Caring Ministries

The Buddy Bench
What exactly is a Buddy Bench, you ask? The idea first came to my attention while attending a Sanford Health Ministry Conference on loneliness. Many people deal with feelings of loneliness each day, in our society, at church, even in our own homes. How we provide support and care for these people comes in a variety of ways, one of which is the Buddy Bench Ministry.

The idea began one day when a grade school student on a playground noticed some of the kids didn’t have anyone to play with. This student had compassion for them, and decided that she wanted to be a friend to those who looked lonely. She would sit on a bench at recess and wait for those who were alone to sit with her, then she would offer to go play with them, or to just sit and talk and be a friend to them for a while. Soon there were news stories about this compassionate caregiver of the playground, and the concept of the Buddy Bench began. Since then, the idea has taken off, with schools, hospitals, and churches putting Buddy Benches in the buildings and on their grounds. From this one little act of compassion and kindness, a whole movement began.

The Caring Ministries Team decided that we too wanted to provide a Buddy Bench for our congregation, and through the generous support of the grandchildren of Warren Jensen, this dream has become a reality. Given in memory of Warren, who was a buddy to everyone he met, the OSL Buddy Bench now sits in front of the Church Office windows, just off The Gathering Place. If you are in need of a buddy, come sit on the bench. If you would like to be a buddy to someone, come and sit on the bench. Together, enjoy the support and love that come from spending time with a friend!

—Pr. Tim Lemme

Keeping an Eye On:

Blood Pressure: Wondering what your blood pressure is and whether or not it is in the healthy range? Blood pressure checks are offered Sunday mornings in the Caring Ministries area and during the week with the Parish Nurse.

Footcare: Clinics for footcare are offered regularly at a low cost. Check the calendar for available times. To schedule, call the Church Office, 336-2942.

Exercise: Walking routes, gym time, and exercise groups are a part of the life of OSL. Check the calendar for specific opportunities.

Faith Community Nurse Visits: OSL’s Faith Community Nurse will do at-home visits upon request. Contact Michelle Anderson, Faith Community Nurse, 336-2942, ext. 28, or

Support Groups

Grief Groups meet at OSL, some regularly and some seasonally. For additional information or to register to attend the Grief Series, contact Michelle Anderson, or 336-2942, ext. 28.

Hope for Living with Illness or Cancer is for people living with a chronic illness, people who have survived cancer, and for those who have loved ones affected by someone with a chronic illness. This group meets every Tuesday afternoon at 2:00 p.m.

Memory Care Support Group meets on Saturdays, from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., in the  Conference Room. 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

OSL’S Recent Loss Group will resume on Wednesdays, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., in the Chapel, beginning on September 11. Contact Michelle Anderson, or 336-2942, ext. 28, to preregister. OSL Community Supper is available before the meeting, at 5:00 in The Gathering Place.

Faith Community Nurse

Our Savior’s was one of the first congregations in Sioux Falls to have a Parish Nurse (now knows as Faith Community Nurse) on staff, and has helped other congregations learn about and facilitate their own programs. OSL’s Faith Community Nurse is Michelle Anderson, R.N.; contact her at 336-2942, ext. 28, or

Our Savior’s also is the home of the Sanford Faith Community Nursing Center (formerly Sanford Parish Nurse Institute), housed in OSL’s Caring Ministries area. OSL and Sanford recognize that faith is not separate from a person’s being, including his or her health, and work together to enhance the ministry of the church through parish nursing. To learn more about parish nursing for your church, contact Karla Cazer, FCN Coordinator, or 336-2942, ext. 18.

A Renewed Commitment: Facing Addiction

Any time is a good 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;, Michelle Anderson (336-2942, ext. 28;, or Deb Harlan (336-2942, ext. 48;

Office Hours
8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Office Address
Our Savior's Lutheran Church
909 W. 33rd St.

Sioux Falls, SD 57105

OSL Resumed In-Person Activities on June 22. Read More Here.

In-Person Worship Services Have Resumed. Here Is the Schedule:

Festive Saturday, 5:00 p.m., Sanctuary
Celebrate, 8:45 a.m., Celebrate Center.
Festive, 10:15 a.m., Sanctuary.
Note: These service times will continue into autumn.

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