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September 2021 News from Mayflower Church
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September Worship


Worship in the sanctuary at 11 am (beginning Sept 12) OR join worship online!

Sun, Sept 5, 9 am: Rev. Howard Bell (in the courtyard or online)
Sun, Sept 12, 11 am: Rev. Sarah Campbell (in the sanctuary or online)
Sun, Sept 19, 11 am: Rev. Sarah Campbell (in the sanctuary or online)
Sun, Sept 26, 11 am: Rev. Christian Briones (in the sanctuary or online)

Given the situation with Covid, please check "This Week" (sent on Fridays) for any update on worship plans.
 
Important deadline! Articles for the October Ship to Shore are due Wed, Sept 15. Send your announcements of 100 words or fewer or articles of 150-200 words to admin@mayflowermpls.org.
 
Pictured above: Flowers from the garden of Deb Peterson. These flowers were grown from the Seeds of Hope we received in the mail around Easter time in memory of Dana Blanck.

 

Choosing Our Life

By Rev. Sarah Campbell
 
As I write this-- I’m just about to head up North for a vacation—there is a great deal of uncertainty about the Delta variant, but I’m hopeful that this is the “nail in the coffin” for Covid-19, that it will finally force the issue of vaccines for everyone. Time to set aside the word “incentive” and instead pick up the word “requirement.” 
 
So, as of today, July 31, I am choosing to believe that we will be returning to life soon, no longer under siege of a pandemic.
 
We’ve been changed. Some call it “churn,” but I prefer the metaphor, “the soil has been loosened.” And we’ve realized that some of what we chose this last year and a half, even under duress, is life-giving and good, like: a daily walk outside…. really seeing trees… exercising daily and eating well… less consumerism… less use of plastic… a prayer or meditation practice… more family time… less hurry-sickness… deeper community (thank you, Zoom meetings) … more honest reflection about unearned privileges in one’s life….
 
My hope for you and me is that we continue to choose our life as we leave this traumatic year and a half behind; that we choose our life rather than have it chosen for us.  Ironically, we’ve been given an opportunity, to choose our lives.  To be mindful about when we say “yes” and when we say “no.” 
 
Here’s a gift to you from Paul, from his letter to the Romans: Be not conformed to this world but rather be transformed by the renewal of your mind.

Farewell from Eli’jah Carroll


Goodbye Mayflower. I’ll never forget you.

Picture this: June 2017. My brother headed west from Michigan to help me make the big move from Oakland, CA, to Minneapolis, MN. We packed up a trailer that was pulled by my little car through the hot flat lands of Nevada through the mountains of Wyoming and South Dakota. Everything I owned was in the little trailer, while me, my brother, and my beloved cat Bianca drove together in the car.

Moving to Minnesota was a big deal for me. Though I’d worked at many other churches in various capacities (mostly children, youth, and family-oriented positions) leading up to graduating seminary and my subsequent move to Minnesota, Mayflower would be the first time I would be working full time in a capacity that I felt absolutely called to. Mayflower, you will always stick with me because of this reason. You were my first. You are a big part of the reason I am able to go out and do what God has called me to do in the world—to be a minister.

I like to believe that over these past 4+ years, we helped each other grow in our faith. I hope you feel as nourished spiritually as you have helped me to feel. One aspect of my work that has been particularly nourishing has been teaching Confirmation. Mark Lorenzen, Maureen Engelhardt and I grew as a solid team of facilitators that care deeply about giving our 9th graders as many tools and resources as we could to help foster their faith journeys. Teaching confirmation to your children (or, YOU. . . depending on who is reading this) will be one of my most dear memories at Mayflower.

I leave you by choice, yes. Because God is still speaking. And, I try to listen as carefully as I can. And, I was recommended to apply for an opportunity that looked like a really great fit for me and the congregation. I leave you sad because I’ll always love you. Though, it’s a weird spot to be in because I am so overjoyed to be serving St. Paul’s UCC as their Associate Minister. I began the process of being considered for their Associate Minister back in April at the nudging of a colleague who works for the Conference. Apprehensive, I edited my ministerial profile and sent it to the church. Every step of the interview process felt really good.

One thing I’ve learned during this process is that loving can be even messier and more complicated than I ever thought. Sometimes, when we love something, we have to let it go to make room for growth. Sometimes. Yet, the spirit of Mayflower will never be too far from my heart. I’ll miss you.


bmckee-miller@mayflowermpls.org

Our Life Together

Gathering Sunday is September 12
The day we have been awaiting a long time is coming on September 12 – Gathering Sunday! And although there will be some changes to the usual events of the day, it will be a wonderful celebration of returning to our beloved sanctuary and worshipping together.
 
A major change this Gathering Sunday will be the absence of our usual “Information Fair” where we would normally have on display our 30-plus Mayflower ministries and committees. Instead, on five consecutive Sundays in September and October we can see what volunteer opportunities and learning communities are “Within Our Doors.” Tables will be set up at which each group can provide information about their Mayflower mission.
 
The second big change is that there will be no picnic lunch following the service. But don’t despair; we’ve planned very near and dear to all of our hearts – COFFEE AND COOKIES! Coffee hour will be served in the Garth. (On rainy days there will be no coffee hour, so even though we need the rain, it is okay to pray for sun on Sun-days!)
 
As you can see, the focus for Gathering Sunday this year will be on just that – Gathering. In person. Worshipping together. Within Our Doors.
 
If you have any questions, please contact Helen Nikiel. For answers contact Judy Jungwirth
 
Stop by the Pronoun Table
On Gathering Sunday, we will have a table where we can select the pronouns with which we identify. Identifying your pronouns is a way to express hospitality and to welcome people in the trans community. We strive to be a ever-more welcoming community so please stop by the table and grab your pronouns.


September Special Offering: Mayflower Early Childhood Center

This month, as children go back to school, we give toward scholarships for Mayflower Early Childhood Center (MECC), an AMI Accredited Montessori school that is 4-star Parent Aware-rated. The school is located in the church and was founded with the mission of providing quality education to economically diverse families in our area. Together, Mayflower Church and MECC are dedicated to increasing the number of scholarships awarded and empowering low-income families to choose this excellent school for their children. About 10% of the students live at Creekside Commons. Last year, 27% of MECC student families received scholarships. Give online in June or put your check in the mail with “special offering” in the memo line.


Council Corner

by Maureen Lunde, Moderator

Over the summer, Council has been reviewing its role and function with a laser focus on how we can fulfill the Bylaws Article III Council, Section 1:
 
“It shall be the responsibility of the Council to oversee the pursuit of the mission, and the management of the business and affairs, of this church. The congregation as a whole will speak through the Council in articulating the goals that the church will seek to achieve and the values and beliefs that will guide its work. The Council will devote a substantial majority of its time and energy to the continuous process of understanding the vision and priorities of the congregation, and developing and updating congregational goals and specific limitations to guide the Leadership Team.”
 
This fall, Council invites the congregation to gather together in discussions around a Powerful Question with the purpose of listening to one another to guide the future work of Mayflower Church. Please watch for more details and participate in these gatherings.
 
The Council is optimistic and eager to continue this work with you as we together envision and live out the mission of Mayflower Church. Your Councilors are: Maureen Lunde, Moderator; Leon Erstad, Associate Moderator; Patrick Magistad, Treasurer; Stephanie Lafayette, Clerk; Jen Andrews van Horn; Martin Erickson III; Claire Jackson Stumbras; Tom Majors; Becky McIntosh.
 
Please feel free to contact Council members at any time. Our contact information is updated and available in the Mayflower Governance website page and the Mayflower Realm Online Church Directory. If you have not set up a Realm account or have any technical difficulties, please contact realmsupport@mayflowermpls.org.

Music at Mayflower

Children and Youth Choirs 2021-2022
Do you have a singer at home between 2nd grade and 12th grade? The Mayflower Children's and Youth Choirs are hoping to start back up this fall. We are crossing our fingers that we can sing together WAY MORE than last year and we would love to meet new singers. If you are interested in learning more please contact Nancy Grundahl (Children's Choir, 2nd - 5th) or Randi Rexroth (Youth Choir, 6th - 12th). We can't wait to start singing. We will announce our rehearsal times and protocols when we know more from the church leadership team.


Faith Formation for Children, Youth & Families

First Day of Sunday School is September 19
It kind of feels like it’s been forever since we’ve had in-person Sunday School, right? The plan is that we will have in-person Sunday School again beginning September 19! We will utilize our beautiful courtyard for pre-k through 4/5th grade classes while weather permits. There will be marked out portions of the courtyard for each class. Childcare will continue to meet in room 210 of the education wing, Youth Group will be in the youth room, 6/7th grade’s classroom is to be determined, and 8th grade OWL’s classroom is to be determined. Thank you for your grace as we work out the safest plan to meet. All classes will meet masked and practicing social distancing. And, faith formation will be from 9:45-10:45 am before one worship service that will be in the sanctuary at 11am. For more information about children and youth Faith Formation, please contact the interim Director of Faith Formation, Bree McKey-Miller.
 
Creekside Back to School Project
Deb Peterson from the Creekside Ministry Team once again spearheaded Mayflower’s work to pack backpacks for families at Creekside Commons. The group packed and delivered 65 backpacks. Thank you, Deb, for your commitment to our neighbors and to all the generous donors and helpers.

Baptisms on October 3
Has your child been baptized? Have you?
 
At the heart of our church life is this mysterious sacrament when we hold the baby up to the universe, and all hear the message from the universe, from God: “You are my beloved, in whom I am well pleased!”
 
Then we make promises. As a community we make promises that we try to live, through all of our ministries of the church, through faith formation, congregational care, earth justice, social justice, community and belonging…We make promises: to care for one another; to be an intergenerational community in this world of increasing loneliness; to work for the healing of creation (and when we are in the work we are most hopeful…); to help shape a life of religious practices, not to dabble in, but to do the things that give life meaning; to increase love; to be together in this good but hard life. 
 
After we make promises, we carry or walk with the child around the sanctuary, our child whom we will love and help to shape on the Jesus path, and we sing…“Child of wonder.”
 
Let one of the clergy know if you are interested in this baptism Sunday. And there will be other baptism Sundays in the future, so worry not if this date does not work for you!


Faith Formation for Adults

New Member Class
Interested in being a part of our vibrant justice seeking Mayflower community as we walk together on the Jesus path? Join Rev. Christian, Ellen Baker and other people interested in joining the Mayflower community. We will cover UCC history, we will have speakers from a variety of our ministries at Mayflower, and we will build community with one another. A commitment to join is not required to be a part of this class.  
 
The classes will take place on three separate days, on Oct. 3 and 10, and the classes will conclude on Oct. 17. Please reach out to Rev. Christian for more information.
 
Learning Communities Starting Sept 19
These ongoing small groups meet Sunday mornings regularly through much of the year, always open to newcomers.
 
Contemporary Theologies
Sunday, Sept 12 at 8:30 am, before the service, on Zoom. *Note the change in schedule for September – this earlier time will allow any who wishes to get to church. 
The process of sharing our responses to the text yields not only a learning experience but also community, fellowship and new connections for our faith journeys. Visitors and new participants are always welcome. Participants should get their own copy of the book. Please contact Bob Power for the Zoom link. 
 
Rediscovering the Bible
We will resume September 19 at education time before church. We will pick up Paul's 2nd letter to the Corinthians at Chapter 6, using the commentary by John Proctor. Time and place tbd. For questions contact Jeff Richards.
 
Women’s Spirituality
Women's Spirituality provides space for deep engagement with other women. Beginning September 12, we plan to gather in room 211 at 9:45 before the in-person 11:00 service in the sanctuary. Some weeks will feature celebrations of the festivals of the Wheel of Year or explorations of the feminine face of God. Other weeks we will use a reading from "Pocketful of Miracles," check in regarding a spiritual question and do a meditation.  If the worship service moves to online, the group will return to a Zoom format. Contact Connie Ford for more information and, if necessary, the Zoom link. Newcomers warmly welcome. 
 
Centering Prayer
Mondays, 6:30-7:30 pm, Zoom
Do you like to sit in silent prayer or meditation with others? Join others (via Zoom) in doing Centering Prayer at Mayflower. We’ll begin with some Psalms for Praying, sit for 20 minutes in silence and close with the Lord’s Prayer. Please RSVP to Cate Calkins to receive the Zoom invite. All are welcome!
 
Mayflower Young Adults
If you are a young adult and are interested in gathering with other young adult from Mayflower who are on the Jesus path to build community through bible study, spiritual reflection and through game playing please reach out Rev. Christian Briones for more information.

Women of a Certain Age
September 15, 9:30-11 am, Fireside Room
Please join us! You will be warmly welcomed and can expect devotions, a stimulating program with discussion, treats and good coffee. Bring your curiosity, personal experiences and comments, questions, love of learning and your sense of humor. If you have any questions, contact Karen McConkey (612-220-2950) or Belle Scott (612-825-9436). On Sept. 15, we will plan our programs for October 2021 through next May 2022.
 
Men's Senior Group
Sept 7, 8 am (first Tuesday of the month at the Richfield VFW)
Join the Mayflower Men's senior group for breakfast and a time of community building through fellowship. Please be in touch with JimMcConky.


Social Justice

Supporting the Work of Beacon
The vision of Beacon, one of our social justice partners, is “All people have a home.” They work as a collaborative of more than 100 congregations from the Twin Cities area, united in action to create homes and advance equitable housing. Mayflower supports Beacon through financial gifts and by joining in political action to encourage political leaders to support the needs of those who are homeless or who must pay more than 30% of their income for housing.

This fall the Beacon Leadership Team will be asking for your support. Each first of the month we attend (virtual) “Rent is Due” to hear what is new and receive instructions for how to advocate with legislators. In addition, when Mayflower members show up in large numbers for interviews or rallies with state legislators, we show strong support for Beacon’s mission and vision. Just being present makes a difference!

The Beacon Leadership Team will be reaching out to Mayflower members this fall to answer questions and to encourage your active support. The Beacon Leadership Team is: Belle Scott, Susan Lampe, Megan Webster and Bob Pomroy.

Save the Date, October 20, for Global Justice
On Wednesday, October 20, Mayflower and St. Joan of Arc will host a symposium in Minneapolis that will challenge the mainstream narrative as to what’s happening in Central America. The speakers are well-known experts in the field.

Elise Roberts from the Witness for Peace Solidarity Collective is well known to Mayflower. She maintains ongoing contact with groups in Honduras, Cuba, Colombia, and Mexico and, in the US, has been a leader in the effort to pass the Berta Cáceres Human Rights in Honduras Act.  
 
Maria Jose Mendez Gutierrez, also from Witness for Peace, is currently at Harvard and will soon join the faculty at the University of Toronto. She recently finished her PhD at the University of Minnesota researching Central American gangs and how organized violence operates as work that generates identities and livelihoods for marginalized communities in the Global South. She is a native Honduran.

Victoria Cervantes will be appearing virtually from Chicago. She is a founding member and the coordinator in the US for the Honduras Solidarity Network in North America. Contact Thom or Diane Haines if you have questions.


Ministry of Care

Hot Dish Ministry is Back!
After a long pandemic pause, the Hot Dish Ministry has been given the green light to return to our mission of providing care and comfort to our congregation in the form of lovingly prepared food. As previously, each volunteer (this could be YOU!) signs up for a week on the calendar to be available to provide a meal on behalf of the congregation. Our ministers will contact you with the names and contact information of meal recipients. A member of the Hot Dish committee - Gretchen Griffin, Katy Epler, Jim Bush or Chris Gough -  will help you with any questions you have.  Look for the Hot Dish Ministry table on Gathering Sunday and sign up for a week or two! Please email any questions to committee chair Chris Gough.
 
Parent Grief Response Team
This new ministry has been created to meet the long term needs of parents who have lost a child (at any age, from any cause). We have all suffered through the loss of a child and are dedicated to offering support, information, resources, and fellowship for as long as necessary or desired by the family. Support may include simply listening, meal preparation, taking a walk, or providing information about the grieving process. Contact Lauren Buxton for questions: lbjkb@hotmail.com or 952-994-6128.
 
Alzheimer Caregiver’s Support Group
First Thursday of the month. Next one: Sept 9, 7 pm, Zoom
Mayflower hosts this support group, which is open to the public. Spread the word to family and friends! It is a safe and confidential environment to share challenges and receive support from others caregiving for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. The meeting is co-led by Mayflower members Dale Stuepfert and Brian Buxton. Contact them for the Zoom invitation.
 
Alzheimer Caregivers’ Happy Hour
Third Monday of the month. Next one: Sept 20, 6 pm, Zoom
Many members are helping a neighbor or family member with dementia, daily or on occasion, near or far. Unwind and find confidential support with others in similar situations. Contact Dawn Baker for a Zoom invitation.
 
Mayflower Addiction Recovery Support (MARS)
First Monday of the month usually, due to Labor Day, next one: Sept 13, 7:15 pm, Zoom
All are welcome. Contact Gloria Englund gloria@recoveringu.com or Lisa DeWaay ldewaay@gmail.com with questions.
 
TRUST is Here to Help
Need a ride to the grocery store? TRUST can help. In addition to Meals on Wheels, TRUST Builders and the Chore Program, TRUST is offering free transportation to seniors at least 60 years old, or who live with disability and are able to shop independently. There is space for new riders. Contact Sandy at 612-721-5786 or email grocerycoordinator@trustinc.org to set up service. Mayflower is one of the TRUST congregations that serve the needs of seniors in south Minneapolis. To volunteer your assistance, contact coordinator Sandy or Mayflower volunteer driver Janet Tripp at 612-926-1554.


Stewardship


“What is Enough?”
 By Alix Magner on behalf of the Stewardship Ministry Team
 
This is our Stewardship theme for 2021.
 
As a financial professional, this is a question I get asked all the time. “What is enough cash in my emergency fund to feel safe?” “Is what I have too much? Not enough?” “How much do I need for retirement?” “What if something unexpected happens?”
 
And in COVID times, I’m finding that the question, “What is enough?” keeps popping up in conversation. How much money is enough? Am I spending enough time at work / with the kids / grandkids? How much exercise is enough? Am I giving enough? And through it all, that secret question: Am I enough?
 
As Christians, we are taught that God is our everything. And because God is our everything, God will supply all our needs (1 Timothy 6:17). And because God supplies all our needs, all we need is God.
 
Yet, in a Capitalist society our “enough” tends to be measured in dollars. And so enough becomes MORE.
 
Yet for many, this COVID year forced us to focus on what really matters – our lives and health, the lives and health of the people we most care about. People. Connections. Caring. Our own humanity. We realized that focusing on ourselves and our own needs (toilet paper) didn’t solve anything. But relying on others, helping others, being in community with others? That’s what makes us feel whole. We shift from asking ourselves, “What is the matter?” to “What really matters?”
 
What does it mean to HAVE enough? What does it mean to BE enough?
 
We look forward to exploring these questions together through our Stewardship season. On November 14, we will make financial commitments to our shared work at Mayflower for 2022.  We can pay attention to what we really need and we can realize more fully how interdependent we are.

Financial Corner

Giving (tithes and offerings) for June 2021 was $46,864 compared to a budgeted $57,000 or $10,136 below budget. Year-to-date, from July 1, 2020, through June 2021, giving was $725,696, which was $43,304 below budget. Total building rental was $8,955, or $2,266 below budget. Total rental year-to-date was $106,118, or $44,137 below budget. Total revenue for June was $55,504 or $13,084 below budget; for year-to-date, total revenue was $826,282, or $97,372 below budget.

Total Expenditures for June were $65,509 or $11,909 below budget; year-to-date total expenditures were $821,007 or $105,913 lower than budgeted.

There was a net deficit for June of $10,005, or $1,175 worse than budgeted. Year-to-date, there was a net surplus of $5,275, or $8,541 above budget.


Parish Personals

Remember, the most reliable way to reach clergy with a pastoral care concern is the pastoral care line, 612-824-0762, x113. Clergy check it several times a day.

Let us know if you’d like to be listed in the bulletin. We will normally be keeping names for prayers of care, concern, and support in Parish Personals for two months, unless otherwise requested. Read Parish Personals here.

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