|• A Word from Pastor Gorder|
|• Lent Begins On February 6||Pastor Gorder|
|• Lenten Text Study…Tuesdays at 10 AM|
|• Congregational Council Highlights||Nate Wuerffel, Congregation Council President|
|• Augustana Building Committee Update||Dan Friedrich, Building Committee Chair|
|• Set Of Handbells Completed||Dan Schwandt, Cantor|
|• What is the Parish Life Committee?||Nancy Dishno, Parish Life Committee member|
|• Women to Hear “Dance of Victory”||Neva Hefner|
|• Accent On Worship: Lent||Dan Schwandt, Cantor|
|• New Alleluia Banner For Transfiguration Sunday, 3 February||Pam Maxey, Coordinator Sunday Church School|
|• Bruce Tammen To Present Last Garden Lecture On 5 February||Carolyn Ulrich, Editor of Chicagoland Gardening|
|• Healing, Thanking and Praising||Pam Maxey, Coordinator Sunday Church School|
|• Parenting Class at Augustana||Amy Grunewald Mattison|
|• Adult Forum Plans For February||John Albright, Adult Forum|
|• Campus Ministry Plans for February||Pastor Elizabeth Musselman, Campus Pastor|
|• New Campus Ministry Website||Pastor Elizabeth Musselman, Campus Pastor|
|• Green Team To Meet On 19 February||Erin Bouman, Field Ministry Intern|
|• CUBE In Concert At LSTC, Or Who Needs The Super Bowl?||Dan Schwandt, Cantor|
|• LSTC's 2008 Leadership Conference To Be Held On 11 and 12 February|
|• Accent On Worship: Christmas And Epiphany||Dan Schwandt, Cantor|
|• Augustana Members In Bach For The Sem||Dan Schwandt, Cantor|
|• Children Bring Flesh to Christmas Story||Erin Bouman, Field Ministry Intern|
|• Grace Note Assemblers Enjoy Luncheon On 18 December|
|• Greetings from Tanzania||John Flack|
|• In The News…|
|• Coming Up In March|
|• Scripture Readings for February|
|• Congregation Council|
|• Committees and Organizations|
|• Grace Note Newsletter Editors|
|• Previous issues|
|John M. Gorder, Pastoremail@example.com|
|Elizabeth Musselman, Campus Pastorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Daniel E. Schwandt, Cantoremail@example.com|
|Erin Bouman, Field Ministry Internfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Jessika Hopson, Campus Ministry Peer Ministeremail@example.com|
|Tyler Zoanni, Campus Ministry Peer Ministerfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Joy Doerzbacher, Secretaryemail@example.com|
Someone probed me the other day with a “what if” question! So let me spin with you for a few minutes on matters that make being part of Augustana especially important.
What if a baby is born? Contact one of your pastors and we'll come to celebrate and give thanks with you at the hospital!
What if there is a hospital emergency? Contact one of your pastors at the church during the day (or at home during the night) and we'll come to the hospital.
What if I want to be baptized? If you're an adult, we'll gladly meet with you on several occasions to talk about matters of faith and the meaning of God's grace in baptism. If baptism is for a child, we will meet with you and the sponsors prior to the day of celebration. During this time we will carefully consider the liturgy for baptism as we prepare for the day!
What if I want to join Augustana? If you're not baptized, we'll meet you to discuss baptism and consider the basic tenets of faith outlined in the Small Catechism (located in the new Evangelical Lutheran Worship hymnbook, page 1160). If you're coming from a non-Lutheran tradition, we'll spend some time conversing about the dynamics of faith before you join a “new member class.” If you come from another Lutheran parish, we will ask you to join the “new member” class which is a three-session conversation about salvation history, Lutheran identity, and the history of Augustana (no pop quizzes included!). Most people join Augustana…and thereby become voting Members of the parish. Some join as Associate Members…retaining membership in another congregation, while identifying with this assembly during a time of study or work in Chicago.
What if I have a friend who wants to learn more about Augustana? Introduce them to us and we'll welcome conversation.
What if you're planning to marry? We'll help you prepare for marriage using a tool called Prepare/Enrich. This is a set of 200 statements which each partner answers. This is followed by several conversations related to life together. It is best to begin this process six months before the wedding. Preparations for a wedding take a full week of the pastor's time, so we do not normally assist with weddings of non-Augustana couples.
What if you want to speak with a pastor? Make an appointment. Pastoral care is an important part of our responsibility. Confidentiality is respected.
What if there is a death? Call one of the pastors immediately. We will come to be with you and your family. Decisions will need to be made and we can help you consider options. We'll help you plan the memorial service at Augustana and make burial arrangements.
All of this sounds a bit “administrative”…I don't mean it to be so. Know, simply, that we are here to assist you in matters of faith and in living in the light of God's grace as we move through various transitions in life.
We realize that What if questions often become when realities. Know that we, as your pastors…and we as members at Augustana…will do our best to celebrate when it is right to do so, and to grieve with you when it is right to do so. By God's grace we enter each day…giving thanks, as we live by faith.
The Season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 6. The Season begins with the imposition of ashes…remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return. Lent reminds us of our vulnerability…of the world's vulnerability…and from that posture we receive God's grace, God's promise, God's Spirit which works in and through us to raise up hope for the nations. This hope is finalized in the Passion of Our Lord and the celebration of Christ's resurrection when we sing again Alleluia.
We join together in this season for worship and for reflection.
Amy Grunewald Mattison and Pastor John Gorder will lead a six-week study beginning February 12. The study will focus on the Christian journey in Lent. Child care is provided. This is a one-hour opportunity to study and to discuss matters of faith. Open to all.
The regular meeting of the congregational Council was held on January 8, and the Council discussed the congregation's mission, finances and the upcoming annual meeting. Byron Mitchell and Erika Tritle from the Mission Planning Committee joined Council for a discussion about the future mission and plans for the congregation. Members of the Mission Planning Committee are currently meeting with a number of groups in the congregation, and have focused their discussions on the many attributes of Augustana that have made us a growing congregation over the years and that are likely to sustain our growth going forward.
Council also had an in depth discussion of 2007 and 2008 finances in preparation for the Annual Meeting. On a very positive note, congregational giving continued to be very strong through the end of the year. As a result, in contrast to the last two years, the congregation ended the 2007 year in a very strong financial position, covering all expenses, restoring the capital reserve to its 2006 level, and building a small operating reserve for 2008.
Looking ahead to 2008, on average pledges are coming in at higher levels than last year. However, the total number of pledges remains below the same period in 2007. Council continues to encourage all members of the congregation to consider making an intentional commitment of their resources to the congregation. Pledges can help the congregation better plan the year, and ultimately help us carry out the work of the congregation, supporting our pastors, committees, service projects, Christian education, worship and music and campus ministry, among many other programs.
Finally, Council thanked the outgoing Council members for their many contributions to the Council and congregation. Outgoing Council members include Dan Friedrich, Deb Burnet, and Monisha St. George, all of whom made significant contributions to the Council over the past years. Council also remembered Steve Kerschner's many contributions to the Council and congregation. The nominating committee is working to fill these spots on Council and will present their slate of new Council members at the Annual Meeting.
Well, one thing you can say for the work of the Building Committee: You know it when you see it. We've already heard a great deal of positive feedback on the new lights in the parking lot (an affordable permanent solution that lights the entire lot, rather than just the temporary fix we originally expected), so you can stop with those comments for now. Compliments on the new tile, ceiling, and paint in the choir room, the new tile and paint in the classrooms, and the freshly painted hallway would probably be our top priority for the immediate future. In fact, Pastor Gorder (like all skilled craftsmen, a tough customer) was so uncommonly happy with the workmanship of our painter that I now secretly suspect that Swavik is the second coming of Michelangelo.
The big breakthrough for us on the parking lot lighting came when we decided to stop asking the lights to make an architectural statement and just ask them to make a lighting statement. Speaking of lights (as we often do), new ones are now installed in all classrooms and the choir room, and I think meet our goal of matching, in a surface mount format, the lighting style of the new classrooms. Ralph Larson and Gordon Hirsig generously donated all of their time installing these lights in memory of their good friend and colleague — and ours — Tom Zarris. The nursery restroom now sports new floor file, wall tile, paint, sink, toilet, and changing station, reaching the all-important “ready to use” milestone. If you are a nursery customer (and also read the Grace Note, obviously), give it a whirl.
Of course, a while ago we added safety panels on our main stairway, installed three acoustical panels in the fellowship hall, and put in a new heating and air conditioning unit for the narthex. As we go to press, our Committee's last two deliverables are in progress — carpeting in the “old” hallway and youth room to match the “new” hallway carpet, and installing new oak doors to match those in the addition. Four of these doors should be installed by the time you read this (if you don't read the Grace Note right away) and the remaining eight, which are special order (because Augustana's architect, Edward Dart, was creative, you know), should be installed a couple weeks later. And then — well then, with a little luck (and perhaps a little astigmatism), you won't be able to tell the difference between the new second floor and the “old.”
In November of 1998, Augustana purchased 14 Petit and Fritsen handbells with monies given in memory of Pastor Leroy Norquist (Augustana's pastor from 1981–1987). There was not enough money to purchase the complete two-octave set of 25 bells, so only select notes were ordered, with the intent to complete it in the future. Not having a complete set of notes or pitches over two octaves greatly limits the music able to be played using the bells (imagine missing random notes on a piano keyboard!). The Petit and Fritsen company, a Dutch bell foundry, were for a time no longer manufacturing handbells. So it was thought that we would never have a chance to complete the set. Recently, and for a limited time, they began making handbells again. Augustana sprung to action and enough money was given so that we could finally purchase the missing eleven bells. Petit and Fritsen is focusing solely on manufacturing carillons and tower bells as of late, and will, after the first quarter of 2008, never again make handbells. So we are grateful for the generosity of our members who again gave money in memory of Pastor Norquist to complete our set. They were ordered in the last week of January and will arrive in 4–5 months. Look to early June for a dedication of our completed handbells!
Augustana's constitution states,“there shall be a committee on Parish Life which shall stimulate fellowship among members by coordinating coffee hours, dinners and other activities which foster a spirit of unity in the congregation”.
So, the Parish Life committee stimulates fellowship at Augustana. You may have noticed that there are many fellowship activities not only on Sunday but during the week also. Some of the events use caterers but many require people, time, kitchen supplies and food to make them happen. Those resources come in part from the Parish Life committee and budget but much comes from individuals who respond to calls for help and food.
Committee members may contact you and request a food item or assistance with a special event or funeral repast meal. We can also be a resource if you have never assisted with coffee hour before and want to know how to do it. For example, we have posted a coffee recipe sheet inside one of the kitchen cabinets so that volunteers don't have to count scoops of grounds for large amounts of coffee. We've also developed a “Kitchen Volunteers” sheet that informs kitchen users of how the appliances work and other helpful tips.
The members of this committee are Alma Massie, Gordeen Gorder, Joan Anderson, Rita Nelson, Magdalene Spragle and Nancy Dishno. Due to the wide scope of fellowship at Augustana we'd like to enlarge our group to include you. If you think you'd like to do this type of service for our church please let one of us know and we'll get you started in “stimulating fellowship”.