Category Archives: Youth

Our Saviors Lutheran Church of Virginia, Minnesota Youth

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He is Lord of All. . .

Acts 10:34-43

34 Then Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36 You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all. 37 That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39 We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; 40 but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, 41 not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Have a Blessed Holy Week! And – Happy Easter!

This reading from Acts is our New Testament reading for Easter. Easter is my favorite day of the year. Easter typically occurs when winter has finally released its firm grip, and there are signs of Spring throughout the neighborhood. On Easter, my daughter always wears her lovely Easter dress and my son will wear a suit and there will be family pictures taken that will treasured for years and decades to come. On Easter, we also sing my favorite hymns and the church is filled with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. On Easter, there I also get to enjoy lots of chocolate and other tasty treats. As great as all these things are, I am keenly aware that they are not the reason we celebrate Easter. It is of the upmost importance for everyone to understand the actual meaning of Easter, and Peter’s declaration from Acts does a wonderful job of teachings us. Peter preaches the complete Gospel by telling us that Jesus of Nazareth was anointed and chosen by God. He received the Holy Spirit and with its power he goes around doing good and healing those who were oppressed. He was put to death, dying on a tree. God raised him on the third day and he appeared to a chosen few. Everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins.

I also want to point out that a key aspect of Peter’s sermon is that this Gospel is for everyone. Peter declares that God shows no partiality and consistently uses the vocabulary words, “all,” and “everyone.” Professor Kaalund reminds us. “as we celebrate the most holy of our religious observances, the Resurrection of our Lord, let us be reminded that his salvific act was for everyone. Let us remember that the path that Jesus created for us brings us to the presence of a loving God who accepts us all. Let us join with the prophets and testify about the one and emulate his life by living a life where we can be described by others as going about doing good and healing those around us because God is with us. He is not only our Lord; he is the Lord of all.” [1]

[1] [1]https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=4027

 

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Holy Week Services and Events

OMG LENTEN AND HOLY WEEK SERVICES & EVENTS

OMG is a trio of ELCA churches in the Virginia and Mt. Iron area that have come together to offer the following services and events during Lent and Easter.  Come join us!

 

Holy Week Services& Events
April 17 *Confirmation Students & Families Seder Meal, 6:30pm Messiah Lutheran Church
April 18 Maundy Thursday Foot Washing & *Seder Meal, 6:30pm Messiah Lutheran Church
April 19 Good Friday Services, 12:00pm & 6:30 pm Our Savior’s Lutheran Church
*Seder Meals will be RSVP events.

There will also be an Easter Egg Hunt at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church Sunday morning at 8:30am. If we are blessed to have nice weather, we will meet outside in the back of the church, if not, we will meet in the west wing of the building. This event is open to everyone, so join us if you can! *All candy items will be nut-free to avoid allergy issues.

Easter Services:

9:30am –  Our Savior’s Lutheran Church

10:00am  Messiah Lutheran Church

9:00am & 10:45am –  Gethsemane Lutheran Church

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!

Ben

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

 

 

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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  http://elca.org/gathering.

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 http://www.vlmcamps.org/

 

 

 

 

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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.

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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

 

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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

Minnesota-Lansing-Detroit-Minnesota

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…

DIG DEEP and RISE UP:

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 m.esterby@gmail.com.

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!