Jerstad to speak at community prayer breakfast
WORTHINGTON — Looking for an inspiring and uplifting event to brighten your spirits through this dreary weather?
All are encouraged to attend the 21st annual community prayer breakfast, sponsored by the local Early Risers Kiwanis Club and scheduled for Saturday at the American Reformed Church.
“I kind of think of it as a service project, because it serves the community with a fun time and inspirational speakers every year,” said Nancy Hofstee, chair of the human and spiritual values committee.
Speaking at the breakfast will be Sandy Jerstad, who was a teacher and softball coach at Augustana College for 27 years. She later became an accomplished author after publishing her book “Letters of Love,” a tribute to her late husband’s memory and a celebration of his life, after he passed away from colon cancer in 1997.
“I will be sharing a series of love stories,” Jerstad explained. “The first part is more autobiographical, and all the things I love in my life, and then I will be sharing a few stories from the book I wrote.”
The book features 26 sermons given by Mark Jerstad, a former president of The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, when he served as chaplain at Augustana College in the late ’70s and early ’80s.
Sermon topics range from forgiveness to prayer to life after death. At the end of each, are reflections — written by Sandy — that connect Mark’s messages and stories from his life and their lives as a couple.
“I hope that people can connect with my stories, and I hope it hits home a little bit,” Jerstad said.
“Whenever I go to speak it’s a blessing for me, just because of the people I get to meet and the conversations I get to have,” Jerstad added.
In addition to her career as an author, she also was a Democratic member of the South Dakota Senate, representing the 12th district. She was elected in 2006 and sought another term in 2010, but was defeated in the general election.
Jerstad was also inducted in the National Fastpitch Coaches’ Association Hall of Fame in 2000, and was featured in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd” section for reaching the 1,000-win milestone with coaching the Augustana Vikings.
“Everyone’s spirits will be lifted by listening to her story, and I think it’s a nice time to get out in the community and visit over a nice breakfast and coffee,” Hofstee said.
The community prayer breakfast will be at 8 a.m. Saturday at the American Reformed Church, 1720 Burlington Ave. Tickets are available at Ax Photo and the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as from Early Riser Kiwanis members.
Daily Globe Reporter Erin Trester may be reached at 376-7322.