OSL Responds to COVID-19
Pastoral Letter #32
Week of 16 December 2020

Dear Our Savior’s,

Celebrate Center Christmas TreeThis week’s letter is written with a degree of urgency as our annual Christmas celebrations are now just a week away. We are calling upon each of you to do your part in creating a safe and hospitable worship environment for everyone who will join us to celebrate the birth of the Christ child.

OSL Pandemic Protocols
As we strive to follow Jesus’ command to love our neighbor, it is vitally important that we not only familiarize ourselves with the protocols the Governing Board has put in place for when we gather but also that we commit to following them. This is a matter of holy hospitality.

• Stay home when you don’t feel well OR if you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID–19.

• Wear a mask over your mouth and nose. Masks are required indoors at OSL.

• Keep at least six feet of distance between yourself and others who are not part of your household.

• Wash your hands with soap and water regularly and use hand sanitizer.

Spread the Word
If you are planning to attend Christmas worship at OSL with family and/or friends from out of town, share these safety measures with them and impress upon them our mission to provide a safe worship experience for everyone who will gather for Christmas at OSL. We will have plenty of masks available for those who arrive without one.

Christmas at OSL

Christmas Eve

• A one-hour Festive Christmas Eve worship service will be broadcast on FOX at 9:00 p.m. on December 24. (This service will be rebroadcast on Sunday, December 27,at 9:00 a.m.)

• Three 30-minute in-person worship services will be held in OSL’s worship spaces at 4:00, 5:00, and 6:00 p.m. Worshipers must sign up for the service they will attend and follow the direction provided for parking as well as entrance and egress for their respective service. Pandemic protocols will be observed. Worship will not include Holy Communion.

Click on the link below or call the Church Office, 336-2942, to sign up for the service you plan to attend.
4:00 Festive worship in the Sanctuary (Park in west lot on Prairie Ave.; use west entrance)
5:00 Celebrate worship in the Celebrate Center (Park in south lot; use south entrance)
6:00 Festive worship in the Sanctuary (Park in west lot on Prairie Ave.; use west entrance)
Please note: Pandemic room capacities of 175 will be followed and seating will be restricted to one household per row or half-pew to ensure that worshipers will be safely distanced. If room capacity is exceeded, The Gathering Place, which will have a video and audio feed, will be used for overflow. In addition, the ventilation system, which is equipped with UVC emitters that neutralize 99% of airborne pathogens, will be programmed for optimal air circulation, and we will not be speaking or singing in unison.

• Drive-in Christmas Eve worship will be held at 7:00 p.m. in the south parking lot. Worship will be broadcast using an AM radio transmitter. Worshipers may participate in worship while remaining in their cars. To sign up for this new worship opportunity, click the link below or call the Church Office, 336-2942.
7:00 Drive-in Christmas Eve Worship

Christmas Day Worship

• We will gather in person in the Sanctuary on Christmas morning at 10:00 to welcome the Christ child. Music will be led by the OSL Jazz Ensemble and contactless Holy Communion will be celebrated. Pandemic protocols will be observed. Again, please share these safety measures with those who will be attending with you who are not members of OSL. No sign-up is necessary for this service.

Keeping Our Focus

Because this year is so different than years past, please spread the word about Christmas at Our Savior’s, including the Christmas Eve broadcast information. All of the details may be found on our website, oslchurch.com, and on our Facebook page. Regardless of how we must adapt to ever-changing circumstances, the mission we share at Our Savior’s remains unchanged: to proclaim Christ and nurture faith that connects to everyday life. Each of you plays a critical role in carrying out that mission. Thank you for your faithful partnership!

Prayers of the People

The bond we share as a community compels us to pray for one another. This week, please pray for all who are preparing Christmas worship; for all who are involved with the distribution of the coronavirus vaccine; for our community leaders and their staff; for (healing) Charlie Lopas and Donna Knutson; and for (grieving) the family and friends of Ruby McCormick, for Jill and Rob Hazard and family on the death of Jill’s father, Donald Joyce, and for Rich and Joy Klitzke and family on the death of Rich’s mother, Sharon.

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