Longest Night Service

The holidays can be difficult when going through a time of sadness or loss. This evening, December 19, you are invited to come as you are, and our service will honor the full experience of the holidays. Come to find support for yourself or to offer prayers for others who are preparing for a “blue” Christmas this year. Karen B. will share poetry inspired by her own experience of grief, and we will proclaim our Advent trust that God’s dawn will yet scatter the shadows. Join us for the soup supper at 6:00 and the service at 7:00.

If you would benefit from additional support in the coming weeks, remember that the pastors, staff, and other members of ECLC are available to meet with you to talk about whatever you are going through this season. Also, the grief transition team has compiled a list of resources for both adults and children dealing with feelings of loss, including the following counselors:

Karen Stevensen – karenstevensen.com
Edina Grief Coalition – edinagriefsupport.org
Center for Grief Loss Transition – griefloss.org
Mt. Olivet Counseling – mtolivet.org/resources/counseling
Westminster Counseling – westminstercounseling.org

You do not need to journey through difficult feelings all alone. As beloved community, we can be honest with one another about how we’re feeling and accompany one another when life is hard. Through it all, Christ is with us.

Children's Christmas Program - Dec. 16 at 11am

Children & Youth Leading Refuge: The Timeless Story of Christmas!

Sunday, Dec 16 at 11am

This Advent, as we prepared to hear the story of the Holy Family taking refuge for Jesus' birth, we pondered together. What does it mean to seek refuge? What does it mean to provide refuge? And, what does it mean that again and again God assures us that God is our refuge?

For the last 5 weeks, ECLC children have been learning, pondering and preparing to share Anne Booth & Sam Usher's timely retelling of the cherished Nativity as a powerful story of refugees, through storytelling, music, art, and hands-on service learning.

This Sunday, December 16 the whole congregation will accompany and assist children & youth together in their role as worship leaders, helping to lead Refuge: The Timeless Story of Christmas during our 11am worship service. Please invite family and friends as we all continue to grow in our understanding of what it means to seek and provide refuge.

Why are the children wearing backpacks? Homeless people seeking refuge often carry their possessions in backpacks. We are asking children & youth to bring a backpack from home this coming Sunday, to wear during 11am worship. ECLC Mission Committee is going to provide each child with a culturally appropriate food item for our African immigrant friends, to be distributed through Community Emergency Service (CES).

Why does the manger scene look like a homeless shelter? The reality is that many homeless people are sleeping without a roof over their heads, even in the cold winter months. God calls us to see this reality, and to be agents of change. This year’s manger scene is a reminder to us all that Mary, Joseph, and Jesus were frightened refugees on the run from Herod, who relied on the kindness of strangers for shelter.

Why are there children’s shoes in front of the altar? These shoes are symbolic of children around the world, forced to flee their communities in response to chronic violence, poverty, environment displacement and lack of opportunities. We cannot ignore the heartbreaking realities of our world. These shoes remind us of our commitment to all our neighbors, especially to detained immigrant families and unaccompanied immigrant children.

Immigration Court Vigil

There Is Room Here: Asylum Is a Human Right!

Join ECLC with Interfaith Coalition on Immigration (ICOM) on Tuesday, December 11 from 7:30- 8:30 AM outside the immigration court at the Bishop Henry Whipple Federal Building at Fort Snelling as we stand in solidarity with detained immigrants, sing songs of hope, and light candles and wait for the dawn to pierce the shadows over the immigration court there. As people of faith have sought to follow God’s command to welcome the stranger for generations, we now show up in support of the immigrants in our communities.

A member of ECLC’s Immigration Task Force will speak, ECLCer Dick Patterson will lead music, and The Advocates for Human Rights’ Michele Garnett McKenzie will share an update about immigration detention.

Contact Lauren in the office to sign up and get directions to stand with people of faith from across Minnesota and join the group of ECLCers showing up for our neighbors on that day.