OSL Responds to COVID-19
Pastoral Letter #31
Week of 9 December 2020

Dear Our Savior’s,

Celebrate Center Christmas TreeOur Christmas preparations continue here at Our Savior’s and we are praying that this time of Advent— this time before Christmas—is for you a time of blessing and anticipation of the greatest gift ever given, even amid the ongoing challenges of a pandemic.

Mask Update

The Governing Board voted this past Sunday to amend our pandemic protocols to be in alignment with the city-wide mask mandate. Whenever we gather with others indoors at Our Savior’s, masks will be required. Because our call as followers of Jesus is to care for our neighbor, this has been our practice since the beginning of the pandemic. This change in policy, however, is intended to reflect our solidarity with the rest of the community as we strive together to slow the spread of the virus.

Advent Worship

Advent Worship on December 16 will feature a Rite for Healing as part of the liturgy and will be an in-person worship service held in the Celebrate Center at 6:30 p.m. Pandemic protocols will be followed. The service will also be streamed on Facebook Live.

Recordings of all of our midweek Advent worship services will be available both on Facebook and on our website. If you need assistance with accessing these services, contact Bill Reynolds in the church office (336-2942; breynolds@oslchurch.com).

Christmas at OSL

At its recent meeting, the Governing Board decided to continue with plans for Christmas here at Our Savior’s. Here is a recap of our plans, though we realize they are subject to change.

Christmas Eve

• A one-hour Festive Christmas Eve worship service will be broadcast on FOX at 9:00 p.m. on December 24.

• 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
5:00 Celebrate worship in the Celebrate Center
6:00 Festive worship in the Sanctuary
We will welcome all who join us for Christmas Eve worship, which is to say that attendance at these in-person worship services will not be capped. Pandemic room capacities of 175 will be followed, however, to ensure that worshipers may remain safely distanced. If room capacity is exceeded, The Gathering Place will be used for overflow.

• 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

• Worshipers will gather in the Sanctuary on Christmas morning at 10:00 to welcome the Christ child. Music will be led by the OSL Jazz Trio and contactless Holy Communion will be celebrated. Pandemic protocols will be observed. No sign-up is necessary for this service.

Spread the Word

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!

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 to distribute the coronavirus vaccine; for (healing) Ruby McCormick and David Lehmann; and for (grieving) Tim, Andrea, Tanner, and Chandler Staples upon the death of Tim’s grandmother Katie; and Loree Ness upon the death of her mother Dorothy Kraayenhof.

Be well and press on,
Your pastors at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church
Randy Gehring,
Tim Lemme,
Justin Kosec,
Shelly Gehring