March 14, 2018
Benjamin Thomas Kastens, the son of Lonnie and Carmen Kastens.
April 22, 2018
Weston George Knips, the son of Kyle and Kim Knips.
April 31, 2018
Jordan and Leland Heller, the children of Jami Heller.
In Memory of Loren Amundson
Wayne and Norma Steinocker
In Memory of Clarice Eitrheim
Jim and Leann Kvernes
Gary and Darlene Murra
In Memory of Margaret Franken
Co-workers of Stephanie Kraynick (Margaret’s granddaughter)
Floyd and Carol Prouty
Charles and Melanie Trites
Woltman Group, PC
In Memory of Roger Peterson
In Memory of Charlotte Vandewaa
April 8, 2018
Flowers given in memory of Martin and Alma Reinecke and Harold and Arlen Guthmiller by Margaret Novak.
Flowers given by the family of Jim Elmen, whose 86th birthday was March 31.
March 25, 2018
Telecasts sponsored by Bryan Peters and Safe-N-Secure Security Equipment in memory of Marilyn Peters.
April 1, 2018
Telecasts sponsored by the estate of Darrell Svendsen in honor of his mother, Ione Svendsen, who has been blessed by Our Savior’s television ministry.
April 8, 2018
Telecasts sponsored in memory of Don Hooper by his wife, Gayle, and family of daughter, Lindsey Hooper-Jansma.
From the Senior Pastor
Why We Write Letters to Congress!
This past January I traveled to Washington, D.C., as one of two representatives of the South Dakota Synod (ELCA) to attend the ELCA World Hunger Leadership Gathering. While there, I learned about the realities of hunger in the United States as well as how to be an advocate for those living with food insecurity in this country of abundance and wealth. I came away from the experience with a renewed passion for living a faith that is mindful of and responsive to the plight of my brothers and sisters who live in poverty.
One particular story shared at the three-day event spoke volumes to the choices that some of our neighbors are facing. A hunger advocate, when researching what it’s like to live on the benefits provided through the federally-funded SNAP program (formerly called Food Stamps), discovered an unexpected correlation between those benefits and the truancy rates among teenage girls in school districts where poverty has a stronghold. The advocate found that teenage girls living in households that receive SNAP benefits had much better school attendance records than did teenage girls living in households with similar income restrictions but without the federal assistance. On average, girls from the non-SNAP households were absent from school at least three to five days per month.
Upon further investigation, it turns out that those households that receive SNAP benefits have greater capacity to purchase basic supplies like feminine hygiene products than do those without the benefits. As a result, teenage girls throughout the country are missing nearly a week of school each month to avoid the embarrassment and stress related to not being able to care properly for a natural function of their bodies. It is not overstating it at all to say that these girls are at a marked disadvantage relative to the rest of their age demographic and without intervention, may struggle mightily for the rest of their lives to become contributing members of society.
Each year, Our Savior’s sponsors an Offering of Letters event in which each of us is challenged and encouraged to write letters and/or emails to our leaders in Congress on matters related to hunger and poverty. We do this as people of faith as a way of claiming and lifting up our commitment to the common good. When we advocate for investments in programs that move people out of hunger and poverty, like
- • domestic safety-net programs such as WIC, SNAP, free and reduced-price school meals, and tax credits for low-income workers, and
- • international programs like the global food security initiative, Feed the Future, and the McGovern-Dole school feeding program,
we communicate our biblical values and bedrock beliefs to our elected leaders and become part of the process by which the welfare of our neighbors living in poverty and food insecurity is improved and our communities become more stable.
The theme of this year’s Offering of Letters is “For Such a Time as This.” It references the story of Queen Esther (Esther 4), in which she risks her own position of privilege to save her people from destruction by choosing to speak up on their behalf rather than remaining silent.
May 6 is our time to speak out on behalf of our neighbors who do not have enough to eat. Join me in writing our senators and our representative to encourage them not to slash vital domestic and international anti-hunger and anti-poverty programs designed and proven to not only keep hunger at bay for millions of people but also provide the tools and incentives they need to move themselves out of poverty. Our letters, when joined with the tens of thousands of other letters that will be written as part of this year’s offering of letters, will undoubtedly, as has been the case in the past, convince our elected officials to continue to serve their constituencies with an eye toward the welfare of those who live on the fringes of society.
We know how to end hunger. Let’s stand together as people of faith to get it done.
In Christ’s love,
Pr. Randy Gehring
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 March 31, 2018