Netflix Watch Party – The Social Dilemma (2020)

January 22 at 9 p.m.

If you haven’t seen this documentary already, it is a must-see for anyone with a nine-year-old or older! This documentary addresses the way technology is behind the unprecedented levels of self-harm, suicide, technology addiction, depression, and rising intolerance in society today. With technology taking over more of our lives now that it ever has, it is important to know the ethics (or lack-there-of) behind some of the biggest technology companies in America. This is a critical expose that features former executives from Facebook, Google, Instagram, Pinterest, and more exposing the gloomy underside of social media. It’s not all dark though, this eye-opening documentary shows us the ways that social media can be used for good and were ultimately created with good intentions. This documentary helps us to regulate social media when it has been known to not regulate itself. How do we use social media as the tool it is meant to be rather than being played by it? 

Join me on a late Friday night (after bedtime) for a Netflix Watch Party. There will be a chat box next to the movie that will allow us to interact and discuss while we watch. **You will need to have a Netflix subscription to join and add the Teleparty extension to your Google Chrome browser. More information can be found here: https://www.netflixparty.com

If you are interested in this event, please email michaela@flccs.net. The link to the watch party can only be shared at the start of the event, so to receive the link you will need to RSVP via email before the event date and time.

New Sunday Adult Seminar

FAITH & JUSTICE: MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.’S SERMONS
Led by Michaela Eskew
January 10 & January 17 10:30 a.m. over Zoom

As we approach Martin Luther King Jr. Day and in the midst of a tumultuous year of racial conversations, we will spend the next two weeks listening to and reading four of MLK Jr’s most famous sermons and speeches. Along with his famous “I Have a Dream” speech and “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” we will also explore “The Death of Evil Upon the Seashore” and “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” These speeches resonate with biblical allusions and deep theological understanding, while also transporting us right into the middle of the Civil Rights movement of the 50s and 60s.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84364439242
Meeting ID: 843 6443 9242

The Saint John’s Bible: Letters and Revelation

It’s our last week exploring the beautiful art and scripture of The Saint John’s Bible from Collegeville, Minnesota. We have finally reached the letters of Paul that launched the Protestant Reformation and the last book of the bible, Revelation, that is filled with extravagant and imaginative images of the end of days. We will see illuminations on Armageddon, the Woman and the Dragon, and the New Jerusalem. We will also see beautiful text treatments of some of the most quoted verses of all of scripture. Join me this week for some heartfelt inspiration as we walk into the season of Advent.

All are welcome to join this Zoom gathering so invite your friends! No prior knowledge of the biblical stories or The Saint John’s Bible is necessary. If you enjoy art, please join us!

Join our Zoom Meeting, 10:30 a.m. Sunday Morning
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84364439242
Meeting ID: 843 6443 9242

The Saint John’s Bible: Gospels and Acts

We have finally gotten to the Gospels in our journey through The Saint John’s Bible. We will get to see beautiful illuminations of Christ’s Birth, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection as well as images that seek to depict Jesus’ parables, miracles, and eschatological musings. We will also explore Pentecost and Paul from the Book of Acts. If you have missed the rest of the series, now is the time to join us and experience the beauty and brilliance of this incredible work! Tune in this week the intertwining of theology and art in The Saint John’s Bible.

All are welcome to join this Zoom gathering so invite your friends! No prior knowledge of the biblical stories or The Saint John’s Bible is necessary. If you enjoy art, please join us!

Join our Zoom Meeting, 10:30 a.m. Sunday Morning
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84364439242
Meeting ID: 843 6443 9242

The Saint John’s Bible: Prophets

This week we travel through the Prophetic Books of the Bible, looking at the hopeful visions of Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel and the call to action from Amos. These books are particularly profound when we consider the way that prophecies speak throughout the centuries, foretelling of the one who was to come and suffer for us all, Jesus Christ our Suffering Servant, as well as the ways we are to seek social justice in our world today. The artists took particular attention to draw a simultaneous link between the historical and the contemporary, to show us the way that these prophecies still hold value for us today. Join me this week for another exploration of the intertwining of theology and art in The Saint John’s Bible.

All are welcome to join this Zoom gathering so invite your friends! No prior knowledge of the biblical stories or The Saint John’s Bible is necessary. If you enjoy art, please join us!

Join our Zoom Meeting, 10:30 a.m. Sunday Morning
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84364439242
Meeting ID: 843 6443 9242

From Inspiration to Illumination, an Introduction to The Saint John’s Bible

Join our lunch and learn on Thursday, November 12th at 12 p.m. MST via Zoom!

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87280875301?pwd=SWJIQjFYeENDL3V3bmxCaFJ6ZTZBZz09
Meeting ID: 872 8087 5301
Passcode: 367483

Michael Freeman, Michael Freeman Photography, London, UK

Tim Ternes is the Director of The Saint John’s Bible at the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library in Collegeville, Minnesota.  Tim worked closely with the artistic team in the creation of the original works and facilitated planning and communication between artists and commissioner.  This gives him extensive behind-the-scenes knowledge and great stories about all aspects of the project.  Tim will introduce guests to the story behind the making of The Saint John’s Bible, and explore the tools, methods, and materials used in the creating the Bible’s original folios.  You will be encouraged to stretch your own spiritual imagination as you and Tim explore several illuminations from the project.  

The Saint John’s Bible: Wisdom Books and Psalms

This week we travel through the Wisdom Books of the Bible as well as the Psalms, looking at some beautiful pieces that capture the tragedy of Job, the universality of Ecclesiastes, the love of the Song of Solomon, and the rhythmic prayer of the Psalms. I can say that with our country currently feeling anxious and unsettled these pieces come at a perfect time; they are reflective and devotional, helping us to remember that God is the one in control. Join me this week for another exploration of the intertwining of theology and art in The Saint John’s Bible.

All are welcome to join this Zoom gathering so invite your friends! No prior knowledge of the biblical stories or The Saint John’s Bible is necessary. If you enjoy art, please join us!

Join our Zoom Meeting, 10:30 a.m. Sunday Morning
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84364439242
Meeting ID: 843 6443 9242

A Word of Encouragement for American Youth

Hi Youth of First Lutheran,

Please read this – it is very important.

As I write this we are 5 days from Election Day and it feels like America is the farthest it has ever been from being united. Many of us are triggered by the things we hear from social media and news outlets and are feeling upset. If you are feeling that way too, I want you to know that I care so much for kids living in this time and I hope these next few words will be of help for you.


Many of you might be feeling anxious, you have a voice and opinions about the country and yet you are not yet allowed to vote. That can feel very discouraging, but right now we need your voices more than ever. Regardless of where you would have voted in this election, our loyalty to Christ always comes first. Just as Jesus walked with the children, the sick, and the outcasts of his society, he walks with those that feel invisible and silenced in this society and calls his followers to do the same. Jesus taught us that no one is to be overlooked and the care of the entire community is in our hands.


Christians (and even Old Testament Jewish believers) have long struggled with governments and leaderships. I’m not talking about the Egyptians holding the Israelites as slaves before they were taken out into the wilderness and the promised land by Moses, although that was a hard time for the Jewish people. I’m instead talking about the kings of the Old Testament, people that were flawed and made mistakes just like us. Even in a kingdom that should have been ruled by good kings and queens following God, they still messed up. Why? Because they forgot that God was supposed to be the ultimate king. Then zoom many many many years later and you have Jesus saying the same thing. Anytime he is tested about how to be good citizens in Israel, he responds with something along the lines of “do what you have to do: pay taxes, follow civil laws, but don’t forget who your real leader is.” Then in the early church, after Jesus had died, his disciples tried to follow those same rules. They didn’t focus on government leadership, they instead focused on feeding the hungry, healing the sick, and telling people about Jesus.


Throughout history Christians have been trying to follow the rules of separation of church and state, to help them to remain both good citizens and good Christians no matter who was ruling the kingdoms and countries they lived in. And remember most of these people never got to choose their rulers at all, they just had to obey them! We are so lucky that when we do reach 18 years old, we get a vote in how our country is run! Our Christian faith doesn’t change after this election, we are still called to Love God with all our soul, with all our heart, and with all our strength and Love Our Neighbor as ourselves. We are also called to care for God’s creation. Jesus doesn’t want us divided, God wants us united working toward God’s kingdom.


So, if you are feeling anxious about the upcoming election, like I am, then try to rest in the idea that God is not surprised by this election or any election for that matter. Please hear that: you can rest and be at peace. There is a larger plan at work for God and God’s kingdom on earth. In the midst of that plan we are given free will and we must actively pursue the care of all creatures and people. These thoughts give me some peace in this conflict-ridden time, but what really helps is to walk away from the
craziness of social media and news outlets and be with real people that I care for and need me in this pandemic. Who can you reach out to?
I hope this letter helps you to see that you are only the most recent generation that has felt fear about changes in power, felt longing for a better world, and tried to walk the fine line between being a good citizen and being a good Christian. Just like Christians before you, I encourage you to seek out fellow believers and keep working toward God’s Kingdom because that’s the only power that matters.

May God be with all our elected officials, both recently elected and those returning for another term. May we always remember who is really in power and the world that God called us to create. Remind us always to feed the hungry, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, look after our sick and visit the imprisoned (Matthew 25: 31-46). Calm our fears and return us to right community with one another. It is in Jesus’s power and name that we pray, AMEN!

Faithfully,
Michaela Eskew
Minister of Faith Formation

The Saint John’s Bible: Historical Books

This week we travel through the Historical Books of the Bible, exploring the memorable stories of Joshua at Jericho, the bringing down of the temple by Samson, the beautiful relationship of Ruth and Naomi, the glories and trials of Samuel, Saul, David, and Solomon, as well as the beautiful visions and miracles of Elijah. Not only do these images conjure great examples of God’s faithfulness amidst our human frailties, it also gives us hope for a world that offers hospitality to the stranger (Ruth) and speaks up for the marginalized (Esther). Join me this week for another exploration of the intertwining of theology and art in The Saint John’s Bible.

All are welcome to join this Zoom gathering so invite your friends! No prior knowledge of the biblical stories or The Saint John’s Bible is necessary. If you enjoy art, please join us!

Join our Zoom Meeting, 10:30 a.m. Sunday Morning
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84364439242
Meeting ID: 843 6443 9242

The Saint John’s Bible: Pentateuch

If you liked my Children’s Sermon last Sunday, you are going to want to turn into our next Adult Seminar!

This Sunday we start a six week series on The Saint John’s Bible.  It is the first handwritten and hand-illuminated Bible commissioned by a Benedictine abbey since the invention of the printing press! It’s beautiful illustrations bring the Bible stories to life in new and thought-provoking ways. It is a modern and contemporary Bible made for twenty-first century readers and believers.

This week we will explore beautiful illuminations on the Creation, Adam and Eve, Jacob’s Ladder, The Ten Commandments and more! Make sure to join us this week via Zoom for an exploration of the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible. Come see how these contemporary artists captured the foundations of our Christian faith.

Join our Zoom Meeting, 10:30 a.m. Sunday Morning

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84364439242
Meeting ID: 843 6443 9242

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