Grace Note 12.1.2017

Augustana Lutheran Church of Hyde Park and Lutheran Campus Ministry

Sunday, December 3, 2017
8:15 am Holy Communion
9:30 am Education Hour

10:45 am Holy Communion

Welcoming New Members this Sunday!
This Sunday, December 3, we are welcoming new members to Augustana. They are:

Jason and Jessika Ralph are rejoining Augustana, where they were active members as students, and are thrilled to return with their daughter, Genevieve.
Jessika is an OB/GYN completing her fellowship at Northwestern. Jason is a consultant. Genevieve and their dog Cora are quite content to sleep all day.

Brach Jennings is a Ph.D. student in Systematic Theology at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.  He specializes in Martin Luther’s theology, the Lutheran Confessions, and contemporary interpretations of Lutheran theology.  He has previously lived in St. Paul, MN, Astoria, OR, and Berkeley, CA, and is originally from Fulton, IL.  Brach is an avid reader and music lover, and can be seen happily singing with the Chicago Chorale.  Brach has two cats, Charlie and Lila, who are his best feline friends in the world.
Why is the Nave Dressed in Blue during Advent?
By Pastor Goede
Advent in Augustana's Sanctuary
Augustana started as a mission to Swedish coachmen and maids who worked in the Kenwood mansions at the beginning of the twentieth century. One of the best gifts the Lutheran Church in the United States ever received from the Church of Sweden was the idea of blue paraments, altar and ambo dressings in a color familiar to the immigrants.

So what other color could they be? Few of us are old enough to remember when Advent was a penitential season. In my grandparents’ time, just like in Lent, Advent was a time when people fasted, gave money to the poor and perhaps made a personal confession of sin (in preparation for receiving communion at Christmas, one of only two or three opportunities for them to do so during the year). Advent was a time to reflect on sin, and do something about it.

Today, Advent is still a quiet, reflective time for Lutherans, and blue, the color of hope, sets the tone for us. If you’ve ever stood outside in the evening when the sky is a deep blue and everything is still, you can understand how the early members of Augustana came to associate blue with hope. No matter how wound up or freaked out you are by life, it’s hard to hold on to that under a deep blue sky when the stars are beginning to come out. The blue dressings in our worship space keep us focused on the hope of this season.

Chicago Child Care Society

Our neighbors across 55th Street, the Chicago Child Care Society, are looking for gift cards for the families whose children are in the child care center each day. If you would like to donate a $25 gift card, please give it to Pastor Goede by Sunday, December 10. They suggest cards to Jewel, Aldi, Target, Walmart, or MasterCard or Visa gift cards.

The Society has many of their large events at Augustana, including holiday parties, parent and teacher trainings and preschool graduation.

Observing Advent with Children
by Pastor Goede
When my kids were growing up, they knew our family was different because we did not put up Christmas decorations until a few days before Christmas Eve. To make this counter-cultural, and not just grim and Scrooge-like, we went all in on a few practices that our kids (and some of their friends) came to love:

Celebrate St. Nicholas’ Day on December 6
Your child/ren will be delighted to receive a small gift or two in their shoes, including perhaps some chocolate gold coins, when they wake up in the morning and find Good St. Nick has visited. This ritual helped to take the edge off of waiting for Christmas gifts for our children, and it was a way to know and honor the Christian saint who morphed into Santa Claus.

Good St. Nick was a real bishop in the 300s in what’s now southern Turkey. One of the incidents for which he is remembered involved a family with three daughters. The family was too poor to afford dowries, which were essential if the girls wanted to marry. Without that, they would have no way to support themselves.

Nicholas walked by the family’s house while they were sleeping and threw small bags of gold coins through the window, into each of the girl’s shoes. Today throughout Europe, children still receive chocolate gold coins and small gifts in their shoes.

Another version of the story was that Nicholas climbed onto the roof and dropped the money down the chimney, where it fell into the socks that were hung to dry over the embers in the fireplace.

Get some kind of Advent marker and use it
When the kids were little, we had a felt banner with pockets filled with all of the animals and people who belonged in the stable. Now we have a small cabinet with tiny cupboards, in which you can put something like a small candy cane and a Bible passage. Be religious about using it every day, and get excited that Jesus is coming, coming soon.

Have devotions at dinner
Or breakfast, or whenever you are gathered for a meal.

Four candles in the center of your table can help you mark the weeks of Advent, just as we do in church. Light (or turn on) one candle during the first week, two during the second, etc.

Read something together. You can find biblical readings for each day of Advent here.

We print the readings for the week in the bulletin every Sunday. You can find readings for every day of the year in the back of the red hymnal in the pews, Evangelical Lutheran Worship; the Advent readings are on page 1132.

Finish with a prayer like this one:

            Jesus, you are the light of the world. Shine in the darkness and lead the way for us.
Jesus, you are the peace of the world. Fill us with hope and help us to love each other.
Jesus, you are God’s love for us made real in a little child. Let us praise you with joy.
Consider giving a faith-building gift to the small people on your list
We received an indestructible wooden nativity set carved by Palestinians that our kids loved to use as a play set. There are lots of play sets, action figures and dress up sets with biblical themes available online. I’ve found some of the best Christian toys and books at teacher stores and dollar stores. If you buy a great children’s Bible, you might find you enjoy reading it yourself so much that you want to keep it.
Community Breakfast

Each month, Augustana hosts a free community breakfast for anyone who would like to join other people for a meal. It’s always the third Saturday of the month. This month, that’s December 16th. There are eggs and pancakes, oatmeal and meats, everything you might want for a Saturday breakfast. If you want to come and eat, just show up starting at 9am. If you would be willing to help cook or serve, sign up in the narthex.

Why Do We Celebrate Sankta Lucia?
by Lise Sveen
        December 13 is the feast day of Saint Lucia, commemorating Lucia of Syracuse. She was martyred in 304 CE by Diocletian.  Lucia and her mother were nobles. Lucia was engaged to be married to a pagan.  Her mother had had a long and serious illness, and Lucia prayed at the tomb of the martyr Agatha.  Her mother recovered and Lucia gave her dowry to the poor.  Her suitor denounced her to the local prefect.  When Lucia refused to renounce Christianity, she was condemned to be burned.  Lucia became the patron saint for illnesses of the eyes and light.
       In Sweden the feast day coincided with the winter solstice before the calendar was reformed, so Lucia eve was the longest night of the year. It was associated with revels and fantastic spooky things like farm animals talking in the dark.  The custom of processions featuring young women as Lucia became popular after a Stockholm newspaper decided to crown a Lucia queen in 1927.  Now on Sankta Lucia day the eldest daughter wakes before dawn, prepares coffee, cookies, and sweet Lucia buns, and serves her parents in bed, with the help of her siblings. She wears a white robe, with a red sash symbolizing martyrdom, and a crown of candles. As with Advent, candles signify light overcoming darkness.

At Augustana we celebrate Sankta Lucia with music, including the well-known Lucia song (based on a Neapolitan boat song), with a procession of star boys and younger girls, Lucia and her court, and with an amazing coffee hour spread.  On this day we lift up our young people, reflect on the Swedish roots of our congregation, and pray for the safety of Christians threatened because of their beliefs.

This year, we will celebrate the festival of Santa Lucia at the end of the second service on Dec. 10th.Please bring your favorite sweet or savory treat for the special potluck coffee hour!

We invite the children of the congregation to join in the festivities following the 10:45am service onSunday, December 10. To learn the songs and practice some short readings, we’re going to have rehearsals in Classroom 1 at 9:30am on Sunday, December 3, as well as 9:30 on the 10th.  All children are welcome!  Please contact Lise Sveen for more information:  lise@uchicago.edu or 773-643-7976.

We are looking for adult volunteers to help with the Lucia pageant, especially with clean-up after the amazing coffee hour.

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

At coffee hour this Sunday, December 3, you will find a table with information about, and materials used by the children in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, an international program of Christian formation which was brought to Augustana by Dorothy Pytel for the 3-6 age group.  We would like to make everyone aware of the gifts which this program can bring, not just to the children, but to the entire congregation.  We hope to form a reading group in January to help us understand what a child’s relationship to God is like and how best to nurture it. If you are interested in this, contact Dorothy Pytel, dpytel@yahoo.com, or Carol Jean Brown, 5417caroljean@gmail.com.

Join the Winter Hospitality Team!

Here at Augustana, three or four people sign up to cover hospitality for one season, three months. You work on one major event (this season, Sankta Lucia) and cover coffee hours where there is no host. If you can help with this, please sign up in the narthex, or contact Chris Tompsett, chtomp07@gmail.com773-324-9533.

Join the Snow Removal Team!
John Nielsen has offered, as he has in the past, to contribute to shoveling the church’s sidewalks this winter. He needs some help! If you’d be willing to do some shoveling, please sign up in the narthex.
Chicago Men’s A Capella Concerts
Chicago Men’s A Cappella Christmas Concerts!  Saturday, December 2, at 6 PM (family show) and 8:30 PM. Holiday music, skits, audience carol sing-along, and refreshments between the shows, all presented by the best-dressed men’s choral group at the University of Chicago, conducted by Augustana member Bruce Tammen. Tickets $10/$5, or $20 per family.  All proceeds from the 6 PM performance to benefit Ray Elementary School.
Good (and Mixed) News from the Congregation!
The good news: Bahati Kimondo has won a scholarship allowing her to finish her nursing degree at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais. The bad news: Bahati will be moving away, leaving big shoes to fill, including the job of nursery attendant. We offer nursery care during the 10:45am service; we pay $20 per Sunday. You must be able to pass a criminal background check. If you or someone you know is  interested in applying for this job, please contact Lise Sveen, lise@uchicago.edu.

In other good news, Bryan Ho and Deborah Ho are engaged! Despite their same last name and both being from Singapore, marriage is a new adventure for them. Deborah is a soon-to-be graduate of the School of Social Service Administration at U of C. Bryan has a graduate degree in Economics from Chicago. Blessings on all that’s ahead, Deborah and Bryan!

Jim Schwab is the new chair-elect of the American Planning Association’s Hazard Mitigation and Disaster Recovery Planning Division (HMDR). APA has about 20 special interest divisions among its membership of just under 40,000. The chair-elect of a division basically serves a two-year term working with the chair to learn the ropes and participate in division business, fill in as needed, etc., before ascending to the chair position in the next two-year term. HMDR serves the interests of hundreds of APA members involved in work related to disaster issues and hazard mitigation, including APA assistance to disaster-stricken regions, professional education through webinars and conference sessions, and other similar functions. All new officers assume their positions on January 1. Congratulations, Jim!

Caroling at Montgomery Place
It was so much fun last year that we’re doing it again this year! We need some people to come to MontgomeryPlace Retirement Community at 4:30pm to sing on the third floor, followed by a visit to the second floor at 5pm.People on these floors are less mobile, so we’ll sing in the halls and perhaps in a few rooms.

We are invited to lead more mobile residents in singing with us, as we did last year, in the big East Room at7:15pm. The staff will have cookies and cocoa for us as we visit with residents.

It would be nice if a few people could visit Ruth Patterson on that day to sing for her. Ruth is homebound and lives very close to Augustana. Sign up to indicate you’re interested and we’ll work out a time.

Montgomery Place is located at 5550 S. Shore Drive. Please sign up in the narthex or contact the office (office@augustanahydepark.org) if you are planning to come, so we can give the staff an idea of numbers.

Christmas Eve children’s pageant

At the 4:30pm service on Dec. 24th, children will perform the Christmas story.  There will be a rehearsal duringSunday School on the 24th as well as a 3pm rehearsal.  Any adults who wish to volunteer can contact Shelley Barnard or Lise Sveen.

Advent and Christmas Schedule

Sankta Lucia:
Sunday, December 10, at the 10:45am service

Advent Lessons & Carols:
Wednesday, December 13, 7pm

Decorating the church for Christmas:
Saturday, December 16, beginning at 10am

Intergenerational Sunday School:
Sunday, December 17th, gathering in the narthex at 9:30am
Advent liturgy and procession for all ages

Caroling at Montgomery Place:
Monday, December 18th, 4:30, 5, and 7:15 pm

Fourth Sunday of Advent:
Sunday, December 24, ONE SERVICE at 9:30am

Christmas Eve:
Sunday, December 24, at 4:30pm & 8pm

Christmas Day:
Monday, December 25, 10:45am

Lessons & Carols for Christmas:
Sunday, December 31, ONE SERVICE at 10:45am

PSA: Affordable Care Act Enrollment through December 15

Enrollment in the 2018 Affordable Care Act begins on November 1 and runs through December 15. Because the budget for an awareness campaign has been slashed, many people don’t realize that their chance to sign up is coming soon. Tell your family members, friends and neighbors!

Arabic Language Instruction

One of the ways in which Augustana supports the Hyde Park Refugee Project is by providing space for English language tutoring. Now, one of the women involved is offering Arabic language instruction to anyone who’s interested. If you are, contact Marwa at marwa.baddawi85@yahoo.com312-934-7051.

December Grace Note Calendar
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