Mount Calvary Foundation

In our May board meeting we received reports on a couple of interesting items. First, Linda Saveraid and I met with Rev. Simon Haamer from Tartu Academy in Estonia. He was here to thank us for our support in the past few years. They have grown from a handful of people to over 130 seminarians, which is wonderful news. The bad news is they lack professors to teach, counsel and mentor these students who are dedicated to bringing the gospel into the communities. Estonia does not have bricks and mortar churches; the Nazis and the Soviets saw to that. Today, the graduates bring religion to their career jobs. Many of these are in health care and education. Being a Christian in Estonia is very difficult with much discrimination.

We also began to review a new financial model from RBC Wealth Management where our assets are managed. We will hear more in our June meeting and then have the option of using this new model or remaining with the same strategy.

We voted to order a bench, small altar, and planters to be placed in front of the columbarium. They will be made of the same Kasota stone that is used throughout the church. Our goal is to create a more reverent site and give a little more privacy to the space.

This brings up the subject of retirement and end-of-life planning. According to the Wall Street Journal, fewer than one in three couples believe either spouse could take the reins of financial management in their absence. Only about half have current wills. Ninety-four percent of surveyed adults said they think it’s important to talk about their own and their loved ones’ wishes for end-of-life care, BUT only thirty percent have done so! The reasons for procrastination fall into four categories:

  • • It’s not something they need to worry about at this point in life
  • They aren’t sick yet
  • The subject makes them feel uncomfortable
  • They don’t want to upset their loved ones

There are as many as 53 decisions that need to be made at time of death. Many can be made well ahead of time rather than in the middle of the grieving process. While the actual planning may be uncomfortable, the peace of mind that can be enjoyed upon completion is well worth the effort.

If you are interested in learning more about this kind of planning, a lot of help is available. Please see Pastor Brenda or any other Foundation Trustee. Also, if you think you might be interested in becoming a board member, come to a meeting. We meet from 7:30 to 8:30am on the second Tuesday of each month. Or talk to any trustee – you will find a list of Foundation Trustees on the Mount Calvary website. Thanks again for all your support.

Ross McGlasson,
Board Chair


If you sing the praises of an unsung hero, is that hero still unsung? Semantics aside, this month I would like to share an ode to Mount Calvary’s amazing staff.

Our church has approximately 4,000 energetic and involved members. Behind the scenes a paid staff, hovering around 25 ordained and lay individuals, work tirelessly to meet the daily needs and expectations of our diverse congregation and world community. That’s like running a 4000-passenger cruise ship with a crew of 25.

To pull this off requires an extraordinary level of skill, experience, dedication, and commitment to our Christian mission; attributes that apply to our entire Mount Calvary team. Where else can you find a group of nationally recognized experts with a long aggregate tenure providing leading edge programs that get results?

The fruits of their labors surround us every time we walk through Mount Calvary’s doors. We are greeted by a warm, inviting worship space reconfigured daily to service the ever-changing needs of our members and the surrounding community. Parishioners crowd the pews to participate in music-filled worship services worth experiencing. The halls ring with the sound of youth seeking Mount Calvary as a peer destination. People of all ages congregate to learn, socialize, and feel God. Our neighbors down the block and on the other side of the world feel the love. We seek Mount Calvary as a place of worship as well as a home for preschool students, aspiring musicians, and the hungry across the world. We freely give of our time, talent, and treasure because we have confidence those resources will be effectively managed and expended.

I take keen satisfaction in watching masters at work; everything seems so effortless and often invisible. For the performer, this is usually a mark of pride. The risk is that the required time, effort, and skill go unrecognized.

So, I would encourage you to reach out to Mount Calvary’s backstage crew and let them know you appreciate what they do for us. Help them understand how their efforts impact you and your family. Sing their praises. But don’t go overboard. These are, after all, Minnesota Lutherans. We don’t want to embarrass them.

If you prefer, send your thoughts to I will be sure to pass them on.

Doug Affinito,
Council President

A Time To…….

As we launch into summer we also come to the conclusion of our worship theme from Ecclesiastes 3, “For everything there is a season.” Last fall, we focused on “A Time to Build Up.” In Advent and Christmas, “A Time to Be Born.” In Epiphany and Lent, “A Time to Seek” and “A Time to Heal.” In Easter, “A Time to Embrace.” We used the visual of a sundial with a moving shadow to reflect the seasons’ change.

For summer, we are inviting and encouraging you to ‘fill in the blank.’ The ellipsis (series of dots) following “A Time to” recognizes that summer in Minnesota is a time for many activities, excursions, adventures and sabbath moments that are or seem less available to us in other times of the year. The obvious ones are boating, fishing, camping, picnics, barbecues, hammocks and lawn chairs, reading under a tree or playing a game of catch, state and county fairs, vacations and ………..(you fill in the blank).

As many of the September to June routines change into your summer rhythms, we invite you to be very purposeful as you fill in your ellipses. Be intentional in making this summer a time of rest and renewal, a time to build up, seek, heal and embrace so that the Spirit of refreshment and resurrection can birth a renewed and right spirit in you. Be intentional in your balancing of worship, work and play in the way summer often seems to allow. Keep an eye on the summer Church calendar for the camp or the barbecue, the meal or the worship, the music or the activity that fits your balancing and meets your needs. Be open to the ways Jesus is seeking to guide you in making the most of your time and in filling the blanks of your ellipses. You just might be surprised where you end up and you just might be delighted or inspired by what you find there. Peace.

Pastor Dave


Recycle. Repurpose. Reclaim. Recover. These are all words used to reclaim an item that might have outworn its original usefulness, and reuse it for something or someone else.

At His House we have been doing that with clothing, sofas, and mattresses for about 9 years at our Minnetonka store and for 2 years through our warehouse partner RAK (Random Acts of Kindness). We pick up a sofa from one person and deliver it to someone who doesn’t have a sofa.

In this article I wanted to share a similar program at His House that we do all those same things but with food from our local food shelf and local churches. ICA food shelf does a wonderful job of serving the needs of our community through food. Their mission “to offer hope as we provide assistance to our neighbors in need.” When ICA has perishable food products that have almost reached their expiration, His House picks them up and delivers it to local families that may not have been able to get to the food shelf.

Every other Saturday, His House volunteers share nearly expired or perishables at our Minnetonka store with 29 local families that have a barrier to food sustainability. It can be a single mom with small children without a reliable car, it can be a family where mom and dad are both working, and it can be a family that regularly go to the food shelf but need just a little more.

His House always assists people to get to the food shelf…we just want to share food that might be called waste (reclaim, repurpose, recover).
His House volunteers also pick up food at Mount Calvary and many local churches, “leftovers” from funerals or weddings. We immediately distribute these “leftovers” that day due to its expiration or being perishable. We notify our families that struggle with food security to meet us at our Minnetonka store. We open the store for free shopping and make sure the families that live in the margins have what they need.

Yes, we reclaim, recover, repurpose food from a funeral to a family of 7 that is hungry. Is that repurposing, reclaiming?
At His House we just call it sharing.

New Season of Litchicks

As one season comes to an end, another begins. So it is with LitChicks. We are pleased to announce our selections for our 2017-2018 season. Some of these books have a wait list at the library, so make your requests soon!

July 13, 2017
Still Life With Breadcrumbs by Anna Quindlen (a love story, romantic comedy of manners)

September 14, 2017
Faithful by Alice Hoffman (a young woman’s struggle to find her way after a tragic accident)

November 9, 2017
Homegoing by Yaa Gyaasi (follows the lives of 2 Ghanaian half sisters and their descendants, from slavery to contemporary America)

January 11, 2018
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick (widower embarks on life-changing adventure)

March 8, 2018
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (2 sisters in WWII France)

May 10, 2018
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult (courtroom drama explores race and prejudice)

LitChicks is a fun and easy book club for women. We meet every other month on the second Thursday from 7:00-8:30pm in the Fireside Room. Anyone is welcome to come to any meeting, and no commitment is needed—just come when you can. More information is under our listing in the Small Groups section of the Mount Calvary website.
Men’s Ministry Stadium Tour!

Help Local Students Fight Hunger with MH-MM

Many Hands Many Meals packs life-saving meals throughout the year. We have our big packathon every November – but this year we’re having another event for local students in May.

More than 800 students from area schools will come to Mount Calvary to pack meals on May 25-26. Teaching kids about hunger and empowering them to make a difference in the world is a core part of our mission. We’re so excited about this opportunity! But we’re asking for help from our community in two ways.

  • Volunteering: We’ll need help with setting up tables and equipment, moving and loading supplies, acting as team leaders during the event and helping with clean up.
  • Donations: Our ingredients are not free but must be purchased. For this event, the supplies will cost more than $21,000, so donations of any amount are greatly appreciated.
    You can view opportunities to get involved and ways to donate at Thank you so much to our amazing community for supporting local kids and for helping us fight hunger around the world!


This is Mount Calvary’s 25th year of partnership with our sister church in Jimeta, providing financial support to native Nigerian missionaries who serve in remote areas.

Nigeria is also the number one scrabble country in the world, according to recent NPR and Wall Street Journal articles. “Nigerians are very determined and dogged people,” says Angela Osaigbovo, a 10-year old Scrabble winner, in a NPR interview. “And once we set our minds to something, we achieve it.”

We here at Mount Calvary certainly know this to be true of our Nigerian friends who persevere in all facets of life. After nearly three decades, the Bali missionaries known as Aikkaku, continue to farm, teach, heal and bring God’s love within rural communities far from government help. Nigerians see hope and perseverance in these Aikkaku families who stay in their adopted villages in spite of local unrest, inflamed in recent years by the Boko Haram.

Joshua Abu, our friend and the chairman of the Bali Committee in Jimeta, Nigeria wrote in April, “Let me say how grateful I am having had the opportunity of working with you and your colleagues in the past and in the years ahead, as God will allow.”

Mount Calvary is highlighting Nigeria’s recent Scrabble championship with our annual fundraiser for Bali. Please look for the Scrabble display in the atrium April 29 – May 14. Help yourself to a bookmark when you pick up an envelope for your donation. ALL of the money you give will go toward paying the Aikkaku’s salaries. Our friends and partners in Nigeria are so grateful for your continued support.