Category Archives: News

Our Saviors Lutheran Church of Virginia, Minnesota News


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

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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!

school kits

School Kits for Lutheran World Relief

This 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

Mission of the Month – LSS

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota is committed to the vision that all people have the opportunity to live and work in community with dignity, safety and hope. This vision guides our efforts in support of every Minnesota neighbor. LSS helps Minnesotans by providing a wide range of human support services related to the basic necessities of life – food and shelter, physical health and safety, and emotional and spiritual well being.  For a full list of services offered through LSS visit

LSS also partners with churches and supports congregations and their ministry through services to members, social ministry service opportunities, and advocacy. Through LSS services, church and community members have access to a wide variety of services to support their physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. LSS also offers congregations opportunities to serve in meaningful ways that change lives, and LSS supports and engages congregations and their membership in social justice causes to support vulnerable people in our communities.

Each month our congregation’s benevolence supports this vital ministry. To make additional contributions, to seek services, or to volunteer, visit


Call Committee Update

The Call Committee continues the work of reviewing candidates and preparing for interviews. In July we interviewed one candidate. After mutually deciding we were not a good fit, the candidate withdrew their name from consideration. We invite you to lift both the Call Committee and our future pastor in your prayers. God is at work in this process. -Bob Rutka, chairperson

OSLC Core Values

Core Values—Love

Love never ends, Paul writes to the Corinthians, but I wonder if we understand the radical reason for it, and how it shapes our life together as a congregation. Paul’s eyes are focused on the horizon, at the end, when Jesus comes again. In view of that, faith will become sight, hope will be realized, so both things are fulfilled. The very last thing – our very ground for faith and hope – is a love that keeps giving and giving and giving. This love has a name: Jesus Christ, who is coming, his arms full of forgiveness and mercy and healing to share with the whole entire world – including us.

Now, if we know that this unconditional love is given to us, is for you, it may change how we are in the world. Our hands and lives are outstretched, but not to receive from the world. Rather, in love, we reach out to share God’s unbelievable care with a world that is hurting, broken, and in need. Love never ends. – Pastor Lutter

clothing sale

Summer Sales

Thank you to all the volunteers who helped with the Clothing Sale in July! Together we helped send more than 5,000 items of clothing back out into the community and raised about $1,500, split evenly between moving expenses for a new pastor and a local nonprofit.

The “Used-a-Bit” Sale will be Friday, August 4 8:30am-4pm & Saturday, August 5 8:30am-noon. Half price on Satu. Volunteers are needed.

Gently used  items for this sale may be left in the West Wing of the church before Monday, July 31st.  Thank you for giving your gently used items and volunteer time so generously! All the proceeds from this sale with support the OSLC Window Fund.

76 Washing Feet

Hog Roast and Concert Vespers Raises $5,377!

It was an amazing Wednesday night as hundreds of Lutherans from across the Iron Range came together July 19th for a night of fun fellowship, great food, and wonderful music! Scooby Cheney spent more than 13 hours on site slow-cooking the pork, thoroughly enjoyed by everyone! Talented musicians from many different churches shared their gifts at the Concert Vespers, punctuated by thoughtful and moving messages from first-call pastors Liz Cheney and Ben Schori and updates from Deacon Brenda Tibbetts and Bishop Tom Aitken. Together we raised $5,377 for the Seminarian Debt Reduction Fund as part of the “Renewing the Promise” Campaign of our Synod. We are so grateful for the volunteers and musicians who shared their gifts and made this event a  huge success!


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Lutherans in the Park Wednesdays at 6:30pm

Lutherans in the Park — Compassion: Learning to Love like God”

Wednesdays at 6:30pm June 14th-August 16th near the greenhouse

A fun, interactive, cross-generational outdoor worship in Olcott Park, brought to you by the ELCA Congregations of the Quad Cities! All are welcome!

*All are invited to bring a camp chair or picnic blanket, and to come early and enjoy the park! In case of rain worship will be held at Gethsemane Lutheran Church.