Dec. 3: 'Letters of Love' Book Signing by Sandy Jerstad

Event Details


Date: December 2, 2011

Times: 3-5 p.m.

Location: Augustana's Morrison Commons

Former Augustana coach Sandy Jerstad will be signing copies of her book, "Letters of Love; Sermons and Reflections by Mark and Sandy Jerstad," from 3-5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, in Augustana's Morrison Commons. Mark Jerstad was Augustana's campus pastor from 1976-1985.

Mark Jerstad’s essence returns in written form through sermons preached at Augustana College. Topics of faith and fear range from “What Happens After Death?” to “Forgiveness,” from “Thinking about Thinking” to “Roadblocks to Faith.” Jerstad writes, “There is a strain running through the whole biblical message that comes at us from our future and penetrates our now. This is what we call an eschatological promise, a promise that beyond this life there is something more…We are people of promise. We live in the hope and the promise given to us by God himself through Jesus Christ, that beyond this life we will be ushered into a new kingdom…”

Sandy has added real-life reflections that anchor Mark’s sermons. Her stories of the hilarity, joy and adventure depict what living life with Mark was like. Readers will share with her a near-death experience, the perils of a solo 600-mile bike ride, her world of coaching, life in the South Dakota Senate, the death of her father and the difficult journey through Mark’s dying and death. As Sandy writes, “For 31 years I had the privilege of living with a man who never said never. His belief in aiming high and dreaming big dreams was something he lived and shared with us, his family. I can only imagine the dreaming he is doing now.”

Mark Jerstad was born in 1942 in Bagley, Minn. He graduated from St. Olaf College in 1964. Following graduation from Luther Seminary and Union Theological Seminary, he served as pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in International Falls, Minn. After receiving the call to serve as campus pastor at Augustana, he moved with his wife, Sandy, and three children, Rachel, Mike and Sarah in 1976. In 1985, he joined the Good Samaritan Society and, in 1989, he was appointed President and CEO by the board of directors. In November 1996, Mark was diagnosed with late-stage colon cancer and died March 29, 1997.

Sandy Jerstad, born in 1943, graduated from St. Olaf College a year after marrying Mark in 1965. She taught junior high school geography and English before finding a career in athletics in Augustana, coaching tennis and volleyball for six years and softball for 27 years. Her softball team won the NCAA Division II title in 1991. Sandy is in the Augustana Hall of Fame, The South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame, and the National Fastpitch Coach’s Hall of Fame. She earned a doctorate in educational administration in 1994. Sandy served on the South Dakota State Senate for four years and continues to teach part-time at Augustana.

To order a book, call 605.261.1044 or email sij@sio.midco.net. Cost:  $13.99, add $2 for mailing.

The portrait picture of Mark and Sandy Jerstad was taken by Marianne Larsen.