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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
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Recent Blog Posts

Running With Mark 47

Praying at Gethsemane by He Qi.


Day Forty-Seven – February 13, 2020  



Mark 6:53-56 New Revised Standard Version

The Sea of Galilee was also called Lake of Gennesaret. 

This section of Scripture reminds us that it is impossible for Jesus to go anywhere and not be recognized.  Jesus gets out of the boat and people start rushing to reach him.  People from the whole region came to Jesus, carrying people on mats, so that he might heal them.  Word must have spread about the healing of the woman with the bleeding, because now they are asking to touch Jesus, or even touch the fringe of his cloak.


It is interesting that there are no physical descriptions of what Jesus looked like in any of the gospels.  We have no idea if he was tall or short.  Did he have any unusual features like a big nose or scars on his body?  Think of the disciples Peter, Andrew, James and John, who met him while they were working their fishing boats.  They had never seen him before.  Now people on the plains near Gennesaret recognize him, without having met him.


For today use your imagination.  How do you see Jesus? 

Pinterest – Jesus Around the World   The Pinterest link shows lots of images of Jesus from around the world.  Check it out.  Which images do you resonate with?  Why?


Some Children See HIm – Six Pence version

Some Children See Him Lily White – James Taylor


Prayer Focus:

Use your imagination in prayer.  Picture Jesus sitting across the table from you.  What does he look like?  What is his facial expression?  What would you say to him?  What do you suppose he would say to you?



Grace and peace,
Pastor Karen Bruins


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Running With Mark 46



Day Forty-Six – February 12, 2020  



Mark 6:45-52 New Revised Standard Version

This familiar story comes immediately after the feeding of the 5000.  “Immediately” (there’s that familiar word in Mark again), they get in a boat and head across the Sea of Galilee to Bethsaida.  Bethsaida was a fishing village.  It literally means “House of Fishing” in Hebrew. 


After they arrived in Bethsaida, Jesus went up on the mountain to pray.  Jesus continues to model, for the disciples and for us, the need for prayer. While Jesus is praying, the disciples head back out on the Sea of Galilee to do some fishing. 


Jesus spent much time in Bethsaida.  Peter, Andrew and Philip were all from Bethsaida.  Even though he performed many miracles there, the village was cursed for their lack of faith. (Mark 6:51-53, Mark 8:1-26, Luke 10:13-15)

A storm popped up and the disciples were straining against the wind and the waves.  Suddenly Jesus appears to them, walking across the water.  Did you notice this sentence? He intended to pass them by. (Mark 6:48).  Why do you think he intended to walk past them? 


The disciples see him and think he is a ghost.  They are terrified.  Jesus tells them not to be afraid and then climbs into the boat with them.  The wind stopped.

“And they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves,

but their hearts were hardened.” Mark 6:51-52


Can you imagine being one of the disciples?  You see Jesus performing miracles, feeding crowds, calming the sea, even walking on water.  Mark says that they did not understand about the loaves and now their hearts were hardened.  For the remainder of Mark, this theme of the people not understanding, and having hardened hearts, will be repeated over and over again. 


  • What kind of storms (thunderstorms, personal storms, spiritual storms, health storms) cause you to panic?
  • Why do you think the disciples “did not understand the loaves”?
  • In the midst of your storm, can you hear Jesus saying, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” (Mark 6:50) If you can’t hear him, why do you think that is?
  • It is one thing to not understand Jesus’, he was after all performing miracles, and turning the social conventions upside down. We get why this was confusing.  But why do you think their hearts were hardened?
  • How can you tell when your heart is becoming hardened against someone? I think of people with whom we have strong disagreement during this political season.  It is very easy for my heart to become hardened against them.  I need to guard against this.

Has your heart ever been hardened toward God? 

Read these words of hope from Ezekiel 36:26 A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.



Change My Heart O God

Whole Heart (Hold Me Now) by Hillsong



Prayer Focus:

Pray to have a soft and pliable heart that God will touch.


Grace and peace,
Pastor Karen Bruins


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Running With Mark 45



Day Forty-Five – February 11, 2020  



I have spent many years working in children’s ministry.  Music is a great way to teach children the Bible and the faith.  The only problem is that those songs get stuck in my head.  During VBS week, I will wake up in the middle of the night with  that year’s theme song running through my head.


Music has always been a powerful way for me to memorize Scripture.  I learned the Books of the Bible by singing a song, so if you ever see me at the front of a sanctuary, turning pages in the big Bible, chances are good I am singing the Books of the Bible song to help me find the right page.


A simple song that I use with preschoolers contains big Biblical truths.  You can see the silly pastor singing it here – 2 Fish, 5 Loaves


What did it take to feed 5000?  Well, probably many, many more than 5000, since 5000 was the number of males who were fed.  With the women and children included the number would have been much, much higher.


It was late and the people were getting hungry. The disciples came to Jesus telling him to send the people back to their homes, but Jesus tells them to give them something to eat.  Right away the disciples started listing all the reasons they couldn’t feed them.  It would cost so much money Jesus!  Jesus says, “How much bread do you have?”.  In John’s version of the story John 6:1-15 the disciple Philip says, “Six months wages wouldn’t be enough to feed them.” 


Andrew chimes in, “There is a boy who here who has five barley loaves and two fish.”  This detail about the kind of bread is very revealing.  Barley bread was the bread of the poorest of the poor.  2 Kings 4:42-44 tells the story of a man who brought twenty loaves of barley, as an offering of the first fruit, to the prophet Elisha.  Those twenty loaves fed over 100 people and there was food left over.  Would the disciples think of this story when the boy gave Andrew his two fish and five loaves of bread?


Jesus tells the people to sit down, and they do in groups of fifties and hundreds.  He looks up to heaven, blessed and broke the bread (are you seeing another Bible story here?).  The food was passed around and all ate to their fill. There were twelve baskets of food left over. 


  • If you were the little boy, would you have shared your lunch? Why?
  • What is the significance of the boy being poor (as evident in the barley bread)?
  • Do you think it is harder for a rich person to give or for a poor person? Why?


Some people are called to work systemically to eliminate poverty, homelessness and hunger.  Others are called to provide direct relief by serving meals, working at shelters, etc.  Which are you called to do?  Why?


Challenge: Consider fasting for one meal, or one day this week.  Give the money you would have used on food to an agency that provides hunger relief.

In Minneapolis, please consider giving to the Joyce Uptown Foodshelf.

If you are outstate, check for local agencies that are providing hunger relief.

National and international groups to check out include:

Feeding America.org

Bread for the World



God of Justice by Tim Hughes


Prayer Focus:

On the day you choose to fast, when you begin to feel hunger pains, or your stomach growls, turn to God in prayer. 


Grace and peace,
Pastor Karen Bruins

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W H A T ‘ S   N E W

Lake Harriet News: February

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