Category Archives: News

Our Saviors Lutheran Church of Virginia, Minnesota News

vlm youth camp

Voyageur’s Lutheran Ministry

VLM is  an Outdoor Ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America that offers summer and year-round camping programs for God’s people of all ages.

Voyageur’s Lutheran Ministry  “provides opportunities for Christ-centered spiritual growth, leadership development, and outreach in God’s great northwoods.”

For yoiuth, spend time at Camp Hiawatha or Camp Vermilion during the summer and you will experience a week of a lifetime!  It’s a chance to try some new things, meet new friends, explore your creative side, learn team work, be silly, sing, laugh, and learn what it means to live as God’s people in the world!

We have programs for all ages – a one day experience for those new to camp, a two night program for those not quite ready for a full week, and week-long programs for elementary, junior high, and senior high campers.  No matter what option you choose, we will work hard to make it a experience to remember.

During the fall, winter and spring, there are various retreats that take place for adults and youth. You can find out more by visiting their site at





Mission Jamaica 2018

Members of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church have joined others from various  churches in Minnesota and surrounding states to serve in Jamaica. We provide medical care, help residents build homes, and join them in worship and work.

J’ABODE (formerly Habitat for Humanity) – There’s always work to be done for housing. Mission Jamaica missionaries help make simple, decent and affordable housing a reality for families that are in the greatest need.

What we do-Dig footings, pour concrete and tie steel. The focus in Jamaica is to build 16’x20’ one room homes or add-ons to existing homes. We work side by side with future new owners and the community.

In January of 2018 we had over 20 people go to Jamaica  to continue in the work of building homes, and also assist with in care of children at an area orphanage. This Mission continues to be a big part of OSLC, and the congregants’ lives.

If you are interested in going you may speak with Bob Rutka about joining next year’s team! No matter your skill level, there will be something exciting for you to take part of!

Called to Serve




New Directory!


 We are excited to announce that we are updating our Church Directory. Lifetouch will provide the services to put together this important community resource. Our link to sign up for a session is They offer photo packages if you would like to purchase pictures for your family. The dates for our photograph sessions are May 15th-19th. Tuesday – Friday  the sessions will be held from 2pm —9pm.  Saturday,  May 19th, the sessions will be between the hours of 10am-5pm.

We invite everyone in our church to participate, even if you are not planning to purchase a photo package, so all may be included in the directory.


Youth and Family Ministry Update


Dear friends,

One of the most exciting parts of working with young people is walking alongside as they mark milestones in their life. In church we celebrate the many gifts children bring to our community—joy, energy, passion, and even noise. What a blessing to celebrate with children as they mark their first communion, learn to acolyte, and step into leadership roles in both worship and our community, especially the last few months as they have offered their energy, strength, and speed cleaning up after each community meal.

Their spirit and joy, in both the momentous and mundane moments, gives me so much life, as has the youth advocacy movement we are witnessing in our country right now.

This month, joining thousands of students across the ELCA as we prepare to journey to Houston, the Sr. High students are “Gathering for Advocacy”. The ELCA has a strong tradition of advocacy, and this month we lift up the ELCA’s initiative called AMMPARO. AMMPARO seeks to accompany children who are “forced to flee their communities because of complex and interrelated reasons, including chronic violence, poverty, environmental displacement, and lack of opportunities…As brothers and sisters in Christ, the ELCA is called to bear witness to the conditions affecting so many communities and find solutions that will acknowledge the humanity in all of God’s children..”

We invite you to learn more at, and join us as we pray:

Blessed are you, Lord Jesus Christ. You crossed every border between divinity and humanity to make your home with us. Help us welcome you in newcomers, migrants and refugees. Blessed are you, God of all nations. You bless our land richly with goods of creation and with people made in your image. Help us be good stewards and peacemakers, who live as your children. Blessed are you, Holy Spirit. You work in the hearts of all to bring about harmony and goodwill. Strengthen us to welcome those from other lands, cultures and religions that we may live in human solidarity and in hope.

God of all people, grant us vision to see your presence in our midst, especially in our immigrant sisters and brothers. Give us courage to open the door to our neighbors and grace to build a society of justice. “Gathering for Advocacy” from Getting Reading: A Youth Ministry Curriculum for the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering)

with love,

Meagan Esterby, Director of Youth and Family Ministry • 218.410.4704



“Jesus loves you…INSIDE OUT!” VBS Recap

“Jesus loves you…INSIDE OUT!” Vacation Bible School — We had so much fun this July at our (very warm!) “Inside Out”-themed VBS! Though we were a small group, we made enough joyful noise to fill the entire church, and were happy to dedicate more time to special crafts and conversations. Creating slime and “God’s Eye” crafts were listed as highlights of the week by most of the group. Thank you to our VBS guides Leah Sirotiak, Laurie Miller, and Amara Wilcox for leading the faith-formation fun all week! And thank you to the many generous souls who helped set up and prepared snack and lunch for us each day: Gloria and Steve Gagnon, Diane Vandervort, Jackie and Nathan LeBeque, Marlene Staudahar, Kathy and Mark Hoppa, Carolyn Flaschberger, Sharon Pernu, and Jesse.



Lenten & Easter Worship Schedule

We hope you’ll join us for Soup Suppers and Lenten Worships!

  • Wednesday, February 10 – Ash Wednesday Service 6:15pm
  • Wednesday, February 17-Wednesday, March 16 – Soup Supper 5:45pm, Worship 6:15pm

Holy Week

  • Sunday, March 20 – Palm Sunday Worship 9:30am, followed by a Fruit and Muffin Buffet (proceeds benefit Youth and Family Ministry)
  • Thursday, March 24 – Maundy Thursday Worship 6:15pm
  • Friday – March 25 – Good Friday Service 11am
  • Sunday, March 27 – Easter Morning Worship 8 & 10am (Join us for a pancake breakfast between services from 9-10am. Proceeds benefit Youth and Family Ministry.)

Advent and Christmas Worship Schedule

We invite you to join us Wednesday, December 24th, 2015 at 5:00pm for Christmas Eve Worship.
Advent Devotions
In this season of waiting and preparing we invite you to spend time with us in prayer and devotions (, developed by ELCA Presiding Bishop Eaton and the leaders of the Anglican Church of Canada, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and The Episcopal Church for the Advent season.
Choralaire Concert
  • Friday, December 4th
  • 7:00 pm at OSLC
  • Followed by coffee and cookies in the Fellowship Hall
2nd Sunday of Advent – Music of the Season featuring the OSLC Choir
  • Sunday, December 6th at 9:30am
3rd Sunday of Advent – Music of the Season featuring the OSLC Choir
  • Sunday, December 13th at 9:30am
“Cloth for the Cradle” Advent Vespers Worship
  • Wednesday, December 16th at 6pm
4th Sunday of Advent -Youth and Family Ministry Christmas Program “The Noisy Night”
  • Sunday, December 20th at 9:30am
Christmas Eve Worship
  • Thursday, December 24th at 5pm
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Welcome Pastor Susan Swanson!

Our Savior’s has called Pastor Swanson to our congregation! We are so excited to welcome her and her husband Pastor Tim to the Iron Range and to this church!

Pastor Susan Swanson Pastor Swanson received her Master of Divinity degree from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. She served as lead Pastor at Luther Memorial Church of Chicago and Shepherd of the Hills in Flagstaff, AZ. Both of these churches had realized significant decline before Pastor Swanson was in place. However, Pastor Swanson had the skills to reverse this trend and
revitalize the congregational growth and energy, with the help of the Holy Spirit! She also served an Interim Ministry at Faith Lutheran Church in Homewood, IL.
Before attending seminary, Pastor Susan was a college professor and professional violinist. She was on faculty at Roanoke College in Salem, VA, and William Jewell College in Liberty, MO.
She enjoys her horses, gardening, cooking, and playing the violin. She is married to Pastor Timothy Swanson, a Biblical Scholar. Children include Josh and Hilary, both happily married, each with two children. She has a family cabin near Moose Lake, and has been coming to Minnesota every summer for many years. She is looking forward to being a full‐time Minnesotan!
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Advent Vespers – Dec. 16

Amid the busyness of this beautiful season, we hope you can join us for this interactive and reflective worship service! All are invited! As we prepare for the coming of Christ, may we find time for prayer, find time for peace, leave the busyness behind us, and reach out to one another in love.

Confirmation students and their families are especially encouraged to attend in lieu of Confirmation class that evening. We will follow worship with a celebration of cookies and hot chocolate in the fellowship hall.

Cragun's group shot

Cragun’s 2015

What an amazing night at the NE MN Synod Middle School Gathering! We had so much fun growing together in faith as we worshiped, played, and studied the 10 Commandments together. During check-in time we listed swimming, “Growing in Grace” GIG’s, Pastor Mike’s message, basketball, family time, and “getting to know each other better” as highlights of the trip! We thank the LYO Board and leaders for putting together such an wonderful event! Click here to view more photos!