Remembering Pastor Stephanie

Anniversaries are powerful occasions, both happy anniversaries such as weddings and birthdays, but also sad anniversaries of sorrow and grief. This is a season of moving through the anniversaries of trauma and loss for our church. One year ago on August 26 we learned that Pastor Stephanie had suffered a devastating heart attack and stroke. In the days that followed we prayer, waiting, hoped, feared and believed in God’s care for her and for us all. On September 6 we received the news we so hoped we would not receive, that Pastor Stephanie had died. On September 15 we gathered at Central Lutheran Church to proclaim our eternal hope in Christ’s resurrection and commend her life to God’s care. These are hard days to recall, and we will have varied ways of responding as these anniversaries approach. There is no right or wrong way to remember, and we can hold one another and our whole congregation in prayer, giving space and time for all our responses to these anniversaries and times of reflection.

On Friday, September 6, there will be several opportunities for prayer and reflection available in the church sanctuary from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Come to church for a few minutes or longer to light a candle, write in a prayer journal, read scripture, or simply sit in quiet remembrance. Area Lutheran pastors will be present throughout the day for anointing and conversation.

On September 8, Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. we will have a worship service with singing, reflections and individual anointing. Many of Pastor Stephanie’s family members will attend.

These are two ways we hope to offer space and care for those who find this to be a difficult season. Also know we are available to you to speak one on one if your grief is especially heavy.

Blessings to each of you as we continue to walk together, being beloved community together and being a beloved community for the world.

Pastor Jeff and Pastor Jay

Becoming Beloved Community in Redeemer's Backyard

"There is another element that must be present in our struggle that then makes our resistance and nonviolence truly meaningful. That element is reconciliation. Our ultimate end must be the creation of the beloved community." Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Next Wednesday, we're all invited to enter into beloved community with the people of Harrison neighborhood at Redeemer Lutheran Church's 17th Annual Block Party. For those of us who've attended in the past, we know this will be a joyous celebration of community, culture, connectedness...and good food!! We know we will see familiar faces and meet many of our siblings for the first time. We know this will be a time that feels familiar and also very different from a typical ECLC BBQ in the parking lot. Above all, we know God will be present in our midst.

Last year 40 ECLC folks joined the celebration and this year we hope to double or triple this bounty of presence. Please join us for live music by the Redeemer band, live painting by Robert Coleman and his students, live Zumba classes and activities for the kids led by community members, and grilled burgers, roasted corn, fresh veggies and bread oven pizza. Come to the Northside. The feast is ready. All are welcome! Wednesday, August 21 from 6-8pm. 1800 Glenwood Avenue, Minneapolis.

"You can't really be in relationship if you never go there." Deacon Lauren Morse-Wendt

Cheryl P., ECLC Mission Liaison to Redeemer Lutheran Church

Supporting Our Young People and Ministry

One of the great joys in ministry is seeing young people living into their baptismal call, developing a passion for ministry and for Christ’s church. It is also a great joy and privilege to be able to offer financial support to people from the ECLC Pastors’ Discretionary Fund.

Recently these two joys came together when two of our young people, Sophie B. and Paavo R., offered their time and talent with enthusiasm to ELCA programs. Paavo attended the Lutheran Summer Music Academy, a month-long immersion in church music. Sophie is embarking on a year-long mission program for young adults in Mexico. It was a pleasure to be able to provide some funding from ECLC for these worthy endeavors. Now, read the thank you notes to YOU from Paavo and Sophie!

I want to thank you for helping to provide me with the opportunity to spend a month at Valparaiso University studying with the Lutheran Summer Music Academy program. I have worked harder than I ever have before and know my musicianship and faith will be forever affected.


The most powerful aspect at the camp was the focused on bringing people together through music and faith. As a result I have made lasting connections with people I never expected to be friends with. The focus on tearing down walls, building bridges, and creating unity through a common purpose led everyone there to leave a more accepting person, along with being a better musician. I loved it so much that I have already signed up to return.

I thank you for making this experience possible.



Thank you, ECLC community, for your support as I begin a year of service with Young Adults in Global Mission. I’m prepared for a transforming year of working with immigrants and people who have been deported in Mexico City. My time will be split between an organization called Insituto para las Mujeres en la Migración (Institute for Immigrating Women) and Iglesia Luterana del Buen Pastor, a Lutheran church with members who immigrated from a variety of countries. This work is rooted in the radical love and acceptance that I learned at ECLC.

Thank you for your support as I begin this journey!



If you would like to support the Pastors’ Discretionary Fund, making these gifts possible and also other opportunities to express your care for people in need, donations can be made at any time. It is also a wonderful way to honor someone for a special occasion or to remember a loved one who has died. If you’d like to consider a planned or major gift to this fund, I’d love to talk to you. Please contact me at or call 952-926-3808.

In gratitude,

Pastor Jeff