Sharing ideas for education and outreach on race

Do Good Roseville, a community networking group that Falcon Heights Church is involved with, will bring area faith communities together Thursday, Sept. 14, to share ideas for education and outreach related to race. The gathering is from 9 to 11 a.m. at Roseville Lutheran Church, 1215 Roselawn Ave. W.

Our congregation has been involved in this issue for some time, including hosting community meetings following the death of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights.

“We know that many of the faith communities in the Roseville area have held educational programs, book clubs, and other outreach events to further understanding of race and other topics related to our changing community,” the group’s event flyer says. “We would like to bring together as many faith communities as possible to share your experiences, ideas and resources.”

Our Outreach Ministry Team has been working with Do Good Roseville particularly in the area of immigrants’ needs in our community. Nancy Duffrin (nduffrin@gmail.com) plans to attend the Sept. 14 meeting and can answer questions. RSVP to Kathy Ramundt at kramundt@hotmail.com or 651-488-5061.

Swedish wood carving at Women’s Fellowship Sept. 8

Women and men of all ages, mark your calendar for the September Women’s Fellowship gathering at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 8, when Falcon Heights Church members Pat Bohman and Doug Nelson will share their hobby of Swedish wood carving. They’ll show you how they carve blocks of wood into charming little characters. They will have plenty of samples, some finished and others not so much, but they will enthusiastically share how this pastime brings them pleasure and even improves their social life!

Here are some more of our upcoming programs:

  • Oct. 6: Pastor Jacob Kanake will share his life story, “From Kenya to Minnesota.”
  • Nov. 3: Bob Wicklem will return with an interactive and very timely Civil War conversation, including some personal stories.
  • Dec. 1: We will enjoy a holiday luncheon and share some of our childhood Christmas stories.

First Hour faith formation kickoff Sept. 10

First Hour faith formation starts up again Sept. 10 with — what else? — food! A bagel breakfast will be served at 9:30 a.m. Come and get reacquainted after a busy summer, learn about our plans for the upcoming year, and register your children so that we can make First Hour safe and fun for everyone.

Regular First Hour classes begin Sept. 17 at 9:30 a.m. with classes for Voyageurs (grades 7-12), Seekers (grades 4-6), and Explorers (grades K-3).

School Tools drive starts July 23

Help all children be successful in school! We’ll be collecting new school supplies from July 23 through Aug. 13 during our annual School Tools campaign. This collection, in conjunction with Interfaith Action of Greater St. Paul, helps low-income families provide the learning tools their children need when classes start this fall. Please bring supplies to church no later than Sunday, Aug. 14.

These items are needed:

High priority

  • Backpacks
  • Three-ring binders
  • Calculators
  • Facial tissue

Other supplies

  • Spiral notebooks
  • Composition notebooks
  • Pencils
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Glue sticks and bottles
  • Loose-leaf paper
  • Folders
  • Highlighters
  • Scissors
  • Pens
  • School boxes
  • Colored pencils
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Erasers
  • Rulers
  • USB flash drives

From Kenya to Falcon Heights: meet our supply pastor

Our supply pastor, the Rev. Jacob Kanake, has been a member of the Falcon Heights Church congregation for the past 12 years. He has served on the Executive Board and on several ministry teams, and this month he was a delegate to the United Church of Christ General Synod.

But his story begins in Kenya, where as a youth he was already active in church leadership and felt a strong call into the ordained ministry. His parents initially discouraged him because of the poor pay for ministers. But in he writes: “I would say the call is bigger than what one does for a living; for me, my call defines the God’s intention for my life. The way I talk and interact with others ought to promote that call. Church ministry has its challenges but God promises to be with me; what is impossible to humans is possible with God.”

Rev. Kanake was ordained in the Methodist Church in Kenya. After completing his theological education, he was stationed in Methodist circuit parishes, and established six new churches as well. He also held several senior positions in the synod, and his superiors began grooming him for higher leadership. He came to the United States in 2001 for further study to enhance his leadership skills, intending to return to Kenya to serve the church there.

But “my life has transformed from one thing to another,” he said, and he believes God has now called him to serve in America. Rev. Kanake went on to earn advanced degrees at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania and Asbury Seminary in Kentucky, and he completed his doctorate in pastoral care and counseling at Luther Seminary in 2014.

Rev. Kanake is also a pastoral counselor who has worked in chaplaincy for the past 10 years, including at the University of Minnesota Medical Center and currently at Oak Meadows Senior Living. He worked in clinical care to acquire advanced skills to assist Christians with mental illness and families affected by alcoholic and drugs. He has been a longtime volunteer in many settings, including service as a Certified Emergency Community Responder for the cities of Lauderdale and Falcon Heights.

As supply pastor, he writes, “I pray to move the current church energy forward and prepare the church for a seamless transition.…I believe we have developed a significant uniqueness about who we are, in our mission, vision and values at least internally. We are an open church. We are an empowering church. I sense we sincerely like each other and want the best for each other and for the church.”

He adds: “Knowing that we could do so much better in many ways, also draws me to this church. I think this can be done even with continued growth. I am attracted to how we can become even better than we are now. With the mission and vision we have, there is great hope!”

Everyone’s welcome at summer Wednesday food & fun nights

On Wednesday evenings, June 28, July 12, July 26 and Aug. 23, join us for a salad and sandwich supper at church and fun summer outdoor activities. There will be water fun, campfires, lawn games and arts and crafts for all ages–not just kids! Neighbors are also welcome to stop by, and we’ll have doggie treats for the dog walkers! We will close each week with a short, informal worship/song time.  Contact Rachelle Roeckeman (rachelle@roeckeman.com) or Sue Gramith (suegramith@hotmail.com) if you can help. Thanks to the Intergenerational/Adult Faith Formation Ministry Team for getting us rolling!

Reflections from July 8 Service of Prayer and Recommitment

Falcon Heights Church, United Church of Christ, held a Service of Prayer and Recommitment July 8, 2017, in commemoration of the death of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights a year ago. The service offered opportunities for reflection as individuals and as residents of the Falcon Heights area community.

The service was led by the Rev. Jacob Kanake, supply pastor, and Lynne Bradbury, moderator, of Falcon Heights Church. Also participating in the program were the Rev. Shari Prestemon, Conference Minister of the Minnesota Conference UCC; the Rev. Riz Prakasim, pastor of New Life Presbyterian Church in Roseville; and Falcon Heights Mayor Peter Lindstrom.

Read the program:

Service of Prayer and Recommitment

…and Rev. Kanake’s reflection and prayer for the Castile and Yanez families:

Reflection – Service of Prayer and Recommitment

 

Service of Prayer and Recommitment July 8

Falcon Heights Church, United Church of Christ, will hold a Service of Prayer and Recommitment to mark the one-year anniversary of the police shooting of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights. Together as a faith community and the community of Falcon Heights, we will pray, acknowledge the divide and the work that has been done, and recommit ourselves to the work.

The service will be at 4 p.m. Saturday, July 8, at the church, 1795 Holton St. For more information, contact the church at 651-646-2681.

Summer Sunday kids program: Food & Faith

During the summer worship hour this summer, the Children’s Ministry Team will lead a nine-week program on “Food and Faith.” Kids will explore how food production and distribution connects with wider social justice issues for us as Christians.

They’ll learn about food growing and hunger realities here in Minnesota, as well as in five different regions around the world. Kids will join us in worship up through the children’s message, then gather for guided activities all about food through the rest of the worship service.

Showing our welcome with the Rainbow Comma

June is PRIDE month for the LGBTQ community, and our church has much to celebrate. We recently reaffirmed and expanded our Open and Affirming stance, and our Executive Board has included social justice and ministry with the LGBTQ community among its goals for the church this coming year.

The Outreach Ministry Team is introducing “Rainbow Comma” pins to help us extend this deeper welcome. The pins combine the familiar United Church of Christ comma shape (symbolizing God’s still-speaking presence) with the colors of the rainbow (a symbol for the LGBTQ community). We welcome a conversation with others when we wear them.

You’ll find the pins in the Gathering Room. We invite you to take one, wear it, and also take some cards to carry with you and share with others as a way to spread our ministry of love and acceptance for everyone in our church.