A Renewed Commitment: Facing Addiction 2017
The beginning of a new year is a natural time for people to examine their lifestyle and attempt to eliminate unhealthy habits. Have you been thinking that your alcohol consumption is excessive or problematic? Are you turning to illicit substances to help you cope with the stresses of life, or are you beginning to abuse a drug that was prescribed to you? Are others concerned for you? Or are you perhaps concerned for someone you love? Help is available.

Our Savior’s identifies itself as a Community Facing Addiction, together with other churches in the area who believe that addiction recovery isn’t about making bad people good, it’s about getting sick people well, because addiction is a chronic disease. And our faith teaches us, “The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2 Corinthians 3:17)

OSL’s partnership with Face It TOGETHER Sioux Falls provides free, confidential recovery coaching in Face It TOGETHER’s office, 5020 S. Tennis Ln., #4, or by telephone, 274-2262. Face It TOGETHER Sioux Falls’ Recovery Coaches provide individuals and family members with informal, personalized service over an extended period of time. They help clients overcome barriers to addiction wellness and develop skills and knowledge to manage their disease and stay well. Coaches use their training and experience to provide structure, hold clients accountable to their goals, and act as advocates. What’s more, OSL has trained Recovery Advocates who can speak with you confidentially in a peer-to-peer relationship.

OSL’s Recovery Advocates are Bruce Hasche, Bruce Peterson, Carol Prouty, Michelle Anderson, Deb Dodge Harlan, and Delaine Shay. You may contact one of them by calling Caring Ministries, 336-2942, or you may speak directly to a Recovery Coach at Face It TOGETHER Sioux Falls, 274-2262.

Would like to be trained to help others as a Recovery Advocate? Contact Pastor Tim Lemme (336-2942, ext. 19; tlemme@oslchurch.com), Michelle Anderson (336-2942, ext. 28; mianderson@oslchurch.com), or Deb Harlan (336-2942, ext. 48; dharlan@oslchurch.com).

Spring Women’s Gathering
It’s not too soon to mark your calendars for OSL’s Spring Women’s Gathering, on Saturday, April 1, from 8:00 to 11:30 a.m., in The Gathering Place. The presenter is a past member, Ann Marie Rossing, who will be speaking on “Forgiveness.” Plans for music and other special features are still in the works—stay tuned for details!

Stephen Ministry
A New Year’s Invitation, by Margot Nelson

I recently saw this anonymous quotation: “No one can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” As we all approach the start of a new year, perhaps this thought can inform what we do and the choices we make. The crux of the quote is that no matter what is happening in our lives, we have the opportunity every day to begin again right where we are, making things better in our lives.

One opportunity that may fit for a reader of this article is the start of a new Stephen Ministry training course at Our Savior’s in January—January 10, to be exact. The content of the course is relevant to all of our lives, whether or not one chooses to be commissioned as a Stephen Minister. It is an opportunity to grow—personally, spiritually, professionally (in all dimensions of one’s life). The course prepares one to live life in a new way—being Christ (or at least an emissary for Christ’s love) to other people. Those who have taken the course feel that all of their relationships are enhanced through the development (or reinforcement) of listening skills, assertiveness, abilities to minister to those in grief, ways to respond to crisis, and trust in God’s ability to use caring Christians to convey love and concern for others.

Stephen Ministers enter into one-on-one relationships with care-receivers who can benefit from someone who will provide care and support at difficult times in their lives. They are sometimes described as “after people”—from the perspective of the care receiver, Stephen Ministers can be there after…
• The phone call you hoped you would never get.
• The funeral, when everyone has left and the emotions you’ve held at bay come crashing in.
• The relationship falls apart and the bottom falls out of your live.
• The doctor says, “I’m sorry, but there’s nothing more we can do.”
• The nursing home director shakes your hand and says “Welcome to your new home.”
• The last child honks the horn, waves and drives away—and the house suddenly seems empty.
• The baby arrives, demanding more of you than you ever dreamed possible.
• You find a pink slip with your final paycheck.
• Your family and friends have heard your story one too many times, but you still need to talk.

In these and many other less dramatic circumstances, Stephen Ministers are ready to come alongside you—or your friends, neighbors, coworkers, or relatives—and provide comfort and support for as long as needed.

“Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2


OSL Women of the ELCA
Christian Faith and Christian Freedom: No Other Gospel, by Tami Skorczewski

“Yet we know that a person is justified not by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by doing the works of the law, because no one will be justified by the works of the law.” Galatians 2:16

In our current Bible study, from Gather (gathermagazine.org), Paul explains that we are justified by grace through faith in Christ—an idea central to Luther’s understanding of the Christian tradition.

WELCA’s First Gathering of the New Year
The January Social will be held on Saturday, January 7, at 10:00 a.m., in the Friendship Room. WELCA board members will provide light refreshments; there is no charge. The morning will include a short Bible study and fellowship; installment of officers for 2017; the 2016 final budget report and 2017 proposed budget; and the introduction of 2017’s Unit Wide Mission Projects. The 2017 slate of officers is:
President – Tami Skorczewski
Vice-President – Jodie Nielsen
Treasurer – Toni LeVasseur
Secretary – Valori Maher
Missions – Sandy Fischer
Advisors – Lori Tendler and Karen Schwartz

WELCA Programs for 2017
• January Social, Saturday, January 7
• Sweets for Your Valentine Fundraiser, Sunday, February 12
• Annual Mother/Daughter Luncheon, Saturday, May 13
• Group Activity (Wednesday Night), July TBD
• Fall Luncheon, Saturday, September 30
• Pie & Lefse Sale Fundraiser, Sunday, November 19
• Christmas Luncheon, Saturday, December 2

“Whether we want them or not, the New Year will bring new challenges; whether we seize them or not, the New Year will bring new opportunities.” – Michael Josephson

Tami Skorczewski
OSL WELCA President

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, January 4, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Call the Church Office, 336-2942, to schedule your appointment.

Living with Chronic Illness
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, Faith Community Nurse, 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).
Wednesdays, January 11 and 25, 9:30 a.m., Sonshine Rm.
2nd Saturday Knitters, January 14, 9:30 a.m., Sonshine Rm.

Good Grief
Every Thursday at 10:00 a.m. in Room 103. Offers support to anyone dealing with loss and crisis in their lives.

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.

Memory Care Support Group
Saturdays, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., Friendship Room or Chapel. For caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s and dementia, the group is a place for caregivers to share and to receive understanding and empathy. Contact Michelle Anderson, Faith Community Nurse, 336-2942, ext. 48, or mianderson@oslchurch.com.

Hope for Living with Illness or Cancer
For a time, the group was called the Cancer Support Group. More recently it has been known as Living with Chronic Illness. Now, continuing the evolution of the group and growing understanding of illnesses, the group will be known as Hope for Living with Illness or Cancer. It will continue to meet on Tuesdays at 2:00 P.M., in the Friendship Room. And it will continue to provide support and encouragement to anyone struggling with cancer or any other illness. New members are always welcome. Consider inviting a friend that needs hope for living with their illness or cancer.

Why the change? The intent is to emphasize “hope” and “living.” Many have survived their cancer treatments and continue to inspire others. Some who attend our group are struggling with various forms of physical and mental illnesses. Through it all, the group maintains a positive outlook, and laughter is experienced weekly!

Members of OSL’s ministry partner, Pueblo de Dios, have asked to participate in the group, so OSL is partnering with the ELCA Ayuda Ministry Team to work with Spanish-speaking neighbors, which has been mutually enriching.

The group’s next devotional book Stories of Hope for a Healthy Soul, incorporates words from scripture to encourage and help us through difficult times. If you would like to stop receiving weekly reflections from the group, call Caring Ministries, 336-2942, ext. 28, and leave a message for Michelle Anderson, RN, the Faith Community Nurse.

Building Spiritual Strength
The Sioux Falls Vet Center and Pastoral Care Department of the Sioux Falls VA Health System are hosting spiritual support groups called Building Spiritual Strength. These groups are for veterans who have survived difficult and/or traumatic experiences.

Building Spiritual Strength Groups help veterans reduce spiritual and psychological distress and help them use meditative practices (such as prayer) to aid in healing/readjustment.

Two groups will begin in 2017 in Sioux Falls:

Tuesday, January 17, through Tuesday, March 7, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.,
First Lutheran Church, 327 S. Dakota Ave. (use canopy entrance)

Tuesday, March 21, through Tuesday, May 9, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.,
St. Michael Parish, 1600 S. Marion Rd.

Both groups are open to veterans of all religious faiths and spiritual practices. Group members must commit to meeting once a week for eight weeks.

If you are interested in participating in a Building Spiritual Strength group, contact the Sioux Falls Vet Center, 330-4552.

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