MAS at St. Stephens
Saturday March 16th, 2002

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star gazers
Church star gazers.

Telescopes provided by Lauren Nelson, Jackie LaVaque, Ben Huset, Bob Brose, Eric Koester, Mark Mahoney, ??? and Rod Nerdahl.

Subject:Information About Church Star Party
From:"Nerdahl, Rodney M"

Hi Ben:

I'm trying to find a couple more people with telescopes to help me with a stargazing event on the evening of Saturday, March 16. This isn't an event involving the Planetarium, rather it's an part of a program sponsored by my church (Messiah Lutheran in south Minneapolis) and our partner congregation in Bloomington (St. Stephen Lutheran). The event is part of a new joint venture between our two congregations. The purpose is two-fold: 1) get members of the two churches together for worship and in the context of a social situation--so that we get to know each other better, and 2) to provide an event that we can invite people from the Phillips neighborhood (where Messiah is located) to participate in--as an outreach to the neighborhood. The event is going to be held at St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Bloomington (located at 84th and France Avenue). The telescopes will be set up at the south end of the parking lot (which is on the west side of the church--opposite France Avenue). We're trying to get some of the parking lot lights turned off to make the seeing a little bit better).

The event runs from 5:30 to 9:00 pm on March 16, and includes a contemporary worship service (from 5:30 to 6:30 pm), a soup supper (from 6:30 to 7:30 pm) and the "star party" (from 7:30 to 9:00 pm). I'm looking for volunteers to help with the latter part of the program. I'd like to have them present by about 7:15 pm, so that we're set up and be ready to go by 7:30 pm (just in case we've got a few "eager beavers" who what to get their skywatching started as soon as they've finished eating). Volunteer astronomers are welcome to join us for the worship service and supper (if you want to eat with the group, I'd like to know how many people--besides yourself--will be coming so that we've got enough food for everyone--including our "astronomers"). I intend to take a few minutes before we let people go out to the telescopes, to provide a little basic telescope info and etiquette, hand out some sky calendars, and answer a few questions (if needed).

So, what I'm wondering is whether you and your telescope are available on the evening of March 16 (from 7:15 pm to 9:00 pm). Let me know--Yeah or Nay--at your earliest convenience. I've got four people with telescopes lined up for the event to date. We currently anticipate that attendance will be in the neighborhood of 100 to 120 people. Anyway, I really need a couple more people with telescopes to help out, so that participants won't have to cue up in huge lines to see things. If the weather isn't conducive to stargazing, we won't need as many people & telescopes, but we're still going ahead with the event--we'll just do some things indoors. I'm open to offers of activities, illustrated talks, demos, etc.--if you have something you'd like to do for an indoor version of the "star party."

I want to thank you for giving my request your earnest consideration and I look forward to receiving your reply!


Rod Nerdahl (member of Messiah Lutheran Church and sometime Planetarium Educator)

Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2002 15:45:30 -0600
From: "Nerdahl, Rodney M"

Hi Ben:

Thanks again, for helping with the star party at St. Stephen's Lutheran this past Saturday night. We had a nice group of people, about 74, everyone enjoyed it, and I got loads of "Thanks Yous!" from everyone at Sunday morning worship service yesterday. (Needless to say, a big slice of them go to all of the MASers with the telescopes!). By the way, my binoculars survived the crash with trivial damage--a tiny scratch to the armor casing--the optics are fine. (But the incident sure made my heart skip a couple beats, and taught me never to try running two things and a star party simultaneously--ever again!


Rodney M. Nerdahl, Program Coordinator
Minneapolis Planetarium
300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55401-1904
Telephone: (612) 630-6152
Fax: (612) 630-6180

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