(Archive) COVID Updates for the 2022 New Year

(Archive) With the positivity rate in Minnesota at the highest it has been at any point in the pandemic, we have made the difficult, but necessary decision to move to online worship and programming for the rest of January. Religious Education leaders are in conversation about how best to help students stay connected through virtual RE. Read below and view Rev. Lisa’s 1/12 Mid-Week Video Message for more details. 

For the past two years, we have been guided by the values of safety, inclusion, and consent in our COVID policies for our congregation and community. We have followed the science and the recommendations of the CDC and MDH. While we have rejoiced in the ability to offer an in person option and to pursue hybrid church, we must also consider the changing context around us in light of our values and care for one another.  Continue reading →

From the Board: January 2022

Each month, a member of the board will share a reflection on the Soul Matters monthly theme and the state of the church. The theme for January is Living with Intention. This month’s post is offered by Becky Halat.

In July 2020, I started a yoga practice. I’ve found some amazing body-positive yoga teachers on the internet, and have enjoyed practicing from my home over Zoom. It’s been a wonderful gift to be able to relieve stress and move my body intentionally and joyfully with the help of these professionals. And I’ve found that yoga helps me live with intention, which is January’s theme.

If there ever was a time to live intentionally, it’s now. Every time you do anything outside of your home, you have to consider if it’s worth the risk. Am I putting myself, my family, or my community in unnecessary danger through this action? And how can I mitigate the risk as much as possible without going overboard? Continue reading →

From the Board: December 2021

Each month, a member of the board will share a reflection on the Soul Matters monthly theme and the state of the church. The theme for December is Opening to Joy. This month’s post is offered by Shelley Buss.

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This Fall I was driving solo to my son’s Saturday morning soccer game, and that particular day I was running a few minutes late with the road construction on Hwy 7. So I was a little peeved, but then all of a sudden a car came flying up besides me, the window in the back rolled down, and there was Theo with the biggest beaming smile on his face, waving like crazy at me. All my anger evaporated with the sight of that little guy so happy, so filled with joy at meeting on the road. The car sped up, the moment ended, we both continued separately to the game, and it got me thinking. To me, joy seems to occur when 3 things exist concurrently: authentic happiness, being present in the moment, and most importantly, not having any expectations for what should be happening. It just is, and you want to soak up every last drop of it. Continue reading →

From the Board: November 2021

Each month, a member of the board will share a reflection on the Soul Matters monthly theme and the state of the church. The theme for November is Holding History. This month’s post is offered by Brian Zais.

Jupiter-2004-03-18-715-cI never much liked history in school.  Dry regurgitation of names, dates, and events never held my interest.  Those were things that happened back then.  They were a little like looking at names on my family tree from 100 years ago.  Sure, William McCaffery was my great grandfather.  That name could have been Seamus O’Connor and I probably would have turned out the same. It was only later in life that I truly developed my appreciation for history, and especially those moments when the course of history changed, even if people at the time didn’t realize it. Continue reading →

From the Board: October 2021

Each month, a member of the board will share a reflection on the Soul Matters monthly theme and the state of the church. The theme for October is Cultivating Relationship. This month’s post is offered by Janna Sundby.

Cultivating deep relationships is easier when there’s shared respect between people.

I’ve been shopping at Cub in Shorewood for over 25 years.  There was a very tall guy who collects the grocery carts and does various maintenance work inside the store. I’ve seen him many times over the seasons and years. In winter he wears a huge fur hat, and in the summer, he wears a wide-brimmed ratan hat. Seeing him work tirelessly in all kinds of weather, made me appreciate him.  I noticed how he seemed to know the all the little kids who came into the store.  We’d exchange pleasantries and comments on the weather.  He was kind enough to jump my car one winter day when I found the battery dead.  We never talked deeply about anything, and I found out by accident that we stood on the opposite sides of the 2016 election.  I left that alone and focused on what I respected in him. Continue reading →