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Sermon June 7, 2020 "Mission in Crisis" - Addressing Racism, Repentance, & Healing

June 7, 2020 – Pastor Chris Steubing “Mission In Crisis”Beloved, we are living in a crisis. The world has changed over the last three months and it will never be the same. In fact, the world is changing and the crisis evolving so rapidly, that many of the ways we are used to being church are either unavailable to us or irrelevant at the present moment. While our world is in crisis, the very mission of the church seems to be in crisis as well. How are we supposed to be church and carry out God's mission in this moment as our Intern Pastor Katie emphasized last week that “we are out of breath” and the world is on fire”? The theme of our sermon series this month: "MISSION IN CRISIS," we’ll be exploring our understanding of God’s mission for the church, to “Encounter God, Love One Another, and Reach the World” within the context of a crisis. Today, I want to get some helicopter footage of the situation, to look broadly at the crisis we are in as a human race, as a nation, as…
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Interview with Riz Prakasim Parts 1 & 2

Here is part 1 of my interview with Pastor Riz Prakasim.

Here is part 2 of my interview with Pastor Riz presented as the 10th of 46 daily Facebook posts, one for each year of George Floyd's life, to uplift and centralize the voices of people of color in regards to racial equity and justice.

In this episode, Riz and I discuss what it means to sacrifice for the sake of truly knowing, loving, and serving one another by coming close and becoming vulnerable as an expression of racial reconciliation. I ask Riz how we can help our predominantly white congregations to recognize the correlations between injustice within the biblical narrative and the social injustices of our day which disproportionately affect people of color. Here's a couple quotes from the interview: "The precursor to being courageous is being vulnerable...when you're vulnerable there's an amount of uncertainty...there's a risk that you take that folks should really initiate. And there's emotional …


Greetings in the name of the great peacemaker and prophet Jesus Christ,
I have comitted to posting daily on my Facebook page for 46 days, one post for each year of George Floyd's life, to uplift and centralize the voices of people of color in regards to racial equity and justice. I did an interview yesterday with Riz Prakasim who serves as pastor at New Life Presbyterian Church in Rosevile, MN. Riz also works as a manager for the Minneapolis restaurant Gandhi Mahal which was destroyed during the recent unrest over the death of George Floyd while in custody of police. Pastor Riz has a unique perspective on race in the U.S. as a native of South Africa, being of Indian descent, growing up in rural Minnesota, and now serving as pastor of a predominantly white congregation. He is a man of deep faith and offers a strong and compassionate call for spiritual unity and prophetic action influenced by his generational roots in the reconciliation movement of South African apartheid. Riz and I …

We Are In This Together

It’s been said that, “We are (not all in the same boat but we are) all in the same storm.” This is a metaphor I’ve seen used to describe the crisis we are all experiencing as we endure a global pandemic. The image seeks to communicate that we are all in this together and yet experience things differently based on our individual circumstances and perspectives. I’ve been thinking of another this week from the letters of Paul, “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ…As it is, there are many members, yet one body…If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it” (Excerpts from 1 Corinthians 12, NRSV).If we apply the body metaphor (particularly the phrase ‘If one member suffers, all suffer together with it’) to our current local and global context, I wonder what applications and i…

Communication With Leaders May 22, 2020

Greetings Christ the Servant Leaders,

I hope you are all doing well today and staying healthy and safe. I pray God's blessings for you and thank God for our shared ministry of spiritual leadership! I have some updates for you today.

First, I want to let you know that a few leaders attended a Zoom call for rostered leaders and council presidents with the St. Paul Area Synod bishop earlier this week regarding our synod's response and recommendations related to the phased reopening in MN. We learned a lot about what other congregations are doing within our synod. We were tasked with developing a smart team for responding to the crisis to help guide our decision making related to the health crisis. Our council officers will be working on setting up this team within the next week.


Please note that the recent news articles about some Lutheran churches reopening next week is referring to the Lutheran Church-Missouri Syno…

Relationships, Relationships, Relationships!

Hello Christ the Servant Community, How are your relationships? We have said many times throughout our journey of mission redevelopment that the most important values of congregational renewal and vitality are: "Relationships, Relationships, Relationships!" One of the desired outcomes of our church's vision for the future is, "Deeply transformed hearts, lives, and relationships within our congregation and surrounding community." Our vision statement itself communicates the need for continually nurturing the relational health of our community as we declare that we will "Thrive as a Multicultural and Multigenerational Spiritual Family." 
While understanding ourselves as a family is a wonderful thing, it can also be intimidating or even frightening for those whose experience with relationships in a family has been unhealthy. One of the axioms of the Emotionally Healthy Discipleship series is "It's impossible to be spiritually mature while remainin…

Fear Not, Worship, Pray, Relate!

Happy Easter Christ the Servant!
Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia! I thank God for resurrection hope and power in our lives, in our church, and in the world. 

In the Easter gospel message in Matthew, we heard the words “Do not be afraid” from both the angel of the Lord and Jesus himself. While the world is turned upside down and inside out, we know God is at work healing us and all of creation by the same power that rose Jesus from the dead. The God of the resurrection is with us so we need not be afraid. Several ELCA Pastors from the St. Paul area have created a free daily devotional for the Easter season entitled “FEAR NOT” that is available now and I would commend it to you. It’s good food for the soul.
I also thank God that we have been connecting with more people than we could have hoped through our online worship ministry over the past month. We had over 100 logins on Easte…