Congregational Letter

May 26, 2020

Dear River of Hope-ers!

Grace and peace to you from our Savior Jesus Christ!

If anyone had told you on Valentine’s day that we would be a part of a worldwide pandemic response which includes staying home and wearing masks when in public, would you have believed them? I’m not sure I could have imagined this! Regardless, here we are trying to figure out how to safely do the most basic things such as purchasing groceries, getting our kids to school and – worshiping.

Worshiping in person has been the focus of news stories and conversations for the past week. There are divergent opinions on the topic. Everything from; “If we can go to Wal-mart, we should be able to go to church” to “It isn’t safe yet, we should continue to worship at home.”  So, what do WE do?

Well, we will continue to do what we have always done – we will be the church, “going out to transform lives through Jesus Christ.”  That said, things are clearly different and we all wonder, when will things return to the way they were before March 15th.

The question is too big for any one person to answer. In the tradition of lay leadership that has always been sewn into the fabric of River of Hope, we have formed a “Folding Table” called “River of Hope COVID-19 Response Table”. The table is made up of the Executive team (Scott Gross-Sand, President; Kris Hartman, Vice-President; Sue Benson, Treasurer; Portia Brandsoy, Secretary), the chair of the Call Committee (Nan Crary), RoH staff members (Jim, Emily and me) at large member (Sara Nelson) and 2 members of the medical profession (Brian Pollmann, Sara Shorter)

Our first meeting was last night, May 25, 2020. We spoke of the timing for returning to in person worship. Here are the highlights:

  • One of our values as a congregation is the well-being of the community. Until it is safe for all of River of Hope, it isn’t safe for any of us.
  • What about that “Wal-mart” question?
    • Brian Pollmann helped us understand that in order for the virus to spread it needs two things: Proximity (closer than 6 feet) and time (5 minutes or more).
    • In stores like Wal-Mart there are markers to keep people 6 feet apart in the checkout line and people rarely, if ever, interact for 5 minute periods.
    • In worship, on the other hand, we can seat people apart, but we will be in the same enclosed room for at least 60 minutes.
  • How will we decide when to return to in person worship?
    • The RoH Covid-19 Response Table will continue to meet as needed to determine the everchanging landscape and the viability to returning to in person worship.
    • Our decision will be based on the best medical information we have at the time.
  • Are there other types of gatherings that can be consider safe?
    • Yes! This past week we had a wonderful Graduate Parade! We will continue to find ways to celebrate milestones together in safe ways.
    • Yes! As we are entering into summer we can consider meeting outdoors for Bible study or Table meetings.
    • Yes! We are looking into the possibility of worshiping outdoors during July as a way to celebrate our 10th anniversary of meeting together.
  • Are there other things we should be considering?
    • Yes! We are aware that, during a time when we do not meet in person it can be financially difficult for a congregation. We are exploring the option of some of the non-profit grants available to help bridge this time.
    • Yes! The work of the call committee continues to move forward. Nan is in communication with the Synod office and will be calling the committee together soon.

The Folding Table will continue to keep you in the loop as we meet and discuss our life together in this pandemic. Please feel free to reach out to any of the above named members of the table if you have a question or concern.

As we continue to walk together in faith through this time of uncertainty, we remain, as always, a congregation committed to loving God and loving our neighbor.

In Christ+

Pastor Janine

May 31st, 2020 Gift of the Spirit

Family Sunday School 

Scriptures:

Acts 2:1-4, 1 Corinthians 12:1-13 

This week we will hear the of the coming of the Holy Spirit. The disciples were gathered in an upper room and were afraid – and then God showed up!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5nsJ5lBMmM&feature=youtu.be&redirected=true

Sunday School Story

Family Activity Page

The Holy Spirit Coloring Page

Activities

Pentecost is the day when the Holy Spirit comes from heaven like a rushing wind. It’s full of symbolism… flame, wind, water, the dove. It’s a rich time to do fun crafts or activities as a family to celebrate this important day in the Christian year. The color of Pentecost is RED.

Here are 10 activities for you and your family!

  1. Make a connection between wind and spirit by making a windsock or fly a kite.
  2. The dove is often used as the symbol of the Holy Spirit. Here are two ideas for making a dove:
  1. River of Hope has often used ribbon streamers to celebrate Pentecost, but they are fun for anytime. With red, yellow and orange ribbons they represent the flames that appeared in the story of Pentecost. Here is an easy to follow “how to”.
  2. ribbon mobile like this could look really cool in your house or child’s room. Perhaps each ribbon tied on could represent a prayer or a person for whom you are praying.
  3. One of the significant parts of the Pentecost story is that people who spoke different languages were able to understand one another. Take that idea and learn something in a different language together as a family. Here’s a resource that has “I love you” in 100 different languages. How many could your family learn?
  4. I love this idea of making flames with paint, a plate, and a salad spinner. Crazy fun! (But who has a salad spinner anymore?!) Might need to find one just for this activity.
  5. This camping lantern looks very fun (and useful for camping after Pentecost is over!)
  6. Here’s a wonderful collection of Pentecost prayers.Pick one that resonates with your family and pray it at the dinner table.
  7. Sky Lanterns are amazing! They would be perfect to launch on pentecost…
  8. Make red velvet cupcakes. This recipe looks great!

WE GO OUT 

Bible Book Marks

Print up the Bible Book Marks for yourself – and make extras to share. Consider finding a book to give away with the book mark inside!

Bible Verse Book Mark (Blank) 

Bible Verse Book Mark (Colored)

Planting Seeds

This week the Bible story is about Jesus conquering death. A seed “looks” dead – we know it’s not, but it sure looks like something dead. Planting it, watering it and seeing life come from the dry seed can teach us all about life coming from death!

As you plant seeds, think about who you can bless with the flowers that bloom or the vegetables that grow.

Review past week activities

Find one or two that you haven’t done from a past week.

 

WE GO OUT family activities from past weeks:

Spring Flowers

  • Make tissue paper flowers and attach a message of love to the “stem”. (Something like, “Jesus Loves You” or, “You are a loved child of God”)
  • Leave the flowers in places where people might find it – you might want to write another note that says … “If you see me, take me home to brighten your day!”

Prayer Chalk “Go Out” Activity

From the Lesson on Sunday, May 3 Paul prayed “I always give thanks to God for you because…”

Surprise someone by writing a prayer of thanksgiving about them with chalk on their sidewalk or driveway using the phrase from Sunday’s story, making sure to complete the sentence with something about them.

Spring Clean up

  • Choose one of your family’s favorite outdoor spots.
  • Bring trash bags and gloves and pick up whatever trash you find in that area
  • Before you leave, make a chalk drawing or chalk prayer for the next visitors to know that God loves them just as they are!

 

Living out Matthew 25

    • In Matthew 25 Jesus tells us that when we help other people who are hungry or lonely or cold or hurting in any way, we are helping Jesus!
    • This week we are helping people who are unable to get their own groceries by picking them up for them through the Hutchinson food shelf. Go to https://mcleodemergencyfoodshelf.org/ and follow the instructions for proxy pick-up intake.

May 31st, 2020 Pentecost

May 31 Pentecost Worship Bulletin

Worship live! Pentecost Sunday May 31, 2020Welcome! Please click the link for our worship bulletin today, May 31st. –> http://riverofhopehutchinson.org/…/05/May-31-Pentecost.pdf

Posted by River of Hope Lutheran ELCA – Hutchinson, MN on Sunday, May 31, 2020

 

May 24th, 2020

Worship, May 24, 2020Please click here for our Worship Bulletin, Kids Bulletin and River Source for today!http://riverofhopehutchinson.org/worship-2/worship-bulletins/

Posted by River of Hope Lutheran ELCA – Hutchinson, MN on Sunday, May 24, 2020

 

May 24th, 2020 Death Swallowed in Life

Family Sunday School 

Scriptures:

1 Corinthians 15:1-26, 51-57

This week we will hear a story that Jesus tells about God’s house in heaven. He is telling this story right before he has to leave his best friends. He doesn’t want them to worry, so he tells this story.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNXKU2jJX0c&feature=youtu.be&redirected=true

Promises Story

God’s House Coloring Sheet

Activities

Promises Activity Page

WE GO OUT 

Bible Book Marks

Print up the Bible Book Marks for yourself – and make extras to share. Consider finding a book to give away with the book mark inside!

Bible Verse Book Mark (Blank) 

Bible Verse Book Mark (Colored)

Planting Seeds

This week the Bible story is about Jesus conquering death. A seed “looks” dead – we know it’s not, but it sure looks like something dead. Planting it, watering it and seeing life come from the dry seed can teach us all about life coming from death!

As you plant seeds, think about who you can bless with the flowers that bloom or the vegetables that grow.

 

Review past week activities

Find one or two that you haven’t done from a past week.

 

WE GO OUT family activities from past weeks:

Spring Flowers

  • Make tissue paper flowers and attach a message of love to the “stem”. (Something like, “Jesus Loves You” or, “You are a loved child of God”)
  • Leave the flowers in places where people might find it – you might want to write another note that says … “If you see me, take me home to brighten your day!”

Prayer Chalk “Go Out” Activity

From the Lesson on Sunday, May 3 Paul prayed “I always give thanks to God for you because…”

Surprise someone by writing a prayer of thanksgiving about them with chalk on their sidewalk or driveway using the phrase from Sunday’s story, making sure to complete the sentence with something about them.

Spring Clean up

  • Choose one of your family’s favorite outdoor spots.
  • Bring trash bags and gloves and pick up whatever trash you find in that area
  • Before you leave, make a chalk drawing or chalk prayer for the next visitors to know that God loves them just as they are!

 

Living out Matthew 25

    • In Matthew 25 Jesus tells us that when we help other people who are hungry or lonely or cold or hurting in any way, we are helping Jesus!
    • This week we are helping people who are unable to get their own groceries by picking them up for them through the Hutchinson food shelf. Go to https://mcleodemergencyfoodshelf.org/ and follow the instructions for proxy pick-up intake.

May 17th, 2020

 

 

 

River of Hope Worship 5/17/20.Please click the link to our web page for today's Bulletin, Kids Bulletin and River Source! http://riverofhopehutchinson.org/worship-2/worship-bulletins/

Posted by River of Hope Lutheran ELCA – Hutchinson, MN on Sunday, May 17, 2020

 

May 17th, Faith Hope & Love

Family Sunday School 

Scriptures:

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

This week we will hear a story that Jesus tells about God’s house in heaven. He is telling this story right before he has to leave his best friends. He doesn’t want them to worry, so he tells this story.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwanEcwPST0&feature=youtu.be&redirected=true

1 Corinthians 13 word find

God’s House Story

God’s House Coloring Sheet

God’s House Activity Page

Activities

Activity: 1st Corinthians 13 Mobile

Materials needed

  • PDF template of hearts
  • scissors
  • yarn, string, or jute twine
  • glue or tape

Instructions

  • Cut out the hearts from the template (cut them out yourself, or have the kids cut them out with safety scissors to practice their scissor skills).
  • Tape or glue 3 pieces of string to the back of the big “LOVE” heart.  The piece of string in the center can be slightly shorter than the 2 on the sides.
  • Tape or glue each of the smaller hearts onto the strings.  There are enough hearts to place 4 hearts on each side string and 3 hearts in the center, if you want a symmetrical mobile.

 

WE GO OUT 

  • Love MobileMake an extra mobile using the template from the River of Hope, Faith at Home web page. Leave on the doorstep of someone you know who would like a reminder of God’s love!

    Volunteer to help at the food shelf – families continue to be in need of food in Hutchinson and surrounding communities. Find time this week to help those who live daily with food insecurity.

    Review past week activities

    Find one or two that you haven’t done from a past week.

     

    WE GO OUT family activities from past weeks:

    Spring Flowers

    • Make tissue paper flowers and attach a message of love to the “stem”. (Something like, “Jesus Loves You” or, “You are a loved child of God”)
    • Leave the flowers in places where people might find it – you might want to write another note that says … “If you see me, take me home to brighten your day!”

    Mother’s Day all week

    • Think of one or two women in your life who have “mothered” you. Send them a card thanking them for the love they have shown you!

    Prayer Chalk “Go Out” Activity

    From the Lesson on Sunday, May 3 Paul prayed “I always give thanks to God for you because…”

    Surprise someone by writing a prayer of thanksgiving about them with chalk on their sidewalk or driveway using the phrase from Sunday’s story, making sure to complete the sentence with something about them.

     

    Spring Clean up

    • Choose one of your family’s favorite outdoor spots.
    • Bring trash bags and gloves and pick up whatever trash you find in that area
    • Before you leave, make a chalk drawing or chalk prayer for the next visitors to know that God loves them just as they are!

     

    Living out Matthew 25

    • In Matthew 25 Jesus tells us that when we help other people who are hungry or lonely or cold or hurting in any way, we are helping Jesus!
    • This week we are helping people who are unable to get their own groceries by picking them up for them through the Hutchinson food shelf. Go to https://mcleodemergencyfoodshelf.org/ and follow the instructions for proxy pick-up intake.

May 10th, Church at Corinth

 

Family Sunday School 

Scriptures:

Acts 18:1-4 , 1 Corinthians 1:10-18

This week in Family Sunday school you will explore the Early Church recorded in Acts. We have read 2 stories on Sundays about the church in Thessalonica and Corinth. Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7r5Ngn6mFyA&feature=youtu.be&redirected=true

Early Believers story 

Early Believers coloring sheet

Early Believers activity page

Activities

Tent Making: We are all called to tell about Jesus. Click here for the table tent making activity!   It can be any size, any shape. You can each make a tent, or you can make one tent together as a family. There are no rules around how you make your tents – be creative! Send pictures of your tents to River of Hope! We would love to post them on our Faith at Home web page!

Practice Peacemaking: The church at Corinth was divided over the different teachings they had heard. Sometimes, as a family, we are divided in our opinions too! We are going to do an exercise that points out some of our differences. Then we will practice showing how the love of Christ can bring us back together. Click here for the practice peacemaking activity!

WE GO OUT 

Spring Flowers

  • Make tissue paper flowers and attach a message of love to the “stem”. (Something like, “Jesus Loves You” or, “You are a loved child of God”)
  • Leave the flowers in places where people might find it – you might want to write another note that says … “If you see me, take me home to brighten your day!”

Mother’s Day all week

  • Think of one or two women in your life who have “mothered” you. Send them a card thanking them for the love they have shown you!

Review past week activities

Find one or two that you haven’t done from a past week.

WE GO OUT family activities from past weeks:

Prayer Chalk “Go Out” Activity

From the Lesson on Sunday, May 3 Paul prayed “I always give thanks to God for you because…”

Surprise someone by writing a prayer of thanksgiving about them with chalk on their sidewalk or driveway using the phrase from Sunday’s story, making sure to complete the sentence with something about them.

Spring Clean up

  • Choose one of your family’s favorite outdoor spots.
  • Bring trash bags and gloves and pick up whatever trash you find in that area
  • Before you leave, make a chalk drawing or chalk prayer for the next visitors to know that God loves them just as they are!

Living out Matthew 25

  • In Matthew 25 Jesus tells us that when we help other people who are hungry or lonely or cold or hurting in any way, we are helping Jesus!
  • This week we are helping people who are unable to get their own groceries by picking them up for them through the Hutchinson food shelf. Go to https://mcleodemergencyfoodshelf.org/ and follow the instructions for proxy pick-up intake.;

May 10th 2020

Happy Mothers Day!

 

Worship for May 10th, the 5th Sunday of Easter & Happy Mothers Day!Please click the link for the bulletin for today's worship service. http://riverofhopehutchinson.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/10-May-Fifth-Sunday-of-Easter-.pdf

Posted by River of Hope Lutheran ELCA – Hutchinson, MN on Sunday, May 10, 2020

 

May 3rd 2020

Please excuse the first few minutes as we work out our sound updates!

River of Hope Worship, May 3rd 2020

Worship! 4th Sunday of Easter May 3, 2020Find the worship bulletin here —> http://riverofhopehutchinson.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/3-May-Fourth-Sunday-of-Easter-.pdfFaith at Home for the week find here –>http://riverofhopehutchinson.org/churchoftessalonica/

Posted by River of Hope Lutheran ELCA – Hutchinson, MN on Sunday, May 3, 2020