Northeast United Methodist Church is an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfulling, socially just community of faith in the United Methodist tradition in Northeast Minneapolis.
Northeast United Methodist Church
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

NE News February 2017


From the Pastor  

“You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, on God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness. But that doesn’t mean you should all look and speak and act the same. Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given our own gifts.”  ~Ephesians 4:4-7

We are the Body of Christ! We are a community—we are unified and bound together with cords of love. But, we are not the same! God does not create us all the same—we think differently, we live differently, we have different stories and experiences. God has made us all different, one from the other and so we know: Diversity is a gift from God. We are unified because we love one another, as Jesus taught us. We are unified because we are equal, because loves us all. God knows us from the inside out—God knows we aren’t the same: a bright, big, glorious, wild, sassy, free, funny, frustrating, lovely Body of Christ.

Keith Reich claims that, "God brought me to Church.” A year before the former Trinity and former Grace UMC’s merged together to form Northeast UMC , Keith was convicted of a felony. And the weight of that difficulty drove Keith back to church. The former pastor of Trinity UMC met with Keith and was interested in helping Keith navigate the judicial system, going to court with Keith and stepping up to bat in Keith’s defense. Keith met with the pastor every week and found him to be “helpful, friendly, warm, and open-minded.” Keith hadn’t experience a pastor or a church like that before and the care and acceptance he received kept him coming to church. He even brought his parents, David and Joyce Reich, too! Joyce and David, until their deaths, were often the first people to greet you when you walked in the door.

Keith likes going to church because, “the people are nice to be around.” He thinks NEUMC is a loving, open church where, “everybody likes everybody and we help each other.” Keith takes his participation in the life of the church seriously and faithfully, attending and serving fully where and when he is needed. You can often see Keith at church setting up the screen or fiddling with the Audio -Visual equipment or making coffee before everyone has arrived on Sunday morning. Keith’s “real job” of carpet cleaning also serves the church as the carpets got cleaned this week at a huge discount for the church: $1,000,000! Keith also served on the Trustees and now the Super Church Council.

Keith has three kids: Keith Jr., Brian, and Kimberly who died at birth. Keith is with his brother, Kevin, and sister, Kelly, a long-time Northeaster. His favorite television shows are wrestling, MacGyver, the A-Team, and Nightrider. His favorite Scripture passage is Luke 17:20-21:  

"Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, “The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ For, in fact, the kingdom of God is within you.”  




NE Men’s Ministries:

A Men’s Ministries sponsored All Church Breakfast will take place on Sunday, February 19, 2017 at 8:30 AM in the Social Hall.  Rodger and Nelda Hart will be giving a presentation on their trip to Machu PicchuChile. Everyone is welcome to attend the breakfast.  



UMW News! 

February 4, at Fridley United Methodist Church in Fridley, Twin Cities United Methodist Women will have a gathering featuring Susan Mullin. She will speak on Climate Change. Lunch is $10.00 but the program booklet and program are free. It begins at 9:00 am. It is too late to send in a reservation when this newsletter comes out but walk-ins are welcome.


Northeast United Methodist Church is sponsoring a Twin Cities District United Methodist Women Gathering to be held April 22, 2017. I have completed a sign up genie and will post it as soon as I get the data base of e-mail addresses in the program.  Meanwhile, mark your calendars for March 11, 2017 at 9:00 am when we will have a planning meeting for Twin Cities District officers with representatives of NE UMC. Prior to that there will be a meeting of potential volunteers at church at 9:30 on March 5, just prior to worship, to talk about the whole process of what’s involved with sponsoring a gathering. Thanks for all you do to help United Methodist Women be the vital organization it is. Attendance at gatherings are between 80 and 110 people.  Sandra Adelmund  




Location: LakeHarriet United MethodistChurch

4901 Chowen Avenue South

Minneapolis, MN 55410 

Start: Feb. 4, 5 p.m. 

End: 11 p.m. 

Registration Info:

Register at 

Cost: Free

All ninth- through 12th-grade youth are invited to an evening of music, worship, fun, and conversation at the intersection of spirituality, sexuality, and identity. This is a loving and inclusive event for youth of all orientations and identities in the name of Christ. 

The event features: 

• Taco buffet provided by Lago Tacos

• Music by AGAPE* David Scherer (a Christian hip-hop artist) 

Each youth who registers will receive a free ReYouNite T-shirt and bracelet. 

To learn more contact: Chris Carr

Phone: 612-926-7645  






Interested in studying Lamentations?

Come to The Coffee Shop Northeast (2852 Johnson St NE). 7:15-8:45pm Mondays (6,13,20,27) in February.  Open to anyone who wants to study, to be "better together" and to build community with God at the center. Need more info? Contact Joan at 



What was lost…          

The Minnesota Historical Society’s tagline is “History Matters”. Recently, we had a very good example of why history matters here at Northeast UMC.

A woman came into the office looking for a copy of her marriage certificate. She had been married in the old Grace church in the 1970s. Her husband had died in Germany, and she needed to prove to the German government that she was indeed married to him so his body could be released for transport back to the U.S.

Our secretary, Kris, called me to ask if I had any idea where the old marriage certificates were. She had found the woman’s marriage recorded in the big book of pastoral acts, but no certificate.

As you may know, Virginia Broich and I recently cleared a lot of historical material from the Fireside Room. Much of it went into the recycling bin – we just don’t have the room to keep it all. We also hauled a lot of it to the third floor. I told Kris the certificate might be found in a square box full of folders that haven’t yet been filed. Sure enough, there it was!

It’s nice to know that the hours Virginia and I have spent plowing through old papers actually helped someone. In future issues, we’ll tell you about some of our more interesting historical finds.

Cindy Sowden  



Miriam Circle's next meeting will be on Monday, February 6,  from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the home of Nelda Hart, 1033 36th Avenue NE. Pastor Sarah will be teaching about Climate Justice. We will also be making plans for UMW Sunday. All women are welcome to join us.  



The People Come together like Mexican Food and Affordable Housing!

We understand that we might not be able to save Lowry Grove, but we do hope that we can move the needle on issues of Affordable Housing and advocate for more affordable housing in Northeast Minneapolis--especially St. Anthony Village. We have invited Margaret Kaplan from Minnesota Housing to speak about affordable housing (common myths/stereotypes, the need in the metro area, and other ways to be an advocate). Also, we simply want to gather together as residents of Lowry Grove and folks from the wider community to meet one another and begin the process of caring about what happens to each other in our neighborhood. We believe the sale and eviction of the residents of Lowry Grove is an injustice. Good people had multiple opportunities along the way to act differently to ensure the residents of Lowry Grove were cared for or at the very least receive just compensation for their losses. This issue is still hurting people in our community.  Friday, February 17th  6pm  at Northeast United Methodist  Church with Mexican Food! 





Starting to think about Spring? We are scheduling our first garden planning meeting in February, the date has not been decided yet. It will be in the Coffee Shop and Snacks & beverages will be provided. Historically we have shared a word, popcorn style, that describes our best like about the garden, recap our previous gardening year, what worked / what didn't, and shared constructive thoughts and suggestions on what to plant. This meeting will be conducted in a similar fashion.  

You are welcome to join the meeting and invite others that may want to garden or just learn a bit more about us. If you are not able to attend but would like to add some input please feel free to put a detailed note in Sara VanAllen's church mail box or email her at  

We will be having conversations about planning for revitalization of the peace pole area of the garden in coordination with Alison Hennen (pre-school).  Alison has requested that the area be more child friendly. Sunday School would be helpful also for our this project, and the garden too.  





Make & Take A Valentine Card  Share the LOVE

 in Coffee Shop

on Monday, February 13th

drop in Noon - 6:30 pm 

At any age you can create a card to share a little love. I am sure you know some one that could use a little love. You don't need money just a little time to make a card and brighten a persons day.  

Hot beverages and a snack to share as well as the makings for your own personalized Valentine Card will be provided. If you would like to help with our card making please talk to Sara Jane VanAllen.   



Watch for more details for D-I-Y stepping stones workshop garden projects in March newsletter.


Spring is Just Around the Corner!

and it is Time to PRUNE our FRUIT TREES!

Pastor Max Richter, a master fruit arborist is leading a workshop on fruit tree pruning in our community garden on Monday, February 6th at NOON.  

Come learn new skills and try your hand at pruning and caring for our trees.  Help us, and our world, bear much fruit!     




January Church council meeting:

 Present:  Sarah Lawton, Ralph Sowden, Jeff Gillman, Sande Hill, Keith Reich, Sara Jane Van Allen, Shirley Jackson, Bill Jackson, Trish Fleischhacker, Bruce Robbins. 

Sarah led us in a devotion, asking us to consider the fact that all of us have limited time on this earth. Do we know what it is that we are called to do? All appreciated the snacks provided by Sara Jane and others. 

Sarah led discussion re: the new governance and church administration structure. We are trying out for six months to a year a monthly meeting of previously separate leadership teams into one combined leadership team. We no longer have a finance, trustees or staff pastor relations team by itself, but now all these teams and activities are folded into one meeting with one leadership team. This team is tasked with both Strategic Leadership (discerning and articulating the mission and vision of the church) and Operational Management (paying the bills, maintaining the building). This meeting, then, will be both “open” (anyone can come to the meeting and talk) and “closed” (only appointed people can be in the meeting e.g. discussions around staff and evaluations).  We are trying out this governance style with the hope of alleviating some challenges around leadership (finding new and capable, willing leaders to fulfill key roles in church), but as some mentioned this new governance model does not address underlying challenges of actually having new leaders in the church to fulfill key roles. The same people have been in leadership for multiple years; we don’t want to burn people out, but to have a church we need people to do stuff. We will continue to discuss this governance structure to evaluate its usefulness as we “live into” the governance structure over the next few months.  —submitted by Sarah Lawton 

Trustees. Jeff introduced us all to Michael Ellis who responded to an ad for NEUMC's vacant, part-time position of custodian. Jeff will pursue the background check and, if all goes well, he will discuss and offer to Michael employment  with a 90 period and evaluation. Michael may also do shoveling snow as necessary for additional compensation. The group agreed to this plan. 

Eli Project. Sarah passed out information and described the opportunity for an intern from "The Eli Project." This involved an eight-week onsite internship from June 4 through July 28.It is a project of Minnesota Annual Conference (MAC) to encourage and support young adults who are considering ministry to help with their discernment process. NEUMC would need to pay the intern $3000. The MAC will provide a $2000 grant to assist in paying the intern. Sarah will provide the supervision for the intern. The group agreed to this plan. 

Finance Report. Ralph  present financial information from 2015 and 2016 for the group to compare as well as other information. The church finance's are stable with slight increases in income in 2016. Jeff will pursue an addendum to the contract for sale with the church's lawyer to represent the agreements reached several months ago with the Faith Tabernacle congregation. He will also have a conversation with Pastor Bruce at that church.


Sarah led the group in prayers and in the sharing of joys and concerns as a closing to our time together.                                                                    ~Respectfully submitted by Bruce Robbins 





The Special offering for the month of February

Heifer Project 

Heifer International's mission is to work with communities to end world hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth. 


We empower families to turn hunger and poverty into hope and prosperity – but our approach is more than just giving them a handout. Heifer links communities and helps bring sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a long history of poverty. Our  animals provide partners with both food and reliable income, as agricultural products such as milk, eggs and honey can be traded or sold at market. When many families gain this new sustainable income, it brings new opportunities for building schools, creating agricultural cooperatives, forming community savings and funding small businesses.


Eco-Kids Camp (our day camp ministry in partnership with Faith UMC and Community UMC) is at Northeast UMC this summer, August 7th-11th. Mark your calendars! It’s a full week, with full days centered in our theme of Trees PLEASE! We need teachers to lead classes, and volunteers to help the teachers and chaperones for all our field trips. Please consider being apart of this special week. If interested, please let Sarah Lawton know—planning has already begun and we would love to have as many folks from our church involved as possible! and invite the kids in your life to Eco-Kids Camp!!