E-Update: A Week of Compassion

by Pastor Mike Carlson, Lead Pastor

(posted 2/1/2019)
What a crazy, love-filled, Michael D. Carlsoncompassionate week it has been at St. Andrew’s. From calling a new pastor, to providing an emergency shelter, to an impromptu wedding, to frozen pipes bursting water … this community is building God’s kingdom.

First of all, your Church Council is thrilled to call a Special Congregational Meeting on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, at 11:30 a.m. in the Sanctuary for the purpose of calling Jenny Sung as St. Andrew’s Pastor of Mission Development and Pastoral Ministry. As you know, Jenny has served as Intern Pastor with us for over a year. This is an important time in the life of St. Andrew’s and we hope to see you there.

I am so fortunate to work with a community of people that loves and cares for the most vulnerable. This cold weather has threatened the lives of the homeless in our community. St. Andrew’s opened its doors as an emergency shelter this week for those living on the streets and sleeping in cars. It has been a blessing to be beside them, to welcome them to our warm buildings, to share hot meals and laughter and love together. This community responded in too many ways to list here. Know that you have loved in Jesus’ name.

Speaking of love, we had an impromptu wedding on Wednesday for a couple staying in our shelter! The now Mr. and Mrs. Steve and Reyn Martin had come to us after sleeping in their car for several weeks. They had mentioned over breakfast that they wanted to get married, had their marriage license already, but couldn’t afford a judge. I told them, “We do weddings! We can do it for you today!”

Staff and volunteers jumped at the chance to put on a wedding! Steve and Reyn got to go shopping for wedding outfits in the Clothesline at the Community Resource Center. Someone made invitations, another went and got flowers, a piano player / singer volunteered, candles were lit in the Sanctuary Prayer Chapel, a Best Man and Maid of Honor were summoned, and someone even bought a cake. I’ve officiated and attended hundreds of weddings — I can guarantee you, Jesus was at the center of this one.

WCCO TV did a nice story on the shelter and wedding.

As if there wasn’t enough going on, you may have heard a pipe burst late Wednesday night in the Sanctuary, and water was everywhere! CHURCH IS ON, so we will gather for worship this weekend as usual. Join me in lifting up our facilities crew — they always go above and beyond, and their service and hard work has been on display during this small crisis.

What a week of blessings. You have been the hands and feet of Jesus, and although this week seems unusual, Christ’s healing power takes place every day and every moment of the year through this congregation.

Someone uttered a profound prayer during a pause this week: “May our compassion for the homeless outlast the cold weather.” I pray and am confident that our compassion for all those vulnerable and hurting will continue.