From the Senior Pastor

It’s not often in the Lutheran church that we turn our attention to Mary, the mother of Jesus. But Advent seems to lend itself to reflecting on Mary’s experience and witness, especially as we prepare once again to celebrate Christmas.

When we stop to think about Mary’s circumstances, it’s easy to become awestruck by her example of faithfulness. Likely she was a teenage mother-to-be, unwed but engaged when it became known that she was pregnant. Yet when she went to visit her relative Elizabeth, who herself was pregnant in her old age, she was anything but shy, timid, or reserved. Instead she burst into song, praising God’s surprising activity in the world and within her own body.

This song, known today as Mary’s Magnificat, relates both the joy she felt in that moment and her overflowing praise as a response to what God has done, both for her personally in granting her the admiration of all future generations and for God’s more encompassing salvation, which would be worked out through the son she would bear into the world. She sings of God’s capacity to act, God’s holiness, and God’s mercy.

Woven throughout the song, however, is a strong socioeconomic tone as Mary sings of God’s praiseworthy actions. In this regard, it’s not unlike the Song of Miriam in Exodus 15 and the Song of Deborah in Judges 5. Mary’s song gives voice to the marginalized and relatively powerless segments of society. If she were singing today, it would be as though she is singing about Nicaraguan peasants, the marginalized people of Sudan, or any other number of groups of people who live on the margins of life.

But even though she sings of God’s reversal of fortunes, her song is not intended to be a call to violent resistance or a drive to render the wealthy powerless. Indeed, Mary’s song functions in Luke’s Gospel as an exhortation to the well-off to deal with their wealth in a way that brings them into a positive relationship with the poor so that folks across the socioeconomic spectrum may participate equally and fully in God’s promised salvation.

As such, it seems that Mary’s song is worth taking a closer look at, especially in this day and age, and especially as we make preparations for Christmas. So join us for worship this Advent, both on the weekends and on Wednesday evenings as we gather under the Magnificat-inspired theme “Magnify.” May this be for us a time to find our own praise voices even as we reflect on our relationships with those who are traveling through life on a different rung on the ladder of society than we are. And, through the rhythms of repentance and forgiveness, may our worship lead us to live lives that magnify God’s grace and mercy in a broken and hurting world.

Advent blessings to you and to all,

Pr. Randy Gehring

Advent and Christmas at OSL
Here are some scheduling notes for the next several weeks:

December 6 – Weekly Advent worship services, “Prayers around the Wreath,” will begin, 12:00 to 12:35 and 6:40 to 7:15 p.m., Celebrate Center

December 23 – No Saturday evening Festive worship service

December 24 –

2:00 p.m. – Family service, Celebrate Center

4:00 p.m. – Celebrate and Festive worship services (Festive worship will be televised on KTTW)

6:00 p.m. – Festive worship service

10:00 p.m. – Festive worship service

December 25 – Festive worship service, 10:00 a.m.

Regular worship service schedule on December 30 and 31.

October 22, 2017
Sydney Erin Hendrixson, Matthew Allan Beck, and Michael James Johnson, the children of Erin Fox.

November 4, 2017
Jacob Maynard McKinney, the son of Josh and Samantha McKinney.

November 5, 2017
Louis Jerome Larson, the son of Chris and Krista Larson.

November 5, 2017
Norah Raelynn Keller, the daughter of Tony and Stephenie Keller.

November 11, 2017
Josephine Sue Pederson, the daughter of Mark and Erin Pederson.

November 19, 2017
Alex Thomas Wolfe, the son of Jesse and Melissa Wolfe.

October 29, 2017
Flowers given by the family of Dorothy M. Larson, a charter member of OSL who would have turned 100 this year.

November 19, 2017
Flowers given to the glory of God in praise and thanks for the life and music of Mary Helen Schmidt, by an anonymous OSL friend.

October 29, 2017
Telecasts sponsored by Shirley and Luverne Vehle in memory of their son, Billy.

November 19, 2017
Telecasts sponsored in memory of Martin and Alma Reinecke and Harold and Arlen Guthmiller, by Margaret Novak.

November 26, 2017
Telecasts sponsored by Sharon Weber.

Memorials and Honoraria
October 2017

In Memory of Lyle McKichan
Margie Barr
Joe and Mary Colby
Elsie Enger
LeRoy and Armena Green
Donald and Joyce Helberg
Russ and Connie Hirsch
Ron and Jan Hybertson
Jean Kracht
Eleanor McMahon
Eldon and Pauline Nelson
Margaret Novak
John Severson
Bert Schroeder

In Memory of Michael Pearson
Margaret Novak

In Memory of Kristen Thie
Arlen Viste

In Honor of Pr. Ray Engh’s Birthday
Michael and Susan Engh
Frances Kilen
Don and Coryill Weeg

In Honor of Almira Pederson’s 90th Birthday
Don and Toady Weeg

<p><span style="color: #2ea3f2; font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-top: 0px;"><b>Your Offering Makes a Difference</b></span><br>Your generosity is making a real difference in people’s lives through the mission and ministry of OSL. Thank you for your faithfulness in giving and your passionate commitment to God’s work through this congregation. Your continued generosity helps us reach our congregational goal of fully funding our ministry of connecting faith to everyday life.</p><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><p><strong>Ministry Support through October 31, 2017</strong><br> <table style="width:60%"><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <tr><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <td> </td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <td>Annual Giving</td> <!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> </tr><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <tr><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <td>Pledged</td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <td>$2,008,616</td> <!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <tr><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <td>Received YTD</td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <td>$1,460,398</td> <!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> </tr><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <tr><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <td>Remaining</td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <td>$548,218</td> <!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> </tr><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <tr><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <td>Projected YTD</td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <td>$1,513,598</td> <!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> </tr><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <tr><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <td>Ahead/(Behind)</td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> <td>($53,200)</td> <!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --> </tr><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --></table><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] -->
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