Tuesday, March 14, 2017

"Life's Journey"     

Dear Members and Friends of Our Savior's Lutheran Church,
As we continue this Lenten journey together, I sincerely pray that you are finding time and opportunity to reflect on your faith and relationship with God. As your pastor, this is most often my hope and prayer for you - not just in Lent.
While scanning my facebook feed recently, I came across a friend who was experiencing a loss of faith and was asking her facebook friends how to grow stronger in faith. Among many of her friend's comments were these:
"I have struggled with that, too. It's a frightening thing to come to the realization that everything you've been taught since you were born isn't true. When you realize that God and religion are here to control us - and it's always been this way. I know it's scary, I struggled with it for a long time. Now I know the reason why I tried so many different churches and the pastors could never answer my questions. It's because none of it is real."
Another of her friends posted, "Is it possible you are struggling with your faith because you've seen no actual evidence of God's existence?"
I was discouraged with these friend's advice to her. Then I came upon this comment from another of her friends,
"What a joy to have you ask for direction with your faith. I think faith in God is the most important thing you can seek. I have grown so much in my faith by going to worship and by reading my Bible. Also, talk to God just like you would a trustworthy friend and ask him to guide you to the right church or study for you."
There were many other comments - both encouraging and discouraging. This thread reminded me all the more of the need to pray for my friend and for you as you navigate the ups and downs and windy roads of not only the Lenten wilderness we are currently in, but of the wilderness of life that we live in every day of our lives.
Discouragement happens as we seek to live lives worthy of God. Joy and rejoicing happens as a result of living lives that are worthy of God. These feelings are not constant, however. They come and go - but the gospel truth is that God remains steady and faithful even when we do not. I have made plans to take this friend of mine out for coffee. We will talk about the ups and downs of life and I will share with her the gospel truth.
This coming Wednesday in worship, as we continue our Lent with Luther series, we will be reminded again of the importance of our two sacraments - baptism and communion - and how they can strengthen us in our faith. Luther taught that it is baptism that initiates our relationship with God and that it is communion that sustains our relationship with God.
Also, this Sunday we'll hear about the Samaritan woman at the well and how, through an unexpected encounter with Jesus, her life of faith (or lack of it) was transformed into a powerful witness and testimony to all who could hear her as she shouted, "Come and see a man who knows everything about me and still loves me!"
That's the gospel truth! See you in Church! 
Pastor Dale
Worship & Music This Week

Wednesday, March 15, 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 Enchilada

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 19, 2017

8:00 am Traditional Worship in the Sanctuary
9:00 am Blood Pressure Check
9:15 am Adult Education
No Faith Formation
10:30 am Blended Worship in the CLC

2:00 pm Girls Day Out
7:30 pm AA

Special Music at 8:00 am: Kingdom Choir

Childcare available at all worship services

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! 
Last week to RSVP for 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!

Blood pressure checks will be available between services this Sunday, March 19, in the parish nurse office.        
New Membership Orientation       
Interested in Becoming a Member at Our Savior's Lutheran Church? Please attend one of the New Member Orientation sessions on Tuesday, April 4, at 6:30 pm or Thursday, April 6, at 6:30 pm here at the church. Childcare will be available at both sessions. Please RSVP to the church office to let us know which session you would like to attend. New members will be received on Sunday, April 23.
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 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). 
12th Annual Senior Health & Faith Day    
The St. Croix Valley Parish Nurses are excited to announce the 12 th Annual Senior Health and Faith Day Event " Healing Through the Arts...Living Well in Mind, Body, Spirit" on Tuesday, April 25 from 8:30 am-12:30 pm here at Our Savior's. Please see the signup sheet on the PEP bulletin board or contact the church office to register as seating is limited! 
Lenten Devotional Books     
Our Savior's and Christ the King in Durango CO teamed up to write our own devotional book for this Lenten season.  Hopefully you have already pickup one up for your Lenten journey.  If not, please find "A Gift from the Heart" devotional in the Gathering Area.  Several of the writers are from Our Savior's!
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!

Sunday Morning Coffee Volunteers   
Looking for an individual or individuals to assist with Sunday Morning Coffee.   This involves coffee/treat set-up, monitoring the tables insuring coffee and treats are stocked and clean-up.  Specifically looking for assistance on Sunday, March 19 th .   If you are able to help, please use the sign-up sheet on the kitchen counter or contact Sue Ortman.  Thank you. 
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.