Author: Rod Anderson

It’s as simple as breathing in and breathing out – respiration. Inhaling and exhaling are so natural and voluntary that we don’t even need to think about them, but they are the very definition of life. But COVID-19 has forced us to do just that – think about it. Masking our respiration has restricted the oxygen that brings inspiration and life itself to our lungs and our whole bodies as well. And masking our respiration has restricted the aerosol that emanates from our voices, adding risk to others around us, through both our words and our songs. The well-loved hymn titled “My Life Goes on in Endless Song” asks in its refrain, “How can I keep from…

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For most of my 47 years as a pastor, the nearly universal practice across most Christian denominations has been the celebration of World Communion Sunday every first Sunday in October. Not so much in the past several years. The tradition was begun in 1930 by Hugh Thomson Kerr, a Presbyterian minister whose goal was to bring churches together in a service of Christian unity in which each congregation experienced a sense of interconnection one with another. It was then adopted throughout his denomination and subsequently spread to other denominations. World Communion Sunday offered individual worshippers and congregations a distinctive opportunity…

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Who’s got the whole world in hand? The morning’s breaking world news is also local news, at every locale on the planet. I’m not referring to news of the closing ceremonies at the Summer Olympics. It is new, but the hot news that demands the attention and action of every individual on earth is something else. A landmark United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 3500-page report compiling results of its comprehensive and exhaustive study of climate science concerns every region and population on the planet. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described the report as ‘a code red for humanity’. This is not just important news for the United States. It…

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As Fathers’ Day draws near on the first day of Summer, June 20, I’ve been giving some special attention to hymn selection for our Sunday morning worship at The Waters of Eden Prairie. Senior residents love the familiar old hymns for sure, but I’m taking an unorthodox approach this year, including reviewing back stories on likely choices. Below, I share some of these tidbits. Children of the Heavenly Father (Tryggare kan ingen vara in Swedish) was written by Karolina “Lina” Sandell and published in 1858. It was the same year Minnesota became a state and my home congregation, Spring Garden Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church/Cannon Falls,…

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As Memorial Day approached, I made a phone call to the Eden Prairie Cemetery to leave a voicemail congratulating and thanking the Board for the lush, beautiful lawns, grounds improvements and gravestone decorations. Caretakers and grounds keepers have made many noticeable and much appreciated extra efforts preparing for Memorial Day visitors. And I also recognize that you, or a family member, may be decorating the graves of loved ones buried there, or in other cemeteries. To all these, I say “Thank You” as well. Memorial Day, also known as Decoration Day, is on May 31. It seldom landed on a 3-day weekend when I was young. In those days, school was out before then and we were happy to be busy in the fields cultivating corn or…

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When we moved to Eden Prairie in 1977 it appeared the community was lacking a sense of community. Don’t get me wrong – as a country boy it was apparent to me that this had been a wonderful rural community. You can read about that at the Library or City Hall in Helen Holden Anderson’s “Eden Prairie-The First 100 Years”. But when we came, Eden Prairie had no Post Office or Zip Code. We shared those like a weak sibling with Hopkins, where I drove every week to mail our church newsletter. Our town was rapidly and wonderfully growing and…

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“Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.” Psalm 71:9 Engraved in stone at the entrance to Sholom Home Senior Residence in St Louis Park is this timeless scripture from the Hebrew text in the Old Testament songbook. Its reminder prompts a sacred mindset in me each time I go there to make a compassionate visit, bring a word of hope and offer a prayer. Certainly, this COVID-19 pandemic has repeatedly taught us multiple lessons about senior care in senior living communities needing to isolate in their rooms protecting…

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As we come to the days and weeks when we turn the calendar from February to March and the seasons from Winter to Spring, a time for reflection and contemplation unlike any other in my 73 years is upon us! Sitting in isolation these 12 months has me humming Jim Reeve’s old song, as my in-laws, Helen and Melvin, often did in their old age. “Four walls to hear me, four walls to see. Four walls too near me, closing in on me!” The coronavirus pandemic has gifted us a most peculiar time of Biblical proportions for asking age old…

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“Words matter!” We’ve heard that said countless times since the tumult at our National Capitol on January 6th, 2021, a day of epiphanies around the country and the world. “Words matter!,” we’ll hear this phrase many more times as Inauguration Day, January 20th, 2021, approaches and beyond. I was prompted by what I was hearing to head to Websters and/or Wikipedia to do some word searches, as well as soul searches. in·sur·rec·tion /ˌinsəˈrekSH(ə)n/ noun, from Latin insurgere a violent uprising against an authority or government:synonyms-rebellion, revolt, sedition, anarchy, coup, mutiny, overturn res·ur·rec·tion /ˌrezəˈrekSH(ə)n/ noun, from Latin resurgere the action…

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Can you recall any holiday season so brightened by so many lights in so many venues and events? You may have read Hitesh Pate’s November article on these pages about the Diwali Festival of Lights celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists across the world and among residents of Eden Prairie. The article describes the five-day festival symbolizing the spiritual victory of light over darkness. Advent candles Then, as November turns the corner to December, Christians begin lighting the  first of four candles on their Advent wreath, accompanied by scripture readings and prayers in preparation for the coming of Christmas.…

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