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PASTOR’S PIECE: Summer is near

What a lush pattern we’re enjoying lately. Clouds gather, and rain falls generously each afternoon or evening. We may tire of mowing our growing lawns, but only the most hardened of us will fail to be uplifted at the sight of so much green in this open, high country.

Spring is in full stride, but summer is near. It may be a good time to preview some of the events that lie ahead of us.

To mark the beginning of summer, we will host Vacation Bible School June 18–22. This year, a team of counselors from Sky Ranch Bible Camp will lead our VBS, with the assistance of a retinue of our own volunteers. As always, it will be exhausting fun to have many lively children filling the church with sound and motion.

Calling all book readers! We will convene in the upper fellowship hall on Wednesday, June 20, at 7 p.m. to discuss “Gilead” (2004) by Marilynne Robinson. It’s a Pulitzer Prize winner by a major author and should be readily available. We’ll meet again on July 25 and August 22, with book titles TBA. I’m envisioning a full table of voracious readers, so help it become a reality!

On June 26 Pastor Rebecca Aardahl and Erica McColl, together with Anessa Bensley, Seneva Sullivan and Morgan Williams, will fly to Houston for the triennial ELCA Youth Gathering. This event will draw 30,000 youth and will feature amazing speakers, bands, worship experiences and service projects. The Youth Gathering is one of our church’s signature events. It will make a significant impact not only on the youth of our church but also on the city of Houston. Our group will return on July 3.

In the middle of July, we will gather at the Hynds Lodge Amphitheater at Curt Gowdy State Park for an outdoor worship service and picnic. Invitations have been extended to our friends at Christ and St. Paul’s, too. More information can be found on Page 1 of this newsletter. Thanks to Jane Iverson for the inspired suggestion and for making the arrangements.

Another significant event will occur in early August when Vicar Katelin Bingner concludes her year of service and learning among us. Leave-takings carry a note of sadness, but the conclusion of a year of internship also carries many notes of gratitude and satisfaction. We are already laying plans to celebrate Katelin’s year with us. [Mark Sunday, August 5, on your calendars.] Our vicar has many evident gifts, including: the planning and practice of worship, acquaintance with foundational church doctrine, teaching and pastoral visitation. She is unusually gifted in the use of language and in her powers of comprehension. I’ve especially appreciated Katelin’s desire to participate so thoroughly in the preaching rotation, committee meetings, appointments and other aspects of pastoral and congregational life!

We’ve given Katelin invaluable experience, affirmation and constructive criticism. We’ve shared the love of Christ with her. We can be pleased to return her to Wartburg Theological Seminary with a fuller head and heart! Still, we’ll will miss her, not only for her abilities or deeds but also for her flashing smiles and sly remarks.

Pastor Wes Aardahl


Abby Anderson

Central High School
Daughter of Cole & Margy Anderson
Morgan Williams
Central High School
Daughter of Jason & Brenda Williams

Patrick Meier

Bachelor of Arts, Criminal Justice, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Wyoming
Son of Scott Meier and Kathy Meier

Tim Read

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Environmental Sciences with an Occupational Injury Prevention specialization, School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, Texas
Son of David & Janice Read

VBS set June 18–22

As children eagerly await the end of school, plans are being made for Vacation Bible School at Ascension Lutheran Church from 8:30 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday, June 18–22.

This year, counselors from Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp will conduct VBS. Pre-registration will be required, and forms will be available on the church’s website later this month or parents may look for them in an email.
This year’s theme, “Beyond Belief,” is based upon Ephesians 3-20: “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”

VBS is designed for children entering kindergarten through those completing fifth grade. A preschool option will also be available during the same timeframe for those who are 3 years old and diaper-free.

“We are very excited about the counselors from Sky Ranch doing our programming this year,” Kris Rude, coordinator said. “While they will provide not only their talents but also the games and crafts, we will still need to supply snacks and additional adult and youth small group helpers.” Signup sheets will be out soon for items needed.

“Most importantly, we will need to organize and staff the entire pre-school program as Sky Ranch works only with children who have completed kindergarten,” she noted. “We are looking for volunteers to help with this part.”

Contact Kris Rude at

VBS Information Sheet

VBS Registration Form

VBS youth volunteers needed

As children eagerly await the end of school, plans are being made for Vacation Bible School at Ascension For this year’s Vacation Bible School, Ascension is partnering with Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp. If you are interested in working with a team of four amazing counselors from Sky Ranch June 18–22, contact Kris Rude or Nichole Morris.

COMEA dates set for June 24 and July 29

Volunteers from the congregation are needed for the COMEA meal preparations on Sundays, June 24, and July 29. Six to eight cooks/servers are needed to prepare and serve the dinner. Food preparation starts at 2 p.m. and continues until 5:20 when the dinner is placed in vehicles for transport to COMEA. Serving takes place from 6–7 p.m., then back to the church to finish cleanup and unload utensils. A sign-up sheet is available in the narthex. For information, contact RC Reiman.

Colorado summer camp registration to be accepted

Ascension Lutheran Church will continue to offer financial assistance to its youth in the first through 12th grades to attend Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp this summer in Colorado.
The cost is as follows: Completed first- to third-grade students (Round Up) will pay $50, while the church pays $150; completed third- to fifth-grade students (Homesteaders) and completed sixth- to eighth-grade students (Mountaineers) will pay $100, while the church pays $300; completed ninth- to 12th-grade students (Rendezvous) will pay $120, while the church pays $320.
The six-day summer camps for Homesteaders and Mountaineers run June 24–29; July 8–13; July 15–20; July 22–27; July 29–August 3 and August 5–10. Round Up starts on the same date but lasts only three days. Rendezvous meets for four sessions: June 24, July 7, July 15 and July 22.
Sky Ranch is situated 55 miles west of Fort Collins. Driving from Fort Collins to the camp takes about one and a half hours.
For information or to register, contact RC Reiman, Nichole Morris, Chris Muggenburg or a Sunday school teacher. The camp’s website is www.

WELCA Bible study to meet during summer

The Women of the ECLA (WELCA) will meet throughout the summer at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesdays, June 19, July 17 and August 21, in the upper fellowship hall. Their study will be a three-session course from Gather magazine called “Let us pray” by Anna Madsen. June: session one—The paradoxes of prayer (1 Samuel 12:16-23); July/August: session two­–The practices of prayer (Psalm 19:14); and August: session three—The products of prayer (Romans 8:26-28). For information, contact Shirley Toppenberg at 634-4946.

Family Promise volunteers appreciated

For the May 20–27 rotation of Family Promise, appreciation and a heartfelt thanks go to the following: Dinner volunteers: Peggy Leland, Kari Chandler, Linda Oliverius, Patti Riesland, Shirley Kaetzer; Evening hosts: Kris Rude, Karen Ferchen, Kathy Robbins; Saturday hosts: Shirley Toppenberg, Dave and Marcia Talley, Denise Martin; Overnight hosts: Tom Kaetzer, Doug Chandler, Lynne Iversen, Margie Sewell; Transition to next church: Margie Sewell, Wally Rice; General support and encouragement: Anne McGowan; Laundry: Connie and Guntar Dambro. The next rotation is August 12–19.

These little piggies want new homes

During the children’s sermon May 20, Kari Chandler of the Social Concerns Committee kicked off Ascension’s drive to raise funds for ELCA World Hunger.
Although monies can purchase cows, goats, chickens, honeybees, fish farms, and oxen and a plow, Kari used the example of the big difference a pig can make in an impoverished family. For $30, a pig can soon have up to 16 piglets, which can be kept, sold and given to neighbors.
Donations from the congregation may be placed in the “big pig,” created by the Hohn family, or in the smaller, take-home “piggy banks.” The drive will end after Vacation Bible School. With your gift, a family can escape the cycle of hunger and poverty for good.

Worship with the Birds and the Bees

When: Sunday, July 15
When: 10 a.m. (in lieu of 9:30 service)
Where: Hynds Lodge Amphitheater [Take Happy Jack Road toward Laramie, past the main entrance to
Curt Gowdy State Park; turn right on Hynds Lodge Road and right again on Amphitheater Road.] What to bring: Food and drink for you or to share for a picnic afterward.
Who’s invited: The people of Ascension, St. Paul’s and Christ Lutheran churches—and anyone else.
Those needing transportation may call the church well ahead of time; we’ll try to arrange for carpooling.

Vicar farewell party

After worship on Sunday, August 5, the Intern Committee plans a celebration to honor Vicar Katelin as she completes her contact with Ascension on August 7 and returns for another year of seminary.

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