Tuesday, February 28, 2017

"Remember You Are Dust . . ."

Dear Members and Friends of Our Savior's Lutheran Church,
What strange words to hear spoken to you - "Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return." They are strange even for life-long Christians and difficult to completely comprehend. Imagine a person relatively new to the faith, upon hearing these words, what they might be thinking.
It's important that we do our best to understand and comprehend the meaning, significance, and impact of these words that we hear every Ash Wednesday. The words were first spoken by the Lord God in the book of Genesis (3:19) to Adam and Eve in response to them disobeying the Lord's command to not eat the fruit of the tree of life. These words, when spoken in this context, were a scolding of sorts - a punishing reminder of who we are, where we came from, and where we will return. They offered a firm reminder that Adam and Eve were not God - that they were mortal - and that we were created to live and to die.

These words today - when heard every Ash Wednesday - are still a vivid reminder of our mortality, meant to keep us grounded in the grace and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. In this sense, they can be heard not in a punishing way, but rather in a comforting way. We know we were created by God, to live for God, and to die only to live with God again - eternally. We are not in control of creation - we are to live in gratitude of what God has created for our purposes. When we begin to forget this, the words of Ash Wednesday can serve as a bold and stark reminder. This is good for us as we enter into the season of Lent where we focus every year on the difficult journey through the wilderness of life where, more than ever, we need to be reminded of God's redeeming love and sacrifice for us.
When you hear the words, "Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return" this week, I pray you hear God's Word of comfort, hope, and expectation - that even out of dust (ashes), beauty and new life can arise. But I'm getting ahead of myself :)
This week also begins our "Lent with Luther" midweek preaching/teaching series. Check out your weekly bulletin announcements or our church website/eBlast for the full weekly schedule and themes. There will be opportunities for conversation about Luther on Sunday mornings, beginning March 19 and Wednesday evenings, beginning on March 8. Watch for more details.
Also, don't forget about our upcoming congregational meetings on Sundays, March 5 and 12. These meetings will be held at 9:15 a.m. in the sanctuary. The March 12 meeting is an official congregational meeting where we will vote on whether or not to sell some of our land to Ecumen for the proposed senior housing project. I hope to see you there.
Lenten blessings to you all this week. There is much happening for you and your friends and family to be a part of at Our Savior's!
Come and See!
Pastor Dale
Worship & Music This Week

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Ash Wednesday Worship
11:30 am & 7:00 pm

 Sermon by: Pastor Dale Stiles

Soup Lunch following 11:30 am worship
5:00 - 6:30 pm Soup Supper preceding 7:00 pm worship
Soup of the day Broccoli Cheese 
 8:00 pm Good News! Rehearsal

Sunday, March 5, 2017

8:00 am Traditional Worship in the Sanctuary
9:15 am Congregational Meeting
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: Liturgical Singers

Childcare available at all worship services

Announcement of Congregational Meetings     
Sunday, March 5, at 9:15 am -- Informational Meeting
The second informational meeting about the proposed senior housing project will be held on Sunday, March 5, at 9:15 am in the sanctuary. This meeting will be facilitated by representatives of Ecumen and Kaas Wilson Architects and will include updated examples of conceptual designs and plans for the project.

Sunday, March 12, at 9:15 am -- Congregational Vote
A formal meeting of our congregation for the purpose of voting on the sale of Our Savior's Lutheran Church property to Ecumen will be held on Sunday, March 12, at 9:15 am in the church sanctuary. All active and confirmed members of Our Savior's Lutheran Church are encouraged to attend. 

2017 Lenten Schedule      
Wednesday, March 1: Ash Wednesday
  • 11:30 am Lenten Worship followed by soup lunch
  • 5:00 - 6:30 pm soup supper
  • 7:00 pm Lenten Worship
  • No Faith Formation this day
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

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
  •  Sundays March 5 & March 12 topics will be postponed due to the congregational meetings called on those dates.
  •  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.
Lenten Walking Devotional 
Consider a walking devotional time for yourself this Lenten season.
The Health & Caring Ministry Committee has a devotional book and maps for both indoor and outdoor walking loops so you can give yourself the gift of physical exercise along with meditative time with God. The book, "Walking to the Cross" by Butch Odom is a 40-day devotional specifically designed for Lent. There are books and maps available along the west bank of window in the Gathering Area for all to use here at the church (leave books when finished). Come and enjoy!

The Walk & Talk group will be walking at the church through Lent on Mondays, 5:30 - 6:30 pm. We will be using the book "Walking to the Cross" for our devotions beginning March 6. Anyone is welcome to join us.
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  
Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent starts March 1. 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.   The 'Soup of the Day' will be published in the weekly e-blast and Sunday bulletin.  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.