Celebrating a Baptismal Season at Augustana

Celebrating a Baptismal Season at Augustana
On Pentecost, five Augustana teenagers will affirm their baptismal vows for themselves and become confirmed members of the church. It’s a good time for all of us to remember our baptisms and what they mean for us, to reaffirm those vows for ourselves and to reminisce about this important event in our lives and the lives of our families and church communities.

This week in worship, we’ll hear the confirmands’ take on Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch. We’ll be in prayer about baptism, and we’ll hear water-themed music. We’ll also hear from members of our community about baptism. If you have something you would like to contribute, send it to one of the pastors.

Here’s a baptism memory from Pastor Goede:

I don’t have any memory of being baptized, because I was just a baby, but I have several pictures from the day. In one picture taken by the font, my Grandma Goede looks like she’s going to burst with happiness. From her twenties, she lived with rheumatoid arthritis and a lot of pain, and indeed, she never looked very happy in photos. But that day, she was all smiles.

She died about a year later, but her friends from her church circle, the Mustard Seed, were very good about taking her place as godmothers. Circles were small groups for women, very popular at a time when no woman worked outside her home and church was the one place where they could gather with friends and do things outside of their homes that mattered. My grandma was the secretary of the Mustard Seed for over thirty years; I’m guessing it mattered to her. Most of her circle friends lived close to the church, and so were our neighbors. My little friends and I would knock on their doors and visit on our own. On Sunday afternoons, my dad would take me to visit the ones who lived farther away (“in the olden days” visiting relatives and neighbors at home on Sundays was a thing).

One member of the Mustard Seed, Adeline Flodin, left money to our church for a scholarship for seminarians. She never married or had children, but she was a grandmother to many. She would have been surprised that I became a pastor; the first Lutheran woman was ordained in 1970, just a few years before she died. But I think she would have loved to have known that her efforts to nurture me in faith were fruitful.