Sharing our Blessings: Ways to Give
- Give Online Now for a one-time gift or recurring gifts to the NLC General Fund using your Visa, Mastercard, or automatic withdrawal.
- Give offerings using provided envelopes or at Sunday worship.
One Life at a Time: Changing One Life at a Time through Generosity
At Normandale we are able to go forth and do good works, because of your generosity. We reach those in our church family, our community, and our world, because of your generosity. We serve the smallest among us to our elders with love and compassion, because of your generosity. As followers of Jesus, we are called to live with gratitude, to live generously, and to serve those among and around us. Join together and help change one life at a time.
We've Been Able to Soar
By Jeffrey Bissoy
My name is Jeffrey and my mother, Henriette (Angela), and I arrived at Normandale House, NLC’s transitional housing, in 2001, after previously residing at the Harriet Tubman shelter for women in South Minneapolis. Two years after crossing the Atlantic to the U.S. from Cameroon in October of 1999, things had not gone according to plan and we found ourselves on the streets. What would happen next would transform our lives forever.
At Normandale House, we were introduced to our family friends (and Normandale members), Jean and David Wikoff and Katie and Eldon Arden, who would become more than simply friends, but actual family. Growing up, and even to this day, I refer to the Wikoffs as Aunty Jean and Uncle David, and Katie and Eldon have become the grandparents I never had. Between these two great families and Kathy Peterson, the former head of Normandale House, we couldn’t have been in better hands. The Wikoffs and the Ardens would bring us to museums and various events throughout the Twin Cities, and would invite us over, or take us out for dinner. As I said they were family, and for us they were the only family we had in the U.S. When a family member is hurt and is in need, you tend to their wounds and nurse them back to health. Our adoptive family did this and much more. They weren’t content with simply helping us land back on our feet, they wanted to see us run, and run faster and further than we ever had before.
In 2003, we left Normandale House on Chicago Ave. in South Minneapolis and moved to a townhouse in Maplewood, and ultimately into our first home in Saint Paul, where mom still currently resides. My mom is currently a tenured-licensed science teacher at L’Étoile du Nord French Immersion in Saint Paul, where she inspires students to engage and fall in love with science. Since she has been at L’Étoile du Nord, her school has finished 2nd in the Saint Paul Public School district and third in the state in for MCA scores in science for 5+ years. Annually, her students compete at the Twin Cities Regional science fair, where they often win many awards for their challenging, fun, and interesting science projects.
As for me, I attended L’Étoile du Nord from 2003 till 2006 and I also participated in the regional science fair, where, with the help of Eldon, I won several awards for an aerospace project titled, “Can a Rocket Fly with Baking Soda and Vinegar?” Conclusion: It can. After the French Immersion, I attended Highland Park and Saint Pascal Baylon Catholic School for middle school, before graduating from Twin Cities Academy High School in 2012. From there, I attended Carleton College, which recently ranked as the #4 liberal arts college in the nation. After four challenging, exciting, and unforgettable years, I graduated from Carleton this past June with a Bachelors of Art in American Studies and a concentration in French and Francophone studies.
Carleton was challenging for many reasons, but I’ll be completely honest when I say that I would not have graduated from there without Normandale. I was fortunate to have had Eldon and Katie, who routinely checked up on me, making sure that I was settling in comfortably and pushing myself to my fullest capacities. However, I cannot forget my sophomore year, when my mother and I were struggling to pay my tuition, and suddenly we were blessed with a $3000 scholarship from Normandale to pay for my schooling. Again, I can’t speak enough on how blessed my mother and I have been to have Normandale in our lives.
Since graduating, I have been working as a research strategist intern for Fusion Hill, a marketing consultant firm located in Northeast Minneapolis, and I’ve also moved to Uptown with some friends from school. I’m a co-founder of a non-profit called CAYA (Coalition of African Youth in America), which expects to launch in fall of 2018. CAYA’s mission is to provide mentorship to high school students that identify as African or Afro-Caribbean and help them engage with their Pan-African identities, while pushing them to strive for academic and professional success. I often have many projects that I’m working on, but a project that I hope to commence in the near future is a sports and motivation podcast, which will combine my love for sports and my devotion to helping others in need. Two passions that would not have come about, if not for the numerous sports, arts, political, and current events discussions that Eldon and I have had over the years. It is impossible to fully emphasize the profound impact that the Normandale community has had on me, so I’d simply like to say, thank you Normandale for opening your doors to my mother and I in our time of need. Not only have we been able to run, but we’ve been able to soar, and for that we are forever grateful.
Much love and God bless always,
Jeffrey Bissoy & Henriette Ngo-Bissoy
My Favorite Place to Be... My Sanctuary
By Annika Henry
I have been going to NLC my whole life. I'm grateful for the times my parents would make me go to church because "they said so” for so many reasons…
First off, I met my best friend here in Cherub Choir. We didn't go to the same school up until high school, so church was our main connecting point. I can't imagine not being her friend, not being a dynamic duo, and not having shared countless experiences that would later become the foundation of my identity. Whether or not we're in church, Lindsay and I prefer to be addressed as "LANNIKA." Read more >
Sharing God's Love and Healing
As a health care worker in small villages in India, I walk with people every day through their life struggles and hope to bring love and encouragement into their lives. I try to meet people where they are – both literally and figuratively – on their life journey, in their physical location, and using their own religion and language.
I meet with people on the road, in their courtyards, and in their homes. Depending on their religious background, I choose my greeting. If they are Christian, I say “Yeshusahay” meaning “Jesus bless you and keep and help you.” If they are not Christian and are from the village, I greet them with “Johar,” a local term for greeting, or many a times I say “Namaste,” a Hindi term for greeting, to greet people of the village. Read more >
It's a Feeling of God's Love, Comfort, and Acceptance
By E.W. "Swede" Muehlhausen
Over the years, I have been a member of other congregations as my family and I moved along I-94, from Fargo to Detroit, with stops at points in between. After relocating to Edina last December, I first came to Normandale Lutheran Church for a Wednesday Matins service. I welcomed the opportunity to partake in a mid-week worship service and was warmly greeted by Pastor Paul and members of the congregation. As a stranger, it gave me an immediate feeling of inclusiveness. I found this very meaningful – it felt like coming home. It was a feeling of God's love, comfort, and acceptance.
My relationship with NLC is only beginning, but it has cause me to reflect on the "then and now". The "then" goes back to the 50's and 60's. I recall a Garrison Keillor Prairie Home Companion radio program and a Lake Wobegon story. Read more >
The Blessing Place of NLC
By Tara Finn
Blessing Place, the toddler preschool ministry at NLC, was the ultimate blessing to our family over the last year! In November 2015, our daughter and I moved back home to Minnesota leaving my husband behind in Louisiana to wrap up a work assignment and join us at a later date. It was extremely challenging to navigate a move with a toddler and without my husband throughout the third trimester of a high risk pregnancy. I was beyond grateful for the opportunity our daughter had to spend time in such a loving and nurturing environment while I was able to unpack, attend doctor appointments, and rest.
Six days after we welcomed our son into the world I received an e-mail from Alley Ohe, a parent of another Blessing Place child. She set up a “Take Them A Meal” plan for our family... Read more >
(Blessing Place grew by more than 60% in 2016, from 44 to 72 toddler students, expanding to a third classroom on the lower level north end. Thank you for your generosity!)
How are those in our community opened to generosity? Read more >
All Together in One Place
Because of your gifts, we envision All Together in One Place Phase Two. We are grateful for the generosity of all who have made this possible through your gifts and pledges to the All Together in One Place (ATOP) campaign.
In fact, we are excited to report that they have helped make the possibility of Phase Two a reality! The Church Council has already authorized detailed design development to begin. The actual timeline for construction will depend on additional gifts, and construction could be completed in 2016.
Pledge to All Together in One Place Phase Two
Thank you for prayerfully considering your pledge to All Together in One Place Phase Two. Please click the button below to complete your ATOP Phase Two pledge.
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Give to ATOP
Special Furnishings Gifts
If you would like to give a special furnishings gift, please click the button below. Gifts may be made with Visa, Mastercard, or through automatic withdrawal. Please contact Steve Olson, Campaign Administrator, with any questions.
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Online Giving Help
Questions? Please contact Donna Klingenberg, Church Accountant, at firstname.lastname@example.org / 952.929.1697 x351.