Newsletter of Augustana Lutheran Church of Andover

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Welcome to the Digital Version of Augustana Spire !
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Worship in the sanctuary and all church activities are canceled for the month of April. Virtual worship will still take place during this time.
On March 25 at 7:00 pm the Church Council had a special meeting via conference call concerning how Augustana woud respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In that meeting there was a unanimous decision to extend virtual worship through the month of April. These are worship videos posted on our Facebook, YouTube and home website pages. There was also a decision to cancel  all church activities set for the month We are not canceling church. We are not canceling worship. We are doing the opposite. We are adjusting to the COVID-19 outbreak so we can continue to be a church and continue to worship in the midst of this pandemic. Please keep reading the Spire to find out how we are still doing church together in the midst of our physical separation 
25 MARCH 2020

At 7 PM Pastor connected the church council members one by one. Present on line were: Kathy Atwell, Bonnie Bandelow, Michael Carlson. Bryan Johnson, Jeanine Lees, Emily Maertens, Linda Papoccia, Mindy Poppy, Pastor Reed, Nick Swanson and Jeannine W.

Pastor led us in prayer.

Pastor polled the council one by one asking how we’re doing with the shutdown and what did we think about Sunday’s virtual worship service. Most everyone indicated they’re doing ok and the virtual service was quite nice but communion was missed. Pastor indicated that future services will have a member doing the reading over the phone.

Next Pastor shared with us that Wednesday was ultrasound day and they’re expecting a boy. Congratulations from all.

The main reason for the teleconference was to get our feedback. Should we do worship on Easter? We were individually polled and the consensus is that we should plan on worshipping virtually thru the end of April.

One concern was the inability to have communion. Jeannine W. asked what is ELCA’s stand? ELCA states that communion is practiced in a gathered assembly. Pastor asked us to think of it as a type of fasting.

One of his classmates has a church with a large parking lot and they will be using an FM radio transmitter. People can come, sit in their cars, tune their radio to FM 88.2 and worship a group while maintaining social distancing. What do we think about trying that?

Once again we were individually polled. Mixed reactions. Many preferred the current method of virtual worship. Pastor said the transmitter only costs $15 and he’s thinking of getting one to become familiar with it.

Another item on the agenda is that he wants to lock the sanctuary. He will urge the congregation to mail their offerings until the ban on gatherings is lifted.

Mindy motioned that we extend virtual worship thru the end of April. Jeanine L. seconded the motion. Motion carried.

The teleconference ended at 8:00 PM after praying The Lord’s Prayer.

Respectfully submitted,
Martin Luther's Response to the Bubonic Plague and What it Means as Christians Living During the COVID-19 Pandemic
It is hard to think that Martin Luther, the father of the Lutheran church would be going though a similar life situation as us considering he lived five hundred years ago. In the midst of the Bubonic Plague that was killing many of his countrymen, a pastor wrote to Martin Luther asking whether or not he could flee the disease ridden area he lived. Martin Luther's response, Whether One May Flee From a Deadly Plague, can help each and every one of us as we figute out how to live during the global outbreak of COVID-19. 

   Liturgical Nerd Notes
         Will we be able to have Communion?               
Holy Communion is a central part of worship where the gathered people receive the Body and Blood of Christ. In this Holy Sacrament we receive forgiveness, refreshment in faith, and a drive to continue to share the love of Jesus with the world. While communion is not required for salvation, it has a giant role in how we do church. This has a lot of people asking if and how we can have communion.

You are not alone. In fact this is a question being asked around the globe. Timothy J. Wengert, a top Lutheran theologian in the United States recently wrote as essay titled, "Holly Communion and Quarantine". He wanted to make sure that outside of following medical professionals and governmental guidance, there is no right answer on how we do communion. How we view communion has changed and the frequency with which we participate in Holly Communion has changed even in our own church's history. With no clear cut answer to this question, please have faith and consider my current feelings on the matter. 

Holy Communion is a public rite that takes place among the gathered assembly. Because of this, and i write this with a heavy heart, I am calling on our church to partake in the fasting of Holy Communion. We are postponing communion until we are able to physically gather in the sanctuary to worship and celebrate the Sacrament of the Alter.

In light of this I would like to give two points:
  1. This does not mean Holy Communion is not special, life-giving, and a staple of our worship.On the contrary,., it is out of respect for the sacrament that I call us a time of fasting communion.
  2. As the coronavirus outbreak lengthens and the possibility of not worshiping in the sanctuary lengthens, my interpretation of the gathered assembly may open up. I am open to changing this stance in the future.
One of the perks of fasting is growing an even stronger appreciation for what you have given up . It is my hope as your pastor and brother in Christ that all of us can hold off in a prayerful and faithful way. When we do finally get to come back to the altar be assured that your hunger and thirst for God's love will be satisfied!     
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 Highlights
 March 8, 2020 
  • Luther Hall renovation is finished except painting the kitchen.
  • Property Committee is replacing exterior doors at the Parsonage..
  • Outreach Committee needs help filling Easter eggs for the Cambridge family. Suggestions include candy, Bible verses, money. Please fill eggs in increments of 5, with the same thing(s). Filled eggs can be left in the coat room. (This has been postponed until May.)
  • There will be 2 Easter Services. 7 AM in The Chapel and 10:30 in the Sanctuary. (Now Canceled)
  • Summer services will start at 9:30 on Sunday, 31 May.
  • There will be outdoor services on Thursdays at 7 PM, weather permitting.
  • Saturday, 28 March, is spring cleanup day (now changed).
The next Church Council meeting will be noon, Sunday, 19 April. Linda & Bonnie will bring lunch. (No Lunch but meeting will happen.)

April Birthdays
02   Logan Selander
04   Lois Floming
06   Laura Rickey
07   Patty Stinson
07   Pastor Reed Pedersen
12   Daniel Lindstrom
12   Aubree Gordon
13   Steven Klundt
14   Emma Poppy
16   Emmett Green
17   Tom Johnson
17   Wally Ladewig
18   Eli Hutchison
19   Doug Nelson
20   Amanda Nelson
21   Alec Gray
21   Leyton Carlson
25   Kathy Atwell
26   Bonnie Bandelow
26   Kyah Johnson
27   Anika Ruthaivilavan
30   Mikayla Poppy
30   Tabitha Barham

15   Dave and Patsy Crippen
18   Chuck and Mary Bizarri
19   Mark and Ruby Anderson
24   John and Lori Foley
28   Daniel and Kelki Anderson
28   Adam and Sarah Kettler
News Alert!
Easter is not canceled, it is just going to be different. Please be mindful of your language and viewpoint. Jesus still rose from the grave. "He is Risen Indeed! Hallelujah!" will still ring true on April 12, God is with us in the ups and the downs. Jesus rose for us so that we have the promise of eternal life even when going through a pandemic. yes, we will have a big celebration once we are able to have worship in the sanctuary again, but I believe we can make a showing of strength and faith on Easter Sunday by celebrating it, virtually or drive-in, even in dark times like these.  
Bishop Clements to Preach Online April 19, 2020
Bishop Clements will be posting a virtual sermon on the second Sunday of Easter. This is intended to provide a Sunday off from preaching for pastors in the synod.
The church building will be locked until the stay at home order is lifted, currently April 8th. If you would like to give an offering, please send it by mail to our church address:

Augustana Lutheran Church
P.O. Box 157
Andover, IL, 61233

Historical Society Meeting, April 21 - Canceled

Founder's Day Service, April 26 - Canceled

Easter Egg Giving Opportunity for the Yenor Family - Postponed
Drive-In Church
To accommodate those without internet connection or a DVD player, Augustana Lutheran Church is looking into a drive-in worship. Like a drive-in movie theater, everyone would park their cars on the church property, tune to a specified radio channel, and listen/watch the worship service from their vehicles. Virtual worship would still be posted. Those with internet can choose which service to attend. Those without internet would have a wonderful opportunity to still gather for worship. This worship could start as soon as the stay at home order is lifted, which as of now is April 8th, If you are interested in this, please contact the church (309-521-8127) or Pastor Reed (515-370-5114).
Spring Cleaning Opportunity 
Every spring our church tries to have a big gathering of parishioners to help clean up sticks and leaves, trim hedges, and clean out any unnecessary items in the building. This event, like all church events through April, has been canceled, but that doesn't mean we can't work together to help clean up our church and church yard. 

Once the stay at home order is lifted, currently set to lift on April 8th, we will open times for people to sign up to help clean up our church. This would mean that an individual or family would come out for an hour or two and help pick up sticks and leaves and put them on the burn pile. We would clean up the church yard over days rather than in one day.You can sign up for a time by calling the church (309-521-8127) or Pastor Reed (505-370-5114) and requesting a day and time slot. Hopefully, we can get enough people interested to be able to clean up the church yard and the yard around Jenny Lind Chapel.
Congratulations to the Newlyweds, John and Daisy Poppy!

On March 21st, John William and Daisy May Poppy joined together in holy matrimony . Please lift them up in your thanks and prayers for this wondrous occasion. 
Special Thanks and Praise
Wally Ladewig would like to publicly thank and praise God for the person who donated their lungs to him so he could live. This month also marks 8 years of living with the new lungs.
Thanks be to God
Church Modernization Projects Update

Augustana Lutheran Church would appreciate your continued support towards the Church Modernization Project. Our goal to raise $105,000 in three years to help pay back the Endowment Fund used to pay for these projects. Current status:
Goal = $ 105,000
# Pledges Received = 31
$ Pledged = $ 65,590
Total $       = $ 96,587

% of Goal (Pledges) = 62.5 %
% of Goal ($)             = 92.0 %
News From ELCA Churchwide and Northern Illinois Synod

Northern Illinois Synod Assembly Postponed

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

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