In 2008, All Saints built a fence. Today, it still stands as a sign of the practical and unconditional welcome this congregation extends to all people, especially people and families with special needs.

This welcome was one of the Synod’s many affirmations of All Saints, during the Ministry Site Review. Recommending we create a “Special Needs Mission Plan” and explore expanding that ministry, they said, “On Sunday, we saw that this was not just an idea. It’s already a part of who All Saints is.”

Ministry takes many forms, including a backyard fence that means safety for two brothers with autism and peace of mind for their parents. Five years later, Anne and Scott wanted to say, “Thanks again!”

Let’s all of us add a hearty, “Thanks be to God!” -PC

A follow-up THANK YOU on the Holtan backyard fence.

The peace of mind that you have given us for Ryan and Tyler to play in the back yard in safety is priceless. The love and friendship that you have shown us only solidifies how we feel about our extended family at All Saints. It has been five years since the “Backyard Gang” from All Saints joined forces and put up a six foot privacy fence. Knowing that they can play outside without 100% supervision has been such a blessing to allow us an almost “normal” life doing housework, chores, laundry, and other “mundane” activities. We thank God for giving us such a wonderful family of friends.

Anne & Scott
(October 2013)

Here’s the original Holtan “thank you”…


Our Heartfelt thanks go out to the members of All Saints and Thrivent Financial who donated the funds for the materials. Our Humble thanks go out to those members who gave of their time, tools and sweat to put it all together. They gave up many hours on several Saturdays. They gave up several nights after work. The peace of mind that you have given us for Ryan and Tyler to play in the back yard in safety is priceless. The love and friendship that you have shown us only solidifies how we feel about our extended family at All Saints. Special thanks go to Tom and Julie Schoville. They have been the driving force behind it all. Thanks to Pastor Lisa and Roger Oliver for the vision that it could be done. With God All Things Are Possible! We do not know the words to express our appreciation. We hope and pray that this will give you an idea of how grateful we are!

Yours in Christ,
Scott, Anne, Ryan, and Tyler Holtan
(September 2008)

Jesus speaks a word about money and possessions again this week. “Do not be afraid! … Sell your possessions,” Jesus tells a huge crowd.

Just last week, TheAtlantic.com shared “Why Americans All Believe They Are ‘Middle Class’,” which included this paragraph:

“One common synonym for rich and poor is the haves and have-nots. But consumer goods once deemed luxuries, like cellular telephones and televisions, are now common possessions. This means that even as employers held tight to the gains our productivity generated by keeping real wages at 1970s levels, we sent women into the workforce, labored longer hours, and used new debt products to indenture our way to some happiness. Thus, our stand-in to signify class status – purchasing power – papers over the fact that by income, benefits, and lifestyle standards many of us had long left behind a middle-class existence, even as we clung to the moniker.”

Read full article here: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/08/what-we-really-mean-when-we-say-middle-class/278240/

“To indenture” means “to become a debt slave.” In that light, could selling our possessions mean new freedom? What new possibilities could open as we embrace a discipline of living more simply and more joyfully?


Recently a video, “Why I Hate Religion, but Love Jesus,” went viral on Facebook and other social media sites. In response to it, and the broader rejection of institutions and authorities now common, conservative op-ed columnist David Brooks wrote a short essay. Both are below and are worth considering.

So is the most recent essay from Pastor Clark that appeared in the print newsletter: “Good Soil Stories.”

Counterpoint: “How to Fight the Man” by David Brooks

If I could offer advice to a young rebel, it would be to rummage the past for a body of thought that helps you understand and address the shortcomings you see. Give yourself a label. If your college hasn’t provided you with a good knowledge of countercultural viewpoints — ranging from Thoreau to Maritain — then your college has failed you and you should try to remedy that ignorance.

Effective rebellion isn’t just expressing your personal feelings. It means replacing one set of authorities and institutions with a better set of authorities and institutions. Authorities and institutions don’t repress the passions of the heart, the way some young people now suppose. They give them focus and a means to turn passion into change.

Point: “Why I Hate Religion, but Love Jesus” by Jefferson Bethke