OSL Responds to COVID-19
Pastoral Letter #35
Week of 3 February 2021

Dear Our Savior’s,

We are enjoying this Epiphany journey we’re taking with all of you, a journey of discovery to various places in our lives where we experience the presence of the One who has come to be God-with-us. The journey itself reminds us that Jesus is our assurance that God understands everything about us because Jesus is one of us. May this assurance give you a bold faith that empowers you to be God’s epiphany to the world.

Open Question Season
Thank you to all who responded to the Open Questions we shared with you in previous letters. The Governing Board is reviewing your responses this week so that your input will be part of their annual planning retreat this Saturday. Please keep the board and the retreat facilitator, Anne Rieck McFarland, in your prayers this weekend as they fulfill their role of discerning the future direction of this ministry we share.

Annual Meeting of the Congregation
Thank you too to everyone who attended the annual meeting this past Sunday. Eighty-one voting members registered and very efficiently attended to the business on the agenda, including celebrating ministry impacts from the past six months; receiving reports from the three standing committees; electing members of the Governing Board and voting members to the South Dakota Synod Assembly; and amending the governing documents of the congregation.

The annual meeting of the Our Savior’s Lutheran Church Foundation was also held on Sunday, where it was reported that the foundation awarded $121,600 in 2020 in support of its mission to extend the reach of the ministry of OSL. The corpus of the foundation has grown significantly over the years and was valued as of December 31, 2020 at $3,166,630.

Generosity Abounds!
An amazing thing happens when this church is given a challenge: you respond with a joy-filled generosity that is simply inspiring. When invited to donate toilet paper for Necessities for Neighbors, you enthusiastically gave over 2,400 rolls, and this during a pandemic! When invited to give quarters in support of Church on the Street’s Laundry with Love ministry, you responded by giving 26,300 quarters, which is equal to $6,575! Think of the impact that will have in the lives of our neighbors who depend on this ministry of love in action.

Three more opportunities to give of your time and talents are coming up in February:

• Necessities for Neighbors, February 7, 1:00–5:00 p.m., at Peace Lutheran Church. We will safely distribute toilet paper and more to our neighbors in need.

• Food to You Mobile Food Pantry, February 18, 4:00–7:30 p.m., at Augustana Lutheran Church, where we will help distribute food safely to members of our community.

• The Banquet (downtown location), February 23. Cooking dinner starts at 2:00 p.m.; serving the meal begins at 5:00. Pandemic safety measures will be followed.

Sign up at the Welcome Center or by calling the Church Office (336-2942) to offer gifts of your time and talent for any or all of these opportunities to be an epiphany of God’s love to our community.

Church Leadership 101
Later this month, we will launch the OSL Leadership Development Academy. Intended for lay people who sense the Holy Spirit nudging them to serve as a leader in the church, this program is designed to equip and empower them through a guided journey of spiritual growth, self-discovery, and learning about leadership, communication, diversity, and governance. The first cohort of up to twelve participants is forming now. To register or to get more information, simply call the Church Office (336-2942).

Lent 2021: Promises, Promises
On February 17, the season of Lent will begin, a 40-day spiritual journey that explores both the faithfulness of God’s promises and our sinful tendency toward breaking promises. This season prepares us to celebrate and receive anew the Good News of Easter. We hope you will join us for both weekend worship and midweek worship, either in person or via broadcasts on television or Facebook.

• Ash Wednesday, February 17

+ Ashes to Go, 7:00–8:00 a.m., Imposition of Ashes and a blessing
+ In-person worship, 12:00 and 6:30 p.m., including individual Imposition of Ashes
+ Live-stream worship, 6:30 p.m., on Our Savior’s Facebook page

• Midweek Worship, Wednesdays, February 24 – March 24

+ In-person worship, 6:30 p.m., Sanctuary
+ Pre-recorded online worship, 6:30 p.m., on Our Savior’s Facebook page

• Weekend Worship

+ Saturdays, 5:00 p.m., Sanctuary
+ Celebrate Worship, Sundays at 8:45 a.m., Celebrate Center

# Televised on FOX/KDLT-2 at 9:00 a.m.
# Live-streamed on Facebook at 8:45 a.m.

+ Festive Worship, Sundays at 10:15 a.m., Sanctuary

# Televised on KSCB (cable only) at 1:00 p.m.
# Live-streamed on Facebook at 10:15 a.m.

Our Ministry of Prayer
Finally, join us as we pray for healing this week for Denny Niederkorn and Deb Ver Steeg, for those who are grieving, and for the church throughout the world in its mission to share God’s extraordinary love.

Grateful for how you show us God’s presence,

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

Click below to read Pr. Randy Gehring’s Devotional for Anxious Days for February 3, 2021.