December 2010

UMW Christmas Event (p.9)

Youth Dinner Theater (p.9)

40 Below Christmas Party (p.9)

Life Adventures Christmas Luncheon (p.3) Little Kids, BIG Fun (p.3)

Christmas Around the World (p.10) Parsonage Open House (Back Page) Surviving the Holidays (p.3)



Ag Grad Celebration (p.2)

Our 2010 Advent Devotional, “In Days to Come...Great Joy!” are available at the information tables and at the reception desk. A related art project will be unfolding in the weeks of Advent this year as well. During Advent, you may notice quite a few threedimensional representations of this sketch around the church – these “Vessels of Anticipation, Hope and Joy” will be journeying with us through the Advent and Christmas season. The vessels represent our community at Hennepin Church, which carries, sustains and nurtures us through both the winter and summer seasons of life. Importantly, we need your help to complete these sculptures! Around these vessels will be slips of paper and art supplies. You are invited to write concerns, prayers, anxieties and worries on the slips of paper and deposit them into the vessel. Then you may use the art supplies to illustrate or write about your hopes, dreams and sources for joy on the outside of the vessel. In this way, we will gather together to allow our hopes, joys and dreams to carry each other’s worries and concerns.

Christmas Eve Worship (p.2)

One Worship Service (p.2)

Koinonia Retreat (p.10)

One Worship Service (p.2)

Here is your December 2010 Edition of the !nSpire. There is much to read and learn about inside. Did you know that the publication of this newsletter is made possible by a grant from the Hennepin Church Foundation? Thank you for supporting the Foundation with your time and gifts! The January 2011 edition deadline is 10:00 AM, Thursday, December 16th. Send your info to, submit online at (Share Your Story) or drop off at church, attn: Daniel, 612-435-1320.


Toi Tsilo has completed his studies here in Minnesota and will return at the end of December to South Africa to continue the vital work of fighting wheat stem rust. Please gather with Project Ag Grad for Toi’s Sending Forth Celebration: Thursday, December 16 Hennepin Avenue UMC 5:30 – 6:00 reception 6:00 – 6:45 dinner 6:45 – 7:30 program Cost is $20 per person. Please RSVP by 12/10 to Eric Forsberg or Gloria Peck at 763-542-8641 or

12:00 Noon — Border Chapel A contemplative service of carols and communion. 2:00 PM — Art Gallery Music, poetry, silence and candlelight on the labyrinth. 4:00 PM — Sanctuary A family-friendly service with pageant, choirs and candlelight. Childcare available for infants. 7:00 PM — Sanctuary Carols, communion and candlelight. Childcare available for infants, ASL interpreted. 11:00 PM — Sanctuary Carols, communion and candlelight. Prelude concert begins at 10:30 PM.

Community Meals Ministry will celebrate Souper Sunday on February 6, 2010. Many churches celebrate Super Bowl Sunday as Souper Sunday, and this year Community Meals is hoping you will bring soup that day. But why just bring one can of soup for the hungry. If you buy a can of soup for the hungry each time your team wins, think of the ministry that could be done this winter. If your professional, college, high school or neighborhood team wins won’t you buy a can of soup, and bring them all on February 6? How many cans would that be? Join in the fun, and celebrate Souper Sunday from now until February 6. There will be many grateful thanks.

BY BOBBIE KELLER Over the coming year, Hennepin Church will seek an outside partner to share Koinonia’s facilities and costs, according to an Administrative Council resolution passed at its Nov. 4 meeting. A search committee, working with a consultant, is to present its partnership recommendations to the Ad Council by Dec. 2011 for action at the Church Conference in January 2012. If a partnership agreement is not imminent by Jan. 2012, the Church Conference will be asked to approve the dissolution and sale of Koinonia, with the proceeds going toward funding the missions of Hennepin Church. After 18 months of study, a Koinonia Task Force appointed by Ad Council determined that Koinonia’s current operation is not viable for the long term. Koinonia’s current capacity does not generate sufficient revenue to ensure a balanced annual operations budget and, as with any aging facility, the buildings will continue to need building code upgrades, maintenance and improvements. In addition, while Hennepin is subsidizing 100 percent of Koinonia’s costs, Hennepin Church groups are using the retreat center only 6.3 percent of the time. — Page Two —

Sunday, December 12 Peace Lutheran presents Welcome To Our World Christmas concert. A powerful and moving celebration in music from contemporary Christian artists, plus many traditional holiday favorites. The band PLC is led by Hennepin members Doug Ness and Judy Porter. A holiday lunch at Noon will precede the 2:00 PM concert. For more info contact Doug Ness at 612799-2057, or visit Church is located at 20 Northdale Boulevard, Coon Rapids, MN 55448.

“That’s a large capital investment for a resource that Hennepin people use so little,” said Fred Blaisdell, Board of Trustees chair. The task force presented a report to the Ad Council in September and to the congregation in October. The Board of Trustees and Finance Committee supported the task force’s conclusions, added details of their own and presented the final recommendation that the Ad Council unanimously approved. According to the resolution, the church would be looking to partner with a non-profit organization that has a mission and philosophy agreeable with Hennepin’s, and a financial and organizational position strong enough to support a commitment of at least 10 years. The partnership would also need to generate increased use of the facility and sufficient additional income to cover operations, facility maintenance, repair and expansion needed by the partner. In other business, Ad Council members learned that a Parish Nurse would join the Hennepin Church staff. Cynthia Ashley began her duties Nov. 21. Her position is possible for the next two years through a designated gift. Acting as the leaders they are, Ad Council members submitted their 2011 pledges during a designated time in the meeting.

Little Kids, BIG Fun is a once a month event for families with young children. It’s a night when you don’t need to cook, clean, or entertain your kids! Come and enjoy a good meal at 5:30 PM as a family, and then have some grownup and kid time from 6:15-7:15 pm. Wednesday, December 8, we will be having a Wrapping Party! Get some lessons from a former professional gift-wrapper, with fun for those of us w/out anything to wrap as well. The Kid’s activity will include Christmas ornaments and games! Cost is only $20/family, but don’t let that keep you away. ALL ARE WELCOME! Please sign up at the front desk or on the church website:


TOM TYLER, FINE ARTS COMMITTEE The painting, “Rebekah at the Well” by Italian artist Francesco Fernandi (1679-1740) has been conserved, revealing more clear and vibrant colors in the sky and background. Donated to Hennepin in 1917 by T.B. Walker, it has hung in Wesley Hall, almost unnoticed, in spite of its 48”x61” size. Placing Biblical events into European landscapes (as was typical of the time) the story depicted tells of Abraham who wanted his son Isaac to take a wife, and we see Rebekah at the well, showing she is the chosen one. The conservation of this painting was made possible through dedicated funds. See it displayed on the North wall of Carlson Hall.

CHRIS JACKSON, MINISTER OF ADMINISTRATION As of the printing of this newsletter, Nov. 24, we have received 286 pledge responses from our church households for the 2011 Operating Budget and Capital Fund. This current year, 2010, we have 617 households that have pledged, allowing us (with some cuts) to have balanced our Operating Budget. So, we have a ways to go for 2011. We need every household to respond. As I said in my call for pledges during the November 14 worship service: some of you are regular givers, some are first time pledgers, and some of you give occasionally to special projects or at holidays. Others of you are tithers, giving the Biblical tradition of 10% of income. Your pastor Bruce Robbins and I are in that group. Others of you give joyfully even beyond 10%. I thank all of you. But I also want those who feel that they cannot pledge much or at all — because of job loss, family illness, or other troubles — to fill out a pledge form and return it. Write on that card zero, or $1 or $10 a month, but also tell us how you are thankful for this congregation, and how we may pray for you. If your life is in crisis, you need this congregation. We want to be present for you now, and then be present to rejoice when your life is whole again. Your pledge response tells us you are connected to this congregation and have not forgotten that connection. I am an odd guy; I like talking about money. Money is a wonderful tool that can do much goodness in our world and our Church, as long as it is joined with energetic passion, prayer, and the blessing of God. I believe Hennepin Church is worth it! Do you? I await your collective response. Your message though your pledges will determine how we are in ministry in 2011. The Finance Committee and Ad Council will act early in the year. It is up to you. — Page Three —

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 12, 4:00 PM IN BORDER CHAPEL Welcome to this Sunday afternoon gathering in the chapel that allows a safe, holy place to share among community. Join us for personal reflection and sharing of how to cope and enjoy the holidays simultaneously. Learn how to balance yourself between the hectic and the holy activities of the season. Call Cynthia Ashley, Parish Nurse, at 612435-1310 with questions.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 10 AT NOON Join us for lunch and a program of story and song with Jodi Gustafson, Hennepin Office Manager and Sally Johnson, Minister of Worship and Spiritual Formation. Sharing the story Great Joy! by Minnesota author Kate DiCamillo, Jodi and Sally will invite everyone into the many joyous songs of the season. We will be accompanied on piano by Hennepin Communications Director, Daniel Pederson. Reservations by December 5. Lunch is $12.00

JACK FISTLER, LEGACY GIVING Oh, it’s that joyous time of year when lists abound. We have lists for holiday menus, Christmas cards, gift shopping, items for family holiday letters, events and Advent services to attend, and so on. And, of course, the super-organized among us use lists of lists to keep things on track. Good wishes with all your lists this season! It’s a special time of thankfulness — for family, friends and God’s grace — and affirmation of our faith. As you plan your year-end charitable giving, we hope that Hennepin Church is at the top of your list. This may be an opportune time to review your interests and estate plans, and to establish a legacy gift for a special purpose or project. Through careful planning, in light of federal and state tax laws, you may make a cost-effective gift, perhaps a larger one than you had considered. There are many ways to provide a legacy gift for Hennepin Church and/ or Hennepin Foundation. An estate provision, or combination of outright and estate giving, may best fulfill your interests and provide financial benefits for you. It’s a special time of thankfulness – for family, friends, and God’s grace. To express your faith and thanks through legacy giving, contact Jack Fistler at or 612-435-1321. We can discuss together a list of options to consider!

ROB GAMBLE, CHAIR RECONCILING MINISTRIES There are two important websites and a hotline for junior and senior high youth who may be questioning their sexual orientation or are being bullied if they have been identified as possibly being gay, lesbian or transgender. The hotline is a 24/7 national hotline for GLBT youth considering suicide.

Trevor Helpline 866-488-7386 Suicide hotline (toll free) You Tube – It Gets Better
The press has reported bullying/ suicide stories of youth in the past few months. There has been an outpouring on You Tube from men and women of all ages telling personal stories of being bullied and ending with the message It Gets Better. There are songs written and performed by The Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus recorded in our own Art Gallery and other choral groups and performers. Our message to ALL YOUTH is that it DOES get better! This is especially important for GLBT youth to believe. You will graduate from high school and won’t have to face your tormentors any longer. You can establish a life more in All children ages 3 and up are invited to enter into the story of the birth of Jesus by participating in the annual Christmas Eve Pageant (4:00 PM on Friday, December 24) It will be a simple retelling of the Christmas story. Everyone has a part to play. Those children who are in 3rd grade or older are invited to be readers. Pageant Rehearsal will take place Sunday, December 19 at 4pm. Parents or other adults are needed to serve in various capacities including costuming and help during the pageant. Children ages 3 – 2nd grade may also sign up to sing in one of the special choirs. Additional choir rehearsals for are scheduled for Sunday mornings during Advent. Sign up online or in person at the reception desk. — Page Four —

your power. You can find happiness and a good life. This does not mean it will be easy, all of us still have to earn a living, make friends, fall in love, grow in our spirituality and deal with life. God has given you gifts that the world needs – friendship, love, talents, skill, humor and faith. I urge adults to sample some of the stories on It Gets Better to gain some understanding of what many GLBT and heterosexual youth experience in their school and the community. Finally look forward to the Bishops’ pastoral letter, “Beloved Community Statement” approved at the Nov. 2-6 Council of Bishops. Addressing the issue of the escalating violence in the world, they call upon all of us to work for peace and justice. Bullying is a part of that rising violence.


Classroom helpers are needed for the following grade levels: • • • • • • • Preschool (age 3) Pre-Kindergarten 1st Grade 2nd Grade 3rd Grade 4th Grade 5th Grade

Classroom helpers volunteer about 6 times per year (Sept-May). Helpers are asked to assist the lead teacher with the lesson and help ensure a safe and loving environment for all students. Please consider sharing your gifts with the children of Hennepin through this no-prep commitment. For information, contact Dana Neuhauser at 612-4351306 or at

(The next four pages summarize letters that Pastor Bruce Robbins wrote to the congregation while on sabbatical. Some of these were sent to the congregation by email, and are now collected here for a mini diary of his time away).

Sabbatical Letter 1: August 25
These days have been a rich whirlwind and am glad to give some glimpses of where I have traveled, with much gratitude to the Hennepin community (and the Lilly Foundation). Italy: I spent some time with Adam and Casey at a beautiful house built in the11th century some twenty miles east of Florence in the mountains of Tuscany. We spent four days visiting the museums of Florence and more days hiking the hills covered with vineyards and olive trees. The trails had plenty of ripe fruits along them — blackberries, plums, pears and cherries. As for the city sights, I think Michelangelo’s huge David is the most beautiful sculpture I have ever seen. Of course the time with my son and daughter was the best of all.

Mozambique: I left the leisure of sabbatical time and traveled to Maputo for the first part of my work with the Study Committee on the Worldwide Nature of the United Methodist Church. I was there to hear the life and challenges of the United Methodists in Mozambique and South Africa. The denomination’s structure needs to change to be more equitable for the 40% (and growing) membership of our church residing outside the United States. The poverty and inability to support their pastors was offset by a great spirit and the excitement of proclaiming the Wesleyan vision of the grace of Christ. We also focused on the spread of the UMC in South Africa where there already has been a strong and established Methodist Church of Southern Africa that came from British Methodist roots. That conversation was not easy.



Cote d’Ivoire: My stay would have gone even better if it didn’t take my suitcase four days to arrive (out of my five days there). In a country that likes to dress up, I was lacking even more than usual! However, the meeting more than met my expectations in so many ways. The church was “autonomous” since it emerged from its British roots in 1985 and until 2004 when it was integrated into the UMC. (Why they joined the UMC is a complicated story.) Now they are strong, vital and growing with the church highly regarded within the country. They even have their own radio station. And the current president of the nation (in office since elected in 2000) welcomed us for a visit in his offices. He is
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United Methodist. One evening we were welcomed to worship by a big brass band, dancing and a 100 voice choir! Our committee meeting surpassed my expectations as well. We agreed to propose a new covenant and structure for United Methodists that will go to the 2012 General Conference. I have been asked to develop a first draft for a new structure for the denomination. (You can look at my book “A World Parish?” in the library to see the direction I intend to go in that design.) Here are a few glimpses to share with you: * While deplaning, I watched a woman take her rolling suitcase and place it on top of her head to exit the plane, undisturbed by the jostling of all the passengers. * We sang “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” with our heads bowed, hands folded and with different words in French. * When the brass band started up their tunes for our arrival, 50-100 Muslims were gathered across the street, prostrate on mats, saying Ramadan prayers and seemingly undisturbed by the brass sounds bouncing off the walls. * Lastly, after preaching in an unfinished, cementblock, windowless church, I was clothed and gifted a beautiful robe and hat. I wore it while shaking more than 800 hands! In the church service, they prayed that I would help them find the money to complete their church! I have just arrived in Antioch, Turkey. Tomorrow I go to visit the Church of St. Peter, considered one of the first churches and described in Acts (11:25-27) as the place that believers were first called “Christian.” More about that in my next letter.

Sabbatical Letter 2: October 6
I write to you from my sister Betsey's, house outside of Grand Rapids, Minnesota. These recent days have been so beautiful – brilliant days and exceptionally starry, new-moon nights. After two months of travel, it is wonderful to slow down and appreciate Minnesota at foliage time. I hope you, too, have been enjoying these fall days. Last time I wrote, more than a month ago, I was leaving Africa and headed to Turkey. For more than a week I traveled to treasured Christian places such as Antioch, Cappadocia, Ephesus and Istanbul. I became THE ROCK FORMATIONS IN CAPPADOCIA, TURKEY, NEAR THE SITE OF AN HISTORIC immersed in the MONASTERY — HOME OF GREGORY OF history of Roman NYSSA AND BASIL THE GREAT — FAMOUS times. Antioch and CHURCH FATHERS. Ephesus were ancient and huge cities (Ephesus with nearly 250,000 people at the beginning of the Christian era). I was struck by the complexity of a culture that has been the crossing point of empires for millennia and still serves as a bridge between the Eastern and Western worlds. Just as everywhere else I visited, I wanted more time to learn, to look, and to hear the stories of the place and its people. One day I had breakfast in Istanbul and dinner in Jerusalem. The cities seemed so different from one another, with one great exception: both cities were transformed by the practices for the month of Ramadan. From my hotel I could see Sultan Ahmet, the site of the historic Blue Mosque at the heart of the Old City. I arrived on a Sunday night of Ramadan before a national holiday in Turkey and saw thousands upon thousands of people were pouring into the parks surrounding the Blue Mosque for "iftar," the breaking of the day's fast. Families were celebrating with picnics beginning at 10:00 at night! In both cities, I was in awe of the commitment to the fast. In Jerusalem I watched outdoor workers who spent all the daylight hours working in the 100-degree sun without eating or drinking. Given the length of the day and amount of daylight, it is much harder to fast when Ramadan falls in the summer than in the winter! The month of Ramadan falls about ten days earlier each year.


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In recent weeks my plans changed from the agenda I presented earlier. I needed more quiet time so I returned to the U.S. earlier than I anticipated from the Middle East. I did so in order to travel to Karme Choling, a Buddhist monastery in Vermont where I spent a week in retreat, learning of that tradition. I tried to practice meditating and learning through living a different tradition for a few days. I felt honored and privileged to have the opportunity and teachers that I had. Again, so many stories to tell! As I have told some of you, I am deeply interested in how we can honor and participate in the other great faith traditions of our world. Again, I am thankful for this opportunity. I've caught glimpses of Hennepin Church and talked to a couple of you, so I know that all is well. I trust the way we are all searching to understand how our lives are different because we are part of the Body of Christ. I look forward to returning at the end of November and to begin with you a new year in Advent. May we keep each other in our prayers.


I had been to Israel a couple of times before; however, this time I wanted to spend as much time as I could in Palestine – on the more difficult side of the security wall. So I traveled extensively and visited Bethlehem, Ramallah, Hebron, Nablus and Qalqilya. The security wall has devastating impact on the Palestinian people and I have a sense of such need to tell people about the situation. Because of the settlements and the restrictions on the Palestinian people, the present situation seemed accurately characterized as a “slow transfer” of the land from Palestine to Israel. I have pictures and stories to share when I return.

Sabbatical Letter 3: November 7
Yesterday began the third and final part of this wonderful gift of sabbatical, made possible by you and the staff who have supported the church these past three months. I am very grateful. Last evening I arrived in Panama to participate in the Conference of Methodist Bishops. I am asked to help envision new ways for Methodists to relate across the world – to help us act as one body. I had the luck to encounter Bishop Sally Dyck this morning and then have breakfast with her. Immediately, she told me how much she enjoyed two recent visits to Hennepin Church: preaching and then meeting with a group of members. Thanks to all of you who provided hospitality and wonderful worship; I am sure you enjoyed her preaching. It turned out that today (Nov. 7) was her birthday also! These last weeks I have been in and out of the Twin Cities, spending time with my mother, seeing friends, marveling at the renovation of the parsonage,


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reading and enjoying the long string of very beautiful fall days. It had been many years since I could sit quietly and be grateful. I also have been:
• going to worship services and watching people

Here are points he made: Notice how the people (“bodies”) of the community are presented to God together. The bodies (in Scripture) are plural and the sacrifice is singular. Have you considered that in worship all of us are offered together to God? He quoted a young preacher’s sermon from 1954, Martin Luther King, Jr., saying, We are called to be a people of conviction, not of conformity; of moral nobility, not social respectability. We are commanded to live differently and according to a higher loyalty. When we go to Hennepin we are doing two things, according to Paul: we are presenting ourselves 1) Together to God, as a sacrifice (even as we seek to understand what that means); and 2) as Transformed Nonconformists (Dr. King’s sermon title). Sometimes I get complacent about the place of the church in my and your life. The call and commitment is different from any other voluntary organization. It is a new home for this life and beyond. Out of my own resources, I used to give much less than I do now – I used to think of it in a list with other charitable giving. Because of my appointment to serve as a spiritual leader, I decided to start tithing. That has been hard especially this year. Please do this exercise: calculate what a tithe would be to you and seek to offer yourselves sacrificially, whatever that means in your circumstance. I will seek to provide a tithe of my income for 2011. See if you can join me. You might become a Transformed Nonconformist through your giving in many ways to the church. In three weeks I will have the joy of returning to worship with you. We can give thanks and celebrate the ways the Holy Spirit puts a seal on our hearts and marks us (Ephesians 1:13). It’s a priceless gift we receive.

respond to different forms of worship.
• learning about Turkey and its complex history.

It is truly a crossroads of culture and religion!
• reading scripture and writing some articles for a

magazine on preaching.
• and going to some movies! I recommend Fair

Game, which just opened in Minneapolis. While taking care of myself, my thoughts have often turned to Hennepin Church and all you are doing. I lift you up in prayer, together and individually. I also know that the church will celebrate Stewardship Pledge Sunday this week.


Earlier today I joined the opening worship here at the conference. The president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, Larry Goodpaster, (also bishop in North Carolina), preached. Here are the two verses he used: I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds. (Romans 12:1-2).

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No Breakfast on Dec 5 (the youth are doing their Play), which includes brunch. Reservations required. Walkins possible only if space allows.

On Thursday, December 9, we will get an early start to celebrating Christmas with our annual 40 Below Christmas Potluck. We will have access to the kitchen in the Dignity Center to heat up and put the finishing touches on our culinary delights! Set up and get food ready from 6:30-7:00, with the party starting at 7:00. Hope to see lots of people there! This is a low key event with great food, people and conversation. Look for us on Facebook at: HAUMC 40 Below.

The Church will be closed on Saturday, December 25, Saturday, January 1, 2011 and Monday, January 3, 2011.

On Sundays December 26 and January 2, we will have one worship service at 10:00 AM in the Sanctuary. Coffee only will be served on December 26 at 11:00 AM, and Coffee will also be served on January 2, and Breakfast at Hennepin resumes that day, 11:00 AM.

DECEMBER 4, 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM What a great way to begin the holiday season! Shop our International Bazaar where you’ll find items from several groups such as Hennepin’s Haiti, Africa, and India mission partnerships. The youth group will perform “Inventing a Christmas Story," a 4-part play. Our special hands-on mission project will find us filling 100 birthday bags for local underprivileged children. The morning also includes a mission recognition ceremony followed by a 3-course lunch served by youth group volunteers. Tickets are $12.00 Adult, $5.00 Child/Student, $30.00 Family. Tickets may be purchased on the church website at or by calling the church office at 612-871-5303. Childcare will be available.

YOUTH DINNER THEATER UMW and the Hennepin Youth have come together to present “Inventing a Christmas Story.” The partnership began with a generous grant from UMW (The Shannon Bequest) to underwrite the youth theater project. Then the timing worked to have one of the performances during the UMW Christmas Party. “We are glad to support our young people and look forward to this special performance,” remarked Karen Andrew, UMW President. Performances will be: Sat., Dec. 4 at 11:00 AM and Sun., Dec. 5 at 11:00 AM. Both performances will be in Social Hall and includes a 3-course brunch. Tickets are available on the church website. Adults-$12, Students-$5, Families-$30. Reservations are strongly encouraged (and very helpful to the planners).

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The New Year’s Retreat this year at Koinonia is Fire and Ice. Plan now to join your family of Hennepin at Hennepin’s own Koinonia Retreat Center in South Haven. Come and unwind from the hustle and bustle of the Christmas Season December 31st through January 2nd. Last year over 70 Hennepin members, family, and friends ushered in the New Year at Koinonia with games, crafts, fellowship and praise. This year we are planning an encore event complete with sleigh rides, broom ball, sledding and a concert courtesy of The Multigenerational committee. You can plan to come and spend one or two nights at Koinonia. 1) Two Day Package; begins with dinner on Friday December 31st and concludes with brunch on Sunday, January 2, 2011. Cost: Adults $120, children under 12, $80.00, Family maximum of $240.00. If you register for the event prior to December 20th: Adults $95.00, Children under 12, $55.00, and a family maximum of $190.00. 2) One Day Package; begins with dinner on New Years Day and concludes with brunch on January 2. Cost: Adults $60.00, children under 12, $40.00, Family maximum of 120.00. If you register for the event prior to December 20th: Adults $50.00, Children under 12, $30.00, and a family maximum of $95.00. You may register by calling or stopping by the Reception Desk: 612-871-5303. Come one, come all to this magical weekend!

MARY MENSHEHA , CONGREGATIONAL CARE Do you listen carefully when the congregational joys and concerns are read during Sunday worship and perhaps jot down a name to remember? Do you regularly check the Weekend Update posted on the kiosk to see which members are ill or have requested prayers? Are you one of the many members who faithfully sign the cards that are sent to those in need of prayer support? Sunday is a great time to learn and respond to what is going on in our congregation. But a lot can happen between Sundays. The church may receive news of a death or other significant event in a member’s life.

Sometimes waiting until the next Sunday is too long a wait to request prayers. Do you take time to pray for our church family during the week? If you do, the Congregational Care Ministry is offering an opportunity for you to receive a mid-week e-mail listing of the prayer requests for our congregation. If you would like to receive this Prayer List as a way to stay connected with members in need of prayer and support throughout the week, contact Tara Emerson at Please put “Prayer List” in the subject line and you will begin receiving the weekly update. That's all you need to do - plus continue to prayer for one another. No matters of a confidential nature will be shared in this communication. — Page Ten —

SANCTUARY CHOIR WITH WOODWIND AND PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE SUNDAY DECEMBER 12 11:00 AM Take a world tour with the Sanctuary Choir, soloists, and chamber orchestra. Music in a wide variety of styles and languages from many countries will carry you to places you’ve been and places you’d like to go, in this season of joy and hope.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1 Kjerringsleppets 5:30 PM St. High Girls’ Book Club 7:00 PM THURSDAY, DECEMBER 2 Thursday Bible Study 11:00 AM Prayer Shawl Ministry 1:30 PM Labyrinth 3:00 PM Administrative Council 6:00 PM Lydia Circle 7:00 PM Science and Faith Roundtable 7:00 PM FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3 Alanon 10:00 AM SATURDAY, DECEMBER 4 UMW Christmas Event 9:00 AM Youth Brunch Theater 11:00 AM SUNDAY, DECEMBER 5 All Church Worship at 8:30, 9:00, 9:30, 11:00 AM Breakfast 10:30 AM Library Board 10:45 AM Youth Brunch Theater 11:00 AM A Story to Stand On: Ginger Sisco 11:00 AM Community Meals 4:45 PM TUESDAY, DECEMBER 7 India Partnership 11:00 AM Reconciling Committee 6:30 PM WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 8 Little Kids BIG Fun 5:30 PM Steeple People Board 5:30 PM Local Outreach 6:30 PM THURSDAY, DECEMBER 9 Joy Circle 9:00 AM Thursday Bible Study 11:00 AM Labyrinth 3:00 PM 40 Below Christmas Potluck 7:00 PM FRIDAY, DECEMBER 10 Alanon 10:00 AM Life Adventures Christmas Luncheon SUNDAY, DECEMBER 12 Regular Sunday worship at 8:30, 9:00, 9:30, 11:00 AM Sunday School 9:45 AM Breakfast 10:30 AM Blood Pressure Screening 10:30 AM A Story to Stand On 11:00 AM Christmas Around the World 11:00 AM Parsonage Open House 12:00 PM Surviving the Holidays 4:00 PM TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14 Youth Council 6:00 PM Children’s Council 6:30 PM Russia Partnership 6:30 PM Foodservice Committee 6:45 PM Finance Committee 7:00 PM WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 15 Staff Parish Relations 6:00 PM Koinonia Board 7:00 PM Trustees Meeting 7:00 PM Sr. High Girls’ Book Club 7:00 PM

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 16 January !nSpire Deadline 10:00 AM Thursday Bible Study 11:00 AM Labyrinth 3:00 PM Ag Grad Celebration 5:30 PM Peace Through Justice Forum 7:00 PM FRIDAY, DECEMBER 17 Alanon 10:00 AM SUNDAY, DECEMBER 19 Regular Sunday worship at 8:30, 9:00, 9:30, 11:00 AM Sunday School 9:45 AM Breakfast 10:30 AM A Story to Stand On 11:00 AM Copper Street Brass Concert 11:00 AM Peace through Justice Forum 11:00 AM UMW Leadership 11:00 AM MONDAY, DECEMBER 20 Multicultural Committee 7:00 PM TUESDAY, DECEMBER 21 Global Outreach Team 6:30 PM WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 22 D.C.E.H. 2:30 PM Haiti Partnership 6:00 PM THURSDAY, DECEMBER 23 Labyrinth 3:00 PM FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24


FROM THE MULTICULTURAL COMMITTEE The latest Wilder research study about homelessness notes that together African American and American Indian people make up 4% of the MN adult population, but this group accounts for 41% of the homeless population. Why do you think this is so? Do we as Christians, have a responsibility to address this disparity in homelessness between people of color and Caucasian people? Many are uncomfortable when they see a person standing at a freeway exit holding a sign stating “Homeless: Can you spare some change?” Why do you think people panhandle for money? What do you do in this situation? What should the community do about this? Imagine that you know a 36-year-old African American man, released from prison to a halfway house two blocks from Church. He does not have a GED and has a felony for robbery on his record. The prison rules state he must find a job and a place to live in 60 days. If not, he will be put back into prison. What are the chances that this man will get a job and a place to live in this economy? How would you pray for this him? What could do for him? Recently, a homeless, mentally ill and chemically dependent African American man was severely beaten with injuries to his ears/eyes/head. He was treated in the ER at Hennepin County Medical Center and kept there for 10 hours, then he was released to the street, with nowhere to recuperate. If you were in this situation, what would you want to happen to you?

Christmas Eve
SERVICES AT 12:00 NOON, 2:00 PM, 4:00 PM, 7:00 PM, 11:00 PM


Christmas Day

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 26 One Worship Service 10:00 AM Coffee Fellowship 11:00 AM MONDAY, DECEMBER 27 Fine Arts Committee 7:00 PM Hospitality Committee 7:00 PM THURSDAY, DECEMBER 29 Labyrinth 3:00 PM FRIDAY, DECEMBER 31


Koinonia Retreat

Koinonia Retreat

SUNDAY, JANUARY 2 One Worship Service 10:00 AM Coffee Fellowship 11:00 AM Breakfast 11:00 AM

Send Calendar Corrections to — Page Eleven —

A new book collecting some of Sally’s daily blog writings is being published! The book is available to congregation members at a pre-publication price of $10. After Dec. 1 the price is $14.00. Order by phone at 1-888-696-1828 or Order forms are also available at the reception desk. All proceeds from the book will go to the Hennepin Foundation Scholarship fund.
Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church 511 Groveland Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55403

Great Joy!

Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 2906 Minneapolis, MN

Sunday Worship Schedule
December 5 8:30 AM 9:00 AM 9:30 AM 11:00 AM 8:30 AM 9:00 AM 9:30 AM 11:00 AM 8:30 AM 9:00 AM 9:30 AM 11:00 AM
2nd Sunday in Advent

December 24 — Christmas Eve
12:00 Noon — Border Chapel A contemplative service of carols and communion. 2:00 PM — Art Gallery Music, poetry, silence and candlelight on the labyrinth. 4:00 PM — Sanctuary A family-friendly service with pageant, choirs and candlelight. Childcare available for infants. 7:00 PM — Sanctuary Carols, communion and candlelight. Childcare available for infants, ASL interpreted. 11:00 PM — Sanctuary Carols, communion and candlelight. Prelude concert begins at 10:30 PM.

Communion Service Sacred Journey Sanctuary, Bruce Robbins, Preacher Many Voices
3rd Sunday in Advent

December 12 -

Communion Service Sacred Journey Sanctuary, Bruce Robbins, Preacher Many Voices
4th Sunday in Advent

December 19 -

Communion Service Sacred Journey Sanctuary, Bruce Robbins, Preacher Many Voices
1st Sunday after Christmas

Welcome Back Bruce! Parsonage Open House Dec 12
To welcome Rev. Bruce Robbins back to Hennepin after his sabbatical, on Sunday, Dec. 12th from 12:00 Noon — 2:00 PM, you are invited to a special open house at the parsonage for holiday snacks and to see the recently remodeled first floor rooms. The Board of Trustees and the SPR Committee are your hosts.

December 26 January 2 -

10:00 AM One Service in the Sanctuary
Epiphany Sunday

10:00 AM One Service in the Sanctuary