Author: Rod Anderson

As I write today, on April 24, it’s Eastern Orthodox Easter Sunday in Ukraine, one week later than on our Church Calendar; in the east, based on the Julian calendar rather than on the Gregorian calendar in the west. The Easter faith is the same, with just the timing being different. With the smoke and ashes of battle in the air and ruins of bombed-out buildings all around, I’m left wondering how believers can gather for worship in churches and even how delicate Ukrainian Easter eggs survive. Yet pictures we see and stories we read tell of a resilient people…

Read More

Early in the morning before the dawn on the first day of spring, my dad died 25 years ago … and amazingly, my brother Don who lived in Florida, was also there with all six of us boys in the family! On this special anniversary, it’s a Sunday, remembering the Lord’s Resurrection before the dawn on the first day of the week … and this year, brother Don is there with Dad again, in heaven! Praise the Lord! Brother Brad, who still lives with his family in his own house on our farm, remembers getting called in the middle of…

Read More

The case can certainly be made that our society, and even the whole world, has been grieving our way through this global pandemic together. Why wouldn’t we turn to classic and seminal writings on grief by Swiss-American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross? She delineates five stages we process when we experience loss — denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.  We can recognize we’re on this grief journey when we hear ourselves saying, “Oh no! Why me! What if? Poor me! and My life will go on!” It’s the “What if” bargaining stage that asks tricky questions like, What if the cancer had been…

Read More

Ask me, “Which is the longest season?” I’d answer liturgically, “Pentecost.” It’s longer than Easter, which is seven weeks; Lent, which is six weeks; Advent, which is four weeks; or Christmas, which is 12 days. You might answer, “spring, summer, fall or winter,” but they’re all the same — each 13-week seasons. Or your answer might even be about the fishing or hunting season, growing season or harvest season, but in this article, I’m focused on the NFL 2021-2022 season. Have you noticed that the regular football season expanded from 16 to 17 games this year? Who cares? Well, players…

Read More

My wife, Julane and I lived in Arizona for a full year of seminary internship in a wonderful congregation learning and growing under the supervision of a much-loved pastor friend and a helpful team of ministry mentors. Julane Anderson with the greeting sign at The Casa. Photo by Pastor Rod Anderson Our first child was born and baptized there and countless other great memories with forever-friends keep drawing us back for visits in the desert. Over the years we’ve gravitated to a favorite house of worship called The Casa on the campus of the Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale where the liturgical…

Read More

There is hyperlocal news happening every day in Eden Prairie. All of us working and writing to bring it to you in the Eden Prairie Local News find great joy in the effectiveness and efficiency of modern technology getting the message through cyberspace on the information highway straight to you! Every day I’m in awe at the unimaginable possibility of words and images flying from my fingertips on this keyboard instantly to our ears and eyes … local news, gone viral! God has been bringing “hyperlocal news” to my mind in these recent weeks leading up to Christmas. Hyperlocal news…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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,…

Read More