May 2, 2024 | Weekly Newsletter

Grounding in Faith with Pastor Laura

What an exhilarating time to be a part of the United Methodist Church! As you may know, we are currently in the midst of General Conference, a quadrennial event that was postponed due to the pandemic. This gathering serves as a pivotal moment for our denomination, where elected delegates come together to shape policies, allocate budgets, and address crucial matters affecting our entire church body.

One of the primary objectives of this General Conference was to rectify the discriminatory language within the Book of Discipline that has long marginalized our LGBTIA siblings. I am thrilled to share with you the incredible news: with an overwhelming 93% majority, the delegates have voted to remove the barriers that prevented LGBTIA clergy from fully serving within the UMC. This momentous decision signifies a significant step towards inclusivity and justice within our beloved church.

But this is just the beginning. As the General Conference progresses, there is a palpable sense of anticipation as we anticipate further strides in dismantling harmful restrictions and fostering a more welcoming environment for all members of our community. The atmosphere is charged with joy, as hymns of celebration echo through the halls, tears of happiness flow freely, and dreams of a more inclusive future take root in our hearts.

As I reflect on this historic moment, tears of hope and gratitude well up within me. I am filled with optimism for the journey ahead and the profound impact it will have on the generations to come. Later today, I eagerly look forward to embracing my two-year-old son, holding him close, and whispering to that something big happened today. I will remind him that God's love knows no bounds and that everyone, regardless of who they are or whom they love, deserves to fully participate in the life of our faith community.

While there is still much work to be done, let us pause and rejoice in this moment of triumph. Together, let us continue to strive for a church that embodies the boundless grace and love of our Creator, where all are welcome to share their gifts and talents in building a more beautiful and inclusive community.

With joyous anticipation,

Pastor Laura

Last night Pastor Elizabeth was interviewed for a story on full inclusion in the United Methodist Church

"I am elated. I am moved by the power of this opening up of the possibilities of grace and inclusion of all people"

Click here to watch the interview

& read the story

Upcoming Events

Click the event title to learn more!

May 1-15

Governance Board Applications

May 3 | 12pm

50-Year Member Recognition Luncheon

May 5 | 11:30am

New Member Class

May 5 | 12:30pm

Wilson Yates Lecture: Art and Spirituality - Rembrandt and the Protestant Reformation

May 5 | 2pm

Cantus' Brave Concert

May 11-12 | 9:30am-5:30pm

Parking Lot Fundraiser for Emma Norton

May 12 | 10am

Bishop Lanette Plambeck Preaching Following UMC General Conference

May 16 | 7pm

Monthly Virtual Book Club - 1984

May 18 | 10am

Family Ministry Insights and Ideas Special Meeting

May 18-19 | 10am-5pm

Doors Open Minneapolis

Visit our events page to view all upcoming and re-occuring events

This Sunday's Message:


by Pastor Laura Hannah


1 John 5:1-6, John 15:9-17

Why Easter? Sermon Series

April 7 - May 12

Volunteer Spotlight:

Parking Lot Fundraiser During Art Fair for Emma Norton

Sign up to volunteer Mother's Day weekend (May 11 and 12) during the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden Art Fair for a parking lot Fundraiser. Proceeds support Emma Norton's Restoring Waters Campaign. Volunteer roles include directing traffic, providing fundraiser info, facilitating payments, and guiding cars to spots. Your help, big or small, matters!

Click here to Sign-Up to volunteer

Church News of the Week:

The stories that keep us connected

What Does it Mean to be a Member of Hennepin Ave UMC?

Join in the New Member Class this Sunday!

We invite you to a time of learning about Hennepin Ave UMC! If you, or someone you know, have been visiting for a time, you may have questions about ministry opportunities or membership through Hennepin Avenue UMC. We would love to share an hour with you on May 5th in the Longfellow room after worship at 11:30am.

Thor waving hello in Koinonia Hall

This gathering is an opportunity for anyone interested in learning more about Hennepin Avenue UMC and making Hennepin your spiritual home. Should you desire to join the church we will welcome you at a worship service within a month - a date to be determined by the group.

As a bonus, Director of Operations Thor Mickelson will give us a tour of the building that may or may not include a joke about Thor's hammer!

Art and Spirituality Lecture Series with Dr. Wilson Yates

Rembrandt and the Protestant Reformation

Hennepin's own Dr. Wilson Yates, President and Professor Emeritus at the United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, delivered a profound and exquisitely researched lecture on The Arts as Companions on the Spiritual Journey on April 28th.

Luckily, Wilson will be back to disperse his knowledge this Sunday, May 5!

During this lecture, he will dive into Rembrandt and the Protestant Reformation; you won't want to miss it! You can read Wilson's April 28th lecture here.

Applications are OPEN for the Streamlined Governance Board!

The application period for serving on Hennepin's new Governance Board opened May 1 and will close May 15. Click here to apply online or apply in writing and leave your application at the reception desk marked for Pastor Elizabeth Macaulay. Paper applications are available at the reception desk.

You can apply! Or you may not want to apply yourself but you may think someone else would be a great member. Encourage them to apply!

Applicants will be interviewed May 16-June 15 by the Selection Team of Pastor Elizabeth, Kathryn Johnson, Dennis Behl, Muria Kruger and Barry Schaub. The team will recommend a slate to the congregation for a vote on June 23.

If you missed the April 27 Town Hall on streamlined governance by Conference Director of Spiritual Vitality Susan Nienaber, we encourage you to watch the recording!

If you have questions about the Governance Board process, contact any task force member: Pastor Elizabeth, Marla Tipping, Lynne Carroll, Liz Buckingham, Tom Arneson and Ginger Sisco.

This Sunday!

Cantus Concert: Brave

It takes strength to be vulnerable. It takes courage to ask for help. It takes confidence to reach out and connect. 

In Brave, Cantus examines what it means to identify as a man in a society that prizes conformity over personal authenticity. With works by composers from Fanny Mendelssohn to Sara Bareilles, Brave takes a nuanced look at evolving ideas of masculinity...Read More

Thursday Morning Bible Study

The Thursday morning Bible Study class is concluding their spring study, Old Testament Stories from the Back Side by J. Ellsworth Kalas. Rev. Kalas has been a favorite author as his approach opens up new possibilities of insight into Old Testament stories by entering them through a unique starting point, a creative retelling, a new "lens" or the eyes of a minor or unsympathetic character. Lessons have featured "back side" stories of Adam and Eve, Moses, Caleb, Samson and others...Read More

Want to Know More About What Happened at General Conference?

Make sure you are getting information directly from the United Methodist Church!

Visit the UM News’ General Conference News and Commentary page or subscribe to the Daily Digest and the latest news will be delivered directly to your email inbox. Each daily recap video has been shared on our facebook page and is another easy to stay informed.

The Power of Independent Living with Emma Norton Services

Written by Victoria Virasy-Ertelt, Advancement Associate, Emma Norton

The fourth floor lounge in the Emma Norton Restoring Waters building

The fourth floor lounge in the Emma Norton Restoring Waters building

Give to Emma Norton Services and the Restoring Waters Campaign

On the sixth floor of Restoring Waters sits a quaint rooftop patio with an unobstructed view of the Minneapolis skyline and a perimeter of raised garden beds primed for bright flowers, juicy tomatoes, and the hands of a community ready to heal and grow. Just one floor lower is the garden center where residents can begin cultivating that healing and growth alongside programming that will build independent living skills and empower them to make progress on their goals, one step at a time.

There are many new spaces in Restoring Waters...Read More

Treasures in the Church Archives

Written by Margaret Osborne

While working on a long-term project to catalog everything in the Archives Room, Margaret Osborne and Carol Southward came upon two historical treasures. One was a tattered old U.S. flag with 48 stars, and a note indicating it was the first flag flown at this church building, in the spring of 1917! The other is a Blue Star Service banner from World War II...Read More

Speaking of History...

New Sanctuary Choir Attire

The Sanctuary Choir is replacing its choir robes, which are roughly thirty years old. A choir attire team has been researching various options and recently presented two options, a robe option and a non-robe option, for consideration by the choir. The plan is to have new choir attire ready for the fall.

For more information, please read the choir attire team report...Read More

To submit event announcements to be published on the public events calendar, please send all the details to communications@haumc.org.

To plan your event, including reserving rooms, email scheduling@haumc.org.

For story ideas or editorial content, you can email commsdirector@haumc.org. All content is subject to the discretion of the editorial team.

Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church www.haumc.org

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