|• 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|
We've noticed it for some time now. The diminishing daylight has started to change things: the grass has faded, the leaves have fallen, the wind blows colder, and the sky stays dark for longer. It is in this context that one church year ends and another begins. Advent – Year A, the year of Matthew, begins again and we are pulled into the familiar Advent lectionary themes of judgment, hope, promise, and incarnation. However, Advent does not come out of the blue (so to speak). The lectionary themes from the November Sundays lead us directly into the four Sundays of Advent where we reflect on the many advents we encounter in our life of faith:
It is important to clarify which advent we are preparing for this Advent. Since Advent is the celebration of Christ's ‘coming,’ and Christ is the kind of savior who keeps faithfully appearing and reappearing in spite of our faithlessness, we have the opportunity to celebrate at least three advents or comings of Christ during the Advent season: his first coming in a humble birth (nativity), his second coming to reign (parousia), and his weekly real presence in the word and supper (sacrament).— From Sundays and Seasons, Year C 2010, © 2009 Augsburg Fortress
At Augustana, our pattern of worship will build on the three Sundays in November which have, through song and prayer, prepared us for Advent. We continue using some of the simplest music of the church. Setting Five, the plainsong setting from ELW which we started using in November, is based on 10th and 11th century Swedish chants adapted by Regina Fryxell. The psalmody will be sung in settings by Joseph Gelineau with his unique choral method of singing the psalms. Our liturgy will begin before the appointed hour with an organ chorale prelude, allowing time for the assembly to enter more fully into the liminal moment between the outside world and the encounter with the divine. Then we will stand and prepare for confession as we sing an ancient litany of the church “In peace, let us pray to the Lord.” We wait in silence for the return of the song of the Angels at Christmas “Glory to God in the highest.”
Some find Advent at Augustana too stark, others just right. While our liturgy will not reflect the volume, intensity, and sentimentality of the world around us during this increasingly extended holiday season, it will be a time that we, as faithful followers, set aside to hear the words of the prophets and poets of every age as we await the many ways Christ comes to us. For everything there is a season and for us, we choose to wait, watch, and be ready. “Wait for the Lord, whose day is near. Wait for the Lord: be strong, take heart!”
Advent Vespers: During the season of Advent we will again gather midweek for worship using the liturgy of Evening Prayer (Vespers). This meditative service is an ideal way to focus on the season of Advent and to prepare for the celebration of Christmas. The services will be held on Thursdays from 6:30 to 7:10 PM December 2, 9, 16, and 23 and will focus this year Magnificat: The Song of Mary. We will hear of Gabriel's startling announcement to Mary and her resounding song of praise. The Magnificat echoes through the ages, reminding us of the greatness, justice, and promises of God.
Consider taking time out of a busy schedule and committing to a seasonal “Advent Discipline” of prayer and reflection on the true meaning of the season.
Hanging of the Greens: Immediately after the service on the 16th, the “hanging of the greens” and decorating of the church for Christmas will take place. All are welcome!
On Friday, December 3, the Sunday School will be hosting the second annual Advent Family Evening that will include a chili dinner and a craft for the Advent season. The evening will begin at 5:30 PM in the Fellowship Hall. Chili and beverages will be provided by Sunday School teachers and the Christian Education Committee. Participants should bring cornbread or corn muffins, veggies or fruit to share.
More volunteers are always needed to teach Sunday School. If you would like to teach or be available as a substitute for a session (or two), please contact Laura Wilhelm or 773-772-5469.
Join Cantor Daniel Schwandt, the LSTC Cantorei, Dean of the Chapel Ben Stewart and the LSTC community in welcoming the season of Advent on Sunday, December 5th at 7:00 PM for their annual Advent Lessons and Carols service. The service will feature hymns and readings for the season. All are welcome to this favorite annual event.
“Angels and Icons” by the Chicago Chorale will take place on Saturday, December 11 at 8 PM at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 5472 S. Kimbark and Sunday, December 12 at 2:30 PM at Church of the Holy Family, 1080 W. Roosevelt Road.
On Sunday, December 12 we will celebrate our Swedish heritage at the 10:45 AM service. The date for the commemoration of Sankta Lucia is December 13 and we celebrate on the Sunday closest to that date. In a long-time tradition of Augustana Lucia will be represented by a young girl of the parish who will wear a lighted crown and carry a tray of Lucia buns as she is attended by members of her court and star boys. After the service there will be a festive reception of Swedish delicacies, coffee and other treats in the Fellowship Hall.
The story of Lucia whose name is related to the Latin word for “light” comes from the Fourth Century and a fair amount is legend, open to different interpretations. The first Lucia, who lived on the island of Sicily, refused to marry her suitor, who was a pagan. She gave her entire dowry to the poor people of her village and admitted that she had become a Christian. Accused of witchcraft, she was taken prisoner and burned at the stake, December 13, 304 A.D. Later, she was canonized by the early Church and thus received the name, Sankta Lucia.
Christian missionaries brought Lucia's story with them when they traveled north where they encountered the cult of the goddess of light. In ancient times, the Swedes celebrated a festival of lights on the shortest day of the year, when their goddess appeared and promised the return of days of sunshine and assured the people that the frozen earth would again be fertile. The missionaries “baptized” this goddess and identified her with St. Lucia, the Sicilian martyr. According to one legend, Lucia appeared clothed in white with a crown of light encircling her head, carrying food and drink to hungry folk during a period of famine. There are many legends, but in each one, Lucia becomes a symbol of light and hope and the feast day begins the celebration of Christmas.
The Swedish Christmas begins on December 13, the Day of Sankta Lucia. The eldest daughter of the household, dressed in traditional white robe with crimson sash and wearing a crown with lighted candles, wakes the family singing the Sicilian melody, Sankta Lucia. She carries a tray with coffee and special saffron buns to each person in the family.
Mark your calendars for Saturday, December 18th, at 4:00 PM, when Augustana will debut its first Christmas Cookie Extravaganza. Just bring a plate of your favorite holiday cookies to share and come enjoy delicious baked goods, festive spirit, and some warm fellowship, too. There will also be a supply of frostings and sprinkles for the young and young-at-heart to decorate their own masterpieces. The Evangelism Committee will provide sloppy joes, chips, and, of course, plenty of milk. Be sure to join us and invite a friend to come along! Contact Richelle Stackert with any questions at 773-288-9101.
As Advent begins and colder weather sets in, we wait expectantly to celebrate the birth of Christ while we are reminded to give a little more during this season of gift-giving. Augustana will continue to give more this season to Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI) to make the season better for at least 100 of the 635 foster children to whom LSSI will distribute gifts. If you would like to give a gift to one or more of the children, you can pick a name tag in the narthex with the name, age, and gift suggestions for the child. Gifts should range from $25 to $35 and do not need to be on the suggestion list. Please bring your gifts to the church by Sunday, December 12 wrapped with the name tag. Each year, these gifts bring joy to and great appreciation from the children receiving the gifts.
And once again we will have a Mitten Tree. Mittens, gloves and scarves are needed as are undergarments (undershirts and pants) for ages 4 through 8. Please bring them also by December 12. A big thank you to gift-givers!