OSL Responds to COVID-19
Pastoral Letter #27
Week of 28 October 2020

Dear Saints at Our Savior’s,

This weekend in worship, we remember and give thanks for those who lived a life of following Jesus and who now rest in eternal glory. Even though they are no longer with us, we remember how these saints have paved the way for us, setting an example for us to follow as we continue this work God has given us to proclaim Christ and nurture faith that connects to everyday life.

All Saints' Day imageSpecifically we will name in worship those members of the Our Savior’s family who died in the past year. We invite you to light a candle at home this weekend in honor of those close to you who have died and in thanksgiving for the life you were able to share with them. We pray that this simple act will remind you of that “great cloud of witnesses” that surrounds you every day and that this will give you courage and strength for each new day. (See Hebrews 12:1)

Worship Update
As you know, the coronavirus infection and hospitalization rates statewide remain as high as they’ve ever been, and we are committed here at Our Savior’s to showing love and care for our neighbor by doing those things that keep them safe:

    • We stay home when we don’t feel well or when we know we have had direct contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID–19;
    • We wear a mask over our nose and mouth whenever we are with others;
    • We wash our hands regularly with soap and water and use hand sanitizer; and
    • We keep at least six feet between others and ourselves.

By following these precautions, we are able to gather safely for worship. Join us on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary, or on Sunday morning—Celebrate at 8:45 or Festive at 10:15. All services include contactless Holy Communion, a feast of welcome for saints and sinners alike.

If you are not ready to join us for in-person worship, catch us on KTTW (FOX) at 9:00 on Sunday morning and on KSCB (cable) at 1:00 Sunday afternoon. In addition, Sunday worship will be streamed on Facebook Live at 8:45 and 10:15 a.m. and recordings of the Sunday services will be posted on our website each Monday.

Keep in mind this weekend that Daylight Savings Time ends at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday. Turn your clocks back one hour before you go to bed Saturday night and enjoy the extra hour of sleep. Happy emoji

Election Prayer Vigil
We are a people of prayer. As the election approaches, we invite you to be in prayer with us at the Our Savior’s Election Prayer Vigil. Our building will once again serve as a polling place, and beginning this Saturday, the building will be open to allow for a come-and-go prayer experience for those of you who feel led to pray in the space where people will cast their votes next Tuesday. You may use the prayers we have prepared for you or you may, of course, pray your own prayers.

Drive-through Holy Communion
You are invited on Saturday, November 7, to join the South Dakota Synod (ELCA) for an online Synod Day event. Our Savior’s is serving as the host church. The event begins with worship, including a Thanksgiving for Baptism and the celebration of Holy Communion. For those of you who would like to receive communion as part of this experience, simply drive to the south entrance of the church during the lunch break (12:00–1:00), where Holy Communion will be distributed in drive-through fashion. To register for the event, go to https://sdsynod.org/synodday/.

Calling All Leaders!
We believe that the Holy Spirit is at work preparing some of you to serve as leaders in our congregation. At our annual meeting in January, we will elect a vice president, a treasurer, an at-large member of the Governing Board, and nine synod assembly voting members. If you are feeling the Spirit’s nudge to serve in a leadership role or know of someone whom you think should be invited to consider such a role, contact Anne Rieck McFarland, annerieckmcfarland@gmail.com.

COVID–19 Protocols Revised
As an added precaution, the Governing Board has amended the protocols we are following during this time of pandemic to include a Mask Mandate for all outside groups using our facility. By putting this added safeguard in place, the board is hopeful that we will continue to provide a safe environment for all who use our facility.

Prayers of the People
We live out our love for God and each other when we hold each other in prayer. This week, please intercede for Mayor Paul Tenhaken and our community leaders; (newly baptized) Finley, Griffin, and Samuel Howard; (healing) Jack Dyvig, Dee Siegrist, Gerald Beninga, Mark Betterton, and Joyce Olson; and (grieving) David, Tiffani, and Jake Jensen and Judy and Bob Hargens, as well as the families of Dick Wilson, Sharon Schuldt, and Dorothy Murra.

Grateful for each of you,

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