In Our Hands - introducing us and our first trip!
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News from Joanne Sorenson, Trip Coordinator

Forest image
Finding Your Way
Through the Forest
Doesn’t it seem as though life is sometimes like a large forest that we must try to navigate through? I recently commented to friends that my life - for a very long time - has been extremely structured. Church tasks, visits, care for children, looking after an elderly mother, managing a house...all these responsibilities left little “margin” for extra.
Recently I managed a life change. In order to ease the start-up of a service ministry that I have long envisioned I bid farewell to my church folks, handed off most of my belongings, helped my second almost-adult child to settle in with his older sister and moved from small town to big city. As I adjust to a new environment, new town, new house, I experience some disorientation...where are my things? Where are my “people”? Where are my kids? Several times when driving I’ve stopped and said “which way do I turn?”

When have you experienced this sort of disconnect? During the ending of an important relationship? In the depths of grief or despair? In the days following a big move? We must then re-learn how to navigate. The long molded patterns in our brains must re- adjust. I mentioned to friends that it felt like the clear path so familiar to my days was missing...a forest stood before me and I needed to walk in.

Our culture is facing great disorientation. The clarity and comfort of community changes quickly. Violence is a daily theme in the news...fear of neighbor and nation is frequent talk between friends...we speak about returning to a more innocent time, days of the past when people could trust each other. It is a time to rebuild and repair - repair homes, communities, relationships, trust.

If you are in a “disorienting” time, it may be that one of the best things you could do in transition is to take a “service break”. Take a trip with a few others - offer your time to those who need it - become aware of culture - have your faith made strong - develop friendships.
“IN OUR HANDS” offers a new “twist” in serving.
An opportunity to make a difference in the world AT THE SAME TIME as friendship making, recreating, gaining a new perspective....this might just be for YOU! This may be the jump start for your new idea - bringing energy for the next turn in the road.


April 30 - May 4, 2017

The Lakota/Oglala People of Pine Ridge Reservation have lived under the cloud of hopelessness for many years. However, viewed with the proper lenses there are many signs of hope!

Travel to Pine Ridge, South Dakota to see the signs, understand the challenges, and consider the place of faith within native traditions. During our days we will participate in a service project, hear from Community Developer “Thunder Valley”, and visit the Oglala Lakota College and art center. Pastor Kay Ressell at the Retreat Center will help us understand how serving changes US in the process. Our discussion time each day will help us to see with new eyes, and leave with renewed hope to face the paths we walk.
Pine Ridge Retreat Center Logo.  Used with permission.
When: Leave April 30, return May 5 (driving)
Cost: $400 includes retreat center, meals, gas.
Trip size: 5-7
For more details on the location, please visit and
Learn more about this trip!
To learn more about Thunder Valley please watch the following video:

“Our mission is to plant ourselves at the gates of Hope...
The place from which you glimpse not only struggle,
But the joy of the struggle.
And we stand there, beckoning and calling,
Telling people what we are seeing
Asking people what they see."
-Victoria Safford, “On Hope”


The Future is IN OUR HANDS to create a better world for all humanity. We are people of many life philosophies, serving the world together, and learning from one another.
Joanne Sorenson
Leading the adventure:

“I want to help individuals and groups find places and projects that they are passionate about, so that they can serve our local or global community in a variety of ways. During my work as a minister, I have lead many serving teams, both overseas and stateside. I love helping people find the joy of building and creating together.”

Do you have an idea for a trip you would like to do? Know of a pastor or community leader that would love to put a trip together? Maybe a group of friends would like a unique experience just for them?

Call Joanne at 651-398-3989! She would enjoy helping you create a trip for you or your group!
IN OUR HANDS is in the process of creating a website with many more wonderful serving, learning, and traveling adventures. Stay tuned for more details!

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