January 2023
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In this month's newsletter you will find:

  • Bottles for Life
  • The church is a battleship
  • Getting out of our comfort zones
  • A Barna Survey
Don't miss any of the information enclosed!

From the Pastor's Study

Hello Saints!

I trust your new year has started off on the right foot, and you are seeking the Lord in daily Bible reading and prayer. If you have not gotten that habit started as of yet, be sure to check the information table for helps in that area. Your spiritual disciplines are vital if you are to live the life our Great God has called each of us to live.

As we begin this new year, you might have noticed some new faces on Sunday mornings. That is a good thing! God is bringing more folks to worship with us as He sees fit. That brings me to two issues that I want to talk about this month.

First, as our congregation grows, opportunities to serve grow with it. As I have said before, we are all called to serve in some capacity. The church is not a luxury liner where everyone is on vacation except for the staff. The church is a battleship that needs all hands on deck serving and fighting in the war that rages around us. There is no job too small or too insignificant. And neither is there a job that is beneath any of us. I assure you, there is something for you to do. If you don’t happen to know what that is or are unaware of the needs, check the bulletin board in the fellowship hall. There are usually sign-up sheets for areas where there is a need. You may not know in what area God is calling you to serve. If that is the case, the best thing you can do is jump in and try something. When you sign-up and/or agree to serve in a particular area, you are not relegated to that spot for life. You can move around and discover what it is that fits you best. So be sure to find an area to serve in this new year and get started.

Secondly, as our church family grows, there are obviously going to be people you do not know. That is ok at first, but it shouldn’t last. I know more so than most that it is uncomfortable to reach out and meet new people. I use to hate it when I was at a church and the pastor told me to turn to my neighbor and introduce myself! I get it. However, for those of us who are regular attenders and members, it is our responsibility to seek out those who are new and introduce ourselves to them. We are to seek to welcome them and make them feel comfortable in our church family. That is part of loving one another. Well, guess what? In order to do that, you and I are going to have to get out of our comfort zones and make an effort!

So as our new year continues to unfold, be sure to address these two issues. Find a place to serve, reach out to those whom you don’t know, and introduce yourself. Welcome them into our community of servants of the Most High God.

Forever In His Grip,
Pr. Shon
Sunday, January 22nd was National Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. This is a day set apart in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan.  Human life, at every stage, is important to us at The Real Tree Church because God says in His Word that it is important to Him, and should be treasured and protected by us. 

We want to stand up for the sanctity of human life this month by supporting a local organization called Amnion Crisis Pregnancy Center.  Since 1991, Amnion has provided Christ-centered, compassionate, and free services to women and men who are facing an unplanned pregnancy in their lives.

You can pick up a baby bottle at church to fill with your loose change, and bills.  Bottles will be collected on Sunday, Feb 12th. Please also join us in praying for Amnion and this Biblical cause.  Find Amnion online at:

For more information contact Cindy Larson.
Biblical Resources

Trustworthy Teachers, Preachers, and Authors


Richard Sibbes
Name:  Richard Sibbes

Birth-Death:  1577-1635
Wife:  None

Children:  None

Nationality:  English

Richard Sibbes was ordained to the ministry in the Church of England in Norwich in 1608. He was chosen as one of the college preachers in 1609 and earned a Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1610. From 1611 to 1616, he served as a lecturer at Holy Trinity Church, Cambridge. His preaching awakened Cambridge from the spiritual indifference into which it had fallen after the death of Willilam Perkins. A gallery had to be built to accommodate visitors to the church. John Cotton and Hugh Peters were converted under Sibbes’s preaching.  

Sibbes was a gentleman who avoided the controversies of his day as much as possible. “Fractions breed fractions,” he insisted. His battles with Archbishop Laud, Roman Catholics, and Arminians were exceptions. He also remained close friends with many pastors and leaders who wanted more radical reform than he did for the Church of England.

Sibbes was an inspiration to many. He influenced Anglicanism, Presbyterianism, and Independency, the three dominant parties of the church in England at that time. He was a pastor of pastors. The historian Daniel Neal described Sibbes as a celebrated preacher, an educated divine, and a charitable and humble man who repeatedly underestimated his gifts. Yet Puritans everywhere recognized Sibbes as a Christ-centered, experiential preacher. Both learned and unlearned in upper and lower classes profited greatly from Sibbes’s alluring preaching.


  • St. John's College, Cambridge; bachelor's --1599, fellowship -- 1601, Master's -- 1602.

Occupations/Professional Experience: 
  • Lecturer, Holy Trinity Church, Cambridge
  • Preacher, The Honorable Society of Gray's Inn, London
  • Master, St. Catherine's College (constituent college of the University of Cambridge)
  • Founding member of Feoffees for Impropriations
  • Author

Books:  Some of Sibbes' works include:  

  • The Saint's Cordial (1629)
  • The Bruised Reed and Smoking Flax (1631, exegesis of Isaiah 42:3)
  • The Soules Conflict (1635)
  • There are many modern authors who have reprinted his work such as Dr. Joel Beeke in "Meet the Puritans"; there is also a 7-volume compilation of all of Sibbes' works in Works of Richard Sibbes 
Interested in church membership?  Packets are available on the information table in the foyer.
Deadline for the March 2023 newsletter is February 19th.  Email information to Jodi Hansen at


Sundays, 10:00 a.m.
At The Real Tree Church, we are a family of believers who hold a very high view of God and Scripture. Worship with us as we give praise and worship through both hymns and contemporary music and receive strong, expository, biblical preaching.
Click here to watch online.
Praying Hands


Prayer Concerns

It is our privilege to pray for each other.  If you have a need for prayer, please tear-off the sheet in the Sunday bulletin and put it in the offering plate, speak with Pastor Shon, or email:

If your need is immediate, please contact:
Pastor Shon at 651-428-0439.
Check the Sunday bulletin and the bulletin board in the Fellowship Hall for all of the Bible studies and activities going on!  Don't miss any of the opportunities available to get to know both God and your fellow churchgoers better.  Feel free to jump into any of the Bible studies at any time!  
Power of Prayer
Follow Steve Olson on his CaringBridge website:
Make a difference in our church community by serving!  There are many opportunities available.  Sign-up sheets are on the fellowship hall bulletin board. 

Have a talent but don't see it listed?  Let Pastor Shon or Becky McIntyre know.  

Mission Opportunities: See Nathan Prissel for more information
Caring for our neighbors right here in our own community.

A donation bin is located in the foyer.  You can bring things at any time!

Go to for more information.


Barna Group Survey

In an October 2022 Barna survey of 2,000 U.S. adults, three out of four (74%) say they want to grow spiritually. Additionally, the same proportion (77%) say they believe in a higher power. Nearly half (44%) say they are more open to God today than before the pandemic.

Barna has been tracking the state of Christianity for nearly four decades. Though the trajectory of Christian commitment in the U.S. has been 
on a downward slide and is in need of urgent interventions, our new data give Christian leaders cause for hope.

Overall, 80 percent of Americans say they think there is a spiritual or supernatural dimension to the world. Eleven percent say they don’t think such a dimension exists, but it is possible. Meanwhile, only 9 percent say they do not believe it exists.

Though religious affiliation and church attendance continue to decline, spiritual openness and curiosity are on the rise. Across every generation, in fact, we see an unprecedented desire to grow spiritually, a belief in a spiritual/supernatural dimension, and a belief in God or a higher power.

We have an unprecedented opportunity to share Jesus with a world in need. But how will we do anything unless we are desperate for Jesus ourselves? As we embark on this journey to meet, know and love people who may be on the cusp of integrating spirituality into their lives and discovering the transforming power of Jesus, may we be found ready and able to guide them.

"Rising Spiritual Openness in America," by David Kinnaman, Barna CEO, January 18, 2023. Barna Group, Used with permission.

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25975 Galaxie Avenue
Farmington, MN  55024



Sunday Worship:  10:00 a.m.


Pastor Shon McIntyre
Preaching Pastor

Pastor Vern Swedin
Executive Pastor


To reach both pastors:


John Burger
George Cline
Aaron Daws
Mark Hansen
Nathan Prissel
Erik Rhode




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