At the OSL congregational meeting on July 26, 2020, attendees were informed of an exciting new undertaking that emerged from discussions among the South Dakota Synod, Church on the Street, and Our Savior’s—the upshot being that Pr. Shelly Gehring has accepted a one-year interim position that will divide her time between Church on the Street and OSL’s Youth and Family Ministry.
Upon being presented with the news, attendees responded with enthusiastic applause.
The creation of this interim position was a long process. It began with the synod office being aware of OSL’s pastoral vacancy following Pr. Sami Johnson’s departure and looking for ways to provide increased support to Rebel Hurd, mission developer for Church on the Street. The synod office proposed a partnership that would serve both ministries: a one-year pilot without a long-term commitment by either party. Pr. Randy and the Governing Board agreed to explore the options.
A number of candidates were considered during that time of exploration; eventually the synod office, the board of directors of Church on the Street, and the OSL Governing Board decided to be in touch with Pr. Shelly. Following interviews and several more meetings by the parties involved, the decision was made to enter into the one-year appointment. This arrangement was unanimously approved by the Governing Board at its meeting on July 16 (with Pr. Randy abstaining) and by the Board of Directors of Church on the Street at their meeting on July 13.
This promises to be an exciting arrangement for OSL and Church on the Street, as well as the South Dakota Synod, but final details are still pending. The next step in the process is for Bishop Constanze Hagmaier to deliver the paperwork that will make it all official. The covenant will then be signed by Pr. Shelly, Bishop Constanze, Rebel Hurd and the COTS board president, and OSL board president Dan Van Schepen and Senior Pastor Randy Gehring. It should be noted that this is not a call, but rather an appointment made by the South Dakota Synod. At the end of the one-year term, the arrangement may be reconsidered.
As the process continues, updates will be posted to this page.
If you have any questions about Pr. Shelly’s assignment, you are welcome to contact any member of the Governing Board.