Ingrid Sanden's Blog (27)

Methodism's Split Over Same-Sex Marriage

I didn't get a chance to read much of the Sunday New York Times yesterday, but I was scanning it over breakfast today and ran across this story:

Caught in Methodism's Split Over Same-Sex Marriage

I find this story fascinating because not only is it theological, it's also personal. The man featured in the article, Rev. Dr. Thomas…


Added by Ingrid Sanden on May 6, 2013 at 10:08am — 1 Comment

A family in need...

Hi friends - Jon's best buddy from middle and high school in Fairmont is very sick, as is his wife. Their daughter, Jodie, has been taking care of them both - and herself - for a long time. She is 15. The family needs help. It's Thanksgiving week and many of us are so blessed - please read Jodie's story and consider helping in whatever way you can.

Thank you

Added by Ingrid Sanden on November 18, 2012 at 9:18pm — 1 Comment

Grace in the Face of Sadness

My friend Trish's husband, David, wrote a blog post a few months ago when it was clear she was going to lose her battle with cancer. He describes telling his daughters their mother was going to die. Trish wasn't sure about her relationship with God. She said she hoped there was an afterlife, and that she believed in magic. I guess that's what we all hope for - a little magic, or peace, or grace as we are facing our last days on earth. And David, in the face of unimaginable sadness, showed…


Added by Ingrid Sanden on November 14, 2012 at 9:28pm — No Comments

Wrestling with the weeds

I have really enjoyed the sermon series this month (the Parable of the Weeds and various ways to understand the story and it's meaning). It took me three sermons to get some sort of grasp on what the parable is trying to say and when I left church last Sunday, I thought maybe I understood. My understanding is that basically, if you rip out the weeds (the evil) while the good seed is growing (the good) then you wreck everything. There is no good left because by ripping up the weeds, you rip…


Added by Ingrid Sanden on September 25, 2012 at 1:00pm — 1 Comment

Risk and reward

Today I spoke in church about our new(ish) church website and online community. I was kind of a nervous wreck, to be honest.

I used to perform and speak in front of people all the time as a kid. I really never got nervous. Then I stopped performing so much and became more of a writer than a speaker. Once you fall out of practice with something, nerves creep in. Thankfully Fairlington has provided me opportunities to leave my comfort zone and face those nerves head on, when…


Added by Ingrid Sanden on July 22, 2012 at 10:59pm — 1 Comment

Oldest Child Syndrome

I have been reading the congregational summer read (God's Welcome: Hospitality for a Gospel-Hungry World) and enjoyed Pastor Barbara's sermon last Sunday. 

I have always had a problem with the story of the prodigal son. I identify with the older son. He stayed around, worked hard, did everything that was expected of him, took care of his father's business and land, and was basically a good kid. Maybe he wished he could have taken more risks. But he didn't - he was the…


Added by Ingrid Sanden on July 19, 2012 at 10:46pm — 1 Comment

Could you go alcohol-free for Lent?

I give up alcohol for Lent pretty much every year. I don't think I have an alcohol problem, but I do enjoy a glass of wine pretty much every night. So giving up alcohol means giving up part of my daily routine, and something that signals to me that it's time to relax a little, the kids are in bed, and I can sit down on the couch and watch some t.v. or read the paper. It's more of a state of mind than the actual alcohol, but I find that it's that signal of relaxing and sitting down with a…


Added by Ingrid Sanden on February 22, 2012 at 10:45am — No Comments

To Tithe or Not to Tithe: from 1/29 NYTimes

This is an interesting article from today's NY Times:

I hope you're able to see the link. Also, be sure to click on the graphic to the left of the text - you'll see a pop-up box with some interesting data about…


Added by Ingrid Sanden on January 29, 2012 at 6:09pm — No Comments


I don't really like change. It's uncomfortable and scary. But change is where we are at with our website redesign. We are getting close to unveiling our site to the "real" world and now the FUMC staff is sharing in put on the design, look, feel, and function of the home page in particular. So you'll notice some changes now - more distinct boxes around groups of text, more links to click on, some new images closer to the top of the screen, a new header/banner (it's just a practice banner, so…


Added by Ingrid Sanden on January 15, 2012 at 2:33pm — 19 Comments

A new year...

I am so excited to start a new year. I always am. I don't make resolutions anymore, but I do think about goals and projects. Part of why I like a new year is because the hectic feeling of the holiday season is finally behind me.

This year is exciting because hopefully Fairlington will use this "prototype" site as it's website and online face to the world. We have 88 members right now, which should bode well as we attempt to bring the feeling and fellowship of Fairlington…


Added by Ingrid Sanden on January 3, 2012 at 1:13pm — 1 Comment

It's the most wonderful time...

Except when it's not. 

I didn't plan very well when I had my two daughters on December 28, 2002, and December, 29, 2004. Of course in the moment, finding out you're going to have a baby, it's such exciting news that you don't necessarily do the math and count ahead nine months. And even if you did, you couldn't anticipate the wonderful chaos having kids with Christmas-ish birthdays.

And then once you do, you figure out that two birthday parties (they used to…


Added by Ingrid Sanden on December 6, 2011 at 9:31am — No Comments

Collaboration and Communication

Yesterday I went over to Jill's house (Jill is our web consultant on the FUMC website project). We had a date to discuss how we could improve the look, feel, and use of our new homepage. I know Jill had a million other things on her mind, as her dad is having health problems, but Jill was so welcoming and wonderful. She helped refine some ideas I had about how to change the page, and we brainstormed together on a few tricky issues. She has a very calm way of taking a lot of jumbled,…


Added by Ingrid Sanden on November 17, 2011 at 9:00am — 1 Comment

Out of the Routine

Last Wednesday morning I left for Mississippi with one of my “new” best friends, Mary Payne. I’m so blessed to have her as a friend and we have really helped each other through some tough times. A little over a year ago she came to Minnesota and learned a bit about how I grew up, so we planned this trip so I could see the world from her perspective. She is a Mississippi native and has deep roots there, as evidenced by the fact that her mother and father are either related to…


Added by Ingrid Sanden on November 11, 2011 at 11:21am — 1 Comment

Always there...

A friend sent me a column last week about a local journalist at a paper she once worked at. The woman’s name was Rose Post, and she worked at the Salisbury Post in North Carolina for five decades. She sounded like the kind of gal I would have loved to know, and she probably knew everyone, their mother, their second cousin once-removed, and where their niece was going to college. Here is the column. It’s beautifully written by Mark Wineka:



Added by Ingrid Sanden on October 28, 2011 at 9:57am — No Comments

Ain't Got Time

Long story short, I'm helping an old friend with a little hometown (Luverne, MN) musical research and I ran across this video. It's from my sister's alma mater, a small Lutheran school in Moorhead, MN known for it's music program (and there are MANY small Lutheran schools known for their music programs across the state of Minnesota, South Dakota and Iowa!!) - and it's too good not to share:



Added by Ingrid Sanden on October 19, 2011 at 10:19pm — 3 Comments

Thank you for being a friend...

When you think of the word "friend," what do you think? I wonder if the definition has changed for people since the invention of Facebook.


I have been thinking about the word "friend" a lot lately. When I first joined Facebook, I really had a hard time accepting "friend requests." These were often people who had been on Facebook much longer than I, and who had found me in roundabout ways. Think of old high school friends (who, in my case, are also middle-school and…


Added by Ingrid Sanden on October 18, 2011 at 10:19pm — 1 Comment

A long, faithful life

This week, a very important person in my life died. Her name was Esther Paulson and she was 92. She was the grandma of the only boy in a 5-member violin group (the Grace Notes) I played with from the time I was 5 until I graduated from high school (and after that, we got together to play at our church - Grace Lutheran - at Christmas, Easter, and for weddings). She was a surrogate grandma to many.


We practiced every Sunday night in Esther's house. She had this huge, old…


Added by Ingrid Sanden on October 8, 2011 at 8:11pm — 4 Comments


I brought my younger daughter, Ava, age 6, to the Marker-Miller Orchard in Winchester on Saturday. The St. Andrew Club and Hunger Ministries group at Fairlington organized a gleaning opportunity for our congregation on Sept. 24 and again on Saturday, Oct. 1. 


The original plan was for our whole family to go,…


Added by Ingrid Sanden on October 3, 2011 at 3:15pm — 2 Comments


How awesome was that rainbow on the way to church yesterday? It was so vibrant, and very narrow. You could easily see both ends. Plus, for a few minutes, there was a full double rainbow! It was fantastic.



Added by Ingrid Sanden on October 3, 2011 at 1:34pm — 4 Comments

Back to Church Sunday

Earlier this month, I saw this video on one of my friend's Facebook pages in the week leading up to "Back to Church Sunday," which was Sept. 18:


I thought it was an interesting video, but I really enjoyed reading this article and the reflections of the author, which is based on the video (from…


Added by Ingrid Sanden on September 29, 2011 at 10:13am — 2 Comments

Blog Posts

Sacrifice & Service

Posted by FUMC on October 19, 2018 at 11:44am 0 Comments

       It’s a paradox. Jumbo shrimp. Bitter sweet. Boneless ribs. Loud silence. Paradox seems to defy logic, is absurd, unusual or seems self-contradictory. But in the end it may prove to be something of value, well-founded or true. Like the concept of sacrifice.

Sacrifice is something we often avoid. It’s hard. It takes away from our own pleasure and requires us to deny ourselves. Yet it leads to life. To sacrifice is to give up something that is valuable to you in order to help another person. In the economy of our life in community, helping others turns out to be worth more than simply helping yourself. In fact, it’s what makes life together possible. Sacrifice is always hard but it gives life. A paradox. Where have you found sacrifice hard but life-giving?…


Reconciling Notes

Immigration 101: 

 Sunday, September 23, in the Fellowship Hall immediately after the 11:00AM service. Light lunch to be served.

An Overview of U.S. Immigration Law

Do you ever wonder about immigration laws?

What’s a visa, a green card, DACA?

Why immigrants don’t just apply for citizenship?

Would you like to have a better understanding of immigration rules in a non-political format?


Lunch will be followed by Just Neighbors presenting an easy to understand overview of the ins and outs of our country’s very complex immigration system.


Regardless of your political views, this presentation will focus on facts about who is eligible for the various types of legal status in the U.S. and what the various types mean. There will be time for Q&A. 


No RSVP necessary, just come! For more information contact Mark Elder



Co-hosted by FUMC’s Reconciling Ministry Team

and the Church in Society Team.


Download Here: Our 5 Year History as a Reconciling Congregation

We celebrate Fairlington's 5-year anniversary of becoming a Reconciling Congregation, intentionally welcoming all people as beloved children of God.

Our celebratory theme, “Love in All Colors,” reflects the breadth and diversity of God’s human creation as proclaimed in our church’s welcoming statement.

Check out our audio for personal testimonies from FUMC members. They share how being part of a reconciling congregation has personally affected them and shaped their faith journey.

~Mark Elder,


Follow this link to see the extensive work and accomplishments of this :church and its Reconciling Ministry Team over the last five years, since we became a reconciling congregation in February 2013.  Thank you church!


Fairlington UMC is a 

Reconciling Congregation with open hearts, open minds, and open doors. We proclaim and welcome every person as a beloved child of God regardless of age, race, physical or mental ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, family structure, faith history, or life experience.

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