Faith briefs for the week of April 28

Discussing Islam
Samir Saikali, imam of Al-Salam Mosque in Maplewood, will present “Islamic Beliefs and Practices” at 10:20 a.m. Sunday, April 30, and 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, May 2, in the sanctuary of Glendale United Methodist Church, 13550 Glendale Road, Savage.

Saikali’s presentation will include an overview of Islam and discussion on freedom of belief, views on diversity as well as jihad, war and violence.

The events are part of the Glendale Community Town Hall Forum series.

Berean Baptist Church launches Lakeville campus
Lakeville residents attending Berean Baptist Church in Burnsville benefited last fall when Berean opened a second campus near their homes at Kenwood Trail Middle School. Fifty Lakeville families gathered for the site’s inaugural worship service on Oct. 2, 2016.

“It was a great Sunday,” said Dan Feldkamp, pastor of the Lakeville campus. “More than 200 people attended, full of energy, full of life.”

The new Lakeville campus represents Berean’s first venture into becoming a multisite church. “We believe this multisite strategy is the best way for our church to reach surrounding communities with the gospel,” said Wes Feltner, Berean’s lead pastor. “Because there are thousands in the south metro who will not come to us, launching new campuses will allow us to go to them.”

Lakeville was a logical choice for a second campus because a particularly high concentration of Berean attendees lives there. It’s not a “church plant,” Berean’s leadership is careful to make clear. Both campuses operate under the same vision and leadership structure – it’s one church meeting in multiple locations.

Live, in-house worship precedes Sunday sermons simulcast in real time from Burnsville to Lakeville via technology that virtually puts viewers in the front row.

“The aspect we like most about being the body of Christ at Berean Lakeville is that it is a smaller setting,” said Lakeville native Stephanie Bychinski, who is a 13-year veteran of Berean Burnsville together with her husband, Brad. “A community of people we see throughout every week, people we really get to know well, people we can serve in times of need, people we can count on, people who are eager to serve and be involved, people to build relationships with because of a smaller setting.”

Now 80 families strong, Berean Lakeville hopes to break ground for a new building or acquire and adapt an existing property by summer 2018. “We are actively searching for the right place,” Feldkamp said. “In the meantime, our faith is being rewarded as lives are being transformed right before our eyes. And we’re just getting started.”

For more information, visit bereanbaptist.com.

Spring fair at Trinity Lutheran
Trinity Lutheran Church, 600 Walnut St., Farmington, will hold its annual Spring Fair 5-7 p.m. Saturday, April 29. The fair will feature a hot roast beef meal, bake sale, country store, kids carnival and country music by The Country 3.

Tickets will be sold at the door: $10 adults, $8 seniors and youth 6-18, $25 families, and free for children under 6. Funding supplemented in part by Thrivent Financial.

Prison ministry workshop
Church of St. Joseph, 13900 Biscayne Ave. W., Rosemount, will host a prison ministry workshop 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 20.

The event will give an overview of some of the different ways to become involved in Jesus-encouraged prison ministry, from Prayer Warriors, Bible study facilitators, mentoring, “inside” weekend retreats, transition after release, etc.

Lee Buckley from the Minnesota Department of Corrections, will be the keynote speaker. She will be followed by a panel on transition following release, facilitated by Tom Lundquist, Prison Fellowship’s program coordinator. Attendees will then choose between two breakout sessions:

Session A: overview of many activities by current participants.

Session B: focused on mentoring, led by Deacon Clarence Shallbettor (juvenile detention ministry) and Lundquist.

The last part of the morning will feature lunch (free will offering) and questions.

All are welcome. For more information, visit www.stjosephcommunity.org and click on “Prison Ministry” under “Outreach.” For questions, contact Fay at [email protected], 952-250-7613; Kevin at [email protected].

Community meals at Grace
Grace Lutheran Church in Apple Valley will serve community meals Mondays, May 1, 8 and 22. Dining hall doors open at 5:30 p.m. and dinner is served from 6-6:30 p.m.

These meals are for senior citizens, single-parent families, families in transition and all others in the surrounding community seeking a healthy meal in a relaxed atmosphere. Although the meals are free, donations are accepted.

For more information, call the church at 952-432-7273. Grace Lutheran Church is located at the intersection of Pennock Avenue and County Road 42.

Community garden plots available at Spirit of Life
As a means of reaching out to the community, Spirit of Life Presbyterian Church each year offers a limited number of garden plots for rent for the season. The 8-by-8-foot raised beds are behind the church, which is located at 14401 Pilot Knob Road in Apple Valley.

The rental period is May 1 to Oct. 31. The fee is $35, but gardeners will receive a $20 refund at the end of the season if their plot is maintained and cleared after the ground freezes.

Spirit of Life church members each year also plant vegetables and fruits in a larger plot. They donate much of the harvested produce to local food shelves. In 2016, Rosemount Family Resource Center received 780 pounds of more than 20 different varieties of fresh produce.
For more information about the garden plots, call Spirit of Life at 952-423-2212 Monday through Thursday. Renters are asked to sign a contract that is available in the church office.