From the Senior Pastor
Hand in Hand
“Our steps are made firm by the Lord,
when he delights in our way;
though we stumble, we shall not fall headlong,
for the Lord holds us by the hand.”
I don’t know about you but I really enjoy holding hands, especially with my wife, Shelly. On our day off together, we can often be seen walking to the grocery store or to the coffee shop hand-in-hand. I think it brings comfort to both of us and reassures us of the other’s love.
The psalmist writes about a God who holds us by the hand, not just when things are going great but especially when the chips are down and life is challenging.
We’ve chosen that passage from Psalm 37 as our stewardship theme verse this year, and the stewardship theme Hand in Hand, because it reminds us of how we’ve gotten to where we are as a congregation. The past several years have been a time of challenge as we’ve worked hard to find the best ways to manage our mortgage responsibly. Along the way, though, we’ve seen evidence of a God who holds us by the hand and shows us the way forward:
- Our mortgage principal has been reduced by nearly $2 million in about three years;
- Our mortgage interest expense is nearly half of what it was in 2015 and now seems manageable as part of our operating budget;
- Our overall ministry plan (budget) is in good shape this year thanks to a year of reduced expenses.
We give thanks to God for God’s faithfulness in helping us carry out our mission even when we weren’t exactly sure how things would work out. To me, we’ve been led by the hand by a God who will never let us go.
As we look ahead to 2018, it feels like we’re well-positioned to step into a time when our mission focus can shift from maintenance to growing OSL’s ministry. It’s time to fully fund our Outreach and Communication ministry, including the fourth pastoral position. It’s time to focus resources on developing our capacity to tell the OSL story and to invite people to join us as partners in mission. It’s time to go all in on LifeGroups and grow a congregation full of people who are actively going deeper in their faith through meaningful and life-giving relationships. It’s time to build on an already strong ministry of outreach to our neighbors so that we extend our mission impact well beyond the walls of Our Savior’s.
Frankly, it’s exciting to think about our mission priority focusing on growth, and I hope you’ll join Shelly and me in supporting these ministry initiatives next year by investing a portion of what God has given you—time, talents, and treasures—in OSL’s ministry. The Board of Stewardship has set the goal for 2018 of raising an additional $160,000 over what is given this year. That may sound like a big number, but when we all work together, it’s not daunting at all—about $3.50 per week per contributor.
This month you will receive information that will guide you through the process of indicating your intent to support this mission focus in 2018. It is absolutely critical that we hear from every OSL member.
When you receive your packet in the mail, set aside some time to read the information, talk it over with the members of your household, and pray about what God may be leading you to give as your response. Then, on Hand in Hand Weekend, November 10 and 11, bring your Statement of Intent to worship and plan on presenting it as part of your offering to God.
Together, with our hands in God’s, let’s make 2018 a year to remember as we grow OSL’s ministry to the glory of God.
Pr. Randy Gehring
Hand in Hand Weekend
As part of OSL’s Stewardship appeal this year, you will be invited to consider increasing your offering for 2018. Please pray about this request and do your best to respond generously as the Lord leads you.
Then, on Hand in Hand Weekend, we will present our pledges and commitments (“Statements of Intent”) as part of our
offering during worship. You are also welcome to mail your Statement of Intent to the Church Office if you are not present on Hand in Hand weekend.
Thank you for being part of this exciting congregation!
Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas at OSL
Here are some scheduling notes for the next several weeks:
- November 18–19 – OSL will celebrate Christ the King Sunday; regular worship schedule
- November 22 – Thanksgiving Eve worship, 6:30 p.m., Sanctuary
- November 23 – Thanksgiving Day: OSL will be closed
- November 25–26 – Advent will begin at OSL (a week early, liturgically)
- November 29 – Advent Fair, 5:30 p.m.
- December 6 – Weekly Advent worship services, “Prayers around the Wreath,” will begin, from 6:40 to 7:15 p.m., Celebrate Center
- December 23 – No Saturday evening Festive worship service
- December 24 –
- December 25 – Festive worship service, 10:00 a.m.
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
Regular worship service schedule on December 31 and January 1.
September 10, 2017
Noah Tyler Ollerich, the son of Tyler and Stephanie Ollerich.
October 7, 2017
Rickey Thomas Niedermeier, the son of Adam and Kelcey Niedermeier.
September 10, 2017
Flowers given in memory of Helen Schulz by Laura and Curt Wong and family.
October 1, 2017
Flowers given by Dave and Donna Krueger in celebration of Andrew and Kelly Krueger’s sixth wedding anniversary, on September 30.
October 15, 2017
Flowers given in honor of Ralph and LaVonne Johnshoy’s 65th wedding anniversary.
September 24, 2017
Telecasts sponsored by Robert and Doris West in honor of their 70th wedding anniversary, on September 13.
Memorials and Honoraria
August September 2017
In Memory of Bob Axtell
Mary Ann Hohman
Russell and Betty Kielman
Arnold and Esther Krueger
M. Franklin and Marit Pudas
In Memory of Cleo Dirks
In Memory of Dot Thomas
Lloyd and Maxine Leaders