Welcome to Christian education and enrichment at Christ Church Lutheran
Winter/Spring 2020

Most forums meet Sundays 11:15am – 12:15pm after the 9:30am worship and coffee fellowship. Unless otherwise noted, forums are in the Kretzmann Library on the lower level of the education wing. An elevator is available. All are welcome to these events. Bring a friend!

Forum Calendar

January 12

Who are we? The Ministry Site Profile Part I

Christ Church Call Committee

One of the first steps as we prepare to call a new Lead Pastor at Christ Church is for our Call Committee to complete a “Ministry Site Profile,” a description of our congregation that will be used to match us with possible pastoral candidates. Our Call Committee has been hard at work on this document, and they are looking for your input. This forum will be an opportunity to see what they have been working on, and to offer your comments and suggestions.

January 19

The Many Ministries of Lutheran Social Service of MN

Rev. Kathryn A Tiede

The Rev. Kathryn A Tiede, Associate Vice President for Philanthropy at Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota will be with us as our guest preacher and teacher.

Rev. Tiede serves with LSS under a call through the St. Paul Area Synod of the ELCA. She is one of four called pastors serving at LSS-MN, which is owned by the six synods of the ELCA in the state of MN. In her role there, she helps engage faith communities in deeper service and generosity in their local areas, as well as across the state (and the country!).

January 26

Refugees and Immigrants in the American Story – Part II

Ron Johnson

Throughout human history, people have been on the move for many reasons. Although America is often said to be a land of immigrants, their reception has not always be gracious. Immigration policy is much in need of reform, but this process needs to be shaped by an understanding of our history relative to immigrants and refugees. The story is filled with contradictions. This forum is a continuation of material presented this past Fall.

Ron Johnson is a retired Lutheran pastor and a member of Christ Church Lutheran. For many years he was pastor of nearby Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.

February 2

Protecting the Headwaters of the Mississippi

Leah Hall

On a Sunday on which we celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, it seems appropriate to turn our attention to water and its life-giving significance. It also seems appropriate that we consider the source of our water here in Minneapolis and St. Paul: the Mississippi River and its headwaters. When we turn the faucet on in Minneapolis or St. Paul and enjoy a cool drink of clean water, north central Minnesota’s woods and waters may not be the first thing we think about. But perhaps they should be. This landscape, which encompasses about one-quarter of the state, is where the Mississippi River gets its start. The Crow Wing, Pine, Sauk, Rum and other rivers join the small stream coming from Itasca State Park to form the mighty Mississippi, the source of drinking water for more than 1 million residents in Minnesota.

Leah Hall is the Mississippi Headwaters Project Coordinator for the Nature Conservancy in MN, and she will join us to talk about the significance of these headwaters, and how Minnesotans are working to protect them.

February 9

Who are we? The Ministry Site Profile Part II

Christ Church Call Committee

One of the first steps as we prepare to call a new Pastor at Christ Church is for our Call Committee to complete a “Ministry Site Profile,” a description of our congregation that will be used to match us with possible pastoral candidates. Our Call Committee has been hard at work on this document, and this forum will offer an opportunity for the committee to present a draft of the Ministry Site Profile.

February 16

Annual Meeting

After coffee and fellowship, join us in the sanctuary for the annual meeting. We will receive official 2019 reports, welcome new council members, and conduct any new congregational business.

February 23

LSS - Refugee Services

Margaret Yapp

At 3:00pm on this festival Sunday (Transfiguration of Our Lord) we will be hosting our annual Mardi Gras Jazz Concert. This year the concert is a benefit for LSS Refugee Services, and in our forum that morning we will hear from Margaret Yapp, the Volunteer Facilitator for Refugee Services at Lutheran Social Service. She will present on current global migration patterns, refugee resettlement in the United States, and the services families receive in Minnesota. Come, learn, and see how you might get involved in this important work!

March 1

Significant Lutheran Ordination Anniversaries: 50-40-10

Dr. L. DeAne Lagerquist

In 2019 and 2020 we celebrate 50 years of Lutheran women being ordained in the United States, 40 years of women of color being ordained, and 10 years of LGBTQIA+ individuals being able to serve freely. As we consider these anniversaries, there are many remarkable stories to be told: stories of pain and exclusion, and also of celebration, and of gifts belatedly welcomed and affirmed.

DeAne Lagerquist is trained as a church historian, the Harold Ditmanson Distinguished Professor of Religion at St. Olaf College, and a member of Christ Church Lutheran. Last year she created a website ( to help tell the stories of these anniversaries.

March 8 (Lent 2)

Racial Justice Task Force: A way forward.

In the last few weeks, as we have engaged in reflecting on our identity and mission in forums hosted by the Call Committee, it has been inspiring to see the energy and commitment of our congregation to social justice and increasing diversity. Seize this moment, and come to a forum hosted by the Racial Justice Task Force to help you identify your strengths, passions and fears in anti-racist work. We hope to work together to continue crafting a congregational vision in response to inequity and racism in our community.

March 15 (Lent 3)

A Visit from The Bishop

Bishop Ann Svennungsen

On this day Bishop Svennungsen will be with us to discuss the Ministry Site Profile, the document that will be used to pair our congregation with possible pastoral candidates. This is her opportunity to get to know us better as she and her staff begin to lead us more deeply into this call process for a new Senior Pastor.

March 22 (Lent 4)

Seeing Gender Diversity in Scripture

Austen Hartke

Have you heard Bible verses used against transgender people, and you're wondering if there might be more to the story? Ever wondered whether there were people who didn't fit the gender boxes in ancient times? In this session we'll dig into stories of biblical characters who didn't fit the mold when it came to gender expression, and talk about how we can better understand our transgender siblings today.

Austen Hartke is the author of "Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians," a book on theology and personal narratives published by Westminster John Knox Press in 2018, and the creator of the YouTube series "Transgender and Christian." Austen is a graduate of Luther Seminary’s Master of Arts program in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible Studies, and is currently a 2019 Bush Foundation Fellow. As a transgender person of faith, Austen's greatest passion is helping other trans and gender-non-conforming people see themselves in scripture.

March 29 (Lent 5)

A Columbarium for Christ Church

Space Use Task Force

For a number of years now, a group of committed members of Christ Church has been moving forward with a study for designing and installing a columbarium for Christ Church. A columbarium is a set of niches set aside to receive the remains of loved ones. Numerous churches have these in their worship spaces or in another part of the church building. Come and learn about developing plans, and what it could mean to have a columbarium at Christ Church.

April 5 - Palm/Passion Sunday

No Forum

April 12 – The Resurrection of our Lord / Easter Sunday

No Forum

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Childrens Education

Jesus said, "Let the children come to me."
At Christ Church Lutheran, children and their families are welcome to the font, to the table, to worship, to education, to make friends, and to grow in faith.


Children of all Ages

Children are welcome in all of worship—to the font and to the table! Sermon on the Steps is a time for children of all ages to come forward for a word with the Pastor. After that, children are welcome to stay in worship—either in the pew or in the Quiet Space at the back of the sanctuary. Activity bags provide paper and crayons for drawing, books to read, and other quiet things for children to do.

Littlest Children

The Orange Room in the education building serves as a Nursery space during worship. It is not staffed—it is a place for parents and little children to go, if needed, for a time during worship. There is a restroom with a diaper-changing unit and handicapped accessibility is on the main floor of the education building. Nursing mothers are welcome to nurse wherever they are comfortable. For additional privacy, there is the Nursery in the Orange Room on the main level, and a lounge in the women’s restroom at the bottom of the steps in the back of the sanctuary.

Older Children

Older children are encouraged to participate in different aspects of worship leadership—serving as an acolyte, a lector, a prayer writer, a helper in the sacristy. They receive good training for these roles, and help in doing them.

Following Worship

Our Education Offerings are on Sundays from 11:05am until Noon, following worship at 9:30am and fellowship. Come to the Orange & Blue & Red Rooms in the Atrium and to the Concordia Room in the lower level of the education building.

Youngest Children and Their Parents

Come to the Orange Room from 11:00 a.m. and on for play and conversation, and for singing together on some Sundays. This is a great place for friend-making!

Godly Play

For children ages 3-6/7

Come to the Blue Room to hear a Bible story, to wonder together about God’s people and their stories, and to do creative play.


For children ages 6/7 and up

Come to the Red Room, to read the Gospel lesson from worship in our Spark Bibles, talk more in depth about the Bible story and apply it to our lives, and do a project together.


New this year, our pre-confirmation students meet with their mentor-teachers two Sundays a month to learn about Christ Church and engage in service projects together. It is a time of preparation before confirmation.