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Archive for ◊ September, 2015 ◊

October 4 – Blessing of the Animals

Blessing of the Animals

Sunday, October 4, 11:15am

We will bless the animals at the New Life service this Sunday to honor Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals.  Animals of all religious beliefs, shapes and sizes are welcome to attend with their pet parents.  Please ensure the safety of all pets by leashing dogs, crating cats, caging birds, and bringing other animals in travel appropriate containers.  (Fish should travel in non-breakable bowls.)  You are welcome to bring a photo if your pet cannot make it to the blessing.  Stuffed animals are also welcome!  We acknowledge God as creator of all in heaven and on earth.  We give thanks for the gift of animals of all kinds and the contribution they make to enrich our lives, especially the love of our pets, through which we can sense the love of our gracious God.

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Farnsworth Elementary Weekend Food Kits (aka The Sheridan Story Project)

Last year we formed a partnership with First Covenant Church andSheridan Story Poster Farnsworth Elementary to provide weekend food kits to children in need of supplemental food assistance through the Sheridan Story Project. The Sheridan Story is a non-profit organization that facilitates local hunger partnerships between local schools and congregations. As a facilitator, the Sheridan Story bulk purchases the food, puts together the kits, and distributes them to the local schools. The school and congregation work together to distribute the food kits into enrolled children’s backpacks during the school day on a Friday afternoon with the congregation providing financial assistance to pay for this food.

Last year GA committed with First Covenant to feeding 100 children. 99 children signed up for the program and we fed all of them! We gave out 1,909 bags of food and 7,667 meals for children to eat over the weekend. 1 in 6 children in Minnesota face hunger, especially on the weekends when they do not have regular meals through school for breakfast and lunch. Studies have demonstrated that hungry children have difficulty concentrating in school and focusing on their learning. Our goal as a community is to alleviate their hunger so our neighborhood children can focus on their education.

This year GA has committed to continuing our Sheridan Story partnership with Farnsworth Elementary and First Covenant Church. Our goal is to feed 100 children for the ENTIRE school year. (Last year we began in January rather than September). It costs $130 to feed one child for the school year. That’s $3.71 a week for a child to have a meal. 

Please consider committing to our children and making a donation this September to our Special Concerns giving which is dedicated to the Sheridan Story weekend food kit program and/or on Give to the Max date on Thursday, November 12th. More information will be coming about Give to the Max Day. Please keep your eyes posted.

Could you sponsor a child for a year ($130)? Could you commit to providing 20 meals to a child for a year ($74.20)? Could your family commit to providing 10 meals to a child for a year ($37.10) or even one meal ($3.71)? Every amount that you give to this program makes a substantial difference in the life of a child. Please consider giving this Sunday and/or on Give to the Max Day, Thursday, November 12th.

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Sept. 30 – Stuff-It! Food Collection Drive

Stuff-IT, our annual neighborhood food collection project will take place next Wednesday, Sept. 30.

Last year, GA youth collected 1,386 pounds of food for Merrick Food Shelf at Woodland Hills.

Everyone is invited to support this year’s project by bringing a bag of groceries this Sunday, Sept. 27 or by Wednesday, Sept. 30.  Merrick tells us that our fall collection is the biggest single food drive effort supporting their food shelf.  See this food wish list for most needed foods.

As our congregation we met and surpassed our goal to hand out 1,000 water bottles to State Fair Park & Ride attendees as a sign of our Gateway of Faith hospitality. This month, in support of efforts to address local hunger in our community and as a reflection of our Gateway of Faith value to build authentic Christian relationships, let’s surpass 2014’s food collection amount! Let’s aim for 1,500 pounds of food! 

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Sept. 20 – Bites for Tanzania Scholarships

This Sunday, September 20: Bites for Tanzania Scholarships , 10:00 – 11:15 am Gathering Space

Please join us this Sunday between worship services for this special event to raise money for scholarships for Tanzanian students in our mission partner diocese.

Global Missions will be raising money to cover the cost of 3 students to attend secondary school. Your participation in this fun, free-to-roam eating event will help us meet our goal! Tickets for one bite are 50 cents, 12 tickets are $5, and 25 tickets for $10. The food is delicious and there will be boxes available to take food and treats home so purchase many and fill your plate up!

Thank you for all your support! Let’s eat up and send 3 youth to school!

There are still more spots available for food “sellers” too! So make a favorite dish and bring it on over to participate in our annual Bites for Tanzania! 

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September 13 Traffic Alert!

Traffic Alert – For those members coming to church from the south.  There is a Twin Cities Bike Tour being held on Sunday, September 13 along Wheelock Parkway.  Please be advised that there may be traffic delays coming to church.

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A Prayer for September 11th

Dear Lord, as we remember the evils of September 11th, 2001, let us turn our hearts and minds towards the good found in You;

Be close to those who mourn: the parents who lost children, the children who never knew a parent, and all who lost a loved one;

Embrace this grieving nation, and let time never lessen the impact of this day; may we never forget;

Protect those who go in harm’s way to save others, and those who suffer and die to safeguard our nation;

Give wisdom to our leaders, that they may make choices that prevent another day such as this;

Convert the hearts of those who seek our destruction, and banish from the world the darkness that allows such hate to fester and grow;

Let Your love rain down upon us, and let Your peace flourish on the Earth;

All these things we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, Our Lord.

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God’s Work, Our Hands – Diaper Drive!

God’s Work Our Hands Sunday is coming up on September 13th, and GA is holding a Diaper Drive to benefit the residents of Life Haven, a transitional living program for homeless teenage mothers on the East Side of St. Paul.

We are asking for diapers of any size, but preferably sizes 3, 4, and 5, along with wipes to be brought to GA September 13th-19th. Monetary gifts and gift cards to places like Target and Cub are also welcome.

Please bring your donations of diapers with you to church this Sunday or drop them off throughout the week behind the Welcome Desk. Thank you.

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Sun., Sept. 13 – God’s Work, Our Hands Sunday

This Sunday, September 13: WhoDoYouSayWhoDoYouSay

9:00 am Holy Communion in the Sanctuary 

11:15 am Holy Communion in Luther Hall 

Please note the fall time change for 2nd service

Gospel: Mark 8:27-3

Jesus asks us, “But who do you say that I am?”

Will we confess, like the disciple Peter, that Jesus is the messiah? What does Jesus the messiah mean to and for you? How do you confess Jesus as messiah?

At both services children, youth and teachers are invited forward for a special backpack blessing for the beginning of another school year. 

Between worship services there will be a special congregational meeting in Luther Hall regarding a financial question. 

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Road Closure Notification for Wednesday 9/9

Road Closure Notification for Wednesday 9/9 

Please note that Arcade Street near GA will be closed to traffic on Wednesday 9/9 before, during and immediately after the Clifton funeral service. 

From 8:00am-1:00pm, the eastbound lanes of Larpenteur Ave. will be closed from Arcade St. to Parkway Dr. 

At 12:05pm, Larpenteur Ave. from Arcade St. to I-35E will be closed in both directions long enough for the procession to pass. 

If you will be coming to GA on Wednesday to serve as a greeter, please arrive at church early to locate a parking location. The parking lot will be full as well as all local streets for this service. 

 

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Wed., Sept. 9 – Funeral for SPFD Firefighter

Visitation & Funeral for SPFD Firefighter Shane Clifton

Funeral Wednesday 9/9, 10:00 am – noon 

Our congregation is hosting the visitation and funeral for recently deceased SPFD firefighter and paramedic Shane Clifton on Tuesday 9/8 and Wednesday 9/9.

Over 3,000 people are anticipated for the visitation and funeral, including firefighters and paramedics from across the state and country and local dignitaries, to grieve the sudden death of Mr. Clifton. We are honored as a congregation to provide hospitality to the Clifton family, the St. Paul Fire Department and our St. Paul community at this time.

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