Malawi Finance Club: Keeping Dreams Alive

The Mount Calvary Malawi Finance Club!

Our newly formed Malawi Finance Club (MFC) has been meeting monthly since travelers returned from Malawi last summer, and the results of their hard work are paying off for the club and the loan recipients. The Finance Club consists of Mount Calvary members that donated funds to create a pool.  From this pool, eligible Malawi graduates may apply for small, short-term, affordable loans. The first loans went out a couple months ago, and the recipients have been busy using the funds to building their businesses. 

Congregation and Malawi Finance Club members, Carolyn and Dick Shell have had the opportunity to mentor MFC loan recipient, Sandram Mcford who owns a car for hire (taxi) service. When he applied for the loan, Sandram shared that he was unable to keep up with the demand with his one car but also unable to get approved for a bank loan to buy a second vehicle. (It is extremely difficult if not impossible for small businesses to receive bank loans in Malawi, and the interest rate is over 25%.) 

Sandram applied for a small MFC loan and was approved for funding to purchase a new-to-him vehicle, doubling his driving fleet. Dick and Carolyn Shell along with our counterpart Ben Meki at the Business Technical Institute in Malawi walked alongside Sandram throughout the process coaching and cheering him on.  

Recently, we received the following update! Hello Carolyn & Dick,
I am super excited as am writing to you! 

Yes! I got the funds amounting 3,369,000 Malawi kwacha. Thank you so much for trusting me with these funds. I am looking forward to itS success.  

I have just bought the car today. It is a second hand car. The prices of goods in Malawi have gone very expensive. I projected to buy a second hand car at 3,000,000 kwacha but with kwacha devaluation the plan has changed. The vehicle was going at 4,000,000. I have added my savings to make it work. 

However, I thank God for the opportunity and I thank you so much for your trust. We can’t run away from difficulties but we can at least manage them. I am praying for the success of this business. May God bless you. I don’t take this for granted. I am grateful. I am looking forward to see how the business goes and also to start repayment the loan.  

My family is also grateful for this opportunity. Things are currently hard in Malawi. It’s not easy to raise enough funds to do something. This is huge for me, my family and my community. Please I have attached the photos for the new car. It’s Nissan March.  

In God’s love-Sandram Mcford. 

Thank you to everyone who has supported the Malawi Global Missions program and the Malawi Finance Club. Your support is keeping hopes and dreams alive for families in Malawi. Watch for more updates from other recipients! 

Fair Trade Market

Fair Trade has the power to change lives in whole communities. Mount Calvary is pleased to host the Fair Trade Market each November. Watch for our January Caller for a report on the Fair Trade vendors and if you would like to know more, you can contact some of our vendors via their websites or by email.

Fair Anita –

Give Us Wings –

Mayan Hands –

Gifts for Change –

Vetiera –

Bill Nicklay with Fair Exchange –

Art Camp 2023

So much creative energy in our building this week as Mount Calvary hosts Art Camp!

Upcoming Confirmation News


Hello Confirmation Families, 
We are excited to see everyone again this Wednesday, April 12th at 6:15 sharp!  There is no large group this week, we are all meeting in Luther Hall for a Kairos Blanket Exercise.  Because of this, it is very important everyone is on time if not early! Our community is a rich tapestry of individual experiences woven with generations of historical threads and vibrant cultural colors. This Wednesday, our confirmation groups use an embodied reflection of history to connect with their personal stories and the stories of their community. The KAIROS Blanket Exercise will be a moving and reflective experience illustrating how history impacts individuals of generations to come and how we can best honor our stories and compassionately connect with the stories of others. Led by Intern Pastor Mark Abelsen, creative artist and nonprofit leader Sandy Agustin, and Director of Outreach, Heidi Busch, we will gather in Luther Hall for a large group experience kids are sure to remember. Be sure to ask them about it!

We are also starting our Lutheran Social Services Donation Drive.
  Mount Calvary along with LSS believes all young people should live in safe and healthy environments. More than 6,000 youth throughout Minnesota experience homelessness on any given night, according to a recent Wilder Foundation report. Each year, LSS of MN makes thousands of contacts and provides youth with the resources they need to launch into productive, healthy, and independent lives. They are committed to supporting youth to gain stability through early intervention and prevention services, supportive shelters and housing options, and services to restore and strengthen families.
We can help by donating the following items……
* New Socks and Underwear
* Mittens and Gloves
* Full Size Shampoo and Conditioner (especially brands containing Shea Moisture) 
* Razors & Shaving Cream
* Tooth Brushes/ Toothpaste
* Shelf- Stable Foods (Mac & Cheese/ Ramen) 
* Granola Bars or Snacks
* Hand Warmers
* Diapers- Size 3 and Larger
* Baby Wipes
* Educational Toys
* $ 10 Gift Cards McDonalds, Perkins & Denny’s (open all night places) 

Please bring items this Wednesday, April 12th and Wednesday, April 19th.  

  Important Dates:   April 19th: Many Hands Many Meals Serve your Heart out Packing Event! 
8th Grade Small Group VINE NIGHTS: During the dates below your 8th Grader with head downstairs right away at 6:15-8:30.  From there they will participate in the Vine with their small group.  Their leaders will be there to help facilitate.  Dinner is provided.  Evan is so excited to get to know all you!! 8*5 Trombley/ Nelson April 26th
8*7 Anderson April 26th
8th Grade Important Dates: 
May 3rd 8th grade Picture and Rehearsal Night
May 10th  Stole Making Night 
May 19th Mentoring Sessions Reflections and Final Projects due 
May 19th  Finale Night

May 21st  Rite of Confirmation Sunday Night 4:30-6:30 Middle School youth group with Evan Lieber have some fun events lined up check them out………  

We are looking forward to the final stretch of the year with all of you! Have a wonderful week!

God Bless,
Andrea Fieldhouse Griner
Trina Volbrecht 
Evan Lieber 
Ketti Spehar  Copyright © 2023 Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, All rights reserved.
You have registered for Confirmation at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church.

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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!!