Bibles for Missions

Bibles for Missions is a totally volunteer run thrift store that receives donations of clothing, furniture and household goods to support missionaries and church plantings in Eastern Europe. We also send clothing and food to the Ukraine, clothing to the homeless ministry locally, and medical devices and supplies to Global Health Ministries through St. Michael’s.

Contact Don and Ev Griwac for more information: dgriwac@usfamily.net

Braille/Large Print Ministry

Lutheran Braille Workers published Biblical, Christ-Centered literature which is offered in both Braille and Large Print formats. Currently printed in 30 languages and distributed to more than 120 countries, the publications are offered free of charge. The work is done by a team of thousands of volunteers—St. Michael’s has a Braille/Large Print Center on location.

More information: www.lbwinc.org

Contact: Sharon Viegas sviegas68@yahoo.com or Carol Hoppe choppe@q.com

Comfort Dog
After much prayer, Gideon Comfort Dog arrived at St. Michael’s in August 2016. He is part of the Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry, a national ministry using the unique skills of dogs, specifically Golden Retrievers, to open opportunities to touch people with mercy and compassion. Comfort Dogs like Gideon are trained service animals prepared to interact with people in ways that provide a bridge for compassionate ministry to take place. St. Michael’s is thrilled to be a home for Gideon and for the teams of trained volunteer handlers and ministry helpers who work with him in our community. For more information or to schedule a visit, please contact Barb Lapham at blapham@smlcb.org.
Concordia St. Paul

Concordia St. Paul prepares students for thoughtful and informed living, dedicated service to God and humanity, and care for God’s creation.

More information: www.csp.edu

Dave and Luz Maria Ernst (LaCaramuca, Venezuela)

Dave, a member from St. Michael’s and a pastor in Venezuela and Luz Maria, a deaconess, have developed a Lutheran mission school in Western Venezuela in LaCaramuca, near the city of Barinas, a very poor area. The preschool provides nutritious meals and cooperates with local health agencies. In addition to the school they lead worship services on Sunday.

Dave, a pastor, and LuzMaria, a deaconess, have developed a Lutheran mission school in Western Venezuela in LaCaramuca, a very poor area. The pre school provides nutritious meals and cooperate with local health agencies. In addition to the school, they lead worship services on Sunday. Here is an update from their ministry:


Dedication of the chapel.
On January 8, 2017, we celebrated the Baptism of our Lord (Matthew 3:13-17) by baptizing three and receiving five as communicant members by rite of confirmation.
Those baptized were:

Baptism of Anyelimar Mesa Ruiz.

  • Anyelimar Katiusca Mesa Ruíz;
  • Naiker Daniel Ruíz;
  • Diana Carolina Torres.
Those publicly professing the faith and receiving first communion were:
First communion.
  • Escarleth Mariuzy Ruíz;
  • Maryuri Daniela Rojas;
  • Eduar José Garrido;
  • José Ignacio Garrido;
  • Frenyerlin Novoa.
During the dedication our chapel which opened the Divine Service, I said: Now I dedicate and set apart the edifice of Epiphany Lutheran Church and  all of its (communion) vessels to the glory and honor of almighty God and the edification of our faith, which is in Jesus Christ. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
It was the first time that I publicly named our congregation, “Epipany Lutheran Church.” Later I welcomed those receiving first communion in the name of Epiphany Lutheran Church and signed all the certificates of baptism and confirmation on behalf of Epiphany Lutheran Church.
Up until now we have identified this place, this project, as Epiphany Lutheran Mission. So what’s in a name? Are we a “church” or a “mission”? Well, both, if properly understood.
The first baptism was performed here in 2005. there have 19 baptized and 27 received as communicant members by confirmation or reaffirmation of faith. Our Lord promised that “wherever two or three or gathered in My name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). This is after He speaks of how to deal with an erring brother and says of the church, “Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.  Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.” This is understood as the bestowing the Office of the Keys on the church on earth, even the smallest of local churches.
C.F.W. Walther, in his landmark work, “Church and Ministry”, says “the church”, properly understood, is the aggregate of  all those who, called out of the lost and condemned human race by the Holy Spirit through the Word, truly believe in Christ and by faith are sanctified and  incorporated in Christ. In this true church, there are no liars or hypocrites. The total membership of this true church is known only to God, who knows the most intimate secrets of the heart, thus it is “invisible” to us.
However, Scripture also calls the visible aggregate of all the called, that is, of all who confess and adhere to the proclaimed Word and use the sacraments, which consists of good and evil persons, “church”. So also it calls local congregations, found here and there, where the Word of God is preached and the sacraments administered, “churches”. Wherever there are Word and sacraments, there will be found true Christians, even though there may be false Christians in the visible assembly. God ultimately will judge those put on a false show of faith (Matthew 13:24-30), but for the sake of the faithful in the visible assembly, He recognizes the right of the smallest congregation, even one consisting of two or three people, as possessing all of the authority which He has given to the whole church. That is, to proclaim God’s Law, the message of judgment, to the unrepentant, but the Gospel, the message of salvation and forgiveness, to the repentant sinner.
Even the smallest congregation has the right and the responsibility to call and place men, who have been properly prepared and examined, into the office of the holy ministry, which is the office of publicly proclaiming the Word and administering the sacraments in the name of Christ and His church. Local congregations also have the right and, indeed, the responsibility to send and support called and ordained ministers to preach and administer the sacraments in places where a stable community of professed Christians has not been established.
“For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. but how are they to call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?  And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”  Romans 10:13-15.
This generally is what is meant by “mission” or “mission work”. But it is the same ministry of the church: Preaching and administration of the sacraments. The Great Commission ties it all together: And Jesus came and said to them, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.   Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20).
But we may distinguish, in common usage, between those who send and those who receive. We speak of a “mission” or “mission congregation” as a group of believers who do not have the resources to materially support a ministry in one location, much less send missionaries to distant shores. Other congregations (“churches”) may contribute toward the support of a resident pastor, construction of facilities or other needs.
Ideally a newly planted congregation would quickly grow to the point where it can not only support its own ministry, but mission projects outside its own locality. But any number of factors, both spiritual and material, may impede that progress.
Epiphany Lutheran Church of La Caramuca, Venezuela, has been a local church effectively since that first baptism in 2005. We remain a mission in both senses. We continue to try and reach those who do not know the hope of eternal life in Christ with the Gospel, and to show them God’s love in action by helping them with their material needs. Also, we continue to depend on donations from concerned individuals, mission societies and other congregation in order to continue being a blessing to our community.

Most of the families that we serve have for generations been plagued by instability in work and personal relations. It was one of our objectives from the beginning to help them break the cycle of poverty imposed by false beliefs through Christian education. Now the entire country is gripped by an economic crisis in a world that seem to be gripped by fear and uncertainty. We ask, that if you have the means, please consider helping keep shining a light in the present darkness. You may donate on-line at this Web site. Thank and God bless.


Dennis and Monta Denow (Bangkok, Thailand)
Only about 1.6% of the people in Thailand know Jesus as their Savior. St. Michael’s is helping support Mr. Dennis Denow, LCMS Educational Missionary, as he works to share the Gospel in this predominantly Buddhist country. By aiding the Thailand Concordia Lutheran Church and through English-as-a-foreign-language classes, Missionary Denow is able to build relationships and openly proclaim the Gospel. The need for sharing the Gospel in Thailand is great and the opportunities are many. However, there is also a need for more people to join the ministry there as volunteers or career missionaries.
Drew and Nicole Bradshaw (Hong Kong, China)

The Lutheran Church Hong Kong Synod has employed Drew and Nicole since 2013. They work to enhance English language programs and Christian presence in the schools as well as equip Christian teachers and students to effectively share their faith. Nicole works closely with the Rock of Ages Kindergarten, Siu Luen Primary School, LCK Primary School, and LCK Secondary School. Drew works at St. James Kindergarten, Gertrude Simon Secondary, and Concordia International School (LCHKS). He also oversees the LCHKS’ missionaries and program. On the fifth Sundays he preaches in LCHKS congregations. Both Drew and Nicole work with Holy Word congregations, Euon congregation, and Amazing Grace congregation.

Watch the video here of the Hong Kong students who experienced a cross-cultural trip to St. Michael’s Bloomington.

Cross-Cultural Experience Video


Feed My Starving Children

Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) is a Christian non-profit organization that works together with volunteers to provide and pack nutritious meals for children who are hungry in both body and spirit. One in nine goes hungry each day, and at least 6,200 kids under the age of 5 are dying each day from malnutrition and other related instances. They pack three different food formulas, which contain vitamins, vegetables, soy, and rice. Feeding these children is made possible by the time of volunteers and those who make donations to purchase ingredients. Anyone over the age of 5 is able to volunteer with FMSC, they are open Monday through Saturday, with 5 different shifts available throughout the day and sites in Eagan, Chanhassen, and Coon Rapids. By volunteering your time or donating your money you are helping turn hunger into hope with your own two hands.

More information: www.fmsc.org

Georgetown Park Kids Club

St. Michael’s has a partnership with Georgetown Park Townhomes to offer homework help, build friendships, and share God’s love at a townhome in their complex near the Mall of America. You can help in many ways by volunteering, providing snacks, helping with special events and projects by sharing your gifts. Kids Club (boys and girls grades 1-5) meets on Tuesdays from 3:30-5pm with Middle School programs in the evening.

Contact Sue Timmerman: stimmerman@smlcb.org

Global Health Ministries

Since the founding of Global Health Ministries in 1987, increasing emphasis has been placed on primary health care in rural areas of developing countries, under the leadership of local people, and also on providing training for doctors, nurses and other health care workers. GHM gathers and ships medical supplies and equipment, aids in recruitment of long and short-term health care workers and promotes interest in health care ministries within congregations in the USA. GHM has, in recent years, added a consulting arm that works with communities, hospitals and medical personnel in developing countries to help them achieve the best possible medical care for their people.

Contact Ruth Meier

Healing Haiti

Healing Haiti is a faith-based, non-profit organization dedicated to serving the poor, the vulnerable, and the disadvantaged both physically and spiritually. The ministry focuses on coming alongside those who God puts in our path, recognizing the dignity, talents, and potential of the Haitians we serve. We believe there is unlimited potential just waiting to be unlocked and invite you to be a part of serving with and empowering these incredible people.

More information: www.healinghaiti.org

Contact Margie Schroeder: margieschroeder@healinghaiti.org

LINC Twin Cities

LINC exists to engage God’s people in mission within diverse communities. Our vision is to see younger and more diverse people in local churches. Our main goal is to see churches reflecting their local community demographics. Our strategies work to see our mission, vision and main goal accomplished. In shirt, we are an organic team of cross-cultural experts, missiologists, consultants and coaches who relate to God. And because of that, you will find that we listen to, learn about and love others a lot—particularly people in diverse communities.

More information: www.linctwincities.org

Contact Dr. Fung Lo or Kurtis Smith


Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF)

The mission of LCEF is to support the Church in fulfilling its mission of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ by being a Christ-centered servant partner of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), ensuring that funds and services are available now and in the future.

More information: www.lcef.org

Contact Kurt Fuhr: kurt.fuhr@lcef.org

Lutheran Indian Ministries/Tim and Heidi Norton

God has been calling people from Navajo, MN out of darkness into His light (1 Peter 2:9). In 2015 Tim and Heidi Norton hosted 85 volunteers from across the country to witness God’s love in word and in deed. God used the means of the volunteers’ service to bring people into Christian fellowship. God used the means of grace (baptism) in the lives of two people this year to wash them from their sins, and give them His Holy Spirit. God uses the means of His Word to draw people to faith, which the team proclaims through worship, Bible studies, and community activities. God is also using the means of His people from St. Michael’s so that this ministry can continue.

More information: www.lutheranindianministries.org

Monthly newsletter: Ministry in Motion

Lutheran World Relief

Lutheran World Relief is a non-profit organization that works with local partners to provide lasting solutions to poverty, injustice, and human suffering. They work with local partners to provide solutions that build on communities’ existing strengths. Their staff and partners and specially trained to know local languages, traditions, and customs to provide appropriate solutions. They also work in some of the world’s poorest and most marginalized communities, serving people in need regardless of race, religion or ethnicity. Funders and supporters include corporate partners such as Thrivent Financial and church bodies such as the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and others, as well as tens of thousands of US Lutherans and other individuals.

More information: www.lwr.org

Meals On Wheels


Minnesota South District

There are thousands of people in southern Minnesota who do not yet know Jesus as their Savior. To help reach them with the hope of the Gospel, the Minnesota South District develops leaders (church workers, congregations, and lay people) to be intentionally engaged in God’s mission. Some of the initiatives include planting new churches, supporting outreach ministries to ethnic and immigrant populations, providing overseas missions experiences to –pastors and lay leaders, and supporting campus ministry efforts.

More information: www.mnsdistrict.org

Your Mission Gifts At Work

Contact Dr. William Utech

Normandale Hills Elementary School

Normandale Hills Elementary School

We have an expanding opportunity to live the St. Michaels mission statement.  Last year we worked with Normandale Hills Elementary School by distributing food with Sheridan’s Story. This year we are expanding our involvement with them to include before and after school opportunities serving the students.  Below are the additional programs where they would like us to help them.

Connections is a free, after-school opportunity that offers students additional support from tutors to work on organizational skills, successfully complete homework assignments and reinforce classroom learning. Connections meets two days a week (Monday and Wednesday) from 3:10-4:30PM. Students in grades 3-5 are referred to attend Connections, and enrollment is capped at 25 students.

Connections volunteers will provide additional academic support to students outside the classroom, while encouraging students to give their best. Ideally, volunteers should be patient and well versed academically. Four volunteers are needed Monday’s and Wednesday’s from 3:10-4:30PM. 

Before the Bell is a program where Normandale Hills’ students go to make connections and get additional academic support. Before the Bell runs Monday through Friday from 8:00-8:50AM. 

Individuals will work with students on a daily basis from 8:00-8:50AM and are welcome to volunteer on specific days or a period of time. Duties will consist of student engagement, supervising and tutor starting with the primary objective of the program being to ensure the student(s) have a successful start to their day.

Lunch Buddies is an afternoon program that allows adult volunteers to enjoy lunch with the great students of Normandale Hills! Two volunteers are needed to interact and assist students with lunchroom tasks. This program runs Monday through Friday from 11:20AM to 1:30PM.

Volunteers are asked to interact with students while encouraging appropriate and safe behaviors. Individuals should be willing to assist students with the opening/ disposing of school lunch materials. 

Our Knightly Stars program is a math and reading program where classroom instruction is reinforced by Normandale Hills’ staff. Knightly Stars runs on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 3:20-4:35, typically from mid winter through early spring.

Five volunteer tutors are needed to work with classroom teachers to promote student math and reading achievement as part of our after school program.

If you are interested in volunteering to work with the children before or after school each week, contact Diana Buechler at 952-210-3538 or DLbuechler1@gmail.com.  There will also be a sign up sheet at the information desk at church.

Operation Barnabas (Veteran Ministry)

St. Michael’s is forming a local chapter of a LCMS-based, Christian support group serving veterans, active duty military, and their families. The group, Operation Barnabas, has the mission that every military-connected person lives in the hope and peace of God’s love and mercy, as revealed in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Contact Bob Full for more information rbfull8@gmail.com

For more information on this ministry please visit: www.lcms.org/operationbarnabas

If you have interest in the SMLC Operation Barnabas ministry goals and objectives, please contact Bob Full: rbfull8@gmail.com

Operation Christmas Child, Samaritans Purse

Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, is the world’s largest Christmas outreach of its kind. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to over 124 million children affected by war, poverty, natural disasters, and other crises in more than 150 countries and territories. They partner with local churches to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with those who receive shoebox gifts and offer a 12-lesson discipleship program, The Greatest Journey, that helps boys and girls learn what it means to follow the Lord and share their faith with others.

Operation Christmas Child 2018

We have already started planning for OCC at St. Michael’s in 2018 and we need your help!  The OCC team is seeking volunteers in two areas:  Shoebox Shepherd and “FUN”draising Coordinator.


Our Shoebox Shepherd will help us gather donated boxes and coordinate the effort to wrap and decorate them ahead of our packing party in November.  We have business partners, members/friends and Samaritan’s Purse that supply the boxes we need, but our team needs someone (or a group of shepherds) to coordinate the love and attention that they require.

Shoeboxes do not make their way to their final destination without a cost.  One of our primary goals in 2018 is to increase our financial support for the journey that these boxes take to reach God’s children.  The OCC team is seeking a “FUN”draising Coordinator to help to plan and coordinate a few simple fundraising activities throughout the year.

We believe that both of these roles can be extremely flexible to fit most any schedule and will only require a few hours each month.  If you have a heart for children and want to join a fun and God-filled mission, give us a call.  Contact Rick Jones at 952-334-1974 or rick.jones@basf.com.

  1. Any volunteer gets a really cool Operation Christmas Child t-shirt.  You will be the talk of the town!





More information: www.samaritanspurse.org/occ

Contact Rick Jones or Megan Drabek

POBLO Missionaries
Originally from Palestine, POBLO Missionary Nader Alaraj started his career as a medical technologist, working for fifteen years in the medical field in Omaha. He met his wife, Georgette, on a visit to Palestine. Georgette holds a bachelor’s in elementary education, and taught for 6 years.  They were married and moved back to Nebraska.  Both were raised in Christian homes, although Nader felt a personal calling to serve the Lord shortly after arriving in the United States in 1998. Nader was among the leaders who organized the Arabic Christian Fellowship of Omaha. Both Nader and Georgette love sharing the Gospel with others in practical ways.  They will begin their outreach to non-believers in the highly diverse city of Bloomington, Minnesota.  

More information: https://www.poblo.org
Contact Nader Alaraj: nader@poblo.org
S.O.N. Day
Serving Our Neighbor Day is a day/afternoon set aside for us as a congregation to serve our community through acts of service and love such as raking senior’s yards, singing in nursing homes, making cards, delivering food, or other planned acts of kindness. Watch for times to serve coming later Fall 2016 and Spring 2017. If you’d like to be part of the planning group, contact Sue Timmerman: stimmerman@smlcb.org
The Sheridan Story

The Sheridan Story is a weekend food program. This program takes a unique approach to fighting childhood hunger: they mobilize the community to partner with local schools. A community group that provides funding for the weekend food program and equips volunteers to distribute the food to kids on Fridays sponsors each school. The Sheridan Story’s goal is to give kids food while facilitating a community-to-school relationship that we encourage to grow beyond the weekend food program. St. Michael’s serves students at Normandale Hills Elementary School.

More information: www.thesheridanstory.com

Contact Pastor Pat Simmons: pastorpat@smlcb.org

Trinity First Lutheran School


Current Prayer Needs

  • Praise for a restful spring break for families and teachers! Praise for safe travel and that everyone came back to school safely.
  • Praise for Elisebeth Rodriguez, a teacher in our Kindergarten 3 room and recent graduate of Concordia University, St. Paul, being awarded with “Outstanding Teacher Education Student – Birth to Grade Three”. We are very blessed with the talent God has given us!
  • Praise for the donations of antibacterial wipes that have been coming in to be used in classrooms and around the building. Praise also for donations of blankets and other items that will be used at our Community Health Fair at the end of the month. We are so thankful for the generosity of God’s people!
  • Praise for Pastor Maki painting some of the walls on our main level. It makes quite the difference!
  • Praise for our new janitor! Once again, God has helped fill the gaps.
  • Pray for musical practice that begins this week. Pray for students and families as they adjust to schedule changes and more juggling of responsibilities. Pray for teachers and staff who put in long hours to make the musical happen.
  • Pray for this week before Easter, that our families, staff, and those around us would be reminded of the REAL reason we take off a few days of school. Pray that Jesus’ death and resurrection would the focus instead of Easter bunnies and Easter egg hunts. Pray that the Holy Spirit would work in people’s hearts – showing us our sin and the need for Christ’s innocent death, but also the new life and hope we have in His resurrection!
  • Pray for the last sprint to the finish line of our school year. Pray for peace, protection, wisdom and guidance as we not only look to the end, but also as we think ahead and plan for next school year.
  • Continue to pray for one of our moms, *Lori, who is going through a tough season. Long story short, her husband may be deported, her marriage could be declared invalid due to lost paperwork, her father (who lives overseas) is declining, she has two young boys to care for, and her own health is often a challenge. Pray she finds strength in the Lord and that all these issues could be resolved.
*Names have been changed to protect family privacy
Volunteer Opportunities
Contact Anna VanVleet (Educational Support Coordinator)
Email: vanvleet.tfl@gmail.com
Phone: 612-314-6773 (call or text)


For more information contact Anna Van Vleet: vanvleet.tfl@gmail.com

Phone: (612) 314-6773

Uphold Global

Uphold Global is a non-profit creative agency that raises awareness on the injustice and mass murder facing children with special needs in Africa, and raises funds to empower local grassroots organizations.

More information: www.upholdglobal.com

VEAP (Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People)

VEAP founders believed that helping a neighbor in need ultimately strengthens the community. VEAP has been operating under this principle for over 35 years, providing a range of services to help low-income people meet immediate needs and reach their long-term goal of stability. In recent years, poverty levels in the suburbs have actually surpassed those in the cities. While we should not ignore the global effort to end hunger and poverty, there are individuals and families facing troubles times right next door. Today, VEAP serves the residents of Bloomington, Richfield, Edina and South Minneapolis using a unique mix of professional and volunteer services. Food collection is available in the lobby.

Contact: www.veapvolunteers.org

Vernacular Video Mission International

VVMI partners with and equips ethnic Christians who proclaim the gospel through video and other media in their common language. For over 25 years, VVMI has successfully empowered nationals in the Philippines to use media tools and Scripture to grow the Church. Since 2008, VVMI has also been actively involved in Latin America. Then, last year, VVMI began a partnership in Africa that has the potential for impacting that entire continent, plus the Indian Ocean islands. Join VVMI as we come alongside our indigenous brothers and sisters in Christ to help them bring the Good News of Jesus to the nations in unique and culturally relevant ways.

More information: www.vvmi.org

VVMI Newsletter: January 2018


Projects List Updated: Projects List 02-17-2017

Vina update: Vinas Operation Little Fingers Ltr

Contact Colin Edwards: cjedwards@vvmi.org

Contact Us

St. Michael's Lutheran Church
9201 Normandale Blvd
Bloomington, MN 55437

Phone: 952-831-5276
Email: office@smlcb.org


Building Hours
Mon-Thurs 8:30am-9pm

Office Hours
Mon-Thurs 8:30am-4pm

Service Times

5:00 p.m. Saturday 
8:15 and 10:45 a.m. Sunday, with education at 9:30 a.m.