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What's Happening 5/9/23

  • Northwest Intermountain Synod Assembly – At the Synod Assembly in Pasco, Washington, held April 28-30, Rev. Dr. Meggan Manlove was elected to be our new bishop. Pastor Meggan currently serves at Trinity Lutheran Church in Nampa, ID. Her installation is scheduled for October 7th at Cathedral of the Rockies, Boise, ID.

Reflections from Merlene Brockway:

It has been four years since our Northwest Intermountain Synod met in assembly. Everyone was excited to be able to meet in person once again. While there is much that I could write about, I chose to write about the passage of Resolution 4… Resolution in support of the dignity, honor, and rights of transgender humans.

It wasn’t the well written resolution that impressed me, but the five people, including our Pastor Ann that chose to speak in support of it. Their speeches were all very good, however the one that touched my heart was from a young transgender with bright red hair and dinosaur earrings. Her speech was passionate and as I watched her read it from her phone her hands were shaking. I knew how much courage it took for her to stand in front of the assembly to defend herself and others. I had an opportunity to speak with her later, and as she hugged me, I thought about how much she must have gone through to get to this moment in her life, to know that she is loved and accepted.

This resolution is a beginning! There is still much work to do! The sea of green voting cards held up in favor of the resolution was exciting. There were most likely a few who did not support it, however there were no red voting cards in evidence, as one of our favorite hymns says… the world is about to turn.

Reflections from Theresa Jones:

Hello New Day! Merlene and I (Theresa Jones) were delighted to join Pastor Ann Bjorklund at the 2023 Synod Assembly. I would like to share with you some feedback on our experience!

It was a very busy weekend to say the least! Assembly started Friday afternoon and finished somewhere between 9 and 10pm, then started right back up Saturday 8am until late evening again! Sunday, we finished up what little bit of business we had and then enjoyed worship.

As you all know I am a tech nerd AND I suffer from social anxiety and so attending the assembly forced me to step out of my comfort zone. I was glad I did! I met so many wonderful people and had many a side conversation on various things. It was interesting to hear what other churches are up to! I was saddened to learn that future assemblies may be through zoom. I can see the benefits of doing the assembly through zoom. Less travel, less expense, less time. However, in my humble opinion the experience just would not be the same! I am not sure how to voice my opinion on this to the right people but will work on doing so!

I want to share with you the two workshops we attended, and what I took away from them:


Presented by: FILC Training Team, Coaches and Participants

What is next for your congregation? Are you ready to allow the Holy Spirit to lead you? If you are ready to listen to your neighbors, each other, and God…. Faithful Innovation is a process that will help you and your congregation listen and act your way into new ways of being church in and for your community. In this Listen-Act-Share learning method, you first practice listening to each other, to your neighbors and God’s written word. From this, paying attention to the nudging of the Holy Spirit, you learn to design experiments that are specific to where you notice God at work in your context. With the accompaniment of a trained coach, these experiments help you to act with curiosity rather than from a place of fearing failure. Then, taking time to reflect together, you share with others what you learned. Listen-Act-Share – then do it again! Do you hope that some plan, project, or program will be a magic solution? Or do you hear this from people: “But I need a goal! I want control of the process! I think we need to make this happen!” –well then you don’t need Faithful Innovation. Faithful Innovation depends on the Holy Spirit guiding us to…. where?... wherever the Holy Spirit guides us. That’s it.

In this workshop we were separated into pairs. One person spoke for 7 minutes, while the other person listened without verbal response and then we switched roles. What we as a room found was that listening without responding, while hard to do as it is our human nature to respond, was enlightening. Often, we find ourselves hearing “I want to do x, y, or z” and feel the need jump into action. The workshop challenged us to listen to one another, share with each other, and THEN act. I spoke with the guest speaker and for them to come out to us and do an 8 month long course with us, it is only $150! They would coach us with a project we might be looking at, such as what other ways we can serve in outreach to help our community. Also, there is an opportunity to become a coach in this program and teach the congregation and others! Anyone want to take a trip to Arizona for class?! I am considering what that might look like!

The 2nd workshop: "Shoulder to Shoulder Caring for God's Creation: Is this a Kairos Moment?"

Join Rev. Barbara Rossing in exploring the biblical concept of “kairos” in the new ELCA social message on Climate Justice, adopted by the Church Council April 2023. At the heart of this social message lies the claim that climate justice presents our generation with “a critical moment (kairos) when God is leading us to decisive action.” Motivated by love and hope, rather than fear and guilt, we will look at biblical calls for transformation, as well as at climate science, Lutheran social teaching, and the work of grassroots organizations such as Lutherans Restoring Creation ( Bring your stories of how your congregation and individuals are reducing carbon pollution and advocating for a clean energy economy, for the sake of our neighbors in Tanzania and partner churches and around the globe.

The basic concept of this workshop was that we don’t have to do a large grand project to make a meaningful difference in the climate. If we each individually and as a church body did something small, you take all those small things, and it becomes a chain reaction in making a difference from here all the way to Tanzania! This spoke to me as I think about the beginnings of God’s creation and what us humans have done to it. I leave you with a challenge: What small thing can you personally do to start a chain reaction? Recycle? Don’t use plastic bags when shopping? Conserve water usage?What can we as a church do? Well… glad you asked! Summertime is coming, attendance will likely be down. Seems like a good time to trial church without the use of bulletins. It is a SMALL action that would set off a chain reaction that benefits the climate. What might that look like?

  • May 10**Hospice of Eastern Idaho, a non-profit organization, will be sharing information with us on Wednesday, May 10. We will have a potluck beginning at 5:30pm with the presentation beginning at 6:15pm. See additional information to sign up to bring food. We would also like to find out how many people might be joining us so they can bring the appropriate materials, so please let Pastor Ann know. End-of-Life Planning can be a powerful gift to your family – and to yourself. We can help make this planning process easier and help you and your family address hard topics. Like a birth plan, end-of-life planning can help your family fulfill your wishes. In this one-hour workshop, we will help you get clarity on your desires. We will be available to help you complete the paperwork for an advance directive and file it appropriately with the State of Idaho.

  • May 13 +Soup Kitchen...Second Saturday of the month. Contact Guy Backstrom of you can help.

  • May 14 +Worship at Temple View Transitional Care Center Sunday, May14 at 3:00 pm. Meet at church at 2:00pm to carpool.

  • May 15 – Council meeting, 6:30pm, Upstairs Conference Room

  • May 17 – Upper Snake River Cluster Gathering, Pocatello, noon-2pm. Pr. Philorian Mpendaye from the Ulanga Kilombero Diocese, our companion synod in Tanzania will be visiting our cluster. We are planning a lunch meeting with him at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Pocatello on Wednesday, May 17 from 12:00 noon until 2:00pm. Please RSVP to Pastor Ann ASAP for planning purposes. We can carpool, so please meet at church at 10:45 am that day if you plan to attend. This is a gathering for all, so join us for food, fellowship, and an opportunity to learn more about our companion synod projects and the people there.

  • May 27 +There's a Habitat for Humanity Build taking place @ St. Paul's United Methodist Church at 1730 St Clair Rd. on Saturday, May 27 beginning at 8:00am. No special training or skills required, just a willingness to serve.

  • Meal Assistance Kay Leaf had surgery on Friday, April 14. Dennis and Kay will need some assistance with meals. Please contact Kay and Dennis if you can help.

  • Kitchen Update – In process.

  • Pastoral Instruction - If you're interested in baptism, communion instruction, or membership, please contact Pastor Ann.

  • AED Fundraiser +We're working on raising money to purchase an AED. You can donate on Facebook at AED Fundraiser at:

We also accept, cash, check, or online payments through our website at (Don't forget to designate where you'd like your donation to go.)

  • June 26-29+There's an opportunity for young people to attend Vacation Bible School (VBS) at St. Paul's United Methodist Church on the Story of Daniel. It will be held June 26-29 from 9am-12:00 noon. Contact Melinda (208) 522-9076 for more information or to sign up. Cost is $10 for the first family member and $5 for each additional child. If pricing is a challenge, please contact Pastor Ann.

Small Groups:

Women’s Coffee - Mondays at 10 am at Greenhouse Coffee Shop; 2200 E. 17th St.

Exercise Group – Tuesday and Thursday 10:30 -11:30 am; Fellowship Hall

Beer Group - Tuesdays at 3pm at Idaho Brewing Company; 775 S Capital Ave, Idaho Falls, ID 83402

Men’s Coffee - Thursdays 10:00 am at Greenhouse Coffee shop; 2200 E. 17th St.

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