Tread Lightly for Lent 2021

As an Earth Care Congregation, Oak Grove Presbyterian Church supports sustainable choices that restore and protect all of God’s children and creation. For Lent 2021, the Presbyterian Hunger Program has put together a daily reflection calendar, “Tread Lightly for Lent.” See below for the full text of the calendar, as well as a link to a printable PDF of the calendar.

Tread Lightly for Lent 2021: Daily reflection-action calendar

Link to PDF of 2021 Tread Lightly for Lent Calendar

The Presbyterian Hunger Program strives to walk with people in moving towards sustainable choices that restore and protect all of God’s children and creation. As people of faith, we seek to “serve and preserve” God’s world. However, some of our collective choices have led to a changing global climate. To turn this tide, we must commit to treading lightly on God’s Earth.

In Lent, we reflect on Christ’s ministry, death, and resurrection. We slow down, take time, and examine our internal spiritual lives and the way we live out our Christian faith in the world around us.

Our hope is that this Lenten calendar will be the beginning of actions intended to create more mindful behaviors throughout the year.

February

17 Ash Wednesday

Read Psalm 51:1. Consider these questions: In the past year where have I seen steadfast love? How have I transgressed against the earth?

18

Use the One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) map online at www.presbyterianmission.org/oghsmap to find the OGHS partner closest to you and say a prayer for them.

19

Even though many of us aren’t gathering in a traditional sense, there is still a place for sustainable palms in your virtual worship. Learn more and order online: pcusa.org/eco-palms.

20  

Read this review about the Green Good News www.presbyterianmission.org/eco-journey/2020/10/12/green-good-news/

21

Download this guide from the Office at the UN www.presbyterianmission.org/resource/study-devotional-guide-for-the-sustainable-development-goals/ to connect environmental and human health around the world

22

Read and Reflect on Genesis 2:15–17

23

Watch this short video on environmental injustice’s disproportionate impact on people of color: https://youtu.be/dREtXUij6_c.

24

Read and Reflect on Psalm 130. Consider our responsibility to be part of God’s redemption in creation.

25

Use the map online at https://tinyurl.com/y4ctf7z3 to find the closest Earth Care Congregation to you and say a prayer for them.

26

Download a prayer at www.FaithClimateActionWeek.org so you can be prepared for the National Climate Prayer on Earth Day (4/22) at noon local time.

27

Read and reflect on Psalm 8.

28

Understand the environmental and social impacts of what you are buying. Do research on products you commonly use and find information on more creation friendly products at www.ethicalconsumer.org.

March

1

Read and reflect on Matthew 25.

2

Consider where you see Christ today? Share this with one person.

3

Pray: God, show us your people how to honor your gift of Creation. Let us not be selfish with our gift, rather allow us to share as generously with each other as you have shared with us. Amen.

4

Watch and share the “Jesus Calls Us” video with a friend or via social media and discuss how you feel called to care for God’s creation. www.vimeo.com/370339034

5

Learn more about your personal ecological footprint: www.footprintcalculator.org.

6

Pray: God of Enough, Let us remember those in this world who still have not been able to realize your abundance because we have taken more than what we need. And let that remembering drive us to change. Amen.

7

Download Considering Our Treasure from PHPand take one of the action steps listed in the study. https://tinyurl.com/y27szc3z.

8

Read and Reflect on Isaiah 65:17-25.

9

Pray: “For homes, for families, for friends, for food, we’re thankful, Lord. To us you’ve been good! On all who feel scared, sick, hungry, not loved, pour out your rich comfort and peace from above. Amen.”

10

Challenge yourself to drink only water. It takes 600 cups of water to produce a single cup of coffee, and 125 cups of water to produce a cup of tea.

11

Refresh your memory regarding which items your city or town allows for curbside recycling. Remind your family, friends and coworkers to recycle.

12

Write down everything you throw away today. Challenge yourself to reduce the trash you produce for the remaining days of Lent.

13

Learn where your food comes from. Calculate your food footprint at www.eatlowcarbon.org.

14

Visit www.pcusa.org/ccc to learn more about and consider taking PHP’s Climate Care Challenge.

15

Read and Reflect on Genesis 1:29.

16

Pray: “Creator of the rivers and oceans, who washes us clean and refreshes us daily, help us to be like a cup of cold water to others in your name: refreshing, cleansing, and relieving. Amen”

17

Pick up as many pieces of litter as you can and challenge a friend to do the same.

18

Unplug the chargers for your cell phone and laptop when you leave your home or office today to minimize the energy many electronics and appliances continue to draw power even when they are off.

19

Take a walk to appreciate the Earth’s natural beauty. Remember why preserving the Earth is crucial for the health of future generations.

20

For Easter baskets, buy Fair Trade chocolate, dried fruit, tea and coffee or small gifts made by women’s cooperatives! Fair trade helps farmers and workers around the world. pcusa.org/fairtrade.

21

Read and reflect on the Canticle of the Creatures www.slr-ofs.org/canticle-of-the-creatures.html.  

22

Read and Reflect on Luke 12:48.

23

Do you know about the connections between climate change and wildfires? Read this blog post https://tinyurl.com/y5hub4yk.

24

U.S. driver’s consumption of 500 gallons of gasoline every year per driver creates as much as 10,000 pounds of carbon dioxide. Walk somewhere you would have driven today.

25

Purchase carbon offsets for your commute. Visit www.cooleffect.org/content/ecoamerica to learn more.

26

Check your tire pressure. Low tire pressure means high energy/fuel consumption.

27

Participate in Earth Hour by switching off all electricity at 8:30pm local time in solidarity with global efforts to secure nature and our home: www.earthhour.org

28

Passion/Palm Sunday HOLY WEEK

As we think about Christ’s journey this Holy Week, take space to acknowledge that while it is easy to be overwhelmed with climate injustice, we do not travel alone.

29

Download Blessed Tomorrow’s Let’s Talk resource to craft your own message to be able to speak with our friends and family about reducing carbon use. www.presbyterianmission.org/resource/lets-talk-faith-and-climate

30

Download the Holy Discontentment: Lifting Your Voice for Effective Advocacy resource from the Office of Public Witness to learn more about how to use your voice to create change. www.presbyterianmission.org/resource/holy-discontentment-advocacy-resource

31

Speak to the powerful. Urge elected officials to support legislation making justice and creation-care a priority. Visit capwiz.com/pcusa/home to reach out to your representative.

April

1 Maundy Thursday

Remind yourself of the PC(USA)’s policy on engaging with issues of climate change by visiting www.presbyterianmission.org/lordsearthpolicy.

2 Good Friday

Reflect on the air pollution created by our consumption of carbon. Identify who in your own community might be most impacted by this pollution.

3 Great Vigil of Easter

John 13:1-17, 31b-35. How can we love one another—and God’s whole world—as Christ has loved us? Write down your commitment to show love to a part of creation today.

4 Easter

Read Matthew 28:1-10 Give with joy to the One Great Hour of Sharing.

For further learning and action

Please visit us at www.pcusa.org/hunger to learn more about ongoing opportunities for simple living, environmental justice, alleviating poverty, and eliminating root causes of hunger.

Holy Week Online Worship

Holy Week Devotionals. Pastor Anne and Pastor Mary have prepared daily devotions for Holy Week. We will post each day’s devotions on Facebook. Click here for the full list of devotionals.

Maundy ThursdayApril 9. See video below for Oak Grove’s Maundy Thursday Worship Service  (OneLicense.net Streaming License # A-712207).

Good FridayApril 10. See video below for Oak Grove’s Good Friday Service  (OneLicense.net Streaming License # A-712207).

Good Friday, April 10, 2020 Bulletin

Join us by live-stream at 10:45 am on Easter Sunday, available on Facebook and the website.

Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020 Bulletin

Holy Week Devotionals

Holy Week Devotionals (PDF)

Palm Sunday April 5

Matthew 21:9 The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

Jesus wasn’t the only one parading into Jerusalem that day. On the other side of town, Herod rode in on a gleaming stallion, surrounded by his military, the very symbol of power and might. The two could not be more different. Jesus shows us the power of love. Love never manipulates, marginalizes, and does not destroy. Love builds up. It is what is real. Power and control are illusions.

Prayer: By your grace, O God, let your love fill me; and let my gratitude spill out to others in acts of kindness. AMEN

Do something kind for someone today – write a note, send a text, make a call, put a flower on a neighbor’s porch, say a prayer, etc.

Holy Monday April 6

John 12:3 Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard and anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair.

This is the same Mary who saw her brother, Lazarus, raised from the dead. Mary’s gratitude to Jesus knows no bounds. Judas objects to the expensive oil used in this way, but Jesus allows it. He knows what is behind this action and what is coming. Mary has the conviction of how she wants to express to Jesus, her adoration and gratitude. She withstands Judas’ criticism of being wasteful. Mary’s faith tells her she is doing the right thing at this moment and time.

Prayer: Teach me to act, Lord with the confidence and faith of your presence. Let my actions follow my convictions. I pray in Christ’s name. Amen.

Think back to times in your life when your faith has been strong. Share a part of your faith journey with someone else today.

Holy Tuesday April 7

John 12:24 Jesus says, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”

Jesus continues to teach his listeners in his last hours. During his three years of ministry Jesus sows the seeds of God’s kingdom on earth. Now the time has come to allow God’s message to germinate, take root and grow. At this time of staying home, we need to discover ways of how we grow the seeds of God’s message to the world. It is a challenge to love our neighbor when they are at least six feet from us. In this time of containment, our actions and those of others reflect Christ’s message in ways we would have not thought possible.  

Prayer: I pray for clear sight and an open heart so that I can hear your voice in my life and see what I can do to serve you. Help me not to miss your presence by my own fears and insecurities. Amen.

Spend some time in prayer asking God what God’s intention is for your life.

Holy Wednesday April 8

John 13:21, 27-28 “Jesus said, “One of you will betray me.” Jesus said to Judas, “Do quickly what you are going to do.” No one around the table knew why Jesus said this to Judas.

They were having a meal together. Only Jesus and Judas knew what was going to happen. Jesus shows his authority as he tells Judas that he knows of the conspiracy against him and does nothing to stop Judas. The show of strength is not always through force. Jesus allows things take their course. What would have happened if Jesus’ disciples were clued into Judas’ plan to arrest Jesus? It would not have been hard physically to stop Judas; then the plot against Jesus would have failed. We are confounded when God’s ways are not our ways. 

Prayer: Help me God to step back and rely on your ways. Help me trust that your care for me is greater than I can comprehend. Amen.

Find ways to connect with others through a phone call or email or letter. Try to see how God is working in your life today.

Maundy Thursday April 9

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

The word Maundy means mandate. It comes from this passage in John when Jesus says “Truly I tell you to love one another.” I remember a psychology professor saying that the last words in a conversation are often the most important. As Jesus’ time draws to a close, he tells his disciples to love one another — maybe one of the most important teachings that we have. But it continues to be an elusive lesson for so many of us. Love rather than hate; love rather than excluding or seeking vengeance. Love one another as Jesus has loved us.

Prayer: Help me to love, Lord, because when I follow love, hope comes alive. Help me to take on your mandate. Amen.

Watch the Maundy Thursday Service online (oakgrv.org) any time after Noon. Think about how God shows love to the world.

Good Friday April 10

John 19:33-34 When they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear.

A great deal happened between the time Jesus shared his last meals with his disciples and he died on the cross. To a disciple’s eye, things have gone terribly wrong. The teachings, the miracles and cheering crowds do not seem to matter. Jesus was tried, convicted and is now dead. How could any good come of this? I give thanks to God that because we know the rest of the story, we never have a day as hopeless as this was for all who followed Jesus.

Prayer: God the unspeakable happens to those who know and love Jesus. Thank you that we can speak of it and know that not even death can hold back your love. Amen.

Tune in to the live-stream of the Good Friday Service at Noon on Facebook or our website (oakgrv.org), or watch it sometime during the day.

Holy Saturday April 11

Sabbath John 19:31 Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross during the sabbath, especially because the Sabbath was a day of great solemnity.

On Friday, they buried Jesus before sundown so as not to break the Sabbath rules. Even after they falsely accused, tried and executed the Son of God, they conscientiously followed God’s law. Such is the irony of religion. More wars and atrocities are committed in the name of God/Allah, including the Crusades and the terrorist attacks. The Pharisees must have observed that Sabbath in good conscience, as being good Jews. How can we become so misguided? Like the first break with God in the Garden of Eden, we fail when we are convinced that we know what God wants. 

Prayer: God, forgive us when we start to believe we know better than you. Give us humble and open hearts to hear your Word and not our own. Amen.

Spend some quiet moments and listen to the sounds outside. Notice the signs of new life among us.

Easter Sunday/Resurrection of the Lord April 12

John 20:15-16 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). 

Confusion, sadness, despair – Jesus’ tomb is empty and there is no body. Mary weeps. Jesus calls Mary by name, a moment of intimate affirmation. Is there a moment in scripture more tender than this? New life is for all humanity, all nature, the cosmos, and God of the universe calls us each by name. LOVE WINS.

Prayer: When the night is dark, and fear sets in, call my name, O God. When death seems to be winning, still my heart with the good news of the resurrection – love wins.

Shout “Alleluia! Christ is Risen!” out your window!

Palm Sunday, April 5, 2020

April 5, 2020 Bulletin

Palm branches will be available for pickup outside the church on Saturday, April 4, after 9:00 a.m.

Please tune into Facebook or the web page early on Sunday morning to watch a video of our Oak Grove children in a virtual Palm Sunday processional (see below). Shout Hosanna or sing your favorite Palm Sunday hymn while you watch from home!

Our livestreamed Palm Sunday Worship Service on Facebook and the website will begin at 10:45 a.m.

March 24 Session Decisions

UPDATE: the church building will be closed March 28-May 4, but we will continue our online presence during the Stay Home period.

Session met Tuesday, March 24, 2020 via Zoom and decided the following:

Sunday Worship Services

Oak Grove will suspend all on-site worship through the end of April. All Sunday morning worship services will be online and livestreamed on Facebook and the website at 10:45 a.m., with archived videos available for later viewing.

Holy Week Services

Palm Sunday, April 5, and Easter Sunday, April 12, will be online and livestreamed on Facebook and the website at 10:45 a.m. There will be no 6:30 a.m. Easter Sunrise service.

Maundy Thursday, April 9, will be online in some form. Details to be announced later.

Good Friday Service, April 10, will be an online worship service at 12:00 noon.

Updates will be posted on Facebook Events and on the website.

Office Hours

Church office hours will be irregular for awhile, so please call first before coming to the Church. The Church office will close at noon on Fridays. UPDATE: the church building will be closed March 28-May 4 during the Stay Home period.

Confirmation Classes

Confirmation will continue virtually, with the students presenting their Statements of Faith and being confirmed on schedule. The recognition of their becoming members will be celebrated at a later time.

Pastoral Nominating Committee

The Session is ready to present the nine-member slate for the Pastoral Nominating Committee to the Congregation.  Due to our current situation that prohibits gathering, the Congregational vote on the Pastoral Nominating Committee will be conducted by irregular means. A letter will be sent to all members either by email or regular mail. Members will have ten days to respond with a yea or nay, either by email to bangerhofer@oakgrv.org , phone 952-888-4621, or mail. This will allow the provisional Pastoral Nominating Committee to begin their work. When we can gather again, there will be a congregational meeting to affirm the slate.

2020 Easter & Lent Schedule

UPDATE, March 25, 2020: Holy Week services will all be online.

Ash Wednesday, February 26, 5:45 p.m. Taco dinner, followed by Ash Wednesday Service by Pastor Mary, with imposition of ashes and communion served by the 8th grade confirmands. The Chancel Choir is singing.

WoW! during Lent will feature Bible study on the Beatitudes on March 4, 11, 18, and April 1. [Note: There is no WoW! on March 25 because of Bloomington Spring Break.]

Palm Sunday, April 5, Worship Services at 8:15 a.m. & 10:45 a.m. with Deacons serving brunch for everyone between services.

Maundy Thursday, April 9. There will be soup dinner at 6:00 p.m., followed by the Maundy Thursday Communion Service (all in Gideon Pond ABC).

Good Friday, April 10, Tenebrae service at 8:00 p.m.

Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020

6:30 a.m. Sunrise service with communion at Bloomington Cemetery (104th St. & Lyndale Avenue).

Easter Egg Hunt for the children between Worship Services at the church.

8:15 a.m. & 10:45 a.m. Easter Sunday Worship Services at the church.