Christian Courier

Is it possible for three different churches in three different sanctuaries to have worship services all going at the same time in the same building on a Sunday morning?

June 18, 2011 Inside the Courier:
• A Look at the Brite Side, page 2 • Summer mission opportunities, page 3 • July Calendar, page 4 • Thank yous from John Carter and Deb Murphy, page 5

On the Web:
First Christian Church website Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Sharon Watkins’ blog Disciples Lectionary blog Looking at South sanctuary space

Gracie Callanan launches a paper airplane during our joy-filled Pentecost service on June 12

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First Christian Church of Minneapolis (Disciples of Christ)

Construction underway in Ministry Center
FCC’s sanctuary may have a new home in this space. The sanctuary on the lower level will also be a modern, flexible space. Current seating projections for the three spaces are 134 for the North sanctuary, 158 for the South sanctuary and 80 for the lower level sanctuary. Plans at this time are for the three congregations to rotate regularly between the three spaces. The lower level will have a nursery with its own bathroom, meeting/class rooms, a kitchenette with microwave, coffee pot, dishwasher and refrigerator, and offices for the pastors and administrator. The upper level will have a commercial-sized kitchen, fellowship hall, music workroom, and full baptistry. The doors of the South sanctuary will be able to open into the fellowship hall if more seating space is needed for special meetings or services. The new main entrance on the west side of the building will open into the building’s lower level where there will be a reception area and an elevator and stairs leading to the upper level narthex and upper level sanctuaries.


Architect Kim Forsberg and contractor Dave Olson think so, and they explained how they’re trying to make it work as they showed slides and answered questions about the new Ministry Center on Sunday June 5.

Soundproofing and sound insulation are major elements of the remodeling of Salem English Lutheran Church, soon to be known as the Ministry Center when it reopens in November, 2011. Two of the worship spaces will be on the upper level. The South sanctuary will have the most traditional look with the stained glass windows of the old building and will house the pipe organ. The North sanctuary will have cleaner, more contemporary feel. The large steel cross from

Looking down on lower level space

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June 18, 2011

A Look at the Brite Side

Meeting the challenges of many storms
Vacations are important; over my career I’ve rarely used up my allotted vacation time, and I now regret that. The concept of a vacation came from God, who set aside the seventh day of each week as a day of rest. In a bustling, work-every-day world, the need for Shabbat – Sabbath – is more important than ever. For a pastor, who is on call 24-7, it’s been much more of a priority lately than it was before, probably because I have to be aware of my own tendencies towards workaholism. So I’m looking forward to this as a good time. (Whether it turns out to be or not, we’ll see.) But the primary purpose of Shabbat is to stop the pace of our lives and give thanks to God. The Sabbath day is holy because of that purpose, and sometimes we forget that, with all the other things we have to get done on the days “off.” So while I’m traveling, I also plan on worshipping and praying (something that my road time is reserved for a lot anyway). I’ll be praying for y’all here as you worship and serve (especially those on the nine task forces now established for the move!). SEE YOU SOON! Bob

Pastor Bob Brite

As you read this, I’ll be on vacation. I’m traveling to a niece’s wedding in Indiana, then heading to Missouri and Oklahoma to visit friends and my brother, then Texas to check in with my mom, then back through Kansas City for another wedding, this time the daughter of a good friend. Apparently at the second wedding’s reception I get to be the bartender since I’ve had experience in that area. In between those visits I hope to check out some of the restaurants I’ve seen on “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.”

June 26 will be a “Questions of Faith” Sunday. Index cards will be provided in the worship bulletins; you’re asked to write down any questions about church life, faith life, spirituality, faith history, faith struggle, at THE BEGINNING OF THE SERVICE. Pastor Bob will pick them up during the prelude and use the sermon time to respond to the questions.

In our prayers
Gracious God, we lift up these persons in our prayers, asking the blessing of your Grace and outpouring of your Love upon them.

We pray for those grieving the loss of loved ones, especially with Kathy Merkel who lost her foster father Manfred Beutler, the Ronnei family mourning the death of Mike Ronnei, and Nancy Curry whose cousin Jamie recently succumbed to cancer; for those struggling with physical conditions, including June and Julie Andrix adjusting to June’s new assisted living situation in Edina, and Kirsten Cackoski’s sister-in-law Sharon fighting cancer; in thanksgiving that Belinda Flanagan has recovered from her surgery and that Caleb Callanan’s hands are healing well beyond the expectations of his doctors; for all those traveling this summer including Wes and Dean Creighton, Bob Brite, Bobbie Hall’s grandson, and Mason Dunham’s mom and dad; for all those around the country and the world living in fear of floods, wars, tornadoes and other calamities; for the well-being of all our homebound members, including Dorothy Stegner and Ruth White, Amen.

Christian Courier

Page 3

Mission Notes from Pastor Sanders

Summer 2011 Mission Projects at First Christian
Early June means that summer is upon us. School is out for the year and many of us will take some time off of our busy lives to take vacations or "staycations" and rest and relax. While it's good to take some time to enjoy ourselves, we are always followers of Jesus Christ, the one who came to serve. Empowered by the Spirit that came upon the disciples that first Pentecost in wind and fire, we are called to care for our sisters and brothers. First Christian has several opportunities for you to take part in mission projects that will lift up the lowly in our world. Workdays at Community Emergency Service: Community Emergency Service is one of First Christian's mission partners. Located in the Phillips neighborhood in South Minneapolis, this agency tries to help its clients have access to decent housing and food. If a sufficient number are interested, First will take part in a workday at CES on Wednesday July 20 from 6PM-8PM to help out at the foodshelf. If you are interested, please sign up in the lounge after worship or contact the church at First Christian goes to Twin Cities Gay Pride: For the third year in a row, First Christian will take part in Twin Cities Gay Pride, June 25 and 26 at Loring Park in Minneapolis. We are looking for people to help staff the Downtown Congregations tent at Pride. This is a great way to help people know more about First Christian, minister to a group that has been excluded by the church and meet other folks from our sister congregations. There are also plans in the work for First's LGBT ministry, Open Table, to host a barbecue for youth in August and possibly another event for adults during the summer. Stay tuned! Feed My Starving Children: We will join our new partners in ministry from Salem Lutheran and Lyndale UCC to pack food for hungry children around the world. Please join us at the Coon Rapids facility Saturday, August 20 from 9AM-11AM. Signup sheets will be available in late July. Backpack Sunday 2011: We will again be collecting backpacks and school supplies in August to help children and adults as they head back to school. The stuffed backpacks will be donated to the Restoration Center, a ministry of Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. We will start collecting backpacks starting Sunday, August 21st and bless them in early September. Cook 'n Serve at St. Stephens Shelter: First Christian has served a meal to the clients of St. Stephen's Shelter in Minneapolis for several years. There are two openings during the summer for a group from First to serve a meal. Both openings are on the third Saturday of June and July. If you are interested in providing a meal on one or both Saturdays, please contact Warren Westphal or the church office. If you have any questions, or would like to find out how you can get involved in any of these events, please contact Pastor Dennis Sanders at

Newsletter from Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness is one of the many mission partners of First Christian. Their most recent newsletter talks about how you can help in the aftermath of the North Minneapolis Tornado, a workshop on learning about homelessness and much more. You can access that newsletter at

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June 18, 2011

Summer Worship Hours

July, 2011 First Christian Church

9:00 Spiritual Formation Classes 10:00 Worship 11:15 Fellowship Time in Lounge
1 2 9 am- Men’s Group


4 July 4 Holiday Office Closed 11



7 9 am Handcrafters


9 9 am- Men’s Group


12 7 pm Property Committee

13 5:30 Finance Committee

14 9 am Handcrafters


16 9 am Men’s Group 6 pm Serve dinner at St. Stephens 23 9 am- Men’s Group

17 Food Pantry Sunday 5 pm Elders Mtg

18 7 pm Book Club: “Cutting for Stone”

19 7 pm Board Meeting

20 6 pm Work Night at Community Emergency Services

21 9 am Handcrafters







28 9 am Handcrafters 7 pm Ministry Center Board Meeting


30 9 am- Men’s Group

Elders July 3 July 10 Russ Griffin Martha Harris Tom Curry (p) Dean Creighton (a) Ann Wolverton Skip Wolverton Martha Harris Russ Griffin Jay Hillestad Arlene Hillestad

Worship Leader Jennifer Redmond Alison Creighton Pat Dunlop Arlene Jorgensen Hillestad Valerie Dunham

Children’s Moment Dennis Sanders Janice Brady

Diaconate Odd Team Odd Team Odd Team Odd Team Odd Team

Bus Drivers Garry Hesser 612-721-4905 Mike Hesano 651-645-6758 Garry Hesser Mike Morgan 612-926-9384 Mike Hesano

Greeters Karen Kandik Valerie Dunham

July 17 July 24 July 31

Bob Brite

Ardie Armstrong, Shirley Draine Karen Kandik Valerie Dunham

Deb Murphy and Caleb Callanan

Note: Please call drivers by Saturday for Sunday bus ride

Page 5 Christian Courier

Muchas Gracias from John Carter Hermanos y Hermanas--Brothers and Sisters!! I have just received news about the most generous offering that you have sent to me. Oh my goodness! I am very thankful! You know that after Renee`s death I had started a special fund to help very needy families here in Paraguay to be able to continue with their education and many of you contributed to the fund at that time. Well it got kind of depleted with time but I tried to keep it up a little and always had some funds at hand for the inevitable expenses at the end of each month. And, of course, it was discovered by the thieves that broke into the house causing me big budget problems. Now with this "miracle gift" we can get back on track and I think finish off the school year very well! I am especially thankful for Dani whom we have helped finish his high school and he is now in his second year at the University studying Social Work. He is the oldest of eight children. The mother at the birth of the eighth child was given an overdose of anesthesia and has become like a little child herself. The father has become an alcoholic. Any money that Dani earns here and there goes to feed his brothers and sisters. So hopefully he will be able to finish his schooling and eventually be working to help the rest of his family complete their education. I think I can say very loudly along with Dani, MUCHAS GRACIAS! from Juanito (John) Carter And Another from Deb Murphy Dear Friends, Thank you so much for your support and willingness to try new things while I've been studying at United Theological Seminary. I'd also beautiful and I will treasure it like to thank the Worship Committee for the handpainted, handmade stole. It is. Blessings, Deb Deb’s stole was crafted by local artist Chillen Leach

Raytown Youth lead worship service

The inspirations Youth Choir of from Raytown Christian Church, Kansas City, not only provided music for the June 5 worship service, but also presented a thought-provoking dramatic skit with music about the meaning of Freedom in Christ. This is the 40th annual trip the group has taken under the leadership of Mrs. Suanne Comfort. Prayer Shawl Display Take a moment on Sunday, June 19, to view the Prayer Shawls made by the Handcrafters that will be on display at the front of the sanctuary. A number of the shawls made by the Handcrafters have gone to folks both within and outside of the first Christian faith community. Dorothy Stegner, coordinator of the Prayer Shawl ministry, says that the shawls are available to any deserving person (and they don’t have to be a part of First.) If you know of somebody in need of one of these wonderful crafts, please contact the church office. Courier on Summer Schedule The Courier will be published every three weeks during the summer, instead of the usual two week schedule. Look for the church newsletter around July 9, July 30 and August 20. Contact Martha Harris ( if you have items or information you’d like published this summer.

Bi-Weekly Calendar
Sundays at First Christian Church
Summer Worship at 10:00 am Before Worship After Worship

Reflections on the Word
“Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.” --Matthew 10:40 There it is: one welcome welcomes many. In this case, it’s Jesus commissioning his disciples to minister in his name; those who accept the disciples’ ministry accept the God behind it. Welcome works similarly with people: if you proclaim welcome to one, another will come. If you proclaim unwelcome, more than one will stay away. Whom do you welcome, and whom do you unwelcome? Gracious God, You have placed in us the capacity to welcome and the capacity to unwelcome. Aid us in knowing even more the capacity for welcoming you. Through your son, Jesus, who welcomes sinners. Amen. –Chris Wogaman

Spiritual Formation Classes 9:00 am This Week at FCC
Sunday, June 19 Food Pantry Sunday Elders Meet at Bradys’ 5 pm

Fellowship Time 11:15

Next Week at FCC
Sunday, June 26 Questions of Faith sermon Twin Cities Gay Pride Wednesday, June 29 Staff Meeting

Monday, June 20 Creation Care Day Camp begins Tuesday, June 21 Creation Care Day Camp Board Meeting Wednesday, June 22 Creation Care Day Camp Thursday, June 23 Creation Care Day Camp Handcrafters Ministry Council Friday, June 24 Creation Dare Day Camp Saturday, June 25 Men’s Group Twin Cities Gay Pride 9 am


7 pm

9 am 7 pm

A Thoughtful Church in the Heart of the City Ministry Team
All Members of the Congregation Robert Brite, Interim Minister Dennis Sanders, Associate Minister of Diversity and Mission Chris Wogaman, Office Manager Rick Bowman, Building Manager Deb Murphy, Director of Spiritual Formation & Community Ministry James Baumgartner, Interim Music Director Serena Carlson, Nursery Attendant Martha Harris, Courier Editor Telephone: 612.870.1868 Prayer Phone: 612.870.0984 Christian Courier is published bimonthly. Send items and ideas to church office or to Martha Harris by Sun., July 3 for next issue.


2201 1st Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55404
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