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June 2020 Newsletter

Aurora Lutheran Church

Feeding Body, Mind, and Spirit with the Love of Jesus

We Are Not Alone
Pastor Dale Svendsen

Greetings my brothers and sisters of faith at Aurora Lutheran!  I am looking forward to getting to know you and joining you in ministry!

For the last 10 weeks COVID-19 has dominated our lives and is going to continue to affect our lives for months to come.  Though this past week the “stay at home” restrictions have been relaxed so businesses can partially reopen and we can start to get “out and about” more, our state health officials warn that the peak of hospitalizations and deaths for our state is still four to six weeks away.  With that in mind, I encourage you all to continue following good health practices: wearing a mask when out, 6 feet distancing, no gatherings larger than 10, hand washing.  

With no ending in site for COVID-19 it may seem like we are all alone, but we are not.  The idea of  “no ending in site” reminds me of the story of Noah and the flood.  After it rained for 40 days and nights you may think that was the end – the water dried up and Noah got on with life, but that that was not the case.  After the rains ended, the ark floated on the waters for another four months.  At that point, scripture tells us: “And God remembered Noah” and sent the wind to begin drying up the waters.  This drying did not occur right away.  It took five more months for the waters to recede and then another month before the earth was dry so Noah could finally leave the ark.  Though scripture tells us that in the middle of the flood “God remember Noah” we know that God had “remembered Noah” throughout the flood ordeal: had been with him at the start, at the end and would continue to be with him into the future.
   
Hear the good news!   In this week 10 of COVID-19 reality, God has remembered you!  God has been with you since the start, is with you now, will continue to be present until COVID-19 no longer dominates your life and will continue to be with you in the post-COVID time as well.

As you travel into this uncertainty, know you are not forgotten by God.  God HAS remembered you and IS walking with you. 
 
Pastor Dale 

P.S.  For the foreseeable future we will not be able to have in-person worship.  Until that time, to help us feel the spiritual presence of each other, I encourage you to stop and pray each day at 6 PM.  As you pray, may the knowledge that all your brothers and sisters at Aurora are doing the same give you comfort, strength and peace. 
Worship

The postponement of in-person worship will continue but with Pastor Dale now with us, we will begin virtual worship on Sunday, June 7th.    How will you be able to participate in virtual worship? If you are on Facebook, go to Aurora’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/AuroraLutheranChurch) and you will be able to watch the video there. If you are not on Facebook, you can access the video two ways: Sarah will e-mail you an “order of worship” that we will be using.  If we do not have your email address and you would like to receive this, please email Sarah at office@auroralutheranchurch.org to be added to the list. Keep this for we will use it for the whole month of June.  She will also post it on the church’s web page so you can download it for printing.

Each week she will send out the words to hymns we will be singing as part of the video worship.  She also will post this on the church’s web page as well.
 

Prayers of the Church
If you have anyone to add to the weekly “Prayers of the Church,” let Sarah know.  We will add them to the prayers and keep them listed for three weeks. 
 

Contact information for Pastor Dale
E-mail: pdmsvend@gmail.com
Phone: 507-995-9189  (If you call and Pastor Dale doesn’t pick up, PLEASE leave a message).

Stewardship Note  
When I interviewed for the position of interim, one of the areas the church council wanted me to place an emphasis on was Stewardship.  In light of this request from the council, each month there will be an article in the newsletter addressing an aspect of stewardship.  These articles will be from Rev. Ron Blezard of the Stewardship of Life Institute.  May they assist you to see how Stewardship is about more than money, but is an integral part of our faith life.
 
Develop a Heart of Generosity
Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35b

A friend who regularly volunteers to serve meals to the needy illustrates the truth of Jesus’ teaching. “It’s so rewarding to help,” she says, explaining that the time and hard work is worth it. “I think get more out of it than they do.”  It feels good to give, but we are blessed with so much more when we give generously. The act of giving truly blesses us by shaping our personalities and developing our character. That’s a truth affirmed by research. (Check out “The Science of Generosity” white paper from the University of California at Berkeley, or “The Science of Generosity Initiative” at Notre Dame University!)

Generous people tend to be the kind of good folk we want as friends and neighbors. We often think of generosity only in terms of financial giving, but generous people go way beyond that, embodying generosity with all they have and all they are. They are not merely generous, they are generous-hearted.

Anyone can develop a generous heart, or a more generous heart. Begin by deepening your relationship with God, seeking guidance and wisdom in daily prayer. Then simply begin to pour yourself out for the sake of others, giving generously as a spiritual exercise and discipline. Here are five action steps:
  • Give smiles. Smile at everyone you see. You may be surprised at how it changes your outlook.
  • Give nice words. Say something nice to everyone – family and friends, coworkers, parishioners, store clerks, folks in an elevator.
  • Give courtesy. Hold a door open for the person behind you; stop for pedestrians; let someone go ahead of you in line.
  • Give your time. Serve people face-to-face: tutor schoolchildren, serve meals, visit a shut-in, teach ESL, volunteer at a homeless shelter.
  • Give your resources: Slowly increase your giving to God’s ministry. Make tithing a long-term goal.
Jesus said it is more blessed to give than receive. When we give our time, talents and possessions, God blesses us by developing in us a generous heart.
 
Copyright © 2019, Rev. Robert Blezard. Reprinted by permission.

Upcoming

  • Information for a group video meet and greet with Pastor Dale
  • Information for an on-line bible study with Pastor Dale
Next Council Meeting
  • Wednesday, June 17 at 6:30 pm - virtual or in-person
Confirmation/Graduation Sunday
  • Postponed - we'll keep you updated!
Messages from Members
Hunter Jensen graduation open house invitation: June 13th, 5:00-9:00 pm at their home:6300 58th Street SE, Owatonna.
COVID-19 Reminders and Resources
  • Wash your hands often
  • Get tested when sick
  • Maintain social distance
  • Wear a mask
  • Stay home when able
  • Stay home if sick

"...remember your neighbor and the wisdom from the apostle Paul...paraphrased here: our choices, as followers of Christ, are not simply about what we can do but about what we can do to build up the whole body. Our choices, as followers of Christ, are never just about each of us as individuals but about our neighbors too." ~Bishop Regina Hassanally
MORE INFORMATION
Click the links below to learn more (e-version) - Items enclosed in the print version
Council Meeting Minutes
Click here to print this newsletter
Visit our website for more information, including our current council members
 
Click here to give online or go to www.auroralutheranchurch.org
     

CONTACT US

Pastor Dale Svendsen
Email: pdmsvend@gmail.com
Phone: 507-995-9189

Sarah Hoffman, Admin. Assistant
Email: office@auroralutheranchurch.org
Phone: 507-475-3222

Stan Norland, Treasurer
Email: treasurer@auroralutheranchurch.org

     

VISIT US


6329 SE 38th Street
Owatonna, MN 55060

Visit our website
auroralutheranchurch.org
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Members of the ELCA and SE MN Synod

Our mailing address is:
Aurora Lutheran Church
6329 SE 38th Street
Owatonna, MN  55060

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Aurora Lutheran Church · 6329 SE 38th St · Owatonna, MN 55060-6581 · USA

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