Service of Gratitude on Thanksgiving Eve

Service of Gratitude at Oak Grove, Wednesday, November 23, 7:00 p.m.

Please join us for our annual Service of Gratitude at 7 p.m. on Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday, November 23, 2022.

This year, instead of having pie after the service, we will offer a social time on Sunday, Nov. 27 during the Faith Formation hour with coffee cake and beverages. There is no regularly scheduled Adult Faith formation that morning and it’s a great time to gather and share conversation! Hope to see you at worship and around the table on the 27th.

Augsburg Centennial Singers Oct 30

The Augsburg Centennial Singers, a 45-member men’s chorus under the direction of Richard (Dick) Duncan, will be performing a concert at Oak Grove Presbyterian on Sunday, October 30, 2022, at 4:00 pm. A free-will offering will be received.

After graduating from Augsburg College, Dick earned a master’s degree in sacred music from Union Theological Seminary. He is the fourth director of the chorus, and he also serves as organist for Minnehaha Communion Lutheran Church.

These “Men of Faith Passing on the Faith Through Songs of Praise” come from various walks of life drawn together by their love of singing. The group was formed in 1993 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first gospel quartet from Augsburg College to sing in Norway.  The Singers have traveled to present concerts in Norway, Florida, and the Southwestern United States throughout its history.  

Music for the concert includes familiar hymns, songs of praise, gospel selections and patriotic music. Come and enjoy an afternoon of stimulating music!

Victor Zupanc Concert Sept 25

Victor Zupanc, acclaimed composer and performer, will be performing a family-friendly concert titled, “Welcome to my World,” at Oak Grove Presbyterian Church on Sunday, September 25, 2022, at 3:00 p.m.

Composer, conductor and performer for over 300 theater productions worldwide, Victor is the long time Music Director at the Tony Award winning Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis and composer at The Guthrie, Mixed Blood and countless prestigious theaters locally and internationally. Victor and guests will perform his original compositions, pop songs, classical music and he’ll even pull out the accordion for a polka. Featured will be a new Zupanc composition to celebrate a beautiful new marimba built exclusively for Oak Grove Presbyterian Church by world renowned marimba builder, Oscar Biolley Quesada of Costa Rica. 

This concert will feature Victor and several other musicians, including Oak Grove members Jessi McKinnon, Emma Wasko, and Caitlin Lucic. Free will donation ($15 suggested but pay what you can). There will be no presale or electronic payment. Cash or check at the door. A portion of the proceeds will benefit OASIS, helping young adults with homeless issues.

Link to concert poster

Victor Zupanc’s website

Annual Picnic August 14

Worship at Moir Park and Church Picnic, Sunday, August 14, 2022, at 10:30am

Aug 14 bulletin | Video on YouTube

Come worship at the Moir Park Pavilion (10320 Morgan Ave S,) at 10:30 a.m. and then stay for the annual church picnic to enjoy the outdoors, lunch, and fellowship!

Parking: Parking lots are available on 104th St (directly south of the shelter) and on Morgan Ave (east side of park). Parking spaces are needed for people with disabilities. If you’re able bodied, please consider parking on the street leaving extra spaces in the parking lots. Thank you!

You are welcome to bring a favorite picnic lunch for yourself or you may choose to purchase a bag lunch that will be catered from Sammy’s Avenue Eatery. Sammy’s is located just a block from Liberty Church’s Northside Healing Space. The Friendship Committee is offering a catered lunch again this year as a convenience and a way to support our neighbor’s business and the thriving of a neighborhood that matters to us.

Bag lunches are $12 each and include a 6-inch hoagie (turkey, tuna or veggie club), bag of chips, water and a sweet treat! Gluten- free bread options are available for $1 more.

To place your order, simply call the church office (952-888-4621). Payment, cash or check (made out to Oak Grove, memo: lunch), must be received by Tuesday, Aug. 9.

You are also invited to bring a tablecloth of choice to add colors to our tables and also low/jelly jar-type vases of a couple of flowers (or weeds) from your yard, if that’s something that sounds fun to you!

We hope to have some of our Afghanistan friends, with interpreters, join us for a “Meet and Greet” time. We are thankful for the opportunity to give and receive in our relationships with them. Please plan to hang around a bit for conversation with our Oak Grove friends from Afghanistan!

We look forward to a leisurely gathering time together!

Tim Dubis Recognition 7/10

Please join us on Sunday, July 10, as we honor Tim Dubis and his many years of service to Oak Grove. We will recognize Tim during Sunday Worship at 9:30 am, followed by a post-service celebration.

We will have a basket for your cards to Tim at the celebration.

Fourth of July VEAP Fundraiser

The annual Pancake Breakfast for VEAP will be held on Monday, July 4, 2022, 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., at Bob and Karen Gerdes’ house (10741 Sheridan Ave.).

Please bring a non-perishable food item or cash to donate. Tables will be separated, and masks can be worn. Let’s enjoy being together!

VEAP fundraiser

Afghan Partner Family Update and Other Resettling Families

April brought the holy time of Ramadan for Haroon and Sakina and the girls. This has meant fasting from food and water during the day for grown-ups and extra prayer times. This presents an extra challenge when the dad works 12 hours overnight! The ten or so resettling-from-Afghanistan families at the apartment complex were recipients of wonderful trays of prepared rice and meat and other gifts from sponsoring agencies and from the Muslim community. Oak Grove shared Cub Food gift cards in honor of our Holy Week and Easter celebrations in April!

Of the ten or so Afghanistan families in the apartment complex, only one other family has a co-sponsor. So, as you can imagine, we have had the wonderful opportunity to interact with folks from other apartments. On most Saturdays, Karen and Fred Alonzi take a group to Cub and a halal store for weekly groceries. Transportation is an ongoing need. While they are near light rail and bus stops, there are limits to where they can go and the time it takes can be prohibitive. So, rides to stores or appointments are really helpful. Whenever there’s a chance for a community outing (Hello, Como Zoo!) it is so gratefully received! In addition to our family of Mom, Dad and girls (4 and 2), we’ve become close to five other families at the complex.

All families have 6-month leases set to expire in July, so there is some stress now about where they are next going to find affordable housing. This apartment complex is too expensive for most families to stay. Having other resettling families in the complex has been a real support so there is sadness that another separation is likely at hand. Our partner family is working through their budget and deciding where they will move next.

Having arrived here in early January, our family is finally experiencing Minnesota as a good-weather state! Perhaps there are ways Oak Grovers might consider other sharing with our newest neighbors? Karen and Fred Alonzi, Sue Greimel, Kathy Howell and Anne and Larry Klueh have been directly interacting with these friends, on behalf of all of us at Oak Grove, and any of them would be happy to visit with you about ways you might like to become involved. Please feel free to start a conversation! 

Some wish list items (new or gently used) include:

  • Sandals (children’s size 8 or 9 & 11 or 12)
  • Lightweight socks
  • Outdoor toys (that aren’t TOO big)
  • Men’s bicycles, helmets, locks, lights*
  • Children’s summer clothing (Size 2/3 and 4/5)
  • Area Rug (7–8’ x 10’—or chance to pick out at Menard’s?)
  • Vacuum (for a family without a co-sponsor and awaiting paperwork to start working a $20/hour job that is waiting for him)

*We have someone willing to provide tune-ups/maintenance, if you have the bikes! Please contact Cathy Colborn (952-237-6012) for details! 

Money and gift cards are a way to give the power of choice to families if this is something you’re able to consider. Currently, Target and Burlington Coat Factory are a short distance away. Any donations can be brought or mailed to the church office with the notation “Afghan Partners” and the group listed above will distribute them. Any items that are not able to be used by our partner family will be shared with other families who will gratefully make good use of them. 

Thank you, Oak Grove, for your steadfastness in this partnership!

Earth Day AFF Walking Tour

Oak Grove’s Earth Day AFF on Sunday April 24th 9:15-10:15am

The walking tour starts at church at 9:15 a.m.  It will also be streamed on Facebook Live if you prefer watch the tour online.

The AFF for Oak Grove’s Earth Day celebration on Sunday April 24th will be the Green Committee’s walking tour of different sites around the church where we are moving to clean, non-polluting renewable energy and clean water.  The tour will show our LED lights, solar panels, wind energy, electric vehicle charging, rain gardens, air source heat pumps and all the insulation and sealing of our building to cut energy use and switch to carbon-free sources.  We will also show how we are educating the next generation.

Find out what we are doing to protect God’s Creation and pass on a livable Earth to our kids and grandkids.  Find out how you can do many of these things in your homes and help our church become net zero in electricity, heat/cooling, and transportation.     

April 21 ReEntry Team Update

April 21 Update from Re-Entry Team

We have continued to watch the Covid numbers and pay attention to experts about the Omicron BA.2 variant currently circulating in our area. Reported cases have slowly been rising and the actual positive results numbers are likely higher due to more at-home testing which doesn’t get collected by the state. Additionally, experts are baffled by aspects of Omicron BA.2 so predictions of whether we are in for an actual surge is anyone’s guess. The good news is that hospitalizations seem to be holding steady and ICU use has dropped. Experts agree that vaccines make a big difference! While we keep watch, we will enjoy our times together at Oak Grove!

We have been blessed to experience joy-filled in-person Sunday services this past month! We thank all of you in attendance for wearing face masks in worship. We recognize that everyone has a different comfort level when it comes to masking and being in a crowd. We remain committed to caring for our most vulnerable, specifically children under 5 who cannot yet receive a vaccine, and adults who are at higher risk for illness. Our strong values of caring for the vulnerable and being inclusive in regular church events continues to guide our decision-making. For this reason, we will continue masking and not yet serve coffee and treats on Sunday mornings.

However, we are making changes to our funeral/memorial service policy. Families will now be able to provide food and a time for fellowship following a service for their loved ones. The loss of this ritual has been one of the hardest to bear during the pandemic. Fellowship and food with others provide comfort, consolation and a needed time to share stories. We make this change with the awareness that children under 5 are less likely to be present at a funeral service and, that if they are, families can make their own decisions about attending the reception after the service.

Additionally, it is now okay for small groups of adults, with unanimous consent, to have food and beverage at meetings. For any gathering with young children present we will still require masks and no food or beverages (except for funerals).

As always, if you have questions or concerns, please reach out to Pastors Bart and Mary, Anne Klueh, or anyone on the Re-Entry team. We continue to appreciate your care of one another, your prayers, support and ideas. Thank you!