W A T C H   L I V E   O N L I N E

Online Worship Only This Weekend

9:00a Sunday


Dear Friends,

Lake Harriet UMC cares about you, our community and our world. Please be advised of the following changes and cancellations in order to comply with the guidelines put out today by Governor Walz and the Minnesota Department of Health.

  1. Sunday – No “in person” worship. Please join worship via Live Stream.  We will stream one worship service at 9:00a. A recording of the service will also be available to watch later. Go to the church website, click on the “Media” button at the top of the page and scroll down to “Live Stream.” https://www.lakeharrietumc.org/stream/   There is always a “Live Stream” reminder post on Facebook on Sunday mornings that will direct you to the live stream too.
  2. All in-person ministries of the church are shut down until further notice, with the exception of the Lake Harriet Preschool, which will still be in session. Keeping the number of people in the building to an absolute minimum will help prevent the spread of illness.
  • No Wednesday dinner or activities until further notice. The Health Department guidelines require a six-foot space between people, which would make having a meal together, singing in a choir or playing bells really tough!
  • Godly Play, Youth groups, adult small groups and team meetings, are also on hold until further notice.
  • Activities of outside groups that meet in the building is also on hold.


While we are “social isolating” ourselves to help prevent the spread of illness, this does not mean that we will be socially isolated.  The staff is working on creative ways to bring worship, and other spiritual enrichment opportunities to you using technology.  I am still blogging the “Running with Mark” series so every day there is a new devotional reading which can be found on the church website and on Facebook. There are virtual meeting websites that can allow us to do discussions/Bible study and may also be accessed by ministry teams that need to meet. 

What can you do?

  1. Pray for the containment of this virus. Pray for health care workers and public health workers. Pray for those who are ill.
  2. Reach out to members of the congregation by phone or email. Make it a point to reach out to our folks who live alone.
  3. Your continued generosity in supporting the church will help us weather this storm. https://www.lakeharrietumc.org/give-pay-pledge/
  4. Remember the clients who use the Joyce Uptown Foodshelf. These folks are perhaps the most vulnerable. Lorrie Sandelin, Director of the Foodshelf suggests cash donations are the most helpful at this time. We will bring the milk products we have been collecting to them at a later date. Consider making a donation to Joyce at joyceuptownfoodshelf.org. Click on the donate button. There may also be serving opportunities at the food shelf as a new method of food distribution is implemented (pre-packaged food boxes) to mitigate the spread. Watch for specific ways you can help.


Friends, I know that this is an uncertain and perhaps scary time. If you would like to talk and pray (by phone, online etc.) please know that I am available. Reach out to me at karen.bruins@lakeharrietumc.org 


This situation is fluid so please do check the website and social media for updates.


Trust in God. Hear these words from Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you, do not be afraid for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you.”


Grace and peace,

Pastor Karen Bruins



  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
T H E   C H U R C H

We are a church that believes all people are children of God, unconditionally loved by our Creator whatever their age, race, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, economic status, marital status, physical or mental ability.

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Be the hands and feet of God in the world in and through Lake Harriet UMC. There are volunteer opportunities for people of all ages, interests, and abilities! And, you don’t need to be a member to volunteer!
A L L   A R E   W E L C O M E   H E R E !
Welcome and thanks for visiting! Please take a few minutes to explore the site and get a sense of what the LHUMC community has to offer. We also hope you’ll come visit us for worship or an upcoming event. We look forward to connecting with you and going deeper in our faith together. You are welcome here!

Rev. Karen Bruins

Lead Pastor
C H U R C H   M E D I A

Recent Sermons

F R O M   T H E   B L O G

Recent Blog Posts

Running With Mark 4

Day Four – January 1, 2020 – Happy New Year!


Read: Isaiah 40:1-11 Comfort, Comfort


The Peace of Wild Things – Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.


Do you beat yourself up when you do something wrong?  Can you forgive yourself? The people in Isaiah’s time had messed up big time.  They had turned away from God, but again and again God reached out to them. Isaiah 40 tells them “her penalty is paid”.  This is great news of forgiveness and new beginnings.



This God of forgiveness, will be like a shepherd, gathering sheep into her arms.  In this photo you can see the sheep are marked in red. This is used by the shepherds to mark their sheep so they can recognize them when they are in the field with other sheep.  This is the tender love of our Shepherd God, who recognizes us and calls us by name.


Prayer Focus:

Talk to God about places in your life where you need God’s comfort.  Thank God for God’s tender mercy and grace.


Music based on this Scripture:

“Comfort Ye and Ev’ry Valley” from Handel’s Messiah

“The Messiah” – Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra 2018    This concert is part of the SPCO’s new, free video concerts. 


Grace and peace,
Pastor Karen Bruins


Read more

Running With Mark 3

Day Three – December 31, 2019 


Read: Malachi 3:1-7

Malachi is the last book in the Old Testament, the Hebrew Scriptures.  It was written around the fifth century before Christ. The Jewish people of the nation of Judah had returned from their exile in Babylon.  But life in their homeland hasn’t lived up to their expectations. They had rebuilt the temple, which was a big and challenging project. God had promised to return to Zion to and to dwell in the temple, but as far as they can see, God hasn’t shown up yet.

Not only that, the very people who were doing evil things, seemed to be getting ahead.  So where is the God of Justice? Why isn’t God striking down the wicked?

Malachi, whose name means “messenger”, has a word for them.  “You have wearied the Lord with your words”. The people had been complaining and frankly, God is tired of hearing them whine!  But get ready, because the message they are going to get from Malachi is not the one they expect! Instead of raining down judgement on those they thought should be judged, Malachi points the finger right at them!

Have you heard of Fuller’s Soap?  Before Tide or Stainsticks there was Fuller’s soap.  To “full” meant to whiten. So a fuller was a launderer, someone who restored the whiteness to cloth.  

A “refiner’s fire” was used to purify metals.  When refining metal, the metal is melted over a super hot fire.  As it melts, the pure metals, like gold or silver, remain at the bottom.  But the impurities, the waste, which is called “dross” floats to the top where it is scooped out and thrown away.  

So how does the refiner know when the refining is done?  How do they know when all that bad stuff has been removed?  It is said that the refiner knows when all the bad stuff has been removed, when he or she can see their reflection in the pure metal.  

That’s a great image for what God can do in us – remove the junk, the garbage, the mess, the sin, until it is God’s image that is reflected in us.  As we approach the new year, many of us will make resolutions. What if we resolved to every day turn our lives over to God, that God would refine us, purify us and mold us.  

Charles Wesley wrote the hymn “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling”.  Here are the words to verse four:

Finish, then, thy new creation; pure and spotless let us be:
let us see thy great salvation perfectly restored in thee;
changed from glory into glory, ’til in heav’n we take our place,
’til we cast our crowns before thee, lost in wonder, love, and praise.

Chandler D. Moore is a singer, songwriter and worship leader from Charleston, North Carolina. He wrote “Refiner.”  The worship style in this song is different from the way we tend to worship. It is freer, more open to emotion and feeling.  I wonder what progressive Christians could learn from worship like this?

Take my life as a sacrifice, I wanna burn for You, only for You
Clean my hand.  Purify my heart
I wanna burn for You


Prayer Focus:

Talk to God about the junk, the mess, the sin (or whatever language works for you) in your life.  


Music based on this Scripture:

Love Divine All Loves Excelling Hymn by Charles Wesley

Refiner by Chandler D. Moore and Steffany Gretzinger.  


Grace and peace,
Pastor Karen Bruins


Read more

Running With Mark 2

Day Two – December 30, 2019


Read: Psalm 91:9-12

Interspersed with the readings from Mark will be readings from the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament).  These readings ground us in the Jewish faith and remind us that Jesus, a Jewish person, was steeped in the Scripture and prayer.  Throughout the Gospels Jesus often quotes Hebrew Scripture; to expand on it, and, sometimes to faithfully re-interpret because the religious leaders of the time had become legalistic in how they read and interpreted Scripture.  Jesus will also quote Scripture when he is alone, troubled or afraid.  

I recommend a great book called, Psalms for Praying: An Invitation to Wholeness by Nan Merrill.  Try reading her interpretation of the Psalms aloud as a prayer.

Those who dwell in the shelter of

Infinite Light,

who abide in the wings of

Infinite Love,

Will raise their voices in praise:

“My refuge and my strength;

in You alone will I trust.”

For You deliver me from the webs of fear and illusion,

from all that separates and divides;

You protect me as an eagle shields, its young,

Your faithfulness is sure, like

an arrow set upon the mark.

I will not fear the shadows of the night,

nor the confusion that comes by day,

Nor the dreams that awaken me from sleep,

nor the daily changes that life brings.

Though a thousand may deride this radical trust,

ten thousand laugh as I seek to do your Will,

Yet will I surrender myself to You,

abandoning myself into your Hands, without reserve.

For you have sent your angels to watch over me,

to guide me in all my ways.

On their hands, they will bear me up,

lest I dash my foot against a stone.

Though I walk among those who roar like a lion,

or are as stealthy as the adder,

in your strength will I endure.

Because you cleave to Me in love,

I will deliver you;

I will protect you, who call upon my Name.

When you call to Me, I will answer you;

I will be with you in times of trouble,

I will rescue you so that

you will know my Peace,

All through the years, will I dwell

in your heart,

as Loving Companion Presence,


Psalm 91


Prayer Focus:

Talk to God about your fears and confusion.  


Music based on this Scripture:

Your Wings by Lauren Daigle             

On Eagle’s Wings by Michael Joncas  (The United Methodist hymnal uses inclusive language on the chorus: “And God will raise you up…”)


Grace and peace,

Pastor Karen Bruins


Read more

W H A T ‘ S   N E W

Lake Harriet News: March 

Lake Harriet United Methodist Church is a vibrant, active, inclusive congregation whose mission is to welcome, inspire, and nourish its members and community to be the hands and feet of God in the world.

Lake Harriet News is our monthly print newsletter for sharing the church’s programs, services, and abundant opportunities to participate in community ministries. We invite you to click on the image, read the document, and explore the opportunities to live out our mission in your daily life in and through the church.


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Contact Info

Address: 4901 Chowen Ave S.,
Minneapolis, MN 55410
Phone: 612-926-7645