World Communion Sunday

bread and wine

Hi all.

This Sunday, October 4, is World Communion Sunday, where we get to come together to share in the breaking of bread with Christ followers around the world, as we stand in solidarity as believers in the sacrificial love of Jesus shown by his death on the cross so that we may live and live abundantly. What a blessing that we can come freely to the table and break bread in remembrance of Jesus and all he did for all the world. Don’t miss the opportunity to share in this experience with other believers worldwide. We meet at 9:30AM at Emmanuel Mennonite Church. See you there.

Peace be with you.
Kim Becker


This is a message of greeting from your new Pastors, Kim and Chris Becker. We are so excited to be here with you at EMC. We are just beginning to fall into a rhythm here. Our new office hours are M-Th 10-2. Call the church phone (651-766-9759) before stopping in to make sure we aren’t out and about in the neighborhood or on a call. We look forward to getting to know each and every person who attends. You’ll be hearing more from us in the coming days, weeks, years. Look here for new posts. Also, if you use FaceBook, or have thought about using FaceBook, EMC has a new page for you to check out. “Like” the page to see updates and posts there. Find that at EMC FB Page. Have a blessed week….


“NOW THANK WE ALL OUR GOD…” with me for the privilege I have had of pastoring Emmanuel Mennonite Church for nearly sixteen years. But as we serve at the will of God, I am following the call of God and of Zion Mennonite Church in Hubbard, Oregon, to continue the privilege of pastoring there, beginning in mid-January, 2014. My duties with EMC will terminate on Sunday, December 15, including that of writing on this blog. Some time in early 2014, an interim pastor or pastors will begin serving EMC while a search process takes place for long-term pastoral leadership. Please keep checking in for updates on that process, and to enjoy the contributions of EMC’s future servant leaders. Your prayers and support for EMC, Zion Church, and myself during this time are much appreciated.


I wish to affirm and underscore what Archbishop Neinstedt recently wrote for The Catholic Spirit on November 7, in an article entitled, ‘Protecting Young People, Restoring Trust….” “Our first goal,” he says, “and of greatest importance, is keeping our focus on creating and maintaining safe environments. In short, the protection of minors must be our top priority, and it must be what animates our every action and decision.” He then says that, “Our second goal is to care for those who have been harmed by members of the Church. Our third goal is to facilitate the beginning of a healing process for our local Church in order to restore trust with the Catholic faithful, who are counting on the clergy and leadership of the Church to make virtuous decisions for the good of the Body of Christ. And, our fourth goal is to restore trust with our clergy, who are dedicated men and are deserving of our confidence and respect.”

As pastors, we both agree that trust is basic to the ministry of Christ’s under-shepherds, Continue reading “MORE THOUGHTS ON RECENT CLERGY ABUSE REVELATIONS”


Where did we Mennonites get our funny name? From a prominent Anabaptist leader, Menno Simons. Good thing we were named after his first name: “Simonites” are those who buy or sell ecclesiastical office for financial gain, one accusation that the Anabaptists’ enemies never tried to make stick. They were too poor. Below is an excerpt from Menno’s testimony about how and why he left his comfortable position as a parish priest, after being shaken spiritually awake by some of the writings of Martin Luther, and then seeing the terrible debacle that was the Muenster Rebellion, in Germany, 1534: Continue reading “LEADING UP TO (ANABAPTIST) REFORMATION SUNDAY….”


With all the headlines in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune about clergy sex abuse and cover-ups, some are crying “Foul!” at what they see as a journalistic witch hunt aimed selectively at the Christian church. Consider all the good that churches do for the poor, the sick and the shut-ins, they say. And aren’t there other organizations and institutions, corporate and governmental, at least as guilty of crimes and cover-up? Continue reading “ON A RECENT ROUND OF CLERGY SEX ABUSE REVELATIONS…….”


This is the first of what will hopefully be more testimonies of….




by Rev. Philip Friesen, Minneapolis, MN

I was having my worst year of college, almost flunking a course in my major field and feeling somewhat guilty about being of no help at home. My sister, Jewell, at 16 years of age, was helping pay expenses with an after school job, and Dad was in bed after major back surgery, having spent 6 weeks lying immobile on what was then called a sandwich board, Mom also having been immobilized by crippling arthritis that made it impossible for her to even dress or bathe herself. During that time Continue reading “IN MY CLOUD OF WITNESSES…..”


Gal. 2: 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

What is the most powerful and pernicious temptation of the Christian life? The answer may surprise us because righteous and religious people tend to see sin and temptation in the usual places as the usual suspects: greed, gluttony, extramarital sex, sloth, pornography, envy, losing our temper, and the like. We experience them as “sins of weakness,” because in moments of temptation, the willingness of our spirits seems like no match for the weakness of the flesh. Looking back upon moments when we gave in to them, we feel and say that “something overcame me.”

Jesus never had a good word for these sins of weakness, so-called. He said that such defiling things come up out of the unclean-ness already in our hearts. But he reserved his most apocalyptic, hair-raising, fire-and-brimstone words and warnings for what we might call Continue reading “LIFE LIVED THROUGH OTHER LIVES”


Luke 7 When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum. 2 There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. 3 The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4 When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, 5 because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” 6 So Jesus went with them.He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. 7 That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”9 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” 10 Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.

In the little towns along the Appalachian Hiking Trail, that Sarah Kahle from our church is walking, you find two different kinds of reactions to the through-hikers, the people who are going all the way from one end of the trail, either in Maine or Georgia, to the other. When they approach a town looking for a hot meal, to stock up on supplies, check their email, they get two kinds of responses. Some establishments try various ways, legal or otherwise, to discourage them from coming in. Others, like some restaurants hide the hikers in their own section, way off on the far end of their establishment, down in the basement, beyond the water softener and the recycling.

On the opposite end of the spectrum there’s what is called “Trail Magic.” Hikers come to a road crossing or an access place and they might see a sign saying, “Trail Magic,” with an arrow pointing in its direction. By “trail magic” is meant free, hot food, cold drinks, free first aid for your scrapes and blisters, a comfortable place to sleep for free, companionship and conversation, maybe even a hot shower. But if its food, cold drink, conversation, or a bed you need first, the shower and change of grubby clothes can wait. You’ll find the “trail magic” in rv’s and trailers, quick stops, campgrounds and in homes and churches near the trail. Continue reading “TRAIL MAGIC FOR THROUGH-HIKERS”


John 16:12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”


Saturday mornings around our house, when I was 9 or 10 years old and my sisters were 7 and 6, could be a drag. We would be about an hour or two into zoning out on cartoons and Crunchy Munchy sugary cereal when Mom would say, “Its time for chores.” And we’d say, “Aw, Mom! But Adam Ant isn’t over! And Deputy Dawg and His Friends is next!” Or “But I hate dusting the quarter rounds! I did them last Saturday! This vacuum cleaner is sooooo heavy! You know, people have had heart attacks working this hard!”

Now let’s contrast the response my mother got to Saturday morning house cleaning with whenever she said, “Who wants to help me bake a cake?” Or some brownies? Or, “Who wants to help me make some chocolate chip cookies?” Then we were all “Me, Me, me, me me!” and “I get to clean the bowl!” or “I get to run the mixer!” which also meant, “I get to lick the bowl” or “I wanna lick the beaters” or “I get to lick the spoon!” Funny, how suddenly we were all smiles and willing cooperation and “Yes, Mom….Sure, Mom, Whatever you say, Mom.” Continue reading “THE BEST IS…..”