Art of Marriage: A Follow-Up
The small-group series the Art of Marriage: A Biblically Centered Study of God’s Design for Marriage met for seven weeks in October and November. Participants—newlyweds through “seasoned” married couples—viewed videos designed to spark discussion. Laura Wong facilitated the series, and offers these items of feedback from a couple of participants:

I have appreciated meeting with our marriage group. It is nice to be able to look at marriage issues that many people go through from different perspectives. I think it is important to take time to work on our most important relationships, with God and with our spouses. This has been very helpful and I have enjoyed the fellowship. —Kristen Steen

My husband and I have thoroughly enjoyed our time in the marriage class. We have been able to connect with other couples in a small group setting, giving us an opportunity to get to know others at OSL. In addition, the material and discussions, with couples who have been married for a few years or many years, have been both thought-provoking and enriching, giving everyone in the class a chance to discuss the wonderful complexities of marriage in a positive, faith-centered environment. —Gretta Melstad Van Schepen

The Art of Marriage could be offered again, if there is sufficient interest. Contact Laura Wong, 582-4212.
Opportunities to Serve: Boards at Our Savior’s
The Nominating Committee is responsible for recruiting members to serve on OSL’s ten boards, filling officer positions, and selecting nine members to serve as voting members to the South Dakota Assembly. Most of the committee’s work in done in November through January, prior to the annual meeting of the congregation.

Each of the boards has nine members, one of whom is the chair and a Congregational Council representative. Boards meet once per month at various times. Each board works with a pastor and/or other staff member. Let’s take a quick look at what each of these boards does:
    • Caring Ministries supports a holistic health ministry for the congregation, working with the Faith Community Nurse. They are involved in health and well-being education.
    • Church in Society aids the congregation in serving human needs in local and global communities. They encourage support of ELCA programs for missions and hunger.
    • Congregational Life plans monthly activities for members such as Game Night, OSL Dining Out, new member orientation, and Midnight Madness.
    • Deacons work with the pastoral staff to provide spiritual growth opportunities, and also administer the distribution of sacraments.
    • Education plans Sunday and Wednesday School activities and curriculum, and organizes children’s summer activities.
    • Finance is chaired by the congregation’s treasurer as they create the operating budget, manage finances, and work with the auditor.
    • Outreach promotes and publicizes activities and ministries of the congregation and oversees the broadcast, print, and electronic media. They also develop ideas to recruit new members.
    • Property reviews facility budget and oversees the maintenance of the church property.
    • Senior Ministries plans programs to inform and entertain senior members and encourage their walk in faith. Birthday cards are delivered to members age 80 and over.
    • Stewardship and Benevolence develops, plans, and leads the annual campaign for operational support, and determine how benevolence dollars should be spent.
    • Worship and Arts works with staff and pastors to assist and improve the worship experience, enhance the aesthetics of worship spaces, and plan worship schedules.
    • Youth works with the Youth Director to plan year-round programs and spiritual growth for youth. They also provide recognition of accomplishments such as confirmation and graduation.
    • Nominating is a committee, not a board, so the chair does not sit on the Council. Members are recruited to serve on the Nominating Committee during the same time as other boards.
Consider how you can offer your interests and talents as a member of one of these boards! You will meet new people and be part of an exciting adventure serving your congregation!

Contact a member of the Nominating Committee to learn more: Pam Hanneman and Carol Oakland, co-chairs; Barb Vogel, Tom Berkeland, Dean Buckneberg, Jackie Payne, Jerry Tieszen, Chris Fischer, and Monica Mauer.
Theology Tapped
If you’re looking for engaging conversation on matters of faith and life in a fun, informal setting, join Pr. Randy for Theology Tapped on Thursday, December 28, from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m., at Monk’s House of Ale Repute, 420 E. 8th St.
Upcoming LifeGroup Opportunity
Coming in January, Our Savior’s will offer a new worship series based on the inspiring movie All Saints. The series will start the weekend of January 21–22 and run through February 10–11. You may then take that experience to the next level by participating in a LifeGroup small group study based op the sermon series. Watch for more information after Christmas.
Call Accepted!
The Rev. Justin Kosec has accepted OSL’s call to serve as Pastor of Outreach and Communication, and will come on board after the first of the year. OSL members voted unanimously to extend the call at a congregational meeting on October 15.

Earlier in November Pr. Justin and his wife, Susanne, were in Sioux Falls finalizing the purchase of a home. The Kosecs and their infant daughter, Amariah, have been living in Smithtown, N.Y., where Pr. Justin served as pastor at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church.

The Kosecs are originally from this region. Pr. Justin received his B.A. at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisc., and an M.A. at Luther Seminary. He also holds a master’s degree from Creighton University in Omaha, and an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School. Pr. Justin had been active in ministry for several years before pursuing ordination.

In a ministry statement prepared for the call committee and shared with the congregation via PowerPoint, Pr. Justin emphasizes several goals, including fellowship in worship, preaching from passion, faithfulness through honesty, teamwork before individualism, humor despite pain, and grace beyond shame, among others. In describing his areas of expertise and strength, he lists volunteer coordination, Christian education, developing interpersonal climate, innovation, and creativity. “I love motivating people to find their gifts for ministry and engage in meaningful service,” Pr. Justin shares in a statement. “I love planning worship and presiding at the altar, which is a profound experience of humble hospitality.” (You’ll find the PowerPoint presentation and more information about Pr. Kosec on the call process page.)

The OSL community looks forward to welcoming the Kosecs in person in a few weeks. Please continue to keep the Kosec family in your prayers as they undertake their relocation to Sioux Falls.
A Note of Thanks
From the South Dakota Synod office staff:

Dear Our Savior’s,

Thank you for your generous donation toward the Reformation 500 worship service. We are grateful for your gifts as we commemorate this milestone in our church’s history.

Blessings to you as you continue to proclaim and live the Good News of Jesus Christ in your congregation.

Yours in Christ,
The South Dakota Synod, ELCA

This communion set was one of 40 used at the South Dakota Synod’s Reformation 500 worship service on November 1. Congregations were invited to purchase a set for use during the service and to keep afterward as a memento of the milestone. OSL’s set is currently in the Chapel.

Another Note of Thanks
Church on the Street is an ELCA mission development among the homeless community of Sioux Falls and one of OSL’s mission partners. Earlier this autumn, an OSL women’s Bible study group organized the assembly of snack bags for COTS to distribute to those they serve. This comes from Rebel Hurd, COTS Mission Developer:

Dear Our Savior’s Women’s Bible Study Group,

I pray today that this finds you healthy, happy, and grounded in keeping the Word of God central to all we do.

Thank you so much for caring for the least of these, our brothers and sisters on the streets. Your energy to lead such and amazing project for COTS, your gifts of time, and your trust and commitment to God through the blessing of the gifts—wow! Thank you very much.

We are truly blessed to be blessed by you!

Cheerfully in Christ,
Rebel Hurd

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