- By Dianne Star, Joint Consolidation Team
Carolyn Hendel and I co-chaired the subcommittee for Ministries, Missions and Outreach. The subcommittee members were Emily Braun, Carol Bulchuck and Nancy Larson from Parkway; Dale and Sheryl Fisher, Karrie Haugen, Louiva Puffer and Linda Smith from Robbinsdale. The Joint Consolidation Team asked us to answer these questions:
- In what ministries will the consolidated church participate?
- How will participation in ministries be coordinated?
We began by listing all the programs for both congregations; and then organized them by category as same, similar and unique. The team has decided that all current active programs will continue, combining all the volunteers from both churches. New ministries, missions or outreach programs will have to meet these same requirements of people and money.
One program both churches participate in is Families Moving Forward. The team recommends that the coordinators jointly consider the number of weeks we host to combine what the two churches have each done in the past.
Here are some of the similar programs and our recommendations:
- Each congregation collects hats, mittens and scarves. We recommend the items collected be shared with St. Anne’s Place and with PRISM. North Memorial’s pediatric unit has closed, but we understand that they will still accept toys, books and gifts for children. We recommend it become part of this collection.
- Parkway’s food shelf bags served persons in North Minneapolis. Robbinsdale’s food drives go to PRISM which serves the northwest Twin Cities suburbs. We recommend that the New Church make food donations to both PRISM and NorthPoint’s Food Shelf.
- Because Parkway’s Befrienders Group and Robbinsdale’s Faith Community Nursing program will serve some of the same people, we recommend these groups coordinate their activities to best serve our members.
This year for our Lenten Program, we invited members of Robbinsdale to share with us some of their programs which will be part of the consolidated church. Here is a brief recap:
Dawn Carlson-Conn spoke about visual theology and showed us some of the pieces of art she has created for communities of faith. She creates opportunities for members to create art, such as the clay figures people created on Ash Wednesday.
Jim Conn shared this organization’s mission to bring mobility at no cost to persons who are mobility-impaired in developing countries. Mobility Carts are three-wheel, off-road wheelchairs operated by hand power, or with a pull handle, and are self-propelled.
Accessible to All
- Laura Canata heads the committee working to make the New Church accessible to all. Some of their suggestions can be seen in the remodeling work happening at Robbinsdale.
Faith Community Nursing
Linda Smith explained that this group provides health care support to members. They also offer flu shots every fall, and Red Cross Blood Drives in the spring and fall.
PRISM and the Community Garden
Louiva Puffer told us about PRISM – People Responding in Social Ministries. This organization has a housing program and program for children. They also run the Marketplace Food Shelf and Shop for Change Thrift Shop. The community garden offers plots to members for their own food and to donate to PRISM’s food shelf.
Don Smith shared details about their Capital Campaign. The three-year program began in June 2018. They designated three tiers of projects. Tier I will repair and upgrade the organ; create a new entryway and install energy efficient windows and doors; and upgrade the heating plant and controls. Tier II will make technology upgrades; provide Volunteer Coordinator and program resources; and install air conditioning and solar power. Tier III will improve the visual and sound systems; provide money for deferred maintenance and upgrades; and fund a new outdoor sign.
- The subcommittee made two recommendations:
- The New Church offer a “volunteer opportunities” Sunday, and make available information and persons from each group for members to peruse all opportunities.
- The New Church produce a booklet with a description and a contact person/s for each volunteer opportunity.
- I am excited for the New Church’s service opportunities! If you have any questions or want more information, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s be ready to continue to serve God's people!