|• A Word from Pastor Gorder|
|• Congregation Council November 9th Meeting Highlights||Mark Wilhelm, Secretary|
|• Congregational Giving Report — 11/14/2010||Mark Granfors, Financial Secretary|
|• Organ Update||Cantor Schwandt|
|• Campus Ministry Funding News from the ELCA||Pastor Elizabeth|
|• Two Baptisms In November|
|• Online Giving||Mark Granfors, Financial Secretary|
|• Keeping the Parish Directory Up-To-Date|
|• Accent on Worship: Advent||Cantor Daniel Schwandt|
|• Advent Vespers at Augustana||Cantor Schwandt|
|• SCS Hosts Advent Family Evening: December 3|
|• LSTC Advent Lessons and Carols: December 5||Cantor Schwandt|
|• Chicago Chorale Concerts|
|• Celebration of Sankta Lucia on Sunday December 12|
|• The Legend of Sankta Lucia|
|• First Annual Christmas Cookie Extravaganza!||Richelle Stackert, Evangelism Committee Chair|
|• A Season of Waiting and for Giving: LSSI Gift-Giving: 100 Gifts & Mitten Tree||Adrienne Martin, Field Ministry Intern|
|• Confirmation Class Update||Adrienne Martin, Field Ministry Intern|
|• Playgroup For Little Ones||Lindsay Banman|
|• Parenting Group Meets On Sundays||Lise Sveen|
|• Campus Ministry Plans for December||Pastor Elizabeth|
|• Goodbye from Graison Hensley-Chapman||Pastor Elizabeth|
|• Thanks To Coffee Hour Volunteers|
|• Watanabe Calendars For Sale At LSTC|
|• Stop! Don't Throw Away Those Envelopes Before You Tear Off The Stamps!!|
|• Looking Ahead: Breadbreakers||Richelle Stackert, Evangelism Committee Chair|
|• Looking Ahead: Bach for the Sem: January 9, 2011||Cantor Schwandt|
|• Looking Ahead: Women of Augustana Winter Meeting||Neva Hefner, WOA Program Chair|
|• Saturday Morning Fun!||Carolyn Ulrich|
|• Someone You Should Know: Kathy Anderson||Carolyn Ulrich|
|• Three Lutherans Receive Awards From U of C Divinity School|
|• New Librarian On The Job At Augustana!|
|• Prayer Shawl Ministry Update|
|• Missing Pieces in Mississippi||Jim Schwab|
|• Updates for the Parish Directory 2010|
|• Coming Up In January|
|• Scripture Readings for December|
|• Congregation Council|
|• Committees and Organizations|
|• Grace Note Newsletter Editors|
|• Previous issues|
|John M. Gorder, Pastorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Elizabeth Palmer, Campus Pastoremail@example.com|
|Daniel E. Schwandt, Cantorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Adrienne Martin, Field Ministry Internemail@example.com|
|Sean McClellan, Campus Ministry Peer Ministerfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Joy Tournoux, Secretaryemail@example.com|
December tends to be a horizontal month! Life is complicated by a ton of tasks: purchasing gifts, attending parties; completing year-end tasks; trying to manipulate through traffic jams and airport clogs; scratching out notes; cooking time-tested favorites. There is good reason for the old line — ma in her kerchief and I in my cap just settled down for a long winter's nap. We get pretty frazzled by the fuss — always wondering how we'll move to the next chore and accomplish it on time.
But stop, December is also a vertical month. We are asked to stop long enough — and we do need to stop or we'll run someone over — stop long enough to look up — let our vision go vertical. Maybe that verticality rediscovers a star in the night sky. Maybe that verticality remembers a baptismal promise that God has with you. Maybe that verticality sends us back to our neighbor — somewhere on planet earth who just needs someone to show care. Maybe that verticality is gathering with others as days grow shorter — to remember a promise and renew the level of expectation that God gives to every generation.
There are many pressures and undone things — things beyond our control. There is unemployment; financial insecurity, wars in the Gulf region; cholera in Haiti; terror in nearby neighborhoods; loneliness for the homeless. It is overwhelming, but December asks us, maybe even forces us to look longer into the darkness and stop to adjust our vision so that we can see into the shadows. And from what we see, comes insight. Understanding that there are others who still need the love and care you can bring. There is still a celebration of God's with us — that we are not alone.
We are, of course, a feverishly independent people. But December reminds us that we sometimes need to huddle together — and there find common support and understand that we journey together. That togetherness includes the Christ, the neighbor, and brings the stranger into view.
So stop long enough this cold December — to look up to rediscover grace sufficient for this day and this time in your life.
See you in church in December!
Reading assignment: Take time in December to read the Gospel of Matthew from start to finish. We will, in 2011, focus most of our Gospel readings from Matthew.
Highlights from the November meeting of the Congregation Council:
New members were received into the congregation on Sunday, October 31: Mary Emily Briehl Duba and Jason Duba; Jill and Peter deJong, Derek, Liam and Jacob; Niveen Saraas; Martin Breth. New associate members were also received: Madeline Barnicle; Matt Southward; Mary Schoenbach; Sanchita Kisku; Kristen Totten.
Renovation of the church office has been completed. The renovation provides improved space utilization. It also provides a closet for the vestments used by the pastors and lay worship assistants, allowing the office to formally function as the church's vestry, as it has done so informally for years.
The pastor noted that custodial needs continue to mount with the increased use of the church's facilities.
The Council approved a request from the Organ Task Force to dispose of the existing organ in any manner that facilitates as best as possible the purchase and installation of the new organ.
Regular campus ministry programming is underway. Graison Hensley-Chapman has resigned as peer minister. A new peer minister will be hired in January. A quadrennial review of our campus ministry may not occur owing to the restructuring of the churchwide organization. Pastor Palmer has laid plans for coverage during her maternity leave. A six-week leave is anticipated.
Congregational offerings remain at 100% of pledges, and expenses are in line with the budget. A concern about telephone expenses was referred to the executive and property committees.
The Women of Augustana will continue to assume responsibility for maintaining the kitchen.
The Council next meets December 14.
|Giving to date||Budget to date|
|Total operating giving||$241,113||$252,299|
|Total non-operating giving||$54,391|
Work on our new pipe organ continues to progress at Wahl Organbuilders in Appleton, Wisconsin. The organ is starting to look and sound more and more like an organ every day. Pictures of the console show that the stop tab assembly and keyboards are being put together along with much of the interior mechanism of the console. Being an aspect of the organ that has thousands of tiny parts, it will be another month or so before completion of this “control center” for the instrument occurs.
Initial work on the "outer skin" of the organ, its casework, has begun. Red oak has been milled from rough lumber and is beginning to be crafted into the case of the organ. Casework has a dual function for pipe organs. It acts both as a resonating device, similar to the wood of a violin or a piano soundboard, and also a protective element for the pipes and delicate mechanism. Our current organ was built at a time where organ building trends were a reaction to dense-sounding romantic organs placed in deep chambers. Walter Holtkamp Sr. was singularly influential in bring pipes all the way out in the open, given so-called “free, unencumbered speech.” Current building trends underscore a middle ground approach — based on historic principles — that sees encasement (rather than deep “entombment”) of pipes as a positive effect on resonance, focus of sound, and protection of materials (all of which our current organ, being totally unencased, does not have). Please keep watch for further developments on our new organ. Expected installation is to be early May/June. Only 5 more months!
It's not yet clear how the recent ELCA restructuring, which eliminated all but one of the churchwide campus ministry staff positions, will affect campus ministry funding on the local level. The ELCA continues to pledge generous amounts of support for local campus ministries, as do synods across the country, but it's not always certain that the pledges will be fulfilled. People are giving less to congregations; congregations are giving less to synods; and then synods are often unable to fulfill their pledges to specialized ministries and mission projects. In addition, pledged levels of support are simply not what they used to be.
How this situation will affect the campus pastor position at Augustana is not yet clear for the long-term. The salary and benefits for Augustana's campus pastor (which is a half-time position) were in the past always covered by the three Illinois synods and churchwide funding. In return, Augustana provides office space and meeting space for campus ministry events, secretarial support, and campus ministry's generous programming budget. This arrangement is no longer possible, for two reasons: the ELCA has had to cut funding for local campus ministries, and the synods in Illinois no longer have the funds to cover the full salaries of all of the campus pastors in Illinois. For the current fiscal year, the shortfall in Pastor Elizabeth's salary will be covered by some of the reserves in our campus ministry account here at Augustana. But this kind of solution will not work for the long term. To that end, we are creating a special task force: The Future of Campus Ministry at Augustana! Task force members include Kathy Anderson, Kate Bensen, Matthew Christian, Sandra Groeltz, Jessica Nipp, and Jason Ralph. We will keep you posted as we determine new and creative ways to increase local, individual, and congregational support for the work of Campus Ministry at Augustana. Please keep campus ministry in your prayers as we go through this time of planning and discernment.
Martin Breth was baptized on On All Saints Sunday during the 10:45 service. His baptismal sponsors were two campus ministry students: Martin's fiancee, Kristin Totten, and Peer Minister Sean McClellan. Martin comes from the Czech Republic, and he arrived in the United States a few months ago. He is currently finishing his degree at Univerzita Pardubice, with an emphasis on computer science. Kristin is in her second year of the master's degree program at the Harris School of Public Policy Studies, with an emphasis on environmental policy. Martin and Kristin will be married by Pastor Elizabeth on December 11th in Valparaiso, Indiana.
Katherine Ann Stackert, daughter of Richelle and Jeffrey Stackert, was baptized on Sunday, November 14. Her sponsors were Justine and Jody Brown. Katherine was born on May 28, 2010 and was also welcomed into the family by big brother George.
Participate in online giving to Augustana through the “Simply Giving” program. Just visit the site, and click on the “Donate” button (toward the bottom of the column of buttons). You will be asked to set up a profile, after which you can log in. Contributions can be one-time, monthly or weekly, and are deposited directly from your checking or savings account. (We are not able to accept credit card payments at this time.) You will have the satisfaction of knowing that Augustana will receive your offerings, even when you can't make it to church.
We would like to keep the information in our 2010 Parish Directory up-to-date and with your help we can do that. If you have a new address, telephone number, cell phone number or other changes we should know about please send the information to Pastor Gorder. Changes are listed here.