Tuesday, December 13, 2017

"CAT Survey Results -- Where We Are"   

Dear Members & Friends of Our Savior's Lutheran Church, 
A majority of you recently filled out a comprehensive survey that was designed to assess the health of our congregation. This was a repeat of
a similar survey in 2013. The results, bench marked against 1200 congregations, were compiled and a professional consultant presented the findings to the board in November. According to the data, the congregation remains in a "recovery" state of low energy and low satisfaction. This is not where we want to be.
The survey was clear that we desire a strong worship experience, we want to reach new people and bring them into the life of the church, we desire pastoral care and healing. These are good priorities and very common among churches. However, in comparison to other congregations, Our Savior's has an extreme focus on the pastor as a driver of satisfaction in almost all aspects of church life. Vitality in clergy-focused churches is typically lower than ministry-focused churches. How did we get here? This probably didn't happen overnight. In the early 2000's, boosts in attendance brought increased budgets and staffing. Committees were disassembled as staff managed church activities requiring less engagement of members overall. We lost ownership, energy, and a sense of mission as we just followed what was laid out for us week to week. This is where we remain today.
Moving from "recovery" to "transformation" in terms of energy and satisfaction, and from "clergy-focus" to "ministry focused" will take time, dedication, and all-in involvement of members, board, pastor and staff. Many of you know of the "good soil" at Our Savior's and have already seen the sprouts of new life in a range of ministries.
The board and pastor are in the early phases of building this vision and strategy, and we look forward to sharing more about this in early 2018.  But before we embark, we need to spend a little time sharing where we
are now. So please join us on Sunday December 17th in the Sanctuary at 9:15 am for a formal presentation of the CAT survey results. Board member John Lasswell and I will take a deeper dive into the survey results and facilitate member questions and discussion.
Ray Valley, President 
On behalf of the Board of Administration
"Watching and Waiting"   

Dear Members & Friends of Our Savior's Lutheran Church,
Ray Valley, our Church Board President, has included a nice summary of where we are at as a congregation based on our recent Holy Cow Vital Signs Church Assessment Tool that 156 of you participated in. Thank you for your participation! We now watch and wait for next steps as we enter 2018 together. The Church Board will keep us informed and posted regarding updates to a new strategic plan that is yet to be determined.
Watching and waiting are themes we are familiar with as Christians - especially in this expectant season of Advent. I remind you that we are not only waiting and watching for the coming of Christ as the baby in the manger, but also as our triumphant judge and king who challenges us to watch and wait with intentional preparation for that day and hour that no one knows, but the Father in Heaven. I am always reminded of Walter Wangerin's struggle with that day. He writes,
"I confess that I tremble at the thought of the coming of One who shall dispopulate the graves and assemble the peoples and transfigure the whole of creation. But it is the grandeur, the uttermost awe of the thing that causes me to tremble. I am not afraid. And I will not hide. I wait in contemplation, peering through a clear patch in a stained-glass window. I watch, and I wait." (Walter Wangerin, The Manger Is Empty: Stories in Time (San Francisco: Harper & Row, ©1989), 172.)
As you continue to prepare for Christmas, I remind you also, to prepare for Christ.
Together, we watch, and we wait,
Pastor Dale  
Wednesday, December 13, 2017  
Sermon: Pastor Dale Stiles  
5:00 pm Dinner
Menu: Chicken Rice Hotdish & Salad  
5:30 pm Advent Worship
6:10 pm Family Activity & Youth Group
7:00 pm Confirmation
7:00 pm Kingdom Choir
8:00 pm Proclaim!  
Sunday, December 17, 2017  

8:00 am Worship in the Sanctuary
Special Music: Proclaim!
9:15 am Faith Formation
Time for Parents 
Adult Education 
10:30 am Preschool & Children's Christmas Program in the CLC
11:45 am Evolve Youth Group (Grades 7-9)
5:00 pm Activate Youth Group (Grades 10-12) 

Adult Education Schedule
Sunday, December 17: Results of Congregational Assessment Tool (CAT Survey) lead by members of the church board.  

Christmas Eve Worship Schedule 
9:00 am Sunday Worship -- 4th Sunday of Advent
3:00 pm Candlelight Worship in the CLC
4:30 pm Candlelight Worship in the CLC
11:00 pm Candlelight & Communion service in the Sanctuary 
Children, Youth & Family Ministry

Giving Tree Cozy Basket Update
This week both our Senior High and Junior High youth groups assembled 50 Cozy Care Baskets donated by Our Savior's members. Great job! Stacy Meyer, Parish Nurse, will be delivering them to Valley Outreach on December 18th to reach kids in our community this holiday season. A big thank you to all of you who donated to make this happen!

Inspirational Yoga
Join us for Inspirational Yoga on SATURDAYS from 9:00 to 10:00 am. We usually meet in the Gathering Area but will need to relocate to the Children's Gathering Area or the Youth Room (which ever is available) when necessary. For the time being while Dr. Lyne Seppala is away at school,
Bri Wilhelm will lead our class. The fee for each class is $5 each time you attend a session  All ages, guys, gals, no experience needed, come and bring a friend and a yoga mat. For questions contact Heidi Puckett.
OSLC Book of the Month Club
The Book of the Month Club will meet on Monday, January 29, at 1:00 pm to discuss the book "Our Souls at Night." Copies of the book are available in our church library.  Check under the counter.  Please leave a note indicating that you have signed out a copy. 
Thank You!
The Women's Team wishes to express their deepest gratitude to all of the cookie bakers and packers for this year's annual Christmas cookie sale and we especially want to thank all of you who purchased the trays. We raised $1,325 and the money will go a long way to funding our programs and scholarships in the coming year. We also received a $250 grant from Thrivent Financial to cover our expenses. We pray that all of you will have a joyous and blessed Christmas.
We also have a Christmas Cookie cookbook for sale for $3.00 each. This booklet includes recipes from the past three years of our cookie sale. See any Women's Team member to purchase or email Susan Fredricksen or Becky Maier
Ministry Opportunities

January & February Worship Volunteers       

Serve God by extending hospitality in a place filled with grace as a Greeter, Welcome Desk Attendant, Usher, Reader or Communion Server! Members and friends with last names beginning E-H are especially called upon for help during January & February, though anyone can sign up who enjoys serving in these capacities. Sign-up NOW! Thank you!
Request for Prayers and Support
Everyday joys and sorrows...Once in a lifetime joys and sorrows. Your brothers and sisters at Our Savior's want to support you. Email or call Pastor Dale Stiles or Parish Nurse, Stacy Meyer, with any of your needs.  

Board Updates

To view church board minutes, please Click Here!

Giving Opportunities

Simply Giving

A more convenient way to give! In a few short minutes, you can make a one-time gift or set up a donation that will process automatically on a recurring basis. Recurring donations are convenient and provide our church with much needed consistent support throughout the year.   To give online, visit our church's website and get set up!   
Stewardship is about love:
serving others through our time, talent, and treasure.