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
Monday, May 29, 2017
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

NE News May 2017


A Message From Pastor Sarah

As I type these words, I am getting ready to ride a bus to Washington D.C. In a few days, I will join hundreds of thousands of people as we march on the Capitol and in places all around the world in the People’s Climate March. You may wonder why I am doing this; and frankly right now as I’m scurrying around amidst a ceaseless to-do list (which is always just about half done), I am wondering, "why exert the expense-- both physical and fiscal?" 

Simply, I feel I am called to march with people for love of the planet; God is asking me to go and engage in this work. 

God so loves this world; this earth and everything, everything in it belongs to God. God gave and continues to give the world to us so that we might live and learn to live together, abundantly. We have yet to do either of these; the way we live on this planet destroys the gifts that God gives us. We kill, as we have always done, the very sources of life (both spiritual and physical) which sustain us. We continue to hang Christ upon acres of trees, we decimate the butterflies and bees of resurrection and regeneration while we poison the flowers they live to nurture, and we contaminate the waters of our baptism with plastic, microfibers, bottle caps, toys, bags, our daily practices indicating less our faith than our hubris. Then as now, today as ever before, we know that God gives a resounding, “NO!” to our death-dealing desires. God longs to plant life, and new life, regeneration, healing, growth, and evolution in our hearts and bodies. We believe, “God became flesh and lives among us, and we have seen the glory of God--full of grace and truth.” We believe this is our home and God lives with us; God stays among us; God dwells within us. “Earth is crammed with heaven and every dang bush and bee and bear alive with God!”

We need to change how we live together on this planet; we need everyone to do everything we can, but we are totally okay with that!  God has forever and always asked us to change—we are easter people, you know. This is the core of our faith—change your hearts and lives.  (And we can! because God loves us). God’s call in our lives is nothing new.  So we are!

So many of us are changing our lives and our lifestyles—we are learning more and as much as we can about how to live healthfully and in balance with God’s creation. In our church we have a mission to be environmentally 
sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, and socially just on this corner in Northeast Minneapolis. And so we’re learning how to eat organically, locally, and in season, we’re learning about the soil around our church and our homes, we’re  learning how to share the things we have, we’re learning about permaculture, and how to better give away what we have. In our church and in our homes we’re learning about compost, carbon emissions, energy consumption, personal consumption of goods, we’re planting seeds and watching them grow. And I can see every single one of you offer compassion, forgiveness, understanding and love to the people around you. We’re learning about our privilege as white people, and we’re learning about our place in the Gospel story. Thank you!  All of our efforts and good work matters. I hope you know that. And, we are also learning about the urgent imperative to change how we collectively live. Our human existence on this planet is unsustainable; we need to learn how to live together. This is really hard work. God is working to regenerate our common life on this planet which means we need to work together across divisions of race, and class, faith, and geography. I am not sure we know how to do this. Yet, we know, to have peace on earth, we must make peace with the earth.

For all these reasons, I march in non-violent resistance, looking to Jesus as the author and perfecter of our call. Our faith teaches us the tools (in fact, as you know, Jesus is the inventor of non-violent resistance) and the church guides us to offer our lives in our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness to the Justice, Peace, and Power of Christ. So, I join thousands of others to witness—to resist the forces of evil, oppression and death in whatever forms they
 present themselves (and this is so tricky, because we kind of like the powers of evil oppression and death right now, we benefit from the systems of stuff we’ve set up (who doesn’t like a good sale?)).  I join with thousands of people to speak truth to power, that we may “forswear our foolish ways.”  I join, with my whole heart, to march, and shout, and sing, “God so loves the world!!”  I willingly join my heart with the heart of every species, biome, wave and blade of grass, I join my heart with people standing near and so far away. I open my heart to the heartbeat of God—the one who creates, owns, and claims everything I so love.


Miriam Circle will meet on Monday, May 1, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the home of Jean Allen, Apartment 107, 2580 Kenzie Terrace (Autumn Woods) St. Anthony. 

Please let Jean know whether or not you plan to attend as, if there are more guests than would fit comfortably in her apartment, she will host us in the Community Room at Autumn Woods. Jean's number is 612-247-4193. Email: (Jean's phone number and email have changed since the church directory was printed.) You may also contact Margaret Fishbeck with your RSVP....612-789-4068,

Cathy Plantenberg will be our guest speaker and will share her personal stories and resources to help families who are living with mental illness. Her story is one of acceptance and forgiveness and, surprisingly, a story full of humor. The book she has been working on is called “Nancy Means Grace” and is devoted to her oldest sister who  lived most of her life with schizophrenia. Cathy was Nancy’s conservator for the last 16 years going through four surgeries and countless doctor appointments. They forged an unbreakable bond through their shared belief that they were a gift to each other. Cathy will also share some history of the treatment of mental illness from the book “The Mad Doctors”,  as well as the early work of the Quaker’s in treating the mentally ill with kindness and compassion as early as the 1700's.      All are welcome! 


MOTHER'S DAY BREAKFAST - There will be a Mother's Day Breakfast in the Social Hall on Sunday, May 14th at 9 AM.  The NEUMC Men's Ministry is sponsoring the breakfast and all are welcome to attend.  There will be a free will offering to cover the cost of the food and any offering in excess of the food cost will be donated to Emma Norton Services.     


The Northeast Chorale is "going to Broadway" on Sunday, May 21, at 7:00 p.m. at NEUMC. You'll hear music from "Hairspray," "Wicked," "Oklahoma," "The Music Man," "Les Miserables, "Mama Mia " and "Gypsy," something for everyone. NEUMC members Tony Pollack, Molly Clark, and Virginia Broich are singing in the Chorale.   


We are in need of Coffee and Treats for two Sundays coming up very soon.  They are May 14th and June 4th.  If you are able to fill in on either of these dates, please contact Marlys Norvell at 763-789-4859,  Thank you


Garden Reminder

The bedding plants on our wish list for the gardens will be planted Wednesday, May 17th. 

If you to make a purchase of any plants, please note your name on the sign-up list early.

Our garden spring clean-up list is in the Narthex (or if not there check the Coffee Shop) if you are wondering what needs to be done if you have time. We will be doing some thinning of plants if you would like certain varieties let Sara Jane know with a note or email. 

We are starting Wednesday organized gardening day, while pre-school is in session we will be working in the garden from 4:00pm - 7:00pm. Starting May 31st, the start time will be between 10:00am and 2:00pm ending by 7:00pm. 

On Saturday, May 6th there will be a tour of the Walipini by NE Transitions Towns. On Thursday, May 11th, Brown Bag Community Garden will be using the Coffee shop for lunch starting at noon followed by a tour of the Walipini.


What’s Going on With our Walipini? 

NEUMC receive a third “Notice of Non-Compliance,” from the city of Minneapolis about our walipini—in the parsonage backyard, citing the walipini as an “eyesore which is injurious to the neighbors enjoyment.”  We were informed that we needed to remove the walipini by May 15th, 2017.

Sara Jane and Sarah Lawton realized that if there are so many complaints about our walipini in our neighborhood that we need to talk with our neighbors and find out how we could be better neighbors and what could be done.  So, we knocked on doors, and talked with our neighbors—who more or less expressed support and encouragement for our walipini and the work we are doing in our garden and in our neighborhood.  We also found out that one neighbor wrote a letter to editor (which did not make the paper) to express support for the walipini.  We had one person express their opinion that the walipini is an “eyesore.”  We received feedback, however, that we could do a better job of labelling our walipini from the front and ensure that our neighbors know our garden is Communal meaning everyone is welcome to work and to harvest!  Pick some beans and tomatoes!  Sarah Lawton also put out a notice on a neighborhood list serve and received nearly 50 positive “likes” and several comments with many offers to vocalize or write their support for our walipini and our work.

Sara Jane Van Allen and Timothy Jordan (a neighbor supporter of the walipini) and representatives from Sisters Camelot and Homegrown Minneapolis met with the city on Good Friday.  If you would like a full report, please ask Sara Jane!  We did find out that the city received bushel loads of calls re: our article in the newspaper— either
 wanting to find out how to build one or hoping that something like that never comes in their neighborhood, so we certainly caused a stir!

The conclusion, at this point, is that there is no “code” or “policy or 
procedure” for Walipinis—so we cannot be in either compliance or non-compliance of their non-existing code.  As far as we know, our walipini, is the only functioning structure in the state.
We hope, no matter the outcome of our walipini, that we may sincerely have a hand in allowing other walipinis to be built in Minnesota.  We may be able to help craft some policy or at least allow others to learn from our mistakes.

We don’t need to tear down the walipini, yet!  There is still hope.  Greg Strong, another community friend, has started some greens in pots and Sara Jane has transplanted the seedlings—“all are growing well now that the sun is higher in the sky.”  In the walipini, things are bright and warm, as always.


“Gardening simply does not allow one to be mentally old, because too many hopes and dreams are yet to be realized.” ~Allan Armitage  



“Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.” ~ May Sarton    


“I grow plants for many reasons: to please my eye or to please my soul, to challenge the elements or to challenge my patience, for novelty or for nostalgia, but mostly for the joy in seeing them grow.” ~ David Hobson  


Pastor Sara likes weddings! Consequently, we have quite a few of them here. When there is a wedding, we need people from NE UMC to be on hand during the rehearsal and the wedding, and occasionally even a reception, in case there are problems, or questions.

We have a group of people who help out with this, but our numbers are small and we need more help. 

If you have been looking for a way to volunteer, here ya go. Let Kris, in the office know and your name will be added to the list.  

There is a 3:00pm wedding on Saturday, May 13th.


There is a 6:00pm rehearsal on Friday, May 19th and a 3:pm wedding on Saturday, May 20th  


There is a 6:30pm rehearsal on Friday, July 7th and a 1:00pm wedding followed by a very short reception on Saturday, July 8th.  

If you can help out with any of these upcoming events please let the office know.

Thank you         Kris Gater 



When you went to church as a kid, didn’t you always think “gosh it would be neat to speak from the pulpit”? Well, here is your chance! We have a group of people who do a wonderful job as liturgist on Sunday’s but it is a small list and we could really use some new members. 

This is an important part of the service, if you would like to join this “elite” group, contact Kris in the office.


The Special offering for the month of 

May: Love Offering   

 The 2017 Annual Conference theme is "Encounter the Spirit: Live Expectantly" and funds from this year's Love Offering will to go three projects: 

 60 percent to the United Methodist University of  Sierra Leone—School of Applied Health Sciences 

Sierra Leone has one of the lowest life expectancies in the world, and one in every five children die before their fifth birthday. The vast majority of the country’s citizens don’t have access to health services, and there is an acute shortage of trained health professionals. This portion of the Love Offering will be used to expand United Methodist University of Sierra Leone by creating a School of Applied Health Sciences in the city of Bo. The school will be adjacent to United Methodist-affiliated Mercy Hospital, where students will receive practical, hands-on training. Midwives, nurses, community health officers, and technicians who graduate from this new institution will significantly improve the accessibility and quality of health care throughout Sierra Leone.  

30 percent to Emma Norton Services  

Emma Norton Services helps women, children, and families achieve victory over homelessness, mental illness, and chemical dependency. The Twin Cities-based nonprofit provides safe, affordable housing .  

10 percent to Volunteers in Mission Scholarships  

Mission trips transform the lives of participants by giving them an opportunity to grow in faith and gain a new perspective of the world. 


Eco-Kids Camp will take place August 7– 11 from 9:00-4:00 Monday through Thursday, and a half day on Friday. This camp is for all children entering grades 3-6 and will be held at, Northeast UMC. We will be exploring the amazing life of trees through field trips, hands-on science, and the arts. The cost is $75 per camper. Full or partial scholarships are available. 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!! Registration Now Open! Forms can be found in the church office, or at the website. 


Helping in Ministry


5/7 - Cindy Ohlenkamp

5/14 - Mary Everly

5/21 - Guy Fleischhacker

5/28 - Cindy Sowden 

Altar Guild

5/7 -  Rena Gillman                     

5/14 - Rena Gillman                     

5/21 - Rena Gillman                     

5/28 - Rena Gillman & Cindy Ohlenkamp     


5/7 -  Virginia Broich and Roger Rasmussen

5/14 - Robert Wood

5/21 - Jim & Jan Bohn

5/28 - Roger Hart


Counter Schedule

5/7 - Sharon Carley/Shirley Jackson

5/14 - Cindy Ohlenkamp/Marlys Norvell

5/21 - Bill Jackson/Jim Bohn

5/28 - Sue Carley/Roger Hart


Fellowship (Coffee and Cookies) 

5/7 - Sandra Adelman & Robert Wood

5/14 - Ellis Family

5/21 - Marlys Norvell & MaryAnn Gervais

5/28 - Sara Jane VanAllen & Pat Robinson



May Birthdays

03 Ruth Haire

06 Mary Ann Gervais

16 Cora Clark

17 Margaret Fishbeck                      

26 Lois Allen

27 Howard Karkhoff

28 Dolores Eisten

29 Shirley Jackson

30 Matt Kling

30 Kirsten Lauver

31 Marge Stiegelmeyer

31 Fernanda Hart