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Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Break

Hi all,

Hope you are all enjoying your holidays and the days leading up to it! In light of  Christmas and all the busyness that surrounds them, all youth activities will be on hold for awhile. 8th graders in confirmation should return January 4th at the normal 3:30pm time. Explorers and youth group will resume January 11th.

Merry Christmas and see you in the new year!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Youth Happenings, December 7, 2014

Hi all,

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving! There is no denying we are now in the thick of the holiday season and with it comes lots of activity around church. Here's what to expect this week:

9am Early Worship

9:30am Explorers

10:45am Late Worship

12-2pm In-house service project - Round the table carol sing set-up

Youth participating in the set-up should meet in the social hall following church. We should be done by 2pm and lunch will be provided. 

Looking ahead:

Our annual Christmas Party is on December 14 from 5-7pm. Our potluck worked well last year so we will be repeating it. Please sign-up to bring something with this Google form

Additionally, like last year, we will be bringing back white elephant. The holidays can become an expensive time, so we don't want you to spend a dime. Look around your house and find something you no longer use (and no one else in the house uses either), but someone else may be interested in, wrap it up all pretty and bring it along. 

Lastly, a party is just not a party without music. Bring along your favorite holiday music or any music that you feel represents the past year for you no matter how eclectic, just keep it clean.

See you Sunday!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Youth Happenings, Sunday, November 23rd

Hi All!

No youth group this Sunday, but morning activities will continue as usual.

9:00am Early Worship

9:30am Explorers in Rex Knowles

10:45pm Late Worship

We will be taking a break for the Thanksgiving holiday, but will come back together in December. Enjoy the weekend "warm-up"!


Monday, November 17, 2014

A Message from the Mission Trip Co-Chairs

To all youth and adults going on the youth mission trip to New Jersey in June 2015, please fill out the form below as soon as possible. Ocean County LTRG requires this information and we would like to send it to them sooner rather than later.


The fifty dollar deposit for youth participating in the mission trip is due to Tom by Sunday, November 23rd. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Youth Happenings, Sunday, November 9th

Hi All,

Explorers Class 9:30-10:30am

Late Worship 10:45am

Youth Service Project 1-3pm

Confirmation class for 8th graders and their parents 3:30-5:00pm

For this month's service project, we will be headed to Minneapolis to serve the children and families of Mary's Place, a transitional family centered shelter. While there, we will supervise the playroom, a space that is otherwise closed without volunteer groups, but a very important area for kids to let off some steam during their stay at the shelter.  If you would like to go, please meet in the social hall at 12:30 to carpool over there.

See you Sunday!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Youth Choir Starts Tonight!

Our Youth Choir (a.k.a. “Chapel Choir”) starts tonight, Wednesday, November 5th at Macalester Plymouth from 5:00-6:00 p.m.

Students grades 4-12 are welcome to join the choir. No prior experience or music education is necessary to participate—just a desire to learn and a love of singing.

Rehearsals will take place in the sanctuary on Wednesday evenings from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Students will sing a wide and diverse range of music. Plus they will learn the fundamentals of voice technique, sight-reading, music theory, history, literature, and discover how music is part of our church and the greater world around us.

The Choir will take an active role in our Sunday worship services this year—starting in the upcoming Advent season—and will also  participate in community service work through singing. It’s going to be a wonderful adventure!

Come join us for a fun and rewarding music experience! Come to rehearsal tonight for sign up or contact Brad at  

Looking forward to seeing you tonight!

Dr. Brad Bradshaw, DMA
Director of Music
Macalester Plymouth United Church
1658 Lincoln Avenue
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55105 U.S.A.
612-720-9271 (Mobile)
651-698-8871 (Main)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Time to make a commitment to the 2015 Mission Trip


It is time to make a commitment to the 2015 Mission Trip to continue the work of recovery from Super storm Sandy in New Jersey. It may be early, but we need a way for the planners to be able to communicate to our hosts in New Jersey about how many to expect, and make other arrangements.

We need to collect the $50 deposit by November 23, a Sunday. This is technically a nonrefundable deposit, as no refunds ever come from the programs where we participate, but every reasonable effort has been made in the past to refund any deposit in the event the youth is unable to go.

The deposit money will go to securing our spots.

Hope everyone can go, this looks to be a very challenging and interesting week in New Jersey.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Youth Happenings November 2nd, 2014

Hey Folks:

This Sunday:

Explorers 9:30-10:30am

Youth Group 5:00-7:00pm. Game night. We will be playing board games, so bring one!

Next Sunday (November 9):

Confirmation class for 8th graders 3:30-5:00pm. Parents come too. Parents, if you have not RSVP'd your youth's involvement please do so ASAP by emailing me at



Thursday, October 16, 2014

Youth Happenings, October 19, 2014

Happy MEA Weekend! In honor of the fact that so many of you do so many neat things on this glorious MN school holiday, there will be No Explorers or youth group this week.

Do, however, plan for the corn maze next week and let me know if you will be there! Here are the details for your scheduling purposes:

Youth Group Corn Maze at the Twin Cities Harvest Festival

Meet: Sunday, October 26th at 3:45 in social hall to assign cars and head out.

Bring: Yourself and $12 for admission.

Return: We will be back at church around 6:30pm

e-mail with questions or to let me know you'll be there.

See you then!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Youth Happenings, October 12, 2014

Hi All!

Sunday as usual in the morning, meaning 

9:30am Explorers
10:45am  Late Worship

Post worship, things will be a little different. This Sunday will be the first of many "Service Sundays" this year, meaning we will meet right after worship for a service event in leiu of holding evening youth group.

CROP Walk is this Sunday and we want to have a large youth showing for this fun, outdoor charity event!

Where: St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church (right next to Luther Seminary off Hwy 280). 

When: This Sunday, October 12th at 1pm

How far: There are two options, 2.5 miles or 5 miles. I was thinking 2.5, but am open to 5 if youth are up for it.

How much should be raised: There is no minimum or max. We were asking youth to shoot for $20, but all are welcome no matter the amount raised.

Where does the money go: Proceeds go to helping area food banks, pantries, community gardens, and other hunger initiatives. You can find out more at

What should your child bring: A bag lunch, Good walking shoes, any funds raised, and the following parent consent form, signed.

Do I need to register: Yes! Please let me know if you will be attending ASAP as well as setting a fundraising goal 

Youth will meet in the social hall following Sunday worship. We will be tabling  for congregational support until 12:15pm before heading out in cars to St. Anthony Park Lutheran. If you will be joining us, but would like to meet up at SAPL, please let me know ahead of time and come ready with your consent form. 

We will need parent drivers, so if you are available, please let me know. 

Please contact me if you have any questions or to register. 

I look forward to seeing many of you on Sunday!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Youth Happenings, October 5, 2014

Hi all,

The air is crisp, leaves are changing, and talk of Homecoming fills our Sunday evenings. This can only mean one thing, it's fall and our program year is in full swing.

This Sunday you can expect:

Explorers Class (Grades 6-8) 9:30-10:30am

Late Worship 10:45am

Youth Fellowship 5-7pm

Mission Trip Meeting for Senior High and their parents 7pm

Looking Ahead:

Big stuff coming up!

This Sunday, be sure to sign up for the CROP Walk to end hunger. The Mac-Plymouth youth group will be forming a team to "End Hunger One Step at a Time" and we want you! Sign up with me, prior to the event either at fellowship or anytime before the event over e-mail. We will meet near the piano in the social hall right after church on October 12th before heading over in car groups to St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church for the walk. The walk begins at 1pm. There may be some sort of food for participants, but bring a bag lunch just in case.

October 19th We will not be holding Youth Programs due to MEA weekend.

October 26th Youth Group Corn Maze Trip


Thursday, September 25, 2014

This Weekend and a Couple of Mark Your Calendar Events

Hey Folks:

This Sunday we have...

9:30-10:30am Explorer's Class (6th-8th Grade)

5:00-7:00pm Youth Group (6th-12th Grade)

8th Graders....A letter should be on its way to your house giving details about this year's confirmation program. Contact me if you haven't received anything by next week.

2015 Mission Trip....We are going to New Jersey to help with Superstorm Sandy Relief June 13-21st. If this sounds like your kind of thing, there is a parent and youth mission trip meeting at 7pm October 5 (after youth group). Should be a 30-45 minute meeting.



Thursday, September 18, 2014

This Sunday... Big Stuff

Hey Folks:

Here's the schedule....

9:15am people who went on the 2014 mission trip meet in the sanctuary to prep for the 9:30am adult forum

9:30am Explorer's Class for grades 6-8

9:30am 2014 Mission Trippers lead Adult Forum

10:15am 2014 Mission Trippers meet in Sanctuary to prep for the Mission Trip Service. If you did not submit something for the booklet there is still a part for you.

5:00-7:00pm Youth Group for Junior and Senior High

We look forward to seeing everyone at something on Sunday!


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Mission Poll: Immediate Attention Required

At the Fall Youth Retreat we discussed our options for the mission trip this year. The one plan that was brought to the group was to work with the Presbyterian Disaster Association in New Jersey for Superstorm Sandy Relief. A host church had been identified as has an organization that will provide work for us to do. 

See more details at

While the majority of the youth present supported the plan, several of the youth were missing and we want to give an opportunity for all to be heard. This poll will be here on the blog, on the youth Facebook page, and circulated through Ed's email list.

Please answer the following by Friday, September 19:

1. If you are planning in participating in the mission trip, do you vote in favor of the Superstorm Sandy relief trip?

2. Which week is more favorable for you: June 13-June 21 or June 20-28?

3. If you wish to participate in the mission trip but are not in favor of the Superstorm Sandy relief trip, are you willing to provide an alternative option by Friday? Helpful details would include lodging, work details, and cost.

Respond to Erica at

Thanks for you attention to this matter:

Tom, Avery, and Erica

On time arrival from the fall retreat

We are on the way back to St. Paul and expect to arrive between 11:45 and noon at the church. Good weather, good community, good weekend. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Youth Events This Weekend

Hi All:

This weekend, because of the youth retreat there will be no Explorers Class or Youth Group.

Next Weekend: Mission Trip Worship Service at 10:45am! We are also leading the adult forum at 9:30am. By the end of this weekend you will have your part for the service. If you are not coming on the retreat, contact me so that we can make sure your voice is heard in the service.



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Retreat Update

Hey All:

The mission trip is right around the corner...

1. Bus boards at 5:30, not 5:00. That was my mistake, sorry. Remember to eat dinner before heading over.

2. Forms and packing list are available on the MPUC website.

And, very important...

Please email me if you are attending and haven't submitted forms or otherwise notified me...we need a head count

My email is:

While on the retreat youth can be reached on my cellphone # which is 612-716-3150.

Looking forward to a great weekend!



Thursday, September 4, 2014

Rally Sunday!

Some reminders for this coming Sunday (the 7th):

There will be Explorers at 9:30am for 6-8th graders

Youth Choir is on hold until October after the new music director is in place.

Youth Group (6th-12th grade) meets 5-7pm

Forms for the Fall Retreat  (September 12-14) will be available Sunday Morning. Please bring them to youth group along with payment (cost is $125.00). Ed has also sent form to folks for whom he has an email address. If you did not receive one and would like to have one emailed to you, email me at

Good news! We have a full adult team for the retreat. Thank you to all who volunteered.

We look forward to seeing everyone on Sunday!


Monday, August 11, 2014

Save the Date(s)!

Hey Folks:

It getting to be that time! Please put the following dates on your calendar....

Sunday September 7, 5:00-7:00pm: Youth Group is back! (6-12th grade)

Friday September 12 at 5:30pm to Sunday September 14 at 12:15pm: The Fall Retreat at Pilgrim Point (6th-12th Grade)

Sunday September 21 at 9:30am 2014 Mission Trip Youth lead Adult Ed and then the Mission Trip Worship Service at 10:30am

p.s., we need a techie for getting pictures together for the slideshow and making that happening. Let me know if you are that person.

Sarah and I are both looking forward to a great year with all of you.



Sunday, June 15, 2014

Last Pictures from Norm

I have uploaded the last of my pictures from our morning at Second Harvest to the picture site (link to the right). We sorted and boxed up drinks and then got a tour of the facility. When they rebuilt, they added extra space to their frig and freezer and they rent the space to other organizations (as a matter of fact, one of their refrigerators is completely used by a wine distributor.)  The rental income from these coolers completely pays their mortgage expenses.

Arrival at church

We are cruising through Iowa with most of the bus sound asleep. If folks stay asleep we will arrive at church at about 7:30. We might take a short stretch break, which would put us closer to 8:00. 

See you at church. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Catching up on the bus - part 2

With yesterday afternoon free, a small group of us ventured to the Louisiana State Museum (Presbytere) to visit the exhibit "Living with hurricanes: Katrina and beyond."  After spending the week contemplating the impact of the storm nine years ago, listening to stories about community and cultural rejuvenation, and observing both progress and dormancy it was sobering to experience this exhibit.  One room was a hodgepodge of oral histories, covering everything from everyday heroes in the community, to search and rescue teams, experiences at the Superdome, and stories about futile attempts at evacuation.  Another covered the engineering of the levee system and my camera cannot do justice to the wall-sized computer graphic of the map of New Orleans that showed a timed progression of the levees breaking and subsequent flooding across the area.

I learned about the "Dutch Dialogues," a collaboration between Dutch urban planners/designers, engineers, landscape architects and hydrology experts and their Louisiana counterparts around the idea of "living with water" in a planful way.  If you are interested, visit this website:

The images I'll share remind me of both the devastation (some that is still present) and the rebirth of a great city, one that gets serious when it needs to, but also knows how to NOT take itself too seriously...

This is the side of a house, marked by FEMA after searching the interior.  It indicates the state of the "hazards" inside and if anyone (or any pet - seen here) was found alive or dead.  Several uninhabited structures throughout the city still bear these marks.

These are costumes made out of the blue tarps that covered the roofs of the city after Katrina.  Initially designed for a fundraiser, the "Blue Tarp Costume Fashion Show" held in January, 2006 - these were later donned at Mardis Gras.

Arrival Update

We are making good time on the road home. Really good. It appears we'll be back at MPUC at 7:30am, but stay tuned for updates.

If you know of any parents not reading the blog please pass this along.


What a wonderful experience my first year as a MPUC mission trip chaperone (facilitator, Lee!) has been. I am so proud of this group of youth. I wish upon our return we had the time for us to share with each family what thoughtful, engaged children they have brought into the world -- but I'm pretty sure your tired, grimy kids will want to get right home. So here are some of the traits they've exhibited that I think have made this trip so easy and enjoyable:

Abram: His own man; wry sense of humor; keen observer of those around him.
Lydia: Mature beyond her years; quiet strength -- though I suspect she's less quiet when adults new to the trip aren't around!
Kira: Joie de vivre; loves her family; self-aware and open to learning more.
Amelia: Dancer par excellence who brings joy and energy to those around her.
Paul: Such a thoughtful, kind and talented young man who is trusted by all.
Alec: Our own "Macklemore" with Mamie's faux fur coat, but a young man who brings warmth to any room he's in.
Danny: A hard-working, intense young man blessed with an irreverent sense of silly.
Dani: Holds a wealth of knowledge and the capacity to do so much good in our world.
Lisa: Who doesn't want to be around Lisa? She makes everyone feel like she's their best friend.
Cecelia: It feels like Cecelia has been here always; the group will deeply miss our exchange students.
Nick: He's wrong. He IS a terrific public speaker -- and his observations are worth hearing.
Ryan: I'm not a huge sports fan, but Ryan makes me want to be. Yet he is so much more than that.
Devin: Cares so much about his friends and they know it.
Julia: Wow. To know so much and be so open-minded at such a young age. Can't wait to see what she does with her life.
Lian: I will be reading whatever she writes as an author, because I know she will capture insights unseen by others.
Avery: Her mature, thoughtful observations come when least expected and add a great deal to any conversation. 
Maddy: Leads by example and people want to follow.
Mattie: So deeply conscious of her/our impact on the universe.
Edmund: A creative soul who can make others laugh while also laughing at himself.
Sam: That sparkle in his eye is both love and mischief -- critical additions to any strong team!
Allison: Maturity beyond her years; a solid and reliable team member.
Jimmy: The group felt complete once he arrived.
Ben: Or should I say, "Bane?" What impression can't he do? And what fun he is to be around.
Erika: Everyone looks forward to her being co-chair next year.
Hannah: Nick's "third parent," is what I hear. (And I thought she was just his sister.)
Simon: (Full disclosure -- my son) Watching him learn about the world is one of my greatest pleasures.

That's 26. Everyone accounted for. (Wait a sec! Where's Edmund?) Thank you for allowing me to be part of your world for just a week, kids. It was my distinct pleasure.  ....JulieSB

Catching up on the bus - part 1

The bus ride home is a time for reflection and I realize that there have been some moments missing from our journey.  First, a big shout out to our Cody, WY partners in the RHINO experience.  Their steady presence kept the momentum going at the St. Bernard Project.  And second, it was great to meet and work with Gerald who lived across the street from the SBP house and came to offer a hand almost daily.  A true community project.  Here are some pictures from Thursday's demo experience:

Lydia working like a fiend on the walls and ceiling in the kitchen (watch out below, Ben!)

Ben clearing out the kitchen

Mattie on clean up duty

Daniela prying up tile

Cody, Gerald and "Group Square" waiting patiently for the dumpster...

Friday, June 13, 2014

Hello y'all,
     I'm sorry I've been radio silent. I've planned on blogging every single night this week, and every night I've been too emotional to write anything. As luck would have it that made it so that I had to blog on the night of prayer partners. I've been crying for almost an hour now.  This has been an extremely emotional and meaningful trip. We came into it knowing that we would be doing much different work, expanding our horizons, and that hasn't exactly pleased some people. I think that every single person has a valid opinion, whether I agreed with them or not, and it was so inspiring to hear all of their extremely thoughtful insights. I personally have found this trip to be full of growth and challenges. I had never worked with developmentally disabled people before, and I had a wonderful and challenging experience. Though when pulling weeds in a community garden I had a hard time seeing my impact on those hurt by Katrina, I leave this trip with a new understanding of what community means and why it's so important. I think for a lot of us it was a shock to realize that swinging a hammer is not all we can do for New Orleans. This week I cleared out a house once owned by Mamie DeJean,including all of her clothes and photos, worked in the CRISP permaculture community garden, the Edible Schoolyard garden, the Magnolia Center, and the Second Harvest food bank. I've built some wonderful friendships (don't let me forget Debbie, Kathy, and Robin, my new friends at the Magnolia Center), done some extremely rewarding mission work, and I think I've learned even more about myself. Those are the reasons I go on the mission trip, and I will be driving home satisfied and extremely melancholy.  This church has given me four fabulous years of love, friendship, and new experiences and I know I will never ever forget it. I have loved co-chairing the last two mission trips, and I thank you all so much for the chance to do so. I think that this year has been my favorite mission trip, and I can tell you with the utmost certainty that I love every single person on this trip. Even Lydia. These are wonderful people who are going to do wonderful things, and I am so glad to know all of them. I can't wait to hear about their mission trip next year, and I wish so much I could go with them. This has been a year of a lot of extreme changes, and this is one of the most painful. Goodbye New Orleans, thank you for letting me see even more about you, and good bye youth group. You have been a wonderful constant in my life and I will miss this all so very much. Thanks,
Julia Schafer
P.s: Lily and Daddy: We all say hi, and we miss you both very much. Me especially. I can't wait to come home and see you all. Love you lots.

Devins attempt at blogging

I think for this attempt at blogging, I'm going to list the things that have happened to me because of stupidity this week. Im going to start out with my stupidity to agree to eat extremely spicy salsa on the first day we got to New Orleans. It was not that bad until I walked outside the shop and realized I was only paying attention to my mouth. It is in this mindset that one would be considering jumping into the Mississippi to relieve the pain. Luckily, Alec and Ryan, who had given me the idea to eat the salsa knew what was better for me and took my insalsacated self to a gelato shop. At the time, my whole mouth was numb so the gelato essentially saved my mouth and allowed me to speak properly again. On the bright side, I now know never to do that again so it was a learning experience. The other really incident that really stood out was tom managing to hit me in the jaw with a thrown soda can. At the food bank, Tom had the bright idea of throwing everything on the sorting conveyer belt. This did not work out well as Tom really can not throw anything well. As I bent down to pick up one of Tom's missed throws, his next throw caught me in the jaw. As a disclaimer at the end of this, these were the worst tings that happened to me on this trip so the rest of the trip was generally amazing. 
I got a swell (fake) fur coat this week! Julia gave it to me because she is the best. Ever. It was a great time.
-Alec Lane

Second harvest numbers

The good news is: 2 and 1/2 tons of drinks sorted for distribution. 
The bad news is: lots of sugary sodas and juices. 

A wonderful dinner last night

Last Evening, we were treated to dinner by the Ellis family from the St. Charles Presbyterian Church. And, .... they had a pool.  Wonderful food, lots of fun and great company. (Some pictures, including a group shot of us dressed up are included at the link on the right.)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

An Overheard Conversation

Today at the Magnolia Community Center, Tom, Devin and I (Amelia) overheard nurses talking about Hurricane Katrina. There was total chaos; with police and normal people breaking into homes and robbing them. I found out that work places understated the threat of Katrina so workers would stay and work. I found this crazy; with some offices even threatening the loss of a job if people fled. From being from MN, I never thought about how something so catastrophic could tear down the systems that run our lives, leaving only pure anarchy. Over all I was impressed with the peoples will to survive and help other forms of life by putting food out for homeless dogs and cats. Even when our system fails, the care and love we feel for each other never falter.
Just some thoughts,

Dance Party

Today we had a major dance party at Magnolia Community Center. It was amazing! All the people   there got really into it and they seemed to enjoy dancing a lot. We created these big circles , where we were holding  hands and dancing together.  We involved everybody and danced to different songs.
Afterwards we got to talk with people in the different working rooms. It was a great experience.

Die letzten zwei Tage im Magnolia Haus waren klasse. Vor allem das Tanzen hat viel Spass gemacht und ich konnte die Freude auf den Gesichtern der Behinderten sehen. Ein rundum perfekter Tag geht zu Ende.

Jeg hadde det utrolig kult i dag. Det var fantastisk å møte disse utrolige menneskene! Jeg lærte så mye fra dem! Det var definitivt en fabelaktig opplevelse! Jeg håper på å ta med meg dette videre i livet og forhåpentligvis jobbe med utviklingshemmede hjemme i Norge. TUSEN TAKK!!!

 - Lisa and Cecilia


So today my group was assigned to the demolition crew preparing the house for nxt week's group to fix up. At first I thought "Yay, I get to smash stuff!" but as time went on, I changed my mind, and started to think "Ugh, I have to break down this wall too?" Although I did get to know some of the people from the Wyoming group pretty well. While the work ended up being much more difficult then I had expected, was still fun. (also, I got to complete my dream of smashing stuff with a crowbar) Anyway, the "gentlemen" in the group won't stop making farting noises, so I must go.

TTFN, Ta Ta For Now
                   -Abram D.

From a distance...

Sometimes the distance
gives me clarity, while hope
centers my service

These are the lines that emerged for me after witnessing a profound, diverse, heartfelt and respectful conversation tonight. A youth-led emotional release.  A discussion about distance in space and time, what is service, how do we take our experience back to our local environment, how do we "restore hope" in the small ways and recognize growth in ourselves by shifting out of our comfort zones, how do we witness tragedy and inequity yet find the strength to get up every day and greet the morning and, maybe, one day make a stand...

Who said Wednesdays were for meltdowns?  Clearly Wednesday is for renewal and regrouping...can't wait to see what the next 2 days will bring!

Edible Schoolyard

Magnolia Community Services

CRISP (Community Research Into Sustainable Permaculture)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The satisfaction of destruction.

Lots of walls down. Lots of clean up to go. Waiting for an empty dumpster. 

First out in the morning.

A group of us (turquoise) are already on the road to the Gentilly area of New Orleans for demolition. Yesterday a group cleaned the house by hailing a dumpster full of 9 year old stuff out. Today we start taking down the interior walls. The other 3 groups of youth are just heading to breakfast. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Big First Day of Work

As has been clearly explained, today was big.

Not only did we do so much, but we felt so much. The first thing we felt was tired. Knocks on the door at 5:45 meant groans and hurries to get ready. We started the day at the St. Bernard Project headquarters where we were explained the importance of the work we are doing, and the scope of SBP's role in the Katrina recovery. We all shipped off to our respective work sites. For me it was a large garden at a charter school where we pulled weeds for four hours and restored peace to a few rows of vegetables. We ate lunch and bussed over to the Magnolia center for developmentally disabled adults. This was a very new experience for me and a huge step out of my comfort zone. I wanted to be friendly and offer my companionship, while trying very hard not to be condescending because I know how it feels to be on the other end of that. The ice was broken and a few of us worked with some of the adults using paint and stamps to make wrapping paper. There were a lot of great characters at Magnolia and I look forward to hopefully seeing them again tomorrow. At the end of the day (as has been extensively covered) we took the prayer tour. Now while you might be sick of hearing about it, i would like to give my perspective on the tour. We essentially drove around the city and stopped at a few different places that are integral in the Katrina story and the New Orleans experience. First we stopped at the Superdome, where thousands sought refuge in the aftermath of the storm. While it was explained that the dome and the team became beacons of hope after Katrina I felt completely separated from the emotions that the place evoked for the locals. Next we stopped at the place where the levee broke on the lower 9th ward. This was extraordinary, and as I remarked, it was probably the most important wall I have ever seen. This stop and the driving around in the lower 9th gave me insight on the impact that Katrina truly had and how much still had to be done. I thought I knew before we left that there was more to be done, but it was nothing like actually seeing it. Throughout the tour I had one of the longest deep conversations of my life with Paul about what we were seeing, and what impact we had on it. Our final stop, as you have heard the most about. Was at St. Anne's Episcopal church, where right out front they had a wall, with a list of all of the people that had been murdered in New Orleans since 2007 I believe. Each year encompassed four long columns of names, dates, ages, and causes. It was horrible, truly horrible. You saw: 32 shot. 58 shot. 0 shot. 2 abuse. In addition to the printed out walls there was a cardboard wall for this year, 2014. It was the first thing I saw and it literally took my breath away. It was so long, and the realization that we are not even halfway into the 6th month of the year. Four or five people died two days ago. That was emotional for me. And I agree with Lian. I can't possibly understand, but for me just knowing was enough to make me cry. Knowing that this happened, was happening. Kids losing parents, parents losing their kids. Once we got back on the bus I wrote a poem in my head:

It is Tuesday, June 10th, 2014
And on the wall at St. Anne's
There are 72 names
I wear my tears on my face
For those 72
On the wall at St. Anne's

Sending lots of love back home,

Some Thoughts

There are some instances where words can describe nothing. All the same, I'll try.
At St. Anna's Episcopal Church in New Orleans, there is a list of all the murder victims in New Orleans. Which sounds, when I put it here, almost ordinary. Right? We see that kind of thing in the newspaper, or on the news. People die. Crime exists. It's normal.
I can't really explain why that list impacted me so much. Just-- try to get a picture in your head.
There's a tall piece of what seems to be white cardboard, stretching up the wall of an oldish church. The list is handwritten in black ink: date, name, age, cause of death. The causes vary: beaten, abused, strangled, shot... but mostly shot.
To be honest, my first thought when I saw the list was, 'from what we were told, I figured there would be more names.' I thought that-- and felt bad for doing so-- and then I noticed something toward the top of the wall. In bold black letters was written 2014.
There must have been at least 60 names there, people killed in the last six months alone. I remember just standing there, staring at the names. I tried to say each one in my head, as if saying their names might accomplish anything at all. I noticed that four of them died two days ago. My brother's birthday, incidentally.
Normally when I write, there's this vague little voice at the back of my mind that is essentially responsible for the quality of my work. You could call it self-doubt. It tells me to do better, think harder, it judges the quality and the voice. Only as I write this now, I have shut that voice away. It just doesn't matter. Sitting here, I can't wrap my mind around the fact that while I was living through my last few months of high school, choosing a college and studying for AP tests, people were dying.
And I knew. I knew that there was crime, I knew about income disparity, about racism. But I thought about it only in passing. Crime didn't touch my life, so I didn't care, and thus the unsolvable problem goes unsolved.
I didn't cry, standing there in the humid evening air. Not because I didn't feel anything, but because I didn't understand. What right do I have to cry over a name when I know nothing about the life behind it? The name is not the person, after all. All I really learned about those lives were their length. On just the 2014 list, it spanned from an unborn baby to a fifty-two-year-old man.
When we got back on the bus, Julie Brown said something that very distinctly stuck in my mind. She asked us to think about the race of most of the people who had been murdered. She also asked: if that many white people were killed, wouldn't, honestly, something more have been done?
I don't really have a conclusion here. I just want you to understand how little we know about the world around us. Our lives seem so important-- lives, and comfort, and wealth. But in reality, there is work to be done on this planet. So if you have a chance to do that work, then do it. And if you don't have a chance, make one.

I don't mean to sound all negative. This trip has been great so far, and I like the work. It's just that I feel really uncomfortable with how privileged I am.

-Lian Simmer

We are here for a reason-- the chronicles of Tuesday

Today was... full. In the morning, I weeded school vegetable gardens and I experienced the burn of a fire ant bite. In the afternoon I interacted with residents at the mental disabilities center. I had a lot of fun playing an expert version of the Memory Toy Story 3 game. I and other members of my group were the recipients of many loving affectionate hugs, kisses, and marriage proposals from members of all ages. After dinner we went on a really moving "prayer tour." We took our giant tour bus through impossibly narrow streets looking at the different areas affected by the storm. Later, we went to see the "Murder Wall" in the city which listed all the victims of killings in the area since 2007. This was heartbreaking in so many ways. At the bottom of the list, there was a listing of a 23 year old woman and her unborn child who were killed only 2 days ago. New Orleans and the surrounding area has one of the highest murder rates in the country. I am sure other people will talk more in depth about the staggering facts on the wall so I will move on. I talked for a long time with Tom about why we were here and what we were actually accomplishing. Sometimes being here feels useless but it never is. We might not do much while we are here and it might not last long or make a difference but it's important and I am lucky to have the opportunity to come. We learn if nothing else. We hear peoples' stories and we tell those stories and we spread the things we learn while being here. The truth is, there is still massive work to be done to restore the city to the way it was. And we can tell people about it, we can remind them of this disaster and maybe keep the support alive for a little bit longer and a little bit longer. Seeing the damage of both the city and the community is really powerful for me because it helps me connect the dots from what I am doing and what is being done. It helps me feel like I am helping. Even small and potentially insignificantly, I am helping. And this will hopefully help me make these connections between awareness and action in other parts of my life and changes that I choose to fight for. If I can learn to see as well as make real changes, I will be able to make a difference that is perhaps not so small someday.

Goodnight and sweet dreams!

--Daniela Tiedemann

Picture Link available on the right

I have added a link to the right side of the blog to an separate photo storage site. Click on this link to see photos from:
  • A few from the bus and common room
  • First work day at "Edible School Yard" a school garden program (pictures by Daniela)
  • First work day at CRISP (Community Research into Sustainable Permaculture)

Parkway Partners: Crisp Farms

Natural gardening: no pesticides, no fertilizer, companion planting, community garden in the city, sustainable permaculture, "soil without life is just dirt," and Danny with a machete.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Day Two in NOLA

No cockroach sightings yet, however we stay on guard. Today we saw Laura Plantation, where we were exposed to the rich history of the Creole people, and the reality of the slaves on the plantation. We took a walking tour from a sassy New Orleans native, who was a descendant of a plantation owner herself. We also were lead on a tour of the places where Katrina hit hardest by the knowledgeable Norm and Nicole. When we got back, we met the rambunctious RHINO staff. We ate some red beans and rice and got to chat with the compassionate Cody, Wyoming group. Then we did some singing and sermons with awesome Ashley and Andy. We wrapped up our day with a pick-up game of pool basketball and some games. Now we look forward to beginning our work with Camp RHINO tomorrow morning.
     See ya! -Kira and Maddy
P.S. Shoutout to Team Uno.
P.P.S. Shoutout to Team Turquoise.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Day One in NOLA

We emerged from the buses, tired and disoriented, into the hot and humid weather. We've taken over 2 floors of Tulane's Willow dorms. Some people swam, while others played games. We're excited to see the French Quarter tonight, and get to work on Tuesday! Kira's scared of cockroaches. We'll keep you updated!
-Maddy and Kira

Getting there is half the journey...

...assigning rooms is the half. The co-chairs at work...

Morning in Mississippi

Slowly waking. Most of the youth slept well. Anyone taller than about 5' and older than 30 slept for 20 minutes at a time in every possible uncomfortable position. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Picnic in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa (thanks for the food, folks)

Last year was hot and buggy. This year, not so much. Nice break from the bus, though.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Last Minute Great News

Just got the word...
No Pillows or sleeping bags required! Tulane is providing everything. Now you have more room in your luggage.

Bring a towel though.

We're Heading Out...

Hey Folks:

It's almost that time. Tomorrow the bus arrives at 12:30pm at the O'Shaughnessy parking lot at Saint Kate's. Get there by 12:45pm at the latest so we can pack up for a 1:00pm departure.

Bring any forms and payments not yet handed in, everything you need for a week on the road, and food for the picnic Saturday evening. (And make sure you've completed the online form, see below)

If you have any last minute questions, contact me at 612-716-3150.

Thanks to the co-chairs and adult and youth members of the committee for putting this trip together and to the congregation for making it possible!



Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Mission Trip Update

Hey Folks:

About half of us still need to fill out the St. Bernard's online form. See my previous post for information and link. This needs to be done ASAP.



Friday, May 30, 2014

One More "To Do" To Get Done

Hi Folks:

Just received an email that the online work form and waiver that the Saint Bernard Project (the people working with Camp RHINO) is available to be filled out. So let's get it done!

Go to....

....and fill in "Camp RHINO-St. Paul, MN" as the group name.

Looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow.



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Mission Trip...Details Emerging

Hey Folks,

Here is the latest on the picnic, commissioning service, and departure.

Saturday May 31, 2014 at 12:00pm

From Maddy Frawley, co-chair of the committee...

For the picnic (this saturday at 12) my family is providing the main dish. If everyone else could bring a salad or other side dish or dessert that would be great. Last year we did't have very much food so make sure you bring enough to feed a lot of people and make sure you all bring something! Thanks! 


Sunday June 1, 2014

 1. At 9:30am worship we will have the Mission Trip Commissioning. It would be good to have all of the youth and adults there. Maddy and Julia will you put this on Facebook? I'll get it on the blog along with a reminder about the picnic.

2. After the service we will be selling the remaining coffee and tea and greeting folks. All hands on deck!

Saturday June 7

1. Because of the Macalester College reunion, the bus will be boarding at St. Kate's for a 1:00pm departure. Get there starting at 12:30pm so we can load up for a timely exit. Once St. Kate's determines where they want us, I'll post the information.



Thursday, May 22, 2014

Last day of school

Apparently the procedure for getting an excused absence for June 9th (the last official day for SPPS students), is to call your school office and let them know. While there are some finals scheduled for that day on the public school calendar, the Central office people said teachers are likely to give finals during the last full week, since their grades have to be posted by the 9th. 

Anne Bushnell

Friday, May 16, 2014

Youth Happenings, May 18, 2014

Hi, all!

School's out in less than month, birds are singing, leaves are bursting out of their buds, and if you can believe it, we've reached the end of our program year! To celebrate, we will be holding our end of the year potluck picnic on Sunday. If you haven't already, click here, to sign up for which dish you will be bringing. We have takers on sandwich bread, but no sandwich fillings or beverages if you are looking for the most needed items.

Additionally, it will be Sunday as usual (for the last time until fall) prior to the picnic, so here's what to expect:

9:00     Early Worship
9:00     Youth Choir
9:30      Explorers
9:30      Chapel Choir
10:45    Late Worship

See you Sunday!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Important Mission Trip Update

Come Sunday for the last youth fellowship of the season. It is a potluck picnic (sign up for food on previous post) and then running around on Mac Commons.
Very Important: You will also receive an envelope containing:
1. Your bill for the mission trip
2. Camp Rhino forms
3. MPUC forms

Checks and forms are due at the Mission Trip picnic on May 31 at 12pm at the Frawley residence (1780 Lincoln Avenue).

Friday, May 9, 2014

Youth Happenings, May 11, 2014

Hi All,

Happy Mother's Day weekend! It's hard to believe, but we are down to our last two weeks of youth programs for the school year! Here's what to expect for Sunday:

9:00 Early Worship
9:00 Youth Choir
9:30 Explorers
9:30 Chapel Choir
10:45 Late Worship

No youth group this week, but looking ahead to May 18th, we will be having our end of the year picnic directly following church. Like the Christmas party, this will be pot luck style, so sign up on the Google Doc here to let me know what you will be bringing. If you have any questions, e-mail me at, otherwise I look forward to seeing you at our year-end shebang!


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Youth Happenings, Sunday, May 4, 2014

Hi All,

Short and sweet for this Sunday.

9:00 Early Worship
9:00 Youth Choir
9:30 Explorers
9:30 Chapel Choir
10:45 Late Worship

There will be no youth group this Sunday due to the Feed My Starving Children postponement or next week, May 11th, for Mother's Day. Stay tuned for more come on our exciting last youth group of the school year...

Thursday, April 24, 2014

This Weekend...and Beyond!

Hey Folks:

First off, we have the overnight on Friday. See details in my previous post, but show up at 7pm, bring snacks and music. If someone has the stuff we need to play iPods through speakers, please bring it. We are aiming for a 10am finish on Saturday.

This Sunday
9:00am early service
9:00am youth choir
9:30am Explorers class
9:30am chapel choir
10:45am late service

Scone sales after church!

5:00pm Youth Group

Coming Up

Next Saturday: Feed My Starving Children is postponed until a later date to be determined.

Next Sunday: No youth group.

That's all for now. Peace,


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Big Reminder for Mission Trippers

This Friday, April 25th, is the bread bake overnight. Mark it on your calendars and be there at 7pm. We have a special guest at 7:30 that we want to be in place for.

What's going on? Most like we'll be prepping ingredients for scones that will be baked and sold on Sunday after the service. There'll be other activities to prepare us for the mission trip itself.

I've reserved the church until noon, but we'll likely finish around 10am on Saturday after breakfast and clean up.

I'm looking forward to seeing all of you!



Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Easter!

No Youth Activities Sunday

Friday, April 11, 2014

Youth Happenings Sunday, April 13, 2014 and Beyond

Hi All!

Hope you had a restful spring break! Now we're back to the grind and back to our usual youth schedule... at least for a week.

Here's what to expect for Sunday:

9:00am Early Worship
9:00am Youth Choir
9:30am Chapel Choir
9:30am Explorers or Adult Forum
10:45am Late Worship
5-7pm Youth Fellowship (Mandatory Mission Trip Meeting for senior high. Junior high with me, Sarah, for The Sandwich Project. We will be assembling 150 simple sandwiches to be sent to area shelters.)

ALSO, Mark your calendars! SATURDAY, MAY 3rd, we will be headed up to Coon Rapids to serve and assemble meals at Feed My Starving Children from 11:30am-1:30pm. I need to submit participant names in advance, so if you think you will be going, come prepared to sign up at youth group this week. If you are a parent and can either drive or volunteer at FMSC, please e-mail me at ASAP. If we fill all our available spots, we will need three additional adults besides myself to volunteer at the site.

Thanks! See you in Church,

Friday, April 4, 2014

Youth Happenings Sunday April 6, 2014 and Mark Your Calendars!

Hey Folks:

We're still on our Spring Break schedule, though today hardly looks like Spring!

This Sunday the schedule is:

9:00am Early Worship
9:00am Youth Choir
9:30am Chapel Choir
9:30am Explorers or Adult Forum
10:45am Late Worship

No Youth Group today but....

Next Sunday, April 13, Mandatory Mission Trip Meeting for Youth. We will be doing silent auction follow up and start talking plans for the trip. Junior High will be with Sarah.



Friday, March 28, 2014

Youth Happenings Sunday March 30, 2014

Happy Spring Break! (to all those following the SPPS schedule)

No youth group this week, but here's what else is up.

9:00am Early Worship
9:00am Youth Choir
9:30am Explorers or Adult Ed
9:30am Chapel Choir
10:45am Late Worship

Friday, March 21, 2014

Youth Happenings Sunday March 23, 2014

Big Day!

Sunday is the last day of the Silent Auction and, mission trippers, let's end this strong. First, by showing up. Second, by going to the Facebook page and signing up to be a raffle ticket seller (2 needed) or a big poster (4 needed). The whole thing will wrap up around 12:30pm. While you are there be sure to Thank Laura and the other adults working on this huge part of our fundraising efforts.

What else?
9:00am Early Worship
9:00am Youth Choir
9:30am Explorers or Adult Ed
9:30am Chapel Choir
10:45am Late Worship-Confirmation Sunday. Everyone come and support the confirmation students.
12:00pm Silent Auction/Raffle Close

5:00-7:00pm Youth Group. Last week a lot of you were sweating tests and projects, come and take a break. This is our last youth group until April 13!

Seniors! Have you sent me the name of the person who is going to speak for you on Graduation Sunday (May 18)? Do it ASAP.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Youth Happenings March 16, 2014

Hey Folks:

Here's the line-up for this Sunday....

9:00am Early Worship
9:00am Youth Choir
9:30am Explorer's Class
9:30am Chapel Choir
10:45am Late Worship

3:30pm Confirmation...the last one!

5:00pm Youth Group

Looking forward to seeing everyone!



Friday, March 7, 2014

Youth Happenings March 9, 2014

Hey Folks,

We made it through Mardi Gras and lived to tell about it, the unrelenting winter is finally loosening its grasp, and best of all, we finally get to take a breather! This week, as we come together, there will be no talk of fundraisers or the mission trip, no decorating, and no event set up. This is a week to regroup, reconnect, and have fun with a good old game night. Bring games if you have them. There may even be a chance of...Christians and Romans. Yep, you heard that one right .

So, here's how the whole day breaks down:

9:00am Early worship

9:30am Explorers

10:45am Late Worship

5-7pm Youth Fellowship Game Night

See you Sunday!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Note to Mission Trippers

Hey Folks:

Please check the walls of the social hall to make sure your silent auction item is up there. Talk to Laura if you don't see it. There have been a lot of cool things so far, so great job!



Youth Happenings Sunday March 2, 2014

Hey Folks:

Not a lot happening on the youth front this Sunday because of the All Church Retreat.

There is youth choir at 9:00am and chapel choir at 9:30am.

There is no 9:00am worship service, no Explorers class, confirmation or youth group.

Confirmation students...come to Ash Wednesday service at 7:00pm this Wednesday. We will then meet very briefly afterwards as a class and hopefully have you on the road by 8:00pm.

A big thank you to everyone who worked so hard on the Mardi Gras dinner last night. It was a success and that was due to all of the adult and youth who planned and worked it. I've already received an email asking me to pass on a good review to all of you.

Let's see if we can do the same with the silent auction!

Thank you to congregation members who supported the effort by attending, promoting, and bringing friends. We saw a lot of new faces and have a couple of youth who do not attend MPUC express an interest in joining the trip next year.



Friday, February 21, 2014

Youth Happenings Sunday, February 23, 2014

After a long stretch of funny scheduling, we will finally be back to our normal youth activity times. Here's what to expect for this week.

9:00am Early Worship

9:00am Youth Choir

9:30am Chapel Choir

9:30am Explorers

10:45am Late Worship

5-7pm Youth Fellowship (Junior high will be with Ed. Senior high will work on decorations for the Mardi Gras dinner. Many hands are needed!)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Youth Happenings Sunday, February 16, 2014

Here's what is happening this week. Things are still a little different, so please pay close attention!

9:00am Early Worship

9:00am Youth Choir

9:30 Chapel Choir

9:30 Explorers

10:45 Late Worship

12:00pm Adult mission trip leaders meeting in Tom's office

3:00pm Mission trip participants meet for ticket sales. We should be done by 5pm with dinner at the Italian Pie Shoppe to follow. If interested in coming to dinner, please bring $5.00

Please note there will be no regularly scheduled youth fellowship or confirmation this Sunday.

Confirmation Students: Remember to arrive by 6:45, Thursday, February 20th to meet with session. We should be done by 7:30pm. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Silent Auction Update!

Hi all – just a reminder to all youth that I need your silent auction donation info ASAP. I am going to start hanging the fliers in the social hall this week. And please note, if you are donating something you have made, knit hats, fleece blanket, jewelry, etc., please bring the items to church as soon as you can. We put them out to display each week that we take bids. I can also pick up from your house if that is easier. You can call me at 651-210-8956.

And, parents, if you have anything you would like to donate, great! Just let me know.

Any donations from local businesses, please let me know about those as soon as you can.

Laura Donovan

Friday, February 7, 2014

Youth Happenings, Sunday, February 9, 2014

Hey Folks,

Yet another busy Sunday coming up, and with that full day comes another weekend of modified schedules.

Here's what to expect this week:

9:30 - Explorers in Rex Knowles

10:45 Worship

12:00-1:30 Youth Group. There will be lunch in the Plymouth room followed by an in-house service project. We will be putting our muscles to work setting up for Adam's Installation Service.

1:30-2:30 Confirmation

3:00 Adam's Installation service.

See you Sunday!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Youth Happenings This Sunday...Some are Mandatory!

Hey Folks:

The next couple of Sundays are going to be a bit different.

This Sunday, Explorers will still be at 9:30. But beyond that, things are as follows:

Youth group is going to be right after church. For senior high it is a mandatory meeting for parents and youth going on the mission trip. We have two major fundraisers to tend to and the adults leading those efforts need all hands on deck at this meeting. The junior high will be with Sarah.

Because there will be a large number of people, we are not asking a family to provide lunch. Instead we will have something very (very) light to help you get through the meeting and home to a proper meal.

Confirmation will be at 1:30pm for eighth graders, they may wish to bring a lunch with them.

So, I look forward to seeing everyone Sunday and I hope you are having a good week.



Friday, January 24, 2014

Hey Mission-Trippers!

Youth, as we move into Silent Auction and Fundraising Dinner time here's an easy assignment for you. Go to this link and sign up for a part in the fundraising dinner....

You may have to do a copy and paste on that. Also mission trip participants and parents, please put February 2nd  6-7pm on your calendars for a fundraising meeting where we will be talking about both of these fundraisers.



Thursday, January 23, 2014

Youth Happenings, Sunday, January 26th

There's a lot going on this Sunday and nothing seems to be at its regularly scheduled time, well except for some things...So, here's the breakdown of the day to help you keep things sorted out and be where you need/want to be when you need/want to be there.

9:30 Explorers at its regularly scheduled time while worship happens upstairs. 

10:30 Annual Meeting. Youth in grades 6-8 are invited to volunteer at the Children's annual meeting or attend the adult one.

11:45-12:15 Pizza in the Plymouth room

12:15 Head over to Mary's Place  

12:30-2:00 Volunteer in the Mary's Place playroom

2:30 Return to MPUC

What's this Mary's Place I speak of? Mary's Place is a transitional shelter on the outskirts of downtown Minneapolis that provides a bed, meets emergency needs and offers a safe place to be a kid to the thousands of homeless men, women, and children that come through its doors each year. Sunday, in lieu of evening fellowship, youth will be volunteering in the on-site, indoor playroom, playing with any children that may be around and in turn helping them feel free to be a carefree kid if just for an hour. We were lucky to get in on such short notice and it will be a great opportunity to both learn about and help meet the needs of the greater community. 

We'd love to have you, but if you can't make it, have no fear. There will be several other service opportunities coming up before the end of the school year. If you do plan on coming, or you are a parent who can help drive, please e-mail Sarah at letting her know you'll be there and how many youth you can take in your car. 


Friday, January 17, 2014

Youth Happenings Sunday January 19, 2014

Due to the holiday weekend, there will be no youth activities (including Explorers) on Sunday.

Parents and mission trippers, please remember the fundraising meeting on Tuesday at 9am in the Plymouth room. Contact Tom with any questions.

If you'd like to reach me, my new church e-mail address is

Sarah Goodall
Youth Coordinator

Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Mistake

The meeting for the fundraiser will be Tuesday at 9, not Monday. Sorry for the confusion.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Rally the Troops Time

Hey Folks:

In order to make the fundraising dinner that Katie is proposing happen we are calling all youth and adults who are available 9am Tuesday for a meeting at church. Adults, if you know you CAN make it plus notify me ASAP. Youth, apparently you don't have school. Let's get this show going.



Important Mission Trip Note from Katie Sterns

Mission Trippers and Mission Trip Parents and Chaperones:

Tom and I have been working to develop a fundraising event to help offset the loss of funding from a previous grant source.  We need to raise an additional $2000.  Here is the concept (please keep in mind that this is a draft and not final!):

Mardi Gras Dinner and Jazz Fundraiser!
Help us help our Mississippi River friends in New Orleans!

Date: Thursday, February 27th, 5-7 pm

Location: church social hall

Stop by for a delicious Cajun meal and jazz! Menu will include: (ideas...tentative) gumbo, jambalaya, red beans and rice, crawfish, beignets, corn, fried okra, sweet tea

Music will be provided by local jazz bands including the Capitol Hill Big Band and (Adam's Dad's band name) Dixieland Band.

Learn about continued rebuilding and restoration projects still happening in New Orleans post Hurricane Katrina.

$15 per person
$10 under age 12
($x per ticket is tax deductible)


Youth and church members will presell tickets to this event. Each youth needs to sell 15 tickets.
If 22 youth sell 15 tickets that is 330 tickets at an average of $13. This will gross $4,290 less costs (still needs to be priced out but will include: food costs, marketing costs, band stipend.)

Next steps:

Leadership Team: We need to convene a group of student leaders and adults to accomplish this effort as soon as possible. Here are the subcommittees/teams we will need:

· Food Planning and Execution (determining menu, pricing suppliers, cook or cater, defining tasks and assigning workers, prep, food line, clean up, etc.)
· Ticket sales (determine ticket sales strategy, train youth and track sales)
· Graphics, Communications and Marketing (ticket and posters design/printing, social media, community calendars, media releases, etc.)
· Dining Service and Hospitality (defining tasks and assigning workers, set up, service, transporting seniors from local senior facilities, etc.)

Please respond back to me asap if you are willing to jump on board with this FUN AND FABULOUS event! If you’ve never worked with me you find that I am intense, creative and love to laugh! If that doesn’t scare you then please consider helping! We really need to divide and conquer so PLEASE see what you can do. I will do the overall management in coordination with a youth leader. We need one adult and one youth leader for the other areas.

Please respond if you can meet Monday or Tuesday of next week during the day preferably to begin work.  (No SPPS Public School on Tuesday).


Katie Sterns

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Youth Happenings Sunday January 13

Hey All, here's what's up:

9:00-9:30am Early Worship
9:30-10:30am Explorers
10:45am Late Worship

3:30-4:45pm Confirmation

5:00-7:00pm Youth Group: Junior High will be with Sarah; Senior will be having a mission trip meeting, required for youth. Not a parent meeting.

The following Sunday, January 20 there are no youth activities because of the holiday weekend.

I look forward to seeing you this Sunday though!



Saturday, January 4, 2014

Change to Sunday's Schedule

Hey Folks:

Because of the temperatures we are expecting to roll in tomorrow evening, youth group is cancelled. We will still have Explorers at 9:30am and Confirmation at 3:30pm.

Also, remember to come support Claire Romey as speaks at the adult forum if you are a senior high person.