Happy Friday everyone. I hope you are drying out if you had flooding in your home. We certainly had a mess in ours.
We have a Feed My Starving Children event coming up on Saturday, March 30 in Eagan. The details are below. We are looking for some more folks so we have enough to field a team. If you are interested in helping you can sign up on our FB page here, or send an email to Janet Westenberg.
We are also making a push for food donations as part of Minnesota FoodShare month. When you head off to church make a stop at your pantry and bring something to donate. Thanks.
On a personal note, we had a family scare this week when son Ryan suffered a seizure while driving home from Costco. He had his daughter Audrey and her cousin Meadow in the car. Fortunately he was navigating a roundabout when it happened and he drove off into a snow bank. An EMT who was working nearby arrived quickly and broke a window to get in the car and turn it off. The girls were scared but also very excited to tell the story of getting to sit in a police car. Ryan was taken to the ER for treatment and tests. He had childhood epilepsy so was put on an anti-seizure medication. Although the seizure might have had other causes. He will be unable to drive for a couple months. It was one of those moments when you are reminded how quickly your life can change, how fragile life is, and how grateful you are for the expertise of first responders and medical staff.
I say it every week. Count your blessings every day!
Here is the update for this week:
Choir Rehearsal: 8:50am; Sunday Service – 10:00am
3:24: Children’s Story – Janet Westenberg; Nursery – Janet Westenberg; Treats – Cindy Reardon
3:31: Children’s Story – Jan Johnson; Nursery – Jan Johnson; Treats – Katy Kelly
4/7: Children’s Story – Jess Hoffert; Nursery – Karen Lucas; Treats – Kristin Standafer
On the second Sunday of the month our worship hour becomes a discussion hour. After opening music the children go downstairs for an education time and the adults have a time for discussion around the theme for the day. Shortly before community meal time the children rejoin us and we have a closing song and prayer.
Our extended Lenten theme this year will invite and encourage us to do some self-reflection on our gifts and shadow-side through the lens of the Enneagram. Many of us at Open Circle have done at least some introductory work on the Enneagram, and have found it a helpful tool. You can read more about it on the Enneagram website. Each week until Palm Sunday, April 14, we will learn more about the different Enneagram types as we hear the stories of individuals in our community and learn from some video resources.
25 Year Anniversary Celebration
Open Circle held its first service Easter of 1994. It has been 25 years! If you are interested in helping to plan a celebration event for this fall please talk to Jay.
Feed My Starving Children Packing Event
Saturday, March 30, 9-11am
990 Lone Oak Road, Suite 136, Eagan, MN 55121
We have 20 spots reserved. Please contact Janet Westenberg at email@example.com if you are planning to attend or if you have questions. The minimum age for packers is 5 years old.
Presentation by Jess Hoffert
On Sunday, May 19, Jess Hoffert will be sharing about his time living and volunteering at Príncipe de Paz, a Hispanic Church of the Brethren comprised of mostly undocumented immigrants in Santa Ana, California. Hear inspiring stories about families who choose to conquer fear with faith, and a congregation that serves its community with passion and grace. You are invited to bring gently used children's or young adult books to contribute to Príncipe de Paz's Little Free Library, which Jess will deliver to the congregation this summer. He will also be showing a short video documentary after the community meal that day.
Child Care Volunteers
At Open Circle, we value our children as important members of our community. As part of our ministry to families with children, we provide nursery care for pre-school-age children and simple coloring and craft activities for older children during worship. We are blessed to have a growing number of children, but this requires more help each Sunday. If you would like to be part of the rotation providing care for our children, please contact Rhonda Pittman Gingrich at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. The winter/spring schedule will be prepared in the coming weeks. Volunteers usually serve about once every 6-8 weeks.
Each Sunday there are activity tables set up in the corner of the sanctuary. There is paper and crayons, playdough, and sometimes other things used in conjunction with the theme for the day. These are for children and adults who want to quietly be active while staying in the service.
Food Shelf Collection
All items are donated to the 360 Communities Food Shelf in Burnsville or Rosemount. Some items that are especially in need right now are diapers, canned meals (like chili or stew), and laundry detergent (pods are recommended as they can divvy them up easily). Please help if you can.
Caregiving Response Team
From time to time we have a member in the hospital or recuperating at home from surgery or illness, or someone with another need like moving from one home to another. If we know about the need, we would like to notify our community and ask for help. It could be a meal, a card, a visit, or getting a group of people together to perform a task. If you know of someone who has a need, please feel free to contact Katy Kelly at email@example.com 612-750-0263 or Jay Steele at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brethren Bucks - OCC Scrip Program
Participating in our scrip program has never been easier! Visit the Brethren Bucks link on the church website for more information and to sign up for this great program that pays Open Circle to shop. Nicole Giesen is our scrip coordinator and can be reached at 952-200-4672 or email@example.com. We offer cash-n-carry gift cards for several retailers on most Sundays.
Children at Open Circle
School-aged children are invited to remain in the sanctuary during worship; quiet activities are available for them in the basket near the bulletin rack in the entry. A nursery, staffed by volunteers, is available during worship for infants, toddlers, and pre-school age children as needed. On the second Sunday of every month we offer an education time for children. After the opening songs children go downstairs and have age appropriate activities centered around a bible story or seasonal theme. If you have questions about our ministry with children, please contact Rhonda Pittman Gingrich.
Open Circle Finances
We thank you for your financial contributions; they make possible the mission and ministries of our great congregation. Contributions can now be debited automatically from your checking or savings account. Forms are available at the top of
the stairs. Please talk to Mark Gingrich (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Linda Hoskins (email@example.com), if you have any questions or want to register. Contributions can also be made through the website. Click on the "Donate to Open Circle" link on the website home page (www.opencirclechurch.com).
OCC on the web at www.opencirclechurch.com where you can find the most updated volunteer lists, the weekly update, podcasts of Sunday messages, the church calendar, pictures of life at Open Circle, and more.
OCC on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/OpenCircleChurch
Peace to all,