OSL Responds to COVID-19
Pastoral Letter #2
Week of 25 March 2020

Dear OSL Family,

In the spirit of our Lenten theme “Embrace the Question…”, who could have predicted a month ago that we would be where we are today? But here we are, living into an ever-developing global health emergency with no idea how long it will last. In times like these, it’s important that we stay connected using whatever means available to us and that we cling to our faith in Jesus, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)

Our Mission Leads the Way
You need to know that here at Our Savior’s our mission to proclaim Christ and nurture faith that connects to everyday life is still shaping our ministry in these extraordinary times.

    • We continue to gather for worship on Sundays via our two television broadcasts on KTTW and KSCB and on Facebook Live. The feedback we have been receiving in response to our worship broadcasts has been overwhelmingly positive and our reach is expanding as folks look for viable worship options in these days of social distancing. For instance, as of March 23, our March 22 Celebrate service Facebook post had a reach of over 2,000 with eight “shares.”
    • Our Campus Cupboard outreach to college students who are experiencing food insecurity continues to provide necessities to our neighbors to the north.
    • We provided a meal to the Health Department team and the Emergency Ops groups here in Sioux Falls on Monday, March 23 as a way of saying Thank You for all they are doing to help us navigate through this pandemic.
    • We’ve also been developing some online options that are aimed at keeping us grounded spiritually in the midst of great challenges and keeping us connected through study, reflection, music, and more.

Even though we cannot be together in person, the ministry we share continues and is impacting people’s lives both near and far. Thank you for your partnership in this critical mission.

What More Can We Do?
Some of you have been ‘embracing’ this question: “How can we help?” This is a question that recognizes that we have an abundance of assets we can use to address the challenges before us. It’s simply a matter of connecting those dots in ways that help us do what God is calling us to do. Here are a few ideas:

    • Continue to pray for our ministry, our staff, our members, and those on the front lines of fighting the COVID-19 virus as well as those who are suffering in any way from the effects of this pandemic. We cannot do this too much.
    • Look for ways to connect safely with your extended families and your neighbors so that no one feels like they have to face any of this alone. In our care and compassion for others, we are the heart, hands, and feet of Jesus.
    • Continue to support OSL’s ministry financially through your regular offerings and through designated giving in support of our COVID-19 response. Your generosity makes ministry happen and lives are changed in the process.

How Do I Give My Offering if I’m Not in Church?
Another great question! There are several options; simply pick the one that suits you best.

    1. You can mail a check to the church office. Many people choose this option if they know they won’t be able to attend worship in the near future.
    2. You can sign up to have your offering withdrawn from your bank account through the First Fruits program. It’s easy, it’s secure, and you’ll never have to wonder if you’re current with your offering. Contact Barb Haugan, bhaugan@oslchurch.com or 336-2942 if you want to sign up.
    3. You may give online through our website. Simply click here to log in to your My OSL account (or to create an account) and follow the prompts.
    4. Did you know you can also schedule your gift and even view the church directory on your smart device through our Church Life app? The app is free and available on
    Android
    and the Apple App Store. If you do not already have a My OSL account, you will need to create one; just follow the prompts on the screen after you have downloaded and installed the app on your device. Once you’re logged in, click on the menu bar in the upper left (which looks like three short lines) and you’ll see the Giving tab. From there, you can schedule gifts in the frequency and amount of your choosing. You can even make a one-time gift toward our COVID-19 relief effort (or other causes). If you need assistance, please contact Barb Haugan.

A Final Word
This week in worship, we will focus on the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. It is a poignant reminder that we believe in a God whose power extends even over death. Let that sink in for just a moment.

As we stand together (at an appropriate distance from each other!) in solidarity with all who are suffering in our world, let us be bold in the living out of our faith in the one who is “the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). Let us gain strength from knowing we have a savior who weeps with us in our sorrow (John 11:35). And let us never forget that Jesus is with us always to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20) especially now as we strive in all things to “proclaim Christ and nurture faith that connects to everyday life.”

In Christ’s love,
Your Pastors at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church,
Rev. Randy Gehring, Rev. Tim Lemme, Rev. Sami Johnson, Rev. Justin Kosec