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September Newsletter

Hello Ascension Members!

Everyone is invited to attend the JAM kick-off on Wednesday, September 5 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Your support means so much to our children. This is a nice time to get to know our students and their interests.

Pizza, hotdogs, lemonade and root beer floats will be served. You are welcome to bring a salad, hot dish or dessert, if you wish. Thanks for all you do for our youth. Parents and students of JAM and Confirmation are invited to come, eat and socialize. A short parent meeting for JAM parents and an introductory class for the students will take place following the supper. The confirmation meeting will be at 6:30 PM.

Please note that starting on Wednesday, September 12, JAM will meet from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

God’s Work Our Hands Sunday

Every year on the Sunday after Labor Day, the ELCA challenges churches to perform a service project called God’s Work Our Hands. This year Ascension’s committees and council have chosen to work on the hunger issue by addressing a local problem. Unfortunately, our neighborhood children often do not have enough food during weekends. Last year, Grace Lutheran supplied backpacks full of food for Hawthorne children who were food insecure during the weekend. Grace hoped that all of the schools would be able to acquire sponsors for a similar back pack program. Many area Lutheran churches have stepped forward to sponsor a back packs or children at most of our schools.

A Back Pack Brunch will be held after church on God’s Work-Our Hands Sunday, September 9, 2018. A Thrivent grant of $250.00 will cover the cost of food. We plan to buy caramel and cinnamon rolls, apple fritters, doughnuts, orange juice, yogurt, milk, fruit and an egg bake. The freewill donations will help us cover the over $8000 cost of the back pack program at Sibley elementary school. Please attend and support our efforts to reach out to our neighbors in need.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact Joan Anderson at or call 373-7098.

WELCA Meeting Time

All women are invited to the WELCA Bible study on Tues., Sept. 11, at 6:00 p.m. This Bible study is led by Pastor Boorsma and is followed by refreshments and the monthly WELCA meeting.

WELCA Salad Supper

A special “thank-you” to everyone who helped with the WELCA Salad Supper on Aug. 14 and thank you to Pastor Mark for leading the table grace. Thanks to the women who displayed their beautiful quilts, table tops and wall hangings. Thanks to Diane Doppelhammer for the table tops and to Marilyn Danielsen and Jane Samuelson for the beautiful flowers. Thank you to all the women who provided the many delicious salads and bars. We had a great meal! We thank the men and women who helped with the clean-up. Many hands made light work. The speaker, Joyce Abernathy, provided a beautiful program through her quilts. Eighty-three women and men were served and WELCA collected $392 benefiting the SEMCAC Women’s Shelter.

Doris Guenthner, Jane Samuelson, Denise Sandager

Celebrating Baptism

On the fourth Sunday of each month, Ascension celebrates anniversaries of Baptism for children through ninth grade. This month’s Baptism Recognition is on Sunday, Sept. 23. Parents and children come to the baptismal font for the presentation. Benjamin Johnson, Griffyn Richards, Andi Riles and Ka’Leigha Swenson celebrate September baptismal anniversaries.

Christian Sympathy

Please pray for:

Family and friends of Lowell Olson

Family and friends of Velma “Arlene” Cole

JAM Celebrates Rally Day

Plan to attend the Wednesday, Sept. 5, JAM Rally Night from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Ascension. Hot dogs, chips and root-beer floats along with dishes brought by the parents will be served from 5:30 - 6:00 p.m. Parents will meet from 6:00 to 6:30 p.m. and the student introductory class is from 6:00 - 6:30 p.m.

Sept. Mission Emphasis – “God’s Work…Our Hands” Project

Jesus told us, through his directive to Peter, that, if we love him, we are to feed his lambs (John 21:15-17). We have begun feeding the lambs through our Food for Backpacks project. THANKS TO YOU, we started our Food for Backpacks project on August 24 by providing food for the backpacks of 49 students at Sibley Elementary, our neighborhood school. During the first week of school and after our first food delivery, there were additional applications. We now have 59 food insecure children at Sibley who have applied for the program.

The sad part of this news is that the need at Sibley is about three times as great as we originally anticipated. Sibley is the largest grade school in Albert Lea with an enrollment of about 440 students. One in eight children in Minnesota struggles with hunger. Nearly half of the school children in School District 241 qualify for the free or subsidized school meals. These school meal programs unfortunately don’t provide food for the weekend. We are helping deal with this challenge by providing this backpack food for the weekend.

At 59 children per week, our cost for Food for Backpacks will be approximately $7,860 for the 2018-2019 school year. We continue to raise money for this important project. Thanks to your generosity, we are already over 40% of the way to meeting this goal. Let’s continue doing God’s work with our hands and feed the lambs.

Kim Anderson, the social worker at Sibley, recently sent us an email that stated, “Thank you to all the supporters and volunteers that have made this a reality for our kids!! You are amazing!” YOU ARE!

The Stewardship Committee: Steve Flaa, Mark Anderson, Mike Kalis, Denise Sandager

Food Shelf

Feed the hungry by bringing your items for The Salvation Army Food Shelf to church every first Sunday of the month. The Aug. 20 collection totaled 39 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.

All Lefse Lovers and Makers!

Mark your calendar so you are available to come to Ascension to prepare, roll and bake lefse on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 18, 19 and 20. Watch the bulletins and the October newsletter for more details. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact Bonnie Jensen, Lefse Lady, at 373-1934. Thank you.


Quilting begins Thursday, Sept. 6, at 1:00 p.m. See you then! – Ruth Furland

Calling All Knitters, Crocheters, Quilters, Cooks, Bakers, etc.

Ascension needs and wants your talents to make the Time and Talent Bazaar which is on Saturday Nov. 3, a success. Uncompleted craft projects can be brought to Ascension and placed in a box in the narthex. If anyone wishes to complete one or more of the unfinished crafts, please feel free to do so. If you wish, you can donate the finished craft to the Time and Talent bazaar.

WELCA is also selling gently used holiday decorations at the Time and Talent Bazaar. Please bring to Ascension any gently used holiday decorations you wish to donate at your earliest convenience.

If you have questions, please contact Time and Talent Bazaar Co-Chair, Joan Anderson, at or call her at 373-7098. Thank you.

JAM Seeks Volunteers

The Education and Youth Committee requests both women and men to volunteer to teach or help with crafts and games. Andrea Ashley, Michelle Cardona and Lori Coughlin have volunteered to teach. More are needed. Susan Hohansee volunteered to be the “chief cook and bottle washer.” Please contact Joan Anderson at or call her at 373-7098 if you have questions or would like to volunteer.

JAM will meet at Ascension from Sept. through Dec. 2018 and at Salem from January through May 2019. The JAM schedule includes snack and playtime from 3:30 - 4:00 p.m.; large group worship from 4:00 to 4:20 p.m.; music and craft/games rotating between the 3 year olds-1st grade and the 4th-6th grades from 4:20-4:45 p.m. and 4:45-5:05 p.m.; class lesson from 5:05-5:30 p.m.

Good Earth Village Good Gifts Gala

The Good Gifts Gala is Thursday, Oct. 18, at the Rochester Golf and Country Club. Quilt and item submission forms can be downloaded at or call 507-346-2494. In lieu of in-kind donations, monetary gifts are welcomed. All in-kind donations should be received by Sept. 5. Proceeds from this event support Good Earth Village’s mission to explore God in creation, grow faith in community and engage the world as followers of Jesus.

Brunch Benefits Hungry Children

Brunches are a great way to have fun and make money for Ascension’s weekend school backpack project for hungry children. Sept. 9 is “God’s Work…Our Hands” Sunday. Let’s celebrate this day by raising money for Ascension’s project and enjoy each other’s company at the same time. Please join your fellow members in this important work of Ascension. Students will also be putting together school supply backpacks for Lutheran World Relief this day.

Golfing for the Gospel

“Golfing for the Gospel” tournament Saturday, Sept. 15, 8:00 a.m. at Wedgewood Cove benefits the ARC of Freeborn County, Salvation Army, and Youth for Christ “The Rock.” Call the Pro Shop at 507-373-2007 x 1 to sign up. All entry fees ($50/person) go toward the event. Wedgewood is donating the golf. A family event is held from 10:00 a.m. to noon. Hotdogs, burgers and sides will be served from noon to 1:00 p.m. (free-will donation suggested). See the bulletin board for further details.

Grief Support Services

A free service is offered by the Hospice Program at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea on Thursdays, Sept. 13 - Oct. 18, from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. Grief Support Services is open to any adult who has experienced a loss through death. The goal of this mutual help group is to provide emotional support, share practical help, and to achieve a better understanding of the grief process within a supportive environment. Attendance at all six sessions is strongly encouraged. Registration is required. Class size is limited. Call 507-377-6393 to register or for more information.

Bus Trip Sponsored by F.R.O.G. of Central Freeborn Lutheran

See the 2:00 p.m. performance “You Smell Barn” presented by the Church Basement Ladies at the Ames Center in Burnsville, MN on Sunday, Oct. 14. The cost is $55/person. For reservations call Bob or Genie Hanson at 373-8655 or Wayne or Bev Indrelie at 826-3267. See the bulletin board for further details.

Parking Lot Painted

Have you noticed how great Ascension’s parking lot looks? A huge thank-you goes to the people responsible for repainting the lines and handicap symbols. Cherrie Schiltz, Custodian

August 13, 2018 Committee and Council Minutes

Aug.13, 2018 minutes are printed pending their approval at the Sept. 10, 2018 meeting.

Present: Phil Kohl, David Jensen, Steve Flaa, Joan Anderson, Jerry Hickman, Jane Pearson, Pastor Mark Boorsma and Georgia Wentzel

Present by phone: none

Others present: none

Absent: Keli Enser, David Enser

Meeting was called to order by President Phil Kohl.

In the absence of Council Secretary Keli Enser, Joan Anderson was appointed as Acting Secretary.

Steve Flaa moved that the July 9, 2018 Council minutes be approved. Motion carried.

The Treasurer’s report was received and reviewed. Treasurer Steve Flaa reports that the ending balance in Ascension’s general account on June 30, 2018 is $937.86 and that Ascension has met the $6,000 budget line item for 2018 ELCA Mission Support and now endeavors to meet its goal for an additional $6,000 to benefit ELCA Mission Support.

Discipleship and Social Ministry: The committee asked that the Stephen Ministry Introduction Workshop flyer be placed on Ascension’s bulletin board. A name has been submitted for the possibility of filling the committee’s vacancy. Visitation committee had an interesting meeting and a suggestion is made to revisit the original plans of this committee. Doris and Steve Guenthner have volunteered to help deliver boxes to Sibley School for the Backpack program. Committee discussed Sunday morning coffee fellowship and possible changes that could be made to encourage more people to get involved with providing food, serving and cleaning-up.

Education and Youth: A survey indicates the majority prefer JAM be from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and that more music be included in the curriculum. Committee discussed the first day of JAM which is Wednesday, Sept. 5, and introductory activities and craft ideas. Ruth Furland will make more school bags for Lutheran World Relief. Church activity bags were filled by youth after their banana bread baking project. JAM will meet from Sept. through Dec. 2018 at Ascension and from Jan. through May 2019 at Salem. Erin Boorsma was recognized during worship for her faithful participation in the children’s sermons. Brunches supporting the backpack project will begin Sept. 9. Thrivent grants will be applied for to be used in paying for the food for brunches. Joan Anderson will contact Mrs. Geri’s for JAM food contributions.

Stewardship: The September giving emphasis is Ascension’s Backpack Program. The Oct. giving emphasis is ELCA Mission Support. Steve Flaa will get information on how

to sign up for “Stewardship for All Seasons.” The committee discussed the noisy offering and felt it went well on Aug. 5. The committee seeks volunteers to coordinate Ascension’s Backpack Program. To date, one fourth of the goal of $4,800 has been raised for the Backpack Program.

Property and Grounds: Committee has visited with a contractor regarding Ascension’s roof. The cracked window has been fixed at a cost of $300. Committee is studying the Stay Active for Life “Contract for Building Use.” Ascension’s parking lot stripes and handicap symbols have been painted. The sheriff is offering two classes on Aug. 16 at Crossroads church on violence in churches.

Worship and Music: Committee did not meet in August.

Old Business: Joan Anderson will follow up with the person interested in serving on the Communication committee. The Carlsen Campership is a policy / continuing resolution, not a by-law. Carlsen Campership fund was discussed and will be revisited at the Sept. Council meeting. The format of Ascension’s Constitution and By-Laws will be reviewed at the Sept. Council meeting. A suggestion was made to revisit the original plans of the Visitation Committee. Jane Pearson moved that the council explore new opportunities for caring and sharing. Motion carried. The Council vacancy still exists. Pastor Boorsma commented that even with the vacancy, the council meeting attendance has been good and the quorum is being met at the meetings. Joan Anderson is working on Ascension’s new photo directory activity pages and asks for volunteers to help. Joan Anderson will arrange for a fundraising brunch on “God’s Work…Our Hands” Sunday (Sept. 9) with donations benefiting Ascension’s Backpack Program. More volunteers are being sought for delivering the backpack food boxes weekly to Sibley School. Three people have volunteered at this time. Steve Flaa volunteered that the food packet boxes could be stored in his office. Treasurer, Steve Flaa, said that a line item on the financial statement will be created for the Backpack program. Phil Kohl and Pastor Mark Boorsma will visit with the Sibley School Social Worker to work out details of the program. The “Stay Active and Independent for Life” building use agreement will be discussed at the Sept. meeting.

New Business: None

Pastor’s Report: Holding Ascension’s worship services at Saint John’s on July 8 and 15 was a good experience. Former Saint John chaplain, Monrad Mandsager, passed away. Ascension’s Mutual Ministry committee met on July 31. Pastor Boorsma is appointed as Blue Earth River Conference chaplain. In this capacity he is available for other pastors who may have a need. Pastor Boorsma chairs the Southeastern Minnesota Synod

Committee on the Election of a Bishop. A new bishop will be elected at the May 31 – June 1, 2019 Synod Assembly. The selection for the new bishop is a step-by-step process. At Ascension’s 2018 Annual Meeting in Jan. 2019 an agenda item will be to participate in the election process by completing a nomination form which will be sent to the Committee on the Election of a Bishop. The committee will then compile the names and bios of each candidate to present to the Conference Assemblies. Pastor Mark officiated the memorial service of Gertrude Ness at Bonnerup on Aug. 6 and the graveside service of Marian Bergeson on Aug. 11. Last week Pastor Mark led a Tuesday Communion service and a Sunday afternoon worship service at Thorne Crest.

Jerry Hickman made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried.

Following the Lord’s Prayer, the meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Joan Anderson, Acting Secretary

Visitation Committee

Ascension’s Visitation Committee is in need of volunteers. Volunteers report it is a rewarding experience. If you have questions, please contact Joan Anderson at or call her at 373-7098.

"Living Lutheran” Subscription Renewal Due

If you are currently a subscriber or wish to become a new subscriber of the Living Lutheran magazine, you are invited to take advantage of the group rate of $8.95. The subscription runs from 11/1/18 to 10/31/19. You can either bring or mail your payment to Ascension or place a check in the offering. Please make your check payable to Ascension with a notation “Lutheran magazine” on the memo line. If you have further questions, please contact Georgia in the church office (373-3408).

Ascension Participants Worship and Contribute

At Worship: Weekly Budget: Contributed:

July 29 57     $4,206                 $3,055

August 5       $55 $4,206           $4,054.58

August 12 73 $4,206                 $3,699

August 19 67 $4,206                 $2,249

August 26 62 $4,206                 $7,342.47

Salad Luncheon

The Bear Lake Lutheran Women of the ELCA Salad Luncheon is on Saturday, Sept. 15, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at Bear Lake Concordia Lutheran Church, 15554 690 Ave, Albert Lea. Proceeds benefit the Alden Area Food Shelf and Freeborn County Salvation Army Food Shelf.

Soup and Dessert Supper

Monday, Sept. 24, from 4:00 - 7:00 pm at Central Freeborn Lutheran Church, 74427 245th St., Albert Lea. Proceeds benefit Heidi (Morreim) DuBois who is fighting cancer and Tim Bakken, a Medical Missionary at the Ebenezer Glenn Orphanage in Haiti.

Bonnerup Seminars

Cremation, Taxes and Death: Tuesday, Sept. 25, beginning at 11:00 am. Bonnerup Funeral Home – 2210 East Main Street, Albert Lea. Light lunch and door prizes.

  • Tom Frisch, Licensed Funeral Director, will talk about the ten things you need to know about cremation.

  • Betsy Donovan, Senior Accountant at CliftonLarsonAllen, will discuss the new 2018 tax law changes that may affect you.

  • Karla Tukua, Prearrangement Specialist with Bonnerup Funeral Service, will share how to protect your assets when planning ahead.

Make your reservations by calling (507) 373-2461 or sending an e-mail to so that necessary arrangements can be made. Please RSVP for this seminar by Monday, Sept. 17.

Probate and Planning: Thursday, Sept. 27, beginning at 11:00 am. Bonnerup Funeral Home – Friedrich’s Chapel, 217 West Division Street, New Richland. Light lunch and door prizes.

  • Callyn Bedker, Attorney at Law with Pluto Boes Legal, PLLC, will talk about estate planning, probate and trusts.

  • Karla Tukua, Prearrangement Specialist with Bonnerup Funeral Service, will share how to protect your assets when planning ahead.

Make your reservations by calling (507)373-2461 or sending an e-mail to so that necessary arrangements can be made. Please RSVP for this seminar by Tuesday, Sept. 18.

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                                    
Jane Pearson                            

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                           *Mark Anderson                   Gene Anderson
*David Enser                              *Cliff Rask                            Irene Anderson
Delmar Boyken                             Rev. Ken Jensen                 Joan Anderson
Steve Guenthner                           Eugene Anderson               Mark Boorsma
Nordean Krueger                           Irene Anderson                  
Jane Samuelson
Tim Samuelson
                                                                                            Lynda Everhard                                                                                             

Worship and Music Committee          Audit Committee                GEV Delegates
Michelle Cardona                             Lynda Everhard                  Jane Samuelson
*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
                                     Jane Pearson                                                                                        
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   
Cliff and Carol Rask
Karen Flim
LeAnn Knutson 

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.