Serve With UpWorks

UpWorks is an LCMS RSO that is supported by the Minnesota South District. They are looking for mature Christians to volunteer to serve their clients. Please consider publishing this newsletter article and/or bulletin announcement.

Newsletter Article:

UpWorks mission is to celebrate and develop each person’s God-given potential to contribute to our world. Partnering with nonprofits, UpWorks receives clients who are motivated to work, but have barrier(s) to long-term employment. UpWorks locates employment options for them, and then assigns them two Life Advocates to support this client through weekly coaching sessions 

Life Advocates are Christians who have been trained by UpWorks in the areas of coaching, working cross culturally, having crucial conversations, and other skills. They volunteer for 1 hour a week for 3 months to provide needed guidance to a client. The goal is to encourage and coach a client to achieve their goals, while shining the Light of Christ into their life.

Do you have a passion for assisting others? UpWorks can provide you with the opportunity to bless others. Please contact UpWorks at or call at 651-756-7851.

Fall Training Opportunities:

Monday, Sept. 19th               5:30 PM – 9:30 PM           

Saturday, Oct. 15th                9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Thursday, Nov. 17th               5:30 PM – 9:30 PM            

For more information please look at our website

Bulletin Announcement:

UpWorks is seeking volunteers to encourage and coach individuals who are impoverished, to achieve their goals, while shining the Light of Christ into their life. UpWorks provides training in the areas of coaching, working cross culturally, having crucial conversations, etc. The volunteer meets for 1 hour a week for 3 months to provide needed guidance to a client.

Please contact UpWorks at or call at 651-756-7851.

Blessings & Outcomes for Life Advocates & UpWorks’ Clients:

  • Individual’s lives are impacted immediately and prayerfully eternally.
  • Congregation members are blessed by having an impactful place to engage.
  • Volunteers receive quality training and support.
  • Congregations are blessed as the member(s) returns with cross-cultural experience and a deeper understanding of individuals desiring to restore their lives.
  • Congregations are blessed as they can refer congregation or community members to UpWorks to assist with job placement, resources to remove employment barriers, and to receive 2 Life Advocates/mentors.
  • Struggling individuals receive the love of Christ.
  • Relationships of care are established as challenges and joys in life are shared.
  • UpWorks is FREE and has resources to assist Clients. Zero fundraising requests will be made to congregations or volunteers.

Thank You From St. James, Northrop

The following is a letter from St. James Lutheran School's Principal, Sarah Garcia.

Dear Brothers in Christ:

St. James Lutheran School has returned to its building, leaving Martin Luther High School on Friday afternoon: both a sad and a beautiful good bye. St. James Lutheran Church and School wish to thank you all for your support in prayers, gifts, and presence these past weeks.A special thank you to all at MLHS for caring for us. Many of you traveled to the St. James Lutheran Church and School benefit Saturday, and if I missed seeing you and thanking you in person, know that your presence was another gift that not only renews and strengthens us but that models for us the love of Christ. What a wonderful gift! The role model all of you have been to us with your outpouring will feed our mission hearts and efforts for years to come. There are too many gifts and givers to list in an email but to give all an idea of the blessings bestowed we have received numerous emails and letters from across the nation carrying prayers and gifts. School children have sent letters of comfort and chapel offerings. Touching notes have come from school classrooms who had earned financial rewards through an earlier project but who voted to gift these to us. Gifts cards at stores and HyVee and financial support for our lunch program came so we could renew our hot lunch program while at MLHS and continue this  through the end of the year using the Northrop American Legion kitchen. Local congregations and community members have outpoured supplies that just happen to "appear" almost as soon as we think of it being missing. As written in Jeremiah, God has a plan to prosper us. You are His instruments to help us recognize this and confidently trust the future "filled with hope." 

"I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you." Phil. 1:4-7 ESV

On behalf of all our brothers here at St. James Lutheran Church and School, 

Sarah M. Garcia


Fire Destroys Building at St. James, Northrop

A tragic, early-morning fire on Wednesday, March 30, devastat­ed St. James Lutheran Church and School, Northrop. While the sanc­tuary was lost, the school gym, cafeteria and classrooms were not destroyed. Thankfully, no one was injured or killed in the blaze.

While the congregation and school make plans to relocate to temporary facilities and deal with the insurance-claims process, you can help St. James in the recovery in two ways:

First, keep the congregation and school in your prayers, including the Rev. Robert Trueblood, Principal Sarah Garcia and all of the members, teach­ers and students.

Second, you can make a gift through the Minnesota South District to benefit them in this time of need. Checks can be sent to this address:

Minnesota South District

c/o St. James Fire Relief

14301 Grand Ave S

Burnsville, MN 55306

The congregation began worshiping at Martin Luther High School in Northrop on April 3 and the school began holding classes at Martin Luther on April 4. The Lutheran Church Charities K9 comfort dogs were present at worship and the first day of school. The school held class­es at Martin Luther through April as the classrooms were cleaned up and readied for students.

The fire — started by lightning — de­stroyed everything in the church and its kitchen as well as in Trueblood’s study in the basement where his “entire library, both printed and digital, is also a total loss,” he told Reporter.

The attached school — with some 50 students enrolled in preschool through eighth grade — suffered water and smoke damage.

St. James members are devastated by the loss of their church building — one distraught member told Trueblood she won’t go into town because she can’t bear to see its charred remains.

“Everyone knows that it is just a build­ing, but there were so many memories that were attached to the building that it’s hard,” Trueblood said.

At the same time, the pastor said he feels “humbled, overwhelmed and thankful” at the response of the LCMS Minneso­ta South District and LCMS Disaster Response, which together gave the con­gregation a $50,000 emergency grant to pay “transitional” expenses not covered by insurance, such as alternative-site costs for the school and its lunch program, church and school phone lines, and office supplies and equipment.

Trueblood, who says he doesn’t often get emotional, calls the funds “a godsend” and admits he has been “moved to tears in more ways since [the fire] than I can count. If you could see what God’s people are doing in the midst of this, it is truly a blessing.”

Trueblood added he was overwhelmed contemplating what to preach at the first worship service after the fire. He settled on “Jesus’ words to the disciples: peace be with you.

“We are pushed, but we don’t fall; overwhelmed, but not overcome; and all those other phrases that Paul uses in his letter to the Corinthians [relate] quite simply [that] we have God’s peace now, before and after this event,” Trueblood said, and he asked his fellow LCMS members to “remember us in their prayers as we continue to work through this” in the months ahead.

Parts of this article appeared in a Re­porter Online story, written by Paula Schlueter Ross and posted on April 7.