Youth Breakfast Fundraiser

High School youth are invited to participate in an annual Pilgrimage (traditionally referred to as "mission trip") each summer. Pilgrimage locations vary from in-country to international. Youth participate in reflection and social analysis before and after each trip, and share their experiences with the congregation upon their return. This summer youth from ECLC will be experiencing the juxtaposition between Mount Rushmore and Wounded Knee–namely, Christian colonialism. We will explore what it means to be Christians in a country where our (Christian’s) history is counter to the gospel we seek: the colonization and oppression of native peoples. On the way, we will stop at places such as Reconciliation Park in Mankato, the Akta Lakota Museum, and hear about the turmoil caused by the Dakota Access Pipeline. We will be staying between the Pine Ridge Retreat Center and Outlaw Ranch. 

Please come this Sunday to the YOUTH BREAKFAST to support our high-schoolers summer Pilgrimage: Blood and Water in South Dakota. We will be serving breakfast next Sunday in the fellowship hall from 9:30-10:45 am. Suggested Donations: Adults $10-$20, Children/Youth 6-17 $5, Children under 5 are free.

Augsburg University Choir

ECLC will host the Augsburg University Choir, which will be concluding their spring tour with a concert in our sanctuary Wednesday evening, May 2nd at 7 p.m. Conductor Mark Sedio is a good friend to ECLC, and the spouse of Pastor Jeff Sartain.

The 50-voice Augsburg Choir celebrates a long tradition of excellence in choral music. Praised for its high level of musicianship, the ensemble performs a diverse repertoire including compositions by well-known Scandinavian and American composers as well as a wide variety of music from throughout the world. The Augsburg Choir has premiered works by Knut Nystedt, Stephen Paulus, Steve Heitzeg, Carol Barnett, Egil Hovland, Kari Tikka, and Sigvald Tveit.

The concert at ECLC will feature a new piece with text written by member, Rev. Justin Lind-Ayres, “Behold the Neighbor!”

Justin says of the piece,  “Behold the Neighbor!” is my effort to help us (me!) see anew the neighbors around us and, ultimately, to see that we are neighbors. In this text, I reach back to Luke 10:23 as the interpretative lens for the parable of the Good Samaritan where Jesus stated to the disciples, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see!” What do your eyes see when you engage the Good Samaritan story? Behold, our holy vision. Behold, the Christ. Behold—neighbor! This, I believe, is our calling from Jesus—to be the neighbor. To love the neighbor with heart and soul, with strength and mind, is to be the neighbor to one another through the love of Christ.

There will be no charge for the concert, and a free-will offering will be received. If you would be willing to volunteer to help host this event by ushering or greeting guests, please contact Pastor Jeff. Please plan to attend, bring family or friends, and enjoy hearing this excellent choir perform in our beautiful sanctuary.

66 West Celebrates 11 Months!

11 months after openings its doors to residents, we are pleased to celebrate 66 West successes with this update from Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative.  Save the date for a tour on Sunday, April 22th at 1pm and a longer 66 West update during the Sunday Forum on Sunday, May 6th.

Some information on the first residents of 66 West:

  • All were homeless before moving into 66 West.
  • More than half were without a stable home for more than a year
  • 2/3 are from the western suburbs
  • About 50% identify as male and 50% identify as female
  • 20% identify as LGBTQ
  • ¾ identify as people of color
  • After 6 months of residency, nearly all are working and/or in school
  • 80% remained as residents at the end of 2017
  • Resident surveys indicates they feel safe at 66 West and believe the building is well maintained

With feedback from residents, 66 West staff help facilitate community activities including: hosting a monthly community meal, launching a community council of residents, and organizing life skills groups.  Advocates also engage the broader community, including: Southdale Library set up a mini-library on-site; Fairview Hospital hosted an employment and job shadowing workshop; and a peer mediation program partner has helped residents adjust to living in community. A new meditation room is now available for all residents at their request.

It’s exciting to see young people move from surviving to thriving. One of the 66 West youth, Kira,* is completing course work to earn a Food and Beverage Management Certificate at Normandale Community College while also maintaining employment at Cub Foods. She’s investing in her career. Another resident, Jose, just bought a car. He is making on-time payments and successfully maintaining his auto insurance. For Lexi, living at 66 West has given her the support she needs to begin college. She is in the middle of her first semester and working part time at the Southdale YMCA.  (*names have been changed.)

Thank you, ECLC, for your vision that includes all as part of God’s beloved community and seeks dignity and justice through supportive housing for our neighbors.