Mount Calvary Pillars: Inclusivity

“For everyone born, a place at the table.” I have mentioned in a few sermons how thrilled I was to discover, when I first got to Mount Calvary, that this hymn seems to be a bit of the theme song here! It is sung, it is on t-shirts and hoodies and permeates the very fiber of this place. It makes great sense that is deep in the bones as it the very embodiment of the good news of Jesus Christ. It is an appropriate theme for a church who names Inclusivity as one of our four pillars.

As Pastor Brenda says, “The gospel ceases to be the gospel when it becomes exclusive.” And so. The opposite of exclusive is inclusive. Everybody is in. No exceptions. No “but what about those people?” For all of us have been “them” at some point. For when there is an “us” and “them” we are teetering on exclusive.

And yet. We are not monolithic. We do not all think the same. It is my best guess when you are worshipping at Mount Calvary, you are worshipping next to a Democrat! And you are worshipping next to a Republican! And absolutely next to folks who call themselves in-between. Inclusive means EVERYBODY. And everybody means everybody. And we are stronger, richer, greater and become the embodiment of the good news when we are DIVERSE in our inclusivity.

The last weekend of June we will be celebrating inclusivity at Mount Calvary. We do not simply tolerate everybody. We do not simply invite everybody. We do not simply welcome everybody. We CELEBRATE everyone. Because every single person on the PLANET is the embodiment of Genesis 1:27: For God created EVERYONE in the very image of God. Every, every, everyone. For far too long, our world and the church have done a pretty good job of separating and dividing people. Of deeming some not worthy. Enough. We are created in the very image of God. And together we become a bold, glorious, colorful, even messy kaleidoscope of wonder and grace and mercy and beauty beyond description!

So come one. Come all. Come to the table of grace and inclusivity. Where there is no them. Just us. All together.

With great love, Pastor Kyle

Compass Point CO 2022

There are so many great photos from our youth trip to Compass Point!

Pastor Kyle’s Installation

Into your hands, almighty God, we place ourselves: our minds to know you, our hearts to love you, our wills to serve you, for we are yours. November 7 we celebrated the installation of Pastor Kyle Jackson as Mount Calvary’s Senior Pastor with Bishop Ann Svennungsen.

Worship Assistants Needed

“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.”    1 Corinthians 12: 12

When we gather for worship, we are all ministers, assembled to pray, sing, praise, celebrate communion and be sent forth in mission. The ministries are many – readers, communion assistants, prayer leaders, musicians, ushers, greeters and more. All of these individual ministries contribute to the health of the one body, all with particular functions which are needed for the whole.

Please consider joining of one or more of the following ministries, taking a new and vital role in the vibrant ministry of Mount Calvary!

Ushers

  •  Welcome and assist those attending worship.
  •  Scheduled approximately 10-12 days per year.


Lay Readers

  • Continue the oral tradition of reading the scripture during worship.
  • Scheduled approximately three to five times per year, depending on worship service.


Prayers of the People Writers

  • Bring the voice of our membership into worship each week by writing and sharing the prayers, with assistance from a pastor.
  • Scheduled approximately three to four times per year.


Communion Prep

  • Prepare the communion elements for weekend worship
  • Scheduled  on Saturdays approximately 8-10 times per year

Communion Assistants

  • Assist pastors in serving communion during worship.
  • Scheduled approximately six to eight times per year, depending on worship service.

 
Altar Guild

  • Prepare the sanctuary with paraments, linens, candles, flowers, etc.
  • Scheduled eight to ten weekends per year.

 
Liturgical Arts

  • Helps with the visual aspects of worship, following the themes and seasons of the church year.
  • Creative team meets as needed; decorating is done with each changing liturgical season.

Email Jill Cowan with any questions or to sign up!

Congregational Mtg July 18

It was unanimous! We were delighted when the enthusiastic crowd at Mount Calvary joyfully voted to call Pastor Kyle Jackson as our next Senior Pastor. Enjoy some pictures from the day

Exciting Announcement!

Mount Calvary is pleased to announce that Mark Abelsen, Senior Director of Worship & Outreach, will begin Luther Seminary’s Master of Divinity program called MDivX this JuneStudents enrolled in MDivX earn their degrees in 24 months by participating in year-round classes and completing concurrent part-time congregational internships. We are excited that Mark has selected Mount Calvary as his internship site. We’ll have the joy of serving alongside Mark as he answers God’s call to ordained ministry. As he increases pastoral responsibilities and fulfills internship requirements, he will set aside his role in leading our musical groups. For two full years our congregation will welcome Paula Holmberg, as guest Chancel Choir Conductor and Paul Busch, as guest Handbell Choir Conductor. We are proud of Mark’s pursuit of ordained ministry and hope you celebrate this new adventure for Mark, his family, and Mount Calvary!

Pastor Aaron’s Daunte Wright Special Message

The prophet Jeremiah joins his tears with God’s, crying out, O that my head were a spring of water, and my eyes a fountain of tears, so that I might weep day and night for the slain of my poor people!

This past week a family’s tears and a whole community’s cries joined the weeping of God over the death of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man who was killed by a police officer during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center. People are grieving, traumatized, and angry.

Just over two weeks ago, on Maundy Thursday, we heard Christ give us his greatest command, “Love one another as I have loved you.” What does it mean for us to love our brothers and sisters of every race and ethnicity as Christ loves us? What can we do better? What can I do better?

We do not have simple answers but we do know two places to start:

First, we join our prayers together: God watch over and be with Daunte Wright’s family. God watch over and be with the police officer involved, Kim Potter, and her family. And I invite you to continue praying together using our Prayer Around the Cross and Racial Reconciliation worship services. You can find these on our website and at the links in the description below.

Second, we join in learning together. Mount Calvary invites you to join the Be The Bridge 101 dismantling racism series specifically designed to give people a place to begin the journey of reconciliation. Please join with the other Mount Calvary members already registered to do this important work of listening and learning. You can register online now at mountcalvary.org/outreach.

The Prophet Jeremiah concludes the chapter: Thus says the Lord: Do not let the wise boast in their wisdom, do not let the mighty boast in their might, do not let the wealthy boast in their wealth; but let those who boast boast in this, that they understand and know me, that I am the Lord; I act with steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight, says the Lord.

I pray we live out God’s Words as a congregation and as a nation. I invite you to join together now in a time of silent prayer.

Moment of Silence

Read the latest from His House

My name is Martha Brannon, Founder and Executive Director of His House Foundation (HHF), a        501(c )(3) organization that provides direct services to families in need  and acts as a catalyst for increased sharing within our community.  HHF has a focus on assisting families that are homeless or recently homeless, and people experiencing crisis. We are proud of our commitment to do all this without boundaries, limits, or service areas.  We serve based on dignity and need. 

The His House Foundation team believe food and shelter are considered core essentials for human life and should be accessible without barriers.

We are writing to thank everyone for supporting our organization in 2020 and assisting in our response to the crisis of Covid-19. HHF immediately responded to emergency requests of food and basic needs.  We expanded our Abundance Food Share for the Carver County hotel program serving local homeless. 

ABUNDANCE FOOD SHARE

Abundance is collecting and redistributing approximately 10,000 pounds of food each month in partnership with Carver County Environmental Services and their program of diverting food from the waste stream. Some of our food partners are Buddy Boy’s Barbecue, Little Caesars Pizza, Star Bucks, KFC and Chick-Fil-A.  We also pick-up perishables from several food shelves and deliver those items immediately to the hotels with homeless programs and people in crisis. The Abundance team delivers food and basic needs daily to all 4 hotels that participate in the county homeless program, and several other hotels where people are living after being excluded from traditional rental options.

CARES AND CHAP RENTAL ASSISTANCE

His House coordinated 8 workshops for the government emergency rental assistance programs due to COVID-19: CARES and CHAP funding.  We partnered with Mt Calvary Lutheran Church, Excelsior United Methodist, and the West Interfaith Community Engagement team. The workshops focused on removing barriers such as technology, language and qualifications.  Our process resulted in over $100,000 in emergency back rent paid out to landlords.

HOMELESS TRANSISTIONS

Each month the wonderful His House volunteers assist approximately 8 households move out of homelessness and into sustainable housing.  This transition includes new pillows, bedding, towels, dishes, pot and pans, detergent and dish soap. We also have taken on the need in a coordinated effort of delivering mattresses for all family members. This can be as many as 6 mattresses in a household. Collecting and moving used mattresses so people will have a bed to sleep in their first night in their new home.  We estimate 288 mattresses have been collected and redistributed in 2020.

COMMUNITY RESOURCE CENTER

The Community Resource Center is in the basement of the Chaska Moravian Church with access on Walnut St.  We serve families in crisis with basic needs including clothing, winter gear, personal care products, and food.  Every day people request access or see the door open and stop by.  We made modifications during the COVID-19 crisis by following CDC guidelines and limiting the number of visitors.  Even though the Resource Center is open by appointment only, we served over 2,000 clients in 2020.   

EMERGENCY HOUSING FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE   

His House Foundation provided emergency housing financial assistance of $9,275 to people that were homeless or near homeless and did not qualify for other programs.  Most of the funding was requested for people excluded from any housing options, literally homeless because of behaviors that put their housing at risk, or hotel stays for people waiting to enter the county’s homeless programs.   Approximately 7% was used for prevention. 

LOOKING AHEAD

We are ready for 2021!   His House and our food share program Abundance is committed to increasing food access and basic needs to people that have barriers accessing these in traditional ways.  As more people slip into financial crisis, we are ready to address basic needs in a cohesive flow without barriers put in place that can allow personal judgements and stereotypes to interrupt that flow.  The state of MN approved HHF to provide services and case management to clients with greater barriers to stable housing.   We believe food is a metaphor for need and are committed to making food and necessities more accessible to all.

Martha Brannon, Executive Director, His House Foundation

Our Prayer

Gracious and heartbroken God, we hurt and we are feeling a range of emotions today. Hear our prayers, both vocalized and silent, for help, guidance, comfort, and courage.

For the family, friends, and loved ones of George Floyd as they live with their unspeakable loss; the pain of seeing his life taken over and over again as the video airs; and their grief, that is personal, visceral, and real. 

For all who live daily with the anxiety and fear created by systems that and people who disrespect, devalue, and diminish people simply for the color of their skin, religion, or their country of origin.

For the relationships between our communities and those in law enforcement, we pray for healing and change that reflects our best selves and serves all. We pray with gratitude for those who commit to daily risking their own safety for the public good and do it with great integrity and courage. We pray for the identification and removal of those who violate and disgrace their oath to serve and protect; and for efforts to support, train and equip all who serve with systems and leadership that bring out the best of who we aspire to be.

For our nation, that we would be able to heal divisions rather than deepen them; that we could listen to, and act upon, the injustices and indignities being called to our attention yet again. That we would be honest about the rigor mortis that personally, and collectively, keeps us from a willingness to acknowledge our complicity in the racial, economic, and spiritual divisions that infect us.

For your Church, your world, and for this congregation, that we would grasp tightly and live out your great command: that we love one another as you have loved us and our neighbor as ourselves. We pray that this would be our moral, political, social and community compass in this and all times. Heal us where we are broken, guide us where we have lost our way, and open us to hear where we need to be broken so that we may be fully healed and made new.

Lord in your mercy, please, hear our prayer. Amen.