Emmaus Blog

Five Ways to Read Scripture During Holy Week

Pastor Abraham Johnson

Abraham Johnson

In Sunday’s sermon I encouraged us to commit to reading Scripture during Holy Week.  I recommended two possible plans: (1) read one of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) this week, and/or (2) read the daily readings from the Revised Common Lectionary.

Whichever reading plan you choose to follow this week, here are five practices that can greatly impact the way we read the bible:

1. Spend one minute in silence before and after you read Scripture

Athletes warm up before they compete.  Musicians tune instruments before they perform.  Likewise, one minute of silence before and after reading Scripture helps us to receive the words of Scripture and to hear God’s Spirit speak to us.   more »

Back to School Blessings

Susan Quinnell

Susan Quinnell

This week marks the beginning of a new school year that will impact so many of us. As a church, we would like to take this time and space to pray for and bless our students, our teachers and the multitude of others who give their time and talents for the good of our schools, our students and our community.

We encourage you to use these prayers with your family. Pray for or over the students in your family. Name your child(ren) individually as you pray or share the blessing as they begin their school day or go to sleep at night.  Pray for the teacher(s) in your family using these prayers or blessing at your dinner table. Include these prayers at your dinner time or at bedtime, praying for the teachers you know by name, naming your child(ren)s teachers or for teachers and school staff as a whole.

May you be blessed to be a blessing. God bless you in this time of new beginnings.

Pastor Susan

A Prayer for our Students

Students you are beginning a new school year. We want you to know that we love you. We are proud of you. You bring us joy just by being you!

In the words of Philippians 4:6-7:

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let concerns and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your heart. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, will come and settle you down. God take these back to school fears and anxiety, energy and excitement and fill each student with a heart that is excited to learn and grow. Envelop them with your enduring love. Give them confidence and grace. Equip them with the ability to persevere through difficulties. And give them peace.

A Blessing for our Students

We entrust our students (individual name) into your hands, O God. May God go before you to show you the way. May God go behind you to encourage you, beside you to befriend you, and above you to watch over you. May you know God’s love and peace.

A Prayer for Teachers and School Staff

Teachers and School staff, this year you will give so much of yourself to students. Your efforts will impact many people in many ways. We are so thankful for you. We are thankful for what you do, for who you are, and for all the ways that you give yourself for the good of students.

Thank you, God, for the teachers in our lives, in our children’s lives. We thank you for each and everyone of the school staff that comes alongside our teachers to serve and care for our students and their needs. We pray that you hold each of them in your caring hands as they plan, instruct, counsel, challenge, listen, direct and serve. We pray our schools will be a place of safety, great discovery, adventure and creativity. We pray for physical, emotional, and spiritual blessings on the entire school staff. Walk with them, shower them with energy and endurance, guide them through moments of stress and fatigue. Enable them to seek understanding of each child with a kind, patient and discerning heart. We pray for strong unity in school, family and community relationships so that all of our children feel safe to learn, grow and thrive. Make school a place that everyone is respected and deeply valued for the person you have created them to become. We ask all of these things in your name.

A Blessing for our Teachers and school workers/staff

Today we give you our teachers and school workers into your hands, O God. We ask you to bless them physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.

Your help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. The Lord is your keeper. May God grant you courage, patience and love. May God bless the work of your hands and the words of your mouth. May the Lord keep you in your going out and your coming in from this time forth. (Psalm 121 paraphrase).

Emmaus Faith Family Community

You are the faith family community of our students, our teachers and school support staff. You are the people who can and do surround our teachers, our students, our schools with support, care, and encouragement.

A Blessing for the Faith Community

With God’s help and guidance, we as your community and family of faith, promise to support you and provide encouragement as you strive to learn about the world and opportunities God has created for you. May God grant all of us discovery in our learning and our love for one another.

And all of God’s people said, “Amen.”


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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