As congregations of the Augustana District, we also have a collective calling. That calling is related to the ways we support, encourage, equip and send one another. At our convention this year, we broke from tradition and tried some new, creative things. We strongly encouraged online participation through a virtual medium called Zoom. We shortened our convention time to encourage participation in a Reformation event hosted by St. John Lutheran of Howard Lake. For the first time ever, we hosted a banquet as a part of our convention. The banquet highlighted another first: a capital campaign called “Multiply 2 Magnify.” Our new District Council Chair, Pastor Becky Hand and Campaign Coordinator, Pastor Janine Rew-Werling, will lead this effort. These are all ways that we, as a district, are attempting to be creative in the calling we have together.
When people wonder about the “why” of joining a district (especially Augustana), I ask questions like these:
- Are you concerned about the perception and direction of Christianity in America?
- Do you wonder why there is such a negative perception in the culture towards Christians?
- Do you worry about the next generation of young pastors, leaders and people in our churches?
- When you think of persecuted Christians and missionaries, do you wonder about what YOU can do (in addition to prayer)?
- Do you think about what it means to be a Lutheran and why or if that still matters?
- If the church does not hear the call of the Great Commission, who will?
- Do you ever sense the gravity of this calling?
- Do you sometimes feel alone and isolated in all this?
Congregations usually join the Augustana District because they care about these questions. The Augustana District attempts to address these questions under three categories: Theology. Church. Mission.
Let’s take them one by one:
Theology – We are dedicated to theological accountability. None of us wishes to repeat the mistakes of the past. The words of a statement of faith can mean one thing on paper and mean another in practice. Our annual theological conference, confirmation retreat, emerging mentor program and endorsement process are some of the ways we tend to theology.
Church – We are dedicated to providing support to congregations who are in conflict, facilitating the call process, seeking creative staffing solutions, etc. We also provide administrative support to the district as a whole through staff, boards, council, prayer team, WOW and the annual convention. Limited organization and structure is good and helpful.
Mission – We are dedicated to the call of our Lord: the Great Commission. The Board for World Mission is our most active board. Our partnership with the Tabor congregation in Ethiopia has proven that minimal structure and organization can increase mission effectiveness, efficiency and energy. This is an area of the district that will surely grow.
Please consider supporting Augustana District to help build and grow our vision!
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