sign Me Up.

John S

It's pretty late....

We just got back from the Red Rocks amphitheater and It's very late, so this post has to be brief.

The youths went out to a few of the usual places today (after 4 days we know our way around) -- food bank of the Rockies, brothers Redevelopment to paint, Bridge Project the literacy project. After dinner we went to red Rock, an amphitheater in the foothills placed among giant, well, red rocks. we were charged throughout the week to reflect upon seeing the face of God in Denver. We had our worship service and reflection in the Red Rocks, a several hundred foot hike up. The view of Denver and the plains to the east was breathtaking and included watching a T-storm way out onto the plains.

The youthies talked about the folks they met, a child at a program, the parents and grandparents who drop their kids at Bridge, a 75-year couple who volunteer three days a week, or a 15 year old in the projects who shared her only plan, to get away to West Virginia as the projects did not define her and never would define her. We have been honored to hear a lot of stories this week, we have heard them all week. And Antonio our leader has talked about that as a great responsibility. So we carry them back to St. Paul with them, and hope to be sharing them.

All are well, goodnight for now.


Those single moms

Unfortunately, it's too easy to blame the moms for neglecting their kids, allowing them to be exposed to violence, not keeping them clean enough. I have seen plenty of single moms here and they touch me deeply. They seem to know they are being watched and judged by the middle-class (white?) world. There is a vulnerability in their eyes, a wish to be liked that is as clear as the looks on some of the kids' faces. They have as much pride in their children as any other parent, obviously, and glow when told they have raised a polite, sweet, talented child. At HeadStart camp today, when I talked to Rebecca's mom about Rebecca's chipped tooth (a ball hit her in the face), the mom didn't blame us or get angry. She assured us it was alright and Rebecca really loved camp. All the little boys at camp said "thank you" when I gave them a napkin. Zoey, brimming with confidence, gave me a long list of the things she is good at: art, reading British authors, gymnastics, reading poetry, etc., etc. I asked her how she gets so good at so many things and she told me how she imagines that she is doing the thing very, very well, and then she imagines all the good things that might follow from that (a prize, a good grade, etc.). These kids were engaged and engaging, smart, active, resilient -- and how did they get that way? They were raised by single moms, women who try and try and try and so often succeed. Hurray for them.


Good morning

We are making scones this morning for the DOOR staff and the other group who is here--thanks to Susanne, Maddie S, Clara and Jack.

We have good news from Sunshine Academy. We found out that the little girl who was hurt on Monday (see Lilly Schafer's blog--is okay. The center director and her mom took her to the emergency room for treatment. We've been talking about the power of health care and who has access and who doesn't. This just pointed out what a difference health care makes for families and kids.

Yesterday I went to the Food Bank of the Rockies with Clara's team--Clara, Claire D, Henry, Sari and Julia. We helped put together the big distributions for groups and then spent the afternoon sorting chip bags. The supervisor then asked if we could help by sweeping and washing a warehouse floor--te team said "Yes" and took on a really grubby job. The supervior stopped me, shook my hand and wanted to tell me how great they were. I agree!

We are off to more projects, more people. Greetings to all,

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

touring the city, meeting people

I am finally getting out into the community and learning the real stories;
On Tuesday we went to the love kitchen to serve food to the homeless. It was a small church and a small project, but I was glad to be there none the less. I remember the first man that came in, who sat in a corner, eating silently. There were too many of us for the job at that point and we were bombarding him with questions; do you need something to drink? Do you want some butter? Need any salt?
It soon became apparent that he was content with the meal and there was not much we could do for him. Slowly, we went back to our jobs. But as we continued working, I felt there was something left unfinished. Going back, I saw that he could use someone to talk to. And, bucking up my courage, i decided i was the one to do that.
I sat down and began making light conversation with this man, Peter.
"Where are you from?" I asked
And that's all that was needed (Nebraska is my home away from home). I learned that Peter and i had much more in common than i would have thought. I made a new friend that day, and i made someone smile. I will keep him in my prayers.

Later that day we went to the Sun Valley Neighborhood Projects in West Denver to hand out flyers for a barbecue at a local church (the Myx). I felt obnoxious at first, and was a little put-off when the first three houses i went to had their screen doors locked. Instead i met people on the street, talking to them and inviting them to the party. Generally, the people i talked to were very friendly. I was happy to see a few familiar faces turn up, and i made many new friends.
I met John, Mark and Paul (haha) in the line for the hamburgers, three adorable little brothers with a few teeth missing and huge smiles. I had a lot of fun with Mark, who would simply look around, smiling. I also got to talk to Devonte and Chris, two boys going into 7th grade who were already taller than me (what?!). I ate dinner in the play area behind the church with Jenae and her 4 siblings. I was inspired by the patience she had for the little siblings she had to look after, and her light spirit.
It seemed that every where i looked there were people happy to talk to me, people laughing, people playing, people opening up to strangers they may not have otherwise trusted. This building, blasting hip-hop, had not looked very much like a church to me, but as i looked around, and i saw these people, these perfect strangers and new friends, i saw God.


Mission Work Through Golf

Working with kids has easily been the most fun part about the mission trip this year. Today we went to a summer camp that had kids grades 1-4. Work was the last thing on everyone's mind today. We got to play basketball, golf, go to the park, and play board games. The kids were super excited to play with the older kids and we all had a great time. I'm gonna miss them back in Minnesota.
- Aidan C.

Perfect World

In a perfect world, we wouldn't be able to do this.
Wouldn't be able to help.
Because there would be no help to be done.
No sorrow.
No pain.
No homelessness.
No... joy?
No smile at the sight of a toy care?
Of a cheerful wave, or caring,
Because they're already
The book The Giver always sticks out to me, because I think it's so TRUE.
Without one emotion, we can never really experience another.
But how can we not wish for a perfect world?
How can we see this hopelessness, and pain, and not realize that for each person we help, there are so many we ignore?

And yet it's so insane that we're able to not help.

--Lian Simmer

Bridge Project

Today me and my group went to the Bridge Project, the same location we went to on Monday. For some reason I feel like today's experience was much more eye-opening then the previous time. Right off the bat when we got there a girl who I had somewhat connected with on Monday came up to me saying "I hate my life, I hate my life..". When I asked her why, she wouldn't tell me all she said was "Cause.". Later when they were doing assignments on the computers, the kids had an assignment to write about their favorite holiday. The same girl wrote "My favorite holiday is Valentine's day. I like valentine's day because you get lots of love." Her answer really hit me because later in the day, she was saying how she didn't want to go home, and she was dreading it. This little girl was by far the biggest impact on my experience here in Denver. I don't think I will ever forget her. Please keep Odyssey in your prayers.
Well it's 10:39 here, and I'm pretty sure lights out was nine minutes ago, so Ellie and I should really be getting to bed.
Goodnight all! Can't wait to see you on Saturday!
Lily Brown
P.S. - Mom can you clean my room so I can sleep all day on Saturday? Caroline broke my bed.
P.S.S- Simon, your pants are on fire.

Metro CareRing

Today a group of us went to the Metro CareRing food shelf. Some of us were given a client form, giving the number of family members, age of any children, and food items needed. We then took the forms, and gathered the items that were requested and handed them to the clients. Others had to work at stocking the shelves, or helping clients in a room where they could pick their own produce.
I spent most of my time their filling out client forms. The form itself gave a certain insight into who we were serving. The number of children, what kind of items they needed, and individual notes at the bottom of the sheet created images of a diverse number of people and families. Each one sitting down and having a meal.

Jack Nelson

Hard work pays off

Wow! What a week so far and we still have two days left! Monday we went to a place called sunshine academy and besides all of the holding and throwing of the toy dinosaurs, those kids were really sweet and they defiantly made an impact In my life. Yesterday we went painting and that was a lot of work spending about 7 or 8 hours in the hot sun painting a house, garage, and a shed. Our thought for that day was even though we couldn't see the people we were helping, we were still making a difference in someone's life and that's exactly what it was! Later that night we also went to a great hip hop worship, we met many friendly people and even got invited to stay in the churches basement by a 5 year old but we decided to come home. Today we went to work with little kids at head start and we were in for a surprise when we learned that the kids were going golfing! We also got to join in and I'm sure those kids did much better than any of us. All of the kids were so polite and it surprised me and I really hope they stay that way! So far it's been a lot of fun and I can't wait to see how the rest of the week will turn out! Hope all is well back home. Hannah Frawley

Lutheran Family Services

Yesterday, I was in the group that went to Lutheran Family Services. We went to a warehouse full of the things people need for their homes-- mattresses, chairs, tables, toothbrushes, etc. We were preparing a house for a single man from Burma, so we had to pick out everything that he would need in his small apartment. It really wasn't that much, compared to what we're used to. I think the nicest thing we could give him was a TV, the worst being the fact that we could only give him one plate, cup, and bowl.
We did a lot of driving that day. Eventually, though, we got to the small apartment building. His apartment really was tiny, and it made me realize how big the houses we call small are. The man wasn't there yet, but we started bringing things into the house. There was barely enough space for a small kitchen table and two armchairs, and there were only two rooms, one of which was the bathroom.
After we moved everything from the big truck into the appartment, we were just kind of waiting around. In the room, Edmund found a small yellow toy car. We had seen a couple of little kids next to who I assume was a single mom, and Edmund gave the young boy the little toy car. The thing I remember the most about yesterday was how happy that little boy looked. It reminded me that smaller things than furnishing a home can make someone feel happy.

--Lian Simmer

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Brothers redevelopment

Today two of our groups went to help paint a house with the brothers redevelopment project. We put a new gray coat on the house and the shed. We also began putting a new white trim. It was really hard work, but it felt very fulfilling when we were done! Now I have to sleep. Hope everythings going well!

- Charlie p

Prayer of the Volunteer

Dear Lord,

Bless the food that we ate tonight for dinner. Bless the hands that prepared it. Bless the people who shared this meal with us, ESPECIALLY Lanae. She's fifteen, has six younger siblings, a single mother, and wants nothing more than her own apartment in West Virginia so that she can escape the prejudice and stereotypes she has to live with in the projects. She admitted that her father sells crack, and that part of leaving was getting away from him, and from a life she refuses to live. Please, please, take good care of her. She is the kind of girl who hugs strangers goodbye. Bless the refugee whose house I outfitted this morning with: a bowl, a light, a fan, a spatula, bedding, a bath towel, and a few forks and knives. Bless to our understanding the meaning of "bare essentials". We ask that you look over him on this, his first night in a new country.

We thank you, lord, for all the people who we met today who would make volunteering a part of their overwhelmingly busy lives. For Antonio, and Age, and TJ, and Horace. It is a noble life that they live. Watch over them tonight as they sleep. For the church that is housing us. I KNOW that we've ground cookie crumbs into their carpet. But I promise that for every crumb that I crushed by accident I packed a piece of furniture, or shot a basketball with the kids in the projects, or served a hot dog bun with great purpose.

Finally, keep an eye out for me. I'm trying my hardest not to faint this week, and I'm doing some of the best work I've ever done. Tom keeps telling us to carry stories with us; that to know someone's history is an honor. I have many more to gather.


-Maddie Schafer

Don't forget about the children...

Hey Everyone!

Just a quick post tonight. Basically today we went to this barbaque in the Denver projects. The houses in the projects are simple and well kept on the outside, not really what I was expecting. We passed out fliers for the neighborhood barbaque once the barbaque was in full swing, we got to play with the kids who showed up to the barbaque. The barbaque was amazing and was the perfect completion to my day.

What I came away with today is that we cannot forget about the kids in the projects. We often think about the problem causing parents and we rarely think about the children. These kids did not chose their living situations and we cannot forget them. So tonight please keep these children in your thoughts. They need someone to think about them in a positive way, someone to believe that they can make a difference in the world and that they really do matter as they are our future leaders.



Hey Mac Plymouth blog community! Its my first post! (Hi mom and dad)

Today team 8 (Claire D, Julia S, Clara D, Sari O, and me) along with Marge and Suzanna worked at the Love kitchen at Redeeming Love church. The church has a congregation of only 35 people! 5 of which are men!!!! For the last 20 years they have served people from the community (the homeless or people just going through hard times) lunch 3 days a week. It was great to help serve and plate food. We also had conversations with them. In total, 8 people came in to eat. 3 men, 3 women, and 2 kids (two very cute 2nd graders).

The man running the kitchen today was Deacon Henry, a very spiritual guy who has worked in the kitchen for almost as long as it has been around. He was very into praying for everything and when we were sitting around he practically gave us an hour long sermon incorporating anecdotes and bible stories. His "grand baby" Jessica also helped out.

The one person who really touched me there was a man who Marge and I talked to named Rick. This man has been homeless for one year. When his mom was dying he was there helping her, but after her death, Rick's sister swept in and put her name on the deed to their mom's home. He had no where to go. Yesterday it rained and he told us how miserable it was to sleep outside and how his sleeping bag would be wet for the next week. He did not try to cover much up, he told us about the violence that takes place on the streets and the alcohol abuse he sees everyday. He even told us about his criminal record. He paused, took off his sunglasses so we could see his eyes. He was crying. He told us flat-out that he was suffering.

Despite his situation and his daily struggles, he believed that these struggles were going to pass and that God would help him if he was faithful to his lord. The world may have taken his house, money, and job, but what it hadn't taken was his self-respect. He told us about how staying clean to him was extremely important, and that he wouldn't enter a church if he was dirty. He still had his intelligence and his heart. he was a "survivor" and knew that if he could keep on going things would someday work out. Before he left we exchanged a hug and he told me to pray for him, and I would encourage everyone reading this to pray for Rick.

-Henry Bushnell

Monday, June 20, 2011

View from the Gathering Place

Today the DOOR folks invited Justine from the Gathering Place, Denver's only drop in shelter for women and kids. She was a wonderful, engaging, gracious speaker who handled dozens of questions from our youths, as Edmund (with some help) more or less turned it into a press Conference. It was great.

A couple of points stand out.

The Gathering Place welcomes all. No conditions. And clients do not have to join a case management system or otherwise Be subjected to anyone who will try to fix them. And no one have to prove anything to get services.

Another is that 50 percent of the homeless in greater Denver are women, and she had a theory about why most folks are surprised to hear that. When we see a Homeless guy on the street, we can construct a narrative about him. Bad choices or bad luck or bad health. We have seen enough homeless men that we are accustomed to the sight. But. Homeless woman and two toddlers? We can construct no easy explanation or no narrative that we can live with. So we put them out of our mind. And then we don't see them.

So, just getting started but we have seen and learned so much already. And we are hearing, again, that it is not us and them it is always us and us. All of us. Children of God and worthy of love.

Lights out, so more tomorrow. All are well, thanks for your love and support.


Bridge Project

The staff have worked hard to help the kids focus their attention.....critical for literacy. This, as we know is a challenge for the best of us in this electronic, multi.tasking world! Discipline is calm, predictable and firm but gentle. When the kind start to get too excited, the teacher tells them to give themselves a hug and make a bubble..which means their hands are wrapped around their chests and their cheeks are puffed out and lips pressed together, I.e. No talking. There are little rewards for hand-raising and good answers. Warnings are issued without voices ever being raised. And the kids do their work and they are learning; this outcome-focused program tests reading level at least twice each year. Not that the kids aren't going to be kids. One boy leaped out of his seat to slam his book against the wall, killing a spider the size of a Buick. Another girl finished every one of her brother's sentences by saying "he's lying." There was talking and running. But less than I would have thought possible; these teachers really know their stuff. The kids are slowly building their own library of books (some hundreds of pages long), answering questions about content (even after deliberate changes of subject), collecting mechanical pencils and plastic lizards. One telling moment.... Some of the boys gathered around Tom and were joking about Father's Day. Romeo, who had been quiet, distant, avoiding eye contact, got the most animated look we would see on his face all day and said (jokingly?) no, you're" there were such moments. In fact, at one point I heard one of the littler girls say "and the he came back with a really big knife and pointed it at her and she was so scared!" I wondered if I should call the police...or was it a joke? No, she had stayed up til midnight the night before watching Scream 4! So much for making snap judgments about kids just because they live in the projects!

Gaining Perspective

Today i went to a daycare/summer school program for kids from the Projects with Lydia Nelson, Lily Brown, Claire Romey, and T-Money. They were all ages and probably the cutest kids I've ever seen. One of the hardest things about this day was being around these children who you know are struggling and hurting and not being able to give them a hug or just hold them when they try to crawl in your lap. We were discouraged from being affectionate physically with the kids because it was important for the kids to learn the value of their own personal space. We also didn't want them getting attached to us because we weren't going to be in their lives for more than a couple days. All of these kids were so bright and energetic, by the time our hour break came around we were all passed out on the floor due to pure exhaustion. This experience was one of the hardest and most heartwarming I've had in years and i know it will be one of my favorites of this trip.

Miss everyone at home! Hope the thunderstorms aren't freaking out the doggie anymore. i love you all. <3

-Kelsea W.

keeping hope

Hey everyone!
Today, while packing boxes at the food shelf, I struck up a conversation with my partner, another woman volunteer. She was volunteering with an addict program and told me her story of slowly becoming an alcoholic and her realization that her life was out of control. As she spoke, I had this mounting sense of pride for her. In my lifetime,Ii have met a few addicts, but even fewer who admit to it, or believe that they can fight their way out of it.
I immediately thought of my dear cousin-once-removed who was the son of a drug addict. I held so much anger towards his mother, not for what she was doing to herself but for what she was doing to her son. I am glad that he has found a new home and a wonderful person to call "mom".
The woman i was working with says that she had joined rehab for her husband (they married less than a year ago), and worried that the two years she was spending in the program to save her marriage would cause it to fall apart. She said she cried every night thinking about how her husband night leave her. I didn't know how to tell her to have hope; i am just another person, just as lost and confused. Maybe that alone is comforting.
I wish her the best, and am honored to have met such an amazing and brave individual.


Day 1

I love blogging. Today was our first service day. My group and I went to a daycare/ summer school to help out with the kids. Some of those kids we're smarter then I am... Overall it was a very rewarding and enriching experience. Well, its only monday, 4 more days to go. Deuces.

-Lydia Nelson

Day One

Today was really fun!
My group (Charlie, Aiden, Gianna, Hannah, Marsh and myself) went to Sunshine Academy to work with little children.
We arrived at 8:45 and got to work.
Charlie and I stayed with the two littlest kids while everyone else worked with the slightly older children and the two main staff members.
The kids were really mean to Charlie... they threw blocks at him and tackled him 24/7... it was honestly hilarious.
We had 3 hours of free time due to the fact that the kids had to nap. We first went to the Santa Fe Art District and walked around there for about an hour.
We then went back to the church and napped in the middle of the dining room floor. It was the most relaxing nap I've had in a while.
We returned to the Academy at 2:15 and did the same thing we did in the morning pretty much. This kid kept kicking me though... it hurt he was a strong kid!
I also helped a girl who had shut her finger in a door and her nail had pretty much come off. She was a twin too! So I told her about Maddie and Julia and helped distract her from the pain. It was sad because they didn't have health insurance and the mom couldn't be there until 6:30 because she was working.
Over all it was a good day... I'm really tired though...
Tomorrow my group and I are painting houses. Can't wait! :)
-Lily Schafer

1st day of mission work for me

for my first day of MPUC Youth Mission work I went along with Jack, Hannah P, Maddy, Rose and Will to work at a day program for K-4 aged kids. They had a rain cancelled field trip and put together a day that involved breakfast served by us, group games followed by a discussion of music and then a songwriting excercise. I was astounded by the things these children came up with. More games then we made PBJ's for lunch. For the afternoon we went to a movie. The challenge there was herding.

What I found today was that the conditions these children experienced in their daily lives did nothing to dim the joy they felt in learning and play. Children are truly resilient and thrive given the smallest encouragement. It was a privilege to have been a part of their day.

John S (the newbie)

Expired salsa, anyone?

Hello Everyone!

Well after exploring the beautiful mountains of Colorado on Sunday, today we started the mission. My group along with Maddie Schafer's group went to Food Bank of the Rockies. The Food Bank serves hundreds of organizations across northern Colorado and all of Wyoming. The food bank is housed in this MASSIVE warehouse, and I mean massive. The food bank takes indiviual donations along with massive donations from their many cooperate and non profit organizations.

As I was sorting the individual donations, I came across all these bottles of expired salsa. That is when it hit me that we are feeding our hungry anything and mosty everything. Now of course I realize that anyone who is hungry will eat whatever they are given, but that does not mean that they should not be denied the food that I get to eat. I love to eat my organic veggies from Whole Foods and it bothers me so much that not everyone has the chance to eat healthy, wholesome food. We are facing a massive obesity epidemic in the United States and it is not going to get any better if we keep continuning to feed out hungry the leftovers. So my mid year resolution is to stop giving the food shelf the beans from the back of the cabinet and give them wholesome food that I would freely chose to eat.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

A long day of mission work

Today was a long, tiring day of mission work (not really actually). Since the door program didn't start until 6 tonight, we had the day to explore Colorado. We went to a service at 6th avenue UCC church in Denver, and decided to go to a park and take a hike. We had a nice picnic, but got lost several times and had no hike. It was a long day, and we haven't started volunteering yet. Tomorrow, I'm spending eight hours helping to take care of kids. Wish me luck! I hope everything is going great back in Saint Paul, and that everyone has a great father's day!


Denver: Day 2

After trouble at the car dealership, some direction problems, and two nights of pizza, Mac Plymouth seems to have finally gotten situated. A couple of showers has definitely lightened the mood. So far the work load has been very light which seems to have suited everyone well. Tempers have been at an all time low. Of course the first couple of cell phones have yet to be found so we'll see how long that holds up. Overall a great time with a great group of people. Special shout out to all of the fathers with kids on the mission trip. (Why is it that this trip always falls on fathers day?).
- Aidan C.

Early morning "staff" meeting?

Woke up this morning and realized that I wasn't sitting with the other adult leaders chatting over coffee. Kind of sad. I had to pour myself a big cup of coffee into my New Orleans mug to feel better (Thank you Marge). Hope you have a great week.

Denver, we have arrived!!

Hello Everyone!

Well we made it here to Denver all in one piece and the church we stayed at last night was wonderful. It's located in a neighborhood similar to mac ply. We knew it would be a great fit when we saw the "open and affirming" sign-- thanks Susanne for hooking us up!

We went to a cool pizza place, and got some BOMB pizza, even though we came ten minutes before closing...
We had quite the sleeping experience. There was some cars outside, some snoring, and even some sleep talking!

Shout out to all the dads and father figures in our lives. We dont know what we would do without you and you all are amazing. Thank you for your everlasting support and encouragement, we love you all!

We're going to church this morning, and then we will head out to explore Denver and arrive at Door later in the evening.

Someone will update later tonight and everyone have a joyous father's day!

Lily and Clara

Lights out, all are fed and in for the night

Hey, after pizza and the magic many flavored coke machine at Anthony's pizza we have had a time of reflection and prayer, and now lights are about out. All is well, but some of us are hurting over a tragedy that touched a family friend. Keep this family in your prayers.

Bye for now.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Important Update for Saturday!!!!!

Hi Folks:

Sorry for this last minute update, but we have received forms that Door requires each participant to have signed by a parent/guardian and with them when we show up Saturday. There is a health form and a waiver form specific to Door. They are at the top of the list to the right.



Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Packing List Update

Marge noted two items omitted by accident from packing list a few posts ago.

Clothing suitable for church


2 Big Duffles Coming....

We have a donor already for the big bags requested yesterday.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sleeping bag question

The air carrier rules are one carryon bag plus a small personal item -- brief case, smallish backpack, purse.

A sleeping bag in addition to carryon bag and personal item would not really work, ie., gouged by Delta without remorse for a second carryon bag.

That is why we are suggesting an item brought to the picnic, labeled, that we can pack and check for free on my account. I get up to 7 bags.

Please go to Delta website for rules on carryon. If the flight is full the staff will not have a sense of humor about folks trying to hoist oversized bags into the overhead bins.

If someone can loan a big duffle we could use that would be great, I have some, Marsha has some, but we could use two more. These are the bags to be checked. Please bring to picnic.


Important Info Update - maybe the last one 'fore Saturday departure


Just to the right of this post is a link to a PDF download called "Parents Refrigerator Information." It is information on how to reach the adult team the week we are all out of town. Susanne will have a phone, too, just number is TBD. We are happy to take calls or email (Lee's and John's both work) if you need to reach your youth.

Otherwise, please check the blog frequently and remember you can use the comment section to respond. From past experience we know that the bloggers like seeing the comments.

Also, we are still in need of a photocopy of health insurance card, front and back, for 4 youth. (Thanks for info left on VM, but we are looking for a copy of the actual card.) And apologies if it has been provided, and got misplaced.

Frawley X2

See you Wednesday at the picnic.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Picnic Info please read to bottom!!!

Hey everybody

The picnic is this Wednesday evening at Hannah and Maddie Frawley’s house at 1780 Lincoln.

Starts at 6.15 and we will eat right away.

Please bring a chair or two, our hosts have 25 but we are expecting a few more. We will have brats, dogs and burgers and such so please scan list below to see your assignment to bring something to share.

1. Beverages

L Brown

H. Bushnell

2. Fruit

E. Catlin

A. Coleman

C Dockter

3. Salads

C. Donovan

W. Fischer

R. Lundy

L and J Nelson

4. Condiments -- Big ole bottles of ketchup, mustard, etc.

S. Olson

5. Chips

H Park

C. Platt

V. Samuelson

6. Desserts

MJL Schafer

L. Simmer

G. Williams

K Woodward

Also, we have some free bag availability on Delta, so we are suggesting that youth bring a bulky item, like a sleeping mat, CLEARLY LABELED WITH SHARPIE, etc. and we will pack a few big duffles and leave them in a car until Saturday. Remember, everything else goes into a carry on.

Email with any questions.

Thanks, and see you then.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Commissioning Service June 12!

As you remember, all participants on the Youth Mission Trip are commissioned by the congregation just prior to departure. The commissioning this year will be in Sunday service on June 12, at 9.30 AM.

All of us should be part of that. Probably best if we dress for church rather than look like we are about to scrub the floor of a day care.

There may be opportunities to participate in the liturgy, but that is TBD.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Flight Information for Denver

Flight information for the Denver Trip is as follows.

We are on Delta Airlines, and plan to meet in the Delta Airlines Group check in area no later than 3:30 pm. This area is in the lower level concourse of Lindbergh Terminal, between the parking ramps and the main terminal.

DL / 2009 June 18, 2011 Depart MSP 530PM Arrive DEN 6:38PM

Return flight

DL / 1508 June 25, 2011 Depart DEN 7:40AM Arrive MSP 10:34A M

By tomorrow at this time you should be able to see yourself on the site, under the following Delta Record Locator -- F9Y3DN. We are advised that we should be able to pop in a Delta Skymiles account number at that point. We are asked NOT to mess with seat selection at this time.

K. Woodward is under a different record # -- GN783J.

Finally, we have confirmation that Lee gets up to nine bags checked free, so our plan is to pack LABLED bedding items the night of the picnic on June 15, 2011, into 6 or so bigger bags, for purposes of checking such bags. That should free up enough room for other items to fit in a carryon bag. Also, for those with questions on carry on please follow this link:

Finally, all persons 18 and older must present government issued ID to clear the TSA checkpoint. For those youth not yet 18, they can legally pass without it, but the TSA advises that carrying ID will expedite the process of clearing the checkpoint. Therefore, passports and such will be helpful, and we know how expensive they are to replace, so the Adult Team would be happy to hold them for the week after their use at the checkpoint.

Monday, May 16, 2011



Personal notebook or journal, pen
Sleeping bag
Thin Sleeping pad
Work clothes:
-Old Shorts
-Old jeans/ long pants
-Old T-shirts
-Long-sleeved shirt
Work Shoes (sturdy shoes - No flip-flops or
open shoes, which are NOT permitted at many work sites)

Mosquito repellant
Casual clothes:
-Jeans/ pants
-Shoes for recreation
Light jacket (for rain)
Socks & underwear as appropriate
Toiletries (soap, shampoo, toothbrush, etc.)
Sleeping apparel suitable for co-ed area
Water bottle

Inhalers for those who suffer from asthma

Optional Items

Spending money – NOT MORE THAN $50
Games, cards, reading material, etc.
Guitar, Banjo
Soccer Ball, Frisbee, etc.
One CD – and use good sense in making your mix


Electronic or computer games
Tape/CD players, radio, walk-mans, and
cell phones, iPods,mp3 players.
Weapon-like toys or devices
Irreplaceable clothes or jewelry
Alcohol & Non-prescription drugs
Large Air Mattresses

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Reminder of May 15

Please remember the meeting for all this Sunday at 5, and bring a meal. In addition to last details we will discuss financing. The Good News is that our fundraising was successful and we were granted a very meaningful amount by our own church Mission and Social Justice Committee. The less good news is that we have seen our costs creep up.

In the past we have tried to hold the per youth cost at around $180 - $200, and this year I think it will be more like $230 each. Most folks paid a $75 deposit, and please be prepared to make a final payment on Sunday. As we never want to let money get in the way of an experience, please contact Dwight W. at the church office if there is a need for a scholarship.

Expect a letter this week from our Fundraising Team lead, Maggie, for the final details on the fundraising and the per youth contribution.

See you Sunday.

Monday, April 25, 2011

May 15 Meeting: Youth + Parents

Hey, the 15th of May is the last Sunday meeting for the Senior High Youth going on the Mission Trip. Usual time of 5 pm to 7 pm. This meeting plan may not have gotten into the usual communications in time, so that's why the heads up on the blog.

We will go over packing list, travel details, health and wellness with Marsha B., finances, Q & A, etc., so a parent should also attend with the youth. We will break into a parent group and youth section as well.

Families should plan to bring a meal with them, plus a little extra to share in the event somebody does not get the word on meals. (And somebody usually does not get the word. I was a little hungry/grumpy last time, but I was not the only one.)

Also place on the family calendar the traditional pre-trip picnic, the Wednesday evening before the trip. June 15. Place TBD.

That's it, see you soon.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Reminders: Busy weekend

Bandanarama is Saturday evening beginning at 7 and is a must attend. Plan to stay for cleanup at 11:30 pm.

1021 Bandana Boulevard East
Suite 200
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55108

Youth Fellowship is 5 to 7 on Sunday, also a must attend for those on the mission trip. This is training for youthies, and while parents will not be forcibly ejected, it is meant just for youth and the adults facilitating the effort.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hey Everyone!

Just an update on the mission trip progress. We need to youth to show up at church after the service for the next four sundays of the silent auction!! The youth will be helping Laura and the other volunteers with anything they need to run the auction smoothly. It is very important that at least 3-4 youth be there each sunday to help so Laura can run the auction smoothly. There is going to be a SING-UP sheet for the youth on the facebook page. We need volunteers starting THIS sunday March 20th!

Remember to turn in any coffee forms to Tanya if you still have them. And also, remember you can still send letters for the letter campaign!

Looking ahead, on April 9th we will have our 2nd annual Bandanarama "Battle of the Bands" type event at Bandana Square in Saint Paul. All youth need to attend this and bring their friends. It will be a great evening filled with wonderful music by local bands! Stay tuned for more details.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at

Clara Dockter

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hey Everyone!

Just a reminder that THIS Saturday, February 26th 2011, is the Bread Bake at church. This is a mandatory event for all mission trip participants. We will be baking bread to sell the next morning at church as a fundraiser for the mission trip. This is a wonderful opportunity for the youth and the adults to get to know each other better for the mission trip this year. We will be learning more about the area where we are traveling, playing games, baking bread, and of course having lots of fun! It starts at 6:30 p.m. and will go until after church on sunday.

Youth, please remember that the Covenant rules apply to the bread bake--- this means no cell phones, drugs, alcohol, ect.

We look forward to seeing everyone at the bread bake! If you have any questions, please feel free to email myself or Lee or contact me on Facebook.

Clara Dockter

Silent Auction Happening Now!

The silent auction is starting soon. This has typically been our greatest fundraiser; last year we raised close to $,5000. All youth who are attending the mission trip are required to donate at least one thing to the auction. If you need ideas, please call me or email me.( In addition to donations of time for services such as babysitting, lawn mowing, snow shoveling, etc, as well as baked goods and other food items, please consider making a themed basket for donation. Elizabeth Simmer shared some great ideas at the youth group meeting on February 13, and we have lists with lots of other ideas. Please talk to Elizabeth or me.

Youth donations are due to me no later than Sunday, March 13. You can email me with your donation information ( or print off the donation form, fill it out, and leave it in my mailbox at church.

We will take donations from church members March 6 , 13, and 20. Bidding starts on March 20 and we will take bids for 4 Sundays, March 20, 27, April 3, and April 10. The 10th is the final day for bidding. We will need youth to help post bids on those 4 Sundays. Please watch for a sign up sheet at youth events.


Laura Donovan

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Only four of our youth mission families have turned in coffee sales – we really need everyone to encourage their family and friends to enjoy this great coffee.  We have been successful with our sales at church, but we were not planning on that replacing last year’s individual sales.  We aren’t even to 50% of what we raised last year through the coffee sales.

With that; I am guessing that a deadline will help focus our attention and efforts.
I will take the last orders on February 28th for delivery the following Sunday.

If you are struggling with the best way to get orders to me – you can put them in my box in the church office; email them to me at; fax them to me at 651-292-0072 or drop them in our mailbox at 2237 Sargent Avenue. 

Let’s get our family, neighbors and friends caffeinated now!


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Welcome to Peace Coffee Sales!

The order form (in the side panel on the right) is to be used for selling to your personal network of family and friends.  An important note is the wholesale cost of the coffee will increase February 1, so we will make less money from each sale after that date.  Start selling now!!!!  If you can turn in your order forms as you sell, I will place orders every week. 
The form is pretty straight forward - the only tricky part is when someone wants coffee ground - please be careful to note that order and charge for it.  I have to pay for the coffee upon pick up, so I would ask that you collect for the coffee when you take the order to minimize the risk of coming up short.  I suggest that you e-mail your order form to or give them to me or Lee at church.  We will deliver your order at the following Sunday's church service or youth group.  If you will not be there, you will need to get in touch with us to make arrangements for delivery.  I will want the money collected at the time of delivering your order (or before if possible).  Checks should be made out to MPUC.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Schedule for Coffee Sales

Hello Everyone!
Thank you for coming to the meeting tonight at church and bringing your forms! The youth should have signed up to sell coffee one sunday and here is the schedule:

-Sari Olson
-Lian Simmer
-Edmund Catlin

1-23-11 ** PLEASE NOTE: this sunday we are selling at 10:25 because of the all church mtg
-Lily Brown
-Ellie Powell
-Aidan Coleman

-Rose Lundy
-Gianna Williams

-Hannah Frawley
-Kelsea W
-Vanessa Samuelson

-Lily Schafer
-Claire Donovan
-Maddy Frawley

-Julia Schafer
-Lydia Nelson
-Will Fischer

-Charlie Platt
-Jack Nelson
-Hannah Park

-Claire Romey
-Henry Bushnell

Thank you in advance for coming and selling coffee! See Maddie if you have questions regarding the coffee sales.

-Clara Dockter

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Rescheduled Meeting this week, ALL FORMs, check, and an engaging Guest. 5-7 on Sunday

Hello All

Just a reminder of this Sunday's meeting at 5 pm, for all youth participants on the June 2011 trip and their parents. In preparation for the meeting, please see the forms that should be filled out located over on the right hand side of this blog. PLEASE BRING THEM COMPLETED TO THE MEETING. Also, we expect to collect a deposit check for $75, made out to MPUC, which will all go toward the deposit required at DOOR.

In addition to forms and such, we were able to reschedule a visit by Armando Comacho, the president of Neighborhood House in St. Paul, a 110-year-old social services agency located in the Paul and Sheila Wellstone Center on the West Side. Neighborhood House is likely the kind of group we will serve in Denver, and you all will want to hear Armando talk about his mission.

Finally, please recall that each family should bring a meal for themselves as well as a little bit extra, Feeding the 5000 style, for families or participants who did not quite get the word or forgot. We want all to be fed.

Thanks. See you Sunday