Civil Rights Pilgrimage Jun 19-22

Registration due March 31, 2024

Online Registration Form

Online Payment (select Intergenerational Trip/Civil Rights from dropdown list)

Note: Paper registration forms are also available in the church office. You may also pay with a check instead of online payment.

Overview and Sign-Up Information

Oak Grove is partnering with a local nonprofit, Catalyst for Harmony, for this pilgrimage journey; co-facilitators Andy and Terrance are managing the arrangements for our trip. Their experience and connections lend the opportunity for all of us on the trip to BE in the experience, letting them take care of the logistics. They use the word Sankofa for their trips, an African word meaning “going back in order to move forward.” This is a pilgrimage, not just “a trip.” We will be visiting important sites in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama and we can expect video/audio between some of our stops. Time for personal reflection and to process our experiences in the group will be important as some content is, of course, quite difficult. Honoring each other’s needs and boundaries, knowing we are part of a sacred trust that includes vulnerabilities–as well as resiliencies–will be critical. As Pastor Denise Dunbar Perkins said while helping with planning, this opportunity “can bring the Word in a new way.” We each may have a unique motivation for embarking upon this journey: perhaps to pay tribute, to physically be in the footsteps of resistance and resilience, to learn history, to feel it, to be empowered for making chang No doubt, others will be revealed from within the experience.

We will begin and end our trip at the Memphis International Airport. Plan to arrive at Memphis International Airport by 11:30 AM on Wednesday, June 19th, for group pickup. Flight departures on Saturday, June 22nd, can be booked for 6:00 PM or later. (There are Delta direct flights, arriving 11:20/departing 6:20.) Our programming will end around 4:00 PM on Saturday, and participants will be dropped off at the airport by 4:30 PM on June 22nd at Memphis International Airport. If you wish to schedule your transportation to arrive before June 19th or after June 22nd, you will need to make your own additional hotel reservations and travel arrangements to the airport. 

Hotel accommodations, meals, site tickets, travel from Memphis, and snacks are all included in the trip, beginning with lunch on June 19th through lunch on June 22nd. Total trip fee from Memphis is $1321 per person. Participants are separately responsible for travel costs to and from Memphis. Hotel rooms will be double occupancy with someone of your same gender or spouse. Participants are encouraged to join the trip with someone of a different ethnicity (not required).

Our plan is for:
 This pilgrimage to be interracial and intergenerational
 At least 20 people, recommended for rising 11th graders+
 Under 18 years old needs to be paired with an adult; scholarship dollars are set aside toassist in youth participation
 Honoring fact that those of us who are Black will be encountering differently difficult experiences, a grant from the presbytery and/or other dollars will offset those trip fees 
 Co-facilitators to manage logistics so that we focus on being with/in our experiences
 Time for reflection individually & processing experiences with the group
 Travel time sometimes to be used for audio/video information-sharing
 Some program offerings (say a morning or evening opportunity) will be optional
 This to be open to Oak Grove members and friends. If we do not have at least 20 people signed up/deposits by March 31, we will share the invitation with other congregation(s).
 Fundraiser(s) to offset costs, if interested (for example an April 20th shred event is set)
 Later this spring, a full registration form for each participant to complete
 Final payment and registration completed by May 19 th
 Optional reading/listening/watching resources will be shared ahead of the trip
 Wednesday, June 12th  6-7:30 pm  Informal Supper & Group Meeting

Registration: you will need to sign up between March 10 – 31 with $300/person deposit to reserve your spot. Complete the Registration Form and use Oak Grove’s online donation form (select “Intergeneration Trip/Civil Rights” from the drop-down menu) if you are making your deposit online.

Or, you may register and pay by paper form (available in church office).
Complete the form and attach a check for your deposit made out to Oak Grove Presbyterian with a note in the memo: Civil Rights Pilgrimage or make your deposit via the online donation form.

You are welcome to talk to Pastor Mary or Kathy if you have individual questions or concerns. Feel free to leave a message in the church office requesting a return phone call.

Opportunity Fair Apr 14


The community is invited to attend  the Oak Grove Presbyterian Church Opportunity Fair on Sunday, April 14, 2024, 8:45 – 10:15 a.m. This is a great opportunity to meet face-to-face with seventeen organizations that provide services to our community. There will be a chance to learn about the services provided and the opportunities for volunteering with these providers.

Neighbor Organizations attending the Opportunity Fair

Aeon – Provides affordable housing in Bloomington and the larger community.

Agate – Provides advocacy as well as housing, food, and services for those experiencing homelessness.

Bridging – Provides furniture and household items once affordable housing has been obtained.

Bloomington Schools – Offers opportunities to volunteer within the school environment and help kids.

Cornerstone – Offers emergency housing and services to those in danger from domestic abuse.

Every Meal – Provides weekend bags of food for school children in need.

League of Women Voters – Provides education for voters and advocates for voter’s rights.

Loaves and Fishes – Provides evening weekday meals for individuals and families in need.

Meals on Wheels – Provides home delivered weekday meals for homebound people.

MN Council of Churches Refugee Services – Assists refugees on a path to self-sufficiency.

Moms Demand Action – Provides education and advocacy to change gun laws.

NAMI – Provides support, education, and advocacy to build better lives for those experiencing mental illness..

Oasis For Youth – Provides a safe haven, services, and community support for at-risk and homeless youth.

One Heartland – Provides various camps for youth with HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ+ youth.

START Senior Solutions – Offers advocates to help seniors cut through the RED TAPE aging can bring.

Urban Homeworks – Transforms neglected properties into dignified affordable housing.

VEAP – Provides access to healthy food and connects clients to a network of services.

Feb 24 Coldest Night of the Year Walk

A group from Oak Grove will be participating in the Coldest Night of the Year walk in downtown Minneapolis to raise awareness of food insecurity and homelessness in Minneapolis, and to raise money for Agate Housing and Services.  We will car-pool to downtown from the Oak Grove parking at 3:30 p.m. on February 24 and return to Oak Grove after the walk.  

Look for the sign-up sheet in the Narthex to join the “walkers,” and for info on making financial donations to Agate. 

Alternative Xmas Market

Our Alternative Christmas Marketplace will go forward in much the same way as last year. You will receive a Giving Catalog again in the mail around the middle of November to think about what you might like to give to. We have been told that families like to have the catalog at home with time to think and discuss what the family might like to support.

  1. You can simply make your choices and mail the order form and payment in the envelope provided. If you choose this option, please return to Oak Grove by Friday, December 1, OR
  2. Bring the form with your payment to church on Sunday, December 3, when we will have available a small marketplace in Gideon Pond Social Hall. During this time there will be coffee, juice, and cinnamon rolls to enjoy as well as some entertainment from our very own Oak Grovers, OR
  3. Pay by credit card. Click here for credit card link.

The marketplace event on Sunday, Dec. 3 will be very much like it was last year with those who want to share their talents in the kitchen by donating baked goods, jams, pickles, or other edibles. And we will have handcrafted items for sale. There will not be a silent auction.

We will also be selling coffee from Guatemala, but sadly Oak Grove is no longer involved with the Palestinian Olive Oil.

We hope all you crafters will have lots of handmade items for us to buy as Christmas gifts or just for ourselves. Contact Sharon Nolte if you have questions at 952-884-1014 or sharonnolte@yahoo.com.

Give to the Max

 This November, Give to the Max!

Instead of giving unneeded “stuff” to loved ones this holiday season, consider making a charitable contribution in their honor. Do it November 1-16 at GiveMN.org, and your gift may get a LOT bigger.

Not only can you donate to your favorite MN charities during GiveMN’s Give to the Max event, but random gifts will also be selected for extra prize earnings. These include:

  • $500 Early Giving Golden Tickets 
    Starting November 1, one gift per day will win a $500 Early Giving Golden Ticket.
  • $500 Golden Tickets every 15 minutes on GTMD23
    On November 16, $500 Golden Ticket winners will be awarded every 15 minutes
  • $1,000 Hourly Golden Tickets on GTMD23
    On November 16, $1,000 Golden Ticket winners will be awarded every hour. 
  • $10,000 Super-Sized Golden Ticket 
    The grand prize of Give to the Max, you could turn any gift of $5 or more into $10,000 for your favorite cause! This prize will be drawn from all gifts made during Give to the Max Day and Early Giving, from November 1-16.

Oak Grove pays higher transaction fees through this event so we don’t encourage you to make significant donations here, but it’s a great opportunity to make your annual per capita payment ($37.50 per person) or just give an extra gift for fun. 

Please turn out November 1-16 and support your favorite charities at GiveMN.org. Good luck!

Mission Update: Water for Good

Oak Grove supports many organizations through our Mission Committee. One organization we support is Water For Good.

Annual Oak Grove support: $1,500

Annual waterforgood.org budget: $7.1 million

Water For Good mission statement
Water For Good mission statement
Jon Allen CEO water for good
Jon Allen, CEO, waterforgood.org

Letter from CEO Jon Allen

Partners: As I reflect over the last year, I am amazed at the significant impact your generosity is making in the Central African Republic. I cannot thank you enough for supporting clean water projects this past year! Thanks to your donations, every day over 850,000 people are accessing clean, safe drinking water.

In 2022, your support employed 113 Central Africans who built and managed:
12 solar-powered pump systems
58 tapstands
32 handpumps
3,737 maintenance visits
4,000 hours of radio waterforgood.org airtime

Collections for VEAP

During Lent, we are encouraging each household to bring one item to church each week to help restock VEAP’s onsite pantry shelves. Each week we will focus on a particular item that is most asked for but least available. Donations can be brought to church on Sunday mornings, Wednesday evenings or during church office hours.

February 19–26: toothpaste, toothbrushes

February 26–March 5: sugar

March 5–12: cooking oil

March 12–19: laundry detergent, dish soap, hand soap

March 19–26: toilet paper, paper towels

March 26–April 2: diapers

Checks, made payable to Oak Grove, are also acceptable. Please write “VEAP” on the memo line.

Sub Sandwich Youth Fundraiser Feb 12

Order a Sub Sandwich for the Super Bowl and Support Oak Grove Youth!

The youth are sponsoring a Super Bowl sub-sandwich fundraiser for our trip to Washington DC this summer! You will find order forms in the Sunday bulletins to create your own deluxe sub, to be made fresh on the morning of Sunday, February 12, and picked up after worship in the social hall!

No need to worry about what you’ll eat for the big game (the Super Bowl or the Puppy Bowl), or just an easy lunch that day. Each made-to-order sub is $10 (cash or check).

Simply drop your order form and payment in the collection plate, or hand it to a youth representative at the table in the hallway or call the church office (952-888-4621) by Wednesday, Feb. 8. What a delicious way to support our youth – thanking you in advance! Questions? Call Mary.

Christmas Joy Offering

November 27–December 18, 2022

When we give to the Christmas Joy Offering, we come together to support past present and future leaders embodying God’s perfect gift to us, Jesus Christ.

  • 50% of your gifts make it possible for students to learn and grow in faith at Presbyterian-related schools and colleges equipping communities of color.
  • 50% of your gifts provide assistance for current and retired church workers and their families with critical financial needs.

You can donate by using the special envelope in the pew, write a check to Oak Grove with “Christmas Joy” in the memo line or online at  https://onrealm.org/oakgrv/give/xmasjoy.

Thank you for your generosity. If we all do a little, it adds up to a lot!