Tuesday, March 7, 2017

"Closed for Lent"

Dear Members and Friends of Our Savior's Lutheran Church,
I spoke in my sermon on Sunday about the tradition of giving things up for Lent and presented the challenge to instead add something this Lent. I encourage you to add a discipline to your spiritual life this Lenten season that honors God, that glorifies God, and that turns your total attention to Him and away from yourself. This is the very definition of repentance - to turn around and face God. Please let me know what you choose to add. I would be excited to talk to you about it.
The tradition of giving something up for Lent still continues, and with good reason. It is still an honorable and inspiring choice. As I was scrolling through my facebook timeline this morning, I read a friend's status that simply said, "Closed for Lent. Open on Easter." What this meant was that they are choosing to give up social media (facebook specifically) during the season of Lent. Others have done the same as a form of technological detox. This would be good for all of us to do occasionally. The status struck me, however, and continues to make me ponder - "Closed for Lent. Open on Easter." Beyond this friend's personal choice to give up facebook for Lent, there is greater meaning in his choice of words. The Lenten season itself is somewhat of a "closing" that allows time and space to ponder our own spiritual faults, failures, and frailties while we await the promised "opening" (literally of the tomb) on Easter Sunday morning.

Interestingly, another reason this facebook status grabbed my attention is because our new church sculpture, The Blossom, is lit up purple for Lent and was moved to the closed position on Ash Wednesday (the beginning of Lent). It will remain in the closed position until Easter Sunday morning when it will be opened again to symbolize the promise and fulfillment of the Resurrection. Our church Blossom - "Closed for Lent. Open on Easter."
This coming Sunday, the second Sunday in Lent, we'll hear the familiar story again of Nicodemus and his late-night visit to Jesus. This is another example of that which was closed (his heart) becoming opened. It's a beautiful illustration of transformation that occurs in the presence of Jesus.
This Wednesday we continue our "Lent with Luther" series as we talk about "The Four Things You Should Know About the Reformation." We begin our regular midweek Lenten worship schedule this week - worship at 11:30 (Holden), 5:30, and 7:00 (Holden).
Lastly, thank you to all who attended the congregational informational meeting on Sunday regarding the proposed senior housing development next door to the church. It was well attended and was full of new and useful information. Our scheduled congregational meeting to vote on the sale of church property for next Sunday, March 12 has been postponed until further notice. This extra time will allow our Church Board and project team to complete necessary due diligence in preparation for this meeting. As soon as a new date is selected, the congregation will be notified.
Peace and blessings to you this week!
Pastor Dale
Worship & Music This Week

Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Lenten Wednesday Worship
11:30 am, 5:30 pm & 7:00 pm

 Sermon by: Pastor Dale Stiles

11:30 am Lenten Worship followed by soup lunch

5:00 - 6:30 pm Soup Supper
Soup of the Day: Chicken Wild Rice

5:30 pm Lenten Worship in the CLC
6:10 pm Family Activity in the Family Room
7:00 pm Lenten Worship in the Sanctuary
7:45 pm Kingdom Choir  
 8:30 pm Liturgical Singers

Sunday, March 12, 2017

8:00 am Traditional Worship in the Sanctuary
9:15 am Adult Education
9:15 am Faith Formation
9:15 am Time for Parents  
10:30 am Blended Worship in the CLC

11:45 am Jr. High Evolve
5:00 pm Sr. High Activate
7:30 pm AA

Special Music at 8:00 am: JuBellate

Childcare available at all worship services

Congregational meeting scheduled for March 12 to vote on sale of OSLC property has been postponed. Notice of new date will be published 3 weeks prior to meeting date. 

Daylight savings time begins this weekend, March 12. Remember to turn your clocks ahead 1 hour.

2017 Lenten Schedule      
Wednesdays, March 8, 15, 22, 29 & April 5  
  • 11:30 am Lenten Worship followed by soup lunch
  • 5:00 - 6:30 pm soup supper
  • Lenten Worship at 5:30 in CLC & 7:00 pm in sanctuary
  • 6:10 - 6:45 pm Family activity in the Family Room for all families
    (Note: No family activity on March 22 due to Spring Break)
Holy Week April 9-16: No Faith Formation this week
  • Sunday, April 9: Palm Sunday - Kids process with Palms beginning of worship service
  • Thursday, April 13: Maundy Thursday - Worship at 11:30 am &
    7:00 pm in the sanctuary
  • Friday, April 14: Good Friday - Worship at 7:00 pm in the sanctuary
  • Sunday, April 16: Easter Sunday - Worship services at 8:00, 9:15 & 10:30 am in the CLC
Children, Youth & Family

Faith Formation Station Leaders Needed     
We are still in need of station leaders for Bible Games on March 26 and April 2 for Faith Formation! Please contact Darla Goble or go to the sign up genius to sign up! 
First Communion Retreat    
At Our Savior's, we have empowered parents, as the primary nurturers of faith, to decide when their child is ready to receive instruction to receive Holy Communion.

Who:  1st - 6th graders and a parent / guardian 
Date:  March 27 at 6 pm (eat before you come) 
What to bring:  Your Bible 
RSVP by:  March 19 ( click here to RSVP)

Sibling childcare will be available. Children will receive their First Communion in worship on Sunday, April 2 at 8:00 or 10:30 am or Wednesday, April 5 at 5:30 pm. Choose which worship service works
best for your family.
Register for Vacation Bible School and Camp Wapo   

Registration for Vacation Bible School and Camp Wapo are taking place now!
  • Register for VBS on July 31 - August 4, 2017
  • Register for Camp Wapo. OSLC dates for all week long Camp Wapo programs are June 25-30 this year. Seeds weekend is June 23-25. Camp Wapo will hold OSLC's reserved spots until March 15 at which time all camper spots will be filled on a first come first serve basis.
Ministry Opportunities!

Upcoming Adult Education Opportunities   
(All adult education sessions meet in the sanctuary at 9:15 am)
"Lent with Luther"
A six-week adult education series throughout the season of Lent studying the life and teachings of Martin Luther. This year marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and churches around the world are providing an opportunity to celebrate and learn about Luther and the Reformation during Lent. We hope you join the conversation.
The Schedule
  •  Sunday March 12 - "Four Things You Should Know About the Reformation" (Ephesians 2:4-10)
  •  Sunday, March 19 - "The Sacraments of Baptism and Communion"
    (John 4:7-14; Titus 3:3-8; Luke 22:7-20)
  •  Sunday, March 26 - "The Difference Between the Law and the Gospel" (Romans 5:1-11)
  •  Sunday, April 2 - "How to Read the Bible" (Romans 10:8-17)
  •  Sunday, April 9 - "How to Share Your Faith with Someone"
    (Matthew 28:16-20)
Booklets will be available on the Welcome Desk in the Gathering Area to help facilitate our conversation.
Valley Outreach Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign    
This year Valley Outreach and the Stillwater community i s ste p pi ng up to help feed a family, with either a monetary donation or a donation o f food! Feed a family with your favorite family meals by providing the ingredients for each recipe your family members enjoy (excluding items requiring refrigeration)! This is an easy, hands on way to get everyone in your family involved with feeding another family in our community.

Bins will be available in the OSLC Gathering Area for you to drop off your food items. Checks can be placed in the "Drop Box" on the welcome desk (please write "Valley Outreach" in the memo line). 
Girl's Day Out at The Phipps Center   
Girl's Day Out will be at The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson on Sunday, March 19, at 2:00 pm. "Stepping Out" will be the play. Mavis, a former professional dancer, tries her hardest to teach a bumbling, lovable group of misfits to tap dance. Tickets are $24 for the play and those who wish to will enjoy brunch before. There will be car pooling from the church. Reserve your spot with a check or cash and leave it in the church office. Join us! Questions? Contact Becky Maier.  
Stephen Ministry Worship    
A Stephen Ministry Introductory Workshop is going to be held at Woodbury Lutheran Church on Saturday, April 22, 9:00 am -1:00 pm. The Health and Caring Ministry Advisory Group is exploring different lay ministry programs and will be sending a team from our church to the workshop. If you are interested in attending the workshop, please let Sue Hedlund know by Sunday, March 12. 
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 our Pastor with any of your needs. Pastor Dale

Help Wanted!

Lenten Soup Suppers  
Lenten Soup Suppers are a wonderful way to try a variety of soups. We will offer a 'Soup of the Day', in addition to offering the soups that congregants share.   Sign-up sheets to bring soups and/or desserts are posted in the Gathering Area.  Please consider signing up to bring your favorite soup!  Thank you!

We have plenty of Service Opportunities!
Check it out at: Sign Up to Serve! 
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.