Alexandria United Methodist Church
Thursday, February 29, 2024

Announcements


 
Our Church's main communication comes through REMIND
Please join REMIND to stay connectional: text these digits @28kcbk to this “phone” number: 810810
Once you come to the join page, choose a "student" account.
We send out updates via REMIND that come to you in a timely, quick, brief format!
A safe, reliable app used by public schools across the state.
 
 
 
 
Worship with us on Sunday mornings at 9 a.m.
In person or online on our YouTube Channel, @AlexUMC
 
 
Sunday Coffee Fellowship
 
After our 9 a.m. service every Sunday, join us for Coffee fellowship!
 
If you are interested in providing the treats for Sunday's Coffee Fellowship, please email us at office@alexumc.org. This year's schedule can be found by clicking here. We prepare an annual sign-up in November each year so now is the time to let us know you would like to be added as a regular or a sub. Thank you in advance for your food ministry to our church!
 
Children's Sunday School programming - for ages 3-14, every Sunday, after Pr. Amy's children's message in the sanctuary, children reconvene in the Sunday School classroom. See more below about our programming!
 
 
Committee Meeting Schedules
 
SPRC, 5pm - First Monday of every month
Administrative Council, 6:30pm - Second Monday of every month 
Trustees Meeting, 5:30pm - Second Thursday of every month
Finance Committee meeting - December 7, 2pm

 

 

Announcements/Calendar

 

Community Wood-fired Oven applications open through March 1, 2024.


Upcoming Congregational Life Events - Fellowship Hall, Alexandria UMC

Free will donations will be accepted at all events.  Please watch the bulletin and calendar to stay up to date with any changes.

 

Easter "Sunrise" Breakfast, Wednesday, March 13, 6-7:30 An Easter Egg Hunt for the youth will follow the meal (provided by CL).

Minnesota Hotdish Get Together, Wednesday, April 17, 6-7:30
Enjoy a variety of hot dishes (provided by CL) followed by BINGO.

 

Potluck at Brophy Park, Wednesday, May 8, 6-7:30 CL will provide the main course, and everyone else is asked to please bring a dish of your choosing.


 

Camperships

Spring is right around the corner and that means summer camp is too. There are scholarships available from the Conference and from our church. Note that Scholarship amounts will be based on donations received for Camp Sunday.

Visit our homepage to find the scholarship application: http://www.alexumc.org/

Visit https://www.campminnesota.org/camperships for access to Conference scholarship application.

Camp Sunday will be March 17th To give to camperships, please note it in the memo line of your check or on your envelope if giving cash.


 

The box in the Narthex to collect eyeglasses and cases for the Lowell and Ruth Eye Clinic/Hospital is back on the shelf. Dr Deb Risvedt (Lowell Gess’s granddaughter) was very thankful for the ones delivered to Vance Thompson Vision before Christmas. She said they really need and can use them now in Sierra Leone. Alex UMC has been collecting used glasses and cases for this mission project for many years. Your support is appreciated. Thank you. 


Youth Group is hosting an Easter Egg hunt and is hoping for your help. We have the eggs but we are in need of small, wrapped candies for the eggs. Our Youth Group will be stuffing eggs on March 6 for an Easter Egg Hunt for littles later in the month. If you are interested in helping with this Youth Group project, please bring your donation to the office any time before 3pm on March 6. Your gifts are greatly appreciated. If you want to donate but can't get to the store, monetary donations are also accepted and greatly appreciated.


Food Shelf During the month of March, we will be receiving donations for the Outreach Food Shelf.  The need is ongoing, and the number of people being served by the Alexandria Outreach Food Shelf continues to increase.  Food donations can be placed in the "Food Shelf" basket in the narthex.  If you wish to make a monetary donation, make your check payable to Alexandria UMC and note Food Shelf on the memo section of your check.  All donations need to be received by Sunday, March 31st.  The king will say....I was hungry, and you gave me food....they will answer him, Lord, when was it we saw you hungry and gave you food....And the king will answer them.  Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.  Mathew 25:34-40 (paraphrased).  Missions / Social Concerns Committee.

 

Giving information, click here

Giving online with our partner, Vanco, click here


 

Youth Group - Upcoming Wednesday nights
 

Click here for more details on Youth Group

 

Confirmation Gathering - March 8-9 - (MN Conference-led event) Camp Koronis, Paynesville. Join Pr. Amy and many other Confirmation Classes from all over Minnesota as we explore the Wesleyan Quadrilateral together.  Through games, experiential activities, and small group discussion time, we'll explore these core four elements of faith: tradition, reason, scripture, experience.  Enjoy all Camp Koronis has to offer - a beautiful tabernacle space to learn and worship, a game room and open gym, sledding hill, and broomball court on Lake Koronis. A note about lodging: Adults will lodge with adults from their or other churches in close proximity to students; students will lodge with only other students from their church in rooms that hold 2-6 people.  If individual rooms would be preferred for students or adult leaders, please share in the "considerations" section of the registration form. Cost for the Confirmation Gathering is $85/participant to cover lodging, meals, and materials. All Alex UMC Confirmation students will receive scholarships so please contact Pr. Amy to let her know if you cannot attend.


 
Congregational Life
Schedule below
 
Monthly schedule for the 2023-2024 Season
Wednesdays, 6-7:30pm, Fellowship Hall (unless otherwise specified)
Meal and programming, games and social hour - something for everyone!
Free will donation
  • Wednesday, March 13, 6-7:30
  • Wednesday, April 17, 6-7:30
  • Wednesday, May 8, 6-7:30
 
 
 
About Sunday School with Alexandria UMC
Pr. Amy leads an interactive children's message during worship every Sunday!

Ages 4 - Grade 8, October-May
Theme verse Psalm 86:10
Because You are awesome and a wonder-worker, You are God. Just You.

Each week, please consult the weekly calendar in the bulletin for any special updates from the teachers regarding programming and schedule.
 
Most Sundays, the children will head for Sunday school after Pastor's message and return during the tithes and offerings. Once a month, the children will do noisy offering and might share something with us after the offertory prayer that they are learning about in Sunday School. We are already working on plans for a Christmas program should we have children that would like to participate.
 
Each unit of the Celebrate Wonder curriculum has a "faith word". The Unit 1 faith word, which takes us through the fall season, is "creativity". For the next four weeks, our scripture study comes from Genesis, verses 1:1-19; 1:20-25; 1:26-2:4; and 2:10-23.
 
We specifically purchased a curriculum kit that serves the "one room school house" model where all ages can learn and grow together.
 
We welcome your questions and we open wide our hearts and doors to invite our children for an amazing year together in Christ's steps!
Sincerely,
The Sunshine Team
 
 
 
Christian Education with Alex UMC
 
Ecumenical Bible Study - Currently cancelled due to high covid-case numbers
10:30 - 11:15 a.m. on Mondays, Windmill Pond Chapel (2nd floor)
Address715 Victor St, Alexandria, MN 56308,
All are welcome and encouraged to join us! We meet for 45 minutes or so and Pr. Amy and Sue Helgeson lead the group in sharing, prayer, Bible-based discussions and often a hymn or two! No homework - just come as you are!

Social Creed and UMC Principles Study - Please consult the weekly calendar for updates on the meeting schedule.
 
More happenings at Alex UMC!
 
 
Pizza Ministry at the Alexandria Community Wood-fired Oven
Wednesday nights, June-August: 4:30-7pm
See schedule here: https://alexandriacommunitywoodfired.com/index.php/entertainment/
 
 
FAMILY CAMP on the shores of Lake Andrew!

Join Pr. Amy VanValkenburg and Pr. Christa Forsythe as they embark on their fourth year together offering Family Camp on the shores of Lake Andrew (Spicer)! More details will be released when we get closer to the 2024 date!
 
 
Sponsoring a youth camper!
Youth camping - many dates and programs from which to choose - Northern Pines (Park Rapids) and Koronis Ministries (Paynesville) has camping for youth starting at age 6. Our congregation is encouraged to sponsor a youth to attend camp for a week of their own choosing. Depending on which week a camper chooses, costs vary, see pamphlet on bulletin board or go online to www.campminnesota.org .
 
 
Confirmation and our Youth programming with Alex UMC

The Faithful Five:
Prayers - we visited various stations that led us in different ways to pray
Presence - we listened to a presentation on noticing how our attention to our faith life is vital for our formation as Christians
Gifts - we took an 80 question assessment that revealed spiritual talents that we are using every day even if we aren’t consciously thinking about it
Service - we created a skit about a service project we might do in our congregation. Our group did a skit about starting a ‘kindness campaign'
Witness - we heard testimony from one of our group leaders about his own faith journey

"I am excited and curious about all that we can do together, and most importantly, I am interested in endeavoring to grow in faith alongside the youth of Alexandria UMC."
-Pr. Amy
 
About Youth Group
The tenants of my curriculum and theology around youth programming is first and foremost about relationships and building connection. My vision for healthy programming is to have opportunities for youth of all ages - it is the intersectionality of interesting, fun, and engaging programming that informs and supports the faith life of our youth...and as a church, we should be making those offerings to all youth!

Ultimately, I would love to see two youth groups. That is my goal as your appointed pastor.
MS Youth Group, Grade 6-8
HS Youth Group, Grade 9-12

We are in the midst of building these so for now, I am using the one-room school house model where all of us are together for this program year, Grades 6-12.

Four Units for the 2023 - 2024 Liturgical Year
Unit 1: The Geography, life and times of ancient peoples (November Field Trip)
Unit 2: Work, Money, and the Bible (January Field Trip)
Unit 3: World Religions (May Field Trip)
Unit 4: Our Methodist expression of the Christian faith (Youth Event with Conference Field Trip, TBD)

When does the Youth Group meet?
**Wednesday evenings, 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
October 2023 - May 2024, with one Congregational Life (CL) event a month, 6-7:30 p.m.

We also have four field trips scheduled for this liturgical year. Please see the schedule for both Wednesday evenings and our field trips.

May 8 will be our final Wednesday night together for the liturgical year but not our final event of the year. *On May 8, we join CL and host the dinner and game night for the church, 6-7:30 p.m.

Our field trip to Duluth takes place May 31, and is overnight. There is no school for District 206 on April 1st. We will need additional chaperones. If you are interested, please let me know. My contact information is below.

2024 Youth Group Calendar
by month/day/time



February
7, 14, 21* (no Youth Group 2/28, Pr. Amy at Seminary)
*February 21, we join CL and host the dinner and game night for the church, 6-7:30 p.m.

March
6, 13*, 20 (no Youth Group 3/27, Pr. Amy at Seminary)
*March 13, we join CL and host the dinner and game night for the church, 6-7:30 p.m.

April
3, 10, 17* (No Youth Group 4/24, Pr. Amy and her family will be traveling to the Holy Land, April 15-24, 2024)
*April 17, we join CL and host the dinner and game night for the church, 6-7:30 p.m.

May
1, 8*
*May 8 will be our final Wednesday night together for the liturgical year, however, our field trip to Duluth takes place May 31, and is overnight. There is no school for District 206 on April 1st. We will need additional chaperones. If you are interested, please let me know. My contact information is below.
*On May 8, we join CL and host the dinner and game night for the church, 6-7:30 p.m.

**be sure to join REMIND for updates to our schedule

Four field trips (dates are tentative)
Each field trip has a “thinking theologically” pathway as we continue to discover together what it means to be a Christian in the 21st Century. See page four (4) for details.

The field trips are in harmony with our units, Units 1-4, and are spaced appropriately with the School District's calendar (District 206).

Unit 1: November - Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post, Day trip, Saturday, November 11, 2023.

Thinking Theologically:
As we explore the lives of the ancients in Israel, we will also be unpacking the lives of the peoples that inhabited North America all those 1000s of years ago. Part of this exploration will be to talk about culture and history; conversations will include discovery of our own ancestors and our own family tree.

Unit 2: January - Minnesota State Capital and Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, Day trip, Wednesday, January 15, 2023 (there is no School for District 206 on this day). We will return from St. Paul and join the CL night for dinner at the church at 6pm.

Thinking Theologically:
As we explore our values as 21st Century Christians, we will also be unpacking the politics of ancient Israel during Jesus’ time. We will be asking questions like, “How might building the Kingdom of God be the same or different from Kingdom-building empire/government in ancient times and now-times?” Taking a grip to our own state capital endeavors to understand why laws are both important and complicated.

Unit 3: April/May - Glensheen Mansion and the Peace Bell, Overnight trip, leaving from the church on Sunday, May 31, 2pm - returning Monday, April 1, 5:30 p.m. (there is no School for District 206 on this day)

Thinking Theologically:
Exploring family systems and cultural systems - love, money, work, death, war, deceit, murder, and more…just like the Bible! We will visit the Glensheen Mansion and make our way to the peace bell (a replica from World War II), installed at Enger Park.

Unit 4: Youth Event with the Conference (TBD)
Thinking Theologically:
The Conference Youth Ministry offers a once-a-year program that anchors the expression of our denomination - Methodism - in Christian faith. This is where our youth will further explore Methodist social principles, polity, and doctrine. A date has not yet been set for this event. Stay tuned!

About Confirmation

What Confirmation is NOT:
Confirmation is not a program.
Confirmation is not a youth group.
Confirmation is not ‘graduation from church’.
Confirmation is not the end to something you did.
Confirmation is not a sacrament.
Confirmation is not something we do because “my parents” said I had to.
Confirmation is not a test.
And, Confirmation does not always end in a service of Confirmation.

What Confirmation IS:
Confirmation is a covenant.
Confirmation, not being something you do, but something you live out - a lifestyle.
Confirmation is fun!
Confirmation is a time to explore, learn, grow, and discern God’s calling for you in your life
Confirmation is learning about what it means to be an adult in the Methodist expression of the Christian faith.
Confirmation is a time to think theologically about the values and Christian ethics that created the Methodist movement in the United States.
A movement that began in the home of Susanna Wesley, the first founder of Methodism, and then brought more fully into form by her sons, John and Charles Wesley, two Anglican priests.

Confirmation requirements for Confirmation in the Alexandria UMC
Should you decide to make the covenant official by a service of Confirmation during a worship service with our church family, these are the expectations:
10 Sermon Notes (in-person or YouTube), written format
Community Service, 75-hour requirement
Completed Units:
Methodism - history, polity, and doctrine
Methodism - our social principles and social creed
Methodism - the sacraments of Holy Communion and Baptism
Final deliverables regarding the units
1) Sharing your call story with Pr. Amy in the format of your choosing: orally, written, video, …I am very flexible on this.
2) In-person meeting with Pr. Amy, your parents, and a sponsor, to share what you would like to share about your faith journey and how you would like us to support you as you continue on your faith journey as a Methodist!


If you have a youth interested in our weekly programming or in our Confirmation programming, please contact her at pastor@alexum.org. If you are an adult interested in learning more about Confirmation and/or helping with our youth programming, please contact Pr. Amy and schedule an appointment. Pastor's office hours are posted in the weekly bulletin or call Ginger at 320-763-4624.

 


 
Looking Ahead to 2024! - Stay tuned for timely updates regarding this pilgrimage. Praying for peace in Israel and Palestine.
 
Pr. Amy and Thomas are planning travel to the Holy Land in April 2024!
"The Holy Land - The Women in Jesus' Life"
 
 
Are you interested? Dates are set for April 15-24, 2024.

Click here to register, or visit the URL below by copying and pasting it into your preferred web browser:

 
 
Price Main Tour:
Starting at $3,750  per person sharing a double   (optional single room supplement $870)

 

 

 
 
Our Contact information
Rev. Amy VanValkenburg, LLP Email: pastor@alexumc.org, Pastor's mobile: 320-309-5574/320-460-0776
Ginger Mayer, Admin. Assistant, Phone: 320-763-4624   Email: office@alexumc.org,
Office Hours: 9am - 1pm, Church Address: 2210 Sixth Avenue E, Alexandria, MN 56308

 
 


Whoever you are, however you are, just as you are, you are welcome at
Alexandria United Methodist Church.