OWL Retreat - Activism through Theological Education

I'm sure many of you were disturbed by the recently created "Nashville Statement" that was penned by a large group of conservative leaders, many of whom have real political power. For those unaware, the "Nashville Statement" is a manifesto designed to support the continued oppression of women and LGBTQ folk. For centuries religious leaders and institutions have wielded control of intimacy, relationships, sex, and bodies for the sake of power and money. We live in a world that is plagued by gender-based violence, transphobia, ableism, heterosexism, sexual coercion, as well as crippling internalized sex and body shame. At ECLC, we refuse to cooperate.

At the beginning of November, ECLC will be holding our semi-annual OWL Retreat for our youth. OWL refers to the acronym "Our Whole Lives." This retreat is not a substitute for health class at school; rather, it's a form of activism through theological education, pushing up against things like rape culture, patriarchy, gender binaries, sexism, double standards, gender stereotypes, sexual coercion, unhealthy relationships, domestic abuse, low self-worth...and the list continues.

This year's OWL retreat will focus on four main areas in the realm of sexuality and gender and theology: self-worth, healthy sexual relationships, responsibility, and justice and inclusivity. At the OWL retreat, we will look deeper not just in the issues listed, but also the questions of our own identities in relationship with God and each other.

-       J.D. Mechelke, ECLC High School Youth Minister

Fall Adult Faith Formation

This Fall, we invite you to take full advantage of the meaningful Adult Faith Formation opportunities available. Attend Sunday morning Forums. Join a Bible study on Tuesday evenings or Wednesday mornings. Take a look at the offerings this month:

Sunday, September 17, 9:45 a.m.      
Refugee & Immigrant Experience in MN
We welcome our ministry partners from Lutheran Social Service who will share an in-depth look at the current challenges immigrants and refugees experience in Minnesota and how we, as people of faith, can respond.

Sunday, September 24, 9:45 a.m.
Racial Justice: Rev. Dr. Nekima Levy-Pounds
Nekima Levy-Pounds is a renowned civil rights attorney, ordained Reverend, former law professor, freedom fighter, legal scholar, blogger, and national expert on issues at the intersections of race, public policy, economic justice, public education, juvenile justice, and the criminal justice system.

Making Sense of Scripture (7 week Bible study)
Starting Tuesdays on September 19 at 7 p.m. or Wednesdays on September 20 at 10 a.m.

In Making Sense of Scripture, author David Lose invites the reader to engage in a conversation, one that he imagines discussing around his kitchen table, about seven major questions of the Bible. More than a standard biblical reference book, Making Sense of Scripture is a dialogue that encourages readers to bring their questions or doubts to the table when reading Scripture. During this conversation, there are different opportunities for the reader to interact with the Bible, ultimately leaving room for personal transformation of the heart and mind.

Want to sign up? Email Pastor Stephanie Coltvet Erdmann indicating which days you’ll attend, or register at the Sign Up Center. Workbooks: $13, payable to ECLC.

Renewal Sunday, September 10

Gather Renewal Sunday, September 10, and begin a New year of mission & ministry together!
Backpack blessings and “shine your light” buttons for school-age children, during worship at 8:30 & 11. Special recognition will be given to kindergarteners, and all who have changed jobs or retired over the past year. Between worship services participate in a Scavenger Hunt. Here are some of the activities planned for our morning:

  • Engage with high school youth at three stations where they will share their summer experiences together at The Naming Project, the Augsburg College Youth Theology Institute, and Pilgrimage 2017 in El Salvador.
  • Sit at the Peace Table and use a real rose to have a peaceful conversation.
  •  Write ECLC’s banner message with sidewalk chalk, “Love Your Neighbor (No exceptions).”
  • Introduce yourself to the new interim pastor, Galen Hora. Ask him about his last name.
  • Advocate for strong mental health policies & support our walking team for the National Alliance on Mental Illness walk with ECLC’s Mission Team.
  • Write postcards to Congress on DACA and sign up for a book group with ECLC’s Immigration Task Force.
  • Eat one of Svea’s homemade cupcakes at the Cake for Breakfast tower. If you’re between the ages of 1 and 101 and celebrated a summer birthday or baptism birthday, take home a gift.
  • Pick up your copy of the Kids, Youth & Family Guide. See who your teachers are, what your schedule looks like, and when your Faith Milestone event happens.
  • If you’re new to Sunday School say “hi” to Carla and Sandy in the 3 year old classroom. Find your classroom.
  • Visit ECLC’s peace pole on the front lawn.

Haven’t signed up yet for Sunday School or Confirmation? Register all children birth through eighth grade HERE and youth in grades 9-12 HERE

Looking forward to seeing you all on Sunday!