Kenya Children’s Choir Oct. 6

On October 6, World Communion Sunday, we will have special music by the Children’s Choir from Kenya, Hakuna Matata. The Choir is composed of twelve children who are dedicated to spreading love, hope, and joy while raising awareness for the desperate plight of orphans and other vulnerable children.

The Choir will perform at both the 8:15 a.m. and the 10:45 a.m. Worship Services on Sunday, October 6. A special freewill offering will be received.

Oak Grove Welcomes Britta Weber

Oak Grove welcomes Britta Weber as our new Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry. Britta started at Oak Grove on August 19 and comes to us with a variety of experience with youth and children.

Britta is a recent graduate of St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN with a dual degrees in Norwegian and Religion, and concentrations in Middle Eastern and Nordic studies. She is especially intrigued by the intersection of religion and politics, and loves to figure out what unites us, rather than divides us across religious lines.

Britta spent the first half of childhood in Austin, TX, and her middle school years in Telemark, Norway where she discovered her love for the Norwegian language and culture. In high school, she was mega band-nerd. This was where she also met her now fiancé, Peter. They are very excited to get hitched this coming May!

Britta loves spending free time enjoying nature: in a hammock, on a hike, by a lake, or on a run are some of her favorite ways to be present in God’s beautiful creation. 

She is also always on the hunt for cute coffee shops, thought-provoking books, and good indie/folk and jazz music that she can play or sing along to.

Britta is very excited to join Oak Grove and to grow in the compassionate and driven spirit of this community. She feels especially blessed to serve alongside such an inspiring bunch of youth!

Oak Grove EV Expo on Sept. 14

Mark your calendars for Saturday, September 14, 2019, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. for Oak Grove’s Second Annual Electric Vehicle (EV) Expo! Attendees are invited to test drive the latest electric vehicles (and Animobiles) and talk with owners about the benefits of going electric.

In addition to test drives, we have a great line-up of speakers:

11 am Daryl Thayer, Daryl Solar 1 “EV Charging and Chargers”
11:30 am Jukka Kukkonen- MN EV Owners- “What EV is Best Fit for You?”
12:00 noon Alisa Sobczak, Xcel, “Programs for Charging Your EV from Xcel”
12:30 pm Joe Strommen, Bloomington Sustainability Commission- “City’s Effort to Promote EVs”
1:00 pm Women’s Panel of EV Owners (Mary Crampton, Sunny Snyder, Sandy Crum, Erin Anderson-Wenz, Karen Gerdes)
1:30 pm Jukka Kukkonen- MN EV Owners- “What EV is Best Fit for You?”
2:00 pm Noa Shavit-Lonstein or Gabe Epstein, MN 350, “EV Legislation in MN and Trump’s Drive to Scrap US Mileage Standards”
2:30 pm Pdon Pinkham, Oak Grove Green Committee, “Why I am an EV Owner and What It Means for Creation”

Food: hot dogs, chips and veggie hot dogs, popcorn and water available in Social Hall. Free will offering to support youth mission trips.

Environmentally-friendly car wash near rain garden in north parking lot, 12-2. Free will offering to support youth mission trips.

The EV Expo features:

  • Test drives from 11am to 1pm of the latest EVs with dealers, giving you the chance to get behind the wheel and drive some truly awesome cars.   Sponsored by the American Lung Association.
  • Talks with EV owners about their experiences — different weather conditions, charging at home, at work and on the road, maintenance, cost of ownership and the “thrill” of stomping on the accelerator of their EVs.
  • Electric bikes, scooters, mowers, and many other electric toys and tools for you to try out – the future of e-mobility in urban environments. 
  • Learn from expert talks in the sanctuary about special utility rates, tax breaks, and EV charging corridors for long-distance travel, along with a panel of woman EV drivers talking about why they prefer driving the EV to their family “gasmobile.”
  • Refreshments and places for families and kids to hang out and chill. 

Why is Oak Grove sponsoring this 2019 EV Expo?   Because we are concerned about climate change.  Oak Grove has made great progress in cutting our emissions from energy use, but the fact is that we  all need to stop burning fossil fuel, now.  EVs are an excellent and cost-effective way that people can take action individually and collectively to deal with climate change; and, as you’ll discover at the Expo, they are really cool to drive.  

We hope to see you there.  Plan to attend and to volunteer if possible.   Bring your family and friends.   


*By EVs we mean vehicles that are all-electric –that use batteries for their all their power and also PHEVs (Plug In Hybrid Electric) which combine electric power and internal combustion engines for their power.  We will have both EVs and PHEVs dealer and owner models at the Expo.

It’s Pastor Anne’s First Day At Oak Grove!

Pastor Anne Fisher started work today as Oak Grove Presbyterian Church’s Transitional Pastor. Please stop by to welcome her and to say hi. Anne’s office hours are Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

There will be a welcome reception for the congregation to meet Anne after the 9:30 a.m. service on Sunday, August 4. Hope to see you there!

Oak Grove Welcomes Pastor Anne Fisher

Pastor Anne

On, July 29 the Rev. Dr. Anne Fisher will begin her time as Oak Grove Presbyterian’s Transitional Pastor. 

Anne graduated from Princeton Seminary and was ordained in 1982. She has served 20 congregations as an interim/transitional pastor, including large city and suburban churches and small rural churches.

Anne and her husband Gregg Dana lived for 21 years in Gurnee, IL, a Chicago suburb. Gregg  retired as a Presbyterian minister and mental health counselor, and their plan was to move to  interesting places as Anne continued her career as a transitional pastor. They moved to Plymouth MN where Anne served the Plymouth Presbyterian Church and enjoyed this area so much that they changed their plan and  decided to make the Twin Cities their home base.

Since March, Anne and Gregg live in a newly-built 49-unit Cooperative Living building in St Anthony Park on the Luther Seminary grounds. They are enjoying their new home and getting acquainted with 75 new friends.  

Anne and Gregg have four children and five grandchildren. Robert and family are in Reston, Virginia. William and family live in Minneapolis. Elizabeth and her new husband live in Berlin, Germany, and Christina lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Anne and Gregg enjoy traveling, spending time with family, working out and taking walks around the many lakes in the area, and reading the books suggested by the Minneapolis Institute of Art Book Club.  Anne is excited and looking forward to entering into the wonderful ministry of Oak Grove Presbyterian Church.

Welcome, Pastor Anne!

Mission Trip to Guatemala

Oak Grove students and chaperones traveled to Guatemala June 26 – July 3, 2019, for the senior high mission trip. Following are comments by four of the senior high students.

The thing that interested me most about going to Guatemala was the food. Food is a cultural common ground, allowing people to directly experience culture through the different feels and flavors of cultural dishes. I like experiencing new flavors and learning the techniques to replicate them and this trip was a complete success in terms of food. The mission served traditional fare of soups and black beans. Owen and I decided to go to the streets lined with vendors and went for churrascos (churrasco is Spanish and Portuguese for beef or grilled meat — a prominent part of the cuisine of Latin America). That meal was the best because it was food made for locals prepared by locals. Just outside the San Toliman park I felt truly connected to Guatemala, its people, and most importantly, its food. -Jack Wenz

This trip wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible congregation here at Oak Grove.  It’s thanks to your support, prayer, and donations that we were able to go on this inspiring trip…to meet new people, to learn new things, to see new sights, to help our neighbors, to grow in faith, and to represent Oak Grove.  So all we have left to say is THANK YOU.  -Morgan Duvall

Guatemala was amazing, the scenery, people and the work, were all new experiences. The work was much different than other mission trips, it was more physical, such as digging dirt and moving concrete. Yet is was some of the most satisfying work that I have ever done. Knowing that you are building houses for those who need them is a great feeling. -William Snyder

Guatemala was such a life-changing experience. It was a whole new environment and I wasn’t prepared for the change. The first thing that I witnessed when we got there was the beautiful nature but also, how there were some similarities to the U.S., the food places. Something I most definitely wasn’t prepared for were the street venders. They were very persistent, but I understood why. They are in need of money to be able to support their families. I never realized how much I took stuff for granted until we started our work. Everyone was always so grateful, even if all we did was a small gesture, and that was heartwarming. I would love to experience this again and go and do more work if I have the chance, and I recommend it to any and everyone. -Tedo Philips

The senior high trip to Guatemala would not have been possible without the leadership of our amazing, kind, compassionate, fun-loving, responsible adults. These fine folks gave a week of their lives to be with our youth. Thanks go to Chad Acker, Greg Johnson, Mary Koon, Rory Scott, Travis Scott, Adam Wilkens, and Amy Zsohar.  Additional thanks go to Sarah Olson for making reservations with Delta and helping navigate the group check-in process, and to Arlene Jullie for Mary’s Spanish lessons!  The trip was filled with meaning and lasting memories.

For more photos, see Oak Grove’s Facebook album, 2019 Guatemala Mission Trip.

Green Committee Tour a Success!

Oak Grove’s Green Committee hosted the Bloomington Sustainability Commission and the Xcel Partners in Energy program on Thursday, June 20.  Over 50 leaders of Bloomington businesses and churches attended as we presented our actions over the past few years to dramatically cut carbon emissions and to sequester carbon and infiltrate water into the ground to stop and reverse pollution of our waters and atmosphere. 

The group looked at our rooftop solar, community solar garden membership, LED lighting, EV chargers, KidWind “inventions”  and rain gardens present and future.  Thanks to all the Oak Grove Green Committee, Building and Ops, and partners for making this event a great success.

The Green Committee’s next event is the EV Expo on September 14 (see poster below).

Pastor Bill’s Retirement Celebration

On Sunday, May 19, 2019, Oak Grove Presbyterian Church said goodbye to Pastor Bill Chadwick and his wife, Kris Jacobson, with a special farewell celebration and lunch after the second service.

For more photos, see the photo album on Oak Grove’s Facebook page.

Pastor Bill with Pastor Mary Koon
Kris and Bill receiving the canoe paddle and table runner signed by the congregation
Anne Klueh’s parting words to Kris and Bill

Welcome Anne Swenson

Please welcome Anne Swenson to Oak Grove’s staff!

Anne is a CPA and has been in accounting for her entire career.  She retired from Pax Christi Catholic Community in January of 2017 after thirteen years as the Financial Manager.

She is happy to be back into the numbers by working part-time here at Oak Grove Presbyterian Church.

She & her husband have lived in Bloomington for 21 years and have three sons and three grandchildren.