Open Streets Northeast!

Open Streets

Open Streets returns to Northeast and we return to our parking lot for another year of celebration and fun!
Like last year we’ll have cool treats & water for anyone who stops by, plus freebies like sidewalk chalk, hand fans, and bubbles!

Stop by our Blessing Booth anytime from 11am-5pm for a pet blessing, a bike blessing, or just a moment for prayer and hope.

Sunday, August 6, 11am – 5pm

Ch-ch-ch-changes at Grace Center!

Door 3 has a new canopy!If you’ve been around Grace Center lately you’ve noticed a lot of construction activity!

Our doors have long been labeled with numbers (Door #3 for the food shelf and Door #2 for the church office — or is it the other way around?). In addition, whenever the sun shone brightly on Door #2 in the early morning (coincidentally when the office opened or about an hour before Sunday worship starts) the paint swelled and got sticky, making the unlocked door still difficult or even impossible to open.

 

This past fiscal year Grace Center budgeted funds to install door canopies, which will solve a number of problems! Now instead of giving a door number, we can give a door color, which is easier for visitors to remember. The canopy on Door #2 also means the sun isn’t glaring down on it. And it makes the whole building look updated and more colorful!

 

 

And an even bigger change — our playground is gone! The existing playground was carefully removed earlier this month by Bauer Bros (North Minneapolis salvage company), with assistance from Hutterite members (similar to Mennonites) from southern MN.  The playground will be reassembled (and repaired, as needed) by the Hutterites in their community in Gibbon, Minnesota.

But have no fear. Grace Center received $60,000 from the Northeast Lions Club last year, and since then Lorrie Stromme has been doing amazing work gathering grants and other available funds. She has raised $145,000 so that, at no rent or operating cost increases, we will have a brand-new inclusive playground by the end of August!  They are still working to raise the final $15,000.

The new playground is called “Fair Play,” because it features equipment that welcomes kids with special needs and all abilities to play together, side by side. There will be ramps for wheel-chair access, swings with support, sensory play equipment, softer surfaces, and stimulating learning areas. (There is no accessible playground for kids with sensory or physical disabilities on our side of the city.) It will provide smiles, fun, and fitness for families in the community, as well as students in the schools at Grace Center. Fair Play will be an asset for the Northeast community as a whole, but especially for those with special needs.

The new playground is scheduled to be installed on August 12 and 13 by volunteers, under the supervision of a professional playground installer.  Church members, local residents, neighborhood groups – all willing adults — are invited to help out.

The tasks on Saturday, August 12, involve digging some footings, setting up the main playground structure (with ramps for wheelchairs), the rotating pyramid, swings, edging, and the sandbox. We are hoping to have 40 to 50 volunteers helping out between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.  We are recruiting a core group of 10-15 who will be able to stay all day.  Please bring work gloves.

The tasks on Sunday, August 13, involve continuing to install the play equipment, spread pea gravel, and install the “discover cave” structure after the pea gravel is in place.  We are seeking 30 adult volunteers that day, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.  Please bring work gloves.

Volunteers will receive a t-shirt, water, snacks/a meal.  Rest rooms and shade/AC are inside the building.

On August 26 and 27, we will need volunteers again to help spread the engineered wood fiber in the places where there is no poured-in-place rubberized surfacing. We would welcome 30 volunteers, and we are hoping that some will bring wheelbarrows and shovels.

Volunteers can sign up on the Grace Center Web site (http://gracectr.org — under the Fair Play Project tab) — or call or text Heidi Zaworski, 612-408-0242.

Donations are also welcome online (by credit card or PayPal) to support the final stages of Fair Play!

Starting With This Scripture: LGBTQ-Led Worship on July 23 at 5pm

We joyfully invite you to join us for our (first of many?) LGBTQ-led evening worship service, Starting With This Scripture. Worship is at 5pm on Sunday, July 23, at Grace Community Center for Life at 1500 6th St NE, Minneapolis MN.

Our worship service is formed around the story of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-40, whose race, political status, and gender nonconformity should have prevented his inclusion in the Christian church — and instead the apostle Philip is moved to tell him the good news of Jesus and baptize him. As lesbian, gay, bisexual/pansexual, trans and gender nonconforming, intersex, asexual, and queer Christians, many of us have known what it’s like for our sexuality or gender identity to be considered prohibitive to our inclusion in the church. In this story we recognize and celebrate God’s abundant love for *all* — including those whom the “insiders” of the church never thought possible.

Worship will open with band-led music. Our preacher will be Nikole Mitchell, member of the Thursday night preaching team at Woodland Hills Church. There will be open time for prayer and meditation, followed by sharing in communion and fellowship time after worship.

All those who affirm and celebrate the lives of queer and trans Christians are welcome.

Church to Go for July 23, 2017: Acts 20:7-38

Reading for July 23, 2017: Acts 20:7-38

Commentary:

– Paul heads for Jerusalem — knowing danger awaits!

– What’s with this sleepy kid?
* Paul talks from dinner to midnight
* Eutychus falls asleep — and falls out the window!
* The name “Eutychus” literally means “good luck”

– Paul talks from dinner to dawn — what would you have to talk about for twelve hours straight?

– Paul quotes Jesus: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Except this isn’t in any of the gospels! What do we think should be in the Bible, but isn’t?

– Why is Paul willing to accept his fate and leave for Jerusalem?

– Paul leaves the elders with a prediction of “savage wolves” — reminding them the key message is GRACE. Where has the idea of “grace” meant something in your life?

 

(Read more about Church To Go here.)

Church to Go for July 16, 2017: Acts 14:8-18

 

Reading for July 16, 2017: Acts 14:8-18

Commentary:

– Paul’s missionary work gets off to a rough start when he and Barnabas are mistaken for Greek gods!

– Who was Barnabas? Like all early Christians, he was Jewish. He was renamed from Joseph to Barnabas, “son of encouragement” (Acts 4:36-37). He recruited Saul (aka Paul) to help him preach in Antioch (Acts 11:19-26). He was sent off with Paul to travel and preach (Acts 13:1-3) and splits from Paul later (Acts 15:36-41).

– Who are Zeus and Hermes? They were mythological Greek gods; Zeus is king of all the other gods, while Hermes is the gods’ messenger. The writer Ovid told a story of Zeus and Hermes disguising themselves as humans to pass judgment, work miracles, and grant wishes.

– Have you ever had a misunderstanding because of a language barrier?

– “The gods have come down to us in human form” — ironically, that’s the message of the gospel, that God took on human form in Jesus!

– The Greeks connect Paul with their own gods. Paul starts with creation to explain his God. Where do we find connections between Christianity and other faiths? How do we understand them?

 

Listen to the improv sermon based on this story & the congregation’s questions:

 

(Read more about Church To Go here.)