Friendship Club
Julie O’Connor of Hidden Treasure Estate Sales will be the guest presenter at the April Friendship Club. Julie will explain the services she offers to help people get a home ready to sell. Bring a friend or two to Friendship Club on Tuesday, April 18, at 10:30 a.m., in the Friendship Room, followed by lunch in The Gathering Place.

Here We Walk
Here We Walk: A Reformation Journey with Martin Luther will begin on Sunday, April 9. Pick up a map of significant places in Luther’s Germany, then follow in his footsteps by keeping track of your physical activity—walking, swimming, yoga, aerobics…anything that gets you moving counts! If you exercise 30 minutes every day, you will complete the journey in six weeks. Maps are available in Caring Ministries.

Ask the Expert
OSL’s Ask the Expert is an informal gathering in which anyone may share questions and concerns with experts from across the community. Ask the Expert meets at 10:00 a.m. in Caring Ministries unless otherwise noted.

On April 23, Allison Houg will speak on the Benefits of Mindfulness and Yoga, in preparation for the upcoming series integrating Yoga and the Lord’s Prayer. Meets in the Friendship Room.

On April 30, Priscilla Thornton, Active Generations nutritionist, will speak about Meals on Wheels, a valued community service that OSL has participated in for many years.

Yoga and the Lord’s Prayer
All are welcome to Yoga and the Lord’s Prayer, taught by Gretchen Borgum, a certified yoga instructor who leads regular classes at First Lutheran Church and other locations in the community. Class will meet on Mondays,
April 24, May 1, May 8, and May 15, from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m., in the Labyrinth Room. Cost (supplemented by Thrivent) is $5 per class. No pre-registration required. Bring your own yoga mat if possible; a limited number of mats will be available.

Health Ministries
Our Savior’s has a number of ongoing health ministries that meet on a weekly or monthly basis. Feel free to join any of the following sessions. For more information, contact Michelle Anderson, Faith Community Nurse, 336-2942, ext. 48, or mianderson@oslchurch.com.

Footcare Clinic
Cost is $25 per person. Wednesday, April 5, 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Call the Church Office, 336-2942, to schedule your appointment.

Hope for Living with Illness or Cancer
Every Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. in the Friendship Room. People and their families who have or are experiencing the challenge of cancer are welcome. If you cannot attend, but would like to be on our prayer and devotional mailing list, contact Michelle Anderson, 336-2942, ext. 48, or mianderson@oslchurch.com.

Knitting/Crocheting Ministry
Learn how to knit or crochet prayer shawls (to be given to people to remind them of God’s presence and love in their lives) and mittens and scarves (for missions).
Wednesday, April 12 and 26, 9:30 a.m., Sonshine Rm.
2nd Saturday Knitters, April 8, 9:30 a.m., Sonshine Rm.

Recent Loss Group
Wednesdays, March 15 through April 12, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., in the Chapel. Contact Michelle Anderson, 336-2942, ext. 28, or mianderson@ oslchurch.com, to preregister. OSL Community Supper is available before the meeting, at 5:00 in The Gathering Place.

Good Grief
Every Thursday at 10:00 a.m. in Room 103. For anyone dealing with loss and crisis in life.

Memory Care Support Group
Saturdays, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., Room 103. For caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s and dementia, a place to share and to receive understanding and empathy. Contact Caring Ministries, 336-2942, for information.

Pickleball
OSL-sponsored Pickleball: Mondays,
8:00 a.m. to noon and 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.; Tuesdays, 8:00 a.m. to noon; Wednesdays and Fridays, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.; Thursdays, 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Stephen Ministry
Can You Hear Me Now?, by Margot L. Nelson

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Remember a few years ago when cell phone reception was less reliable than it is now? One of the cell phone network vendors tried to illustrate the superiority of their network by showing the customer of a competitive network struggling to gain reception, climbing higher and higher on a hill, for example, and asking frequently, “Can you hear me now?” Although cell phone reception has improved, sometimes we’re not so sure about our communications with each other and with God—either face-to-face or by way of an electronic device. Does God hear us when we pray? Do we hear God’s voice, or the voice of the Holy Spirit?

It may be hard to confirm that our communication with God has been heard, that our communication network has sufficient power to convey our voices. There is really no indicator, like the number of bars on our cell phones, to let us know the line is open. And God’s answer may not be audible or visible. But that’s because prayer is a relationship of faith, defined in Hebrews 11 as the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see. The Bible tells us God is there, he is listening, and he is involved in our everyday lives. And as Hebrews says, by having faith in that, we can be certain of what we cannot see…or hear.

So how can we know that God hears us? Friends tell me that sometimes there’s a quiet, inaudible “voice” inside them that prompts them to do something. Others describe it as feeling a gentle nudge. Some people say they experience some sort of sign—as simple as a song that comes on the radio—that gives them solid confidence that God is speaking. Others sense God’s presence in nature. There are also times when the Holy Spirit answers in the form and voice of a human being—referred to by some as angels in our midst. They may be friends, family members, Stephen Ministers, pastors, or even strangers. We all have opportunities to be witnesses to our fellow human beings, to reveal the presence and love of God, to increase the number of bars in the communication system, to assure that God can hear them now.

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10

OSL Women of the ELCA
Freed in Christ through Faith, by Tami Skorczewski

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.”
Galatians 5:22, 25

Bible Study. Christian freedom is the theme Paul has been building toward throughout
Galatians. In this chapter, Paul begins encouraging the Galatians to put their faith to work in service of others. ((Source: gathermagazine.org.)

Sweets for Your Valentine Update. WELCA’s first fundraiser of the year was held on Sunday, February 12, in The Gathering Place. Thank you to the WELCA women who provided the yummy treats, and a big thank you to OSL members for supporting this sweet fundraiser. We collected $422, which will go toward the 2017 Unit Mission Project, “OSL WELCA Has it in the Bag.” Our first project will be Comfort Bags, to be given to patients going through cancer treatment.

Upcoming Events: All women and their daughters are cordially invited to WELCA’s Annual Mother/Daughter Luncheon on May 13, beginning at 11:00 A.M., in The Gathering Place. The speaker will be Valerie Echter, a holistic health and lifestyle coach. Look for additional information in the weekly bulletin announcements. Tickets will go on sale in mid-April.

Happy Easter!

Words Matter, by Anne Rieck McFarland

Anne Rieck McFarland, OSL member and CEO of LifeScape, wrote this editorial for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in March. It appears here with her permission.

Although this isn’t a new topic, it continues to be an important one: words matter. They impact how we think, feel, act, and ultimately, how we relate to one another. March is Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. I am using this as an opportunity to ask you to pause and critically think about how you react and respond when you are around a person with a disability. How do you describe the person to others? Do you feel bad? Are you uncomfortable and unsure of what to say or do? Would you prefer to avoid the person altogether?

My purpose in asking is to invite you to consider replacing your own discomfort with an openness to engage and understand the person you are meeting. I also invite you to consider the words you use in talking about another. A person with a disability is a person. They are not the disability and that disability should in no way define who they are. People who have a disability should be offered the same respect as anyone else. Slang terms that are sometimes used are hurtful and disparaging.

I am honored to work with people with disabilities every day and this is what I know to be true: they are my friends. They are there for me when I am happy and when I need support. They are people of different ages and interests. Some enjoy art and others enjoy sports. Some use words to communicate, and others are better suited to using gestures, expressions, and communication styles other than words. Each of my friends is unique and interesting. They have feelings and they know when someone genuinely cares about them.

Let’s use Intellectual and Developmental Disability Awareness Month in March to learn more about respectful language and to have more meaningful interactions with those around us. When we put the person first, we acknowledge their humanity first—and let’s ask ourselves—does the disability need to be mentioned at all?

People with disabilities, no matter what age or what disability they may have, are people first. Like each of us, they have individual personalities, interests, abilities, and needs. To learn more, visit LifeScapeSD.org/IAm. You’ll find downloadable flyers on People-First Language and Disability Respect and Etiquette. I hope you’ll find this information useful in your everyday interactions—in your businesses, classrooms, churches, service groups, or families. We are all people first!

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