Little Cedar Lutheran Church Ladies Aid and Music Groups
History of the Little Cedar Ladies' Aids, Adams, Minnesota. Written by Amanda Anderson Huseby, Ladies Aid Historian
Let us turn back the pages of time ninety years or more, nearly a century, and try to visualize the ventures of the pioneers who left their homeland to settle in America. These "Trail Blazers" encountered many obstacles. The long perilous voyage across the ocean in sailboats and the struggle connected with the establishment of homes in a new and strange country. But they had the strength and courage to carry on in spite of discouragements and hardships.They labored and sacrificed that churches might be built in which to worship God. They helped provide for religious instruction that their children might be taught the way of life. They left us a heritage, a christian heritage, for which was should be grateful.
Little Cedar Congregation was organized in 1859 by Pastor C.L. Clausen who was the first minister to visit this locality. The first services were held at the homes or out-of-doors when the weather permitted. The first church, a log structure, was built in 1863 and while this church was under construction the Civil War broke out. Clausen was called as a chaplain and several of the newcomers enlisted and others were drafted. Pastors from nearby charges substituted for Clausen in his absence.
From 1859 to 1901 the pastors who served this congregation were C.L. Clausen, P.G. Ostby, B.B. Gjedlaker and J. Muller Eggen.
Eleven years after the church was built the first Society or Ladies Aid, known as the West Aid, was organized under the leadership of Synneva Thompson. The first meeting was held at the home of Mrs. Ole Starksen January 25, 1875 where the Norbert Meyers family now resides. A second Society, known as the Northeast Aid, was organized about the same time as the West Aid with Mrs. Ida Olson as its first President. Later Mrs. Tom Anderson served for twelve consecutive years.
These societies were organized during Pastor Ostby's pastorate. The pastors seldom attended the Aid meetings due to the long distance they had to travel at that time.
These organizations held meetings once a month at the homes. In the early days very often the women had to walk several miles to their meetings and the walking through woods and swamps in the spring often necessitated the carrying of extra wearing apparel. One instance is recalled when walking was almost impossible that one of the women packed the handwork into a large sack and rode horseback to the meeting. Meetings were held all day. At noon a full dinner was served, which was eaten at the table that was often set several times as cafeteria or lap lunches were unheard of at that time. Part of the time was devoted to devotions and the little business necessary and the balance of the day was spent sewing, knitting, etc. Most of the sewing was done by hand. The articles made were sold and the proceeds, after a small sum had been set aside for the purchase of more material, were divided between Missions and other church work. One accomplishment of the West Aid to be noted was the furnishing of seats for the new church built in 1876 to replace the log structure.
From 1875 to 1900, a period of twenty-five years, many changes had taken place and much advancement had been made in spiritual as well as temporal affairs. Horse drawn vehicles such as buggies and surreys had become general so walking was not so common anymore. During this period the Ladies Aids changed their meeting schedule to afternoons and lap lunches were served. There was no regular charge at these meetings in the beginning but later a charge of ten cents was collected.
In 1900, twenty-six years after the first aid was organized, the women of Adams, who for several years had stressed the importance of a church in the village, finally decided to organize a sewing society to raise funds towards the erection of a church. Mrs. T. Bagstad and Mrs. C. Starksen had charge of this organization. The first meeting was held at the home of Mrs. Starksen October 4, 1900, where the Steve Klapperich family now lives. At this meeting a few rules or regulations were adopted by the eleven members present. They worked under the same plan as the other two societies.
Pastor Eggen preached his farewell sermon about two months after the organization of this society. Pastor W. Rasmussen accepted the call with the understanding that a parsonage be built, so a parsonage was built in 1901.
In 1907 during the pastorate of O.C. Myhre, after much consideration, the congregation decided to build a church in Adams with the understanding that it was to be paid for when completed. This meant much labor and financial support by both men and women. The Adams Aid decided to purchase all the furnishings for the church in the amount of $1000 or more.
To raise funds for this project ice cream socials, basket socials, waffle suppers, lutefisk suppers and other functions were held. The first ice cream social or lawn social was held at the Andrew Torgerson home and the first lutefisk dinner was held in the Krebsbach store, which was vacant at the time. Most of these functions were held in Sabel's Hall. Many remember this hall with the flight of steps that led up to the hall where water, dishes, stoves, fuel and everything necessary to serve a meal had to be carried up and down. The Ladies Aid sponsored a handkerchief sociable which was held at this hall May 17, 1907 with an appropriate Norwegian program; lunch was served, handkerchiefs brought by the Ladies Aid members were auctioned off and other articles were also sold. This netted a neat sum.
The building of a church was now in progress and September 1, 1907 the cornerstone was laid and on the 25th of October, 1908, the church was dedicated without debt. The basement was still unfinished and there were several things yet to be supplied.
For the past ten years the Village Aid had been a helping hand to the congregation by financing the necessary furnishings for the church and by promoting the erection of a church so God's word could be preached and the youth could be instructed and admonished. At the close of 1909 this Aid had a membership of approximately forty members.
1910 to 1920
The next project was to complete the basement where meetings could be held and meals could be served. The pilot that guided the women in their first big task inspired them with strength and courage to labor on. Several years passed before this was finished; but in the early part of 1913 things were in readiness so meetings could be held in the basement. The first gathering was a meeting to celebrate the completion of a big job. The three Aids served dinner at this time.
The women continued with handwork, sales, meals, etc. so church work should progress and Missions, Orphan Homes and all the departments of the church should be kept going.
The first Christmas tree put up in the new church was arranged for by the Village Aid for the Sunday School children.
The first Ladies Aid meeting in the church basement was held March 20, 1913 with Lars Ellingson as host, Knut Larson was host at the second meeting and Mrs. K. Gurvin served at the third meeting. Realizing the necessity of altering the church gallery the Ladies Aid decided to sponsor this project, also. The three Aids paid the expense connected with the papering at the parsonage.
The school house now used for the Parochial School was paid for by the Village Aid at a cost of $181. This school house was moved from District No. 7, located near the Ben Sorenson home, to its present location.
A change was made in our Parochial School System in 1916 during the pastorate of C.B. Runsvold, who was instrumental in introducing our present Week Day School of Religion.
During this ten year period war again threatened our land and many of our young men entered the service of their country. When armistice ended hostilities November 11, 1918, without any casualties from our congregation many hearts beat with joy, but the influenza epidemic that was raging at this time caused much anguish and sorrow. It became necessary to cancel or postpone many meetings and gatherings at this time.
Following the war, contributions were sent to Charity Work in Greater New York, to sufferers in Poland and for a year's support of Jofrette Bovon, a French War Orphan.
Upon the return of the soldiers, the three Little Cedar Aids and the Marshall Aid served a free dinner for the soldiers, their parents, wives and sweethearts.
The Adams Aid joined the Women's Missionary Federation in May, 1919.
Pastor Runsvold who had served our congregation since 1915 accepted another call and left here in the summer of 1919 and Pastor O.C. Brenna took over this charge in the fall of 1919.
Our country was gradually settling back after the din and clamor of war. This period, also, found our members ready to help where it was needed.
Handwork at the Aid had been discontinued, this work was done at the homes and each member was requested to bring one article of handwork for the sale held once a year, proceeds to go to Missions.
The first two years of this period the proceeds for the year were divided between Missions and the Parochial School expenses.
The Village Aid had a membership of eighty at the beginning of 1923. During the rest of this ten year period contributions were sent to Madagascar for a school building that was to be erected, to Luther and St. Olaf Endowment Fund and to Christian Education. Stamps were sold to advertise the 4th Centennial of Luther's Small Catechism, to obtain funds to introduce the Catechism in Russia. Quilts and aprons were made and sent to the Old People's and Orphan Homes. Cash donations were also sent to Orphan Homes.
For our local congregation, gas lights were replaced with electric lights in the church and the Ladies Aid furnished wiring and fixtures for this project. A laundry stove and water softener were purchased for the parsonage. $100 were contributed to the pipe organ fund sponsored by the Young People's Society. In 1923 an individual Communion Set was purchased.
Ten dollars worth of groceries were given to a needy family in the community, a contribution was sent to fire sufferers in Carlton County and room and board were paid, for two weeks, for one of our church members.
The basement was decorated in 1925 and the Church in 1929. It was decided that the Aid sponsor these projects; the church decoration to be supervised by the trustees.
The Second Annual Meeting of the Austin Circuit, Women's Missionary Federation was held in the Little Cedar congregation October 1, 1924 during Pastor Brenna's pastorate.
The first Mission Box Secretary, Mrs. J.A. Bernards, was elected in 1925 and the first Self Denial Secretary, Mrs. K. Gordon in 1926.
In the early history of our Aid the Norwegian language was used exclusively. In 1930, it was decided to have the devotional exercises conducted alternately in the Norwegian and English languages. The secretary's report was written in the English language for the first time in 1926. Eventually the English language was used altogether.
After fifty-five years of service in the church the Northeast and West Aids were still working with the same aim in view as the charter members of their respective Aids, the promotion of the work in the church.
The West Aid joined the Women's Missionary Federation in 1920. Besides their contributions to the missions and Charitable Institutions they contributed to the furnishings of the Church Basement and towards the electric light system in the Church and in the parsonage. In 1909, they paid over $100 towards the reparation of the church in the country where the 50th anniversary of the congregation was held November 20, 1909.
When the Mission Festivals were celebrated, the three Aids joined in serving dinner and conducting a bazaar.
Due to the ways and means of travel and communication of the earlier days these Aids functioned as separate organizations but with the coming of he automobile and the telephone, union became obvious, so in 1928 the three Aids were united into one.
A constitution was drafted and adopted in 1928 under the title - The Adams Lutheran Ladies Aid of Little Cedar Congregation of Adams, Minnesota.
In 1928 during the pastorate of Pastor Breivik, twelve Mission Circles were organized within the Aid to stimulate more interest in all mission work. Each circle was to have eleven or twelve members. The twelve circles were later grouped in nine divisions in order to have about the same number of active members in each circle.
Again another ten years can be recorded in the book of memories and again as we look back we note that much has been accomplished both in our own church and the church as a whole.
At the beginning of 1930 our Pastor suggested that programs be given on missions at the meetings and this suggestion was followed.
Regardless of the rather grave financial situation at this time the Aid rallied to the call of the church.
A substantial sum was contributed to the congregational budget so that the dues to the General Church Treasury could be paid. In response to appeals from the treasurer of the church, contributions were sent in about as fast as the Aid and Circles could collect the money. The Pension Fund Charity, Missions, Mission Cottage, LBI, suffering Lutheran Missions in Manchuria, Jubilee Fund, Centennial Appeal, Old People's Homes and Orphan Homes all were remembered. A sum of $200 was sent to the Deaconess Home in Chicago for the furnishing of a room. Many boxes of clothing were sent by the circles to various charitable institutions within the church. Contributions were sent to flood sufferers in the Ohio Area. A collection of canned goods donated by Aid members was given to a family in our congregation whose home had been destroyed by fire. Clothing and bedding were donated to another family, also members of our congregation, whose home had burned to the ground. Eggs were sent to the Girl's Home in Minneapolis.
The church basement was redecorated and necessary improvements were made in the kitchen, a piano was bought, together with the Young People's Society, for the basement, a gas burner was purchased for the Parochial School, a three burner oil stove was purchased for the kitchen, all sponsored by the Aid. It was also decided to pay the expenses for two young people to go to Bible Camp.
The first nominating committee and visiting committee were elected during this period.
The Twelfth Annual Convention of the Austin Circuit Women's Missionary Federation was held in Little Cedar Congregation October 3, 1934.
The Reading Project was started in 1936 with Mrs. Wallace Johnson as chairman and librarian. Books were donated by individuals and additional books were purchased with the money donated by the Aid and Circles.
During this period our Aid received several books through the reading project for having the most points of any Aid in the Circuit for Bible Readings and books read.
In 1938 an addition was built to the church and considerable remodeling was done. The Ladies Aid voted to assist in financing this project which no doubt is the largest project undertaken at one time.
With the opening of each new year plans are outlined for the year and this procedure was followed during these years also.
The Reading Project had expanded and several books were added to the library every year.
Mrs. Dragseth, our Circuit President at that time, was guest speaker at the June meeting in 1940. She gave an informative and inspirational talk on the work being done by the Ladies Aids throughout the circuit and the church.
The Penny-a-meal containers were used instead of the offering given for Self Denial.
Donations were given to help defray the expenses of the young people who went to Bible Camp, to Mission Cottages,Seamen's Mission and the Pacific Lutheran College. Eggs were sent each year to the Lutheran Girl's Home.
During these five years the Aid furnished and decorated the Ladies Room, paid balance of building fund in 1943, donated $10 to the library for the purchase of books, redecorated the basement, donated to the Red Cross, purchased 24 Concordias for the church and fifteen small chairs for the Parochial School.
War clouds again hung over the world and again our young men had to prepare for war.
A Christian flag and an American flag were purchased. Material for a service flag was also purchased. Mrs. J.O. Sjobakken, Mrs. Joel Ulven and Mrs. Ernest Hanneman were appointed to make this flag and to arrange on this flag a star for each young man from Little Cedar Congregation, who had been called to defend the freedom of our country and the rest of the world. (Evidently upon investigation it was decided not to make a new flag but use the one made by a committee from the Young People's Society during World War I.)
A Father and Son Banquet was sponsored by the Aid in January, 1941.
The first program committee was elected in December, 1940. They were Mrs. N.V. Torgerson and Mrs. Albert Knutson. For many years no programs were given besides the articles read or the remarks made by the Pastor, who also conducted the business part of the meetings for a number of years. When programs were first given it was one of the duties of the president to plan and arrange for the programs. After material was provided by the WMF their program series were followed.
Boxes of clothing and bedding were sent to Norway and from the many letters of appreciation from the recipients of the articles sent, it evidently was a worthwhile project.
The 50th Anniversary of Little Cedar Congregation was celebrated November 28, 1909, in the country church, during Pastor Myhre's pastorate. Dinner was served in the church by the Ladies Aids. Stoves, cooking utensils, dishes and food had to be brought out to the church in order to prepare the meal.
The 70th Anniversary was held November 22, 1929; the 75th October 12, 1934; the 80th November 5, 1939 and the 85th November 12, 1944 all during Pastor Breivik's pastorate. The Ladies Aids served dinner at all these festivities.
In 1938 Pastor and Mrs. Breivik celebrated their Silver Wedding Anniversary, Pastor Breivik's 25th year as Pastor and his 10th year in Little Cedar and Marshall Congregations. The Little Cedar and Marshall Aids served dinner and lunch on this occasion. The program was given on the parsonage lawn.
To enumerate every meal served by our Ladies Aid would cover pages. Much credit is due our women for the effort and patience it takes to prepare and serve so many meals.
But meals are only a means to an end, it is the good that is perpetuated from the proceeds of such functions that is most important.
To God who has sustained and guided us, to our pastors who have preached the gospel and enlightened us, to our officers for their faithfulness and to all our members who have given so generously of their time and means we should bow our heads in gratitude and thanksgiving.
We are building every day/In a good or evil way,/And the structure as it grows,/Will our inmost self disclose./Build it well, whate'er you do;/Build it straight and strong and true/Build it clear and high and broad;/Build it for the eye of God.
As 1945 was ushered in, our young men were still in the service of their country, many of them on the fighting lines. During the spring and summer war ceased in both areas. Our service flag showed sixty-two stars, silver stars for those who had entered the war zones, blue stars for those who still were in the war training camps and gold stars for the two men who sacrificed their lives in this conflict, one in each war zone. Their memory will stand out as a symbol of bravery and self-sacrifice.
Rationing and restrictions on different food stuffs were lifted the latter part of the year, so during this year, also, the amount served for lunches was curtailed and the dinners and some of the meals usually served were dispensed with. Much of the extra serving was done by the circles and cash donations were given in place of serving some meals.
The work in the Aid and Circles was carried on as usual in spite of war and commotion. The circles sent boxes of food to the men in service and donations to Lutheran World Action, Welfare Society and the Red Cross were given by the Aid and Circles. Boxes of clothing were sent to Norway this year, also. Other donations given were to the Boe Memorial, Mission Cottages, Seamen's Mission, Bible Camp Fund and thirty dozen eggs were sent to the Lutheran Girl's Home in Minneapolis and $350 were given to apply on debts of our congregation.
The Penny-a-meal containers and Mission boxes were used and a Thank offering was lifted on Thanksgiving Day.
The publicity department was adopted by our Aid with Mrs. J.C. Sjobakken as its first chairman.
New books were added to the library by individuals and a fund supplied by the Aid.
It was voted to draft a new constitution which was adopted (with an amendment to Article VI). The name of the Ladies Aid - The Little Cedar Lutheran Ladies Aid, Adams, Minnesota.
The Twenty-Fourth Annual Convention of the Women's Missionary Federation was held in Little Cedar Congregation October 16, 1945 during Pastor Breivik's pastorate. The theme for this convention was "The Bond of Peace" and the convention motto "Endeavoring to keep the Unit of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace." It can truthfully be said, that the time spent at the WMF conventions is time well spent.
At the close of 1945, our Aid membership numbered one hundred-seventy-six.
Another war had subsided and the countries that experienced the horrible destruction of homes and property faced a tremendous task which warranted the support of their allies. Our country, congregation and church organizations together with hundreds of others came to the rescue, to aid in alleviating hunger and suffering, rebuilding churches and restoring Christianity to the people of the war torn countries. Our Aid helped through clothing drives, Lutheran World Action and the Red Cross.
The first extra meal served by the Aid in 1946 was the banquet sponsored by the Luther League in honor of the servicemen.
It was voted to replace the large service flag with a smaller flag, this to be a permanent flag. A blue star and a gold star to be placed on the flag and beneath each star a number, the number beneath the blue star representing those who had been in the service of their country and the number beneath the gold star representing those who had sacrificed their lives in the service.
Programs were given at each meeting which has been a part of nearly every meeting for many years. At the June meeting, Mrs. Mark Seliger, President of the Southern Minnesota Women's Missionary Federation spoke to our women on the Topic "Christ for every Crisis," a very fluent and interesting speaker.
The circles have made much progress from year to year. The financial support given the various projects of our Aid, Congregation and departments of the church is noteworthy.
Besides the aid given war sufferers, the Ladies Aid and circles sent gifts to the Children's Homes and Homes for the Aged. Contributions were also given to Missions, Seamen's Mission, Bible Camp Fund and library fund. The expenses connected with paint, paper and labor and the purchase of additional chairs for the Parochial School were financed by the Aid and Circles. Fifty music edition hymnals were purchased for the church and $800 were transferred to the church redecorating fund.
A change that can be noted is the number of hostesses at each Aid meeting; in the beginning one member served (voluntarily), several years later two or three served but in 1929 due to the increase in membership it was decided that six should serve at each meeting and servers to be chosen alphabetically.
The WMF program series were used as a guide in planning the programs for the Aid meetings in 1947.
A sum was designated for the purchase of additional books for the library. It was decided that our Parochial teacher, Miss Agnes Engebretson and our librarian, Mrs. J. Sjobakken, select the books with the understanding that the books be shared with the Parochial School students. It was reported that thirty volumes had been purchased and left in the Parochial School library.
The Lenten containers, Mission boxes and the Thank offering were still regular means of in-gathering.
The Aid and Circles paid the balance of the Congregation's quota for Lutheran World Action. Our Aid also contributed to Missions, Seamen's Mission, Lutheran Welfare, The Bible Camp fund and the Red Cross and boxes of gifts were sent to the Children's Homes.
Pastor Breivik, who had served our congregation for nineteen years accepted a call to St. Paul and left the first part of May. A farewell reception was given for Pastor and Mrs. Breivik April 13. Student Pastor L. Berven took over the charge in May, 1947.
Pastor J. Muller Eggen and Pastor Breivik each spent nineteen years of faithful service in Little Cedar Congregation. Eggen from January 1882 to December 1900 and Breivik from May 1928 to April 1947.
Another year has been added to our history and as the work in the Aid is resumed each year it is well to consider the great importance of God's Work which is clearly expressed by the author of the following lines: "Only one life 'twill soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last!"
As a Christian organization we have pledged to promote and support the work of our church and the opportunities for service are many. Each year more planning must be done as the amount of work increases.
In 1948 many projects were financed for our local church and contributions were given several of the departments of the General Church. Special contributions were sent to the WCAL building fund and the Sunday School at Home by mail and Radio. To complete the redecorating of the church throughout, the Aid financed the sanding and varnishing of the floor in the church, the painting of the walls and floor and the varnishing of the woodwork in the basement. Several members from each circle donated of their time to varnish the chairs. A gas stove to replace the old range and a gas plate were purchased and the supply of dishes was replenished. Additional tables and tablecloths were furnished for the dining room.
Besides the lutefisk supper and large dinners served, three smorgasbords were sponsored by the circles and a reception was given for the Public School teachers.
It was decided that the hostesses of each Aid meeting plan the program for the following meeting.
The Mission Circles were rearranged and some changes were made in the rules of procedure at meetings, devotions to be conducted by each member and the worship offering was adopted which was also adopted by the Aid.
In 1939 and 1940 a chairman was chosen to have charge of the Cradle Roll but it was decided not to sponsor this project at that time. In 1948 it was again decided to encourage enrollment in the Cradle Roll and Mrs. Berven was chosen as secretary. Seventy-nine children were enrolled, thirteen, four year olds, ten, three year olds, fourteen, two year olds, sixteen, one year olds and twenty-six born in 1948.
1949 marked another milestone in Little Cedar Congregation which was organized November 26, 1859 by Pastor C.L. Clausen and on September 11, 1949, during Pastor Berven's pastorate, a celebration was held to commemorate the ninetieth anniversary of our congregation. The proceeds from the dinner served at this festival were given to Christian Education Appeal.
The records of our Aid again show that our women planned and accomplished much for the extension of the work in the church at home and abroad.
The Alaska Missions were remembered through the Cradle Roll. Eighteen babies were enrolled and thirteen five year olds received certificates of promotion.
The Life Membership and In Memoriam department was adopted and it was decided to honor two of the older members each year. Mrs. Bertha Hukee and Mrs. Simon S. Knutson were presented with Life Membership pins, the first two women to receive this honor.
Gifts were sent by members of our Aid to Miss Sylvia Lee of Hollywood, California, who had been commissioned into Missionary service for Madagascar.
Liberal contributions were given throughout the year to Lutheran World Action, Lutheran Welfare, Children's Homes, Red Cross, Cancer Fund and Polio Funds.
Donations were also given to Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society in North Dakota, Lutheran Girls Home in Minneapolis and the WMF literature fund.
A telephone was installed in the church, some remodeling was done in the kitchen and a new sink was installed.
Meals were served for creamery meeting, reception for Public School teachers, Children's Day, Mission Sunday and a lutefisk supper and two smorgasbords were sponsored. The proceeds from the two smorgasbords, amounting to $840 were applied on the new organ purchased by the congregation.
1950 marked the seventy-fifth anniversary of Little Cedar Ladies Aid. The first meeting was held at the home of Mrs. Ole Starksen January 25, 1875.(We note this coincidence, the first meeting in 1950 was also held January 25.) The pioneer women laid the foundation for our Aid of today. They built it well for it has functioned over seventy-five years and has become a strong branch of our church.
The newly elected officers were installed by our Pastor and this was the first installation held in our local Aid.
Programs were given throughout the year and our Pastor showed films on "Holy Week."
Cradle Roll certificates were presented to fifteen new members and thirteen graduates. This department helps support mission work in Alaska and other special missions - Indian, Jewish and Negro.
Mrs. Knut Rudlong and Mrs. Edling Shaw were honored with Life Membership pins.
It was voted to pay for new collars for the Senior Choir gowns and for music needed for the Senior Choir. Fifty dollars were contributed towards the purchase of new gowns for the Junior Choir. Much credit is due the choir members, directors and organists who furnish music for our church, the service they render is often taken for granted. Music has a far-reaching purpose in the service of the church.
Extra meals served were: for the Lutheran Welfare Society meeting, a smorgasbord, reception for the Public School teachers and the Junior-Senior banquet.
As has been the custom for a few years an Easter Lily was purchased to help beautify our church for Easter. Pastor Berven's electric stove was purchased together with the Marshall Aid, for the parsonage. An asphalt tile floor was laid in the kitchen and a coffee urn was bought. The Aid and Circles purchased a new desk for the Parochial School and a mimeograph machine for the Church Office. The Aid paid the balance of the congregation's debt on the new organ purchased, several items were bought for the cemetery and records for the chimes.
Besides the regular donations and in-gatherings, donations were given to United Christian Education, to five Mission projects, to Augustana Academy, Lutheran Welfare, Chapel in Japan and to the various relief agencies sponsored by the community, The Lutheran Girl's home was remembered, a contribution was given to the WMF for literature and devotional pamphlets (this to be made one of our projects), $50 were given to be applied on groceries for a needy family in the community and a clothing drive was held in the fall.
Several of our members visited the Aase Haugen Home at Decorah, Iowa.
Pastor Berven accepted a call to California and left in June. Student A. Bidne served till October and Pastor Witte took over this charge in November.
Farewell receptions were given Pastor Berven and family and Student and Mrs. Bidne and a reception was given to welcome Pastor Witte and family.
After it became possible for our pastors to attend our Aid meetings they have contributed much to the success of our organization through their advice and meditations on God's Word.
1951 has gone down in history as another year of war and confusion. Anxieties over loved ones who have joined the armed forces have again confronted our people.
Our new corps of officers were installed by our Pastor at the January meeting.
The outline of plans for the year included some new ventures; the Aid calendar, appointment of additional department secretaries (these secretaries and other elective officers to have charge of the Aid programs) and the election of an historian.
Besides the programs given at the meetings our pastor has conducted the study of Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews.
Musical numbers and a discussion of four phases of Higher Christian Education was given at one of our regular meetings by a group of students from Luther College, Decorah, Iowa.
For the program of Life Membership and In Memorium, Mrs. Claude Bentley of Stewartville, the General Secretary of that department for the WMF, described the many projects given support through Life Membership and In Memorium contributions. She also presented Life Membership pins to two of the older members of the Aid, Mrs. Carrie Torgerson and Mrs. Nils Anderson.
Pastor Edson Hartje who has spent several years in Alaska was the speaker for the Foreign Mission program. He showed pictures taken during his stay in Alaska and gave an account of his work there.
At a special meeting of the Aid, Miss Milicent Haugebak (who was home on furlough) related her experiences as a missionary nurse in South Africa.
Mrs. Milton Haugen of Wanamingo, who formerly was employed on the staff of the Lutheran Welfare Society of Minnesota gave an interesting talk on her work in Lutheran Welfare at the November meeting of our Aid.
Programs were also given on Home Missions, Reformation, Christmas, History and Cradle Roll. Two films "The Top of the World: and "Beyond the Symbol" were also shown.
Certificates of membership were presented to eleven new members of the Cradle Roll and certificates of promotion to fourteen five year olds. Mrs. Melvin Meister has served as secretary of this department for three consecutive years.
The past year, as in previous years, splendid reports have been given by the delegates to the various meetings and conventions.
Father-Son and Mother-Daughter banquets were sponsored with appropriate program. Pastor Stanley Gjervik of Lyle and Miss Edith Thompson of the staff of St. Olaf Lutheran Church of Austin were the speakers. The men of the congregation had full charge over the Mother-Daughter banquet.
A reception was given for the Public School teachers. Several meals were served and cash donations were given in place of serving some meals.
The Thank offering lifted on Thanksgiving Day was given to Christian Education. Dime folders were used instead of the Lenten containers used in the past. These folders as well as the Mission boxes brought in substantial sums for the church's Mission budget.
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