The Follower 2024

Dear Friends in Faith,

We are well underway with the Lenten season! In fact, we will have one of our early March Easters this year. It may make you wonder, “How do we set the date for Easter each year?” We don’t know the exact date of Christ’s death and resurrection. But, we do know that it fell during the week of Passover. The Jewish Holy Days are set on the lunar calendar. Passover is always celebrated on the first full moon of spring. It is with that in mind that we know that Christ rose from the dead on the first Sunday after this event. So, the Western Church has set the date for Easter as the first Sunday after the first full moon of Spring. So, we have a 28 day window that Easter can fall. We just happen to be towards the very earliest date this year.

No matter when Easter falls, Holy Week gives to us the opportunity to step back and slowly go through the most important week in the Christian calendar. It would be hard to overestimate the importance of this week. If you took away all of the stories of Jesus and just had the story of Holy Week, it would be sufficient. St. Paul wrote that we proclaim “Christ crucified”. But, also we proclaim his resurrection over sin and death. All of this occurs during Holy Week. 

We begin with Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. This is where the crowd “gets it right”. He is the Messiah. He is the one who will save. But, the service ends on a somber note as we remember that, in order to fulfill this mission and save us, he must go to the cross.

We then enter into the Great Three Days of the church year. We celebrate Maundy (commandment) Thursday. This is the day we remember Christ giving to us a new commandment to love one another as he has loved us. We will witness that love through the death and resurrection. We also remember Christ giving to us the sacrament of Holy Communion. We proclaim the message of this week every time we celebrate this meal. The service ends with no benediction, because The Great Three Days are celebrated as one service. 

Good Friday is when we remember Christ going to the cross in order to redeem us. He becomes our savior at this moment. Christ is the one who saves us from our sins in this action. Again, there is no benediction at this service. It is the mid-point of the Great Three Days.

When we awake on Easter, we witness God’s exclamation point of approval for his son. God raises him from the dead! Indeed, as Paul says, there is nothing now that can separate us from the love of God!

Blessings to all of you for a grace filled Holy Week and beyond!

In Christ,

Pastor Matt

March Worship Assistants

Ushers: Curt Sather, Darren Sagedahl, and Eric Skeie

Acolytes: Drew Gass and Eric Wussow

Clicker: Preston Stuhl Camera:Carson Howe

Communion Helper: Stacey Larson

Altar Guild: Deanna Beckler, Marie Rauenhorst, and Bobbi Kopel

Craft Retreat

March 21-23 at 4:00 p.m.

Bring your craft of choice and supplies. Share in meals, devotion, and fellowship.

Register here

Sunday School Service Project

We are putting together care kits for Family Promise of Kandiyohi County for kids and teenagers. Family Promise is a non-profit based in Willmar, MN. Its mission is to provide shelter, meals and hospitality to homeless families in the Kandiyohi County/West Central Minnesota area. This organization provides families the needed stability to move to more permanent housing. 

We would love your help collecting the items needed for the kits.


  • Shampoo
  • Body Wash
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Chapstick
  • Socks
  • Brush/Comb


  • Deodorant
  • Body Wash
  • Facial Soap
  • Chapstick
  • Lotion
  • Socks
  • Brush/Comb

Please give only new items. Think about the recipient when making your donation, For example, buy shampoo for kids and teens, not just regular.. The kits put together by the Sunday School on March 17 and will be delivered to Family Promise in Willmar and distributed to all the children they serve.

Youth Flower Sales

Please consider buying flowers to support children and youth camps, gatherings and special events. You may place your order directly through Gertens and indicate if there's a specific child you'd like to benefit. You may also order on a Sunday morning as ELCA Youth Gathering participants will be available in the narthex. Sales end March 28. Flowers arrive May 10 STORE CODE: 338

Drive Up Ham Dinner

Sunday, April 21, 11 am -12:30 pm

Prayers of Healing and Strength 

Jon Hackmann Family

Bernie Clouse - Family & Friends

Duane Flom - Family & Friends

Chet Boen - Family and Friends

Mary Daly - Family and Friends

Prayer concerns will now be listed for one month only. If you'd like to extend or add prayers for an individual or family, please call the church office. 320-523-1574

Need Pastoral Care-Please have a family member or friend notify the church. You may also request hospital staff to call on your behalf. Call day or night at 523-1574. Never feel as though you are bothering Pastor or the staff. We are here to serve as a comfort and as a resource.

Mission Moment

One of the missions your offering has gone to help this year is the local Salvation Army. A $500 Donation was made by Cross of Calvary in 2023.

The local Salvation Army gives short term help for basic needs like food, shelter and transportation.

Thank you.

Elementary After School Ministries

After school ministries include snack, Bible stories, prayer, music, games, service and community in Christ. 3:15-5:00 PM

Jesus Justice League (Grades 1-2): March 14

GLUE (Grades 3-4): March 21

WOW (Grades 5-6): March 20

Jr. High Game Night

March 13 - 7:30-8:30 pm

Grades 7-9

Breakfast Club

Devotion, conversation, and breakfast at 7:07 am on Thursday mornings

Grades 10-12

If you'd like to cook for the youth, please sign up on the Board.

Senior High Youth Group

March 27 - 7:30 - 8:30 pm

Trivia Night!

Grades 10-12

Sunday School Sings

Sunday School kids will sing during worship on Palm Sunday, March 24. Please arrive at 8:40 am to warm up.

Cross of Calvary Lutheran Church

Council Meeting

Cross of Calvary Lutheran Church – Council Meeting

Wednesday, February 21st at 7:30 PM


COUNCIL MEMBERS             Terms end at Annual Meeting in Jan.     * Second term

2025                                                   2026                                                   2027

Elaine McDowell       2025*             Stacey Larson            2026*             Jill Hanson                 2027

Kirk Elfering              2025*             Sandra Gay                2026*             Kathy Reese               2027*

Trent Athmann           2025               Adam Dillon              2026               Robert Erickson         2027*

Keith Larson              2025*             Kelsie Aeikens           2026               Scott Johnson             2027*


Pastor Matt Hausken                         

Parish Minister – Sarah Hausken


Administrative Assistant – Laurie Denning              

President: Keith Larson                     Vice President: Jill Hanson                Treasurer: Cheryl Mallak



MEETING - Call to Order (President)

1.     AFLAC presentation

·        Mark and Wendy Jurgenson presented Aflac information to council members.

2.     Devotions – Sandy

3.     Approve minutes of January meeting – Motion to approve the minute’s by Jill Hanson, seconded by Bob Erickson, motion passed.

4.     Treasurer Report - Motion to approve the treasurer/secretary report by Bob Erickson, seconded by Scott Johnson, motion passed.

·        Cheryl gave a brief financial update. Currently the budget is looking good. Copy is on file in church office.

5.     Pastor’s Report

·        Worship Service & Confirmation:

o  Pastor Matt thanked Jill and Stacey and Linda Pederson for covering services while he was on vacation.

o  Wednesday Lenten theme is “Breathe.”

o  Attended Youth Mental Health Inservice at Bold Schools.

o  Memorial for Chase Schwer to be held on 2/24/24.

o  One wedding on 3/2/24 and several baptisms.

6.     Parish Ministers Report

·        Sister Sarah reported that Breakfast Club is back, discussion with Senior High Youth about ministries they would like to see, update on Youth Programming. See full report on file in church office.

7.     Office Report  

·        On January 18th interview committee recommended the hiring of Laurie Denning for Administrative Assistant at $20 per hour for 20-23 hours per week. Recommendation made via email. Motion made by Stacey Larson to hire Laurie Denning as Administrative Assistant, seconded by Kathy Reese. Motion passed.

8.     Maintenance Update

·        Leaking roof

           Working with West Central Roofing on leaking concerns.

9.     Committee Reports

o  Add new members to committees

·        Administration - Pastor Matt, Keith Larson, Trent Athman, Bob Erickson, Scott Johnson

o  We are currently full staffed.

o  Sister Sarah’s Call Letter was returned from the Bishop.

·        Care Team – Stacey Larson

o  Cross of Calvary to do MOW delivery for March. Stacey will coordinate.

·        Youth Education – no report.

·        Family - Elaine McDowell – no report.

·        Equipping –Pastor Matt & Keith Larson

o  Pastor Matt is leading Bible Study during Coffee Hour on Sundays.

·        Missions – no report.

·        Outreach –Pastor Matt

o  Mental Health First Aid, Hospice, Chaplin, and Sheriff’s Dept. duties continue.

·        Parish Life – Elaine McDowell, Sandra Gay – no report.

·        Technology – Pastor Matt Hausken – no report.

·        Worship & Music – Kathy Reese

o  Will be meeting to plan music selections for church services.

·        AED Maintenance – checked

10. Old Business

·        Church insurance

·        On Saturday, February 17th a motion from Trent Athmann with a second by Stacey Larson via email to approve going with Insurance Board for insurance coverage of the church and parsonage and work comp through Hartford. Motion passed with a unanimous vote.

§ We are bonded and insured. Waiting on building inspection.

11. New business

·        Motion to remove Skye Hebrink from checking account at FM Bank in Olivia MN

·        Motion to add Laurie Denning to the checking account at FM Bank in Olivia MN

·        Motion to remove Eric Skeie, Sue Altmann, and Curt Sather from the safety deposit box at FM Bank in Olivia MN

·        Motion to add Cheryl Mallek and Keith Larson to the safety deposit box at FM Bank in Olivia MN

·        Motion by Bob Erickson and seconded by Adam Dillon to approve the following: remove Skye Hebrink from checking account at FM Bank in Olivia MN. add Laurie Denning to the checking account at FM Bank in Olivia MN. remove Eric Skeie, Sue Altmann, and Curt Sather from the safety deposit box at FM Bank in Olivia MN. add Cheryl Mallak and Keith Larson to the safety deposit box at FM Bank in Olivia MN. Motion passed.

·        Sign up for communion and devotions for 2024

12. Motion to adjourn meeting by Sandy Gay seconded by Kathy Reese, motion passed.

13. Closing Prayer – Pastor Matt


Next month: Next Council Meeting, March 20th at 7:30PM

March Devotions – Stacey Larson

March communion – Stacey Larson

Parish Ministers Report here.