From the Senior Pastor
Imagine
Freedom

Pr. Randy Gehring

This month we celebrate as a nation Independence Day and the birth of the United States of America. For many of us, it will be a day of picnics, parades, time with family and friends, and maybe some fireworks. Each of us, at a minimum, will likely find a way to give the day its due and celebrate the freedoms we enjoy.

That’s the thing about freedom—it stirs something deep within our souls and makes us feel like partying. It’s as though we’re hard-wired for freedom, and when we experience it, our whole being resonates with joy and delight.

In June, we at Our Savior’s were invited to join in the ongoing work of achieving freedom from the burden of our mortgage debt. Mission: Possible Reignite was launched with the goal of paying off our remaining mortgage balance by the time our congregation celebrates its 75th anniversary in October 2021.

The launch of Phase II of Mission: Possible was a celebration in its own right as we announced the successful completion of Phase I, the goal of which was to reduce our mortgage balance by half in three years. The numbers tell the story: the amount we owed when we started Mission: Possible was around $4.2 million; the amount we owed at the end of 2017 was a little over $2 million; and, even more telling, the amount we are paying annually in interest went from $160,000 to $80,000!

What this means is that we have freed up $80,000 in our mission plan (budget) that can be repurposed for ministry. And there’s nothing like a little extra “wiggle room” in a budget to stir the creative juices of those ministry leaders charged with the responsibility of leading this congregation in carrying out its mission to “proclaim Christ and nurture faith that connects with everyday life.”

The ultimate goal, of course, is not extra wiggle room but complete freedom from the burden of debt in order to make more mission possible. Imagine how our shared ministry could grow when we are able to direct all of the resources God has given us toward ministry initiatives. Imagine congregational meetings in which the lion’s share of our time together is spent telling and celebrating compelling stories of how our work together has impacted people’s lives with the Good News of the Gospel rather than plowing our way through financial reports that leave us questioning the promise of God’s abundance.

If Phase I of Mission: Possible taught us anything, it is that God has blessed us with the resources we need to meet the goals we set, especially when those goals are aligned with the mission God has entrusted to us.

Now it’s time for us to pull together one last time to meet this final goal of eliminating our mortgage debt once and for all and experience the blessing of being debt-free.

If you haven’t already done so, pull out that letter you received in June, spend some time praying about it and talking it over with those in your household. Then, trusting that God will bless your gift, complete the pledge card that came with the letter and return it to the Church Office, or give a gift online at oslchurch.com. And remember: with God’s help, all things are possible. In other words, we can do this!

Finally, in your discerning, keep in mind these words from the apostle Paul in his letter to the Galatians: “For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another.” (Galatians 5:13)

Together let’s imagine and live into a future shaped by the freedom that is ours in Christ Jesus, the freedom to love and serve God and our neighbor through word and deed.

Grateful for your partnership,

Pr. Randy Gehring

Baptisms
June 2, 2018
Paisley Doray Lanners, the daughter of Dustin Lanners and Christina Snyder.

Memorials
In Memory of Joan Bakke
Arlen Viste

In Memory of Jim Dedrickson
Mavis Amundson
David and Jean Brunkow
Michael and Valarie Downs
Beverly Hallstrom
Ronald and Charlotte Kearney
Lisa Kiroff
Michael and Karen Pekas
Floyd and Carol Prouty
Arlen Viste
Glenn and Cynthia Wika

In Memory of Bessie Engstrom (mother of Sarah Abbas)
Glenn and Cynthia Wika

In Memory of Donald Fox (brother of Eleanor McMahon)
Eldon and Pauline Nelson

In Memory of Alyce Scott
Floyd and Carol Prouty

Flowers
May 20, 2018
Flowers are given in memory of Marlys H. Melsted on what would have been her 80th birthday by Gretta, Dan, Matthew, and Jacob Van Schepen, and Marino S. Melsted.

June 3, 2018
Flowers are given in honor of Louise Lund’s 90th birthday, and in memory of Paul Lund, by her children.

June 17, 2018
Flowers are given in celebration of Phyllis and Harold Krueger’s birthdays, which were on June 14 and 15, by their family.

Telecasts
May 20, 2018
Telecasts sponsored by Bryan Peters and Safe-N-Secure Security Equipment in memory of Marilyn Peters.

Your Offering Makes a Difference
Your generosity is making a real difference in people’s lives through the mission and ministry of OSL. Thank you for your faithfulness in giving and your passionate commitment to God’s work through this congregation. Your continued generosity helps us reach our congregational goal of fully funding our ministry of connecting faith to everyday life.

Ministry Support through May 31, 2018

Annual Giving
Pledged $1,849,306
Received YTD $826,829
Remaining $1,022,477
Projected YTD $781,141
Ahead/(Behind) $45,688

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