Emmaus Blog

Compassion and Our Nation’s Border Crisis

Pastor Abraham Johnson

Abraham Johnson

Like most people in our nation my heart was deeply troubled after learning that migrant children were being separated from their mothers and fathers at our nation’s borders.  And while I was relieved to learn that President Trump had signed an executive order bringing an apparent end to this inhumane practice, my heart remains troubled today. For I have been grappling with how to speak into this situation as your pastor.  (I still don’t know if I got it all right. But here it goes…)

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Emmanuel, come quickly.

Susan Quinnell

If our lives are dry and parched, Lord, send the living waters of your Spirit    to revive us, to enliven us, to bring forth new life. Emmanuel, come          quickly.

If our times are empty and barren, Lord, grant us a rich harvest, send us      home with sheaves of blessing, fill us with your abundance, and teach        us to share the harvest with others. Emmanuel, come quickly.

If our bodies are weary and heavy laden, Lord, fill us with laughter; give      us shouts of joy; envelop us with your gladness. Emmanuel, come            quickly.

If our lives are small and trivial, Lord make us see great things, enlarge        our vision; widen our borders. Emmanuel, come quickly.

a prayer based on Psalm 126.

Christmas time and the holidays celebrated in our winter season can often be a time of sadness, depression, tension and loneliness for some rather than days “filled with great joy”. Relationships with family may be strained or a family or friend’s death may bring an empty place at the table. Or perhaps illness, changes in job situations or financial worries may have you uneasy and anxious.

At Emmaus, we offer our church and the Northfield community the listening and care of Stephen Ministry. Stephen Ministry provides trained lay persons who are willing to support and care for you through listening and prayer during times of transition, challenge, loss and need.

If you are feeling weary, empty, or parched this Christmas season, know that GOD WITH US is true and real for each one of us. If a Stephen Minister could help you walk through this time,  please call Pastor Susan on her cell phone 507-301-8987.

PEACE be WITH You this Christmas.  Pastor Susan

A Post from Rob Ryden

Pastor Abraham Johnson

Abraham Johnson

Greetings Emmaus, the following post has been contributed by our fearless Worship Director, Rob Ryden.  Thanks, Rob!  ~Pastor Abe


Hello Emmaus!

Well the season of Advent is nigh! And we kick it off at Emmaus this weekend with a prayer vigil on Saturday (7am-7pm — you’re invited to come any hour of the day and join in the praying for our church/town/world/families/neighbors) and our first Advent Sunday morning on Dec. 3 at 8:45 & 11:00! We are also gathering Sunday later afternoon at 4:30pm for our annual Advent Vespers Worship Service (a lovely mix of music, scripture & poetry to usher you into the season) and following that up with a meal together in our Fellowship Hall @ 5:30 or so!! We’d love to have you come to any or all of these gatherings as we enter into Advent with anticipation and intention…

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Mingling of Souls

Susan Quinnell

Intimacy: to know and to be known by God and another. Intimacy in human relationships requires dialogue, transparency, vulnerability and mutuality. For my husband, Mark, and I, it is in the relationship of marriage that we have most experienced God’s refining and transformative fire in the crucible of intimacy and faith.

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase Mingling of Souls? Last Saturday evening, 34 people began the journey to discover what Mingling of Souls means for them and their coupled relationship. Mark and I shared part of our 34 year journey of marriage and where God has stretched us and grown us towards intimate love, a mingling of souls. God continues to call us daily to complete surrender and trust in our relationship with God. God has been present and pursuing us through the life transitions,challenges,and obstacles of our marriage admidst the brokenness and woundedness of ourselves. God has deepened our understanding and experience of love for one another since we first said “I love you” and “I do” to the other. Most significantly God has gifted us with insight and experience into the the expansive love Christ has for each one us and for each one of God’s children.

The second of our series Mingling of Souls will be happening in the Emmaus auditorium next Friday, October 13, 2017 from 7-9pm. The session title is called “Dipping Our Toes”. We will hear from another couple, listen to video clips about courtship, engagement and the big day (the wedding!) along with discussion and exploration of ideas in small group discussion. We would love to have you join us. Come and check it out. Invest in your marriage relationship. Please email or call to let us know you are coming (or sign up on the church bulletin board) so we can plan dessert (yum!).

In Christ’s love,   Pastor Susan



O, God where are YOU?

Susan Quinnell

If you are like me, the television news reports, Facebook and internet stories and pictures of the Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey are overwhelming. And I am here. In Minnesota, with a dry home and late summer breezes.

My mind goes immediately to the laments in Psalms as I seek God’s presence in this disaster. The Psalms reflect honest emotion, struggle and concern with experiencing the help of God in this life. “O, Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning”Psalm 5:1.(and the groaning of your peoples–my words.) “Keep me safe O, God”Psalm 16:1. (Keep those in Texas safe and dry, reunite families. Bring wisdom and help, protect your people! We pray.)It is not uncommon to feel helpless and disoriented when we want to show and BE CARE to others in despair and we are not in proximity or equipped to help.

The lamenting of the Psalms move to confidence in and praising God for being present in the midst and deliverance from chaos. The Psalms draw images of God as refuge, guardian, a mother, our shepherd, a mountain. The Psalms invite us to ask what the text teaches us about God, what the text teaches me about feelings, and what the text teaches me to do. How can we be God’s people in the midst of disaster many states away in Texas? How can we be present to others in the midst of pain, sorrow and suffering in Texas? Of course, we can pray. We also have the opportunity to share our financial resources, which are most helpful at this particular time, in addressing the flooding and displacement of the people of Texas. Opportunities include our Converge denomination: Converge Southwest ,the Red Cross ,and the United Way of Houston

We are here. We are the people of God.

“The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD sits enthroned as king forever. May the LORD give strength to his people! May the LORD bless his people with peace.” Psalm 29.

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