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Call Committee Update

The Call Committee has received profiles of several candidates, and we are in the process of reviewing their paperwork and interviewing candidates. Please keep this committee, this process, and our whole congregation in your prayers.

-Bob Rutka

Call Committee Chair

 

Introducing our new Church Secretary!

I feel blessed in returning home to the Iron Range after having been gone in the Navy & working in a Duluth area church for a number of years. My daughters have grown and live in Minneapolis, and I have one year left with my son before he is off to college!  Transition seems to be all around us, but the Lord is faithful in supplying for His children isn’t He?  Working at Our Savior’s Lutheran is an answer to prayer for me, and I hope it will be a wonderful union as we get to know each other. I have already had the pleasure of meeting some of you, and get a real sense of “home” here. Psalm 27:13 reminds me of the Lord’s promise to do good or us, “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”

Serving in Christ,

Colleen Brown

office@oslcmn.com

 

school kits

Lutheran World Relief School Kits

school kits completeThis fall we’ll be packing school kits for Lutheran World Relief, and we invite you to get involved by donating items for each kit. Donations may be left in the narthex of the church.

 

  • 4 70-sheet notebooks of wide- or college-ruled paper
  • 1 30-centimeter ruler, or a ruler with centimeters on one side and inches on the other
  • 1 pencil sharpener
  • 1 pair of blunt scissors
  • 5 unsharpened #2 pencils with erasers
  • 5 black or blue ballpoint pens
  • 1 box of 16 or 24 crayons
  • 1 2 ½” eraser
  • 1 sturdy drawstring backpack
prayer vigil

Prayer Vigil—September 5th, 6th, & 7th

There will be a Prayer Vigil at the church this Tuesday, September 5th through Thursday, the 7th. We encourage you to come in at your leisure between the church’s regular office hours of 9 am to 3:30 pm and spend time in prayer for matters such as; children & teachers returning to school, the Call process, the church council and congregation, and the new Bridge Pastor. We are never without the need for prayer! If you cannot come to the church on these days, please consider spending extra time at home in concentrated prayer over these items and, of course, any other issues the Lord has laid on your heart. If you have any questions, please contact Judy Peliska or Shelley Svatos.

 

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500 Trees for 500 Years!

All are invited! Join us Sunday, September 17th at 1pm as we, together with area congregations, come together and plant 500 trees in the Superior National Forest near Hoyt Lakes in celebration of “God’s work. Our hands.” and the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Last year a forest fire burned part of the forest, and our work will replant that section of the Superior National Forest. Please wear long sleeves, pants, and closed-toe shoes. If you have a tree-planting spade you are invited to bring one along. More tools will be provided by the Forest Service. All are invited to stay after for a celebratory meal at Faith Lutheran Church in Hoyt Lakes.

 

Teller Brevig kids in line outside

Mission of the Month

God’s Work. Our Hands.

Mission of the Month—Teller Brevig Mission in Alaska

Our Savior’s has a special mission relationship with the Teller-Brevig mission churches in Alaska. The Rev. Brian Crockett, who grew up as a member of Our Savior’s, has served as Teller-Brevig’s pastor for more than 20 years. Our Savior’s supports Rev. Crockett’s work through monetary donations, prayer support and supplies. Members of the Teller-Brevig congregation have visited OSLC as part of this unique partnership.

Today, residents of both Brevig Mission and Teller continue living a subsistence lifestyle, hunting moose, reindeer, seal, walrus and beluga whale, as well as smaller game such as duck and ptarmigan. Fishing is a year round part of subsistence, whether on the sea or river in summer and fall or through the ice during the winter months. Because of their close proximity, these villages share a special link. They hunt and fish the same land, travel back and forth frequently and host community events and spirited competitions annually. The arts in both communities are an important tradition and source of income. Carving, sewing and beading traditions run through generations of family members.

To make a donation, simply indicate “Teller-Brevig in the memo line of your check to OSLC.

 

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The Mystery and the Music

Surrounded by orange construction signs for most of my Minnesota-raised life, I’ve wondered how those who doing construction determine when and to where we are being sent while workers in orange or yellow hats and vests jackhammer and pave a new path, a new direction. Sometimes the logic of detours is, I’m convinced, a mystery known only to God and, perhaps, a few others to whom God reveals such things. Sitting for hours on end in traffic backed up for miles upon miles this summer, I’ve wondered aloud, alone in the car, why those working diligently on the roads couldn’t work faster. Why can’t the new road, the new path be here, already? I’m sure I’m not alone in this wondering.

I’m sure there are even some who have wondered this about our congregation. I imagine this lament on lips and hearts: Why can’t God work quicker, faster, harder to fix what is broken and get us back on the road where we’re supposed to be? It feels like we’re just sitting still – and, in fact, it’s felt like that for far longer than we care to admit.

It’s a mystery, in which God is at work bringing us out of the dark night of death into the light of resurrection. It’s a mystery how God leads and guides us from one to the other. The detours we are called to take do not always make sense to us. God is using these detours to grow in us resilience, courage, and capacity for what is to come. It’s a mystery how God takes us from our hardened and broken hearts and leads us down a whole new way of thinking, of being, of living and loving. It’s a mystery how God grows healing among us.

When grace is involved, when faith leads us down unfamiliar paths because God is showing us a new path, a new road, a new way, it’s all a mystery. Mysteries don’t unfold in a timely, or even sometimes a tidy way. Sometimes, to get to where God is leading us, we need to let go of our expectations and wonder, instead, what God might be doing in our midst. You know God leads when what is unfolding is not at all in your plans, your hopes, your dreams.

While the mysterious work of grace that God is doing in and through us, what do we do while we wait, watch, and pray for God’s work to continue to unfold? We do what people do when they are sitting in traffic that’s backed up for miles and miles: we listen to the music that plays in our lives. You won’t find this music on the radio; it’s music of grace and forgiveness and healing and hope and joy that flows on, endlessly, whether we are aware of it or not. It is music that paints a picture of the ways God walks alongside us, no matter where we happen to be, no matter for what we are waiting. This music announces that we are not alone; God is with us. And, with Paul in 1 Corinthians, if you let the music wash over you, you’ll know that Jesus is a gracious and tenacious trumpet player; he will not leave you hanging. You are in his hands.

I’m so very grateful to have been graced to travel in this season of interim with you. I celebrate the ways God’s mysterious work has unfolded among us, and, with you, I look forward to seeing how it continues to unfold in this congregation. Though there’s always more that I wish we could’ve experienced together, I trust that through our time, God accomplished what was needed to lead you further down the path, the road on which God calls you as a congregation. May the love of Christ continue to play in your ears, eyes, hearts and lives as you follow where God is guiding you. Trust this: Christ is present with you in whatever comes next for you. You are always and everywhere held in gracious hands.

In Christ’s Love and Grace,

Pastor Paul Lutter, Interim Senior Pastor

 

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A Note from Pr. Paul…

Dear Members of the Our Savior’s Lutheran Church,

In Mark’s gospel, Jesus is on the move. A gospel written on the move itself, speaking into a community that is seeking comfort, strength, and hope when everything seems to be falling apart, the picture that Mark paints of Jesus’ movement is almost always preceded with the phrase and immediately. When you see that phrase, you know that good news is soon to arrive. It’s a way of letting people know that they aren’t alone. Whether they are prepared for it matters not; God has all things in his hands, and will give his people what they need, when they need it.

Eight months ago, you heard my name in worship, and, a week later, I was among you as your Interim Senior Pastor. It was a crazy, chaotic time in the life of the congregation. Over these past eight months, we have borne witness to the kind of healing that God does in our midst opening us to one another, trusting God’s grace and its sufficiency in our lives and in our life together, putting down our guard and resting in God’s love. Over these eight months, your Church Council has been hard at work putting together five core values, and, in a retreat this week, we have worked to integrate these values into our mission and ministry.

While it may be altogether difficult to see, or understand, you are more fully free to be yourselves in Christ, as a congregation, within this community, for the sake of the world God so loves. There is yet work to do – isn’t there always? – and so, by grace, God will make it possible for you to do that work – together! I am so incredibly proud of you as a congregation, and trust that, by grace, your good ministry will reach out beyond the walls of the congregation and into the community and world in new ways – even ways you cannot imagine. Be open to God’s leading and guiding; God is faithful.

I am so incredibly grateful for our life and work with one another. I revel in reminding you that you are not the same congregation you were when I arrived. But I don’t always tell you this: I’m not the same pastor I was when I arrived. Through you, God has worked to heal me, too, and to prepare me for what is to come. Jenny and I love you all so much; you will always be incredibly special to us!

On September 1, 2017, I will begin a new call as Senior Pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Mora, MN. Although there is still paperwork that needs to be signed by me, the Bishop, and the folks at Grace Lutheran, I am planning on taking the call. I wanted to alert you to this as soon as I could – the congregation voted to call me two days ago. Between now and then, we will spend time giving thanks for our time together. I will also be taking a few days of vacation at the end of the month. My last Sunday among you will be 27 August. Apparently, there will be cake on 27 August after worship as we say goodbye! My final day as your Interim Senior Pastor will be Thursday, August 31, 2017. For now, though, I want to say this: I’m grateful for you all!

In Christ’s Love and Grace,

Pastor Paul Lutter, Interim Senior Pastor

storm cropped jpg

Enough

How much of God’s love is enough: enough to not worry, enough to live freely, enough to share with the world what God gives us? How much is enough? However we would quantify it, l venture to guess that, in our minds at least, what we have from God is, for whatever our reasons, not enough.

If we think this, we’re not alone.

Truth be told, we all think this at one time or another.

Those gathered at Jesus’ feet were hungry. They’d been following Jesus all day long, and now, at day’s end, were exhausted and famished. The disciples could see this as they scanned the crowds. Send them away, Jesus; we barely have enough for the twelve of us – and you. There’s absolutely no way that we can feed even a tenth of the crowd. We don’t have enough for that – enough food or money.

Another time, the disciples are with Jesus in a boat, and a storm arises. Get up, Jesus! Don’t you care that we’re perishing? The disciples didn’t have enough patience, imagination, or hope.

Yet another time, a few of his disciples take him aside and say, Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask. We want to sit, one on your right and one on your left, in glory. In this moment, the disciples display a fear that there’s just not enough power to go around.

In these and so many other examples, those who first followed Jesus put on full display that while they hear the good news that Jesus brings, they don’t always fully understand it. The more they want, the less they understand how the grace of God takes root and grows in their midst.

They want to understand, of course. So much in their lives, though, runs counter to the way that God does in their lives. In our world, shattered as it is, there are limits and empty promises. There is hunger and thirst aplenty, and not just from those who have no money, no home, no job. Even though they don’t realize it, the disciples, too, are hungry and thirsty.

They don’t realize this, of course, until Jesus comes on the scene, or at least they can’t give voice to the unsettling that happens within them. When Jesus unleashes grace among them, they can’t get enough. They think there is a limit to grace, and so they want to keep it for themselves. We can give some to others once our needs are met, they seem to say.

Here, though, is the thing about the grace that Jesus brings: it never runs out. God’s love, mercy, forgiveness, reconciliation, and healing are abundant – unconditional and free! We need not keep it for ourselves, because Jesus sees to it that we will never, ever run out. Even when it appears that our tank is near empty, we will never know a time where there isn’t enough, because we belong to Jesus, and Jesus isn’t going to let us go away empty.

There is enough – and more than enough – grace to go around! – Pastor Lutter

day camp 2017 promo

Day Camp Aug. 6-11 at OSLC!

August 6-11 at OSLC

Mark your calendars and save the date for the Quad Cities Day Camp, open to PreK-6th grade students! This year we’re exploring water and the role water plays in the Bible, in our faith lives, and in the world! This week of fun and faith is a collaborative ministry of Gethsemane Lutheran Church, Messiah Lutheran Church, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, and Voyageurs Lutheran Ministry. Registration forms may be submitted online (below) and are also available in the church narthex and office.

It is also our congregation’s responsibility and joy to host the Camp Staff for dinner and provide breakfast, lunch, and housing. If you are interested in helping host or provide a meal for the camp staff, please email Meagan!