Being Good Stewards Together
by Pastor Goede
We’ve taken some steps recently at Augustana to be better stewards of everything entrusted to us. Our Stewardship Committee has added some members and made some exciting plans. Our members now include Jim Vondracek, Gina Guaderrama, Celeste Garrett and Carol Albright.
We’ve hired a bookkeeper for a few hours a week, Jeannie Price, to support our Treasurer, Jeanette Bordelon, and our Financial Secretary, Mark Granfors. Jeannie also helps keep track of payments from our building partners and does payroll. This is helping our Finance Committee in their work of tightening our financial controls and accountability.
During the summer, our Property Committee and Council have been working together to make plans to tackle some necessary projects around our building. The most pressing need is tuckpointing and sealing to keep out water coming in through the nave skylight, and through the roof in the narthex and top of the stairs by the Sunday School rooms. The total cost of this project will be $12,000.
The Property Committee worked with Lutheran Campus Ministry this summer to secure a matching grant of $2,100 to open up our west entrance with new fencing. Now, students in the residence hall across the street will see our west door rather than a padlocked gate.
We would like to begin these two projects this fall, and we can with your help. Please consider either making a special gift this summer or increasing your pledge for the remainder of the year.
We do a lot of good work together as a congregation, but it’s only possible when we also pull together and give generously.
Thanks for your help. Yours in Christ,
Our Building Has a Mission
by Celeste Garrett
Corporations, entrepreneurs, even individuals have mission statements.
Churches, of course, also have a mission statement. Our congregational mission statement reads: A welcoming community that, through Christ, proclaims the Word, celebrates the Sacraments and reaches out to neighbors. Pastor Goede says she has a personal one, bringing people into relationship with Jesus Christ.
Now, under the umbrella of that mission falls many things, not the least of which is participation in the community at-large, “reaches out to neighbors.” Some of this participation is educational. Some of it falls under social justice. Community projects can be artistic, health-related and/or help the less fortunate. And some activities provide an opportunity for like-minded people to gather and just have fun.
What’s not to be missed here is the vast diversity of ways that Augustana participates in the community. More important is how that participation adds value to both the community and the congregation.
The organizations that use our building: Alcoholics Anonymous + Chicago Board of Election Commissioners (polling site) + Chicago Child Care Society + Chicago Fifth Ward Alderman’s Office + Chicago Men’s A cappella + Cub Scouts + Faith in Place Farmer’s Market + Ghanaian Community Church + Hyde Park Players + Hyde Park Refugee Project + Hyde Park Storytelling Guild + Hyde Park Transitional Housing + Hyde Park Village + Hyde Park Writers Group + Lakeside Quilting Guild + Language Stars + La Rabida Children’s Hospital Women’s Guild + The Revival + South East Chicago Commission + Steppers + Suzuki + University of Chicago Orientation + Vivian Harsh Society
Countless studies have shown the economic and social value that church facilities foster in their communities. So, when you think about it, not only does this congregation have a mission statement, but the building has a mission too. The building provides the bricks and mortar that help many organizations go from having a great concept to carrying out a great cause.
This warrants a moment of appreciation.
Save the Date!
Stewardship Luncheon, Sunday, November 12
with Gianfranco Grande
Senior Vice President, Partners for Sacred Places
Partners for Sacred Places works with many churches like ours, congregations with buildings that are beautiful, interesting, expensive, hard-working, shared – all things that make for good discussion about stewardship and mission. Our speaker will share pictures and stories from lots of other churches around the country that use and share their buildings in innovative ways, and talk about how we can better tell our story through our building.
It’s like in the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” when Jimmy Stewart’s character finds out what his community would be like if he had never been born. He is allowed to see, thanks to an angel who takes him through time, just how different his small town would be without him. In every way that he would have impacted the community, that impact has a domino effect on the people in that community. He comes to value both the tangible and intangible ways that he has positively affected life in general in the town. This experience changes him, making him feel grateful and responsible for helping those he has touched to continue to prosper.
Well, we’ve got “A Wonderful Church” that provides immeasurable value to this community. And as good stewards, it is our responsibility to make sure the building is able to continue its mission to touch our community in ways we often take for granted.
E-Giving: Safe, Secure, and Easy
by Jim Vondracek
Many of us at Augustana support its mission through e-giving – it’s safe, secure and easy. You may set it up so that you give weekly and you don’t have to worry about remembering to write a check or bringing your envelopes to church. It’s better for the church, too – our gifts are received even when we’re out of town or not able to attend. The Stewardship Committee urges every member to prayerfully consider signing up for electronic giving.
Augustana partners with Vanco Solutions, which provides e-giving support to over 20,000 churches nation-wide and is endorsed by Thrivent. To sign up, go to “Donate” link at the bottom of Augustana’s website or follow the direct link here to our secure SSL encrypted e-giving page.
Planned Giving – ELCA Foundation at Augustana
During the education hour at 9:30 am on Sunday, October 15, Tim Urness of the ELCA Foundation will visit with us about planned giving (estate giving, wills, life insurance, annuities and trusts) and the long-term value of establishing an endowment to support the mission of Augustana.
One Story of Giving
by Carol Albright
While I was working, I was widowed. I made a decent income as a self-employed publishing consultant. I was Executive Editor of Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science, at LSTC, for nine years. At the same time, for ten years I wrote a medical newsletter for SmithKline Pharmaceuticals It paid much better than Zygon but neither had retirement benefits. I had to make my own retirement plans, and I worked through Fidelity to do this. It now pays me a check every month. But I still manage the account, including stocks.
Maybe a stock has gone up quite a bit and I want to take gains before it goes down again. So I may transfer some or all of this stock to the Fidelity Charitable fund. I do not have to pay tax on the gains, which I would have to do if I just sold it. Fidelity Charitable sells the stock and invests the proceeds in a very safe fund that pays some interest. I eventually have to give it to some charity. If I should die leaving some money in the account, it should go to Augustana.
I prefer this technique to a monthly credit card account because there is no risk of having to pay interest, and no need to pay the credit card bills. I realize it is not for everyone, but it works for me.