OSL Responds to COVID-19
Pastoral Letter #4
Week of 7 April 2020

Dear OSL Family,

We greet you in the name of the One who live, suffered, died, and rose again so that the world might know the length and breadth and depth of God’s love for all creation. As we make our way through unprecedented challenges, may God’s promised love and faithfulness provide you with courage, healing, and hope.

Holy Week 2020
This is Holy Week in the Church around the world, but this year’s observance of the dramatic and history-altering story of Jesus’ betrayal, crucifixion, burial, and resurrection will be vastly different from our normal and familiar practices. Even so, hearing and engaging this powerful story may be more important today than ever before, so join us wherever you are and whenever you can; here’s the schedule for the week:

    Maundy Thursday, April 9, 6:30 p.m., Facebook worship event.
    Good Friday, April 10, 6:30 p.m., Facebook Live; 9:00 p.m., KTTW.
    Holy Saturday, April 11, devotional video posts on Facebook, on the hour, 12:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.
    Easter Sunday, April 12, Celebrate Worship: 8:45 a.m., Facebook Live; 9:00 a.m., KTTW. Festive Worship: 10:15 a.m., Facebook Live; 1:00 p.m., KSCB

Secondly, we extend a huge Thank You to each of you for your support of the mission and ministry of Our Savior’s. As we have been scrambling to prepare and carry out worship and devotional experiences for you and the broader community during this time of social distancing, we have heard from so many of you words of gratitude and encouragement. Your love and support builds us up and strengthens us in these days when everything seems to be changing and nothing is very easy. Remember, we are church together; we share a mission to proclaim Christ and nurture faith that connects with everyday life – no matter what. Thank you for your partnership.

Also included with this pastoral letter is your statement of financial contributions for the first quarter of 2020. As a way to steward wisely our resources, we decided to combine the statement mailing with this pastoral letter. We provide this information periodically each year to convey to you that the ministry we share depends on contributions from all of us, regardless of size or frequency.

We understand that the circumstances we find ourselves in today may affect what you are able to give right now. If you are struggling financially because of loss of income and need assistance with getting connected to the resources available in our community, please contact us at Our Savior’s and we will do everything we can to help you.

We are living in increasingly uncertain economic times, but in the midst of all that, we want you to know that we value your partnership and we thank you for your faithful support.
COVID-19 Resource
Another function of these letters is to distribute key information regarding how we can best live out our vocation of serving our neighbor in the fight against COVID-19. You will find enclosed with this letter a very helpful resource from the City of Sioux Falls.

On a related note, we prayed for healthcare workers and first responders in worship this past weekend. We will continue to hold them in our prayers along with all those who serve in “essential” roles throughout our community. We encourage you to do the same.

Pastor Sami’s Farewell
Please remember that we will be releasing Pastor Sami from her call as Pastor of Youth and Family and saying goodbye to her and Susanna in less than two weeks. As an alternative to a reception here at church, we are inviting you to shower her with cards and greetings so that she will know without a doubt how much her ministry has meant to you and your loved ones. Please mail your cards to the church by April 17, 909 W. 33rd Street, Sioux Falls, SD 57105. We will present them to her in worship on April 19 when we bid her farewell and Godspeed.

A Final Note
Even though our observance of Holy Week will be different this year, we encourage you to cling to these familiar words from Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” God’s promises for you are everlasting. May your experience of worship and community this week strengthen you for each new challenge and bring you peace.

In Christ’s love,

Your pastors at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church,
Rev. Randy Gehring,
Rev. Tim Lemme,
Rev. Sami Johnson,
Rev. Justin Kosec