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Running Through the Finish Line Not To the Finish Line


Greetings and blessings to you! October is our stewardship month. During this month we will have people witness to their faith and the role Augustana has played in it. We also ask for people to fill out monetary pledge cards for next year (2022) by the end of the month so that we can plan our budget for the next year. That’s the nuts and bolts of it all. Now let’s get to the how and why with our stewardship theme for this month. It is the title of this article.
This is more than just a sports cliché. This is also a tried and true way of running a race. (I can personally attest to missing out on a chance to hurdle at the state track meet, because I did not keep leaning forward and finishing through the finish line.) Running through the finish line can also speak to how we are to be stewards and disciples of Jesus.

Before Jesus the starting line of life was birth and the finish line was death. As Jesus took his last breath on the cross for our sins people wept because they still held to this reality. Fortunately for Jesus’ disciples and the whole world he ran through the finish line and kept going. He was raised from the dead and in turn erased the finish line of death for us all. It is as if he burst through the finish line tape and it kept going with him into eternity.

We have been granted eternal life with God. Our race has changed because of this. We are not called to race to death or eternal life. Instead, we are called to race out into our communities and spread God’s love through word and service. We at Augustana Lutheran Church try to hold onto that reality. Our church continues to serve its community local and abroad through sending money and putting in the work to make it a better place.

I have a friend who accepted a call to a church that had been without a pastor for over 4 years. The people of the church banded together to make sure the church would stay afloat and be able to welcome another minister. Once my friend got there all that work the congregation had been doing got put squarely on the minister’s shoulders. The people thought they had put in all their work and now it was the pastor’s job to do everything else.

Unfortunately for the congregation that is not how it works (Just ask Moses from Numbers 11!). They did not have a mindset of running through the finish line and thinking, “Now that we have a pastor think of all we can accomplish for God.” They had a mindset of just getting to the finish line and thinking, “Once we have a pastor then we can be done.”
To be honest, this is how most churches are treating ministering in a time of COVID-19. We have been blessed to continue to serve our community and reach out to our members.

I want to make sure that we as a congregation do not just think everything will hopefully get back to the way it was ‘before COVID’. Why can’t it be better? What can we do to do more? What can we do to run through the finish line as a congregation and be blessed to see where God’s love can take us? All questions to consider. I do hope you fill out a pledge card and send it in so we can figure out the budget for our church and its ministry in 2022. God’s blessings to you all!
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
Liturgical Nerd Notes 
Oldest Form of Worship
Last month our contemporary worship service was centered on the book of Psalms. These were songs and poems written to God for many different occasions. Sometimes they were meant to praise God and give thanks. Sometimes they were meant to lament to God and plea for help. A cool part about the Psalms that we do not talk about very much is that they have been used in worship for over 3,500 years. The oldest Psalm was written over 3,500 years ago. The ‘newest’ Psalm was written approximately 2,500 years ago. That means that when we read the Psalm together on Sunday we are doing the exact thing that the Israelites did in Jerusalem and scattered throughout the world. Let that soak in the next time we have a call and response of the Psalm in church. Let us bless God as we have for thousands of years
Council Highlisgts
Meeting of
September 19th

We invite you to pray for the members of the church council.
Pastor Reed Pedersen, Bryan Johnson, Emily Johnson, Bonnie Bandelow, Linda Papoccia, Kathy Atwell, Michael Carlson, Nick Swanson, Laura Rickey, Jeanine Lees, and Jeannie Westerlund
May God bless them, and direct their deeds in peace, that they may be faithful servants of Christ.
  • Volunteer secretaries—Monday—Friday from 9-1 are now covered. Emily will prepare the calendar for October
  • Radon mitigation in the parsonage is done
  • The sidewalk between the parsonage and
    education wing has been removed and filled in
  • Trunk or Treat will coordinate with the Village’s trick or treat. 
  • A trivia night is planned for November 13
  • Next meeting: Sunday, October 17 after worship
A Message for Stewardship Month from the Stewardship Committee
Greetings from the stewardship committee! Our committee seeks to encourage the members of our congregation to be good stewards. Being a good steward means caring for God’s Creation and using our resources (money, time, and talents) to better help God’s mission to spread the love of Jesus to the entire world. Just as Jesus sent disciples out 2 by 2, we have been sending out our members to go out to the homes (or talk over the phone) of our parishioners. Our goal to hear from you about our church and to let you know a little bit about what we have been up to.

For stewardship month we ask people to read along as a congregation the book, ‘A Good Old Age’ which we have included with the bags of goodies we have been trying to send to every family. If you need a copy please let the church office know. They have a couple extras. This book is meant to be treated like a daily devotional. Pastor Reed will be posting a video reflection on a chapter a day starting on October 4th. Please read and watch along as we use this book to consider how we have been as stewards of our church and our world.

This stewardship month we will also have temple talks given at the beginning of our worship services in October.

October 10: Susie Josephson
October 17: Bryan Johnson
October 24: Kristen Burns
God and our church have given us so much. Through prayer and reflection please consider how you can give back to God and your church.

OCTOBER 31, 2021

On the last Sunday of October we celebrate the beginning of the protestant church, especially our Lutheran heritage. In celebration of the church past and present we will have 3 confirmands affirm their baptism. We will also have some of our young congregants take their 1st communion on this day. Please join us for this wonderful worship opportunity! Also, don’t forget to wear red!

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
13    Finley Curry
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 Anniversary
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
Wine, Women and the Word
 We will meet on Wednesday, October 27 at 7 pm in
Luther Hall.  All are welcome. P.S. We don’t actually drink wine so if has been keeping you from coming, please join us :) With any questions reach out to Megan Pedersen.
Please join us for worship on October 10th. This service will focus on Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and all the women of our congregation. Pastor Karla Wildberger, an ELCA pastor from Dubuque, IA, will be leading worship, preaching, and presiding over communion.
Thank you Augustana family for donating the dry erase boards and markers for my ESP program at CR Hanna.  The children will love it.- Chrissy Zurcher
The family of Carol Lambert wants to thank Pastor Reed, Terri Nelson and the Faith Circle for making July 31 a comfortable day for us.  - Carol Lambert Family
I want to thank my church family for all of the prayers and just being there for me during these hard times.  - Jeanine Lees
Dear Augustana Family,
The family of Don Larson thanks you for your prayers and well wishes during this time.
First Communion Class
There will be a first communion class on Sunday, October 24 during Sunday School.  Please talk to Pastor Reed for more details.
All Saints Sunday 2021
On all saints Sunday, there will be part of the service where we will speak the names of the saints aloud. If you would prefer for Pastor Reed to read those names please send them to the church office by November 4.
Bible study topics — October
October 6: The Story of the Bible                    
October 20: Dissecting the Psalms (Part 2)
October 13: Dissecting the Psalms (Part 1)      
October 27: Relooking at the Reformation
Assisting in Worship
October 2021
Communion Assistants
03  Virtual
10  Linda Pappocia
17  Gordon Rehn
24  Bonnie Bandelow
31  Doug Nelson
10  Katie Angelos
17  Logan Selander
24  Emma Poppy
31  Everleigh Ruthaivilavan
03  Nancy Gray
10  Laura Angelos            
17  Connie Dismer
24  Bonnie Bandelow
31  Nikki Rehn  
03  Virtual
10  Kathy Atwell and Ila Wilson             
17  Laura and Ashley Rickey
24 Dick and Sally Rehn
31  Diane and Wally Ladewig
03  Virtual
10  Connie Dismer and Sally Reinhart  
17  Don & Dorothy Norberg, Ken & Diane  Poppy
24 Don & Dorothy Norberg, Ken & Diane Poppy
31  Don & Dorothy Norberg, Ken & Diane Poppy
Communion Set Up 
03  Laura Rickey
10  Nancy & Steve Gray
17 Lori Foley
24  Diane & Wally Ladewig
31 Kathy & Rock Atwell
Altar Guild                   
Jan Gritton and Kathy Atwell

Homebound Communion
Jan Gritton and Mindy Poppy
Acolyte Schedule
October - November

Note: please be at church no later than 15 minutes before the service. Find Pastor for instruction.
If you cannot acolyte on your scheduled date, trade with someone else and let the church office know ASAP about the date.(309.521.8127) Save this schedule and parents phone numbers.
Laura / Katie Angelos
Diane/Emma Poppy
Michele/Logan Selander
Nicki/Everleigh Ruthai         
10  Katie Angelos
17  Logan Selander
24  Emma Poppy
31  Everleigh Ruthaivilavan
07  Everleigh Ruthaivilavan
21  Everleigh Ruthaivilavan

                       October 2021 
                        Jeanine Lees

                       November 2021
                        Doug Nelson

It is your responsibility to find a replacement if unable to serve
Save the date!
Augustana Lutheran will once again host a blood drive on November 13 from 8 am—12 pm. More detail to come.
October 31, 2021:
Trunk or Treat!

Once again, Augustana Lutheran Church is offering a fun opportunity to serve our community! During the village sanctioned trick-or-treat time for Andover (2:00-5:00 p.m.) on Sunday, October 31, we are having a special trunk-or-treat event. We are looking for church groups and individuals to decorate the trunks of their vehicles for Halloween and to bring a candy or other treat to hand out. We will then park on the back church driveway. During this time we hope families from around town come and trick-or-treat at the trunks of our vehicles as part of their Halloween route. We would love as many people as possible to help participate in this. If you do not wish to have your own trunk, still stop by (adults and children alike) and enjoy the other trunks and treats that    people have brought. You  may also donate candy if you do not wish to attend. 

If you plan on having a trunk or have questions about it please contact the church office or Jeanine Lees, 309.236.5920.
Trivia Night—November 13, 2021
Our outreach committee is putting on a trivia night! This will be a wonderful opportunity for our outreach
committee to raise money to use for our community,
especially our local schools. The Luther League will also be serving tacos for dinner! Their proceeds will go towards next summer’s National Youth Gathering in Minneapolis. More info on trivia night will be coming in November’s Spire,.
Christmas Ornaments
Outreach Committee is planning on donating handmade Christmas ornaments for grade school. They will go to children in pre-school—5th grade.
Homemade ornaments will go to 14 classrooms. Feel free to use your creativity when you make your ornaments and have them to the church office by the end of November. They will be delivered in December!  If you have questions contact Jeanine Lees, 309.236.5920.

26 September 2021
The meeting was called to order at 11:17 in The Sanctuary by Pastor Reed who led us in prayer.

Bryan took the microphone and reported that the radon mitigation of the parsonage has been done, the sidewalk between the parsonage and education wing has been removed, filled in with top soil and will be seeded soon. The extra topsoil is behind the storage garage for use by the congregation.  Two weeks ago the property committee spray painted lines indicating the 2 options of land to be sold with the parsonage.  Nick brought his drone and took photos to aid the decision making process.  The blue lines indicate a house on a lot.  According to the realtor whether the extra land is included or not there is no big price difference.
After today’s vote the property will be surveyed and handed off to the realtor.
The floor was opened for questions.  Kevin Johnson commented that if we sell the extra land, they could build on it.  However if we keep the extra land, we will have to take care of it…downed trees, mowing.
Gordon Rehn asked if we’re sure where the house’s septic system is located.  Pastor indicated it is within the fence.
Bryan commented that in conversations this week he’s learned that if it is advertised “for sale as is”, would preclude some loans.  However, we can sell it with the stipulation that we will not be fixing anything.
As there were no more questions, ballots and pencils were handed out and taken to the sacristy to be counted.  In the midst of the Screens discussion the counters reported that the Property vote was:
Blue option - 20 votes.  Red option – 15 votes. 
Pastor took the mic and we proceeded to the next decision:  whether or not to go with flat screens.   Due to a generous donation, we have the money.  Bev Josephson asked that if we say no, will the money go away?  NoKevin J. asked:  what are we voting on today?  Answer:  We’re prepared for 2 votes.  The first vote will be a Yes – let’s adopt screens or a No – we don’t want screens.

The second vote is how we want the screens to be placed.  The men of the church taped the wall with the banners close to the pulpit with the 10’ screen close to the outside walls.  Another option has come up since the Council met on the 19th.  We could center the screens and hang the banners on the side walls during regular times.  For special occasions such as baptisms or funerals we could purchase a special banner stand. 

A portable mic was passed out for questions.  Verna Bergstrom asked what about the Exit Sign over the sacristy door?  It can easily be relocated to the side next to the top of the door. 
Bob Bergstrom questioned the use of projectors vs flat screen TVs. Pastor replied that today’s projectors are meant to give good resolution while at an angle.  Dick Rehn asked that look into the issue a little more. 
Two ballots were passed out.  Vote YES or NO on the orange/yellow ballot.

The white ballot can be used for your preference of screen placement.  Option A is the way the walls are taped.  Option B is if you’d prefer to see the screen centered with the banners on the side wall.  This option would include a special stand for baptismal/funeral banners. 

The counters reported votes for or against screens:  27 YES     7 NO
The placement of the screens:  Option A   - 8    
                                                   Option B – 24

The meeting adjourned at 11:55 with The Lord’s Prayer.
Respectfully submitted,     BONNIE BANDELOW
As you can see we currently have a pretty sizeable deficit through the month of August. Working with a deficit at this point in the year is not new. All our yearly expense items (e.g. insurance) and heating our church in January and February tend to run our expenses high, but they eventually even out. In fact, our expenses are actually lower right now than they were two years ago. What is troubling is how much lower our giving is compared to just two years ago.  Please be aware of this if you have not kept up your regular giving. During this stewardship month we hope to not only plan our budget for next year but also see how much of the current deficit we can dwindle down.

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

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