Sunday Forum Series on Housing

Seeking just and affordable housing in our communities has long been a concern of this congregation. We invite you to continue this work through participating in the next three Sunday morning adult forums. We will learn together how past policy has impacted current housing practice and discuss what needs and concerns now face the Twin Cities.

This Sunday, March 24, guest speaker Adam Fairbanks will discuss Homelessness in Native Communities. Last year, the homeless encampment along Hiawatha and Franklin Avenues, known as The Wall of Forgotten Natives, became a very visible reminder of urban homelessness in our community. Adam Fairbanks, a member of the White Earth Nation, will speak about his work as a consultant for the Red Lake Nation.

On Sunday, March 31, Luther Seminary Ph.D. candidate Katherine Parent will join us to discuss housing discrimination. She will share her research and findings on the history of racist and anti-Semitic housing discrimination in Minnesota and will specifically address the roles Lutherans have played in this history.

On Sunday, April 7, we will welcome Kat Vann, a congregational organizer with our mission partner organization Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative. Kat will share an update on 66 West, the affordable housing project for young adults that ECLC helped to create. She will also discuss new directions for Beacon, including upcoming projects in the western suburbs.

Transition Team Update

In 2017, Pastor Jeff Sartain was among the pastoral candidates who read ECLC's "Ministry Site Profile." That document was created by a "Transition Team" led by Kathy M., and it represented the input of over 200 ECLC households who completed an extensive congregational ministry survey. This year, a newly formed transition team is charged with the task of creating a new Ministry Site Profile as our congregation anticipates engaging in another call process. The members of this new transition team are: David E., chair, Whitney H., Janet T. and Daniel M. Grateful for the work done in 2017, our team's task is to update the Ministry Site Profile so that it (still) accurately describes who are are as a faith community and articulates our congregational priorities for the next pastor we will call.

Within a few weeks, the transition team will share a new draft of the Ministry Site Profile with Bishop Ann Svennungsen who will come to ECLC and lead the congregation in reflection and help us to further shape it for use in the call process. We welcome your thoughts, concerns or ideas--which you can share with us in person or via email at any time. We are honored to serve you in this work.

Settling Songs During Lent

Each week during Lent this year we will sing a Settling Song.

As our congregation continues to move toward becoming Beloved Community we also continue to find ways to understand our own brokenness as individuals and as a congregation, as well as our deep connections with each other. There are many ways to do this. Singing is one simple way of getting in touch with our own bodies and spirits as well as the bodies and spirits of others in our congregation.

In addition, ECLC is deeply involved in the work of racial reconciliation and racial justice. To that end, one way to begin to address as a country and as individuals the scars we bear from our brutal racial past, is to first understand how the trauma of that past effects all of us and to learn to settle our bodies in the midst of that trauma. Without first settling ourselves, it is difficult to move ahead with racial reconciliation and understanding.

In My Grandmother’s Hands - Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem, the author suggests that “the first step in (racial reconciliation) is settling our own bodies, one by one. When, over time, enough bodies heal from historical, intergenerational, and personal trauma and learn to harmonize (with other bodies), that harmony can turn into a culture of resilience and flow.” He lists numerous ways we can do this. Singing together is one of them.

The Settling Songs will be short, one verse songs that we will repeat several times in a row. This will allow us to focus on settling our bodies and becoming more deeply connected to those around us. While singing these songs, you’ll be invited to consider adding one or more of these simple, centuries-old settling techniques:

…rocking back and forth to the music

…being aware of your breathing to relax and slow it down

…gently rubbing your stomach or solar plexus to help release tension

…if you’re next to a loved one, holding their hand or leaning into one another

As we worship together in the weeks, months and years to come we will continue to look for ways to be even more fully human, vulnerable, and authentic as we share our time together on Sunday mornings.