Dear Members and Friends of Augustana:
Loss, hope, renewal and life. That cycle, at the center of the church for millennia, became even more real for many of us in the past two years.
First, the pandemic. The loss of being able to gather weekly, in-person, hit many of us hard and we are still recovering from that loss of community, with many still waiting. Most of our partners, who use our building for their activities, stopped, deeply impacting our finances.
Then, we’ve experienced an unusual number of deaths in our community, more intensely than many of us have ever experienced – from covid, from murder, from disease, as well as the natural cycle of life.
From Loss to Hope, Renewal and Life
But it is in faith and in our church community where we experience that which follows loss – hope, renewal and life. The celebration of Reformation Sunday and the hopefulness of a new baptism, with the renewal of baptisms from all the confirmands, lifted our spirits. The beauty of the organ recital two weeks later gave us a window into the divine. And the joyfulness of service, as we prepared meals for a youth homeless shelter, filled our hearts.
Your stewardship and your engagement is essential to sustaining and building our church, as we bring the hope, renewal and life that Jesus promises to our community.
Stewardship for 2022
For the coming year, please consider making a pledge for 2022. Pledging isn’t a contract, it’s an estimate of what you anticipate or intend to give in the coming year. Our pledges help Augustana’s church council, pastors and finance team craft a budget based on reality and are an essential part of the budgeting process.
There are three ways for you to indicate your pledge for 2022:
- Return the paper pledge form, sent via mail, to the church
- If you already give electronically, and intend to continue to do so, we will use your current giving amount as your pledge for the coming year, unless you indicate that you intend to do something different.
Looking Ahead in Hope and Love
As a community, we will remember the lives of Shelley Barnard (who died after a long battle with cancer) and Keith Cooper (who was murdered during an attempted car jacking) through two projects:
- A bench in Shelley’s name will be installed in our gardens on Woodlawn and 55th Street. Christopher Barnard is accepting contributions for this project via a Go Fund Me website (you may search “Shelley Barnard Go Fund Me” and it will take you to the page). You may also write a check directly to Augustana and indicate that it is restricted for the bench in Shelley’s memory.
- A group of Augustana and community leaders is working on an enduring memorial based on Keith’s involvement in helping young people in our community achieve their educational and vocational goals. The group will be raising funds to support scholarships and other programs – look for more information in the coming months.
Another new development for our community is engaging a part-time youth leader to work with our teens and families. This autumn, youth and their families participated in an outdoor service project at Whistler Woods and also prepared a meal for The Night Ministry. The youth leader will focus on building upon that base in working with the young people in our church – you’ll hear more about this in 2022!
Thank you for all you do for Augustana and our community. Your service, your support, your presence – all are essential and deeply appreciated as together we proclaim Jesus’ message of justice, peace and love.
Augustana’s Stewardship Committee
David Glover (Chair), Marc Dukes, Manoj Gunthoti, Marnie Roarke, Jim Vondracek