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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Prayer Request

Hi Youth:

Our second to last Sunday of Youth Group you may remember we went as a group to visit Merle and Ellen Johnson. Ellen is having cancer surgery today. I am thankful for the fact that you were able to meet her and ask that you say a prayer for her, but also for Merle, who will be home alone during her recovery.

If you would like to pass along a note of encouragement, contact me and I can give you an address or if you want to send me an email, I'll bring it with me when I visit her at the hospital.



Invitation to Youth from Marriage Equality Committee

The Marriage Equality Committee would like to extend the invitation below to the Church youth group:
"We hope you can help make Macalester - Plymouth an active participant in Minnesota Pride this year.  This is part of our effort to oppose the constitutional amendment limiting Marriage Equality in Minnesota.  We will march in the Pride Parade on Sunday June 24 and help staff a booth at the Pride Festival on June 23rd & 24th.  We will sign up volunteers after church on Sundays May 27 - June 17.  If you can't sign up at church but are interested please contact Tom Richardson or Caroline Roetzel, Committee Co-Chairs to sign up.     
Thanks and we look forward to seeing you!"

Friday, May 25, 2012

NPR - Joplin lead contamination and NextStep's Response

You may have heard a story on National Public Radio that aired the other day about the continuing Joplin rebuilding efforts, and part of the piece was about the lead contamination that's been discovered.  Here's a link to it in case you haven't heard it:
 Maggie sent a note to Next Step and asked what thoughts/plans/comments/precautions they had about it.  Their response is:

Thanks for the email and the concern.  This is obviously a serious discovery over the past months in Joplin.  It is something that we have been aware of and are discussing with our leadership on site.  One of the great blessings at our Joplin site is that we have a very strong team of construction leaders that have been on the ground in Joplin since the week of the tornado.  Our team is in Joplin on a daily basis and they have been working with this issue and are up-to-date with the risks associated.

At this point there is no immediate risk to our students or projects due to the locations and types of projects that we are working on.  I will continue to look into this and learn more as we lead up to your trip and the other 8 trips we are leading this summer.  Thanks for passing on this article and clip, I will pass it on to our team in Joplin to see if it brings up anything new.

We will continue to make your students safety a priority on our trips and again, at this point feel very comfortable with the areas your students will be working.

Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns come up...thanks!


Links to Presentations added

I have added links to the list on the right of the blog to Lily's Presentation and the article that Lee read at Sunday's mission trip meeting.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Excerpts from President Obama's Commencement Address to the Joplin High School class of 2012

You’ve grown up quickly over the last year. You’ve learned at a younger age than most that we can’t always predict what life has in store for us. No matter how we might try to avoid it, life can bring heartache. Life involves struggle. Life will bring loss.
But here in Joplin, you’ve also learned that we have the power to grow from these experiences. We can define our own lives not by what happens to us, but by how we respond. We can choose to carry on, and make a difference in the world. And in doing so, we can make true what’s written in Scripture – that “tribulation produces perseverance, and perseverance, character, and character, hope.”
Yes, you will encounter obstacles along the way. Yes, you will face setbacks and disappointments.
But you are from Joplin. And you are from America. No matter how tough times get, you will be tougher. No matter what life throws at you, you will be ready. You will not be defined by the difficulties you face, but how you respond – with strength, and grace, and a commitment to others.

If you'd like to read the entire address, the Wall Street Journal's listing of it is at:

Exerpts from

Friday, May 18, 2012

This Just In!

Mission Trip participants: there will be a special speaker coming at 5pm on Sunday. Even though the parent/youth meeting doesn't start until 6pm, be there at five to receive some special insight into the nature of the assistance we will be providing on the mission trip.

Andy Barnett from Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity will share some insights and experiences related to the North Minneapolis tornado damage and what that kind of disaster can do to a community. Lily Schafer also has images and storm information powerpoint presentation from the Joplin disaster to frame what happened there. She will follow Andy.


Seniors: remember to show up at 9am on Sunday for the worship service. Sit in the side pews/chairs.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sunday May 20th!!!

Hey All:

It's a big day this Sunday. First there is the senior high graduation recognition service at 9:30am. (Seniors please show up at 9:00am). In addition to having someone speak for you, I'd like to get as many of you to read a liturgy part if you do not have one already.

Then, while Junior High youth are having a regular youth fellowship, Senior High will be having a mandatory mission trip meeting (with parents) that starts at 6:00pm (though, youth please come at 5pm for your last youth fellowship roses and thorns and dinner).

Important: Parents should bring checkbooks to pay for the remainder of the mission trip cost. The price will vary according to how many fundraising events you missed, with the base price being $230.00.

Important (part 2): Fill out the online forms for Next Step before Sunday. We have to have them, no if, ands, or buts. Check the right right of the blog for getting it done.

I'm looking forward to a great Sunday with all of you!


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Great Chance to Get Involved in the Future of the Church

Greetings Church Youth,

As you know Macalester-Plymouth is beginning the search for a new senior pastor.  The Nominating Committee is in charge of putting together the Pastoral Search Committee (PSC) which conducts the search process. We are looking for one member of the youth group who might be interested in being a member of the PSC and helping in the process.  The pastoral search process and the full job description of a PSC member appears below.

Selected youth are welcome to participate as "full time" PSC members.  However, to accommodate youth schedules involving school and extra curricular activities, we are also open to youth serving a more abbreviated role.   The Nominating Committee feels that input from church youth would be especially desired in putting the Church Profile/Church Information Form together, and also interviewing pastoral candidates and attending sermons they preach in a neutral pulpit, all toward naming a finalist.

The Church Profile/Church Information Program will be put together, roughly, between Memorial Day and July 1.  The interviewing and observation processes will start somewhere around Labor Day, and could go on for a number of weeks.

If this sounds interesting to you and you'd like to learn more, contact Gale, Tom or the Nominating Committee co-chairs, Mark Dickinson ( and Michael  Morrissey ( .

Please indicate your interest to one of the co-chairs by May 6. The PSC will be finalized between now and the end of May. 

With our thanks for your consideration,

The Nominating Committee. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Youth Group and Explorers Updates

Hey All: A couple of updates. First, there will NOT be Explorers class on May 6th. There will be on May 13th, however, so come and get informed.

Youth Group is exactly the reverse. There is no youth group on May 13th, but there is a very special youth group on May 6th. For those who attended Sunday, we hatched the idea of going to visit a member of our congregation, Merle Johnson, who can't attend services. They live a couple of blocks away and I just spoke to his wife Ellen and she was thrilled by the idea, especially when I said there might be a youth with a guitar (Edmooned, perhaps Devin) because Merle is a Dylan fan and used to attend the Bluegrass Festival every year.

Please try to be a part of this particular youth group because I think it will be an opportunity to make a couple of folk happy and realize how valuable you are just for showing up at their door. We will do the usual 5-7pm time slot.

Peace and have a good week, Tom