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January 16, 2013
 

In this Issue

News
Refugee Women Knit and Heal
MCC Volunteers for Forgiveness and Reconciliation
Upcoming Events

Muslim Christian Dialogue: Egypt Rising
Why Ecumenism Matters? - Annual Christian Unity Lecture
From Enemy to Friend: Jewish Reflections on Everyday Peacemaking
Make a Difference
Give the Gift of Education
National Day of Service
Resources
Pastors Ending Poverty Program
Dell Social Innovation Challenge
School for Lay Ministry Class
Seed Grants for Ecumenical Young Adult Projects
Interfaith Online Forum Helps Teens Explore Spirituality

Employment
3 Positions Open with MCC Refugee Services
Fresh Forks Hiring Bike Outreach
Looking Forward
32nd Annual Rural Ministry Conference


News

Refugee Women Knit and Heal

Ten women meet weekly over tea and knitting in a supportive, welcoming space, but this isn’t just any knitting circle. Bringing together newly arrived refugees and church volunteers, women knit, but they also practice yoga and talk about what is happening in their lives. With the help of volunteers, the Minnesota Council of Churches Refugee Services Knitting Collective provides accessible mental health supports and imparts daily skills like taking the bus and, of course, knitting. We are happy to announce that with a new grant this program is expanding. Many more women will be able to create bonds of friendship and warm knitwear in the coming year. Click here for more information about the Knitting Collective.



MCC Volunteers for Forgiveness and Reconciliation

The Dakota 38+2 commemorative horse ride is a 16 day 330 mile journey of forgiveness and reconciliation. MCC’s area of focus in this event was to publicize the ceremony in Mankato on Dec 26th, and to seek volunteer support for meal preparation and service. The events of the final ceremony on the 26th were incredibly powerful. A crowd of around 500 gathered to stand in solidarity with the Dakota riders. Event organizers were grateful for the volunteer support. It made feeding a crowd of several hundred go about as smoothly as possible.




Upcoming Events


Muslim Christian Dialogue: Egypt Rising
     Sunday, January 20, 2:00-4:00 p.m.
     Islamic Center of Minnesota, Fridley 

With the approach of the second anniversary of the revolution on January 25th, Ahmed Al Beheary will lead a discussion on the current situation in Egypt, about which he is optimistic. He is the president of the National Egyptian American Society and the former president of the Egyptian American Society of Minnesota. He has traveled there several times since the revolution. He notes that although fighting between groups continues, there is less violence and the level of security throughout the country is increasing. With the new president, Mohamed Morsi, and a new constitution, Ahmed believes Egypt is headed in the right direction. RSVP Now.


Why Ecumenism Matters? - Annual Christian Unity Lecture
Wednesday,  January 23, 7:30 p.m.
     Owens Science Building
     University of St. Thomas, Saint Paul

Did you know  Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is an international Christian ecumenical observance kept annually between 18 January and 25 January? This year, Fr. Wicks will give a lecture entitled "The Ecumenical Imperative in Catholic Theology and Church Life." He has previously taught at the Jesuit School of Theology in Chicago and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Fr. Wicks was named to the Lutheran/Catholic International dialogue in 1986 and helped to draft the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (1999). Co-Sponsored by the Archdiocesan Commission for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs and the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity. Questions? Contact Fr. Erich Rutten.

From Enemy to Friend: Jewish Reflections on Everyday Peacemaking
Monday, February 4, 8:00 p.m.
     Quad 264, Saint John's University

Tuesday, February 12, 7:30 p.m.
     Anderson Student Center 378A, 
     University of St. Thomas 

Why does conflict arise among individuals and among religious, political and ethnic groups? What contributes to the resolution, even transformation, of conflict in the world and in our lives? How can each of us serve the cause of peace? Rabbi Eilberg will explore these questions through the lens of Judaism's rich body of sacred texts on peace and peacemaking. From Enemy to Friend is sponsored through the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning and is free and open to the public. 

Make a Difference

Give the Gift of Education

Refugee families arrive with very few personal belongings, but many hopes and dreams for a new life of freedom and hope. One of their biggest dreams is for education—for children and adults alike. By donating basic supplies such as notebooks, pencils, pens, backpacks, and calculators, you can help them to achieve their dreams. Donations can be delivered anytime during business hours to the MN Church Center at 122 W Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN. Questions? Contact Kristin at 612-230-3219 or rsvolunteers@mnchurches.org.

National Day of Service
Saturday, January 19

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'" Each year, Americans across the country answer that question by coming together to serve their neighbors and communities. To honor the life and legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the first family is asking Americans to find an event and serve with others in their community on the National Day of Service on January 19th, 2013. Search for volunteer opportunities in your area.


Resources

Pastors Ending Poverty Program

In 2013, the National Council of Churches Poverty Initiative would like to support you in enhancing your anti-poverty ministry. They are launching a new program called Pastors Ending Poverty to challenge and support lay and ordained pastors like you in achieving any goals you set for yourself between February and June of 2013. They’ll surround you with a community of other pastors who made resolutions who can sojourn with and encourage you. Over the course of your time, you’ll receive special opportunities to plug in to different charity and advocacy opportunities. Simply fill out this form to make a resolution and enroll. Please call 202-481-6688 if you have any questions.

Dell Social Innovation Challenge
     Applications Due January 29th

The Dell Social Innovation Challenge identifies and supports promising young social innovators who dedicate themselves to solving the world's most pressing problems with their transformative ideas. Submit your idea by January 29th for a chance at up to $350,000 in prizes and awards.


School for Lay Ministry Class
     February 9, 2013, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
     1900 14th St. South, Moorhead

Area of Study: Luther & Confessions. Anyone can attend these classes who wish to learn and grow in their faith and understanding. Click here to registration and learn more. Also included in this link is a bulletin insert that may be copied and inserted into your congregation's weekly worship bulletin. Please share this insert and information with your church office and anyone you feel may like to attend this class.

Seed Grants for Ecumenical Young Adult Projects 
     Applications due February 28, 2012

The New Fire Task Force, in partnership with the Ecumenical Young Adult Ministries Team (EYAMT),invites and encourages young adults to apply for seed grants in the amount of up to $500, to support local ecumenical young adult-initiated projects. The New Fire Grant Program aims to break down divisions among those aged 18-35 years; renew the relationship between the church and young adults; and equip young adults to be agents of love, justice, and peace. Interested applicants can find a link to the application here and should email newfireyoungadults@gmail.com with completed applications or any questions. 

Interfaith Online Forum Helps Teens Explore Spirituality

The Resource Center for Churches Recommends KidSpirit Online, an interfaith forum where teens explore their spirituality.  Free downloadable group guides for each magazine issue help youth workers and parents frame discussion on the big questions. The Resource Center for Churches is a project of Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal and UCC Churches in Minnesota. Their Facebook page features a great resource every day.

Employment

3 Positions Open with MCC Refugee Services

MCC Refugee Services has 3 Refugee Program Specialist positions open that provide and coordinate services to refugees and asylees which promote self-sufficiency and goal attainment in compliance with MCCRS programs and contracts. 
·         A 40 hour/week Employment Counselor
·         A 20 hour/week Volunteer and Outreach Specialist
·         A 20 hour/week Housing Specialist

Please consider applying if you have experience working with refugees or recent immigrants and strong communication, negotiation, and mediation skills.

Fresh Forks Hiring Bike Outreach

Fresh Forks is looking for 2 self-motivated, passionate, and adventurous individuals to join their team.  Assist with outreach to youth-led farms to request farm stays and/or brief interviews in LA, MS, AR, TN, KY, MO, IL, IO, and MN along Mississippi River Trail. Select 4 communities for multi-day conversations about youth and the food system. Applicants will be selected by late February.  Job duties will begin March 1 and end July 31.  Must  be 18 years or older, identify as “youth,” and have the ability to bike 40-70 miles/day for 8 weeks. Click here for more information and the application.

Looking Forward

32nd Annual Rural Ministry Conference
     March 3 - 5, 2013
     333 Wartburg Place  Dubuque

The Center for Theology & Land at Wartburg Theological Seminary hosts the annual Rural Ministry Conferences. Each year's conference addresses issues and themes pertinent to the well-being of rural communities and the ministry of rural churches. This year's theme is Food and Faith.  The keynote speaker is Dr. Norman Wirzba who will look at why eating is a spiritual, along with a physiological, agricultural, and economic act. The conference will include worship, keynote speakers, workshops, and Bible study, and offer participants a unique opportunity to network with others who are active in and concerned about rural ministry. Presenters come from a variety of denominations. For more information, contact: ruralmin@wartburgseminary.edu.
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