The Social Ministry Committee is hosting a congregational retreat on social ministry on Saturday, March 31, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The retreat is being designed to provide a forum for the congregation as a whole to reflect on the task of social ministry. The meeting will involve a discussion of Augustana's past work on social justice issues, theological foundations for social action, and Augustana's strengths and weaknesses for social ministry. Look for more details as the date approaches. As a reminder, the Social Ministry Committee plans to have the directory of social services and volunteer opportunities completed by the end of February.
Due to Shrove Tuesday, which falls on the fourth Tuesday in February, the February meeting of the Social Ministry Committee will take place on Monday, February 26, at the Opheim-Whitener home (5228 S. Woodlawn Ave., Apt. 1E). The committee is always looking for fresh faces and ideas. If you have an active interest in the social ministry of Augustana, please feel free to come to the next meeting.
We completed the collection of names for Breadbreakers and will announce the groups in early February. We hosted a table in the narthex after each service in January and answered questions about the groups and the participants. By mid-month we had 30 people signed up and many more who had expressed interest. We are trying something new with a few of the groups. Some people have said they would be interested in a group which "met during the week". Some individuals wanted to participate but did not have a current living situation which allowed them to host a group of 10-12 at home. We wanted everyone to be able to share in the hospitality and fellowship of Breadbreakers, and we will strive to meet the needs of the participants.
Our first New Members Luncheon of 2001 will be held on February 4. New members were brought into the congregation on January 28, but because of the Annual Meeting, the luncheon was delayed for a week. We identified sponsors for each of the new members and also invited them to the luncheon. Please join us in welcoming our new members when you see them in church.
Looking ahead to the end of February, the Evangelism Committee would like to hear from volunteers who would be able to assist with the Lenten soup suppers. All it takes is a little time before supper on Wednesday evenings to help set tables and stir the soup pots. Our first supper is March 7.
Times for the suppers will be announced. Our suppers and evening prayer services are wonderful opportunities for inviting guests to Augustana.
The Evangelism Committee meets the third Tuesday of every month at 7:30 p.m. at Augustana. All are welcome to attend a meeting to find out more about the committee and its activities. Please join us or get in touch with us at email@example.com.
Zadie McGarrity was an active member of Augustana during the 70s and 80s, during the pastorates of Larry Hofer and Leroy Norquist. She, along with Dee Barton, also deceased, were the faithful sacristans for the 8:30 a.m. service which was less formal and was held in the Gustavus Adolphus room. Zadie served on the Church Council and was active in the life of the congregation. She moved out of the Hyde Park neighborhood when her health deteriorated but later returned to reside at Montgomery Place the last six years of her life. During that time she worshiped at Montgomery Place and was visited regularly by Augustana pastors.
Zadie, born in Georgia, was the ninth of seventeen children whose family moved to Chicago when she was twelve. She graduated from Wendell Phillips High School where she was an outstanding athlete in basketball, track, baseball and swimming. She retired in 1973 from employment with the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago. She is survived by a daughter, son-in-law, grandson, a sister and a brother.
Her funeral was held at Augustana on November 30, 2000. Those who participated in the service were Alma Massie, Clara Nelson, Eric Pittenger, Erl and Mildred Dordal, Fr. Robert Petite, Larry Long and Pastor Gorder.
Augustana hosted the January meeting of Lutheran Brotherhood Branch 8125 on Saturday, January 13th. Henrietta Steele and Mildred Dordal provided "goodies." About 20 people attended.
The Branches are a grassroots, member-led effort to connect community and church needs with seed money that grows when combined with volunteer time and talent. There are 31 churches in our Branch.
There are four types of Branch services:
Augustana received a check for $450 in December. This year it will go to Campus Ministry to fund programs. We will explore other ways to use it next year--perhaps for our youth ministry.
We have also been granted $400 to buy groceries for the Hyde Park Food Pantry which we must spend by May 1st. We might need some strong-armed volunteers to carry the cartons into Shiloh Baptist Church.
There is also a Resp-Teen program which we need to become more aware of and explore. Lutheran Brotherhood is a generous fraternal insurance company. I'm not in the business of selling insurance, but it is nice to think of how they share profits with policy and account holders.
This is a synopsis of the last of three "Faith Journeys" that were shared and discussed in the opening series in Adult Forum this Fall. See November Grace Note - Ellada Titans, and December Grace Note - Eve Yarroll.
Doug described himself as a "genetic Lutheran". Being of Finnish ancestry, his Lutheran roots probably go back many generations. He doesn't remember the time he didn't believe in God. As a child his grandmother always reminded him that "God/Jesus loves him". His main spiritual quest has been what does it mean that "God/Jesus loves us?" He described the start of his spiritual quest as two incidences of puppy love when he was 6 and 10. He fell in love when he wasn't looking for it. His most memorable spiritual growth experience was while hearing Hymn 473, in the red Lutheran Service Book & Hymnal:
"I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew
He moved my soul to seek him seeking me;
It was not I that found, O savior true;
No, I was found of thee."
The hymn concludes with,
"Always thou lovest me."
From then on he realized that God has always loved us. Faith is hearing God's call to us as children of God through all the noise of day-to-day life. A second growth experience is a result of his long 20+ year fascination with experiments known as "Bell's Inequality" which suggest that change is not the result of "cause and effect" governed by laws but suggests that change is the combined statistical result of many "creative" (actions without a cause) decisions somehow "spiritually" motivated. This led to a new understanding of "forgiveness" as not so much deciding that a transgression will not affect our relationship as the realization that our relationship to God and therefore to each other is not based on laws (cause and effect). Our relationship truly is un-conditional. That is, not dependent on the conditions of life that we find ourselves in. Another word for unconditional relationship is Love. This realization built upon his grandmother's proclamation of the continual love of God/Jesus and his experience of puppy love when he wasn't looking for it. Doug concludes that Faith is experiencing a Love of God that we aren't looking for.
John Albright will continue his series through the month of February on "Beginnings and Endings" focusing on Christian and scientific views of our origins and ultimate future. Thus far, as of January 14, John has taken us through Old Testament views of end times, New Testament views of end times, and post Biblical Islamic views of end times. Future sessions will continue to develop Christian views up to the modern times, scientific views, and religious and scientific views of Creation.
Luke, Seth and Jonah Klein-Collins, triplet sons of Becky and John Klein-Collins, will be baptized on Sunday, February 18. They were born on October 26. The family will host a special coffee hour after the late service. With their parents as Mary and Joseph, Seth, Luke and Jonah were the Baby Jesus for the Christmas Eve tableau at the 5:30 p.m. worship service on December 24.
Two baptisms took place at Augustana during the month of December.
Christopher Barris King was baptized on Sunday, December 24, 2000. He is the son of Ben and Laura King and brother of Daniel. Christopher was born on March 6, 2000. His sponsors were Nicholas and Rebekah Steigerwald.
Taichi Araki, a student at the University of Chicago Divinity School, was baptized on Sunday, December 31, 2000. Sponsors were Johanna Gustafsson, Anders Lundberg and Tomomi Yoshida.
With everyone joining in all who attended Augustana's second annual New Year's Eve celebration hailed in the new year 2001 together! The evening began with crafts and games for all ages, continued with the banquet, the service of Holy Communion and ended with the New Year Reception. The following persons helped to make it a success: Pastor Gorder, organizer par excellence; Becky Krentz and Corrine Niedenthal, table decorations; Eric Pittenger and Jean Baptiste Bordelon, steak grillers; Emilie Pulver, Jeanette Bordelon and Kara Kirby, salad tossers; Gordeen Gorder, kitchen coordinator and bread baker; Hugh, Robert and Jim Vondracek, servers, Nancy Goede, games; Sandra Henley, punch server; Chelsey and Cathy Satterlee, water pourers; Meike Hirschfelder and Claudia Trainer, chair chasers; Morris Niedenthal, preacher; John Gorder, presider; Larry Long, music director; Kathy Baker, and Carolyn Ulrich, Mark Granfors and others, cleaner-uppers.
The following persons attended the special luncheon at the Quadrangle Club on Tuesday December 19, 2000 given to them as a "Thank You" for their faithfulness in meeting each month to assemble the Grace Note: Muriel Brauer, Erl Dordal, Milly Dordal, Polly Fehlman, Laura Linroth, Alma Massie, Eunice McGuire, Corrine Niedenthal, Ruth Patterson, Ed Wente and Leila Wente. Also present were Grace Note formatter Larry Long and Pastor Gorder. The luncheon was a gift from an appreciative Augustana member.
The Interreligious Sustainability Project, an interfaith group concerned with environmental issues sponsored by the Center for Neighborhood Technology, has been in existence for about one and one-half years. It is organized into local groups called "circles" which function independently of one another. Each circle sets its own agenda. Circles engage in both reflection and action from the perspective of their members' religious faiths.
The Hyde Park Circle, of which I am a member, meets about once a month at the Institute for Spiritual Leadership--located in the former St. Thomas the Apostle convent which is now a training center for spiritual advisors--and has been addressing the issue of light pollution. Glare from street lights, building lights, etc. not only prevents people from enjoying the beauty of the night sky, but also detracts from security and is wasteful of electricity. Last October 2 the circle sponsored a "star party" in Nichols Park to publicize the issue. On a clear night telescopes provided by members of the Ryerson Astronomical Society at the U of C were trained on the moon and stars. Lights were turned off for the evening with the cooperation of park district officials. About 50 people turned out for the event. In the future we plan to try to convince the city to replace street lights with more environmentally friendly models. The Hyde Park Circle is currently considering the possibilities of projects in other areas, such as transportation.
If you are interested in the Interreligious Sustainability Project, feel free to contact Mark Granfors at (773) 363-8617 or by email.
Postscript: As noted in the ISP newsletter, Pastor Ruth VanDemark's congregation, Wicker Park Lutheran Church, was involved in a "blessing of the worms"--a project of the Humboldt Park Circle to grow red worms for composting.
Augustana's Parish Choir prepared a 6:00 p.m. supper on Saturday, January 20 for about 90 people--55 of whom were members of the Chamber Choir of St. Louis's Washington University and 20 who were members of the University of Chicago Motet Choir who hosted the WU singers overnight. At 8:00 p.m. the Washington University Chamber Choir presented a concert at Augustana. Directed by John Stewart the concert featured works by Copland, Weelkes, Hassler, Biebl, Mendelssohn, Lotti and Pearsall. When asked how the Chamber Choir chose Augustana as a venue for their Hyde Park concert, Larry Long, Augustana's Director of Music Ministry reported that he was contacted by Randi Von Ellefson, director of choral activities at the University of Chicago, who said that he had received an e-mail from John Stewart asking the name of the Lutheran church in the University of Chicago area whose sanctuary was gifted with a special resonant sound for music. Randi knew immediately that Augustana was that church!
A joint worship celebration by the Lutheran School of Theology and McCormick Theological Seminary was held on January 23 in the LSTC Chapel Auditorium. Guest celebrants were Rev. Dr. Syngman Rhee, Moderator, General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and Rev. Dr. H. George Anderson, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The service was followed by a groundbreaking ceremony for the new McCormick building which will be constructed on the campus of LSTC.
As LSTC President James Kenneth Echols stated, "The groundbreaking is part of a bold, new venture, a model of the kind of collaborative, ecumenical ministry foreseen by the agreement of 'full communion' entered into by our governing bodies--The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Presbyterian Church (USA). Together our seminaries have a distinguished and long history of collaboration in God's service. On this day of celebration, we look forward to breaking new ground in fact and with vision to the future."
The front page of the January 7, 2001 Chicago Tribune contained an article reporting on the Saturday, January 6 celebration in Washington National Cathedral in which 3,500 worshipers gathered together "to witness the affirmation of the common mission as two households of faith of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Episcopal Church." The article stated that "the pact, 30 years in the making, means the churches agree that their beliefs are common enough to share clergy, sacraments and missions on a regular basis." Kenneth R. Olsen, bishop of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod was present at the service. A special service is being planned by the Metro-Chicago Synod for later in the spring. Meghan Smith who attended the service wrote the following article about her experiences in Washington DC that weekend.
As an outgoing member of the ELCA Church Council, I had the opportunity to attend the celebration of full communion between the ELCA and the Episcopal Church. The service was held at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, January 6, 2001. With ELCA Presiding Bishop H. George Anderson presiding and Episcopal Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold preaching, the event was a true cooperation between the new ecumenical partners. Together, we renewed our baptism in Christ and set out on a new mission.
A highlight of the celebration was the performance of the excellent St. Olaf College Choir, which sang several songs whose lyrics were written by the Anglican poet George Herbert.
On Friday, January 5, a "town hall" meeting was held on the grounds of the Cathedral to discuss the implementation of "Called to Common Mission"--the Full Communion agreement between the two churches. The two keynote speakers were Dr. William Peterson, an Episcopalian theologian, and Dr. Michael Root, a Lutheran theologian. Both men are currently based out of Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. The program provided an opportunity for pastor and laity to share ideas and concerns surrounding the agreement. The evening was a very positive one, and I left feeling excited about the mission opportunities with our Anglican friends that are now possible.