My Dear Augustana,
Last summer, 31,000 ELCA Youth Gathered in Houston around the theme, “This Changes Everything.” It may be obvious to some, but it needs to be said, the “This” that changes everything, is Jesus. You see, change is kind of a Jesus thing. Christ changes brokenness into wholeness, unbelief into faith, death into life, sickness into health, enemies into friends. Kind of amazing, this Jesus.
Because we serve such an agent of change, I wonder if we ought to change the name of our Annual Meeting (Feb. 10) to something else. “Annual Meeting” sounds a little too parliamentary, legislative, transactional. When we gather as a community, we usually have way more fun than Robert’s Rules of Order would allow. We eat together (thanks Anne and Donise!). We share stories. We make plans to serve our neighbors in new ways. We pray. Might even break into a song or two! How about we change February 10th to, “Augustana celebrates Jesus the Change-maker”? or “Rejoicing in the Holy Spirit of Change”? or “Jesus Changes Everything—let’s Party!” Just a thought.
I admit that maybe those names are a bit weird. No big deal; everything is open to change. That said, there are at least a couple of important things going on with this idea. One is celebration. There is a lot to celebrate around here. On February 10th, we celebrate things like our worship life—how, week in and week out, faithful and flawed folks gather around Word and Sacrament. We’ll also celebrate our outreach ministries that touch lives in our neighborhood, lives around the world, and lives in our congregation. And we’ll celebrate our community our faith, how we connect with and care for one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. Yes, that’s a lot to celebrate!
And, one could say, there’s a lot to change. We gather on the 10th of February to make changes in the name of Jesus. What will allow us to minister more effectively in 2019? How can we more faithfully participate in God’s mission to the world? All kinds of folks all around us don’t know much about Christ (and what they do know is often skewed). So, how can we connect in a meaningful way with our friends we haven’t met yet; even invite them to become involved with us? In some areas of our lives and ministry, it’ll take change, maybe a lot of change. That probably shouldn’t surprise us. After all, Jesus, don’t ya know, changes everything.
P.S. The next ELCA Youth Gathering, in 2021, will change our neighborhood. 35,000 young people will meet for a week, right up the street, at US Bank Stadium. No theme yet.
Worship at 10:30 AM (with the Lord's Supper)
Sunday School at 9:30 AM (for children of all ages)
Choir practice at 9:30 AM (sanctuary)
Coffee/hospitality at 10: 00 AM (fellowship area)
Confirmation at 5:30 PM
Adult Bible Study at 7:00 PM
Lenten Suppers and Holden Evening Prayer (Mar. 13 - Apr. 10)
2/23 - Saturday 10:00 AM
Men's Fellowship (and breakfast) at Augustana
3/06 - Ash Wednesday Supper (6:00 PM) and Worship (7:00 PM) at Messiah Lutheran
We gather with Messiah Folks (2400 Park Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404) for a joint meal and to begin our 40-day Lenten preparation for Easter. Ash Wednesday is a traditional worship of confession and forgiveness, with the imposition of ashes.
Holy Week Services
Palm Sunday (Apr. 11)
Maundy Thursday (Apr. 18)
Good Friday Tenebrae (Apr. 19)
Easter Sunday (April 21)