Photo by Richelle Stackert
Pastor Jaeger delivers a children's sermon on her first Sunday, August 26.
|March 2013||Year through|
|Budget to date||% of|
|Anonymous cash offerings||$487.39||$991.17||$1,250.00||79%|
|Total budgeted giving||$25,644.86||$73,891.42||$68,409.00||108%|
|Other designated gifts||$152.78||$545.78|
Congratulations to Pastor Elizabeth Palmer who will graduate from the University of Chicago with a Ph.D. in theology from the U of C's Divinity School the afternoon of March 22nd in Rockefeller Chapel.
Global Climate Change is shaping up to be the defining crisis of this and future generations. Unsurprisingly, it is the poor and marginalized who stand to suffer the most as the choices of wealthy nations drive us towards rising food prices, increasingly limited resources, and unpredictable weather. Braving an overnight bus there and back, I joined thousands of climate activists and concerned citizens from all over the country at a rally in DC on February 17th.
We were calling for President Obama to kill the Keystone XL pipeline once and for all, but also for more intentional, serious, and immediate action to mitigate what damage we can from this global threat. The Social Ministry Committee is interested in hearing ways Augustana would like to be involved in the climate movement. Please talk to Sylvia if you have any ideas or questions.
The Winter meeting of the Women was held on Saturday, February 16. Jim Nye, head of the South Asia collection at Regenstine Library, was the presenter speaking on “Building Library Resources with Colleagues in South Asia”. He told about his close work with colleagues in India to build collections by receiving libraries from private collectors, building digital collections and working with and contributing to Google books which aims to scan all books ever published! Jim also told about collecting and preserving early gramaphone records and collecting and preserving postcards from the 1800s and 1900s both for the rich historical information they contain.
Sanchita Kisku gave devotions referring to elements of air, water, fire, earth and sky as she read the first ten verses of Genesis — the story of creation. The business meeting included a sign-up for kitchen cleaning in March, a report on the Prayer Shawl Ministry: 107 shawls have been received and blessed and 102 have been given out to persons in need of prayers and care, and canceled stamps for charity that can be placed in the red plaid box by the elevator.
Two meetings were announced: the LSTC Guild Spring meeting will be Saturday, April 13 and the Spring meeting of the Women of Augustana will be Saturday May 4. The meeting ended with a lovely potluck luncheon in Gorder Hall.
On February 2, about 50 children and adults met in Gorder Hall for games and pizza. This semiannual, intergenerational mixer proved once more to be a fun way to spend the afternoon. Children were playing Twister and Chutes & Ladders while the older set played much more sophisticated games like Bananagrams and Yahtzee! A particular highlight was observing our financial secretary Mark Granfors and treasurer Hope Anderson exchanging Monopoly money as they vied for Boardwalk and the railroads. Keep an eye out for the summer edition so you can join us next time.
On Saturday, February 4, 8 children along with a parent gathered in Gorder Hall with Pastor Stephanie to learn about the significance of the sacrament of Holy Communion. Through interactive activities, including collage, bread making, and storytelling, we learned that Jesus Christ is present in the bread and the wine, and how the attributes of Jesus and God's gift of forgiveness is passed on to us through what Luther called the “Great Exchange.” We studied the Bible stories of the Passover and the Last Supper. We toured the sacristy, viewed our communion ware, and reviewed the mechanics of receiving communion. The bread prepared by the children was used during communion the next day during both services. Pastor Stephanie led a second session on Friday, February 15 to accommodate 3 children who couldn't attend on the 4th.
Lutherdale was a great camp. It is in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. There our 5 youth and 2 chaperones learned many different ways to praise and pray to God. During worship we sang songs and praised the Lord. On the second day we went through prayer stations. We went from station to station learning about prayer including one that was a labyrinth and another that used Skittles as a sign of forgiveness. We also had a fun time going through activities by choice such as playing games and learning about the Gospel according to Harry Potter (linking Bible passages with clips from Harry Potter movies). We also presented the Gospel reading at our closing worship (Luke 11:5-13): some of us presented or read the text, others drew and shared illustrations. All in all it was a very fun weekend.
On Tuesday February 12th Augustana opened its doors to celebrate Shrove Tuesday. Pancakes and sausages were abundant despite an electrical glitch that put 2 of our 3 griddles out of commission for the evening. More than half of the 80 or so attendees were children, many school aged, but also some babies and even a group of teenagers stopped by. There were lots of interesting costumes ranging from Rapunzel and the Cat in the Hat to a German soccer player as well as Hermione Granger and Harry Potter. The most creative costumes were a family of three that came as a fork, spoon and knife. The children enjoyed a variety of games, including “animal memory” in which they had to use their mouths and ears to locate their partner. Toward the end of the evening the children and some of the adults paraded in Gorder Hall singing “Oh when the saint come marching in.” The evening ended with Pastor Stephanie burning palms with the kids in the courtyard for Ash Wednesday. Many heartfelt thanks to all of the volunteers who helped with the games, crafts, cooking and cleaning.
We recently experienced another theft at Augustana, this time a wallet out of a coat hung in the coat rack area. While we make a concerted effort to keep our campus secure, there are times when unfamiliar visitors come onto our campus unsupervised. Please do NOT leave any valuables in your coat pockets at any time. If you need to lock up pocket books, wallets, computers or other valuables, please notify a staff person and they will lock it in the office.
Remember to keep personal and valuable items with you at all times and secure while at worship and other activities as you would in other such spaces. If items appear to be missing, in addition to calling the police, please report any possible thefts to the church office.
Bids are being obtained from security companies in order to install a door buzzer system at church. The church secretary and the Suzuki administrators will soon be able to buzz in visitors. In addition, the Suzuki school will be using the front gate and the door near the G.A. room to enter the building instead of the parking lot door. Both changes are expected to improve building security.
Tim Knutsen from LSTC's property department has been making some property improvements. For example, the ceiling on the second floor that was damaged by a roof leak was patched and sanded by him and it looks great. Also, Corrine Niedenthal applied a coat of polyurethane to the four tables and the coffee table in the G.A. room. The tables have had a lot of use these past years and were in need of special care. This new coating will help them last for many years. Thank you Tim and Corrine for sharing your gifts.
On Sunday, January 13, a number of members of the congregation attended SOUL's Martin Luther King Day Celebration and Public Meeting. This is an annual social justice event where we celebrate Dr. King's legacy through action. The keynote address, linking today's struggles to the life of Dr. King, was delivered by Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III of Trinity UCC. Moss' speech was inspiring and delivered in the style of a rousing sermon, and I was impressed when he managed to deliver a fairly comprehensive discussion of the history of financial deregulation (from Glass-Steagall to Gramm-Leach-Bliley) in that same oratorical style. A number of government officials attended, including Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, candidates for the upcoming IL-2 Congressional special election, and various state legislators and Chicago Aldermen.
In response to presentations and questions from SOUL leaders from across the Southside and South Suburbs, the officials made commitments on a variety of issues, including: closing corporate tax loopholes at the state level in order to prevent further cuts to social spending, improving access to resources on the Southside, and using the new Cook County Land Bank to address the foreclosure crisis. We welcomed churches and other organizations which joined SOUL over the past year, including Trinity UCC and the host church, West Point Baptist. Another interesting feature of the event illustrated the changing face of SOUL and the Southside: this was the first MLK Day event where SOUL offered a translation service — for a group of Cantonese speakers who joined us through Benton House, a new member organization in Bridgeport.
In February, the Social Ministry Committee helped to bring a Winter Farmer's Market to Augustana, through Faith in Place.
Augustana has spent the last 6 months transitioning to a new database system for parish information tracking in preparation for a new and updated Parish Directory. We have printed the information that the church office has been given for each household to review and updating.
Have a summer/winter or alternative mailing address? Include that as well! Be sure to return them to the office, even if they are current and up-to-date. Don't see your information? We will also have blank forms that can be filled out and returned to the office.
After we get the forms back we will be printing a new parish directory. The projected date of availability is Easter 2013.
A new offshoot of the Worship and Music Committee has been launched: the Liturgical Design Task Force. Members Carolyn Ulrich, David Miller, Angel Holland, Hope Anderson, and Robin Mitchell are planning some simple additions to our narthex for the Lenten season, and some signage for the front gate regarding Lenten worship times.
If you are interested in the visual arts and would like to join the group, contact any of the members, or Jean Nye.
Are you a morning person?
If so, perhaps you'd like to join the faithful cadre of “Church Openers”. Each Sunday one of them arrives at 7:30 to unlock the doors and gate, turn on the lights, set up the heat, and put the coffee on. It's an important service to prepare our space for worship, and we could use some more volunteers. You would be called on no more than once a month. Contact Jean Nye to get on the schedule.
How are you called to live out your faith through our communal ministry at Augustana? Some are called to be readers or teachers, others provide financial leadership, others help create opportunities for us to build friendship with one another, still others help us live out our faith through service and advocacy in the wider world. As disciples of Jesus Christ, each of us has a calling in our church. Might you be called to one of these important upcoming volunteer opportunities?
To sign up, see chart in the narthex or contact the office or call 773-493-6451.