Help Needed: Fall Clean-Up

Saturday, November 2 | 9:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.

Many hands make light work at the trustees’ semi-annual clean-up event. This session will be focused on outdoor work, getting the building and landscaping ready for winter. There will also be some indoor tasks, including waxing the woodwork and wiping down handrails. Whatever your level of ability, there will be something for you to help with.

A light lunch will be served during the second half of the clean-up.

Jazz Worship & UMCOR Sunday

Sunday, October 20 | 10:30 a.m.

The Jumpin’ Jehosafats will be bringing their unique sound of Dixieland Jazz to worship on October 20. During the service, we’ll take an offering for UMCOR Sunday. Contributions to this offering help fund the administrative work of the United Methodist Committee on Relief, allowing 100% of donations at the time of a disaster to go towards that cause.

There will not be children’s church on October 20 so that children can stay in worship and enjoy the music. Lunch will be served afterward as part of the congregational visioning event.

Collard Green Feed

Friday, November 1 | 5:00–7:00 p.m. | $10 adults, $5 kids under 12


Get ready, the collard green feed is less than a month away, and the collards are looking particularly delicious this year.

Click here to RSVP and share with your friends on Facebook

Want to help? There is a planning meeting after worship on October 13. If you miss the meeting, talk to Pastor Suzanne or Brent Holmberg to get connected with volunteer opportunities.

Seeing Our Future

Congregational Visioning and Strategic Planning

Sunday, October 20 | 12:00–2:00 p.m.

Earlier this year, in March and June, the Church Council sponsored visioning and strategic planning events to set our sights on the future. This is our 10 year anniversary as Living Spirit, and we want to strengthen our momentum as we move forward into the next decade. On October 20 we will continue our conversation from the June session around mission/vision and strengthening our ministries. It’s a time to dream, but also to create tangible plans of action that we can reasonably accomplish.

Rev. Shawn Moore will help lead us in this process. Shawn is a church planter and pastor of The Beloved, a multicultural United Methodist congregation in St. Paul.

Everyone who considers Living Spirit a part of their community is encouraged to attend. A light lunch will be served. The flu shot clinic is also this Sunday, so make sure to sign up for a flu shot if you’re going to stay for the discussion.

If you are interested in the future of the United Methodist Church and its impact on Living Spirit, there will be a separate meeting on Wednesday, October 16 at 6:45 p.m.


Welcome Mandy!


On Sunday we were delighted to welcome our new Director of Children’s, Youth, and Family Ministries, Mandy Beardsley. Mandy has volunteered with children’s church, Urban Camp, and other activities at Living Spirit for several years. She will be on staff part time to continue coordinating and developing opportunities for younger people at Living Spirit.

If you have any questions about children’s ministries, or would like to get in touch, you can e-mail Mandy:

Pumpkin Party

Friday, October 25 | 6:00–8:30 p.m.

Friends of all ages are invited to join us for Living Spirit's 4th Annual Intergenerational Pumpkin Party! There will 50 pumpkins to carve, pizzas and fruit snacks, and games to play. We will have a pumpkin patch set up for pictures and invite everyone to wear a costume if they would like to. Bring your friends and neighbors!

RSVP and invite your friends on Facebook

Update on the United Methodist Church

Dear Friends,

I’m writing to keep you up to date on what is happening with the United Methodist denomination. Last week Paterson Meahyen and I attended the Church of the Resurrection Leadership Institute. Church of the Resurrection is the largest United Methodist congregation in the United States, with approximately 30,000 members. Their lead pastor is Rev. Adam Hamilton. Each September they sponsor a Leadership Institute to strengthen other congregations in their ministries. This year the Leadership Institute focused solely on the crisis created by the legislation passed at General Conference 2019.

Much of the focus was on the work of the UMCNext movement, which is about creating an inclusive church for all groups of people in our culture who have been marginalized. Although the controversy of full inclusion of the LGBTQIA community has been the driving force, there is recognition that there is much more work to do around racism, sexism, classism, and ableism. Creating an inclusive expression of Methodism means addressing all of the "-isms."

We also learned about some of the legislation that will be presented at General Conference 2020 in May. There are four legislative plans that will be presented and be up for vote at General Conference. You can find them online with the following links:

Overview Article

The Indianapolis Plan
The New Expressions Worldwide (N.E.W.) Plan
A New Form of Unity Plan
The UMCNext Proposal

Many things presented at this conference have implications for our visioning/strategic planning session that will happen on October 20 after church (noon – 2:00 p.m.). But there are also some nitty-gritty denominational and political details that are best handled with another meeting. I invite you to a discussion on Wednesday evening, October 16 at 6:45 p.m. to learn more about these plans and the implications for UMC congregations if they pass. It will be held in the sanctuary. Come at 5:45 p.m. for supper if you can.

Please keep the denomination, all of our congregations, and especially Living Spirit in your prayers as we navigate through this.

Pastor Suzanne

Jim Crow of the North

Sundays, October 13 and 27  |  9:15 am
or  Wednesday, October 23  |  6:45 pm  

Igniting Our Faith, the adult education group, will be watching and discussing the TPT documentary, Jim Crow of the North.  (You can watch a preview of the film at the end of this post.) It gives the history of racist and restrictive housing covenants in the early 20th century and how they have led Minnesota to have the highest disparity between home ownership for whites and African Americans in the nation. Please join us to view this powerful documentary and discuss how it impacts our community today. 

In addition to the two-part screening at the usual time, the full documentary will also be shown after supper on October 23.

New Sermon Series: Journey Towards Wholeness

One of the challenges in a congregation like Living Spirit, where we focus on outward issues of social justice, is to do the inward work of personal and spiritual renewal—the things that strengthen us to do the outward acts of faith in action. When I visited Glide Memorial UMC in San Francisco a number of years ago and participated in their Empowerment Journey, they shared about the recovery process they developed and engaged their church members and staff in. It is meant to be a supplement to the traditional 12 step process (not a replacement) and is for anyone, whether they have a “formal” addiction or not. Because everyone is in need of recovery from something. Our entire community—business leaders, alcoholics, government leaders, people who have experienced physical abuse, psychological abuse, loneliness, disconnection, lack of meaning in life – are challenged by recovery everyday.

This Sunday we begin a four part sermon series called “Journey Towards Wholeness.” There will be a slight pause with Multicultural Sunday on the 22nd, but will then resume the following Sundays:

  • Facing Our Inner Darkness—September 15

  • (Multicultural Celebration—September 22)

  • Naming Who You Are—September 29

  • Embracing Community—October 6

  • Experiencing Rebirth—October 13

We engage in recovery because it helps us to become more fully human and strengthens us to do the work God calls us to. And it enables us to reach out to others in their journey towards wholeness.

—Pastor Suzanne

Fall Schedule

We celebrated the new program year with a rainy Rally Day indoor picnic, and now it’s time to get back to our regular schedule. Here’s what to watch out for on Sunday mornings:

Breakfast—We serve a free breakfast every Sunday from 8:30–9:15 a.m.

Igniting Our Faith—This is a series of short term studies that meet on Sunday morning. The first study, led by Brent Holmberg, runs from September 15 to September 29, and invites us to see the bible through new eyes.

Children’s Church—After the children’s message in worship on non-communion Sundays, children age 4–5th grade are invited to their own service, featuring stories, crafts, songs, and more. (Learn more about our offerings for families)

And don’t forget—the Living Spirit Singers meet in the sanctuary at 9:20 a.m. Everyone who wants to sing is welcome to join.

Sign Up for Flu Shots

In partnership with TRUST, Living Spirit is hosting a flu shot clinic after worship on October 20. Advance registration is preferred, so please take a moment to register. Both the regular vaccine and the high dose vaccine (for ages 65+) will be available. If you have questions about the flu shot, here are some resources:


If you have questions about the clinic at Living Spirit, you can ask in the comments or contact the church office.

Updated Directory

Directory Cover.png

A new Friends of Living Spirit directory has been printed and is available in the gathering area on Sundays in September. If you don’t make it in (or forget to take a copy), you may call or e-mail the church office and request that one be sent to you. Please specify in the e-mail whether you would like a paper copy mailed to your house or an electronic copy (PDF) e-mailed to you.

As always, if you have changes or corrections to your directory information, you can report them here.

Rally Day

Sunday, September 8  |  10:30 am worship, picnic lunch after worship

Kids are getting ready to go back to school, people are enjoying a few last weekends at the cabin, and it’s time to return to our regular church schedule. We kick-off the program year with a celebratory worship and picnic on September 8. Church council will provide hot dogs, beans, and chips for the picnic. Please consider bringing a salad or dessert to share. There will also be games and activities for intergenerational fun.

Rally day also means that Sunday Breakfast, Igniting our Faith, and Children’s Church will resume on September 15.

Update from Katie

[Ed. note: Katie served as a pastoral intern at Living Spirit during the 2018-2019 academic year.]

Hi Living Spirit!

Thank you so much for the ways you helped to celebrate my graduation and supported me through my internship. I've really missed you. I'm glad that Richard has been able to join you a few times, he's been sharing updates when he gets home.

In July I was hired to be the director of Spiritual Outreach at First United Methodist Church - Red Wing. First UMC is a downtown congregation founded 166 years ago on the edge of a park just blocks from the Mississippi River. It was the original home of Hamline University.

My work mostly involves finding ways to strengthen connections within the church through spiritual formation groups; boosting the signal of the church in the community through events, social media and service projects; and finding ways to welcome new people into our community. I'm preaching once a month and doing some pastoral care and enjoying getting to know a new community and church.
If you come down to Red Wing to watch the fall colors hiking Barn Bluff or check out the world's largest boot at Red Wing Shoe please reach out. If I'm in town I'd love to get a coffee at Mandy's or a donut from Hanisch's (WCCO named them Minnesota's best bakery).

Sending all my love and gratitude!


New Supper Menus Available

Check it out! The menus for community supper on Wednesday evenings are now available for the rest of 2019. You can see what’s going to be served any given week by checking the calendar.

Just a reminder—our community meals are always free and open to all. We serve supper every Wednesday from 5:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. You can expect a main, a side, beverages, and dessert, plus a lot of great conversation with both Living Spirit friends and community neighbors.

Outdoor Worship at Minnehaha Falls

Sunday, August 18  |  10:30 am  

Are you thirsting for justice in the midst of chaos and turmoil? Join us for our annual outdoor worship service at Minnehaha Falls park and listen to Pastor Suzanne explore what it means to be thirsty for justice. (Remember, there is no worship at Living Spirit this week.)

Volunteers make this service possible; even if you haven’t volunteered for a specific task, consider making conversation with guests to the service as part of our mission of hospitality.

Check out the park map and more information.


Calling All Bell Ringers!

Practices Start Wednesday, September 4  |  6:20–7:00 pm  

It’s hard to believe, but there is less than a month left before Bells of Living Spirit resumes rehearsals for the 2019-2020 ringing season. If you are interested in playing handbells, please contact Bell Director Carol Jorgenson and let her know. Whether you’re a complete beginner (no experience necessary), or an “old pro”, we need your help to fill out our roster this year so we can continue to bring our joyful music to Sunday worship.

More Information: Carol Jorgenson (if you need Carol’s contact information, e-mail the church office)