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January Newsletter

WELCA Meeting Times

Thursday, Jan. 3

4:30 p.m. Bible study leaders

Tuesday, Jan. 8

8:30 a.m. Esther Circle at Trumble’s

1:30 p.m. Mary Circle at Jan Erdahl’s (Karen Flim leads)

7:00 p.m. Miriam Circle at Doris Guenthner’s (Beth Spande leads)

Friday, Jan. 11

Noon Hannah Circle meets at Ascension

Ascension Lutheran Church Women of the ELCA

Ascension Lutheran Church Women of the ELCA held their monthly meeting at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018. We began with a Christmas Tea served by Marilyn Danielsen, Doris Guenthner and Denise Sandager.

The business meeting was called to order by Co-President Denise Sandager at 1:35 p.m. The Secretary’s report was read by LeAnn Knutson and approved by the members. It was noted that we are meeting on Dec. 11, not Dec. 9 as was previously scheduled. The Treasurer’s report was given by Doris Guenthner, showing a checking account balance of $7,074.38 and a savings account balance of $5,741.83 as of Nov. 30, 2018. We also paid for the new lighting in the sanctuary in the amount of $784.45. The WELCA Thank Offering totaled $460.00, which will be sent to the SE Minnesota Synod.

Doris also gave a report on the Time and Talent Bazaar which was held on Nov. 3, 2018. We made a profit of $4,417.33. It was approved to distribute our half of the funds as follows: Ascension WELCA $2,208.50 – $500 of this will be given to the Carlsen Campership Fund. The rest of the profits will be distributed as follows: $1,104.50 to Lutheran Disaster Relief, $552.00 to Good Earth Village and $552.00 to Campus Ministry at Mankato State University.

Jane Pearson and Denise Sandager are working on the WELCA booklet for next year. LeAnn Knutson agreed to serve as Secretary for one more year. We still need a chairperson for the Time and Talent Bazaar. Susie O’Sell will do advertising, Bonnie Jensen will be in charge of the lefse making and the bake sale, Lola Evans will help with morning coffee, Denise Sandager will be the noon lunch chairperson. The dates for the Aebleskiver Supper and Guest Night have yet to be determined.

Last year we gave Georgia and Cherrie $50.00 each in Chamber Bucks. It was approved to do this again this year. 

It was decided to wait until a special project comes along before we make another donation.

A letter was received from the St. John’s Auxiliary regarding their new constitution. The organization now consists of three committees: Sunday Coffee committee, Christmas committee and the Fund Raising committee.

Joan Anderson discussed the Sunday coffee hour after church services. More people are needed to volunteer to serve. We currently do have a Thrivent grant available to pay for the food that is purchased.

Upcoming Events: Officer Installation is on Jan. 13, 2019 and our next meeting will be on that same day. Blue Earth River Conference Spring Event is on April 6, 2019 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Blue Earth.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:05 p.m., after which Pastor Boorsma led us in the December Bible Study.

We closed at 3:10 p.m. by saying the Lord’s Prayer.

Respectfully submitted,

LeAnn Knutson, Secretary

Annual Meeting

Ascension’s annual meeting will follow the 9:00 a.m. worship service on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. Committee chairs and all who oversee particular ministries are asked to prepare a written account of the year past and your plans for the year ahead. Please have your reports at the church office prior to Jan. 1. These reports are included in the printed annual report, made available the Sunday prior to the annual meeting. Please mark your calendar and plan to attend this meeting celebrating the mission and service we share in Jesus’ name.

Ascension’s South Door
The Freeborn County Sheriff’s Department held a security seminar for churches, prompted in part by school/church/synagogue shootings in the news. One
suggestion was to limit the “ways in” to a place of worship, particularly while the service is happening. At their Dec. 10 meeting, Ascension’s congregational council adopted a plan to lock the south door after the service begins. This plan would still permit anybody to enter through that door before a service, but then lock it up once the service begins. The plan is begin this procedure starting Sunday, Feb. 3. If you have thoughts or suggestions about this, please speak with any council member.

Celebrating BaptismOn the fourth Sunday of each month, Ascension celebrates anniversaries of Baptism for children through ninth grade. This month, Baptism Recognition is on Sunday, Jan. 27. Parents and children come to the baptismal font for the presentation. Alexus Hendrickson and Noelani Hendrickson celebrate January baptismal anniversaries.

Attention: Quilters

Quilting resumes on Thursday, Jan. 10. See you there.

Ascension’s Annual Lutefisk Supper

Ascension’s Annual Lutefisk Supper was held Dec. 9, 2018. Our regular first Sunday in December was postponed one week due to weather. Sixty-two adults and youth were present to eat all of the good Scandinavian food including that wonderful lutefisk! Ascension has a lot of good cooks! A volunteer collection to pay for the lutefisk and additional supplies was taken. We had an additional $161.65 collected, and designated that to go to the Global Barnyard Project. What a great group of people came to eat and share in good fellowship. Thank you.

A huge thank-you to the wonderful helpers for setting up, serving and cleaning up, and helping with the cooking of the lutefisk. It wouldn’t have happened without your help!

Gene and Irene Anderson

January Mission Emphasis – ELCA Mission Support

Thank you for your prayers and offerings for ELCA Mission Support. These offerings support the regional, national and global ministries of the ELCA. Locally, these offerings are used to develop leadership training, to assist congregations with the call process, and to provide education for newly ordained pastors. Globally,these offerings support medical teams and missionaries. To give a monetary donation to Mission Support, write Mission Support on your envelope or check memo line.

The Stewardship committee Steve Flaa, Mark Anderson, Mike Kalis, Denise Sandager

God’s Global Barnyard gifts

JAM youth from Ascension and Salem Lutheran Churches donated $630 to God’s Global Barnyard. They chose to purchase one cow ($500), one goat ($50), one pig ($30), two bee hives ($40) and one set of 10 chicks ($10).

Notes of Appreciation

We would like to thank the members of Ascension for their kind thoughts, words and gifts for Hazel and Mabel. It is such a wonderful blessing to be part of such a loving, thoughtful and caring congregation. We are lucky to have you all in our lives and as our church family! Thank you again. The Enser Family

The Altar Guild thanks Barry Coughlin, Lowell Doppelhammer, Steve Guenthner, Stan Johnson, Mike Kalis, Roger Knutson, and Chuck Peterson who helped with Ascension’s Christmas decorating.

Thank you, JAM boys and girls, for the nice Thanksgiving card. It was nice to visit with Joan when she delivered my card. Happy holiday, Arlene Matson

Jodi Dietz and Lola Evans applied for and received Thrivent grants for Angel Tree gifts for income insecure families. Jodi and Michelle Cardona went shopping with five youth to buy the gifts. Susan Hohansee prepared a pizza meal for them when they arrived back at Ascension with the gifts they bought. Susan has been the “Chief Cook and Bottle Washer” for the JAM program this fall. Hats off to all our volunteers that make Christmas happier for children!

JAM Christmas card craft night for Ascension and Salem seniors and gift selection for their families was a fun event. Nineteen adults and five teens helped twenty-one youth make homemade cards, select and wrap gifts and prepare and serve a great potluck meal to end the festivities. Your time and support for the youth is always appreciated!

Joan Anderson

Ascension members: Thank you for being such kind friends.

Scott, Diane, and Chloe Aysta

Thank you again for your financial support the past year and also your special support. We thank you for being our Mission Partner since 1991. – Rich and Nina Hallum

Men’s Bible Study

Begin the New Year by coming to the Wednesday morning men’s Bible study led by Pastor Ken Jensen and Pastor Matt Griggs at the Saint John’s by the Lake Chapel from 8:00 – 9:30 a.m. The focus is on the biblical texts for the upcoming Sunday. You are welcome to bring a friend and you are welcome to come if only for the first hour. Coffee and pastries are available. The next Bible study is this coming Wednesday, Jan. 2. If you have questions, please contact Pastor Ken Jensen at 373-1934.

Food Shelf

Feed the hungry by bringing your items for The Salvation Army Food Shelf to church every first Sunday of the month. The Dec. 17 collection totaled 44 pounds. Thank you to Darryl and Karen Flim for making the deliveries. Donations are welcome any day, but the first Sunday is the special emphasis.

Memory Tree
Thank you to everyone who shared an ornament for Ascension’s memory tree. Remember to reclaim your ornament by Dec. 31.

Dec. 10, 2018 Committee and Council Minutes

Dec. 10, 2018 minutes are printed pending their approval at the Jan. 14, 2019 meeting.

Present: Phil Kohl, David Jensen, Keli Enser, Steve Flaa, Joan Anderson, David Enser, Pastor Mark Boorsma, Georgia Wentzel
Jerry Hickman

Meeting was called to order by President Phil Kohl. David Enser made a motion to approve the Nov. 12, 2018 minutes with the correction in the New Business: “David Enser and Jerry Hickman who serve on the Property and Grounds committee apprised the Council of the security recommendation from the Albert Lea Police Department to keep Ascension’s south door locked at all times.” The sentence should be “the security recommendation from the Sheriff’s Department to keep Ascension’s south door locked at all times.” Motion carried. Steve Flaa reviewed the Treasurer’s report with the Council. The ending balance in Ascension’s general account on Nov. 30 was $857.67 which is down $3,523.34.

Discipleship and Social Ministry: The committee is unsure of how to proceed with the sign-up for serving Sunday morning coffee fellowship and is open to suggestions. Various options for Christmas caroling were discussed and asked if the Council wishes to pursue this. Committee requested that in the future Christmas caroling be an agenda item for their October meeting. The Visitation committee structure will be worked on in 2019.

Education and Youth: The committee did not meet.

Property and Grounds: Committee reports that because of low pressure, Jim and Dudes will be called to clean the pipes in the lavatories.

Stewardship: The committee did not meet. Steve Flaa reported that the January 2019 emphasis is ELCA Mission Support.

Worship and Music

The Nov. 21 Thanksgiving Service at Christ Episcopal churchwent well. Hymns were chosen for Dec. 23 to Feb. 17. Christmas Eve service is at 4:00 p.m. Old Business: Phil Kohl had nothing to report from the Communications committee. Phil Kohl will attend the Jan. 14, 2019 Discipleship and Social Ministry committee meeting. The formatting of Ascension’s Constitution has not been completed. Council discussed sharing Ascension’s worship service in 2019. Pastor Boorsma stated that summer is the best time to do this. To begin the planning process, the council asks Pastor Boorsma to contact Don Malinsky at the Saint John’s facility to discuss the possibility of having a worship service there again in 2019. The Stewardship committee suggested the following proposed resolution “CR12.08.A07 Non-Pastoral Salaries Budget Listing: All non-pastoral salaries are to be listed as a one line item in the budget. A breakdown will be provided to the congregation council. Information on the hourly rate of pay for non-pastoral staff shall be provided to a member of the congregation if requested.” Due to lack of a motion, the proposed resolution CR12.08.A07 failed. The Stewardship committee suggested the following proposed resolution “CR13.07.03.01: Lenten and Special Offerings

Lenten Offering and other special offerings shall be deposited in the general fund, unless otherwise determined by the church council in consultation with the Stewardship committee.” Joan Anderson made a motion to approve the suggested “CR13.07.03.01: Lenten and Special Offerings” resolution. Motion carried unanimously. A motion was made by Joan Anderson to authorize Phil Kohl to authorize the SAIL (Stay Active and Independent for Life) contract. Motion carried. David Jensen moved to approve Ascension’s 2019 budget. Motion carried. The Freeborn County Sheriff’s Department held a security seminar for churches, prompted in part by school/church/synagogue shootings in the news. One suggestion was to limit the “ways in” to a place of worship, particularly while the service is happening. A motion was made by David Enser that beginning Feb. 1, 2019 Ascension’s south door be locked after the service begins. Motion carried with one council member undecided. Ascension’s council asked that this be announced in the bulletins and newsletter and that anyone who has thoughts or suggestions about this are to speak with any council member.

New Business

The required 30 days’ notice prior to Ascension’s Annual Meeting on January 27, 2019 was included in the December 2018 newsletter and is included in the Sunday bulletins. Reports to be included in the printed annual report are to be at the church office no later than Jan. 1, 2019. Steve Flaa made a motion to accept with regrets the resignation effective Nov. 18, 2018 of Jane Pearson from the Council and the Discipleship and Social

Ministry Committee. Jane is invited to return anytime. Phil Kohl communicated the Personnel committee reviews done with Ascension’s staff on Oct. 29, 2018. The thank-you letter from the Albert Lea School District was read by the council. The council asks that the letter be included in the Sunday, Dec. 16, bulletin. A motion was made by David Jensen to set Ascension’s 2019 benevolence goals the same as in 2018 ($5,000 to World Hunger, $4,000 to Ascension’s Mission Partner, $6,000 to ELCA Mission Support, $2,000 to Good Earth Village, $7,000 to Food for Backpacks program).

Pastor’s Report: Pastor Boorsma received warm appreciation from patients’ loved ones at the worship and Communion service he recently officiated at Prairie Senior Cottages. Pastor Boorsma officiated at the Ray Riemer funeral service at Ascension. In December pastors are invited to lunch at a care facility and from there go caroling. Ascension’s lutefisk supper on Dec. 9 was a positive and fun occasion. Thanks to Gene and Irene Anderson for pulling the event together with grace and humor.

Resprctfully submitted
Keli Enser, Secretary

2018 Contributions

To receive credit in 2018, contributions must be received at Ascension’s church office prior to 11:00 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 31, 2018.

Ascension Participants Worship and Contribute

                   At Worship: Weekly Budget: Contributed:

Dec. 2                  22          $4,206              $2,005

Dec. 9                  76          $4,206              $6,215

Dec. 16                89          $4,206              $4,264

Points to Ponder from Ascension’s Endowment Committee

Imagine if each Ascension family unit would contribute a minimum of $10 per year, how fast the Fund would grow!

Dennis Everhard – Tim Samuelson – Bill Danielsen – Jan Jerdee – Chuck Sandager

Ascension Lutheran Church Council and Committee Members
Church Council:
Phil KohlPresident                 David JensenVice President
Keli Enser
- Secretary               Steve Flaa - Treasurer
Joan Anderson                         David Enser                
Jerry Hickman                          vacancy                                    

Education Committee                  Discipleship and Social Ministry Committee
*Joan Anderson                         *Jane Pearson
*Kelli Enser                                 vacancy
Andrea Ashley                             Doris Guenthner                     
Dianne Doppelhammer                 Alice Jensen
Bonnie Jensen                              
Lori Leeman

Property and Grounds Committee    Stewardship Committee     LEAD Team
*Jerry Kickman                           *Steve Flaa                          Gene Anderson
*David Enser                                Mark Anderson                    Irene Anderson
Delmar Boyken                             Mike Kalis                           Joan Anderson
Steve Guenthner                           Denise Sandager                 Mark Boorsma
Nordean Krueger                                                                   
Jane Samuelson
Tim Samuelson
                                                                                            Lynda Everhard                                                                                             

Worship and Music Committee          Audit Committee                GEV Delegates
Michelle Cardona                             Lynda Everhard               
*David Jensen                                 LeAnn Knutson                  
Cliff Rask
 Marilyn Danielson                           Gerald Rasmusson             
Carol Rask          
Jane Samuelson                                   
 Gayle Olson                                                                            Keli Enser                          
                                                                                              David Enser

Nominating Committee                      Personnel Committee          2018 Synod Assembly
Mark Boorsma                                     Joan Anderson                 Phil and Ellen Kohl                  
David Enser                                         Keli Enser                   
Keli Enser                                           
Phil Kohl
Joan Anderson
Lynda Everhard

Scholarship Committee                      Endowment Fund Committee   

Keli Enser                                         Bill Danielson                          

Lola Evans                                        Dennis Everhard                            
Nordean Krueger                               Jan Jerdee                     
                                                        Tim Samuelson                   

Chuck Sandanger                                                     
St. John’s Home Delegates   
              Mutual Ministry                        
Cliff and Carol Rask                             Marilyn Danielsen
Karen Flim                                          Paul Ehlers
LeAnn Knutson 
                                   Doris Guenthner            

Ushers are asked to be at the church one-half hour prior to service time.  Thank you.   
Please express your thanks to these volunteers
whose service helps us all worship well!     
*Attention Volunteer Greeters:  The Worship and Music Committee is so grateful to have your smiling, welcoming faces greeting folks as they enter Ascension.  In an effort to improve follow-up with visitors, we ask you to invite them to sign the guest book in the narthex so that a follow-up card can be sent.  Thank you.