Summer is upon us…

I think it is finally on the brink – summer! I know the “official” summer does not hit until June 21, but for me Memorial Day weekend marks its beginning, and now we have until Labor Day weekend to shift gears and enjoy the summer.

What does this summer hold for you? Weekends at a lake
cabin?  Brats on the grill?  Boating on the river?   Some projects you have put off? Maybe camping is your passion?
Or fishing?  Do you lose yourself in lawn and garden care? Maybe you are an avid golfer? Do you have a trip or two
planned?  A family reunion, a graduation party or even a wedding to attend? What about endless baseball or soccer games
with the kids? What about the plethora art fairs, county fair, outdoor concerts, Summer Tuesdays events? 

Lots to do! Lots to squeeze in over the coming three or so months. Summer is here, and in order to make sure we enjoy every minute of it, some things just have to give. Some of our regular activities during the other nine months of the year simply get put on the back burner. I am afraid that for many of us, one of those back burner concerns is our relationship and time with God. Is that the case for you? Does your early morning rush to the golf course or the garden get in the way of those few important minutes of reflection and prayer that can shape the day? Does gathering with a faith community in worship on Sunday mornings take second fiddle to other activities? Are you making plans to tend to your faith life with Christ in the months of summer – or can it just wait until Labor Day weekend when the summer break is over? 

Here is my suggestion to you for this summer: Give some thought to how this time of shifting gears for three months can include renewal for your soul. Let the word “recreation” remind you of both the summer opportunities for summer regeneration and for “RE-creation” with your relationship with God. Just as you make all of your other summer plans, start now and make a plan with God. Visit churches as your travel. Gather regularly with our faith community on weekends as part of your summer “recreation” and “RE-creation” Set aside some time out in the boat or the garden, for fishing for God’s hopes for you and tending to the flower box of your spirit. Find some other friends in Christ to sit under a tree in the park for some quiet time of reflection together. And make sure you keep a watchful eye open to the needs of others around you.

Yes, indeed, summer is upon us, and I, for one am grateful. There are so many wonderful opportunities in the days ahead, and I pray that your summer will also include some intentional times of “recreation” and “RE-creation” as you make time to connect with God.

Pastor Janel

Pastor Suzy

As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world….. The glory that you have given me  I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me,  that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”   John 17:18, 22-23 NRSV

Jesus is praying these prayers for his disciples as he is about to be arrested and sent to the cross, and these prayers are also given for us, God’s children. The blessings he imparts to us here to be his faithful witnesses sent out into the world to share the good news. That the world might know God’s steadfast love, his grace, united with the Trinity once again in an eternal communion.

I embraced fully this past weekend the amazing knowledge how deeply I am loved by the Lord our God, and by those intricately stitched into the fabric of my heart as I walked across that graduation stage. It is incredibly inspiring knowing in your heart and soul that you are called by God, pursued for this very moment in time to be his disciple. Realizing that almost by a fluke, we somehow might have landed in just the right place, with the people we are supposed to be with, to receive the divine blessing in order for his glorification to take place through us. It is immeasurably humbling. Thank you St. Paul Lutheran for your loving support and forming, your faithful partnership and mentoring to grow disciples and leaders for the church. Thank You especially Pastor Janel and Internship Committee for all that you have done and given to me! I say that with love sincerely!

We sit in these very auspicious moments during our lives and I am thinking deeply today about how wonderful all that love feels. It is in essence; that we experience that oneness with each other and a part to play in something that is vast and bigger than we are. It is in that community and communing God becomes glorified.

It is in the end, all about the relationships we make, and the people we will meet and touch in the course of our lives as to how we live into these promises God bestows upon us in this prayer. We have to be mindful of how our precious words become gifts that may empower and inspire one another, and that how we spend those precious seconds of every day 86,400 to be precise—really matters. It matters to our spouse, kids, neighbors, and our faith community. We witness in ways we do not even realize, by our intentions, our choices, attitudes, and our responses in all the things we do every single day. It is amazing when you think about how much we really are able to change the world as one person, and as a faith community united in God’s love.

I asked you a while back in a sermon, how do you love? I wonder if we understand how we might love a little better now in light of the fact that if we are all united in the Spirit that God bestows upon us in this prayer that
oneness of glory. Then we will truly begin to reveal to the world who Jesus is and how much he loves us all, every one of us. Let us all be inspired with passion by that steadfast abundance of God’s love, just as I am! Let us enter boldly into what God is discerning and bringing to life for this congregation

Love you all,
 Pastor Suzy

June Health Minute!

BUGS! Mosquitoes and Spiders and Ticks, OH MY !!

From family picnics and vacations to camping trips, summer is the time when we invade insect territory. And the bugs are ready for us: fleas, ticks, spiders, wasps, bees and mosquitoes all thrive in warmer months.  TICKS! What good are ticks? They are food for other animals: reptiles, amphibians, and birds all consume ticks in quantity. We are all familiar with the tick borne Lyme’s Disease. Lyme’s Disease can lead to heart & joint problems if untreated. Now another tick borne virus looms: the Powassan virus. Whereas in Lyme’s, the deer tick needs to be attached for 24 hours to transmit the virus – with Powassan, the tick can transmit the virus in 15 minutes. Since 2008, there have been 22 reported cases in Minnesota, but researchers warn that the number could grow. A Yale study reports ecological changes have resulted in the pathogen spreading to the common deer tick.

Unlike Lyme disease, which is treatable and preventable, the Powassan virus has no known treatment.  symptoms can be alleviated and some complications prevented. BUT there may be long term neurological effects.

Prevention: Use repellents, wear long pants tucked into socks or boots when outdoors. Do tick checks on yourself and family when you come in from outdoor activities.  SPIDERS! Spiders keep insect pests under control. Even though it is rare to get bitten by a spider, there are a couple varieties in the United States that you should watch out for: the black widow and the brown recluse. Although the bites themselves are often painless, the aftermath can, in very rare cases, be deadly.

The black widow spider, which is most commonly found near fences, barns and other outdoor areas in the Southern and Western states, is black with a signature red or yellow hourglass shape on its side. The brown recluse spider is most common in the Midwest and Southern states and hides away in secluded areas -- think shoes, closets, and attic.

Prevention: be aware of surroundings.

MOSQUITOES! Mosquitoes are part of the complex food web. Many fish feed on the larvae- and birds, bats, frogs and spiders and other insects feed on the adults. Mosquito-borne diseases are those spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Diseases that are spread to people by mosquitoes include Zika virus, West Nile virus, dengue, and malaria. We don’t see all of these in Minnesota but you may travel where these exist.

Prevention: use repellent. Avoid being outside at dusk. Don’t allow standing water to collect creating mosquito breeding areas.

BEES and WASPS! These insects are beneficial, pollinating our plants important to food production. But their stings or bites can be dangerous and even deadly to those allergic.

Prevention: Don’t smell like a flower –avoid perfumes and scented body products. Don’t smell like a bear – odor from heavy sweat agitate wasps. Take care eating sweet or sugary foods outside. Avoid drinking out of soda cans outside – bees and wasps are drawn to the sweetness and crawl inside.

FLEAS! Less of a problem in our northern states, we do see them. Fleas are part of our ecosystem – the larvae feast upon organic debris. Even though they bother our pets – they will bite humans, too.

Prevention: see your vet for appropriate control measures for your cats & dogs.

Repellent choices: The CDC recommends using bug repellents, such as Off!, that contain at least 20% DEET on exposed skin to reduce mosquito and tick bites. DO NOT USE DEET on babies under 2 months. There are many natural product repellents that use oil of lemon eucalyptus, oil of citronella and other natural oils. Whatever repellent you use, it is important to apply it after sunscreens or body lotions. You want the repellent to be the top layer.

So don’t let the bugs take a bite out of summer fun – you won’t be able to stop 100% of bug bites, but some revention can make a big difference.   “All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all.”   ~ Mrs. Cecil F. Alexander 1848, Hymns for Little Children

Linda Peterson, Parish Nurse Church
Office hours; Tuesdays 9am -2pm
First Sunday of the Month: Blood Pressure clinic – visits with health questions welcome.
Church phone 651.439.5970; leave voice mail or staff can relay a message immediately




SPLC Fitness Challenge!
Here We Walk: A Journey with Martin Luther

In honor of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, transport yourself on a virtual journey to Germany and learn about the significant places in the life of Martin Luther.

Make a donation and pick up a map to begin your journey. Donation box and maps located in the office.

Starting whenever you want to start, fill in one square on the map for every 15 minutes of physical activity. For example: walking, yoga, swimming, aerobics, biking - anything that gets you moving COUNTS! If you exercise 30 minutes every day, you will complete the journey in 6 weeks. You may begin a new map for another donation and prize entry if you wish.

Donation of $10/ person. Or $25/ family. Turn in completed maps by Sept. 24 to be entered in GRAND PRIZE drawing of the *pot* on October 1. You may keep the prize or donate it in your name to a church project, mission or fund of your choice.

Fitness challenge created and sponsored by the SPLC Health & Wellness Committee


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