OSL Responds to COVID-19
Pastoral Letter #24
Week of 23 September 2020

Dear OSL Family,
Autumn greetings! Fall is here and with its arrival, all of creation is signaling the end of the growing season in this part of the country. In these days of falling leaves, pumpkin spice, and gathering the harvest, may the grace of God, which the world brands as “unfair,” bathe you in healing, wholeness, and hope for tomorrow.

Photo of Pr. Lenny Duncan

Lenny Duncan
As part of our continuing preaching series, “The Beginning Is Near,” Pr. Lenny Duncan joins us this Sunday as our preacher. Pr. Lenny is the author of Dear Church: A Love Letter to the Whitest Denomination in the U.S. and a noted speaker and activist. Our Savior’s and Augustana University have partnered together to bring Lenny to Sioux Falls in an ongoing commitment to foster helpful conversation on the reality of racial injustice in our country and in our church.

The Beginning Is Near logoJoin us for worship this weekend: 5:00 p.m. on Saturday in the Sanctuary (Pr. Randy will preside/preach), or on Sunday morning—Celebrate at 8:45 in the Celebrate Center or Festive at 10:15 in the Sanctuary. All services will include contactless Holy Communion, which we believe is a feast of welcome prepared by God that signals to all that the beginning of the kingdom of heaven is near enough to taste and touch.

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 on Monday.

Pr. Lenny will also provide the keynote address and answer your questions at a book reading event in the Celebrate Center, at 2:00 p.m. This event is open to the public and will be livestreamed on our Facebook page.

Click here to submit a question for Pr. Lenny, which may be read at the book reading event.

Although we are anticipating higher attendance this Sunday because of Pr. Lenny’s presence, be assured that, for the sake of our neighbors’ wellbeing, all OSL COVID–19 safety protocols will be followed: stay home if you feel ill or have been exposed to someone with COVID–19, facemasks for everyone, social distancing, and good hand hygiene. Keep in mind that UVC emitters in our air handling systems also are continuously protecting our large gathering spaces.

Pr. Tim LemmeCelebrate Pr. Tim!
The year 2020 is memorable for many reasons, but for Pr. Tim Lemme, it is the 25th anniversary of his ordination. We invite you to celebrate this milestone with Pr. Tim, as well as 25 years of faithful ministry in the ELCA, by participating in a drive-by Card Shower and Open House on Saturday, October 3, from 10:00 a.m. to noon, under the canopy of the south entrance. Stop by to greet Pr. Tim, drop off a card for him, and receive a celebratory cupcake. Congratulations, Pr. Tim!

Listen Learn Love Lead
In this conversation about racial injustice, one of our objectives is to Learn about the issue so that we might begin to envision our best response as a church and as followers of Jesus. To that end, Pr. Justin is working on developing resources based on the readings for each week of our fall series, “The Beginning Is Near,” which may be used by LifeGroups, other conversation groups, and even families who may be looking to extend the conversation. These resources may be found here on our website.

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, please contact Anne Rieck McFarland, annerieckmcfarland@gmail.com.

Prayers of the People
This week as you pray, please intercede for: (newly married) Tasia Murray and Zach Jurgens; (healing) Shireen Levsen, Margaret Widmark, David Lehmann, John Ochsner, and Vernon Waldow; and (grieving) Colin and Emma Farritor and family on the death of Colin’s uncle Shawn, Beth and John Helgerson and family on the death of Beth’s brother, Lance Blackford, and Terri and Bob King on the death of Terri’s mother, Jenola Adams.

In Christ’s love,

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