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Hands & Feet, April 2015

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December 2014 Hands & Feet

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All Things Messiah

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August 2014 Pathways

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Every Girl. Everywhere. Period.

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Please join us Tuesday, July 15 from 6-8 p.m. for a Salad Dinner, and hear Guest Speaker, Dr. Leslee Jaeger!

Join us for a great educational and service opportunity to help raise awareness about sustainable feminine hygiene solutions in the developing world. We’ll meet in Heritage Hall, enjoy a salad dinner, and hear Leslee Jaeger, Founder of Helping Haiti Work. Leslee is an OB/GYN physician at North Clinic in Maple Grove. She travels frequently to Haiti, and is sending resources for Haitian women to manufacture and sell reusable menstrual pads to community hospitals and at market. During the evening’s service opportunity we will help cut the material necessary to create the pads.

The cost for the evening is $5. Please RSVP to Kami Pohl, Director of Faith Groups and Mission, at kpohl@messiahchurchmn.org

Read more about the mission of Days for Girls at www.daysforgirls.org.

Spiritual Growth in Tanzania and Kenya

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by Steve Richards

Pastor Steve’s blog can be read at www.pastorsteverichards.com.

During the months of June and July, I will be taking what is officially called a “Formational and Spiritual Growth Leave”. Every six years, clergy are invited to consider a leave in order to give attention to their own soul. I was reading a study recently which found that such leaves benefit both the church and the pastor. This is my hope.

My Covenant Group has a weekly memory verse. The verse was our focus during one week in May. Some translations use the word foreigner, others use the word stranger. I’ve actually been reflecting on this verse for many months. What is it like to be a foreigner or a stranger? If I ever knew, I’ve forgotten. This is an experience that I am seeking during June and July.

Amanda and I will leave on May 29 to spend five weeks in Tanzania and Ken- ya. We plan to visit several mission projects including those Messiah supports. Mostly, we hope to live outside our comfort zone among Kenyans as a way of learning about and experiencing the culture. We, of course, cannot blend into the culture and will be the strangers, at times experiencing challenges that come only when one is a stranger. In previous trips to Kenya, we have been part of a group. This time, we will be traveling on our own.

Although, we will serve at some of the mission sites, mostly we want to be able to wake up each morning and say, “Thank you for a new day. Here we are, God, how can you use us today?” I believe God will provide the direction. Amanda is a mental health professional and hopes to make connections and offer herself as a resource related to addiction, rape, and sexual assault.

These experiences will inform my ministry and surely shape what you hear from me upon my return. Most of my adult life has been spent in suburban communities, and I haven’t understood the challenges faced by immigrants from other countries who suddenly find themselves as strangers in a strange land. This will give us, albeit short, a taste of what it means to enter into anoth- er culture and live.

In July, I will focus more intentionally on my soul by entering into the daily pat- terns of prayer and worship at Our Lady of Guadalupe Abbey in Pecos, New Mexico. This will be an extension of my “stranger in a strange land” experi- ence as I go to the desert to spend time alone away from the distractions of the world. Once again, I will be listening for God’s guidance and direction.

I will return to begin preaching on August 5. While I am away, Lyndy Zabel will be your first point of contact. He will be with you most Sundays in worship. You will have an opportunity to hear other preachers as well. As I am able, I will share reflections during this leave at a blog: www.pastorsteverichards.com.

Thank you for allowing me to take this extended time.

In Christ’s love,

Pastor Steve

Read more about the ministries and mission of Messiah in the June issue of Pathways.