Restorative Actions

Oak Grove Presbyterian Church’s role in the Restorative Actions project is highlighted this month in a two-part series on Healing Minnesota Stories (see links to articles below). The series features comments from Oak Grove members Jim Koon and Milissa Carter, as well as our former Pastor Jermaine (Rev. Anthony Jermaine Ross-Allam).

Part 1: Moral reckoning: A Presbyterian Church tests model to surrender wealth to Afro American, Indigenous communities

Part 2: Restorative Actions and the power of a single conversation

Rev. Anthony Jermaine Ross-Allam
Jim Koon
Milissa Carter

CANCELLED 2022 Women’s Retreat

UPDATE: the 2022 Women’s Retreat has been cancelled due to COVID levels.

Please join us for the Oak Grove Presbyterian Women’s Retreat, “Relax, Refresh, Recharge,” with special guest speaker Jacque Fletcher, Clearwater Forest, January 14-16, 2022. Pre-registration and full vaccination + booster required.

Link to online Registration Form (please complete registration form by January 1, 2022)

women's retreat

Accommodations. Leaning Tree with two to a room and semi-private baths, bedding and towels included. Cost is $120, but some scholarship funds are available. Please indicate if your attendance depends on this assistance (or contact Sue Greimel 612 805-2896,

2022 Oak Grove Women’s Retreat Flyer (pdf)

Love Is Still The Answer

Dear Oak Grove Family,

During November 2021, we are compiling a booklet as an opportunity for connecting with each other, and we would like you to be a part of it! Think of it as a greeting card to our whole community. We’re calling the project “Love is Still the Answer,” and we look forward to hearing from you. We invite you to submit a photo and a short paragraph (or more) that might help us catch up a bit after so much time apart! This is just an informal entry that can be as detailed or general as you wish. Since we have new members and babies who’ve grown so much, it would be really helpful if you would include a photo and identify each person by name. We encourage you to be completely casual, selfies would be fine! 

We ask you to complete and turn in your entry by Friday, December 3, so that we can gather all the entries together. The plan is to e-mail a booklet to each Oak Grove home by late December; paper copies will be available to Oak Grove households by request. This booklet will not be shared elsewhere, such as church website or Facebook.

There are three ways to participate:


Send an email to In your email, please catch us up a bit on what’s happened (or didn’t get to happen!) for you in the last two-ish years! You are also invited to share reflection(s) on the theme: “Love Is Still the Answer.” Attach a photo and identify each person.

If you have a Gmail/Google account, submit everything via this online form:

By Hand: Print out this form (Word doc), fill in your information, include a photo, and either mail it (2200 W Old Shakopee Rd, Bloomington MN 55431) to church or drop it off.

Partner by phone: Call the church, (952-888-4621), we have volunteers who will happily take your photo and/or help write your story!

We really hope you will take a few moments to submit as much as you are able; we celebrate this opportunity to catch up with you! Thank you in advance for your participation! Please enjoy the gift of inspiration for this project: “Love Is Still The Answer” via YouTube (a Jason Mraz video). In this upcoming season of Advent and in the difficulties our times have imposed, we remember and we believe: love is still the answer!

Blessings from your friends at Oak Grove.

Dakota Sites Tour

Oak Grove Presbyterian’s Anti-Racism Committee held a daylong tour of important Dakota sites in Twin Cities area on Saturday October 23, 2021.  Forty-one people went on the tour by car caravan.  

We visited Bde Maka Ska, village site of Cloudman (Marpiya Wicasta) and heard talks by Dakota descendent Syd Beane and Pond and Williamson descendent Jeff Williamson, along with talks by religious scholar Bruce Forbes and historian Thomas Shaw to learn about the Dakota agricultural community and the beginning of the Pond brothers’ mission work there in the 1830s.

Dakota sites tour 10/23/21
Bde Maka Ska
Syd Beane, descendant of Chief Cloudman, and Jeff Williamson, descendant of Gideon Pond talk about the Dakota agricultural village at Bde Maka Ska, 1829-39.

Next we visited Pilot Knob  (Oheyawaha) “hill that is much visited” to learn about how it is a sacred site to the Dakotas, is the site of the 1851 Treaty of Mendota by which the Dakotas were forced to give up their land in south and western Minnesota, along with efforts by whites to appropriate, capitalize on and desecrate the site and its burials, along with current efforts to protect and restore it.

Dakota sites tour 10/23/21
John Crampton talks about Pilot Knob- a Dakota burial site and the scene of the 1851 Treaty of Mendota which forced the Dakota people to give up much of their land in southern Minnesota

Finally we visited the Fort Snelling Prison Camp (under the Mendota Bridge) where 1600 Dakota women, children and elders were held in a concentration camp and over 125 died during the winter of 1862-63.  This was a result of the US-Dakota War in which many of the prisoners had protected whites during the fighting.  The interpretation at Fort Snelling Prison Camp was given by historian Corrine L. Monjeau-Marz, a descendent of the Dakota Chief Wabasha and by Jeff Williamson. 

Dakota site tour
Corrine Monjeau-Marz, historian and Chief Wabasha descendant tells about the Fort Snelling Prison Camp 1862-63 in which 1,600 Dakota women, children and elders were captives. 

Thanks to all the presenters, and to Jeff Williamson, John Crampton  and Mary Koon who organized the tour.   Kudos to Ruth Dukelow, Sue Gjerstad and Karen Alonzi who setup the web site and online registration. 

More tours are being planned for the spring/summer of 2022. 

Celebrating Pastor Mary

10th Anniversary Recognition & Celebration for Pastor Mary: Sunday, Sept. 26

How time flies! It’s been 10 years since Pastor Mary Koon arrived at Oak Grove, and we will be recognizing and celebrating her decade of faithful service to the Oak Grove community during both Sunday worship services on September 26, 2021.

Pastor Mary Koon

The Presbytery will lead a special service of thanksgiving, there will be testimonials, a presentation of gifts and there will be a “cupcake” drive-thru in the parking lot immediately following the 9:00 am service.

Please join us for the fun and add your thanks and best wishes to Pastor Mary on this important milestone in her ministry to Oak Grove.

Welcome Kate Lindberg

Oak Grove Welcomes Kate Lindberg, Youth & Young Adult Ministries Coordinator

Hello! My name is Kate Lindberg, and I am so excited to be joining your family at Oak Grove! I have just completed my Clinical Pastoral Education at Mayo Clinic this summer and will be starting my second year at Luther Seminary. I am pursuing my Master of Divinity (M.Div.) with a concentration in Children, Youth and Family Ministry.

I am new to Minnesota, having been born and raised in Massachusetts. I completed my undergraduate degree at a state university where I studied elementary education and psychology. My heart is deeply rooted in youth ministry and empowering the next generation.

Some just-for-fun things about me; I love to be outside hiking, running, the beach, anything! When I have a free minute, reading is one of my favorite pastimes. And lastly, I’m a lover of all animals, so have those pet photos ready!

I’m looking forward to getting to know you, Oak Grove.

Dakota Sites Tour, Oct 23

Tour of Important Dakota Sites in the Twin Cities

Registration is full and we are not accepting new attendees at this time. For more information call the Oak Grove Presbyterian Church office (952-888-4621).

Saturday, October 23, 2021 (8:30 am – 3:30 pm)
Meet at Oak Grove Presbyterian Church at 8:30 am
(2200 W Old Shakopee Rd, Bloomington 55431)

Please join us for a tour of important Dakota sites in the Twin Cities area including Bde Maka Ska (formerly Lake Calhoun) 9–10:00 am; Coldwater Spring 10:30–11:30 am; Oheyawah (Pilot Knob) 1–2:00 pm; and the Fort Snelling Prison camp, 2:30–3:30 pm, where 1,600 Dakota women, elders, and children were imprisoned and over 130 people died during the winter of 1862–63.

The tour will focus on Bdote, the center of the Dakota homeland, how it was taken over by the United State Government in the 19th century, how Dakota people were exiled from the state, and how they have returned to their homeland. The tour will be guided by Jeff Williamson, John Crampton, Thomas Shaw, Corinne L. Monjeau-Marz, Syd Beane, Bruce Forbes, and others whose descendants, both native and white, were at these sites.

Participants will provide their own transportation, lunches, and admittance to the Fort Snelling State Park (annual state park pass or $7 daily permit per vehicle). Participants will receive maps and relevant historical materials. A free will donation of $10 or more will be accepted. The tour will be outside, so dress for the weather. Participants must follow all Covid safety protocols, including masking and social distancing.

What to Bring
Lawn chair
Bottle of water
Bag lunch (to eat on the run)
Good walking shoes
Warm clothes
Rain jackets if necessary
Suggested free will donation

Pilots Knob
Painting by Seth Eastman of Oheyawah (Pilot Knob) in the background with Bdote, the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers, in the foreground.

EV EXPO 2021

Oak Grove Presbyterian Church in Bloomington is hosting our 3rd Annual Electric Vehicle (EV) Expo on Saturday, October 9, 2021, 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m

2021 EV Expo photos

EV Expo Slideshow (PDF)

Over 20 EVs will be on display, and their owners will share their driving experiences. The American Lung Association will host dealer test drives of some of the latest EV models. 

Talks by experts will include:

  • What EV is Right for You?
  • Utility Rates and Rebates for EVs
  • Let’s Go to Electric School Buses Now!
  • Charging Networks for Road Tripping
  • Climate and Health Benefits of EVs
  • Women’s Panel: Why We Love EVs 

Electric bikes, e-scooters, e-mowers, and e-snowblowers will be on display, along with an EV transit van.

The events and test drives follow Covid protocols and are free and open to the general public.  The event will be outdoors at Oak Grove Presbyterian Church, 2200 W. Old Shakopee Rd, Bloomington 55431 952-888-4621

For more information, contact John Crampton 612-396-6010, Pdon Pinkham 608-397-3081, or the church office 952-888-4621.

Link to EV Expo 2021 flyer

Link to Facebook Event

Urban Homeworks

Many thanks to AsaleSol Young, Emily and Azad Lassiter for sharing about the work and ministry of Urban Homeworks at Oak Grove’s Adult Faith Formation on May 9, 2021.  As a follow-up to their presentation, they have provided the following information for anyone who would like to participate in or learn more about their organization.

Follow-up Information from Urban Homeworks

The Housing Justice Forum will be educating the community on Rent Stabilization policy VIRTUALLY on May 20 from 6-7:30. Registration is pay-what-you-can, and Zoom information is provided after registration. Click here to register.

Individual volunteers can sign up to volunteer (at no cost) at this link. Our first individual volunteer day is June 5 and there are shifts available in the morning and afternoon to help with various landscaping and/or painting projects. Click here to sign up for June 5 dates.

Take Action emails. We send out periodic emails on anti-racist actions to take in our lives. To sign up to be added to that list, click here to fill out this form

Group Volunteering. Urban Homeworks charges a fee of $1,000/day for nonprofits and churches and $1,500/day for corporations who want to volunteer. The fee is there for a couple of reasons. 1) It helps us cover the cost of staffing, insurance, materials, and supplies. 2) It exists to support a community-centered approach to volunteerism and fundraising. When we recognize that charity and volunteering equally benefits donors/volunteers as much as the communities served, it redefines the relationship built among supporters and community in a healthier way. Our fees affirm that we all benefit from this work and no one should be exploited or pitied when we decide to give of our time or resources. Please contact us if Oak Grove is interested in getting a group together to volunteer. We have an exciting opportunity of community gardening happening Juneteenth weekend if Oak Grove isn’t already working on something for that weekend.

Perpetuate the Hope Annual Event. We will be hosting our 2nd annual VIRTUAL Perpetuate the Hope Symposium where we share about Urban Homeworks, equity and engagement, and other topics related to affordable, equitable housing. This will be held September 8, 9, 10 during the noon lunch hour. If Oak Grove is interested in sponsoring, we could provide access for the church to that event.

Green Committee AFF

Oak Grove’s Green Committee is hosting three Adult Faith Formation (AFF) sessions in April and May 2021. Also, on April 8, the Green Committee hosted a Conversation with District 50 Representatives and Senator.

Thursday, April 8, 6:00-7:30 p.m., Faith Communities Talk With Legislators. You are invited to question-and-answer state legislative forum for faith communities in District 50 on Thursday night April 8th from 6:00-7:30 pm via Zoom.   The forum will feature Senator Melissa Wiklund, Rep. Andrew Carlson (50B) and Rep. Michael Howard (50A).  The forum is being organized by Isaiah  and will include members of faith communities in District 50 including Oak Grove Presbyterian, Christ the King Lutheran, Dar Al-Farooq Muslim Center, and St. Richards Catholic Church and other groups.  The forum will focus on pending bills for: Revenue-making everyone pay their fair share, Democracy– expanding/protecting voting rights, Paid Family Leave– caring for our families, Climate Justice– plans that meet the scale and urgency of the climate crisis. For more info, contact John Crampton 612-396-6010 To register:

Clockwise from top left: Rep. Michael Howard (50A), Senator Melissa Wiklund, Rep. Andrew Carlson (50B)

Sunday, April 11, 9:30 a.m., “Climate Reality and Our Future” a sobering overview of the impact on climate change on different earth systems and projections of species survival under different scenarios of global warming.  Developed by Former Vice President Al Gore and  Alliance for Climate Protection and The Climate Project.  Presented by Bill Middlecamp, a commissioned Earthkeeper in the United Methodist Church and a well-known climate activist in our area. See also En-ROADS Brings Climate Science to the Masses.

climate reality

Sunday April 18, 9:30 a.m., “Policy Solutions to Climate Change.”   Participants are able to simulate possible large scale solutions to dramatic climate change through the use of the online En-ROADS policy simulation model developed by MIT.   See what possible solutions are and discuss the implications. Presented by Bill Middlecamp, a commissioned Earthkeeper in the United Methodist Church and a well-known climate activist in our area. See also En-ROADS Brings Climate Science to the Masses.

enroads chart

Sunday, May 2, 9:30 a.m., Socially-Just Climate Solutions 

Cooperative Energy Futures equips members across the state to build socially-just climate solutions that grow community wealth and power. CEF has financed and developed 6.9MW (~$16M) of low-income-accessible community solar arrays that are cooperatively-owned-and-operated across urban, suburban, and rural Minnesota—including: Shiloh Temple in North Minneapolis, Pax Christi Church in Eden Prairie, and Edina Public Works Building.  Find out how Oak Grove and our members can potentially get involved as host site(s), investors, subscribers and supporters. Presented by: Timothy Den Herder, General Manager of CEF