OSL Responds to COVID-19
Pastoral Letter #21
Week of 2 September 2020

Dear OSL Family,
Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” Matthew 18:15–20 (NRSV) May this promise bring you hope this week and always.

Pandemic Protocols
We continue to monitor the spread of the coronavirus in our city, state, and region so that we may operate as a “mission outpost” of the kingdom of heaven here on earth as safely as possible. Our chief goal in all of this is care for our neighbor—everything we are or are not doing is grounded in this priority.

As infection rates continue to rise, we encourage you to care for your neighbor by
1. Staying home if you feel sick or were exposed to the virus;
2. Wearing a facemask whenever you are with others;
3. Washing your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds; and
4. Maintaining at least six feet between yourself and others.

These protocols will continue to be followed here at church and we encourage you to abide by them even when you are not at church—for the sake of your neighbor.

WorshipKingdom of Heaven logo
This Sunday, Celebrate worship will be outdoors in the south parking lot (8:45 a.m.), weather permitting, and will not include Holy Communion. Both Saturday (5:00 p.m.) and Sunday (10:15 a.m.) Festive worship services will be indoors and will include Holy Communion.

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. Sunday worship will also 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.

Launch! Launch! Logo
September signals the beginning of our programming year, and September 12–13 is “Launch! Weekend” at OSL. Though it will look different this year because of necessary COVID–19 safety precautions, we are excited to see how God will bless this year of learning and service. Be assured, the staff is committed to providing excellent programming for OSL members and friends alike in service to our mission to proclaim Christ and nurture faith that connects to everyday life.

Our fall worship schedule will remain the same as outlined above until attendance exceeds our safety thresholds.

Preparing for Lenny Duncan’s Visit
The Rev. Lenny Duncan will be with us at the end of September, helping us talk about matters related to racism. We encourage you to read his book, Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the U.S., as a way to prepare for his visit. We also recommend that you review some of the materials referenced here in this letter and pray for our congregation during this season of dialog about a difficult topic.

Additional Support: This topic can raise challenging issues for many people. If you find this is the case and you wish to talk about the experience, please contact us and we will arrange a time to talk.

Start Here: Embarking on this conversation requires us to pay attention. Check out this one-minute video that shows it is often easier said than done. Test Your Awareness: Do the Test.

Videos (video lengths are approximate)
1. A Conversation with Native Americans on Race: From the New York Times series “Conversations on Race.” (7 min)
2. Native American Stereotyping in Sports Mascots: From the National Education Assoc. (3 min)
3. 6 Misconceptions about Native American People: From Teen Vogue. (3 min)
4. Searching for Native American Missing Women: An Associated Press video article. (3 min)
5. Why the Sioux Are Refusing $1.3 Billion: A PBS News Hour essay. (8 min)
6. What Did Native Americans Do during the Civil War?: From History Matters. (animated; 4 min)
7. Indigenous Reflections on Christianity: Produced by Sacred Land Film Project. (14 min)
8. Native American Theology: A lecture by Terry LeBlanc at Wheaton College. (39 min)
9. First Nations Principles of Learning: Featuring the Rev. Dr. Martin Brokenleg. (9 min)
10. Keynote Address from Province 8 Wintertalk (2010): Featuring the Rev. Dr. Martin Brokenleg discussing the implications of repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery. (45 min)
11. This Is Us: Blaming current racial tensions on Donald Trump misses the point. (3 min)
12. Racism Is Real: The difference between the white and black lived experience. (3 min)
13. Confronting ‘Intergroup Anxiety’: Can You Try Too Hard to Be Fair? (5 min)
14. CBS News Analysis: 50 States, 50 Different Ways of Teaching America’s Past: Ibram X. Kendi reviews current history curriculum production and use across the U.S. (5 min)
15. The Disturbing History of the Suburbs: An “Adam Ruins Everything” episode that humorously educates how redlining came to be. (6 min)
16. What Kind of Asian Are You?: Humorous video that illustrates the silly ways many white Americans interact with Asian Americans. (2 min)
17. Birth of a White Nation: Speech by legal scholar Jacqueline Battalora that describes how the idea of, and the word for, “white” people entered U.S. legal code. (36 min)
18. 13th: Documentary exploring slavery in the U.S. vs. modern incarceration. (100 min)
19. How to Overcome Our Biases? Walk Boldly toward Them: TED Talk. (19 min)
20. The Danger of a Single Story: TED Talk. (18 min)
21. How to Deconstruct Racism, One Headline at a Time: TED Talk. (10 min)
22. Indigenous People React to Indigenous Representation in Film and TV. (15 min)
23. What Being Hispanic and Latinx Means in the United States. (12 min)
24. Tyler Merrit Project: Before You Call. (3 min)
25. Being Anti-Racist: A Primer: From the Presbyterian Church USA. (10 min)
26. The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. (5 min)
27. BlacKkKlansman: Spike Lee’s 2018 award-winning film. (135 min)
28. The Cross and the Lynching Tree: A Requiem for Ahmaud Arbery: A sermonic movie. (23 min)
29. Ibram X Kendi on the Difference between “Antiracist” and “Not Racist” (5 min)
30. Systemic Racism Explained (5 min)
31. How We Can Make Racism a Solvable Problem – And Improve Policing: TED Talk. (12 min)
32. Anti-Racism Educator Jane Elliott: ‘There’s Only One Race. The Human Race’ (4 min)
33. How to Raise Kids to Be Anti-Racist and Talk to Them about Racism: Ibram X. Kendi. (5 min)
34. KidLit4BlackLives Rally. (135 min)

Articles and Essays
1. 10 Ways Well-Meaning White Teachers Bring Racism Into Our Schools, by Jamie Utt
2. 21 Racial Microaggressions You Hear on a Daily Basis, by Heben Nigatu
3. Climbing the White Escalator, by Betsy Leondar-Wright
4. Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person, by Gina Crosley-Corcoran
5. Guide to Allyship, Created by Amélie Lamont
6. It’s Not Just the South: Here’s How Everyone Can Resist White Supremacy, by Sarah van Gelder
7. Making America White Again, by Toni Morrison
8. Understanding the Racial Wealth Gap, by Amy Traub, Laura Sullivan, Tatjana Mescheded, & Tom Shapiro
9. What White Children Need to Know about Race, by Ali MIchael and Elenora Bartoli
10. White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, by Peggy McIntosh
11. My President Was Black, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
12. Caught up in God, by Willie James Jennings
13. Who Gets to Be Afraid in America?, by Ibram X Kendi
14. Trouble the Narrative, by Austin Channing Brown
15. Here’s Why It Hurts When People Say, “All Lives Matter”, by L-Mani S. Viney
16. The American Nightmare, by Ibram X. Kendi
17. American Racism: We’ve Got So Very Far to Go, by David French
18. I Was a Police Chief Stopped by My Own Officer. After Floyd, We Need Change at All Levels, by Isaiah McKinnon
19. Ibram Kendi, One of the Nation’s Leading Scholars of Racism, Says Education and Love are Not the Answer

Podcasts and Other Audio
1. Code Switch, hosted by Gene Demby and Shereen Marisol Meraji
2. Black Like Me, host Dr. Alex Gee
3. Scene on Radio – Seeing White Series, host John Biewen and collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika
4. TED Radio Hour – Mary Bassett: How Does Racism Affect Your Health?, host Guy Raz
5. Here & Now – Without Slavery, Would the U.S. Be the Leading Economic Power?, host Jeremy Hobson and author Edward Baptist
6. NPR Morning Edition – You Cannot Divorce Race from Immigration, journalist Rachel Martin talks to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas
7. Pod Save the People, organizer and activist DeRay Mckesson
8. On Being: Notice the Rage, Notice the Silence, Krista Tippett interviews Resmaa Menakem
9. On Being: Isabel Wilkerson, This History Is Long; This History Is Deep, host Krista Tippett

We are grateful to the good folks at Derry Presbyterian Church of Hershey, Pennsylvania, and Fr. Paul Sneve of Calvary Cathedral, Sioux Falls, who are responsible for compiling this list of resources.

Prayers of the People
This week as you pray, please intercede for: (healing) Bill Rossing and David Lehmann; (prayers requested) “successful cancer treatment for Bev”; and (grieving) the family of Karen Stordahl.

A Final Word
While there are any number of social ills we are called to address as a church, we at Our Savior’s are focusing a spotlight on racial injustice in this particular season of our life together as part of our annual vision for ministry: Out of abundance, we will celebrate God’s grace, and boldly embrace and serve all.

As we engage this conversation, let us remember our call to love one another especially when we find ourselves disagreeing with each other, and let us be open to learning from each other, giving thanks to God for the gifts each of us brings to the table. Finally, let us trust the Holy Spirit to guide us in discovering how we may most faithfully “embrace and serve all” people.Grateful for each of you,

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