The Pastor’s Corner…Meet Joan

Posted by on Apr 29, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”  1 Peter 3:15

I’ve known Joan for about five years now and have really come to enjoy our conversations together. Joan is a Native American women who has lived in the Phillips Neighborhood for over 50 years and is typical of many of the native people in this area; she is handicapped (in a wheelchair), she is humble and shy (always has a smile when we talk), and keeps to herself. Last year her best friend and travelling companion Bear, a chubby little brown puddle mix had to be put down and it was sad to see Joan alone without her ‘friend.’ However, there is now a new friend in Joan’s life, a little yorkie that someone gave to Joan and now we see Joan each week with her new dog wrapped in a blanket on her lap on her wheelchair.

Each time we talk part of our conversation always ends in me inviting Joan to our Saturday evening Holy Communion Service we hold next door at Trinity First Lutheran Church and she always smiles and says, “I’ll try and make it” however, she never seems to show. Than two months ago during the opening prayers, I noticed out of the corner of my eye a wheelchair moving down the side of the Sanctuary wall where it finally stopped in the back of the Sanctuary where many of our native brothers and sisters position themselves and there among them was Joan and her little dog wrapped in a small blanket!

After the service, all are invited for some snacks and fellowship and to my joy Joan joined the group. When the time had come for Joan to leave I caught her on the way out and thanked her for coming and she commented to me that although she had lived in this neighborhood for over fifty years, this was the first time she had ever been in this church and the first time that she had received communion since she was 19 years old! She smiled and thanked me for being so persistent, patted my hand and left (she is such a sweet soul). I’m happy to report that Joan has been a regular attendee ever since.

A few weeks ago I noticed Joan leaving right after the service and I went to see if everything was OK and she told me she needed to get home because she had some guests. I asked her if she wanted to take some food and she said ‘No thank you’ that she just received the Lord’s meal and she was satisfied!

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The Birthday Party That Never Ends!

Posted by on Apr 29, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

By Judy Heilman Konop

Matthew 5:16- Let your light so shine before men, that They may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Everybody likes a good birthday party.  When you think of young girls at a party you envision giggles and talk of boys along with the pizza, birthday cake and games.  But recently one young lady who volunteers at HTM Food Shelf wanted to make sure her party was not going to be just any old birthday party; she had a plan to make her birthday special.  The party was not going to be about her, but about sharing how good it feels to be part of something bigger than yourself.  Her party was going to be about giving gifts to strangers not getting them from friends.

Invitations were sent asking each girl not to bring gifts for her, but to come with money to donate to the food shelf!  She told them that instead of playing games, they would be sharing the task of sorting food and stocking the shelves to prepare for the food shelf being held in Savage.  On the day of the party everyone invited came to work and many had a gift of money.  Some parents knew that money could buy six to ten times more food.  Everyone was getting in on this great idea.

There were still giggles and laughter, but more talk about how they were helping others than about boys.  They had stacked hundreds of cans of food neatly on the shelves. When the task was done they wanted to return and help again another day.  They went home, feeling good about what they had done.  There are those who learn early in life that it feels good to make a difference. This girl is one of them. We applaud her selflessness and hope all her future birthdays are wonderful.

How we teach others that “I made a difference” feeling generally comes by doing it, not by telling them about it.  Time is precious and even small chunks of time given on a regular basis matters.  We may not provide you with a birthday party, but I am sure that one of us at HTM can help you find a way to feel good.  Sharing your time on a regular basis is like a birthday party that never ends.

 

 

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A Tale of Two Businessmen — Dale Meier

Posted by on Apr 29, 2013 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

Two businessmen, Ron and Jason, were driving through south Minneapolis one morning on their way to a marketing meeting, when Jason commented on the amount of trash littering the streets and sidewalks. “It seems like no one cares” Jason said. Ron shook his head in agreement.

Soon they approached what they thought was a huge pile of trash or dirty clothes on the sidewalk. As they passed they both could hardly believe what they just saw, so the two circled the block to get a better look. As they pulled up to the curb where the pile of trash lay, they both looked in amazement as they realized this pile of trash was a human being who had passed out in absolutely filthy clothes from head to foot.

As they sat there and contemplated the situation Jason said, “Isn’t that pathetic?” and Ron agreed, “It’s quite tragic considering that he is also someone Jesus died for. What are we going to do about it?”

SO I REPEAT, WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?

Jesus died that all could be saved. In fact, when you think about it, at the foot of the cross, the playing field is really quite level!

Stay tuned to HTM R.A.D.I.O. (Reaching and Disciplining in Obedience)

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Unexpected Moments

Posted by on Apr 29, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

By: A food shelf volunteer

Just the other day, I was standing in a room and noticed a woman across the way looking at me. You know that look, the one where they are sure they know you but just can’t quite place where they know you from. Moments later a look of recognition came over her face and she rushed over to where I was standing. With great effort, we communicated; between her fluent Spanish and my limited Spanish we figured out that we knew each other from the HTM Food shelf in Savage, MN.

With deep emotion she recalled how we had prayed with her when her husband was sent to prison. She was so grateful that we helped her get diapers when her baby was small and there was no money for expensive diapers. From her perspective, HTM had changed the direction of her life; we gave her hope when she had none. She said it had been some time since she “needed” to come get food at the food shelf.

It does not always seem like what we do for the people matters when we do not see immediate results. People hurry in to get some food and a quick prayer, then after 30 minutes of shopping, they rush back to their lives. But she had remembered me across that room, because I had prayed with her when she came to the food shelf. After we parted I felt such exhilaration, it was one of those moments when God reminded me that good works do matter.

Isaiah 45:5 – I will strengthen you and prepare you for this day, transforming your fear into confident trust.

 

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Are you our food angel? — Judy Konop

Posted by on Dec 17, 2012 in Food Shelf, Ministries | 0 comments

a story shared by Judy Konop

LIFE HAPPENS – WE HELP!

It was a sunny afternoon in August when I got a call from our food shelf coordinator at HTM. As a volunteer I was being asked to help. Our food shelf occasionally provides food in emergency situations. A mother had been hauled off to jail and her three children (11-13-14) were at home with no food and their aunt was calling for help while she was driving to be with them.

Volunteers moved into action immediately, meat was pulled out of a freezer, fresh produce pulled out of the HTM garden and the food pantry was raided to pull together simple meals that even an 11 year old could make in case they were hungry. Enough food to last until the next food shelf date.

Normally we do not travel to the people to provide emergency assistance, but the family lived nearby and the delivery was to be made. As I drove to their home, I kept wondering what I could say to provide comfort and hope for those who would get the food. I wondered how else I could help. But, no words seemed to be enough nor no amount of money tossed their way could change the circumstance that they were now in.

As I pulled up to the driveway, I noticed the signs of neglect and the cigarette butts in the grass. My nature was to judge, but as I parked a small child came to the window and said “Are you our food angel?” Well, God does have a way of taking over when necessary. And I could only nod and open the car door to become the hands and feet of our Lord. Sometimes our words are not necessary, God only asks for a willing heart to make you a FOOD ANGEL.

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Hot Chili on a Hot Day — Judy Konop

Posted by on Dec 17, 2012 in Food Shelf, Ministries, Street Outreach | 0 comments

by Judy Konop

The menu for the meal downtown was planned based on what we had available to serve. The HTM food shelf had some beans, some tomato sauce, some hamburger and a jar of green chili’s. So we planned to serve 300+ people who live in the depths of downtown Minneapolis, CHILI. We never consulted the weather man, we just planned – October – Fall – HOT CHILI on a COOL DAY – comfort food. Little did we know that it would be 80 degrees the day we cooked chili. That was NOT in the plan.

It always amazes me how God pulls A PLAN together. Five weeks earlier there was a bounty of green peppers so a volunteer had cut them up and put them in the freezer wondering if there was a place that could use them (Hmm-mm?). A friend donated 3 #6 cans of kidney beans. And the HTM garden had just finished its fall harvest of onions. And you know how many tomatoes there are at the end of the season – needless to say, we had enough tomatoes. So it all came together; some people chopped onions (and cried) while others fried up 120 pounds of hamburger. The downtown church where we serve donated their industrial kitchen to cook in, and thank goodness there was a fan to keep us cool while we stirred the five – 5 gallon pots.

We did not think of a menu we just thought of the 25 gallons of chili we had to make. God had 300 individual bottles of milk donated only one day ahead of time. A volunteer group called “the bread brigade” ripped up chunks of freshly baked bread to go with the meal. One person who ate with us that day called it “soppin’ bread” to sop up the juice from the bowl. Coffee pots appeared, and cookies came by the dozens. It all came together HOT CHILI, COLD MILK and COOKIES.

We serve about 2pm each Saturday, hoping that people come a bit early to chat and share their lives with others and maybe stay for five o’clock church. And so it is, about an hour ahead, the people begin to come. Few were seen on the streets at noon, but we watched as they approached, one by one then two by two. Some went home to get others when they knew what was being served. Mothers brought hungry children. Children brought lunch boxes to save food for “tomorrow”. Old men, young men, college students from the local bible college down the street, they all came. Some came for the food only, others came for the sense of community where no one judges you because you shake or do not shave. Some came to share a bowl and a bit of laughter, some came to ward off the loneliness of the city streets.

We laughed with them and we broke bread with them. Some people tried to look away, while others looked in our eyes to see if they saw judgement there. You can not judge a person who is willing to eat 4 bowls of hot chili when it is 80 degrees outside, you smile and give them another bowl full when they ask for it. As we cleaned up and packed up our pots and spoons, and drove away, I watched the street corners and the bus benches and the doorways and recognized the faces sitting there as faces that I fed just a short while ago. And I thought, there but for the grace of God go I. I saw one man who had eaten with us watching me and I waved at him and smiled. It felt really good when he got a big grin on his face and waved back. God gives you more than a bowl of HOT CHILI on a HOT DAY when you serve downtown with HTM. He gives you a full heart too.

(Well, there it is another story from the lives of HTM. Funny though, I used the recipe that was my mothers. It is my brothers favorite food – chili. I will share this story with him as the last story I tell him before we part for the last time. Perhaps he too will get a full heart for his journey to heaven. )

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Making Christmas Special with Help From Our Foodshelf Volunteers!

Posted by on Dec 17, 2012 in Food Shelf, Ministries | 0 comments

On the 2nd and 4th Friday and Saturday of each month HTM volunteers and clients help to sort and stock the shelves for Saturday’s food distribution at the Savage food shelf site. Throughout the week of December 3rd preparation was ongoing to pack a special Christmas box and bag for the clients. The Christmas box contained items such as sugar, stuffing, potatoes, vegetables, cranberries and more. In addition each family received a turkey. The bag contained miscellaneous items of toothpaste, mouthwash, soap, shampoo and others such items.

On Friday night December 7th, 2012 clients and volunteers had fun wrapping toilet paper in bright colored tissue that we stacked in the form of a Christmas to pass out to the clients on Saturday.

The Lord ceases to amaze us with the abundant blessings that have been donated to the HTM Food Shelf. We are so thankful for the people that have been involved with the food drives, food donations and money we have received over the past months.

I would like to thank our volunteers for their many hours of time that they have given to the HTM Food Shelf. Your participation is appreciated more than you know.

We rejoice with anticipation for the coming of our Lord and Savior! May God Bless you this Christmas Season!

 

Darlene Stover\Co-Director\HTM Food Shelf

 

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Pastor’s Corner — Dr. Tom Stover

Posted by on Dec 17, 2012 in Ministries, Street Outreach | 0 comments

My brothers and sisters, as we move through this season of Advent may we open our hearts to God’s love as we prepare to welcome Christ into our lives and homes!

 

I need your prayers! As many of you know, Holy Trinity Ministries has a Saturday outreach on 13th Street and Franklin Avenue in the Phillips neighborhood of South Minneapolis. For the last six years we have ministered to the neighborhood by providing hot meals, clothing, prayer and an ear to listen for the homeless and the poor. We have been blessed by the generosity of many partners; Vision of Glory Lutheran Church, True Light Covenant, Horizon Community Church, Peace Lutheran and of course Trinity First Lutheran as they have allowed us the use of that corner of their property for our mission. Recently we have been informed that the property we use for the ministry is being sold and the small building we desperately need will be demolished in April 2013 with a new building being put up and due to this new building project taking up the entire property; it necessitates us to find a different location for our street outreach ministry.

We provide 340-400 meals each Saturday and season appropriate clothing along with partnering with Trinity First on Thursday evenings for a meal in their cafeteria and a communion service the 2nd and 4th Saturdays.  This has had a large impact on the surrounding community in a very positive manner and we don’t believe we are called to just ‘leave’ this area in April however, there seems to be no viable alternatives in the area and so we are asking the Lord to direct our path and give us a clear understanding of where he wants to take this mission. (We feel a little like Moses standing in front of the Red Sea!) Please pray for us during this discerning process. If you have any insight please feel free to contact me: toms@htmcounseling.org

 

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Reaching & Discipling — In Obedience by Dale Meier

Posted by on Sep 6, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

An experienced firefighter was charged yesterday with grave  neglect of duty. Prosecutors maintain that he abandoned his responsibility and betrayed the people of the city when he failed to release rescue equipment during a recent fire, resulting in the the needless and tragic deaths of a family of five.

The prosecuting attorney said that for more than three minutes after arriving at the scene, the fireman sat in his vehicle, wearing ear-phones and listening to a CD, while a family of five screamed to be rescued form the top of a burning building. Bystanders reported that, as the flames licked at the mothers clothing, she cried out in terror and fell to her death, still holding an infant in her arms.

The onlookers also said that the father was holding two children as he was engulfed by flames. This took place in full view of the fireman as he was sitting in the truck listening to a CD.

At the trial the defense pleaded, “no contest,” but added that the CD the defendant was listening to was a new release of some great “Praise and Worship” music by a Christian Band. The fireman simply wanted to hear the entire song. He is hoping that the judge will take this into consideration when passing sentence.

Perhaps you’re saying, “That’s ridiculous. A firefighter would never do such a thing.” Allow me to apply the parable; If you and I are not seeking to save the lost, are we not in effect, negligent firefighters? That’s a sobering question, isn’t it?

Am I saying that if we don’t evangelize, we’re not saved? Of course not, but if we expect a fireman to make saving lives a priority, are we honest enough to judge ourselves by the same standard? Are we doing all that we can to rescue the lost, or are we simply sitting in the pews, praising and worshipping, while people are perishing in the fire.

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The Corn Picker’s Heaven

Posted by on Sep 4, 2012 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

It seems like such a simple thing – an ear of corn served next to a hot dog on a bun: the joy of summer on a cob.  But the corn served at the tables of those who come to HTM food shelves comes with something extra. Let’s start at the beginning of the story.

Early in the spring of 2012 a garden was started with acres of corn and all those other things you see at the farmers market.   An elementary school in Lakeville, MN donated the tomato and pepper plants that they had raised from seed as a project in the winter. A group called PROJECT FOOD PATCH shared their field with us and so it began. The farmer donated his time to plow the ground, men came with their tillers and tilled the soil, and dozens of people came to plant, putting their hands into the dirt and their prayers to heaven for the harvest.  They weeded, tilled, watered when it did not rain and they waited for the harvest.  God provided rain, the sun, the breeze to keep the bugs off and the miracle.  Seeds became plants, plants produced the harvest.  The corn grew knee high by the 4th of July and the harvest began on that summer night in August.

It is not a machine that picked this corn; it is a group of loving and caring individuals. As we stood in prayer before we started you could hear the silence: corn growing someone said.  Laughter soon filled the air with comments about what type of critters lived in a garden and banter on how much each person could pick.  But as they laughed they picked.  To stand back and watch from heaven, God would have seen what appeared to be a colony of workers going to and fro gathering corn. And so it was on that summer night they worked until the sun went down and gathered over 1000 pounds of corn; bag after bag of corn.

When the picking was done, with dirty hands we stood in a circle and prayed over the corn.  We prayed for those who would eat it, that they may know the love from those that picked it and the love of the Father who provided it to them.  It is that something extra, that LOVE from ABOVE that made this corn special.  That same week over 60 families were given 2 dozen ears of corn each to take home to serve their families.  Just an ear of corn on the plate you say, no much more.  Not just the joy of summer on a cob, but the Love of God.  And so it is, God’s love given in an ear of corn.

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