A Boy is Fed
Sunday School students at Resurrection spent a semester learning about hunger: world hunger, starvation, and food insecurity. They decided to take action, and helped to set up a new initiative called "Bountiful Backpacks". This program aimed to provide weekend food for students at a local elementary school who weren't sure where they would get their next meal.
The first set of backpacks was delivered to the elementary school across the street on February 27, 2015. The principal opted to start the program slowly, realizing the sensitive nature of food insecurity and the shame and stigma that follow a child who doesn't know where his or her next meal will come from. He offered it to a boy in the office when no one else was there. The boy opened the backpack and couldn't contain his emotion- the tears burst forth. "Here is a tissue for you", the secretary offered. "There are lots of people around here who care about you very much." From then on, the boy took two backpacks home each week- filled with foods to feed him and his family for the weekend hours, when he wouldn't receive free breakfast and lunch from school.
A Lifetime of Service
Lorraine Wolfe understood the Gospel's call to serve the poor. She spent years serving meals to homeless at Dorothy Day Center in St. Paul through Loaves & Fishes. She baked a birthday cake for every resident at Lutheran Social Service Home and Family Living- which amounted to two or three cakes every month. These cakes were hand delivered by Lorraine to the residents living with disabilities who may not have otherwise had a sweet treat for their birthday celebration. When Lorraine started to get sick herself, she didn't back down or complain. She happily went on doing the work that she was called to do. At the age of 90, she went to Dorothy Day Center to serve the regular monthly meal. She sat on her stool, dishing up sloppy joes to the guests. When the meal was over and the food was cleaned up, she got in the car and told her husband, "I am not feeling well. I think I need to go to the hospital." This was the last time she was able to serve a meal at Dorothy Day for after a lifetime of service, Lorraine died in the hospital several days later. For her funeral, the residents of LSS Home and Family Living baked her a farewell cake.
Jodi Harpstead had been contemplating the possibility of needlepoint communion kneelers ever since we remodeled our chancel and she saw the old fabric kneelers on the brand-new step. The designs that looked like they would most enhance worship – and be the most fun to sew - were in our stained-glass windows.
In 2012, she took photocopies of the original window designs and played with enlargements until she had the right size. That Christmas, the whole Harpstead family traced and colored the designs onto needlepoint mesh – Erik designed the missing segments interrupted by partitions on the windows.
Lu Zibell, Mary Peterson, Susan Ritter, Jodi, and two other members of the Saint Paul Needleworkers set out to do the 500,000 stitches. Lu Zibell and Kris Rongstad finished four of the kneelers.
Jodi and Stan ordered foam, “blocked” the kneelers on frames that Stan made, wrapped the needlepoint around the foam, and stitched them closed.
Our ambitious and rewarding project is now offered to the glory of God in worship at Resurrection for decades to come!
Bonnie's 25 Years of Service
Bonnie Hanson came to Resurrection as treble choir director in 1989. A musician who knows exactly how to teach young children to sing, Bonnie came with gifts to share. She teaches children to learn without the need to read music. She sets the bar high, expecting students to learn sophisticated music in two and three party harmony. Some of her students have gone on to sing professionally. Some have earned voice scholarships at first rage colleges. Some still sing in the shower in choirs. Some still sing in the shower. All of them appreciate Bonnie's gift of music, and her unique ability to teach this gift to young children.
In 2014, Bonnie celebrated 25 years with Resurrection. In order to celebrate her gifts, the congregation commissioned Zebulon Highben to write a piece in honor of Bonnie. A complete surprise to her, it was to be performed by Resurrection treble choir singers of past and present on Pentecost Sunday, 2014. "Come Oh Holy Spirit, Come" celebrates the power of the holy spirit to transform lives. Thank you, Bonnie, for transforming the lives of so many.