Advent/Christmas Events

A Message from Pastor Aaron

Dear Mount Calvary Siblings and Friends,
My family and I are moving back to my home state of Michigan to be closer to our parents and relatives. I will be pursuing ministry opportunities there. My last day at Mount Calvary with be June 30, 2022.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do God’s ministry with you:

  To share God’s grace,
  To draw the circle of God’s inclusivity wider,
  To tell the story of God’s love for all, and
  To serve God’s people alongside you.
To each of our confirmation students, guides, mentors and parents: thank you for all our time, sharing God’s story and our own sacred stories together. You are a precious child of God and we love you very much! And to Confirband: thank you for all the music, singing, and joy! And to everyone I’ve gotten to worship with: thank you — your presence and participation is God creating new life in this place. And you all bring a light to my face!
God’s Spirit is moving at Mount Calvary. God has blessed this congregation with such generosity. Jesus’ love is being proclaimed through the words and deeds of pastors, staff, volunteers, leaders, and each person of this community. Though I will be heading to a different place, our common mission remains the same: to embrace, build up, and send out disciples of Christ.
I part with the words God gave our ancestor, Aaron the Priest, words that I hold dear and say from my soul:
May the Lord bless you and keep you,
May the Lord’s face shine upon you and be gracious to you,
May the Lord look upon you with favor,
        And give you peace.

Your brother in Christ,

Pastor Aaron

Courageous Conversations

Join the Mount Calvary R.A.C.E. team in courageous conversations around select episodes of “Seeing White,” a 14-episode podcast that explores how humans created race, how American slavery contributed to our current understanding of race, and the ways in which the subjectivity of whiteness influenced laws. 

Take time to listen to selected episodes (and the previous episodes if you so choose) and come ready to seek discernment through curiosity, questions, and conversation. We will take time to reflect on how the church was present, or not, in this history; what shifts we experience in our perspective, if any; and how we feel called to react. Come to any or all of the sessions.

Saturday, June 4, 6:15:  Made in America  Episode 3

Upcoming Events: July 17, 11:45am and August 10, 6:30pm

Pride is June 25-26!

The 50th annual Twin Cities Pride Festival will be held at Loring Park (free) in Minneapolis June 25 – 26, 2022. Mount Calvary will celebrate in worship at 5:00pm Saturday, and Sunday 9:00 and 10:30am. 

We are preparing some awesome musical experiences and education and conversation moments with all the Mount Calvary community! 
Please volunteer your support on June 25 & 26 by signing up here no later than June 3 (sooner the better)!  We are looking for singers, musicians, and many other volunteers. 

NOTE:  Singers, if you can join both Saturday, and Sunday that would be amazing, but we will enjoy your presence whenever possible! Invite friends, and family!

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. (John 13:34)

Bargains & Borscht

BARGAINS & BORSCHT — A Community Yard Sale for Ukraine! All proceeds will go to these organizations supporting Humanitarian Efforts in Ukraine:

World Central Kitchen
Doctors Without Borders

Clothing for the whole family, many name brands
Toys, games & puzzles for all ages
Household items
Small furniture and decor items
NEW and gently used books
American Girl dolls, outfits and accessories

We will also have homemade Ukrainian Borscht and baked goods for sale!

DONATIONS: Donations can be dropped off at Mount Calvary beginning May 15. Please contact Julie Schoshinski at to coordinate pick up prior to May 15. Thank you!!

That’s Not Fair Milestone

All About First Communion

Dear Mount Calvary Families:  

We are back in person during Lent for the first time since 2019.  We are beyond thrilled to be seeing all of your faces.   

As Mount Calvary parents, we want to inform you about our first communion preparation. It is during third grade that students at Mount Calvary receive communion for the first time but as always we will welcome all ages over the age of third grade, the invitation is open to all.  

Our first communion preparation and experience is designed for both parents and children. We offer a class two times throughout the year, one is in the fall and the other is in the spring. After the class, your child will then receive their first communion during a worship ceremony. 

Our next class is Thursday, April 7, 2022, at 6:15 – 8:00 pm: families participating in this class should plan to attend worship Maundy Thursday, April 14, 2022, at 7:00 pm to receive their first communion. 

To sign up, please email Ketti Spehar at with your preference for the preparation class.  I will be sending a “getting ready” letter to your family as we get closer to the date. 

If you signed up this fall, be on the lookout for that getting ready letter as the date gets closer.  

What if I can come to the preparation class, but not on the weekend? 

While we strongly encourage families to attend the weekend services specifically designated as first communion weekends, if you are able to participate in the class, but not the weekend services, please come to the preparation class and your student can receive their first communion at any weekend communion service. 

What do I need to do to prepare for the class? 

Our preparation class is drama, storytelling and art. Be prepared to talk to your student about a story that is important or defining for your family and about faith – you will share stories privately with your student. Bring a bible verse that is important to you and be prepared to share that verse and why it is important. I have included below a list of verses for you to peruse if you need some assistance. Bring the names of friends or family that you would like to lift up in prayer and be prepared to share those with your student. We are looking forward to taking this next step with you and your child in their faith journey. If you have any questions, please let me know as soon as you can! I can also be reached at 952.474.8893. 

Fat Tuesday is the only Tuesday I like!

Fat Tuesday is the only Tuesday I like!

Andrea Fieldhouse Griner

Did you know Christmas, Epiphany and Mardi Gras are all connected by the number six? January 6th to be precise. January 6th is the twelfth day of Christmas, Epiphany, and the start of the SEASON of Mardi Gras. The actual day of Mardi Gras moves as Ash Wednesday moves – they are “partners.”

I love when things have a rhythm and so I love the four seasons of Minnesota. Many people are not aware that the church has seasons. The seasons of the church begin with Advent, move to Christmas, slam into Epiphany, and jarringly enter Lent. Lent is not generally regarded as the season of fun as its purpose is to lead us to Holy Week, and the cross. This season is more thoughtful, quiet and introspective  – often people choose to refrain from something they enjoy or take on a discipline of sorts. All meant to focus them on God and faith. Lent is finally redeemed as the season moves to Easter and the Resurrection!

Often forgotten in this whole journey from season to season is Mardi Gras – remember, I said Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday are partners. Mardi Gras, French for Fat Tuesday, and Ash Wednesday begin Lent.

During the Middle Ages, Lent became EXTREMELY strict. It was a time of penance, discipline, and self-sacrifice. People ate no meat, sweets, butters, fats, or syrups. They also abstained from festivals, parties, and fun! Mardi Gras was the “last hurrah” before Ash Wednesday and Lent, and is filled with partying, playing and decadence. The mask tradition started because people wanted to hide their identity. The name “Mardi Gras” comes from the tradition of slaughtering and eating the fatted calf. The custom of making pancakes comes from the need to use up fat, eggs, and dairy before the fasting and abstinence of Lent begins. Mardi Gras has grown and evolved from a day to a season. This season is filled with revelry, parades, music, celebration and fun for all. But no matter what is happening on Mardi Gras, on Bourbon Street, it ends at midnight. Mounted police clear the way for large street cleaners because Lent has begun.

I suspect you might be a little surprised to find out the Mardi Gras of New Orleans has Christianity “holding” it! So, in the name of rhythm and seasons, it’s time for Mount Calvary to think about getting our Mardi Gras on! We are going to do purple, green and yellow, beads, masks and all you can eat waffles! I bet we can also arrange for jazz music to set the tone! Let’s get ready for Lent by embracing a celebration we helped start. It happens on Tuesday, March 1! Write it on your calendar in large purple letters, and remember you have to eat dinner anyway so why not do it here?!

Celebrate Black History Month


“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatian 3:28

Initially, Black History Month was a way of educating students and young people about Black-American contributions. Such stories had been largely forgotten and were a neglected part of the national narrative.

Now, we celebrate those who’ve impacted, not just the country, but the world with their activism and achievements. In the US, the month-long spotlight during February is an opportunity for people to engage with Black histories, go beyond discussions of racism and slavery, and highlight Black leaders and accomplishments.

Want to know what we are up to in the Twin Cities to celebrate our siblings in Christ? Check out this website for events online and in person!