Thursday, August 30, 2012

New Music Leader at Chain of Lakes New Church

I am very pleased to announce that Chain of Lakes New Church has hired Kristel Peters as our new Music Leader. Kristel’s first Sunday as Music Leader will be Sunday, September 23.

Kristel (the last part of her name rhymes with bell) has a long history of leading music in a local church. For almost four years she worked as a Music Intern at Grace Evangelical Free Church in Fridley. While she was there she planned and led Sunday morning worship services from the piano. She helped direct Grace’s chorale and orchestra, assisted with the children’s choir, and managed sound scheduling and equipment.

Kristel received a Bachelor of Arts in General Music at Trinity Western University in Langley British Columbia. In June 2011 she received a Master of Arts Degree from Bethel University

Our Worship Team was empowered to hire a Music Leader. We were very impressed with Kristel’s voice (she recently sang the Star Spangled Banner at a Twins game) and piano skills along with her education and church music experience. The piece that led us to offer Kristel the position was her genuine excitement about working in a new church. She shared in her cover letter that she enjoys working in a fast paced environment where she can work on multiple projects. We can certainly promise a fast paced environment.

Kristel will be moving to the north Metro from Bemidji within the next ten days. She will be working as an Administrative Assistant with the DNR in St. Paul.

When I talked to Kristel on the phone this week to offer her the job, I shared with her that I hope she will be with Chain of Lakes New Church for many years to come. We are excited that God has brought us a person who will build up our music ministry at our new congregation.

A special thanks to our Worship Team for the many hours they spent on the hiring process. Dave Nyberg (chair), Sally Leitch, and Angie Peek each went through many resumes, called to talk to candidates on the phone, called references, and then spent almost five hours this past Sunday discerning that Kristel is the person for this job. The work of these three went a long way to ensuring that we have a quality person in this very important position.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Day at the Minnesota State Fair

Yesterday Amy, Hannah, and I drove to the Great Minnesota Get Together for our annual excursion. We decided to go on Tuesday because Amy discovered that this is the lowest attended day of the State Fair. Hannah and I mapped out an itinerary for the day and away we went.

As I was driving to the Fair I discovered that I forgot my cell phone at home. Hannah wasn’t happy. She had memories of two years ago when we kept getting separated from each other. I told her that people have enjoyed the Fair without cell phones for years. As long as we communicated with each other we wouldn’t get lost.

We had all decided that we wouldn’t eat breakfast before we went to the Fair—because we were going to enjoy breakfast at the Fair. I thought we were going to go to the French Meadow CafĂ©, but we found a breakfast tortilla from a food stand.

One of the first places we went was Giant Sing Along. This is a large karaoke area. At least thirty or forty microphones were set up where people could sing the words that were displayed on a very large screen. The microphones worked well. We could all hear ourselves sing. We didn’t see the Giant Sing Along Last Year. It’s a terrific idea. We went there at the beginning and end of our day. Each time we stayed longer than we anticipated. We had so much fun singing.

Our next stop was Heritage Square. We usually don’t go there until the end of the fair and regret not spending more time there. I enjoyed going through the used book store. Used book stores are a treasure and need our support. We bought three books for a very reasonable price. (Name of book store)

By that time I was getting hungry. The breakfast tortilla wasn’t filling my stomach. I went off to the Hamline Methodist Food Stand. I enjoyed a large dinner of Swedish meatballs. Yumm! I enjoyed talking to the volunteers who still staff the Food Stand. One of them told me that this Food Stand is the oldest at the Fair.

We were happy to get a bucket from the Home Depot exhibit and got a St. Thomas bag for the first time. We’ve tried to get a bag, but always went to their booth at the wrong time. This year we hit it just right. We were also fortunate to discover Lu Ann Hudson at the St. Thomas booth. She grew up on the same street as me in Worthington. I didn’t know she is a leader at Knox Presbyterian Church in St. Paul. Small world.

In the afternoon we went to the bleachers at the WCCO TV display. We were planning on getting there at 4 to view the 5:00 show. We were very pleasantly surprised to watch their 4:00 show. I was amazed at all the details that go into the show. Whoever is in charge of Production at WCCO TV is doing a great job.

We hit many of our favorite food spots. We enjoyed the Food Building for supper; I had a very tasty lamb wrap. We also shared corn on the cob, delicious pretzels near the animal barns—this was one of the best foods of the day, and plenty of water.

We finished our day by taking the Sky Ride as the sun was setting. Hannah sat with me. We both remarked how much we love the Fair. I didn't even miss my cell phone. We’ve gone to the Fair for every year of Hannah’s life except one. I hope that this will be a yearly tradition that will never end.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A great night with great people at a great place!

A big thanks to everyone who came to our Property Celebration last night. It was by far the largest and probably most successful event we’ve had at Chain of Lakes New Church since I have worked here. This was a very big event for the people of our new church to do—and everyone did a terrific job.

I was a bit concerned at 3:30 p.m. yesterday afternoon when the sky over the property started to drizzle. I was so uptight about the weather that I was going to weather web sites every 15 minutes to see what was happening. I saw that there was clear sky behind the front that was going through. If it is possible to root a weather front through an area, I was doing it!!

I claim no power over the weather, but the skies dropped drizzling at 5:30 p.m. The group in charge of set-up very quickly did their final preparations and all that was left was to wait for the people to come.

And they came!! A large group from our new congregation came; a number of churches in the Presbytery sent representatives, and the people from the neighborhood around the property came. It was so fun watching car after car turn onto the property. It was fun watching our parking attendants directing the cars where to go. It was a beautiful evening to be outside. Many of the neighbors saw the event and walked over to check it out.

A big thanks to the Praise Band from Presbyterian Church of the Way for singing—they were terrific; a big thanks to John Ivers and Ward Sessing for speaking. Chaz Ruark gave a moving talk about how his perspective has changed since his granddaughter was born. Mayor Tom Ryan gave a terrific talk about the importance of churches in a community. My favorite line from his talk, “everyone needs a little religion.” In my talk I encouraged everyone to imagine all the blessings that will take place on the property in the years ahead. The manuscript can be viewed at:

We were also privilege to thank everyone who participated on one of the three Property Purchase Task Forces last night. Those three Task Forces are a testament to the collaborative nature of the Presbyterian church. When we work together well, we can do powerful ministry as Presbyterians.

Thanks also to Jerry Hermsen who gave very warm greetings to Chain of Lakes New Church from Crown Cove Association.

After the Celebration many people stayed around and enjoyed the beauty of the evening and ate ice cream. We took a picture of the people from Chain of Lakes New Church just in front of the new cross that we put up this past week.

It was a great night with great people at a great place! Praise God!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Directions to Property

I've been asked to share directions to the Property Celebration that will take place tonight at 6:30 p.m.

The property is very easy to find. You want to get to the intersection of Main (125th Ave) and Harpers in Blaine. From there we will have directional signs posted.

To get there from 35W take the Lexington exit. I'm assuming that people will be driving north on 35W. Go left or north on Lexington. Continue on Lexington until coming to Main or 125th Ave. At this intersection there is a Shell gas station on your right. Take a left or go west on Main or 125th Ave. Continue for about a mile (I'm guessing at that distance) until coming to Harpers. At Main and Harpers there will be directional signs placed.

Don't forget to bring a backpack of school supplies to the Celebration tonight. At our Grand Opening celebration we collected 88 Haiti hygiene kits. Perhaps we could collect 88 backpacks of school supplies. A list of supplies can be found at:

See you tonight!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I want to encourage everyone who lives in the Twin Cities to come to the Celebration of New Property tomorrow night, Wednesday, August 22 at 6:30 p.m. This is a significant event in the life of our new church, as it will be the first event that we have done on the property that the Presbytery has purchased for Chain of Lakes New Church.

The property can easily be found by going to the intersection of Main Street and Harpers. We will have directional signs clearly marking the way.

We’re looking forward to having Tom Ryan, the Mayor of Blaine, and Chaz Ruark, the Executive Presbyter from our Presbytery will also speak. John Ivers will give a short history of Chain of Lakes. Ward Sessing will share a short history of how this property was acquired. I will give a talk on the vision we have for blessing the people in the area from this property. The Praise Band from Presbyterian Church of the Way will be singing. We will also be unveiling new signs and a cross that will be on the property. When we are finished we will eat ice cream.

Please bring a backpack filled with school supplies for the children at Lino Lakes Elementary STEM. You can access a list of the school supplies at:

There is only one first event that ever takes place. This is the first event on this new property. It wouldn’t surprise me if folks will still remember this event in ten to twenty years. You can be part of this excitement by being present.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Saint Paul Aints?

This afternoon Nicholas Backus from the Quad Press did an interview of me about the property celebration Chain of Lakes is having on Wednesday, August 22 at 6:30 p.m. Nick and I drove to the property and walked around on it. I was sorry that he got so many sand burrs on his pants—which I helped him pick off.

Even though I did get on his case once, Nick has done a great job of writing about Chain of Lakes. As we were talking in my office he shared that he liked my blog. I asked him if he had any topics I should write about. He replied that I should write my thoughts about the St. Paul Saints having a special night at the ball park for the atheists.

I saw a brief mention of this in the Star Tribune this past weekend; when I saw it I thought, “that’s really funny.” I can understand the reasoning of the Saints. They obviously host religious theme nights, so why not give the Atheists a night. The sponsorship fits the marketing niche that the Saints have developed as a quirky, fun baseball team. I thought it was a bit odd that they would cover up the “S” in the “Saints” signs in their ball park, but I’m going to take this as their attempt to have fun.

I highly doubt that anyone will become an Atheist because of this event or explore Atheism more. When Nick mentioned the sponsorship this afternoon I thought about how I wish I had gone to the game. I’d be interested to see what the Saints did at the game in partnership with the Atheists.

I don’t see Atheists as a threat to Christianity or the church. I know there has been a movement of more aggressive atheism in our country in the past five years. What I do see as a threat to the faith is people who are indifferent to the faith. I would rather have a conversation with an Atheist, then a conversation with someone who has no opinion about God or Jesus.

I would have a harder time with the Twins hosting a special night at the ball park for atheists. The Twins haven’t developed a “fun,” “quirky” niche. They are "Minnesota’s team." I’m sure that atheist groups go to Twins games as a group and probably have their name on the scoreboard just as many other groups do. But to have a special night exclusively for Atheists doesn’t fit their niche.

This is the last blog I’m writing this week as I’m going off on vacation until Saturday. I hope everyone reading this who lives in the north Metro will come to the Celebration on our property on Wednesday, August 22 at 6:30 p.m. See for more details.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Celebration on new property at Chain of Lakes!

The following Press Release was sent to the Press today. Please join us for this milestone event at Chain of Lakes Church!

Chain of Lakes Church, a new Presbyterian church forming in the Blaine and Lino Lakes area, will celebrate the acquisition of an 8.9 acre parcel of land at the northern edge of the Lakes Development in Blaine on Wednesday, August 22 at 6:30 p.m. The public is invited to the Celebration.

The property can be found from the intersection of Main (125th Ave.) and Harpers by going south on Harpers, taking an immediate right on Marina Circle Drive and then turning right on Edison. Signs to the property will be posted.

“The acquisition of this property is a significant development for our new church,” said Pastor Paul H. Moore, Organizing Pastor for Chain of Lakes Church. We are so pleased that our larger Presbytery has partnered with the people of our new church to acquire this property. Even more important we can’t wait to see how we can bless the people in this area. This celebration event is an opportunity for us to introduce ourselves to the people of the Lakes Development.

Chain of Lakes Church began with seven families in 2009. Since then they have grown to about 40 families.

The new church focuses on helping the people of the community. This past year the congregation adopted Lino Lakes Elementary STEM school, sponsoring parenting seminars, painting the inside of the school, and participating in a mentor program.

“To focus on the needs of the area we want to invite everyone who attends the Celebration to bring a backpack of supplies for Lino Lakes Elementary STEM school,” said Moore.

The Celebration will include special speakers, music, and ice cream at the end. Tom Ryan, Mayor of Blaine, Rev. Chaz Ruark, Executive Presbyter of the Twin Cities Area, will attend along with other community and religious leaders. The new church will also announce plans for a new worship location near the property this fall.

The new church has rented a large tent and will have plenty of room for parking on the property. In case of inclement weather the Celebration will be held at Northpoint Elementary in Blaine.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

New Church Development Conference

This past week I attended the New Church Development Conference run by the Evangelism and Church Growth Program area of the PC(USA). The conference was held at the TradeWinds Hotel in St. Pete Beach, Florida.

The conference was one of five that was running concurrently. The other four were a Youth Worker Conference, Collegiate Ministries, Church Transformation, and Evangelism. We all worshipped together, heard the same speakers, and ate together. I would guess that at least 750 people were there for the five conferences.

I especially enjoyed the talks shared by Mark Yaconelli and Len Sweet. Yaconelli implored us to share the love and compassion that is inside of us and then share that with the world. It was a simple message, but it’s one that resonated with me. These days many talks share the one or three or five (pick your number) keys to success for church. These talks are all about strategies and tactics. Yaconellis shared that the strategies and tactics of Jesus were not that complicated. He loved people. Our culture will distract us from this foundational task.

Every time I’ve heard Len Sweet I’m always challenged to think about our culture in a new way. He shared the idea of a “narrafor,” a combination of narrative and metaphor. He argued that the Gutenburg culture communicated in words. Our culture doesn’t speak in works; it speaks in narratives and metaphors. He shared some winning commercials from past Super Bowls that communicated its message in images—one commercial hardly used any words.

His message is important for all of us who design worship. Are we more focused on the words we use or the narrative and images we share?

This year we were able to take one workshop that met five different times. I attended a workshop led by Brian Clark, pastor of Riverside Presbyterian Church, on Vision/Planning/Leadership. The workshop challenged me to think about how we are developing Spiritual Leaders at Chain of Lakes church. The beauty of being in a new church is we can be intentional about creating our culture—this workshop encouraged me and gave me some tools to be more intentional about teaching and training on what it means to be a Spiritual Leader at our new congregation.

The best part of the New Church Conference is talking to other Organizing Pastors. I love having conversation about what is working, what isn’t working, what we need help with. I wish there were ways that the Organizing Pastors of our denomination could be networked in a more effective way. It’s critical that we are in talk and share with each other and most importantly pray for each other. I’ve started a Facebook page that does a minimal job at connecting us. The networking of Organizing Pastors is falling through the cracks.

I had the privilege of hanging out with Doug Cushing, my coach and friend. Doug and I had lots of opportunities to share what’s going on in our lives. I’m sure in our conversations in the upcoming months we’ll talk about what we experienced during the past week.

I especially enjoyed the seminar called “Uncontained Rapid Fire.” The idea is simple. A person gets up and shares a few practical ideas in eight minutes. This happened twice and I attended both. I was glad that some young NCD pastors were chosen to speak in the second session.

I’ve attended the last three NCD conferences—each one has gotten better. I like the approach of having five conferences taking place at once. With a more focused approach on connecting NCD pastors the next conference would be even better.