Augustana Lutheran Church and the Jenny Lind Chapel (JLC) in Andover will host the 47th annual Joy of Christmas Past & Present on Wednesday, December 6, 7:30 PM. Students and faculty from Augustana College join the community for this beautiful service of worship and music that starts at Augustana Church. The Christmas story will be read in several different languages. The message will be given by Dr. Christopher Whitt, Professor of Political Science at Augustana College. Augustana Campus Ministries is in charge of the service.
The service concludes with a procession to JLC, which is illuminated by 100 candles, and where Holy Communion will be celebrated to the strains of familiar Christmas carols. Refreshments will be served in Luther Hall immediately after the service. This special worship event celebrates the historic links between the two Augustanas for 157 years. Augustana Church was organized in 1850, and Augustana College was founded in 1860, both by the Rev. Lars Paul Esbjörn.
The JLC was built in the early 1850’s, and is the “Mother Church” of the former Augustana Lutheran Church in America, and founding site of the Norwegian-Danish Lutheran Church in America in 1870. It is named after the 19th century Swedish opera singer, Jenny Lind, who donated a sizable sum toward the construction of the church. Because of numerous setbacks and struggles, including a cholera epidemic, the building was not completed until 1854. It now houses the Swedish Immigrant Museum, and is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Today, the JLC is a ministry of the Northern Illinois Synod.