Green Committee Faith Formation

The Green Committee is offering four virtual Faith Formation programs via Zoom in April and May following Sunday Worship at 11:45 a.m. Zoom login information is provided in Oak Grove’s weekly email newsletter to members and in the weekly bulletin.

April 19, 2020, 11:45 a.m., “How Oak Grove Is Cutting Its Carbon Footprint”

In this Faith Formation session, we’ll focus on how Oak Grove is now getting 200% renewable electricity and using it to offset the emissions from our electricity and natural gas use.  We’ll review of our LED lighting retrofits and will provide an overview of our EV Expos and efforts to promote electric vehicles, tools, e-mobility.  We’ll discuss the start up of our KidWindeducation efforts and will discess Oak Grove’s plans to sequester carbon and infiltrate/clean water with a new rain garden.   Starts after completion of the online church service at 11:45 a.m. on Zoom (see weekly email announcements or bulletin for login details). Presenters:  John Crampton and Green Committee.

April 26, 2020, 11:45 a.m., “How You Can Cut Your Family’s Carbon Footprint”

In this Faith Formation session, we’ll focus on simple things that you can do to cut your own carbon footprint, including LED lighting, WindSource, Wellspring, EVs and PHEVs, rooftop and community solar, and eating simpler foods from farms/gardens that are building healthy soils. Starts after completion of the online church service at 11:45 a.m. on Zoom (see weekly email announcements or bulletin for login details). Presenters:  Bob Gerdes and Green Committee.

May 3, 2020, 11:45 a.m., “What Are Our Elected Leaders Doing to Address the Climate Crisis?”  

In this Faith Formation session, we’ll focus on legislation in MN Legislature to mandate 100% Renewable Energy by 2050 to protect clean car standards in opposition to the Trump Administration’s rollback of those standards; efforts to compel MN car dealers to offer EV; and efforts to build EV charging networks statewide using the Volkswagen settlement funds. We’ll also focus on legislation at the Federal level including the “Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.” Starts after completion of the online church service at 11:45 a.m. on Zoom (see weekly email announcements or bulletin for login details).  Presenters: Green Committee. 

May 10, 2020, 11:45 a.m., “Eat Like Our Planet Depends on It” 

Just in time for Mothers Day, this Faith Formation session focuses “eating green.” Find out how Oak Grove people are cutting their carbon footprints and improving their health and overall wellbeing by growing, buying, and cooking foods that are good for Mother Earth and its climate, rather than foods that are spewing GHG emissions in our air and poisoning our precious soils and waters. Starts after completion of the online church service at 11:45 a.m. on Zoom (see weekly email announcements or bulletin for login details).  Presenters: Pdon Pinkham and Green Committee. 

Special Earth Day Program, April 22, 2020

Earth Day Multi-Faith Livestream: A Call to Collective Care

In addition, we invite Oak Grove members to participate in an inter-faith Zoom-based celebration of Earth Day Multi-Faith Lifestream: A Call to Collective Care, put on by a number of churches and Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light on April 22, 2020, 1-3 p.m. See below for details.

Register here

On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, join us for a virtual gathering of prayer, storytelling, art, and wisdom from our diverse spiritual teachings that speak to this current moment of crisis. 

This moment of pandemic reminds us how deeply connected we are to each other and to the earth. We know that many of us are suffering, and we are finding new ways to care for one another and for our planet. 

We invite you to connect and support one other as we navigate this difficult time, and to send a powerful message to decision-makers that climate justice is still a top priority. We’ll be broadcasting from 1-3pm; come when you are able and invite a friend! Register here!

Included in this toolkit are ways to take action leading up to and after Earth Day, from including creation and climate prayers or practices in worship, to participating in the Earth Day livestream. Check them out below!

Sponsored by Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light of which Oak Grove is a participating faith community. For more information, contact John Crampton.

Winners of the 2020 Chili Cook Off

And the winners are …

Lord’s Choice (best chili) – three-way tie to Stephen Jones for his Chicken Chili, Mattie Hawley for her Dad’s Traditional, and Patty Nail for her Meat Chili.

Devil’s Choice (spiciest chili) – Craig Propsom for his Girl Power Chili.

Angel’s Choice (prettiest chili) – Stephen Jones for his Chicken Chili.

Most Creative – Tim Dubis for his Ginger Pineapple Chili.

Greenest (most-ecofriendly) – two-way tie to Mary Hendrickson and Neil Schroeder for their Crumbled Tofu Chili and Katharine Painter for her Mild Vegan Chili.

Best Name – two-way tie to Mattie Hawley for her Dad’s Traditional Chili and Travis Scott for his Meat Fiesta to Cause a Siesta Chili.

Congratulations to all of the winners!

Chili Cook-off

It’s time to pull out your best and hottest chili recipes. Oak Grove’s Annual Chili Cook-off, is Sunday, February 23, 2020, after the Annual Meeting. If you are bringing chili, please sign up at the church in advance.

Mark your calendars for February 23 to attend, taste, and vote! This is a fundraiser for the Senior High Youth Mission Trip this summer in Texas. 

For questions, call Jane Propsom at 612-723-0592.

Church Chats on January 26

On Sunday, January 26, 2020, part of our worship during the 8:15 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. services will include “Church Chats,” a time for your thoughtful responses to questions about Oak Grove Church. We want to convey to potential pastoral candidates an accurate and candid description of our church, and for that, we need your help.

Every member and friend of the church can participate simply by coming to church on January 26 and giving candid and thoughtful responses to questions about the church. During worship, we will divide into groups. The facilitators and recorders will move from group to group with particular questions (think of it like “speed dating” only we are calling it “Church Chat”).

Following the 10:45 a.m. service, there will be a lunch where we can continue the conversations. Join us for a morning nourishment of mind, body, and spirit!

January Retreats at Clearwater Forest

UPDATE: the Women’s Retreat has been been cancelled due to weather.

Oak Grove’s 2020 Women’s Retreat is January 17-19, at Clearwater Forest. Our topic is “Telling Our Story,” presented by Jacquelyn Fletcher Johnson, the founder of Heartwood Healing and the creator of the Heartwood Self-Mastery programs. She’s a motivational speaker, the award-winning author of 14 books, and the co-creator and host of the Healing Words television show administered by the Lavins Center for the Humanities in Medicine at Mayo Clinic.

Oak Grove’s 2020 Men’s Retreat is January 31-February 2, 2020, at Clearwater Forest. The weekend will be led by Mary Koon, with the theme Gift of the Holy Spirit.

Sign up is in the narthex, and scholarships are available. Contact the Oak Grove office for further information.

January Faith Formation

The Adult Faith Formation Team has a wonderful line-up for you this January!  Join us at 9:30 a.m. on Sundays for a great way to begin the new year!

Sunday, January 12. Synod Executive Elona Street-Stewart will be our speaker.  Elona is the first Native American to serve as a synod executive in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The special needs and challenges in racial/ethnic ministry are her specialty.

Sunday, January 19. Jim Koon will facilitate a discussion on African American and Native American reparations. 

2019 Advent/Christmas Worship Schedule

Tuesday, December 10, 7 PM. Shadow and Light (sometimes called Blue Christmas, or Service of Remembrance). This service of worship is open to all, yet created especially for those who experience the holiday season with a bit of anxiety, dread or sadness. It is a service of respite and renewal, of light and life in a busy season. The service will include music, scripture, and readings as well as time to light a candle in memory and in hope.

Wednesday, December 11, 6:15 pm, An Adult Christ at Christmas WOW! program with Pastor Anne.

Sunday, December 15
8:15am Pastor Anne leads worship: “Flowers in the Desert”
10:45am The Children’s Christmas Pageant. Come hear the ancient story of Jesus’ birth told by our youngest members!

Sunday, December 22
8:15am Pastor Mary leads worship
10:45am Chancel Choir and an instrumental ensemble will present the Christmas Cantata, “A Celebration of Carols,” by Joseph Martin. Let the music of Christmas reawaken the promise of God’s presence and love in our lives and remind each of us that our faith is a song worth singing – A Celebration of Carols that is made all the more glorious when it is shared. Please join us for this special service.

Christmas Eve, December 24
4:00 pm: Pastor Mary leads family worship. The early service is tailored for families with children, but all are welcome!

10:00 pm: Service of Light, Pastor Anne leads worship.
Chancel Choir sings at the 10 pm service.

Sunday, December 29 Only one service at 9:30am. Pastor Mary leads worship.

Sunday, January 5, 2020 Epiphany of the Lord. Back to two services
with communion at 8:15am & 10:45am.

Oak Grove EV Expo on Sept. 14

Mark your calendars for Saturday, September 14, 2019, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. for Oak Grove’s Second Annual Electric Vehicle (EV) Expo! Attendees are invited to test drive the latest electric vehicles (and Animobiles) and talk with owners about the benefits of going electric.

In addition to test drives, we have a great line-up of speakers:

11 am Daryl Thayer, Daryl Solar 1 “EV Charging and Chargers”
11:30 am Jukka Kukkonen- MN EV Owners- “What EV is Best Fit for You?”
12:00 noon Alisa Sobczak, Xcel, “Programs for Charging Your EV from Xcel”
12:30 pm Joe Strommen, Bloomington Sustainability Commission- “City’s Effort to Promote EVs”
1:00 pm Women’s Panel of EV Owners (Mary Crampton, Sunny Snyder, Sandy Crum, Erin Anderson-Wenz, Karen Gerdes)
1:30 pm Jukka Kukkonen- MN EV Owners- “What EV is Best Fit for You?”
2:00 pm Noa Shavit-Lonstein or Gabe Epstein, MN 350, “EV Legislation in MN and Trump’s Drive to Scrap US Mileage Standards”
2:30 pm Pdon Pinkham, Oak Grove Green Committee, “Why I am an EV Owner and What It Means for Creation”

Food: hot dogs, chips and veggie hot dogs, popcorn and water available in Social Hall. Free will offering to support youth mission trips.

Environmentally-friendly car wash near rain garden in north parking lot, 12-2. Free will offering to support youth mission trips.

The EV Expo features:

  • Test drives from 11am to 1pm of the latest EVs with dealers, giving you the chance to get behind the wheel and drive some truly awesome cars.   Sponsored by the American Lung Association.
  • Talks with EV owners about their experiences — different weather conditions, charging at home, at work and on the road, maintenance, cost of ownership and the “thrill” of stomping on the accelerator of their EVs.
  • Electric bikes, scooters, mowers, and many other electric toys and tools for you to try out – the future of e-mobility in urban environments. 
  • Learn from expert talks in the sanctuary about special utility rates, tax breaks, and EV charging corridors for long-distance travel, along with a panel of woman EV drivers talking about why they prefer driving the EV to their family “gasmobile.”
  • Refreshments and places for families and kids to hang out and chill. 

Why is Oak Grove sponsoring this 2019 EV Expo?   Because we are concerned about climate change.  Oak Grove has made great progress in cutting our emissions from energy use, but the fact is that we  all need to stop burning fossil fuel, now.  EVs are an excellent and cost-effective way that people can take action individually and collectively to deal with climate change; and, as you’ll discover at the Expo, they are really cool to drive.  

We hope to see you there.  Plan to attend and to volunteer if possible.   Bring your family and friends.   


*By EVs we mean vehicles that are all-electric –that use batteries for their all their power and also PHEVs (Plug In Hybrid Electric) which combine electric power and internal combustion engines for their power.  We will have both EVs and PHEVs dealer and owner models at the Expo.

Green Committee Tour a Success!

Oak Grove’s Green Committee hosted the Bloomington Sustainability Commission and the Xcel Partners in Energy program on Thursday, June 20.  Over 50 leaders of Bloomington businesses and churches attended as we presented our actions over the past few years to dramatically cut carbon emissions and to sequester carbon and infiltrate water into the ground to stop and reverse pollution of our waters and atmosphere. 

The group looked at our rooftop solar, community solar garden membership, LED lighting, EV chargers, KidWind “inventions”  and rain gardens present and future.  Thanks to all the Oak Grove Green Committee, Building and Ops, and partners for making this event a great success.

The Green Committee’s next event is the EV Expo on September 14 (see poster below).