October food and clothing collections

Protein-rich food: We’re collecting soups, chili and stews for the Department of Indian Work food shelf in October. Please place your donations in the buckets in the church lobby. Other food is also always welcome.

Breakfast cereal for kids: We’re also collecting healthy low-sugar cereal and granola bars for the weekend food backpacks that are sent home with students at Falcon Heights Elementary School. We’ll start distributing the cereal the first week in October.

Warm clothes: We will collect winter clothing this month for the Department of Indian Work’s clothing closet. As you begin to change to your winter wardrobe, bring clothing and boots that are in good condition for the season ahead. Some of the smaller-sized clothing may be taken to Fairview Community Center for immigrants not prepared for our winter weather. Place the clothing near the shopping cart by the coat rack.

Hear Pastor Jacob’s story Oct. 6

Mark your calendar for the Friday, Oct. 6, Women’s Fellowship meeting (men are welcome, too). After socializing and snacks at 10 a.m., Pastor Jacob Kanake will share some childhood memories of growing up in a communal village with many siblings (originally 12) and a very special grandmother. He will share stories about his beginnings, and how his early schooling, his Christian faith, and the eventual transition to the United States has shaped who he is today.

Jacob has some fascinating observations regarding race relations and about Kenyan extended family cultures as compared to American freedom and individualism. And if asked, he may even share some hopes and dreams for Kenya, the USA, the United Church of Christ, his children, and his future.

“Welcome Back” BBQ and potluck Sept. 17

The Intergenerational Ministry Team invites everyone to join us for lunch after church Sunday, Sept. 17, at about 11:45 a.m. Enjoy catching up with friends and neighbors as we get back into our regular routine. Hamburgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers and beverages will be provided. If you are able, bring a side or dessert to share—or just bring yourself! We look forward to having the whole community together as we start the program year.

Fall Sunday worship hours begin Sept. 3

Our Sunday worship time moves to 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 3.

Sunday faith formation kicks off at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 10, with regular classes beginning Sept. 17.

For more information, contact the church office at 651-646-2681.

Fall food collections: canned meat and cereal

We’re collecting canned meats for the Department of Indian Work food shelf in September. Please place your donations in the buckets in the church lobby.

We’re also beginning to collect healthy low-sugar cereal and granola bars for the weekend food backpacks that are sent home with students at Falcon Heights Elementary School. We’ll start distributing the cereal in a couple of weeks.

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!”