My Siblings in Christ,
We have somehow already made it to March! It seems unreal that we have found ourselves already beginning the Lenten season for this year. It is a year full of texts that wind us through a journey of relationships rooted in loss, joy, and promise found in Christ. We begin each Lenten season with the service of Ash Wednesday. This service is a constant a poignant reminder that we are made of this earth and that is exactly the place to which we all will return. Over the last year we have seen many funerals and deaths in our church. I can think of at least 10 funerals that I have had the honor of presiding over since last July. It has been a lot of loss, some I knew better than others, but loss nonetheless.
We read the text each and every graveside about returning to ash, the place where God formed and shaped us all from. We take ashes, in many traditions made from the palm ash from the previous year’s Palm Sunday, mix it with oil and are anointed with the very thing we were born from: ash, dust, earth. For me at least, I can’t help but carry these things in my mind this year. Lent is a time of slowing, before the majesty that comes with Easter. It is the space of the exhale before movement, the meditation before the busy day. That is the place we are invited to in Ash Wednesday and Lent. As a community, we experience this journey better together and not alone.
The story is just beginning with Ash Wednesday because like any good story, it has a promising ending. The end of this season of slowing is met with resurrection. Resurrection of a time where we burst forth like a butterfly from a cocoon. A time where we greet the morning like it was the first with shout of Alleluia. A time where we are reminded that though we die a death like Christ, that we, too, live a resurrection like his.
But first we remember the words from Genesis 3:19.
“By the sweat of your faceGenesis 3:19
you shall eat bread
until you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”
I hope to see you this Lenten season at our services or at a meal. Let us walk together in this holy space of exhale, in the time of Lent.
With God’s Peace,
Red Oak Grove Lutheran Church Council Minutes- February 8, 2022
The meeting was called to order by president, Gary Ulland.
Members in attendance included; Gary, Pastor Leandra, Julie, Diana, Holly, Cathy, Tom and Joyce. Pastor Leandra led opening prayer.
No corrections from lasts months meeting notes. Report approved by all present.
Five services since last meeting, back to having regular services at Prairie Manor, and 1 funeral. Working with synod committee for upcoming workshop in March in Owatonna.
Report approved as is by all present.
Sunday school this coming Sunday, February 13. A Sunday school room has been created as a designated space in the front half of the big room at end of hall.
Replaced switch on stove downstairs and seems to be fixed. Carpet should be in warehouse first week of March. Toilet in handicap bathroom is not working properly and may need to be replaced. Motion made to replace toilet. Passed by all present. Men’s bathroom drain in sink is still not draining very well, but would be very difficult to replace. Stained glass window on north side has small challenge. Tom had Jon Gwilt come and look at trim that looks damaged. Estimate for window $320 and missing trim quote $250 and total quote $570. Motion made to have job get done as soon as Jon Gwilt can get supplies and able to do job. Passed by all present.
Held meeting on February 2, Stewardship purchased and got 112 winter items to give to children in the area. Working on 3 different quilts for upcoming church auction. Brunch was held and brought in roughly $1700 with more coming in. Great helpers and volunteers for brunch. Finding hard to get volunteers for different things.
1. Water heater update, still nothing new to report. Terry has at his house and says plans to get installed. Gary will continue to work on this for the month.
2. Constitution changes meeting date will be set for March 27, 2022
3. Auction date should be known by end of next week.
4. Work continues to get phone issues resolved.
Ash Wednesday, March 2 services: 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Mid-week Lent services possibly holding two during Lent season, March 23 and March 30. One focused toward youth and one traditional mid week Lent service.
Motion from Tom and seconded by Julie to adjourn and closed with the Lord’s Prayer.
Diana Horan, Council Secretary
WELCA met on Wednesday, February 2, 2022 at 2 p.m. The meeting followed Bible Study with Pastor Leandra leading the study on the book of Judges (Deborah). There were 7 present. The meeting was opened by President Joyce Peterson in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
No Secretary’s Report. Ardell asked for any questions regarding the Annual Report. Treasurer’s Report shows an account balance of $2,591. On January 23rd proceeds from the WELCA Brunch were $1,792 plus $250 from other sources. This will be applied to the new flooring for the Fellowship Room. Savings Account in good order.
Correspondence: Thank you notes were received from Chicago home office for a gift of $90, Life of Austin $100, Rachel’s Hope Austin, $50, a recipient of a lap quilt, from St. Marks for lap quilts given, the BP Youth Club, $100, SE Synod for a large donation and from Marie Sandvik for the many quilts given.
Quilting: Planning on giving 8 quilts and groceries to friends in need. A quilt was given to the grandmother of Jesse Anderson. Mitten Tree had 112 pieces divided between Blooming Prairie and Austin schools. $29.70 was given from a Noisy Coin offering to this project.
Joyce said to keep some books from last year and use the printed sheets that we added. Nancy Wesley made a motion to give $50 to Pastor Leandra for her golden birthday on the 28th of February. Marilyn Helleck seconded it. The Youth National Convention was cancelled for July 2022. Worship offering meditation by Judy Wambeam. She read “Getting Older”. Our next meeting will be March 2, 2022. Time to be announced. Closed with the Lord’s Prayer.
Linda Christianson with notes from Joyce and Ardell.
WELCA will be meeting on March 2nd at 1 p.m. We will discuss having the Strawberry Social in June. Please share any input you may have with a WELCA member. There will not be a Bible Study.
Ladies – Quilting will start on March 21st at 9 a.m. We are planning to quilt for 6 weeks. The Lenten Soup Supper/Worship on March 23rd will be geared towards Youth/Kids. All ages are invited.
There will be a special congregational meeting on March 27, 2020 after worship to vote on the changes to the Red Oak Grove Lutheran Constitution.
Noisy Coin offering for March will go to the Food Shelves in Austin and Owatonna. Please note that we are collecting monetary donations only. If you would like to contribute, please bring or send your donation to the church and label it for the food shelves. Donations should be in by March 27th.