Ways to Learn in October
               Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105

Adult Bible Study on Tuesday Mornings - join us Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.

Generations: Together
- Being the church is about being connected, listening to one another and accepting each other like sisters and brothers. Let us be the church…together

Starting in September you are invited and encouraged to participate in a 4-part conversation over the course of four months, once a month on Sunday mornings. It is no secret that younger generations are leaving the church and have been for years. The secret to attracting or retaining younger church members? There ISN’T one! But a sense of belonging and meaningful relationships with other church members are certainly important to many people who stay.

Generations: Together is a video series produced by the Nebraska Synod of our ELCA consisting of 10 interviewees representing five generations from three congregations, each sharing their perspectives on the church, faith and community.

The current plan is to present a series of short video clips followed by conversations. Here is the lineup:

Please plan to participate in these monthly conversations. A more detailed schedule will follow.

The Word of God - Pass It On Initiative - What better place to find the Word of God than in the House of God! If you look in the pew rack in front of you, you may notice a Bible. The Bibles currently in the pew rack are a gift given by Pastor Stephen Blenkush in memory of his father Rev. Dallas Blenkush. It is also part of a new initiative to both encourage worshipers to make use of the Bible during worship but also to provide Bibles to those who are in need of God's Word. So, if you are in need of a Bible, take it home. If you know someone in need of a Bible, pass it along. If you would like to participate in this ongoing initiative, contact either Pastor Blenkush or the church office.

Online Reflections - Interested in keeping up with all the great opportunities and ministries going on within our Northeastern Minnesota Synod? Go to www.nemnsynod.org and click the Online Reflections tab and click to sign up to receive weekly updates. Now you too can stay on top of what’s going on in our synod and church!

    Read the Bible daily - one of the marks of discipleship is reading scripture every day. Make it easy - get a Daily Scripture reading in your email from Zion Online. Sign up and chose to receive every day in your email a Scripture passage, a Psalm, or a Psalam you can sing to a familiar hymn melody.

Adages— There but for God’s grace go I.

Really? Do I actually have more grace than the next person?

I’ve mostly heard this phrase used to refer to someone in a situation that is “less” — less money, less health, less status, less dignity and so on. Having spent many years doing mission trips where I worked with people living in poverty and varying degrees of wellness, and becoming more aware of my state of health and poverty and “whiteness,” I wrestle over and over again with questions of “Who is really well?” “Who is actually living in a state of poverty?” “What gives me the right to think that I either receive or deserve more grace than anyone else?”

Does this phrase elicit pity for someone else? Or, almost worse, gratitude for my elevated place of grace for no real reason other than where I was born and the family and people surrounding me in my lifetime? Either way it sounds like making God into a God who grants grace to some and not to others.

One of the important statements that has guided my life over the last few years comes from an aboriginal woman from the 1900s who said, “If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if your liberation is bound up with mine, then let’s work together.”

It’s our common need to be well, our common purpose to help each other, and our common state of grace that is the basis for the transformative work we do together. One-sided charity just won’t cut it. Simply writing a check won’t change us. Living in a privileged way won’t call us into the “we” that God intends.

For the past 10 years our congregation has been trying to “change our face,” embracing the diversity of race, culture, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, age and individual spiritual reality. While it’s a slow process based on creating a relationship fully broken and fully whole, we now live in a constant state of asking our mission question: “Does love live here?” And if it does, can we eliminate the need to determine who is deserving of or who receives God’s grace in an all-embracing welcome? – Christine A. Berthelsen

Pick up a current copy ofLiving Lutheran magazine, the new flagship publication of the ELCA, and the daily devotional Christ in Our Home are available in the kiosk in the Narthex. Christ in Our Home is a quarterly devotional resource that encourage to live out their faith daily. Each reflective reading is accompanied by a daily scripture reference and prayer for the day. It is also available is large print.

Lutheran Marriage Encounter helps married husbands and wives celebrate their special relationship - and provides them with unique innsights and tools to improve their communication for the long haul. The experience is a whole weekend for a couple to escape chores, jobs, and kids in order to refresh and re-energize their love, learn a delightful new method of communication, and reap joyful long-term rewards for their relationship, their family, and their faith journey. Oct, 12–14 at Centerstone Plaza Hotel in Rochester. Apply now at GodLovesMarriage.org! Questions? Contact Pete & Phyllis McMahon mcmahonp@comcast.net or 763-561-1575. Pre-registration is required.

For Better...Forever - Couple's Retreat: Marriage and Pre-Marriage - "For Better...Forever" is an enjoyable couple's seminar. With wit, humor, and spirit, couples learn from the latest research what works for couples in happy and lasting marriages.
    *Gender and Personality Differences: How to keep them working for you rather than against you.
    *Communication: Everyone can learn to communicate better, the sooner the better
    *Spirituality/The Divine Love: Secrets to feeling your love is "heaven sent."
The day goes from 9:30 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Cost: $125 per couple (includes refreshments, lunch, and the cost of all materials.
For more information or to register, go to Couples Retreat or Lakeside Center or call 218-829-3330. "For Better...Forever" is led by Ron Hunt, a licensed psychologist in Minnesota as well as a Marriage and Family Therapist in California. he is also an ordained pastor and Spiritual Director. For more information, talk to Pastor