Dear Friends in Christ,

During the month of March we – as children of God - will spend all but 5 of the days of this month in the season of Lent. (Lent start on March 6th.)  For that reason, this article will focus a bit on what Lent is all about for God’s people – sent to us as a gift.  Personally, during these coming 31 days, I’ll spend 13 days “down under”.  My wife and I leave the day after Ash Wednesday to travel to Australia to visit our daughter who is currently living there. Therefore, reflecting on my coming vacation and my time away will also be a partial focus of this writing.

Finally, I’ll soon be leaving you as your interim pastor – assuming that the call process proceeds on course – which I expect it to do. That means my time with you could be “short”. We’ll have March, April and perhaps a portion of May to share ministry together. Then we’ll part ways.  Again, all of this is contingent upon matters moving forward in the call process as we’ve been updated as of late. If there are significant developments outside our current information stream, all of this could change. At this point I don’t expect that that will happen.  With these three themes in mind - my hope and prayer for you as a congregation – as well as for me, as I consider what my next interim position will be – is that we will all find joy and great meaning in the future that God has in store for us. Just like Lent is a gift for us for reflection and preparation for Easter – just like during my vacation I will experience a time of rest, deeper connection with family, and adventure – just like you’ll be preparing to welcome a new Senior pastor - all of us are moving forward in these March days in ways that will provide time for learning, growth, renewal, and joyful service to God and God’s creation in the coming days.

One final thought. My favorite non-holiday day on the yearly calendar takes place this month. It’s the only day that sounds like it is a command to us when we name that day: March 4th. It’s just as a favorite hymn reminds us, “We are marching in the light of God”.

May we treat the day after March 3rd and all the other days before and after that day in the coming year as invitations for God to have us “march forth” with a message of peace, patience, justice, and compassionate love for all God’s people – to God be the glory!

Pastor Scott

 

 

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March Health Minute

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon or rectum),  is the third most common cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of death from cancers that affect both men and women. Colorectal cancer affects all racial and ethnic groups and is most common in people ages 50 and older.

The best way to prevent colorectal cancer is to get screened regularly starting at age 50. There are often no signs or symptoms of colorectal cancer – that’s why it’s so important to get screened. Most colorectal cancers develop first as polyps, which are abnormal growths inside the colon or rectum that may later become cancerous if not removed.

IF symptoms are present, they may include:

A Change in Bowel Habits
Persistent Abdominal Discomfort
Rectal Bleeding
Weakness or Fatigue

Remember, the most common symptom is NO symptom, which is why it’s called the silent killer. If you’re 50 or older - get screened!

Colorectal cancer, when discovered early, is highly treatable. Even if it spreads into nearby lymph nodes, surgical treatment followed by chemotherapy is highly effective.

People over age 50 have the highest risk of colorectal cancer. You may also be at higher risk if you smoke, are African American, or have a family history of colorectal cancer.

Everyone can take these healthy steps to help prevent colorectal cancer:

Get screened starting at age 50.
Encourage your family members and friends over age 50 to get screened.
Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
Get plenty of physical activity and eat healthy.

Remember- Talk to your doctor about your risks and need to schedule a screening.

“Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul.” 3 John 2 NRSV

Linda Peterson,  Parish Nurse

Pastor Carole

I had lunch with a friend of mine this past week. We hadn’t seen each other for a long time so we were catching up. As I was going through the litany of what the past year had been like (of course focusing on the negative) she listened patiently. Then when I finished, she said, "Now what were the good things." I stopped in my tracks and I drew a complete blank. Then slowly I started thinking of the good things. As I thought of more and more good things, my shoulders started to relax and the knot in my stomach seemed to let go. I just felt better and the rest of my day definitely had a much better feel to it than it had when I started out.

Epiphany is the season of light. It comes at a time when we are beginning a new year. Traditionally I think we focus more on the new year than we do on Epiphany. But I think they have definite similarities. Epiphany is about focusing on the light of the world - the One who came to give us all new life - the One who came to shine the light of hope into a dark world. When we think about the new year, often times we think about wanting things to be better. What will make our lives easier, make things seem less difficult. Some of us even make resolutions that will hopefully make that happen. I for one, don’t make resolutions. They always end up frustrating me rather than helping me. But I think there is one resolution that my friend showed me, is well worth making - Gratitude and looking for what is good.

I will start right here and now. I am very grateful for all of you, my friends in Christ. As 2018 comes to a close and 2019 begins, I am excited to see where God leads us

Blessings,

Pastor Carole Lundell

 

Andy Peterson

I am so thankful to be the new music director at SPLC! I want to say a heartfelt "thank you" to all of you who have made me feel so welcomed. Just in case you are wondering, I was born in Maplewood and graduated from North High School in 2000 and then on to Augsburg College ‘05 with a degree in Music Education. Since graduating, I have been involved in performing, teaching, and directing. I have been involved in many different groups, such as, jazz, classical, choral, music theater, sacred, contemporary Christian, and even Somali music! I am interested in continuing the rich tradition of Lutheran music at St. Paul’s while incorporating and building new kinds of music into our worship. I believe music has an important place in our worship service and should express our hearts of praise to our God.

As the Fall season has begun, our Chancel Choir has been rehearsing on Wednesday nights from 7:15-8:15 pm and sings three Sundays per month. Our Bell Choir will have its first rehearsal on Wednesday, October 3rd from 6:15-7:15pm and will play once per month during worship.

I am thankful to work with Karen and all of our musicians who provide beautiful music for our services. I would also like to encourage any people in the congregation to think about participating in choir, bell choir, special music and/or the band.

I am so glad to be here at St. Paul’s and I am looking forward to getting to know everyone in the congregation.

In Christ,

Andy Peterson

Greetings Members and friends at St. Paul Lutheran,

I am so grateful and glad to be here and I am looking forward to serving you in the capacity of Children, Youth, & Family and Education Coordinator!

A little bit about me: I grew up in central MN, where my parents still live.I am a mom to three kids - Matthew (11), Ella (10), and Levi (5 1/2, as he’ll tell you!). I also have two "fur babies", a rescue dog, Scout, and a bunny, Gracie. We live in Bayport, where we moved almost 2 years ago. By the time you all see this, I will have graduated from Augsburg University with a B.A. in Religion and an emphasis in Theology. I have felt called in to ministry since I was a young girl, with my grandpa (who was a pastor) as a tremendous role model for me. I intend on starting at Luther Seminary in the fall to begin work on my Masters of Divinity degree, which is necessary in becoming a Pastor. I have a passion for theology, and special interest in the Holocaust and work of Dietrich Bonhoeffer during WWII. I love working with young people. It is my passion to share the profound love of Christ with them, that they would truly know what it is to be and live as a beloved child of God. Prior to coming here, I worked at Bethlehem Lutheran in Bayport for almost four years as their Children, Youth and Families Ministry Director. Prior to that, I was a very active volunteer in the youth ministry at Our Saviour’s Lutheran in Hastings.

I don’t have loads of free time, as you might imagine! But in the free time I do have, I enjoy gardening and relaxing in my hammock. I am pretty "crafty" and love decorating (as I shared with you all through the decorations at the Easter breakfast!). Thanks to my mom, I have a deep appreciation for all things old, and especially primitive antiques! I have a pretty large garden in the summer and enjoy growing a large variety of things in it! I also love walking my dog and running. I have a goal of completing a half marathon in the next year (and maybe a full one someday!). I have been itching to learn to sew, so I will most definitely be connecting with our yarnsters to learn the art of quilt making! Finally, I have grown to love traveling (though I am less than fond of airplanes!), and enjoyed taking the kids to Disneyland and the beaches of Anaheim, CA this past fall. I also studied for 15 days in Germany last May. I would love to live and work in Germany one day, but that, of course is up to God and what He has planned for me!

I am humbled and thrilled to have been chosen for this position and already have grown to love this community we share. My family and I look forward to calling this place our church home for a long time to come, and I deeply appreciate the ways you have all already swooped us up and made us feel so welcome here!

Please know my office door is always open, and I welcome the opportunity to get to know and serve you all!

Peace! Amy Peterson

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