New to the OSL Communityb>
b>Welcome these new members, who were received into the OSL church family in January. The next new member orientation will be later this spring. For details contact the Church Office, 336-2942, or check oslchurch.com.
Betty and Marlin Smith
Chaz Palmer and Lindsey Buehner
Not pictured: Bryan and Meagan Hentges
by Pr. Justin Kosec
A few months ago, I had the joyful opportunity to attend the citizenship ceremony for our ministry partner Maria Cabello-Solomon, pastor at Pueblo de Dios. The wood-paneled courtroom was packed, and the judge beamed as she administered the oath to several dozen new Americans. When these new citizens introduced themselves, I was astonished at the number of countries they represented—Mexico, Iraq, Nepal, Congo, China, Canada, and many more.
On February 3, a small crew of OSL members joined the team at Peace Lutheran to distribute the 2,784 rolls of toilet paper Our Savior’s gathered in January for the Necessities for Neighbors program. Some of the team stocked toilet paper; some handed out laundry detergent; and others helped the clients “shop” for the goods provided there.
I worked in the waiting area, answering questions and helping direct traffic.
Many came for diapers, but we had to turn them away. The previous week’s bad weather meant the diaper shipment was stranded in Des Moines. Over 340 families stayed. At one point, nearly 200 people patiently waited in the narthex at Peace.
I was astonished at the diversity of the crowd. If you spoke English as a first language, you were definitely in the extreme minority. It reminded me of that day months before, when people from all over the world took their oath of loyalty to this country in the courtroom downtown.
I recognized many of them from the citizenship ceremony.
One man came up to me and showed me Christmas literature he had found in the narthex at Peace. He didn’t speak English, but he beamed as he pointed at the brochure with the baby in the manger. He showed me his phone; he had pulled up videos of Nepali Christmas carols. He gestured to himself, and to me, and he said, “Brothers! Brothers!”
On the surface, one might wonder if this man and I shared anything in common. The accident of our birth gave us different language, different culture, vastly different privileges. I have two bundles of Costco toilet paper in my basement; this man waited two hours to take home four rolls.
But he wanted me to know that if we dug a bit further, if we went beneath the language we spoke and the cars we drove and the nametags we wore and the reasons we attended Necessities for Neighbors, we would discover something much more important.
We were countrymen. And we loved the same God. He gave me a hug—the first I had received that day.
Necessities for Neighbors is a program that provides certain essentials that SNAP (food stamps) does not cover. To learn more about Necessities for Neighbors and how you may get involved the next time OSL helps with the distribution, contact Pr. Justin, email@example.com or 336-2942, 44.
Silent Auction Banquet and Youth Talent Show
Everyone is invited to the Silent Auction Banquet and Youth Talent Show on March 3. Doors open at 5:00 p.m., with dinner at 5:30 and the Youth Talent Show at 6:00. Tickets cost $10 each. Questions? Contact John, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking for engaging conversation on matters of faith and life in a fun, informal setting? Join Pr. Randy for Theology Tapped on Thursday, March 28, at 8:00 p.m., at Monk’s House of Ale Repute, 420 E. 8th St.
OSL Food Ministry
OSL Food Ministry serves breakfast on Sundays in The Gathering Place, starting at 9:30, and Wednesday dinner starting at 5:00. All are welcome! Thank you for contributing to the freewill offering to help cover expenses.
March Menus (subject to change)
3 – Pueblo de Dios will fix a special breakfast!
10 – Egg bake, caramel rolls, yogurt, orange juice, and donut holes
17 – Scrambled eggs, roasted potatoes, bacon, orange juice, and donut holes
24 – Breakfast sandwiches, tri-taters, fruit, and donut holes
31 – Cheese omelets, sausage patties, hash browns, orange juice, and donut holes
6 – Ash Wednesday – no meal
13 – Soup and pie
20 – Soup and pie
27 – Soup and pie