The Vestry and Transition Team Lead Nativity into Its Second Fifty Years

Preparing for Our Future – 2015 Transition/Stewardship Campaign

We are fast approaching the final phase of the Toward Tomorrow Campaign. Thanks to everyone for their time and efforts with the canvassing portion of our process! The canvassing team has interviewed over 145 of our 216 households. The team will have completed the remaining to-be-canvassed households in the next few days. As we have communicated in the past weeks, if you have not been contacted to be canvassed and would like to be, please contact one of the team members listed below. The information gathered from our Nativity members has been extremely informative as we prepare the process of searching for a new Rector. The feedback received is giving the Transition Team a solid direction as they prepare for the search.

As part of this campaign, we also conducted our 2015 Stewardship campaign. We were looking for a 15% increase in Pledge commitments from our current year in order to accomplish our goals of a full time Rector, while maintaining current structure. From the 111 pledges received to date, we are rolling up short of that goal (10%) and hope to close the gap as we complete the pledge portion of the campaign. It is crucial we have complete pledging information as we prepare the 2015 budget. If you have not turned in your 2015 pledge commitment, please send it in to the office or drop it off in the offertory plate today. Thank you to everyone who has been involved in this very important Parish-wide initiative and to everyone for your generosity of time and pledges!

If you have any questions or further feedback, please contact any of the following:

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Nativity celebrates our return to Parish Status

On Thursday, May 22nd, Nativity members gathered for a congregational meeting presided over by Bishop Prior, in order to vote on approving our return to Parish Status. For several years, Nativity has been a Mission Parish which meant we were under the direction of the Bishop and not in full control of our congregation’s future or finances. Now that we have shown that we are capable and ready to take back control of our future and finances, we have been approved by the Episcopal Church of Minnesota to be a parish once again.

It was a very exciting, proud and special event. The congregational members present voted unanimously to approve the status change and then voted to accept the proposed members of the Vestry (formerly known as the Bishop’s Committee). The Vestry members then voted to accept Denis O’Pray as our Rector. The meeting was followed by a lively and warm-hearted reception. THANK YOU to everyone who attended this momentous occasion!

Transition Team

The Transition team is looking for an additional team member to help in the preparation and search for our new Rector. If you are interested in being part of the Transition Team,

Please consider these requirements:

  1. Meetings every two or three weeks
  2. Review and judge resumes
  3. Possibly fly or drive to listen to sermons
  4. Engage in selection interviews
  5. Process may last through the end of the year.

And these Qualifications:

  1. Contribute to the diversity of the committee
  2. Experience with selection interviewing or have demonstrated listening and discernment skills.
  3. Active membership in Nativity
  4. Ability to present Nativity in its best light.
  5. Ability and willingness to support and help our new Rector succeed.

If you have questions or would like to volunteer for this very important team position, please contact Doug Maust.

Nativity is in transition and the Vestry, together with the Transition Team, is making progress toward our search for a new Rector. The process started with our every member canvas and has reached the majority of the households in our congregation, as described in the article about Toward Tomorrow. The responses will be consolidated and used to discern the common themes of who we are, what we do and who we are looking for in our new Rector.

The Transition team includes Grace Carlson, Ron McFall, Enid Kariuki, Deb Arnold, Jane Bizal, Kim Batham, and Doug Maust. The team is charged with using what we learn from the canvasing effort, together with their own experience at Nativity, to prepare the document that will be presented to the Office of the Bishop and to prospective candidate(s) to be used in the search. It is our goal to have the document in the hands of Bishop Prior in early July. The document will be a Parish Profile describing Nativity to prospective candidates. This will includes a brief history of the Parish; information about our surrounding community(ies); a description of our facilities; short staff biographies; our opportunities, challenges, and hopes; and some statistics.

The Episcopal Church of Minnesota will assist in the search effort and we will use the web to advertise our search as well. The Transition Team will vet candidates and forward them to the Vestry for final consideration and selection. The Committee does the leg work. The Vestry makes the decision. We expect this process to potentially last a few months, with the goal of allowing Denis to retire at the end of the year.

While we are in this process, talk to the Transition Team and the Vestry about your questions or things you forgot to say during your meeting with your canvasser. Thinking up questions we should be posing to candidates so we can discern who they are and the experiences they will bring. Pitch in. We welcome your thoughts and the insight you can bring.

An Invitation from the Vicar

Welcome. On behalf of the more than 400 members of Nativity Church, I invite you discover this exciting congregation, first on line and then on a Sunday morning.

This web site will introduce you to the ministries of our congregation, but only a personal visit can help you to know if this is the church you are looking for. Join us for worship and discover the blessing of being in a Christian community with diverse membership and an inclusive spirit that welcomes all persons to the altar. We are not quite the United Nations, but we do have a lovely mix of ethnic heritages among our members.

Read More

Weekly Reminders

Visit the Nativity facebook page.

Read about Nativity's 2013
Jerusalem Pilgrimage

Upcoming Events

Mary & Joseph during Advent

Mary & Joseph’s travels have taken them to a variety of homes and locations. To read about their travels and view more pictures visit Nativity’s Facebook.

Thank you to these individuals and families who have hosted through today (12/10). The Gillespies, Rosemary O’Hara, Ruth Erickson, The Wiebes, The Stoas, Essie Geiger, The Garcias, The Arnolds, The Meiers, The Ostenso Moores.

Nativity Calendar


  • 19 - Church Office Closed
  • 20 - AA Bible Study, 8-10am
  • 21 - Holy Eucharist, 8-8:45am
  • 21 - Holy Eucharist, 9-10am
  • 21 - Holy Eucharist, 11:30-12:30
  • 21 - Pageant Rehearsal, 12:30-1:30
  • 22 - Troop #261, 6:45-9pm
  • 23 - Living Sober, 7pm
  • 24 - Christmas Eve Service & Pageant, 4-5pm
  • 24 - Carol Sing-Along, 10:30pm-11:00pm
  • 24 - Christmas Eve Service, 11:30pm-12:30am
  • 25 - Christmas Day Holy Eucharist, 10am-11am
  • 26 - Church Office Closed
  • 27 - AA Bible Study, 8-10am
  • 28 - Holy Eucharist, 8-8:45am
  • 28 - Holy Eucharist, 9-10am
  • 28 - Holy Eucharist, 11:30-12:30
  • 28 - Men's Group, 6:30-9pm

South of the River Hunger Crop Walk

The Crop Hunger Walk was held on October 12th and raised over $16,000. Several Nativity members volunteered and walked for the event including: back row-Helen Goeden, John Curran, Claudia Kinville, Avelenna Melsha, front row-Brenda Steinkamp, Colin Brownlow and Hilary Brownlow. Next year's walk will be Sunday, October 11th-Mark your calendars!

South of the River Hunder Crop Walk

Join Us at Nativity

8:00 am Holy Eucharist

9:00 am Holy Eucharist
(traditional with music)

11:30 am Holy Eucharist
(informal with music)

Christmas at Nativity

Christmas Eve: 4:00 pm, 11:00 pm

Christmas Day 10:00 am

All services will offer Holy Eucharist and music.

Readings for Sunday,
December 21
Fourth Sunday of Advent

  • 2 Samuel 7:1-11,16
  • Romans 16:25-27
  • Luke 1:26-38
  • Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26

Sermon The Rev. Canon Denis O’Pray, Rector

Theme Have you said Yes to God lately?

Reminder there is no Faith Formation this Sunday or Sunday, December 28.

Faith Formation & Adult Forum resume on January 4

If you are interested in finding this weeks readings, visit the Lectionary Page:

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve, the children of Nativity present a Christmas Pageant during our Family Service at 4pm.

We’re starting to plan for this wonderful event and we’d love to have your family participate! Rehearsals begin Sunday December 14 & 21 from 12:45-1:45 pm. Parts for younger children (ages 4-7) and older children (ages 8-13) and those ages 14 and up. Contact Anne Hage if you would like more information or to participate (parents & kids)

Date and Time change for the Growing Together Through Prayer

The next Prayer Group session will be held on Monday, January 5, 2015 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm at Nativity. Exact location and topic will be announced closer to the time. Compline will follow immediately afterward.

Just in time for Christmas giving... or receiving, Growing Together Through Prayer has compiled a list of books that will enrich your or someone else's praying. Find the list on the Shared Ministry Counter all through Advent. Also available, bookmarks with dates of our Epiphany/winter sessions.