Volunteers Needed for Advent Vespers

Vespers concertJoining us at Advent Vespers this year?

We are looking for as many as 20 volunteers for each Vespers service to help usher and work at the will-call table. Central Lutheran Church has recently added a beautiful addition to their building and there is a need for extra hands this year to help direct attendees.

Vespers services will be held:

Thursday, November 29 at 8 p.m. (Dress Rehearsal)
Friday, November 30 at 5 & 8 p.m.
Saturday, December 1 at 2 & 5 p.m.

Volunteers should plan to arrive at Central Lutheran Church in downtown Minneapolis (333 S. 12th St.) 60-90 minutes prior to each service. The service lasts approximately 90 minutes.

Please contact Kia Burton (burton@augsburg.edu, 612-330-1329) if you are able to volunteer.

About Augsburg’s Advent Vespers:

For more than three decades, Augsburg University has ushered in the Advent and Christmas seasons with Advent Vespers, a magnificent experience of music and liturgy, focusing on the theme of preparation and culminating in the joyful celebration of the Incarnation. Advent Vespers is set in downtown Minneapolis in the majestic sanctuary of Central Lutheran Church, soaring 65 feet high with large stained-glass windows.

Homecoming Auggie Talk: A Hagfors Center Pilgrimage – Hosted by AWE (Augsburg Women Engaged)

Auggie Talks, Hagfors BuildingSaturday, Oct. 13 from 3 – 3:45 p.m.

Join Auggie women on a special exploration of the new Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion. This tour, led by Religion professor Marty Stortz, will begin with reflection in the Gundale Chapel, highlighting the vocational journey of Augsburg students; then a visit to the Food Lab; and along the way, reflect on the inspirational art that captures the intersections between science, business, and religion.

About Auggie Talks:

They’re back by popular demand! Join us for 30-minute, insightful sessions presented by professors and fellow alumni on topics spearheaded by your class reunion groups. Talks will be published as they become available on social media and in upcoming communications.

Space is limited. Please register today for Auggie Talks.

Other Auggie Talks:

Homecoming Auggie Talk: The Study Abroad Experience, Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow – Hosted by the Class of 1978

Register now for Homecoming!


Auggie Talks, Auggie Eagle abroad in GermanySaturday, Oct. 13 from 1 – 1:45 p.m.

Auggies from the class of 1978 have traveled the globe studying in places like Norway, Central America, and London. The opportunities to study abroad while at Augsburg have shaped their lives and the lives of many of its graduates. Join the class of 1978 as they reflect on their own study abroad experiences and examine Auggie global education of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

About Auggie Talks:

They’re back by popular demand! Join us for 30-minute, insightful sessions presented by professors and fellow alumni on topics spearheaded by your class reunion groups. Talks will be published as they become available on social media and in upcoming communications.

Space is limited. Please register today for Auggie Talks.

Augsburg Alumni Office Offering Tickets for the Church Basement Ladies Production of “You Smell Barn”

The Church Basement Ladies in You Smell BarnThe Augsburg Alumni Office has set aside a number of tickets for Auggies to see the Sunday October, 14 showing of “You Smell Barn by the Church Basement Ladies at 2 p.m. in the Ames Center Black Box Theater (12600 Nicollet Ave., Burnsville, MN). Tickets are $33 and can be purchased at https://advancement.augsburg.edu/2018-homecoming-registration

This new musical comedy is based on a novel by alumnae Janet Letnes Martin ‘68 and Suzann Nelson ‘68 and features Janet Paone ‘83 reprising her role as Vivan Snustead.

 

About You Smell Barn

From the basement to the barn, your beloved Church Basement Ladies are back and getting busy with life outside the kitchen. After the last of the hotdish is served, the coffee pot is emptied, and the Jello molds are put away, these steadfast, sturdy women head to their farms, peel off their good girdles, and get on with their daily chores. In between picking eggs, milking cows, and dusting knickknacks, they congregate with some of the other lovable folks who inhabit this rural community: Earl, who delivers the mail up and down Rural Route One; Fergus, the hired man; and Tillie, who chronicles the action for the Fish County Weekly.

With plenty of crazy antics, loads of fresh laughs, and spanking new original songs, “You Smell Barn” celebrates rural life in the 1950’s. And, at the center of it all, are your favorite Church Basement Ladies. Whether you’ve seen several versions, or are new to the world of the basement, the 7th in the Church Basement Ladies series is a musical treat for all.

Produced by Curt Wollan, Troupe America, Inc., “You Smell Barn” is written by Greta Grosch, with music by Dennis Curley; lyrics by Greta Grosch and Dennis Curley; and inspired by the new book “Growing Up Rural, You Smell Barn” by Janet Letnes Martin and Suzann Nelson.

Homecoming Auggie Talk: The Baby Boom Effect – Hosted by the Class of 1968

Register now for Homecoming!


Auggie Talks photo from Homecoming 2017On Friday, Oct. 12, from 3:30 – 4:15 p.m. in the Sateren Auditorium, Anderson Music Building, five members of the class of 1968 will discuss “The Baby Boom Effect: How Four Years Affected 50.” Alumni will each present a three to five minute description of how their time at Augsburg influenced what they have done personally and professionally over the past 50 years. Each has pursued different paths since leaving Augsburg while impacting the world in meaningful ways.

About Auggie Talks:

They’re back by popular demand! Join us for 30-minute, insightful sessions presented by professors and fellow alumni on topics spearheaded by your class reunion groups. Talks will be published as they become available on social media and in upcoming communications.

Space is limited. Please register today for Auggie Talks.

Refugee Odyssey: Exploring The Past Through Simulation

AASA at the Fall 2017 Leadership Retreat
AASA at the 2017 Fall Leadership Retreat

Every fall, students from the Multicultural Student Services & International Student and Scholar Services organizations gather off campus for a Fall Leadership Retreat to build community, engage in important discussions, and gain leadership tools. During the retreat, students affiliated with the Augsburg Asian Student Association (AASA) have the opportunity to participate with AASA alumni in the Refugee Odyssey, an intense simulation that AASA started back in 2008.

Alumnus Cheemoua Vang ‘16 took part in the Odyssey as a student and has volunteered the last two years to help run the event. He says his first experience was indescribable, but a moment from which he bloomed and grew emotionally, mentally and spiritually. That’s why he and other AASA alumni choose to come back to volunteer.

“I call it the cycle of giving back,” he said. “Alumni volunteers who take part in the Odyssey have all participated in it before at least two to three times. This is important because those who have personally gone through the Odyssey will be able to connect with the student participants. They’ll understand the impact of it on a personal level and know the sensitivity of the event and what it takes to be involved with it.”

The sensitive nature of this event comes from students simulating the experience of immigrants running from their homes during wartime, fleeing from soldiers, to find safety. The simulation is meant to help students explore their history.

Senior Cam Thu Pham has participated in the Refugee Odyssey the past three years and says “the Refugee Odyssey is a learning experience of rediscovering one’s history or awakening an interest in learning one’s parent’s raw history and sacrifices. It is a frightening experience, and you would not know what to expect while laying in the pitch black grass and thorny bushes waiting with your adrenaline rushing as you try to get to a safe place.”

In her first two years, Cam was a runner during the simulation and last year she chose to be a soldier, whose job it is to catch the runners. These experiences have led Cam to further explore her personal family history.

“I finally came to the realization that my parents stories that they had always told me were not because they were bored and had nothing to talk about, but because it was all they had to talk about. It was their history and their roots. I never took the time to appreciate those stories until I sat down with my parents after [the Refugee Odyssey] and asked them to tell me those stories once again. I think these stories have led me to recognize my privilege to be where I am today from the upbringing of my parents, to not ever forget where I originally came from, and to appreciate my identity as a proud Vietnamese woman.”

For both Cam and Cheemoua, the Refugee Odyssey and AASA have helped to shape their experience at Augsburg.

“AASA is not just a platform of support, but to me it feels like a family that has lifted me up through my hard times throughout my experiences here. AASA members are empowering people who have so much influence on me as an individual,” Cam said.
Cheemoua feels a similar connection to the group.

“I first got involved with AASA during my first year of college,” Cheemoua said. “I was eating lunch all by myself and a group of AASA members invited me to eat with them. They were very welcoming and friendly. After joining them for the Fall Leadership Retreat, I found the leadership in me that Fall and I just kept growing ever since.”

Practice Yoga on the Lawn Sept. 29 with Halen Bower ’08

Alumna and yoga instructor Halen Bower
Yoga instructor Halen Bower ’08

On Sept. 29, 2018, the Young Alumni Council will host Yoga on the Lawn of the beautiful new Hagfors Center for Science, Business & Religion from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The Council is excited to bring alumna, and renowned yoga instructor Halen Bower back to campus to instruct a stimulating hour!

Bower graduated from Augsburg in 2008 with a BA studying international relations, and got a taste for travel when she studied abroad her junior year. As an athlete most of her life, (she played volleyball for Augsburg from 2004-2007) Halen initially came to yoga as a gentler way to stay in shape. In 2010, she was able to combine both her love for travel and her love of yoga when she completed her 200 hour training in Guatemala. She has been traveling with yoga ever since. Halen has taught yoga in Switzerland, Alaska, California, Minnesota, and Vermont. She is trained in Adapting Yoga for Disability, in Yin Yoga, and in Restorative Yoga. Bower has been a certified Children’s Yoga teacher since 2011, and is now in the process of completing her 95 hour certification with Radiant Child Yoga.

Bower epitomizes true kindness and a heart-centered zest for life. Her presence and classes will leave you both energized and relaxed. Her hope is to teach yoga in a playful, and approachable way to help promote healing, connection, and openness in mind, body, and spirit. She looks forward to bringing what she has learned over the years back to Augsburg to connect with her Augsburg community. Bring your mat and join her on Saturday, Sept. 29 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Please register for this event. Limited to 30 participants.

Register now for “Breaking and Re-Making” a discussion on vocational calling in later stages of life with Dr. Marty Stortz

Marty Stortz is the Bernhard M. Christensen Professor of Religion and Vocation, a position she has held since 2010. Prior to coming to Augsburg University, she had been a professor of historical theology and ethics at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary/The Graduate Union in Berkeley, California for almost thirty years. She holds a BA from Carleton College in English, an MA and PhD from the University of Chicago Divinity School. She is the author of several books, including A World According to God(2004) and Blessed to Follow (2008). Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Marty enjoys hiking, swimming, and the light in Minnesota.

All Augsburg alumni, parents, and friends are invited to register for a special lunch discussions as part of the 2018-19  Calling in the Third Age series curated by Senior Fellow for the Christensen Center for Vocation Jack Fortin.

On Wednesday, October 10 Augsburg will launch the 2018 Calling in the Third Age discussion series with a special opportunity to meet with Dr. Marty Stortz who is Augsburg’s Bernhard M. Christensen Professor of Religion and Vocation.  Dr. Stortz will present and facilitate a discussion on “Breaking and Remaking”.  Vocational calling in the latter stages of the life cycle all too often takes place amidst a litany of losses: loss of loved ones, loss of job or career, loss of income, loss of bodily function. But the vocational questions have not changed; they’re just inflected differently. Drawing on the wisdom of scripture and real-life illustrations, this talk explores those questions: Who am I? Who are my people? What will I do with my “one wild and precious life?”

Calling in the Third Age — a series of (bring your own) lunch discussions

Topic: Breaking and Remaking with Dr. Marty Stortz

Date: Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Time: 12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Location: Luther Seminary at 2481 Como Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108

Room: Olson Campus Center Dining Room C

The cost for this event is $15 and space is limited.  Please register online here by October 10, 2018.

 

Augsburg’s Calling in the Third Age Series for 2018-19 will feature a number of popular speakers and discussion leaders.

 

October, 17, 2018  Rev. Dr. Jack Fortin

Title: Living on the Brink: “The Courage to Be Fully Alive in the Third Chapter of life”

We will be discovering together how to live in the tension between “Gravity and Grace”. Facing the limitations of “Gravity” on the one hand, which is pulling our physical bodies down, while receiving the gift of “Grace”, which is lifting our spirits up, setting us free to live with a renewed sense of calling and purpose.

 

October 24, 2018  Dr. Paul Pribbenow

Title: Vocation 2.0

Come and explore how our Lutheran colleges and universities have made the theological concept of vocation – one of the central gifts of our Lutheran Christian tradition – the center of their academic missions. We will discuss how our Lutheran understanding of vocation offers a powerful counter-message to the cultural expectation that we are always called to upwardly mobile, individual trajectories in our lives. Of relevance to those of us in the “third age,” our discussion will focus both on how Vocation 2.0 is important to our vocational journeys and how we can help support future generations of faithful folks called to service in the world.

 

February 13, 20, 27  Rev. Dr. Mark Hanson

Title: “A Personal Third-Chapter Challenge: “Discovering call amidst memory loss in the context of cultural and religious diversity for the sake of the neighbor “

Session One (Feb. 13, 2019) – “God’s call to serve when memory fades and love endures: personal reflections” It has been 8 years since the diagnosis of memory loss became a reality in our lives. How does this reality shape our discerning God’s call?

Session Two (Feb. 20, 2019)- “Our shared baptismal calling in a polarized culture.” How shall we live as a community in Christ shaped by memory, witnessing to signs of God’s promised future and immersed in this present rapidly changing and often deeply conflicted context?

Session Three (Feb. 27, 2019) – “God’s call to be neighbor: our shared vocation in a world of religious pluralism.” Drawing upon Lutheran theological themes, leadership experiences and the dynamic community of Augsburg University, we will explore how will live as people of Christian faith in contexts of religious diversity including with those who self define in other than religious categories.

 

Date TBD  Rev. Dr. Rollie Martinson

Title:  Elders Rising: The Promise And Peril of Elderhood:  “Vital and Resilient Aging: Living Well and Making a Difference”

An “age wave” of enormous proportions and life-changing-impact is washing over us. Understanding this “age wave” provides older adults and those closest to them more options for greater vitality and resiliency. Participants will come to better understand aging and develop their own “pathway” of quality life during their senior years. Congregational and community leaders will discover how their organizations can become centers of expansive elder wellness and empowerment.

Jack Fortin serves as Senior Fellow for Christensen Center for Vocation at Augsburg University and curates the Calling in the Third Age Series as a way of connecting alumni and others interested in vocational calling in later stages of life.

The Calling in the Third Age Series is curated by Jack Fortin who serves as Senior Fellow for Christensen Center for Vocation, a position he has held since 2008. Before coming to Augsburg, Jack was interim senior pastor at Colonial Church of Edina and held senior management positions with Lifelong Learning at Luther Seminary, Young Life, and World Vision. Author of The Centered Life, Jack’s academic interest has been unpacking Luther’s understanding of vocation as the primary means used by God for us to serve the neighbor, exploring how our vocation gets expressed through a lifespan of callings due to ordinary challenges within the scope of our daily lives.  Jack serves on several non-profit boards and has written a book, The Centered Life. Jack has a BA from Rockford College majoring in sociology, an M. Div from Luther Seminary, and an Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from New York Theological Seminary. He is ordained and rostered in the Minneapolis synod-ELCA.

 

Alumni in the Spotlight: Janeece Oatman

When Janeece (Adams) Oatman ’05 worked with a late-phase clinical research company, she shared some lab results with a potential study participant. Picking up on one indicator that could be a sign of high blood sugar, she urged the woman to undergo a diabetes test. A week later, Oatman found a voicemail from the woman, who had gone to the doctor to be tested and, indeed, received a diagnosis of type 2 Janeece Oatman Photodiabetes. She said the doctor had told her that she should be grateful to know she had the disease so that she didn’t end up having complications, like losing a limb. “You saved my life,” she said in the voicemail.

Oatman contemplated the situation and decided to call the ADA (American Diabetes Association) and ask for a job. As a pre-med graduate, she had both the passion and desire to better the lives of other people and knew that raising money to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes would be a fulfilling career. Although the ADA didn’t have a position immediately available for Oatman, eventually a spot within the Tour de Cure team opened up, and she got the job.

Oatman has now been employed with the ADA for approximately nine-and-a-half years and is currently the Development Director and the Director of the Tour de Cure. She still harbors the same passion for curing diabetes today, as she did the day she started.

“Thirty million Americans have diabetes,” she continued, “and an additional 84 million have pre-diabetes (meaning they are at a significant risk of developing type 2 diabetes within ten years.) Why wouldn’t we want to find a cure for an illness that affects so many people?

It’s a scary reality that every 21 seconds someone will hear the three words that will change life as they know it: You have diabetes.”

“Augsburg was instrumental in shaping my values, including a deep sense of community and stewardship. The fact that my career path brought me to a non-profit is a testament to Augsburg’s emphasis to serve others” said Oatman, regarding her time working with the ADA.

Oatman has remained active within the Augsburg University community and is a member of the Alumni Board. When asked what she loves the most about Augsburg, Oatman replied “Augsburg is a second home to me. It’s a place I love to go back to as in my mind it represents faith, family, and friends.”

On Saturday, June 2, 2018, the Tour de Cure will take place at Boom Island Park in Minneapolis. Tour de Cure is a fundraising event, where participants bike-ride, run or walk to raise money and show support for all people living with diabetes.

For more information on how to sign up for the Tour de Cure, click here, contact the Augsburg Alumni Office at alumni@augsburg.edu or Janeece Oatman directly at joatman@diabetes.org.

 

50 Years Ago: One Day in May

On May 15, 1968, administration and faculty at Augsburg College (now Augsburg University) canceled class for “One Day in May” and invited speakers to discuss racism in and beyond Minneapolis following the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and subsequent riots in major American cities.

The Pan-Afrikan Student Union Center (PASU) was formed shortly after the “One Day in May” with the purpose to provide student leadership development for Pan-Afrikan students at Augsburg through a wide variety of co-sponsored activities and opportunities to help plan an event. The Pan-Afrikan Center also provides student leadership training and resources to Pan-Afrikan students at Augsburg University. PASU hopes to enlighten the students with their cultural identity and the roles that they play in the surrounding communities and in the world. Furthermore, it is the intent of the organization to provide leadership formats and assist in the adjustment, and transition of people of Afrikan descent into the college life.

For access to exclusive “One Day in May” archived footage please click here.

Below, Auggie PASU alumni speak about their experience:

 

Agnes, Greg, Paris and Grayson

 

“I’m grateful to have been part of PASU during my years at Augsburg. Serving as an officer gave me a chance to be a leader and build relationships I wouldn’t have elsewhere. Putting my self in a leadership position really helped me grow and allowed me to reach other students and uplift them in their journey at Augsburg. I would do it all again.”- Agnes Kigwana ’09 (pictured right with husband Greg, and children Grayson and Paris)

 

 

 

 

“Thankful for PASU teaching the values of giving back to your community. Those are the same values that I use each day and share with students as a school counselor.”- Derek Francis ’08 (pictured left with student)

 

 

 

 

 

“I feel that PASU has initiated my journey to understanding who I am as a Black man in this world.”-  Nick Ward ’11 (pictured right).