Published 4:31 pm Friday, November 10, 2017

First Lutheran Church Women

First Lutheran Church Women met at noon Oct. 11 in Bethany Hall for its annual FLCW Reformation luncheon. The prelude music was provided by Joan Holt.

President Jo Hanson welcomed the members and guests to the luncheon. The church is celebrating 500 years of reformation heritage. Hanson led the group in the blessing and Thanksgiving table prayer, taken from “Luther’s Small Catechism.” Guests were then served the luncheon meal of chicken supreme hot dish, cranberry salad, rolls, black forest cake and coffee.

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Hanson introduced Ann Adams, who gave the group information on trunk-or-treat, a new Halloween event that is often church- or community-sponsored.

Persons participating gather and park their cars in a large parking lot. They open their trunks or the back of their vehicles and decorate them. They then pass out candy from their trunks. The event took place from 5 to 6 p.m. Oct. 29 at First Lutheran Church.

Rev. John Holt and his wife shared information on Martin Luther through word and song during the devotions. They sang two songs emphasizing God’s grace, “Simple Word of Grace” and “There is a Redeemer.” They mentioned that when Lutherans think of Martin Luther, they often think of the church, but he also did a lot for literacy by translating the Bible into German, which has many dialects. From the book “40-Day Journey with Martin Luther,” Rev. Holt explained how Martin Luther did his prayers. He would say the Ten Commandments, the Apostle’s Creed, a Psalm and the Lord’s Prayer.

Martin Luther said to pray like a child would do. Martin Luther said prayer should be the first in the morning and the last at night time. The devotions were closed with a prayer from Martin Luther and the Lord’s Prayer. Biblical references in the devotions were Ephesians 6:14-17, I Thessalonians 5:14-18 and Psalm 5.

Hanson introduced the speaker, Penny Jahnke, from the Literacy Council at Work in Albert Lea. In Albert Lea, the Adult Learning Center is housed at Brookside School. Adult Basic Education is a program nationwide, but in Minnesota it is prioritized. The program helps those that are 17 years old and older or below the 12th grade reading/language level. Courses include reading, math, English, listening, writing and work skills. There are four classrooms, two computer rooms, day care and a navigator who helps find housing, jobs, employment or training for skills needed.

Ten staff members, plus volunteers, man the program. There is a dental clinic onsite and garden products available in season. Half of the transportation costs are provided for the students. For digital literacy, the program partners with the library. Riverland College provides help with the math program.

Some of the students have never been to school. There were 300 students last year ranging in age from 25 to 44 years. One couple in their mid-seventies are working on their English skills. Twelve countries are represented and nine different languages spoken. There is a large Karen population attending class from the country of Burma, now called Myanmar.

Students and staff are very hard working. Last year there were 24,000 hours of contact time with students. Most students are working, but come to class because they want to improve their lives. The program here tries to address the whole person in school, housing and food. Albert Lea is a general education degree testing center, and the GED is recognized anywhere. There is instruction given to those seeking to get their U.S. citizenship.

Many students come from Iowa also as the program works with seven or eight other communities. In their learning process, the students rotate from computer to class to a personal educator. One hundred para-educators have been trained through this educational program. Lots of grants are written to help fund the program and there has been a 66 percent growth in attendance over the last five years.

Training for volunteers is a 12-hour online course unless one is a retired teacher.

The most helpful thing we can do for this program is to make people aware of its existence and success.

Hanson called business meeting to order. The secretary’s report was approved as printed with a motion by Bonnie Schneider and seconded by Neva Mathison. Motion carried. Cindy Gandrud, treasurer, gave her report. The quarterly FLCW treasurer’s report was presented in print. The Plymouth Playhouse refunded $100 as the group’s July field trip was canceled by the theater due to circumstances beyond their control. The total offering to the Southeast Minnesota Synodical Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church Association Convention was $320, with $10 being sent previously as was requested by the convention.

The lefse bake was Oct. 24 to Oct. 26.  There are 50 school kits going to Lutheran World Relief and 50 kits will be donated locally. The group sent sent 116 quilts to LWR. Hanson reminded group members  that recipes are needed for the church centennial cookbook.

Hanson announced that the group will sell the Herberger’s Community Days coupon booklets for $5 each. Proceeds from the booklet sales will go toward the Scrip Fund, which is a mission project. The booklets can be purchased in the Gathering Space at the Scrip table or from the church office.

Hanson thanked decorators Marge LaFrance and Cheryl Moran; greeters Deloris Fligge and Marcia Habben and Hostess chairwomen LaFrance and Janice Lestrud, and their committee of Audrey Christensen, Joyce Fredin, Gandrud, Julie Gilbertson, Kathy Olson and Julia Tonder.

Caring and Sharing co-chairwomen Marge Moine and Sandy Narverud and their committee served one funeral in September.


Holidays Ahead crafting will be at 9 a.m. on Monday mornings in Bethany Hall.

The ARC Chili Soup Supper will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday in Bethany Hall.

Holiday Ahead set-up day will be Nov. 17. The event will be from 8:20 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Nov. 18. Coffee and goodies will be served from 8:30 to 10 a.m. with lunch from 11 a.m. to 12: 30 p.m. There will be baked goods, circle tables and a basket silent auction at the event, as well. The meeting closed with a prayer by Martin Luther.

American Legion Auxiliary

American Legion Auxiliary Unit 56 of Albert Lea had a meeting on Nov. 1 in the Legion dining room. The president of the group opened the meeting. A hand salute to the flag was given and Carol Smith offered the prayer. A moment of silence was observed for the dead. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited, as well as the preamble to the American Legion Auxiliary. Joyce Olson led the group in singing one stanza of the national anthem.

Secretary Ange Larson read the minutes of the September meeting. The minutes were approved as read. Treasurer Deanne Adams gave her report from September to October. It was put on file for audit.

The special guest for the meeting was American Legion Post 56 Cmdr. Paul Nolette. He read the purpose of the Legion and goals he wants the post to reach. He asked all to support the club by coming to special events and daily support by coming in to eat and socialize.

Educational Chairwoman Larson will send apples to all area schools for Education Week, which is Nov. 13 through Nov. 17. As Gold Star chairwoman, she also sent Halloween cards to the group’s Gold Star mothers.

Membership Chairwoman Bonnie Schneider announced 241 present membership renewals. Members are reminded to send in their 2018 dues if they haven’t done so already.

National Security Chairwoman Betty Anderson has sent 14 coupon boxes to the troops. Members of the group are asked to continue to bring them in. Members are also reminded to have an emergency kit for cold weather in their car so they are prepared if they should get stranded in the winter.

Deanne Adams, on behalf of Service to Our Veterans, asked that members keep track of hours that they serve a veteran.

Children and Youth Chairwoman Karen Cibert announced that 661 school supply items were delivered to Brookside for distribution to area schools. She is now collecting after-school snacks from now until May. They may be brought in and placed in the box at the club. She had a contest where members guessed how many items and the dollar value of the school supplies that were donated. Joyce Olson and Schneider received her prizes.

Recommendations were voted on and approved, including Veteran Hospital Auxiliary Fund, Hospice Tree, Presbyterian and Salvation Army Food Shelves, Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, St. Cloud Veterans Administration Mental Health Fund, Hastings Veteran Home for Mental Health Fund, American Legion Auxiliary Foundation Giving Tuesday on Nov. 28 and Save Our Hospital.

The breakfast fundraiser on Oct. 29 was reportedly a success. Members who volunteered for the event were thanked. The quilt raffle was won by LaVonne Christenson.

The quarter drawing was won by Cibert.

Smith led the group in prayer and the closing ceremony took place.

Lunch was served by Larson and Jo Hansen. The next meeting will be at 7 p.m. April 4.