2021 Per Capita Challenge

per capita challenge

Help Oak Grove reach our Per Capita Challenge of $7,000 to say “Thank You” to Presbytery. Payments of $36.50 per member can be mailed directly to Oak Grove or you can donate online by credit card via our Donate form.

per capita challenge

The Presbytery provided needed support this past, unprecedented year, providing recorded services and more!

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.

MN Clean Car Rulemaking Comments due March 15

A message from the Green Committee about Minnesota’s Clean Car rules proposed by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). Comments are due to MPCA by March 15, 2021.

In 2018 and 2019, Oak Grove’s Green Committee sponsored EV (Electric Vehicle) Expos because we believe that the electrification of transportation is one of the most effective ways to dramatically cut carbon emissions that are destroying the livability of our earth.   Estimates indicate that fossil fuel transportation plus the refining of fossil fuels account for approximately 50% of total CO2 emissions in the US and other auto-dependent countries.

In 2012 the Obama Administration implemented Clean Car standards mandating increasing mileage standards for automobiles to double the average fuel efficiency of cars sold in the US by 2025.  Between 2012 and 2017 it was the most effective emissions reduction action in US history.  In 2018 the Trump Administration rolled back those clean car standards.  California and 14 other states refused to go along with Trump’s rollbacks citing air quality issues and climate goals, and so they continued following the Obama era standards.   

The Minnesota MPCA has drafted clean car rules that will enable Minnesota to join California and the 14 other states in following the original Obama-era Clean Car standards.   As a practical result of returning to these standards, auto manufacturers and auto dealerships would be compelled to have more fuel efficient models and more EVs available to show to customers (in most cases, one or two EVs per dealership at any given time).

To learn more about MPCA’s proposed rules, you can attend information sessions online and/or via phone at:  

https://www.pca.state.mn.us/air/clean-cars-mn-rulemaking

To comment on the proposed MPCA rules before March 15th, go to:

https://www.pca.state.mn.us/air/clean-cars-mn-rulemaking

For more info and/or questions, call or email   John Crampton, Green Committee,  612-396-6010   jcrampt48@gmail.com

Loaves & Fishes Food Distribution Moves to Oak Grove Presbyterian on Jan. 4

Beginning Monday January 4, 2021, Oak Grove Presbyterian Church Grove, 2200 W Old Shakopee Rd, Bloomington, MN 55431, is taking on food distribution for the Loaves & Fishes program (formerly at Creekside).

Takeaway meals will be served Monday-Friday from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Oak Grove Church. See Oak Grove parking lot map for driving route instructions. Food recipients will stay in their cars and let the volunteers know how many meals they would like. There are no eligibility requirements to receive meals.

Oak Grove parking lot route
Enter the parking lot at the north entrance off Penn Avenue

Loaves & Fishes is a community-based volunteer organization serving free, healthy meals to Minnesotans where the need is greatest. Oak Grove is just a half mile away from the former distribution site at Creekside, and takeaway meals will continue to be served Monday-Friday from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

For the past 25 years, Oak Grove has volunteered with Loaves & Fishes by preparing and serving meals twice a month. The pandemic has changed how Loaves & Fishes provides those meals. Since March, Loaves & Fishes has been serving meals prepared by a chef and distributed through a drive-up system. At their current location, Creekside Community Center, Loaves & Fishes has been serving approximately 200 people a night Monday through Friday. Creekside will be closing at the end of 2020.

Through the Mission and Building & Ops Committees and the Session, Oak Grove has said YES to providing a place to feed the hungry. As long as Oak Grove is closed to other meetings, Oak Grove will be the pickup site for Loaves & Fishes from 5:30–6:30 pm, Monday–Friday.

How can you help? As members, we can do more than just provide a building. There are opportunities to volunteer at our site. You can sign up individually on the Loaves & Fishes website or call the church office (952-888-1621) if you are interested in volunteering. We are organizing teams of four.

We can’t think of a more timely way for a church to minister to the community than to provide food to the hungry. Members of the Oak Grove Loaves & Fishes coordinating team are: Bob Heise, Ed & Lari Ann Schmidt, Patty Nail, Nancy Kachel, and Kathy Tominski.

Here’s to a healthy and fruitful new year where the hungry are fed.

Call for Vaccine Clinical Trial Volunteers

Oak Grove Presbyterian Church has been asked to get the news out on M Health Fairview’s Covid-19 Clinical Trial.

M Health Fairview Vaccine flyer (PDF)

M Health Fairview is looking for adults who:

  • €  Are aged 18 years and older, particularly over 65 years of age
  • €  Represent a racial and ethnic group that has been greatly impacted by the pandemic (such as African American, Latinx, Native American, or Asian American)
  • €  Have an underlying medical condition (such as diabetes or obesity)
  • €  Have a high risk of exposure through work (such as first responder, healthcare professional, or delivery person)
  • €  Live or work in an elder-care facility
  • €  Are retired or active military

If you decide to join a COVID-19 prevention study, you may be compensated for your participation. To learn more, contact:

M Health Fairview Clinical Trials Office
651.326.4450
researchscreening@fairview.org

Green Committee AFF Jan. 17

Link to recording of the January 17 Zoom presentation – password !1r1!3B0

The Adult Faith Formation program, “Bringing Renewable Energy and Empowerment to Low Income Communities to End Energy Poverty,” will be presented on Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. by the Green Committee and RREAL, Rural Renewable Energy Alliance of Northern MN.  

Community Solar for Community Action

RREAL is a leader in helping Native American Nations construct community solar gardens, solar for Habitat for Humanity houses, and solar assistance for low income people through community action programs. RREAL also develops community-based solar projects in Uganda and Liberia. RREAL is a leader in installing solar on schools and has developed renewable energy curricula for grades K-8 which is being used in schools throughout Minnesota. https://www.rreal.org/

Our goal is to begin a discussion of how Oak Grove can marry our church’s efforts and expertise in social justice, mission, supportive housing, education, and environmental stewardship to serve the wider community of low income people in our communities.  For more information, contact John Crampton 612-396-6010   

Tackling Climate Change During a Pandemic

A message from the Green Committee of Oak Grove Presbyterian Church

Though travel-related green house gas emissions have been reduced during the pandemic, little progress toward reducing green house gas emissions has actually been made at the national level in the past four years.  Churches can help educate, motivate, and lead by example.

In 1990, the 202nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) adopted Restoring Creation for Ecology and Justice, which calls our denomination to engage in the tasks of restoring creation.

Oak Grove Green Committee submitted goals to Session in 2013, that can be viewed on our web page.  The Green Committee has influenced our congregation to address climate change in many ways including:

  • 220% of our electricity comes from solar and wind to avoid millions of tons of CO2 emissions;
  • Working to reduce/eliminate natural gas use through conservation and replacement of natural gas equipment, thus avoiding CO2 emissions;
  • All lights inside and outside are LEDs, reducing power usage by 35%.
  • Two rain gardens capture, clean and infiltrate millions of gallons of stormwater runoff per year while providing pollinator habitat and soil health.
  • Complete recycling, composting with a dramatic reduction in trash.
  • EV Expos to teach the public about Electric Vehicles, e-bikes, e-lawn care and e-mobility.
  • Our church has installed two level 2 EV chargers for the congregation and the community.
  • Nuts and bolts education sessions about how to get clean energy, electric vehicles, recycling/composting, rain gardens and sustainable diets.

Earth Care Pledge Signed by Session in December of 2017.

  • Our worship and discipleship will celebrate God’s grace and glory in creation.
  • Our education will encourage and support each other in keeping and healing the creation.
  • Our facilities will be managed, maintained, and upgraded to respect and cherish all creation.
  • Our outreach will encourage community involvement and public policy to protect and restore the earth.

Congregations across our nation are taking action.  We became a PC (USA) Earth Care Congregation in 2018, joining hundreds of Presbyterian Congregations dedicated to actions to address global warming.  Some of their stories are available on the PC (USA) website see (Climate Change).  The Green Committee has taken many actions to address climate change and as explained in previous articles of the Oak Leaves.  We are now looking at what to tackle next and in the process, encourage new members with new ideas to join our committee.  We are currently meeting monthly on the first Thursday of every month at 7:00 PM, via Zoom, until we can gather again to meet at church.  Below is a list of what other churches have done to address climate change.  Additional ideas are available on the website noted above.  We invite suggestions and volunteers to help us work to address climate change.

  • Devote a Sunday Service to earth care
  • Engage youth in earth care awareness worship programs
  • Create earth care themed banners or other art to display in church
  • Use locally grown, pesticide free flowers in the sanctuary
  • Minute for Mission on earth care issues
  • Communion by intinction
  • Creation care songs, sermon, or prayer?
  • Children’s/youth Sunday school courses (series of classes) on earth care
  • Adult courses (series of classes) with an earth care focus
  • Vacation Bible School series with an earth care theme
  • Guest earth care speakers or programs
  • Youth projects related to earth care conducted
  • Articles/announcements about earth care in the bulletin/newsletter
  • Bulletin board on earth care display
  • Pages on the church’s website devoted to earth care
  • Books, games, videos, or other materials with an earth care focus in church library
  • Educational events focused on sustainable lifestyle choices for members
  • Email group of members interested in earth care
  • Earth care fairs or educational events
  • Art displays or exhibits focused on earth care held at church
  • An earth care component included in confirmation classes
  • An earth care component included in new member classes?
  • Sponsor a scholarship or send a member to attend the Presbyterians for Earth Care biennial conference
  • Offer, or attend a mission trip focused on an earth care issue
  • Sponsor a community garden
  • Support programs like Second Harvest
  • Support training for disaster response volunteers
  • Support youth and young adults to enter into creation stewardship as a vocation
  • Host a farmers market
  • Host a vegetable sharing table for gardeners to share produce with members after services

If you see an idea above that you like, or have an idea of your own, please contact the Green Committee via the church office, or by emailing one of us.  Our contact information is available in the Church directory.  Our current members are:  John Crampton, chair, Pastor Anne Fisher, Bob Gerdes, Pdon Pinkham, Erin Anderson Wenz, Allen Greimel, Frank Bliss, Randy Dop, and Allen Frechette.

Alternative Christmas Marketplace 2020

As we continue to live with the coronavirus, it is evident that this year we will all miss the opportunity to come together for our traditional Christmas Market. In spite of the pandemic, we have planned a way to host an alternative market by providing an opportunity to continue our efforts at “Building a Church Beyond Walls.”

Last week we mailed out our catalogue of the many familiar and worthwhile missions of previous years. Please look over the amazing opportunities contained within the booklet and return your order forms to us by December 1, 2020.

If you did not receive a catalogue and order form in the mail, please contact the church office.

Small gifts make a BIG impact!