PONDERINGS from PASTOR JULI
I still like to light sparklers on warm summer evenings just as the dusk is giving way to the dark. Like a child, I am fascinated as I watch each sparkler
come to life with one dazzling burst, and then sizzle with sparks until it burns out. I don’t know why that is so interesting to me – maybe because we didn’t
have sparklers much when I was a child. We had cap guns, and roll caps with a little gunpowder in them that made a “popping” sound when the gun’s
hammer struck it. On rare occasions, we would come across sparklers and what a delight they were. They still are and they have stirred my thoughts
The theme of this year’s Northeastern Minnesota Synod Assembly is “Love Ignites Us”.
Bishop Amy Odgren, leading her first Synod Assembly, will preach on this theme using the scripture reading from John 15:9-17. Since I am writing this
Ponderings before the Assembly begins, I can only assume that she’ll focus on two verses in particular:
(vs. 9) “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love” and
(vs. 12) “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
That word “ignite” though, has led me to a different set of verses from 1 John 4:7-12.
“Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not
know God, for God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him.
In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much,
we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.”
God’s love for us is the spark that ignites our love for one another. In the brilliant flash of Jesus – in his incarnation and his resurrection – God’s love sets
our love on fire. We didn’t know the fullness of love until the flame of God’s love ignited love in us – love that is real love – love that is sacrificial, love that
does not count the cost, love that is unconditional, love that is enduring, love that is perfect. From that igniting spark, our lives can sizzle and sparkle with
love toward others. Our love isn’t perfect like God’s love – the sparkler diminishes and eventually burns out. But while it is burning – it is a wonder to
behold. It is a picture of how God intends his love to be shared – in ever-widening circles of light.
Love ignites everything we do as a church – in the ways we reach out to feed the hungry, to care for the earth, to pray for one another, to welcome
strangers, to be advocates to those in need. Love ignites everything we do as a synod – in the ways we support people in our Companion Synods (in
Honduras, Ingria/Russia and India), and provide ministry among those who traverse the waters (Seafarers), and encourage students on our college
campuses (Campus Ministry). Love ignites everything we do as the ELCA – in our efforts to educate new pastors, and to build new churches, to teach our
children and youth and to care for those in need.
God’s love ignites us – and in the brilliant flash of his living love in Jesus, our own love is sparked. Where is your dazzling light needed? Where will your
“sparkler” shine? Where will your love spark love in someone else? “This little light of mine – I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”
Update on Covid Protocols
As the vaccine continues to roll out and more and more of us are fully vaccinated, some of the restrictions and protocols are loosening at church. We
have returned to some congregational responses and some congregational singing. We have not yet returned to coffee hour or some of the other
activities that have regularly taken place at church – but those restrictions and limitations are changing almost weekly. Please watch bulletins and other
announcements for changes as they are determined.
Thank you for your generous giving of time, talents, and tithes:
- we are fully open up to 75% capacity.
- we continue to require the wearing of masks, keeping a physical distance, and hand washing
- we want you to check in at the Welcome Table so we can note your attendance (hymnals and pew pads have not been returned to the pews yet)
- moderate congregational responses and singing are being allowed
- we continue with weekly communion shared in the pews
- we have not returned to offering coffee and treats on Sunday after church
- we have not returned to Sunday School (will resume in the fall)
- we continue to follow the guidance of the Minnesota Department of Health and the CDC which includes required mask wearing and physical distancing – even if you have had the vaccine.
- we continue to monitor the situation and work with our Council/Smart Team to determine the next steps as we return to our new normal.
(Lots of other activities take place, often without notice. If you see something that we should acknowledge with a word of gratitude – let me know!)
Letter from Bergstroms
- Through your Lenten gifts (what you would have given to Soup and Sandwich) we were able to share a gift of $559 with the Food Shelf for fresh fruits and vegetables
- Through your Thrivent “Choice Dollars” our general fund has received $1100 to date.
- Through volunteers led by Larry Rhuby, our portion of the highway was “Cleaned Up” for the summer season – and they were rewarded with delicious caramel rolls from Shirley H.
- Through your generosity, the collected gifts for the Women’s Shelter were gathered and Kay Rocheford delivered those items.
- Through unknown gardeners our flower beds are ready for the growing season.
We received the following letter from Jim & Barb Bergstrom recently:
Hello to All,
Jim and I are doing find in our new home. Time seems to fly by. Jim is getting acquainted with all the medical clinics in the area. We hooked up with Allina and his
new Dr. (a young woman) is sending him around to all the specialists he needs and of course a new Dr. with Mpls. Heart. We have met a few of our neighbors but
because of “Covid” we can’t really socialize.
We went to Florida for a week with our daughters Christ and Desi, was a nice break – we had our covid shots so felt we could travel.
Looking forward to spring weather so we can be out walking and enjoying the sunshine.
Our family is coming here Easter Sunday so that will be a fun time. We miss everyone of you and hope to make a trip up that way this spring or summer. Til then,
Love, Barb & Jim
Congratulations, Pat Whitney
We extend our congregation’s congratulations to Pat Whitney as she was ordained into the Episcopal priesthood on April 3, 2021. Some of you may have
shared in a virtual ordination for her last July as she was ordained into the diaconate (as a deacon). From the very beginning of this journey, Pat has felt a
call to ordination as an Episcopal priest. We are proud of what she has accomplished, by the grace and Spirit of God. Pat & Lyman have recently moved
to Heartwood in Crosby. We know that God will continue to use her gifts in this new community and she will continue to be a blessing as God guides her.
Garrison Area Caregivers Thank You
Our volunteers all thank you for your continuing support of the Garrison Food Shelf.
Without your help we could not continue to serve our community in need. Your support and gift are very appreciated. – Dorothy’s Rainbow-Garrison Area
I am fully vaccinated now and ready to be “out and about”. If you also have been fully vaccinated and would like me to make a personal visit to your home
(to bring communion if you haven’t felt ready to return to church yet), please give me a call. I am happy to make a safe visit to your home now that the
vaccines are available.
Community Day Clean Up, June 5
The Garrison Bay Lake Lions are hosting the annual Community Day Clean Up on Saturday, June 5th
at the VFW parking lot in Garrison from 8 a.m. until
noon. We encourage you to make use of this opportunity when the dumpster comes to you!
The following items will be accepted
Couches and Chairs
Mattresses (dry ones, if possible)
Tires and Bikes
These items will NOT be accepted
No chemicals or paints
Nominal fees will be assessed. If you have any questions, call Mike at 612-282-2537.
Garrison Play Days 25th Anniversary
Garrison Play Days are scheduled for July 16-18. The exact schedule of events has not been released. At the present time Crafters, Artisans, and Food
Vendors are being recruited. The contact person is Darlene Stigen 612-900-8920.
Is there any interest in doing a Rummage Sale? Please let me know. I have one volunteer so far, but cannot proceed without some idea of whether there
is additional interest or help.
Is there any interest in serving Rootbeer Floats? I don’t expect that we will be able to open our building to the public, but we might be able to serve
Do you have other ideas? We are gathering suggestions at this time as we start to plan for how Light of the Cross can participate safely in Play Days!
Share those ideas with Pastor Juli.
Food Shelf Requests
For May: For June:
Coffee (1 lb. container or smaller) Dry Cereal
Hot Chocolate Pudding
Just a little Silliness!
Karen Raddatz passed along these clever teasers!
“Do You Know Your Hymns?”
- Dentist’s Hymn …..Crown Him with Many Crowns
- Weatherman’s Hymn …..There Shall be Showers of Blessings
- Contractor’s Hymn ….. The Church’s One Foundation
- The Tailor’s Hymn….. Holy, Holy, Holy
- The Golfer’s Hymn…..There is a Green Hill Far Away
- The Politician’s Hymn…..Standing on the Promises!
- The Optometrist’s Hymn…..Open My Eyes That I May See
- The IRS Agent’s Hymn…..I Surrender All
- The Gossip’s Hymn…..Pass It On
- The Electrician’s Hymn…..Send the Light
- The Shopper’s Hymn…..Sweet Bye and Bye
- The Realtor’s Hymn…..I’ve Got a Mansion Just Over the Hilltop
- The Massage Therapist’s Hymn…..He Touched Me
- The Doctor’s Hymn…..The Great Physician
And these special hymns are for those who speed on the highway:
- 55 mph ….. God Will Take Care of You
- 75 mph ….. Nearer, My God, to Thee
- 85 mph ….. This World is Not My Home
- 95 mph …. Lord, I’m Coming Home
- 100 mph ….. Precious Memories
Any others come to mind?