Celebrate Lauren's Ministry!

Lauren Morse-Wendt joined the staff of ECLC in August of 2008. For a decade we have benefitted from her open spirit, her joyful enthusiasm, her deep compassion, her bright mind, and her love for this congregation and for God’s whole world. She has led the way in mission, prompting us when we were complacent, encouraging us when we felt overwhelmed, and inspiring us with her creativity. We are blessed by her ministry, and by the great gift of her “Lauren-ness.” Her vision leads us from El Salvador to 66 West, and so many places in between where we learn how Christ is present to us when we serve in love. She welcomes newcomers among us and helps them make our church their spiritual home. She loves our littlest ones and our elders too. Her ministry is a bright, bright light. 

In honor of her first decade of service with us, we will honor her and celebrate with her on August 26, following worship. Come prepared to eat, to laugh, to hear (or speak!) stories about her ministry, and to give thanks to God for Lauren. How fortunate we are to be partners with her in ministry!  

Witnessing Trauma - A Pastoral Letter

I watched the video. The video that was released earlier this week in Minneapolis, revealing what happened between Minneapolis Police and Thurman Blevins. I won’t pretend to have answers, but I will share some thoughts on what I saw. You cannot unsee once you have seen.

Initially, all I could see was fear. Fear in Justin’s and Ryan’s words and actions as soon as they got out of their car. Fear in Thurman’s actions and words as soon as he began to run. Fight and flight. My own body froze and I held my breath as I watched the trauma unfold. There were others who witnessed this firsthand: a woman and their child, neighbors, and onlookers. As human beings, we all have physiological reactions to threats, which have varying consequences. Some can choose to walk away, while others will carry this story forever.

Today, a man remains dead, police face scrutiny, the community has questions, and a system is left unchanged. 

Now as I look around, I see pain. Pain in brothers and sisters of color who have endured this kind of trauma countless times. Pain in parents and loved ones of police officers whose loyalty is fierce and unwavering. Pain in police officers who feel like their motives are questioned. Pain in a community that has not learned how to talk with each other about this trauma.

How does one respond as a person of faith? I have lots of questions, not only about how this situation could have unfolded differently, but also about how you and I might bear witness to God’s call for love, compassion, mercy, and justice. How are you responding and making sense of this? Do you notice a physiological reaction in your body when you learn of a tragedy like this? Are you having honest and vulnerable conversations about your own fear and pain? I believe this is an important place to start.

The Racial Justice Action and Advocacy team has begun reading a book called My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menekem (MSW, LICSW, SEP). I commend this resource to you if you want to grow and stretch in your understanding of yourself and others in our individual and collective journeys toward racial reconciliation and healing. Please talk with me or Pastor Jeff if you would like to connect with us and others in our congregation who want to accompany you in this important work.

Pastor Stephanie

Let Us Break Bread Together/ De Rodillas Compartamos Hoy El Pan

When we gather around God’s table each Sunday, we join people of faith around the table in sharing God’s abundant meal. This Sunday, we are also invited to receive God’s meal in the same space.

You are invited to worship with our sibling congregation, St. Paul’s Lutheran, at 2742 15th Ave S. in Minneapolis, during their 11am bilingual Spanish/English worship service this Sunday, July 29th.  Stay afterward for a potluck lunch to begin conversations with neighbors and build beloved community.

As one of the first Lutheran congregations in Minneapolis, founded by immigrants over 130 years ago, St. Paul’s carries on its mission among its neighborhood’s immigrant population today.  Beyond worship in both English and Spanish, St. Paul’s is known as an arts hub, offering mosaic, photography, and writing classes for children and adults, community programming for all ages, and as a safe harbor for all navigating life in the United States in these times.   

During these frightening times for immigrants in our communities, our friends from St. Paul’s have expressed the hope they feel when we simply join them in their space, worship alongside them, and stand in solidarity with them.  Let’s pack their sanctuary to show them our support.  Can’t make it? Be sure to attend worship at ECLC at 9:30am, where we will sing one of St. Paul’s worship hymns and bless a quilt that will be gifted to St. Paul’s later that day.

If you have questions, contact Lauren at ECLC.