Category Archives: Youth

Our Saviors Lutheran Church of Virginia, Minnesota Youth

spring flowers

Youth & Family Events – All are invited



We will celebrate with our Graduates on Sunday June 2nd.                 

After worship, cake & refreshments will be served in the Fellowship Hall.  Congratulations to our High School Seniors and College Graduates!


June 12th, 6:30-8:30pm @ Our Savior’s.

Join us for a fun-filled night with a campfire, water activities, pizza and refreshments!


June 26th, 6:30-8:30pm @ Our Savior’s.

Movie, popcorn, snacks and refreshments served! Please bring your own blankets, or chairs to sit on!


July 10th Evening @ Messiah Lutheran.

Food and fellowship with our conference! Outdoor games, activities, and a bouncy house!


July 25th Evening @ Messiah Lutheran.

Food and fellowship with our Day Camp leaders and campers, Outdoor games, and activities!


August 7th, 12:10pm Game Time   Cost: $40

Includes: Transportation via Coach Bus w/Snacks, $5 Meal Voucher, Ticket to game (Section 102), Pizza Party Dinner and Prizes

Contact: Ben Anderson for sign-up, (40 spots available)

(218) 820-8524

July 10th is the last day to sign-up for this event – don’t wait!


beach chairs

Synod Assembly Update

Happy June everyone,

Last Sunday during the announcements there was a report about the synod assembly last month. I wanted to use this week’s weekly witness to share about the resolutions that were voted on and our synod’s plans for next year’s synod assembly. All the information is available on the synod website

For me, a highlight of the assembly was the Quilt Auction and Marketplace: Assembly-goers generously gave a total of $4,647.50 from the Marketplace, and $9,545.00 from the Quilt Auction, which will all be given to ELCA World Hunger.

Steve Carlson and Pastor Erik were also elected to the synod’s discipline committee.

This is Bishop Tom’s final year and the synod will elect a new Bishop in May 2020. Now, any member- this includes you- can nominate any pastor to be considered. There is a survey that is being put forth about what qualities our next Bishop should have, there will be meetings and opportunities to hear from prospective candidates next winter/spring.

God’s Blessings to you~ Pastor Erik

Here are the resolutions that were passed:

#19-1: Migrants at the United States-Mexican Border – that the Immigration, Refugee, and Asylum Seekers Committee draft a letter urging the President of the United States and the United States Senators and Representatives from Minnesota to encourage policies that welcome migrants and that our synod Bishop share this resolution, the drafted letter and a statement from the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service dated February 5, 2019 with the congregations of this synod for study and action. Approved

#19-2: Companion Synod Support – that the Northeastern Minnesota Synod, beginning in its 2021 Synod Budget and beyond, commit to long-term assistance in funding of the Companion Synod relationships as a reflection of our synod-wide support of our global companions and that congregations also be encouraged to add a Companion Synod Support line item to congregational budgets, WELCA budgets and/or global mission committee budgets and that all congregations be encouraged to deepen accompaniment with our Companion Synods through prayer, available speakers, visits from our global partners, bulletin inserts, Online reflections, and other learning opportunities. Approved

#19-3: Opposing Conversion Therapy – that the Northeastern Minnesota Synod condemn the ineffectual, harmful, and dishonest practice known as “conversion therapy” and support measures intended to prohibit the practice and protect children and vulnerable adults from its practice and that the Northeastern Minnesota Synod call upon its congregations and members to also oppose the practice of “conversion therapy” and that the Northeastern Minnesota Synod in Assembly urge its bishop (or designee) to make the synod’s position on this matter known throughout the synod and to the public at large. Approved

#19-4: A Commitment toward Gender Justice: Call to Repentance – that the Northeastern Minnesota Synod respectfully call upon our bishop to issue a public statement recognizing and repenting of the immeasurable harm done to the LGBTQ Community by the teaching of the Christian Church on the subject of human gender identity and orientation and that the NEMN Synod of the ELCA formally repent of that damage and sincerely seek to make amends with the LGBTQ community through intentional study and dialogue with them and that the Northeastern Minnesota Synod encourage congregations to use ELCA resources such as “Talking Together as Christians Through Tough Social Issues” and our “Social Statements on Human Sexuality” and to invite LGBTQ persons into their congregations to share their stories in an effort to have faithful, respectful, and caring conversations exploring the history of abuse the LGBTQ community has suffered from the Church and to explore ways we can grow toward walking together in love as children of God and that we offer our full support and prayers to the current Synod Task Force which is currently examining these LGBTQ issues in the NEMN Synod. Approved



Advent Candles in the snow with evergreen branches red berries and a snowy forest in the background. Christmas Eve all five candles lighted.  The Prophecy, love,   rose or joy,  peace, and central white "purity"   candles are lit.

Youth Announcements – Winter is upon us!

Happy Holidays!

I am incredibly excited to start the season of advent with you all! The month of November was busy for our youth, and December is going to be even more eventful! Again, our Sunday school will be putting on the Christmas program on December 9th! It will be wonderful telling of Jesus’ birth—performed by all members of our program with some songs mixed in! Our children have been working diligently over the past few weeks, and are excited to show our Congregation! After our program we will spend the last few Sundays of the Advent season going over details in the Christmas story, as well as creating all sorts of crafts!

Confirmation students are in for a change with the season as well! Starting on December 5th Our Savior’s will be hosting Confirmation classes! We have had a wonderful time at Messiah, but I’m excited to bring the joy of our fellowship to our building! We had 13 youth attend the Middle School Youth Gathering at Cragun’s a few weeks ago! We had a blessed time worshipping with youth across our synod, and had a blast with all the fun activities the LYO board had planned for us! On December 12th we will have our Christmas and caroling event, which will include all of our Confirmation students going to Assisted Living Facilities to spread the Christmas cheer that is starting to build up in our hearts! Drivers are still needed for this event to help transport students to each place! Once we have sung our last carol we will come back to Our Savior’s to celebrate in fellowship with Hot Cocoa and snacks!

Our Confirmation program also hosts a meal on Wednesdays before class in which all are welcome to attend, this also means we need volunteers to help with these meals! If you have any interest please reach out to me.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!


Confirmation classes will start meeting at OSLC in December on Wednesdays at 6:30pm as usual!




Hello from Houston!

Isn’t it wonderful to see the Journey come to fruition? Many of you have contributed to make this National Youth Gathering trip possible; and you are very much appreciated for your thoughtfulness and hard work!

Won’t you continue to pray for the youth and youth workers who have embarked on this important journey to Houston~ Please pray for Hailey, Kelsey, Katie, Ryan, Jace, Jayda, Alex, Eric & Meagan, and all the youth & youth workers from neighboring churches who are also attending. 

You can find updates while they are in Houston on our facebook page (Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Virginia MN) and also at

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





food pantry-wagon

Food Shelf Giving Throughout the Year

Our Savior’s raised funds with our Annual S(o)uper Bowl of Caring Day on Super Bowl Sunday! The proceeds we collect for this benefit the Quad Cities Food Shelf to tackle hunger in central St. Louis County.

During the year, we have several events and special  times that we collect funds to give to Quad Cities Food Shelf, like giving in March, when funds are matched in the state of Minnesota through Food Share! WELCA, our Women of the ELCA group also gives regularly to combat hunger in St. Louis County.  We also collect funds during Lent for the local food shelves.

There are many ways you can give, along with others at OSLC, to help families and children thrive in our area and beyond. You will find that people here have big, generous hearts, and are always willing to help area organizations keep food on the shelf for those  who may need that little extra to get through the month.


A New year. . .


Jeremiah 29:11 For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me.

Happy New Year! I hope this newsletter finds you all well. I hope everyone had a Christmas filled with wonder, peace and cheer. Last month, the church was busy and full of activity. I want to send a special thank you to all of you for your prayers, participation, generosity and faithfulness during the Christmas season. The things you do and the love you share are very much appreciated.

Even though I am a bit melancholy because I must wait and entire 11 months until Advent/Christmas comes again, I am excited about events that are coming up this next year. Specially, welcoming new members on Jan. 20 and making congregation plans at the annual meeting on Jan 27th. Also in January, we are going to start fund raising for a renovation project in the West Wing Conference Room. Currently, there are over a dozen groups that meet in the west wing during the week. All these groups are focused on helping others flourish in life and making the world a better place. I counted all the people who participate in these groups and I found that the West Wing Conference Room is the most used room in our building (including the sanctuary on Sunday morning). Given the high use of the room and the positive impact of the groups who use the room, the church council and I thought it would be an effective use of God’s resources to show the individuals who use the room how much they are cared for by making it more functional and intentional. Specifically, we plan on putting in new upper and lower cabinets and a countertop. There has already been some needed and appreciated plumbing work done.  Please consider making a donation to help with this project. Designate your giving, “West Wing Conference Room Renovation.” Thank you.

This January I am also celebrating our amazing confirmation program. OSLC is hosting confirmation for the month. If you would like to help prepare the Wednesday evening meal for the kids, your participation is welcome and needed. There is so much positivity, learning, and relationship building happening with our young people.

On January 10th at 2 PM there will be a meeting in the fireside room for anyone interested in joining the next Honduras trip. The trip will be a week after Easter for 8 days. I am really looking forward to the next trip, we are going to be focused on visiting as many of the worshiping communities in Honduras (and eating lots of tamales). I am very proud that OSLC reflects in our church constitution our passion and commitment in supporting local, state, national, and global ministries.

I also want to update everyone about what the OMG (Our Saviors, Messiah, Gethsemane) committee has been discussing lately. Now, we are just looking at our calendars to find times and ways to worship and enjoy fellowship with each other. We anticipate a shared mid-week Lent and Holy Week (week before Easter) worship.

Your co-worker in Christ- Pastor Erik



Back to School Bonfire

8 On one of the last perfect nights of the summer OSLC families gathered in the church backyard for fun and games, s’mores and songs. Nuke ‘Em was perhaps the most popular activity of the evening, although frisbees and bags were also thoroughly enjoyable. We ended the night with a campfire. Carolyn led us in camp songs, and the Sr. High youth shared a skit for our message. What a wonderful evening!

2015 ELCA Youth Gathering

The NE MN Synod Journey to the 2015 ELCA Youth Gatheringnyg 2


July 11-20, 2014

Every three years, ten’s of thousands of high school students gather together for the ELCA’s Youth Gathering. This year we invite our 9-12 grade students to journey with us as we travel from Minnesota to Michigan to…


KNOW the Story . BE the Story . TELL the Story

Please prayerfully consider if this is a journey you want to take, too! For more information, join us at an informal Information Session Wednesday, August 13th at 7:00 pm at OSLC or contact Meagan (Director of Youth and Family Ministry) at 218.410.4704 or

Full Time Director of Youth and Family Ministry Hired

MeaganforwebsiteMeagan Esterby will be joining Our Savior’s staff on July 1 as its new, full-time Director of Youth & Family MInistry.  Meagan comes to us from the staff of Voyageurs Lutheran Ministry.  She has worn many hats at the camp as she grew up there!  She has experience as a camper as well as serving as a camp counselor and just prior to receiving a call from OS, served as Guest Relations Coordinator.  Meagan’s educational & vocational background includes: Bachelor of Arts degree from Luther College with Majors in Religion and Art and a Minor in Women and Gender Studies.
Meagan spent 4 years teaching social studies, English (and Canadian History!) in Jiaxing, Zhejiang, China; AmeriCorps*VISTA with North St. Louis County Habitat for Humanity; and worked extensively with college ministries at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa.   Meagan shared, “Faith is more than just what we do Sunday morning and Wednesday night.  When students see how God’s call to serve has led them to volunteering in IRYA, when the Bible is the lens by which they understand a news article or a novel they are reading in school, when the life of Jesus shapes their interactions with both colleagues and opponents on the court or in the classroom, suddenly we see how active and relevant God is in our lives.  There is a greater purpose behind every decision we make and everything we do.  I believe that I can help students make those connections both at church and as a supporter in their activities in the community.”  We are excited to welcome Meagan as our Director of Youth & Family Ministry!