OSL Responds to COVID-19
Pastoral Letter #42
Week of 21 April 2021

Dear Our Savior’s,

When Jesus first saw his friends after the Resurrection, he said, “Peace be with you!” One week later, when he again appeared to them, he said, “Peace be with you!” God’s peace was news they did not yet understand. So Jesus repeated this greeting until it sunk into their bones.

In the midst of another week of busy schedules and tumultuous news and health concerns and so much more, we remember that God calls to us with this age-old greeting of peace. Peace be with you! Do you feel God’s peace? If not, hear the message again and again: God’s peace be with you.

COVID–19 Protocols
As you’ve heard us say in worship, we’ve had to roll back certain pandemic guidelines to respond to an increased average of daily new COVID-19 cases in our two-county area. At the time of writing, our 14-day average of new cases was 78. When that average sinks below 75 for two consecutive weeks, then we can sing once more.

It’s challenging to pinch shut our lips during vibrant Easter hymns. Even so, we have been heartened to hear your voices as you’ve joined us in the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed, confession and forgiveness, and more. We’re also honored by your loving commitment to maintain mask-wearing and social distancing here in our church building—and out in the community.

Save the Date!
You are invited to a party (remember those?), a celebration of 75 years of good and faithful ministry at this place we know and love as Our Savior’s. That’s right, OSL turns 75 this year and we are planning a grand celebration later this fall under the theme “Lifting High the Cross: OSL at 75.”

It’s too early for details at this point so for now put a big red “X” on your calendars on October 31, 2021. That will be the culminating festival of a week-long celebration of our diamond anniversary.

Celebrate Earth Day, April 22
Earth Day is this week, a time for us to stop and reflect on the condition of the beautiful and fragile globe we call home as well as our role as stewards of creation. The realities of climate change are becoming more and more apparent. Not only is the earth’s atmosphere warming at an alarming rate, but the science community agrees that much of it is being caused by human activity. Earth Day is a natural opportunity for people of faith to ponder, repent, and recommit themselves to a life in service to all of God’s good creation.

This is also the time of year when gardens and fields are being tilled and planted. Here is a link to a Garden Blessing that we offer to you as a way to both honor the land you will work this spring and commit to caring for the earth and all who inhabit it.

Our Ministry of Prayer
This week we invite you to pray for those who faced health challenges this week, including Alan Stanga and Kaydance Horsley. Join us in giving thanks for the baptism of Theodore Cosand, son of Drew and Kelsey Cosand. Also, please pray for Pr Tim as he continues his sabbatical. He’s out until July 13, so ask God to give him renewal, respite, and restoration during this time.

Each of us remains grateful for you,

Your pastors at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church
Randy Gehring,
Tim Lemme,
Justin Kosec,
Shelly Gehring