Augustana’s Campus Pastor Ann Rosendale continues to lead our community during this time of uncertainty. While there are no traditional chapel services being held during this time, Campus Ministry has provided new ways that we can connect in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Take a moment to check out the Campus Ministry Reflections blog.
Senior AU students who planned to give their senior sermon during these last months of spring semester will be writing a reflection that will be posted every Friday. In addition, faculty, staff and administrators will be offering reflections in this online space, as well.
A Pastoral Letter regarding COVID-19, by Pastor Ann Rosendale (March 18) follows.
Dear Augustana Community,
I pray this note finds all of you safe and well, washing your hands vigorously, and leaning into new rhythms of life and learning.
This note surely also finds you, like me, facing new challenges and stressors in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fear and uncertainty seem to rule the day. We’re anxious about our classes, our jobs, our parents, our kids, our money, our health. And with no clear end of the outbreak yet in sight, it’s hard to know the best next steps to take as we try to live faithfully and carefully into the future.
The biblical image that keeps coming to my mind is of the disciples in John’s Gospel, after Jesus had been crucified, locked and huddled in a room together, paralyzed by their fear. They were practicing their own kind of “self-isolation,” knowing that what was “out there” would be too much for them to bear. They were safer locked away.
The pandemic that plagues our world is both different and not-so-different from what the disciples faced. We can all relate to being confined, isolated and worried. Like the disciples, we feel that so much is out of our control. It’s not simply the virus that is contagious, the fear is, also.
Alone in our homes or offices, we are now safer from the coronavirus. But are we any free-er from our fear? I dislike the term “social distancing.” Physical distancing is our goal in this pandemic. Social connectedness (online and six feet apart) is what we need and crave. Indeed, our social connection will be what ultimately keeps us grounded in the coming weeks.
At Augustana we must continue to nurture the strong community that has buoyed us through the challenges of the past and will now reliably sustain us again. Community will look different in these days, and yet it is more important to care for one another than ever before.
To that end, Campus Ministry is committed to helping support and center our university community. Like the rest of you, we’re trying some new things and trusting your patience as we discover what works and what doesn’t. Beginning next week, we’ll launch these weekly rituals:
- A devotional blog featuring posts from scheduled senior speakers, faculty preachers, and campus pastors.
- Facebook Live, Mondays at 10 a.m. In lieu of an in-person worship experience, Pastors Ann and Andrea will offer a brief moment of reflection to begin your week. “Follow” the Campus Ministry Facebook page to stay connected.
- Viking Huddles, Wednesdays at 10 a.m., via Zoom. For anyone in the AU community simply looking to gather (online) with others. A half-hour of social connectivity focused loosely around a question or topic. Look for weekly email invitations to this event that will help us be together in spirit when we’re not together physically.
Physical distancing and other kinds of isolation can take a toll. Be gentle with yourselves. Be generous with others. The Campus Pastors continue to be available for pastoral care, with email or phone being the best way to schedule an appointment over Zoom or Google Hangout.
Even as the disciples huddled fearfully inside a locked room, something astonishing happened. Jesus appeared! In the midst of their anxiety about death and loss, their Lord came and stood among them in a new and resurrected form. And the first words he spoke to his disciples were balm for their anxious souls. “Peace be with you.”
God is with us, even when we are not with each other. God enters into our fear and isolation and offers a word. Peace. Do not be afraid. You are not alone.
We are not alone. Thanks be to God! I look forward to connecting digitally and seeing you at our weekly Wednesday Viking Huddles in the coming weeks!
Due to concerns related to the potential spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the following gatherings are canceled.
Augustana classes break each weekday from 10:00 a.m. to 10:40 a.m. to provide students, faculty and staff the opportunity to participate in worship. Worship in January (over J-Term) is at 11:45 a.m. Services are open to all and include diverse voices from the campus community and beyond.
Monday — A service of ecumenical prayer is led by faculty, area pastors or one of the campus pastors.
Tuesday evening — Evening worship led by students, for students at 9:00 p.m.
First Tuesday of month — Roman Catholic mass; Koinonia (pre-seminary/church vocation group), community prayer, and other ministries gather on a rotating basis.
Wednesday — Celebration of Holy Communion.
Friday — An Augustana senior student speaks and plans worship.
Roman Catholic Mass is held at Christ the King Catholic Church (1501 W 26th St) every Sunday evening at 7 p.m. Food and fellowship follow the service.
Names of speakers and notification of other events held at the Chapel for Reconcilation are announced on the campus calendar.
800.727.2844, ext. 5403