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February 2019

There was a Sunday in worship this past month when I quoted author Ann Voscamp in a sermon.
She encourages people to share whatever is good. And I’ve been stuck – completely stuck – on that
phrase since. One can take it in so many directions but because of that word good, they’re all lovely,
uplifting, encouraging directions.
In a lot of ways, this newsletter takes on this role of sharing whatever is good at Red Oak Grove. We
share the good work of ministry through council and WELCA meeting minutes. We share the
information of good events to come. We share the good of thank you notes. We share the
participation of people in worship and coffee hour, both good and wonderful things.
This month, there is much good to share, much good to come. Please take time to read about Lent
which will arrive next month and how you can participate and share in the season. Read about the
organization called Feed My Starving Children and how you can participate in the good they do in the
world. Come be a part of GIFT and share in a meal with friends.
But this newsletter certainly isn’t the only place where whatever is good should be shared. It’s a
phrase that could shift our lives in completely new directions. Exciting, positive directions. Think about
what the church could be like if we shared more good words than complaints. What if we gave more
compliments than critiques, or, at the very least, a healthy balance of both?
When we take part in sharing whatever is good, we take part in God’s work in the world. This is more
than an invitation to ‘be positive.’ It goes deeper than the surface level of words. When we share
whatever is good, that means sharing in forgiveness. Sharing the Lord’s Supper by inviting others to
the table. Sharing the radical good news of Jesus by loving our (different, crabby, other-side-of-the-
aisle, rich, poor, loud, messy, *insert your own description*) neighbor. Share a meal. Share grace.
Share more kindness than might seem necessary.
Get stuck on that phrase. Share whatever is good. And think about how it might shape your days and
how you see the world. Think about how it invites you into the mission of Jesus, a vision of world filled
with love and joy and grace and mercy. And then just do it. Every day. For your sake and the sake of
the people around you. Share whatever is good.
Pastor Lindsay
JANUARY 13, 2019
The meeting was called to order by President, Diane Maxwell. Members in attendance included; Diane
Maxwell, Julie Hoffman, Julie Berg, Marilyn Ulland, Holly Ille, Terry Magnuson, Wendy Trihus, Cathy
Kleinschmidt, Pastor Lindsay and Laura Tjomsland.
Highs and lows were shared by all. Pastor Lindsay opened with a poem.
Introduction to Council and housekeeping details were covered. Members signed up to be Communion
Servers, coffee server’s responsibilities and check for correct name, address, phone number and email
Old Business. Pete Kleinschmidt gave an up-date on the indoor signage project.
New Business. The members decided to hold regular meetings on the 2nd Sunday of the month that would
follow church service. ROG will celebrate 160th anniversary at the end of October. One idea would be to do a
celebration on September 8, 2019, which will be Cowboy Sunday. Feed My Starving Children is a project to
involve the entire Blooming Prairie Community. This will be a “weekend pack” to be held at First Lutheran in
Blooming Prairie. They are seeking donations to make this event possible. A motion was made by Julie H.
and seconded by Wendy to approve a $2,500.00 donation and to have the piggy bank project along with the
donation. The motion carried. (More information to follow).
Pastor Lindsay gave her report. There was a discussion regarding the cost of her health insurance, now that
she will be covered by her husband’s insurance. It is time to begin thinking about Lent, Ash Wednesday, mid-
week service and meals. Visits included; 19 visits, 11 with communion and 1 hospital, also there was one
The Secretary’s Report was given. A motion was made by Marilyn and seconded by Julie B. to approve the
report as presented. The motion carried.

The Treasurer’s Report was given. A motion was made by Laura and seconded by Holly to accept the report
as presented. The motion carried. High lights included an Open Balance of $17,948.30. Income was
$39,610.50. This is THANKS to a very generous donation of $25,000.00. Stipulation to allocate $2,000.00 to
the Scholarship Fund. A donation to the Feed My Starving Children project of 10% is being made from this
donation. Expenses were $19,525.18. Leaving a balance of $47,277.74. The Youth Fund has a balance of
$3,154.89, the Improvement Fund has a balance of $18,321.68 and the Scholarship Fund has a balance of

There was no WELCA report.

The Deacon’s report was about GIFT.

There was no Trustee’s Report.

The meeting was adjourned and closed with the Lord’s Prayer.
Next meeting will be Feb. 10, 2019.

Marilyn Ulland is serving as the Eucharist assistant for January.

Respectfully submitted,

Laura Tjomsland, Council Secretary

WELCA Report

The Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America held their first meeting in 2019 on Sunday,
January 6, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. The meeting was called to order by President Dorothy Peterson. There were
13 present. The purpose was read together. There was no opening hymn. Evelyn Johnson from the Ruth
Circle led us in devotions. She read from Hebrews Chapter 1 and “God’s Word Told Twice”. Thank you from
Orlie Grant for helping her celebrate her birthday. Also Pastor Lindsay had much gratitude for her birthday and
Christmas gift. She appreciated our support. Marilyn Blume does so many things for us all year and she also
was thankful for remembering her at Christmas.

Treasurer’s Report was given by Lavonne with a checking balance of $2,031.52. She told that Ardell will be
taking over. We appreciated all her years of dedication to WELCA on a job well done. Ardell told us about our
new microphone and it worked really good. Cost was $246.95. Thanks to Brent Ingvalson for helping us
secure it. Ardell explained the offering. Part will go for flowers for altar and part to WELCA.

Linda gave the Secretary Report from December. One correction was made. The sale at St. Marks made
$245 instead of $225. Both reports on file.

Committee Reports – Quilting by Judy – One quilt sold in December. We have plenty of batting for starting our
spring quilting. Linda gave quilting $125 from her moving sale.

Prairie Manor – Joyce Peterson – Still a discussion about having the Auxiliary. Next meeting February 25th.
The Prairie Manor Board meets monthly.

Sunshine – Linda – Had a list of greetings to members. Dorothy Peterson thanked all who thought of her
during her very long recovery. Wit will meet on January 8th at the church. Reminder – the men of the church
will serve coffee the 4th Sunday of the month. Nolan and Galen will line that up.

Unfinished Business: The Christmas Decorating Committee needed a few new items. Sue Hamersma made
the motion to pay $36.35 to Pastor Lindsay for those items. Joyce Peterson seconded the motion.

There was no new business. Offering was taken. Joyce Peterson read about “Birds” and our little feathered
friends the Sparrows for offering meditation.

Our next meeting will be held on Sunday, February 3 at 10:15 a.m. in the Fellowship Room. Devotions will be
given by the Naomi Circle. No program today.

Meeting adjourned by Ardell and seconded by Joyce. Next Board meeting 20 minutes before church on
Sunday, February 3rd.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda Christianson


The Annual Reports for 2018 are in the narthex and ready to be picked up. If you would like one sent to you,
please let the office know.
Lent begins Wednesday, March 6th

Ash Wednesday, March 6: A busy night at Red Oak Grove will begin with GIFT at 5:30. Join us for
supper, stories and activities. Traditional Ash Wednesday service begins at 7pm in the sanctuary.
Join us for one or both!

Wednesday Lunch Liturgy: A Wednesday noon-time Lent option is available for those who prefer
daytime. We will gather for lunch at noon and intermix worship, liturgy, and Bible study at the table.
Our first meeting will be March 13. More details to follow in the March newsletter.

Wednesday Evening Meal & Service: Join together for an evening meal to be followed by a service
of Holden Evening Prayer. Holden Evening Prayer is a beautiful, singable service of song that will live
in your heart through the week; please come learn this service together with others. Confirmation
students: This evening service is our confirmation learning for the season of Lent. You are expected
to attend. This meal and service begins March 13.

Women’s Lenten Book Study: You are invited to read Kate Bowler’s Everything Happens for a
Reason: and Other Lies I’ve Loved. From the book jacket:
“Kate Bowler is a professor at Duke Divinity School with a modest Christian upbringing, but
she specializes in the study of the prosperity gospel, a creed that sees fortune as a blessing
from God and misfortune as a mark of God’s disapproval. At thirty-five, everything in her life
seems to point toward ‘blessing.’ She is thriving in her job, married to her high school
sweetheart, and loves life with her newborn son. Then she is diagnosed with stage IV colon
Books are $14 if you order through the church. (You also have time to request from the local library if
you don’t wish to purchase.) See the sign up in the narthex or contact the office for your copy. Our
goal will be to begin reading the first week of March. Any women who read the book will be invited to
gather for discussion and conversation. (Dates still to be determined.)

Sundays in Lent: Join us on Sundays as we dive into a series of cultivating and letting go. What
needs cultivating in your life? What needs to be let go? Through the gospel readings, we’ll explore
these topics.
Feed My Starving Children ( is coming to
Blooming Prairie! FMSC is a Christian non-profit
based in the Twin Cities. They declare their mission
to feed God’s starving children hungry in body
and spirit. First Lutheran, in partnership with the
community, is bringing a mobile pack to BP on
Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11. Our goal –
over those two days – is to pack 100,000 meals! This
is a super exciting opportunity for us to be involved
in feeding the world. A couple things to note:
- To bring a mobile pack to a community, the community must pay for the meals to be
packed. The community is currently in the process of fundraising $22,000 for this mobile
- To help with the fundraising, families across Blooming are receiving Tootsie Roll piggy
banks. The goal: eat the candy inside and then fill the bank with coins. Red Oak Grove is
participating in this fundraiser! Banks will be available on Sundays and at GIFT; the Sunday
to return the banks is March 3.
- There will need to be 450 volunteers scheduled over those two days in May. We want to
send Groovy Grovers to help! Watch for sign ups and more details in the months to come.
- A couple years ago, we packed food for Kids Against Hunger in Austin. This will be a very
similar process. There will be jobs for all ages and abilities in each two-hour shift.

GIFT: A WHOLE CHURCH Valentine’s Party!

This month at GIFT, we are throwing a Valentine’s party for ALL ages! If you’ve been wanting to
come to GIFT to give it a try, this is a great month to do it. Not convinced this monthly event is for
you? The only way to know for sure is to come and see. This is the perfect opportunity to check it
out! Let’s fill the Fellowship Room with people talking about and acting in LOVE toward our
The parable of the Good Samaritan will be our guide as we explore LOVE and GOD and the WORLD.
We’ll start with a special Valentine’s dinner at 5:30; story and prayer and activities to follow. Invite
your friends and your neighbors. Join us for this fun night!


To all my friends at Red Oak Grove – Thank you for all the cards and messages from you, for all
the “goodies” I have gotten, the cookies, lefse, and bread. Pastor Lindsay, thank you for all your
visits. So to all of you. Thank you again – With love, Arlene Bonnes