St. Peder’s Lutheran Church invites you to a book launch party on Wednesday, August 17, for our former Director of Faith Formation Shannon Kearns’s book In the Margins: A Transgender Man’s Journey with Scripture. The event is at the church, 4600 E. 42nd Street, Minneapolis. The program starts at 7:00 pm. This special evening will include storytelling and reading from the book, time for Q&A, and live music from Kith + Kin Chorus, an uncommon Twin Cities choir striving to build community, spread joy and give in service of others through harmony. Reception and book signing will follow. In the Margins weaves stories from Shannon’s life into reflections on well-known biblical narratives—such as Jacob wrestling with the divine, Rahab and the Israelite spies, Ezekiel and the dry bones, and the transfiguration of Jesus. In each chapter, Shannon shows how stories have helped him make sense of his own identity, and how those same stories can unlock the transformative power of faith for those willing to listen with an open mind and stand alongside him in the in-between. Through scriptural reflection and personal stories about gender identity, an ordained priest moves the conversation beyond transgender inclusion to demonstrate the unique theological insights transgender Christians can provide the church. This book will be a great addition to church libraries as well as a compelling read for book studies or adult faith formation classes. A study guide, written by Shannon, will be available for free closer to the book’s release.
Published by Eerdmans and to be released August 9, 2022, it’s available for pre-order now, wherever books are sold. St. Peder’s is collaborating with Moon Palace Books for this event. If you order from them and use the code “stpeders” you’ll get 10% off your order. Pick books up any time after the release date and bring them to the event for signing. Moon Palace will also be on site that night selling books. If you’re interested in bulk orders, contact Moon Palace directly to set up an account for your church and learn more about other discounts available.
This event is free but to assist in refreshment planning please register at
The featured speaker is the Rev. Anna V. Ostenso Moore, an Episcopal priest, storyteller, and author. She is currently the Associate Priest for Family Ministry at St. Mark’s. While spending years reading a picture book in worship every Sunday, she wondered where God was within the words and images. She has written the picture books Today is a Baptism Day and We Gather at This Table to reflect the beauty of the families with whom she works. Note: While we all long to return to the days of book swaps, conversations over coffee, library tours and more, we will gather in person only if we can do so safely. The program that is being planned for April 30 will work on Zoom instead if needed.
Long time TCACLA member Marlys Johnson died peacefully of natural causes on April 2, 2021. She was employed by FluiDyne Engineering Corporation as its technical & research librarian for many years but still found time to spend countless hours volunteering in her church library, most recently at Calvary Lutheran Church in Golden Valley. Marlys was recognized at our Spring 2018 meeting for her many years of service to church libraries and to our organization.
Note from Off The Shelf editor, Laura Dirks: I first met Marly in the 70’s, through the Special Libraries Association, when we were both working as corporate librarians. She often talked about her church library, as well as her involvement in the then relatively new Lutheran Church Library Association. I remember these conversations 20+ years later when I joined by church’s library team. While attending a conference sponsored by what had become the National Church Library Association, I wasn’t surprised to run into Marlys. Before I left, she’d convinced me not only to the the Twin Cities area chapter of NCLA but also to become its secretary!
This information was taken from the 2021 spring edition of Off the Shelf. The picture is from an earlier meeting.
In light of the rapidly developing COVID-19 virus story in Minnesota, we have decided to take the precaution
of cancelling our scheduled May 2 spring meeting. Everyone’s health and safety are our foremost concern.
We are disappointed because we had a terrific program planned with an exceptional speaker, Dr. Janis Amatuzio.
However, Dr. Amatuzio has graciously agreed to speak at our October meeting instead, and our host, St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, has also agreed to reschedule. Not incidentally, Dr. Amatuzio supports the decision to cancel the May meeting.
In the meantime, we hope you will take the opportunity to add her remarkable books to your reading list: Forever Ours: Real Stories of Immortality and Living from a Forensic Pathologist and Beyond Knowing: Mysteries and Messages of Death and Life from a Forensic Pathologist. We should all have even more time for reading in the coming months!
and keep those book suggestions coming in for Off the Shelf! There will be a combined Spring/Summer issue later this year.
The spring meeting will be at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral on May 2, 2020. The Cathedral is known for its unique bell tower which chimes throughout the day and is lighted with seasonal colors during the year.
Saint Mark’s life began in 1858 as a north Minneapolis mission of Gethsemane Church. Over time, the congregation grew and moved to other locations. When a parishioner offered to sell a portion of her Loring Park estate to the church at a very generous price, the dream of Bishop Samuel Cook Edsall to build a new cathedral for the Diocese of Minnesota was realized. Within 5 years of its opening in 1910, the church had over 1,000 members. Its designation as Cathedral came in 1941.
The morning’s keynote speaker is Dr. Janis Amatuzio, an expert in forensic pathology and author of 2 books that explore the mys-tery of death. The title of her presentation is “Forensic Secrets of a Good Strong Life: Messages from Within.”
The Spring issue of Off the Shelf will include detailed information on the full program, a registration form, and directions to the church.
Plymouth Congregational Church 1900 Nicollet Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55405
Meeting date is October 12, 2019 8:45 am to 12:30 pm
The fall meeting will be at Plymouth Congregational Church, which is located at the southern edge of downtown Minneapolis. Founded in 1857, today Plymouth is a progressive faith community of 1,600 people. Per its web site, the church is “grounded in the Christian tradition. In mutual care and respect for our diverse understandings of God, we seek to embody the radical love and justice found in the life, teachings and spirit of Jesus…We are committed to creating sanctuary for the soul and seeking the sacred in all ways. We engage the ancient teachings to bring them alive today, nourishing and expanding hearts and minds to become the change we want to see in the world.”
UPDATE! The meeting registration form is now posted under forms. Don’t forget the 2020 membership form also.
Here is an updated description of the upcoming fall program taken from the current newsletter of which you will receive a full version if you are a TCACLA member.
The featured speaker is Susan Marie Swanson, the author of several books for young readers, including Getting Used to the Dark: 26 Night Poems, Letter to the Lake, The First Thing My Mama Told Me, and To Be Like the Sun. She is best known for The House in the
Night, which won both the Minnesota Book Award and the Caldecott Medal in
2009. One of her poems for children, “Trouble, Fly,” has appeared in a choral setting for treble voices and in an art installation in a children’s hospital. As a visiting writer, Susan Marie has written poems and stories with children for many years, teaching in
literary arts programs sponsored by COMPAS, the American Swedish Institute, the Loft Literary Center, and other organizations. She also writes and speaks about children’s literature, most recently in an essay on writing poetry with children for a parenting book, a presentation on books by Native authors for an elementary school faculty, and a talk on international children’s books for a local writers’ group.
At the TCACLA Fall Meeting, Susan Marie will be talking about picture books by Minnesota authors and illustrators, both her own and titles by a diverse group
of others. She’ll share resources, suggest criteria for book selection—and offer general good cheer about church libraries. She is a long-time member of Plymouth Congregational Church.
April 27, 2019
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
2730 East 31st Street
Minneapolis, MN 55406
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Minneapolis will be our host for the Spring meeting. Per its website, the church “is a diverse community of open-minded believers striving together to learn what it means to follow the way of Christ. The people of Holy Trinity have wide-ranging beliefs on various matters of faith and life. We are knit together by a shared passion for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and by a belief that God’s love is a gift given freely to all people regardless of class, race, age, gender, sexuality, or any other social distinction. Therefore, we are committed to welcoming all people, with no exception, to the full life of this community of faith.”
Holy Trinity has a strong commitment to helping provide affordable housing in its
com-munity. The congregation has developed two apartment buildings on the church’s property, is a member of the Metropolitan Interfaith Coalition for Affordable Housing and has worked on over 25 homes for Habitat for Humanity.
Our keynote speaker will be Stephanie Landsem, author of three novels in The Living Waters Series. Her passion is illuminating history through fiction, particularly Biblical history and the people and places of the ancient world.
Registration for this meeting will be available soon but the Membership form can be found on this website under Forms. Please note the address for this church as there are more than once church with this name!
The next TCACLA meeting will be on the morning of Saturday, October 13, at Maternity of Mary Catholic Church 1414 N. Dale Street · St. Paul, MN 55117. Registration at 8:45 and lunch at 11:30. Please look under “Forms” for the registration and membership forms.
Our featured speaker is author Linda Daniels. Over her lifetime, Linda had received words from the Lord but they were sporadic and infrequent. This changed
when an inspirational speaker, Gary Oates, came to her church about 8 years ago.
Gary taught a session on hearing the voice of God and writing His messages in a journal. Linda has been hearing and journaling daily since that experience. Those messages,
along with pertinent Scripture verses, are the basis of her devotional, HIS HEART, HIS VOICE; Words of Encouragement.
On October 13, Linda will share some simple steps to hearing God’s voice. You will have time to listen, receive, and write it down. Linda believes that when people receive and then share what God says to them, it encourages everyone and develops a hunger
to hear more from Him.
The program also includes a workshop on marketing your library, the annual business meeting, a book swap and time to visit the church’s library.