Newsletter of Augustana Lutheran Church of Andover

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Back in the Sanctuary Health Guidelines

Back in May, I presented the church council with guidelines on how our church can worship based on which phase of ‘Restore Illinois’ we are in. Now that we are moving back into the sanctuary, I want to show the guidelines I set out (with some updates) in order for us to worship in the sanctuary as safe as possible and be up to CDC guidelines.
If there is a strong enough push to be indoors for worship during phase 4:
  • If you feel ill, stay at home and partake in virtual worship.
  • Please enter the sanctuary from the front doors or side ramp. (There will be special exceptions to those who need to enter through the back door into Luther Hall for balance reasons.)
  • Masks will be required for all those attending. (According to the CDC: Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.) The church will provide masks for those that do not have their own. (Please note that the current science sees the respiratory droplets we produce as the greatest transmitters of the novel coronavirus. When indoors the droplets will hover and stick around the sanctuary. The masks help keep your respiratory droplets closer to you.)
  • Seats will be taped off so that people can be seated every 3 pews. Households may sit next each other, but everyone needs to keep proper social distancing with those that are not a part of their household. We can fit up to 50 people in the sanctuary. We have room for an extra 20 people in Luther Hall to listen to worship.
  • The pews and worship space will be disinfected before and after worship services.
  • Upon entering the sanctuary you will receive a contactless temperature check. (If your temperature is high or attendance is at capacity you will not be allowed inside the sanctuary or Luther Hall for worship.)
  • After the temperature check you can pick up a pre-packaged communion bag from a table in the Narthex. It is also at this time we would like you to use the allotted hand sanitizer at the same table before entering the sanctuary. (Everyone will partake in communion from their seats like we have been doing with outdoor worship.)
  • Next to the communion table will be a basket to put offering into.
  • No passing of the peace physically, but we may have a time when people stay in the pews and make eye contact and nod or give the peace sign to one another.
  • Public responses and singing hymns will be taken out of the service and instead will be asked to do in your head. (The only exception to this is the Lord’s Prayer. Due to urging from the council, we may all speak it together quietly.)
  • During the Lord’s Prayer you may hold hands with those in your household, but only those in your household.
  • If you are uncomfortable with being inside the sanctuary or do not wish to wear a mask you have three options (For those that live far away you can do either option 2 or 3.):
  1. You can still listen to live worship from your car. Just park in the front of church and turn your car radio to 99.1 fm. We will have an usher looking out for those who wish to stay outside so that we can bring communion to you. (Please note this is the only option that includes communion.)
  2. We will still be live-streaming every Sunday Worship service. You can check out our Facebook page, church website, or YouTube channel to find the proper link to worship.
  3. Pastor Reed will be posting an edited recording of the live-streamed worship later  in the day that you can watch anytime.
  • Are you someone who cannot make it to in-person worship, but would still like communion? Have a family member or friend that is attending worship grab an extra bag of communion on their way out of worship. They can drop off communion after church or later in the week. (If you do not have a family member or friend to do this and live within 35 miles of Andover, then contact the church (309-521-8127) or Pastor Reed and he will personally bring you communion.)
  • Fellowship Time will still not be available. The only parts of the church open during worship will be the sanctuary and Luther Hall.
  • We will be having in-person Sunday School for children at 9:30 am in the Fellowship Room. (For more rules on how this work read the section on Sunday School.) (Adult Sunday School may continue if there are enough people that wish to have it. Just let Pastor Reed know.)
  • If people wish to use Luther Hall for family reunions or other gatherings of that nature, they may only use Luther Hall and its facilities. You can have no more than 50 people in Luther Hall at one time. The education wing is still off limits. (We may ask for a special offering for the custodians that will have to disinfect Luther Hall afterwards.)
  • Please reach out to Pastor Reed or Church Council with any questions.
Liturgical Nerd Notes
Q&A on Live-Stream Communion
Below is an email conversation started by one our members.
Has there been any consideration to live streaming
communion to persons watching in their homes?  I know some local churches are doing this.  They have participants use their own bread & wine/juice.  Would this work in our congregation?
~Ron Peterson

I appreciate the inquiry. Holy Communion is something that most people have missed out on during this pandemic. I had put consideration into online Holy Communion back when we were not sure when we'd worship in person again. Now that we have a chance to meet in person I do not wish to move forward with Holy Communion during our virtual worship services.
Yes other churches are doing online Holy Communion, even ELCA churches. Please know that the decision to not have Holy Communion for our live-streaming services has less to do with faith that God can consecrate the bread and wine from far away and more to do with preferred practice. Both Sacraments, Holy Baptism and Holy Communion, are meant to be done physically with one another in a single moment in time. Because of this, I do not wish to adopt the online communion practice. This is because we have the ability to commune in person. Also, being able to watch and re-watch the service at any time takes away from the singular moment of hearing the Words of Institution and experiencing (through the pastor's words) the miracle that is the bread and wine also becoming the body and blood of Christ given and shed "for you". If this were not an option for people then I believe it would be a discussion to adopt this practice for our church.
It is true that due to limited available numbers Megan and I chose to have the physical service of Holy Baptism for Ezekiel in front of family instead of the congregation. I did have a live recording of Zeke's Baptism for people to watch. However, if it were not safe for Megan's grandpa to be there in person to preside then I would have presided over the baptism myself. It is the same with my preferred practice with Holy Communion.
In humble service,

Reed Lee Pedersen

The following have been elected to positions of leadership and trust at Augustana Lutheran Church:
Kathy Atwell, Bonnie Bandelow secretaryBryan Johnson  vice chairmanNicholas Swanson, Emily Maertens, Jeanine Lees, Mindy Poppy, Linda Papoccia, Jeanine Westerlund, Michael Carlson and Pastor Reed Pedersen

Contact info. for all Council members found on Website Leadership Page...Link HERE
May God bless them, and direct their deeds in peace, that they may be faithful servants of Christ.
Congregation Council Meeting
  • Council met on the lawn outside the Library after worship, September 20.
  • The council agreed by majority vote (8-2) to move worship to the sanctuary starting October 4th. Worship will now be at 10:30 am.
  • The worship services will continue to be live-streamed and posted Sunday        evenings for those who are unable to attend. 
  • The Steeplejacks should be coming in October to do some work on the steeple.
  • Pastor Reed informed the council that he and his wife, Megan, will be getting their own place. They want to make this move so as to settle in even more to our community.
  • The Outreach committee will be looking into doing some sort of Trick-or-Treat outreach for the community.
  • It has been stressed the importance that each church committee meet at least one more time before the end of the year.
  • The service committee will be meeting soon to discuss a better way to reach out and provide communion for our shut-ins.
  • The next Church Council meeting will be after services on Sunday, October 18. 

October Birthdays
01   Ansley Carlson
03   Bradan Lees
03   David Peterson, Jr
04   Natalie Parrett
04   Eleanor Scott
05   Chris Isaacson
06   Nikki Rehn
06   Amber Zurcher
07   Stephanie Peterson
07   Dave Westerlund
09   Jay Peterson
10   Sandra Johnson
10   Frances Sreekumar
11   Mike Lowery
14   Richelle Foutch
17   Nicole Ruthaivilavan
18   David Youngberg
19   Kathy Pysson
22   Daniel Crippen
22   David Crippen
25   John Peterson
27   Judy Rehder
27   Carol Williams
28   Ed Williams
29   Lois Peterson
29   Joseph Brodd
29   Mindy Pysson
October Anniversaries
04   Ray and Ruth Ann Newman
04   Chris and Dave Riddell
11   Kevin and Chris Isaacson
21   Wally and Diane Ladewig
26   Pr. Reed and Megan Pedersen
29   Bob and Linda Papoccia

Augustana Lutheran Church Sunday School

We will be having our regular Sunday School classes starting the first weekend in October. Classes will be held before church at 9:30 am in the Fellowship Room, or outdoors, weather permitting. We ask that if you are attending in person to please wear masks for class. When possible we will be outside, and masks will be optional in that case. Things may change as church has to change our attendance plans due to COVID restrictions throughout the year. If you would like to attend and have not already signed up, or if you wish to receive online lessons from Sunday School, please send an email to

Outreach Committee: Halloween
Opportunity for our Community

Due to COVID-19 we will not be able to do Trunk-or-Treat this year, but we will still be able to offer a drive-by trick-or-treat experience. The Outreach Committee is calling on our congregants to donate candy and Halloween bags. You can drop them off at the church during the week or on Sundays. Our hope is to make 100-150 bags full of candy to hand out to the children of our community.

On October 31st we will have a station set up in the back driveway of the church from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. to hand out bags of candy to each child that drives by. The children are encouraged to dress up in their best costume! This will be a wonderful opportunity for our church to give the children of our community some sense of normalcy and love on Halloween.

Getting Our Own Place

After discussing it with the church council the past few months, I have informed the church council that Megan and I will be seeking to move out of the church parsonage and into a home of our own. Megan loves her job in Davenport and I love my call to Augustana Lutheran Church, but we would like to own a place we can call home. We would also like to have a home that shortens Megan’s drive to work (whenever office work resumes for all businesses). Because of this, we will be looking to buy a house in the extended Quad Cities Area. We have made this decision because we want to stick around. I hope you can see this future move as a sign of our commitment to Augustana Lutheran Church.                            
~Pastor Reed Lee Pedersen

Church Modernization Project Update

Back in January of 2018 we had our sanctuary painted and A/C units installed. We loaned money from our Endowment Fund to make this possible with the goal of paying the Endowment Fund back within 3 years. This is a reminder that we are in year 3 of paying back for this wonderful project. We are so close to paying this back in full! Please consider donating to this cause. Below is our progress on the project.

Goal = $125,000*   
Donation from Endowment = $20,000   
Total $ Received = $ 118,112             
% of Goal ($) =            94.5%

Click Here to see status of Sanctuary Modernization Fund Appeal (updated weekly)

Women, Wine, and the Word

Women, Wine, and the Word will begin again in October. We will meet virtually via zoom. All are welcome. Please email Megan at if you are interested in attending. We will meet on Thursday, October 22nd at 7 pm.
Here are our financial numbers through August. They are mostly positive to look at even with the negative numbers. We have kept expenses down and mostly made our projected income for the year. This is no small feat considering the disruption caused by COVID-19. For those that have still been able to give regularly we cannot thank you enough. For those who are waiting until they can worship in the sanctuary to give offering, we understand and appreciate your gift.
This is a nice reminder that you can give to Augustana Lutheran Church online using Just visit our church website ( and click on the big green give button on the side of our home page.

Stewardship Note:
“The interest comes to infinity more than the principal.”
~Thomas Watson

News from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:

A Pastoral Word on the Grand Jury Decision in Louisville
​For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us― Ephesians 2:14

In response to the grand jury decision in Louisville, Ky., we offer a word of prayer and healing following the decision not to charge police officers for Breonna Taylor's death. As a nation, we are struggling with and divided by the decision. It has affected so many of us in so many ways. We grieve the brokenness of the criminal justice system. We are tired and weary of the violence. Has not God created all of us to have inherent dignity, value and worth? 

Despite the anger, violence and injustice connected with this sad and horrible tragedy, we should not abandon our neighbors. Our baptismal covenant with God calls us to better relationship with one another than we are currently demonstrating. We are called to be the hands and feet of Christ's presence in the world. The covenantal relationship we have with God in Christ leads us to our neighbors in a common cause to confront the reality of systemic racism in our country. 

We come together at the cross. The proclamation of the gospel is the only nonnegotiable in the life of this church.  Yet, we know the gospel can be divisive for us in our ministry for justice
and peace. As we dwell in God's word, we pray God will give us the strength and the courage to act in service of the gospel's free course for the life of the world.
Because of the cross, we have peace; we have hope; we are loved. We join with you in prayer for the Taylor family, Officer Hankison and his family, the prosecutor and his family, the grand jurors and their families, the community of Louisville and all who work for justice and peace. 
In Christ, 
Elizabeth A. Eaton                                                 William O. Gafkjen 
Presiding Bishop                                                     Bishop 
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America                Indiana-Kentucky Synod, ELCA 

ELCA and Lutheran World Relief partner to fight COVID-19

CHICAGO — The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has worked with Lutheran World Relief (LWR) to repurpose $160,000 in project funding for emergency responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in Latin America, Africa and Asia. In Latin America, the funding will be used for food assistance in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, which have been hard-hit by the coronavirus and the resulting economic disruption that is causing increased hunger. In Africa, the support will provide improved water, sanitation and hygiene, along with personal protective equipment, to displaced communities in South Sudan. And a project in Nepal will ensure that quarantine facilities are hygienic and comfortable, and that households economically affected by COVID-19 are able to cultivate their crops and sustain their small-scale businesses.

"Thanks to the flexibility and rapid action of our ELCA partners, Lutheran World Relief has been able to quickly ramp up these emergency responses to COVID-19," said Daniel Speckhard, LWR president and CEO.  

"This is so important because COVID-19 is a major threat to the resilience and well-being of the communities where we serve. Lives will be saved as a result of this support.""The ELCA has a tradition of standing with our global neighbors in good times and in bad," said the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the ELCA. "Our partnership with Lutheran World Relief is a reflection of that strong commitment and allows us to deepen and extend it in this time of extreme crisis."The ELCA and LWR share a long, historical relationship and a mutual commitment to companionship inmission.

Through its ELCA World Hunger program, the ELCA has provided $1 million annually.


We mourn the loss and pray for the family of Deanna
. She has made many of these newsletters and a countless number of bulletins. She will be remembered for her lovely voice, giant heart, strong faith, and dear


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Augustana Lutheran Church · PO Box 157 · 628 6th Street · Andover, IL 61233 · USA

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