Worship With Us!

Join us Sunday, June 24!

Our summer series of on meals in the Bible will continue as Rev. Colby has a conversation with Eddie Wu, the owner of Cook St. Paul, a diner on the East Side of St. Paul.  We will review Isaiah 25:6-9 and enjoy music by organist Sharon Kleckner and soloist David Winkworth.

10:30 a.m.        Worship
11:30 a.m.        Coffee and Fellowship

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A Statement on the Separation of Families in Immigration Detention

June 20 was the World Refugee Day.  In a world where violence forces thousands of families to flee for their lives each day, this annual observance serves as a reminder and a call to action.  A few years ago, as the world became shocked by images of the Syrian refugee crisis, Central created a Refugee Task Force to explore how we might best get involved in relief efforts as a congregation.  We prayed, sponsored films and speakers, and eventually became a host congregation for a refugee family from Afghanistan.  Many members of Central continue to support the Ahmady family to this day.

The news this week has been filled with stories of how the American government is now enforcing a zero tolerance policy for people who cross the borders, including those who come seeking asylum as political refugees.  A new practice is the immediate separation of children from their parents for detention.

From the Roman Catholic Pope to the Mormon Church, denominations and religious groups have been speaking out against this practice.  The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has been meeting and the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly released a statement that Central’s Session commends.

The full text of Nelson’s statement, dated June 16, 2018:

As Presbyterians gather for the meeting of our 223rd General Assembly, we are mindful of the many issues of justice, peace and compassion we face, both as citizens of the United States and members of the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

While we face issues of peace on the Korean peninsula, tragic injustice in the Middle East, and the spectre of climate change in our nation and our world, there is nothing of more urgency than the tragedy that is unfolding at our borders, where children are ripped from their parents and placed in holding cells, while their frantic parents scream in agony at the separation.

What has this nation become? How have we wandered so far from Jesus’ kind admonition, “Let the little children come to me … for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs”? How can this be happening in a nation in which so many claim the traditions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam and the critical importance of families to the fabric of our lives together?

Perhaps the most egregious aspect of this policy is the willingness of the highest legal official of our nation to suggest that if a mother has fled violence in her own country to save herself and her children but has not had a chance to make a proper petition for safety in the U.S., she should be taught a lesson by having her children taken from her. It is almost incomprehensible that these acts should be used as a warning to others who would come.

What makes matters worse is the audacity of quoting the Apostle Paul’s admonition to believers in Romans 13:1 to obey the law (presumably whatever the law says), while ignoring the higher scriptural demand that “love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10).

The crisis of tens of thousands of desperate people coming to the United States for relief seems almost overwhelming. But as the officials of our government attempt to address the crisis, we cannot afford to tarnish the highest values of our nation. We must not punish desperate parents by tearing their children away from them, leaving the parents without access to the children or assurance of their welfare. 

In the name of God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stop!

 In the faith we share,

Signature - Herbert Nelson II
Reverend Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II
Stated Clerk of the General Assembly
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Posted in Hot Topics, News, Serving Our Community, Session | Tagged , , ,

Hunger Initiative Field Trips

This summer we are exploring how we as a church can do more to feed people who are hungry.  Asking questions like: how we can expand our table?

  • Who is hungry near us?
  • What organizations are doing good work with food?
  • And who should we talk to and learn from?

As Central explores ideas on ways to build upon our strengths and doing more to provide food to those who are hungry, we will be offering field trips to volunteer at and learn from other organizations doing important work.   Our first field trip will be at on Monday, June 25 at Gethsemane Lutheran Church (4656 Colfax Ave, Minneapolis)   Gethsemane does amazing work on a weekly basis receiving food from large grocery stores and distributing it to local residents.  Volunteers will meet at Central at 9:00 am to drive over together, arrive at Gethsemane around 9:30 and volunteer until noon.  Space is very limited.  If you would like to participate, please contact Sarah Hoffman at intern@cpcstpaul.org.

Our next field trip will be at Higher Ground (also known as Dorothy Day) on Saturday, July 14.  Details will be announced closer to this date.

 

 

 

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Diaper Drive

Diaper Drive Logo BW

Did you know that diapers are a great unmet need in most communities?  The average child easily uses 2000+ diapers from birth until toilet training and yet diapers are not covered by food stamps, WIC, Medicaid or any special nutrition benefit package.  Cloth is not possible to use if you lack resources to clean the diapers regularly.  The richest Americans can use bulk buying and easy mobility to get deals on diapers; the poorest Americans use up to 14% of their budget to keep their children clean.

For two weeks in June, Central is collecting diapers of all sizes, especially larger ones. We will be donating them to families in need to help close the gap. Please bring diapers to church on June 10 or 17 and place them in the donation box.  All brands are welcome.  Questions may be directed to Denny Reimer or Carl Willis or visit our website for more information.

 

Posted in News, Serving Our Community, Youth and Children | Tagged

Fall Family Retreat

This is a wonderful opportunity to connect with other families in Central’s community.  Central’s fall retreat for families with children provides space for making deeper connections: with each other, with the surrounding landscape, with God.  It is a time to relax and a time to play. Central staff will join families to help create a memorable weekend of s’more-making, games, hikes, and quiet puzzles by the window.  Children have built lasting friendships. Families reconnect within themselves and bond with families outside their own.

When:
September 21-23, 2018

Where:
Koinonia Retreat Center near Annandale, MN.  Driving directions and further information will be sent to you upon registration.

Cost:
Housing for two nights, three meals on Saturday and two meals on Sunday is $115 per adult and $60 per child age 5-16. Children under five are free. Scholarships are available for families who need financial help to be able to attend.

Deadline:
Registration fees are due September 21, 2018.

For more information, download the following:

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