December 2018
What's happening this month
Annual Christmas Dinner and a Show
Matthew 25 will be preparing a wonderful meal again for us on Sunday, December 9 at 5 pm followed by the Christmas Story told by Our Saviour's preschoolers. 

**The dinner is a freewill offering to raise money to assist Matthew 25 in feeding the needy in the northern part of Moore County and to help purchase a laminating machine for the preschool! Please come out and support these two wonderful Ministries of Our Saviour Lutheran Church.

RSVP by December 2 *if you have not RSVP'd and would still like to come, please contact the church ASAP*

The Social Ministry’s Food Drive has begun. The food collected through this annual appeal will be used to provide Christmas dinner for 30 families which OSLC has “adopted” through the Christmas for Moore Christmas program.

Here are the items needed:
Canned fruit of any kind
Canned green beans, corn and peas
Canned sweet potatoes
Instant mashed potatoes
Cranberry sauce
46 oz. canned fruit juices
Box Cereal
Powdered milk
Dessert (such as instant pudding, cake mixes, or boxed cookies)
Please don’t feel that you must purchase all items listed.
Just pick up whatever you can and together we will fill these Christmas baskets!
You may leave your donations in the food chest by the Fellowship Hall any time thru December 12 . The Social Ministry Committee hopes to receive enough monetary gifts to purchase a ham for each family.
Poinsettias & Alternative Gifts
   It’s time to think about ordering
  poinsettias to adorn the sanctuary     
  on Christmas eve. As an
  alternative to ordering a poinsettia
  you may make a donation (for the   
  same amount as the price of a    
  poinsettia) to the Discretionary Fund.
   Orders will be accepted through December 10.
All donations and memorials will be listed in the bulletin on Christmas Eve. You may send your order to the church office or place it in the offering plate on Sundays or leave at the Welcome Center.
 Name _______________________________________________
 Number of poinsettias _______  OR   Alternative gift ________
 To the glory of God _____
 In Honor of __________________________________________
 In Memory of ________________________________________
Total Amount of Order $_____________   Envelope No. _______
 Check No. ____________         Phone Number _______________
Payment must accompany order! Please make your check payable to Our Saviour Lutheran Church for $11.00 per order. On your check note poinsettia or alternative gift .
"Simple water well" from ELCA Good Gifts Project

When we think of the word water, what comes to our mind? A cool refreshing drink,a good clean shower, relaxing in a spa or swimming in a pool. Water is the most important nutrient for the body.

For 2500.00 dollars a simple well is the biggest challenge to overcoming poverty. As many as 500 families have access to clean safe water.instead of spending hours each day to collect water for the family, women have time for word and school.

Help us reach our goal of 2500.00 dollars. Perhaps you can support a gift in honor of someone who passed away this year or a gift in honor of a friend, family member, etc.

Checks should be written to OSLC and designated "well project"

Thank you for your support . Evangelism Ministry.

To learn more visit ELCA Good Gifts
On Friday, December 14, 2018 we will be going to Squires Pub restaurant for lunch and a Christmas Party. The fun begins at 11:30. Please bring a $5.00 wrapped gift to share for a fun gift exchange game. Please sign-up at the Welcome Center. Any questions please call the Church Office at 692-2662. 

Let the joyful noise continue!

OSLC members will gather in the fellowship hall immediately following the service, December 16, in preparation to go out and spread the Good News and good will of Christmas to our local community by Christmas Caroling in the neighborhoods adjacent to Our Saviour. We invite all to return to the fellowship hall to share some warm cider, doughnuts, and community in Christ.
Lyric sheets will be provided!

Sunday, December 16
11:30 am (or end of service) - 12:30 pm Caroling
12:45 pm - 1:30 pm Community Cider and Doughnuts

Please use the Sign Up button below to participate! For additional information, contact Heather Lussier 978-621-5245

Christmas for Moore wreath making this past Sunday-THANK YOU to everyone that came out to make a wreath!

Reservations can be made in person at :

The Read Moore Center (575 SE Broad Street, Southern Pines)

Over the phone (910-692-5954)

Online (

There is an optional tax-deductible reservation fee of $50 for adults and $25 for children.  

Tuesday, December 11 10 AM-12 PM
at Our Saviour Lutheran Church

FREE event & registration is requested.

To register & for more information please contact Lisa Levine, 919-832-3732 or

What Happens Next?
Understanding the progression of dementia can help us learn what to expect and how to better interact with those we care about. Follow the story of one family as they move through the stages of dementia. Learn along with them what works, what doesn't work and how to keep the peace along the way.


Melanie Bunn, RN, MS, GNP
Dementia Training Specialist,
Dementia Alliance of North Carolina
                                              SWING BAND  (1:30 - 3:00 PM)
December 24th at 4 and 7 PM
Happy Anniversary

23- Fritz & Marilyn Flemming , 52 yrs
27- James & Paulette Aanrud , 51 yrs
22- Johnny & Melinda Ransdell , 45 yrs
28- Steve & Libby Carter , 43 yrs
18- Jay & Heidi Pittard , 36 yrs
16- David & Frances Clayton , 29 yrs
04- Harry & Carole Carter , 26 yrs
22-Pastor Linn & Jenijoy Fisher, 6 yrs
Happy Birthday

01-Ellen Klingener
01-Florrie Crisafulli
01-Karyn Kline
01-Jaleigh Jensen
02-Eloise Anderson
02-Bob Stolting
03-Ruth Stolting
03-Johnny Ransdell
05-Cinnamon LeBlanc-Johnson
06-Bernie Taubersmith
07-Dale Krech
07-Tom Adams
07-Riley Wilson
08-Wes Merchant
11-Sam Peterson
12-Pastor Linn Fisher
16-Graham Mataxis
17-Jean Henning
17-Chuck Crum
17-Joseph Maxwell
18-Nancy Blasingame
19-Doris Weinberg
19-Jordan Odom
20-Carol Bruno
20-Peggy Benson
21-Barbara Vainio
24-Barbara Skora
25-Jeff Binney
26-Kay Kish
26-Graham Haulsee
29-Phyllis Bradley
29-Nancy O'Brien
30-Susan Simmons

Registration for current church families is the week of
December 24th-December 30th.
Open registration begins on Monday, December 31st. If you know anyone that has a preschooler, please have them contact Rebecca Marchetti at for more information.
We have a one-year-old class, a two-year-old class, a three-year-old class,
a four-year-old class and a PreK class!
The Annual Meeting of the Congregation took place on Sunday, November 18 th at the conclusion of the morning Worship Service. Highlights of the meeting included unanimous stand adoption of the Annual Spending Plan, Ratification of a new Constitution and Bylaws that had been 2 years in the making . Additionally Aimee Rotting Haley and Barbara Vanio were elected by acclamation to represent OSLC and the Annual Meeting of the NC Lutheran Synod.

Elected to four year terms on the Church Council were Peggy Benson, Catherine Sigmon Mitchell, John Strohmenger and Larry Wilson. Tiffany Flack was elected to fill a two year unexpired term while Aimee Rotting Haley and Randy Zilsdorf were elect to complete one year unexpired terms. Council President Tom Adams said, “These individuals will make great additions to a busy and engaged Council. Continuing “we are appreciative for all who agreed to stand for election and wish them well in their new role as our elders.”

This meeting marked Adams last term as Council President. His final report to the congregation is below.

For the past 5 years it has been both an honor and an education to serve on the Council. Two of the five years I served as your Treasurer and for the last two as President. This is the last time I will address you as the OSLC President. I will also be resigning from the Council as of December 31st. This morning I want to spend a couple of minutes looking back over the last two years in the life of our church.

Two years ago on Todd Rausher’s last day as our Pastor I became President. His departure set off a year of introspection for us and led to a much closer relationship with the Bishop and his staff. We were blessed that a short six months before we had called Linn Fisher as Pastor of Outreach and Pastoral Care. The Council learned of his experience as a church developer and redeveloper and we really leaned on Linn to get us through that time. We owe him a real debt of gratitude for stepping up and doing the job of two Pastor’s while shepparding us through the healing process. To his credit he pushed the council to soldier on and at the end of January, after a two day retreat, we produced a plan to move us forward which scrapped the old plan for 2021. We presented to the congregation a plan that would form the basis of our ministry in coming years.

Our shared vision: Worship in Christ; Growth in Christ; Community in Christ. It was a huge mental effort to develop a vision that let us express in a few words what we want OSLC to be about. While that was an important outcome the big takeaway was that we were going to be OK as a congregation, we could work through the short term adversity and begin to ramp up for the future. Ramp up we did. Think about our progress over the past two years.

We have moved away from a Pastor led church to a church led instead by ministry teams, groups of individuals who come together around a specific purpose. Working through ministry teams we’ve expanded the scope of Mathew 25 to serve more children, expanded the Nursery School participated in the Southern Pines Fall Festival, begun outreach in the neighborhood with our first Halloween Trunk Party and increased participation under Music Director David Lucier in our music ministries. It is a long list of successes and we owe that success to God, of course, but also to all who participate in the various ministries.

It became readily clear after a couple of months into the year that we were just too big for one pastor. Working with Bishop Smith we were able to retain Pastor Meghan Richter for a year which allowed us to strengthen our youth programs and bring back Sunday School. She was a source of strength for many of us. Her departure led us to find Pastor Nagle, who has tremendous gifts and helps us remain not only stable but growing.

This year, late spring and early summer, was a challenge with Terry Dorsey’s on again and off again…..almost arrival. However, The single biggest challenge that the Council faced during my tenure was shrinking attendance at our worship services. At first we tried going from three services to two with a contemporary and a traditional service on Sunday rather than two traditionals. That did not slow the slide and by last spring we were averaging 70 attendees at the two services for a total Sunday attendance of around 140 or less.

The decision to move to a blended service at 10:30 was vigorously debated by Council over the summer months, with input sought from our members, and implemented in late September. Since then our attendance has gained to around 200 on Sunday, a significant increase. We have heard from you about what you don’t like and do like and as we expected not everyone is happy with everything while others like things just fine. What I do know is that not everyone is going to be happy no matter how the service is conducted. Change is hard and as I near 70 I can tell you that it does not get easier.

What we are doing with the music at the service is to try to keep to a 60/40 blend, maybe a little more traditional some Sunday’s and a little more contemporary on others. Just know and remember that by having taken this step that we have more people in the choir, more people playing bells and the beginnings of a children’s choral group. This is a good thing. Remember Martin Luther’s teaching “it’s about worshiping the word”.

Okay, so what’s ahead? I am very optimistic that we have entered into a time of renewal and growth. Lots of things are possible. We’re looking at expansion of Matthew 25; perhaps an expansion of the school into grades 1 to 3. Growing attendance on Sunday maybe leading us back to multiple services, a reinvigorated Christian education programs for all ages, certainly a new associate minister. The opportunities are boundless and limited only to the extent of our creativity and faithfulness.

So, the time has come for me to go as your President and Council member. In 25 years as the CEO of four large international medical societies and medically related trade associations I came to the realization that Past Presidents are just that, past, and like MacArthur…. should just fade away. I’ll still be around but the time has come for others to lead. I will tell my successor next month that I will try not to complain when decisions are made by the council that I disagree with, that I will give new ideas a chance and I will continue to do all that I can to keep our doors open and grow our ministries.

So family, that’s where we have been together. I have enjoyed the trip laughing and at times crying on our journey. We have a lot to be thankful for. A great and dedicated Senior Pastor and interim associate pastor, growing attendance, a music program on its way to being the best in the city and a wonderful church where God will hold us in the palm of his hand.

Thank you for letting me serve on the Council and as your President.

On Friday, November 2, the OSLC Concert Ministry hosted a performance by pianist Seung Ah Kim. Ms. Kim played a diverse program that included music from the 18 th through 20 th century.

Highlights of the program included ”L’Alouette” by Mily Balekirev, and Variations on a Theme by Corelli by Sergei Rachmaninoff. “L’Alouette” emphasized Ms. Kim’s light touch on the keys while p[aying very complex music. The “Variations”, which was not familiar to most of the audience showed Ms. Kim as a very powerful player, who never sacrificed the beauty of the music to the intensity of the technique. Ms. Kim also played the “Ritual Fire Dance” by Manuel Falla, a piece more associated with the violin. The audience was definitely impressed by the speed and precision of her performance.

Ms. Kim was joined for 2 encores by tenor Jaeyoon Kim, who sang “The Lord’s Prayer” and “It is Well with my Soul, in an arrangement by Ms. Kim. . Mr. Kim was in excellent voice and brought new appreciation to these old favorites.
A portion of the free will offering collected will be donated to the North Moore Family Resource Center to support their work with the families of the Robbins area.

The OSLC Concert Ministry thanks everyone who supports our ministry. We look forward to seeing you at our next concert in spring 2019.

The Original Love Story (L ast year's Christmas Eve sermon)

In the Gospel reading, the Nativity story you just heard, we find ourselves at the Eve of Christ’s birth.
Joseph, the professional craftsman, has left his business in snug little Bethlehem, and gone to the big city, obeying the order of Caesar Augustus.

He’s taken Mary with him, since they don’t know how long they’ll need to be there to be counted in the census. And it’s time for Jesus to be born. 

On Christmas cards we often see a pretty little Little House on the Prarie-esque wooden horse barn. And we imagine it brightly lit by lanterns. 

When we read the Christmas story from our modern western perspective, with the traditions that have been depicted in art for generations, we find ourselves believing it’s a pretty, polished, fairytale-like rags to riches tabloid story.

Cinderella the maid becomes the Queen of the kingdom; Sleeping Beauty the princess pricks her finger on a workers spindle but is rescued by a prince.

The baby born in a smelly barn grows up to become the Son of God, the Messiah, the King of Kings.
But if we take a close look at history and culture of Palestine we find that Jesus’ birth was actually very ordinary as births go.

From historical sources we know that our Gospel writer Luke, a Doctor, was an accurate and detailed writer. You might notice there’s no barn mentioned in his story. No hotel.

The word we have as “Inn” would today be translated as a “guest room in the house”. In the middle east it’s common for extended family to live together in a large house, and for there to be extra room for visitors.

Luke makes it clear that Joseph’s family is from Bethlehem. And that matches up with Matthew’s account that Jesus was born in a house.

When Luke tells us there’s “no extra room’ to be had, his readers would have understood that Mary and Joseph were staying with his relatives in Bethlehem, but that the guest rooms were already taken.

Do you remember that trend in the 1970’s for sunken living rooms?  In the Palestine area it is common for a middle class home of tradesman’s family to have one of those.

The animals are brought in at night for safety and bedded down in the sunken living room. And on the wall is a feed-box – a manger.

In the middle of a busy season, amidst extended family, recovering from the hubbub of a road trip, a baby is born at home, wrapped up in the Palestinian fashion, and put in a convenient, if a bit unusual middle class crib. 

I remember vividly the night our son was born. James was born at home, and I paced the house, absentmindedly carrying our little dog, who was completely bewildered by my behavior.

I knew that having a child was going change my life. I didn’t how much. Many scripture readings have taken on new meaning now that I’m a father.

When I’m faced with a sobbing little boy, fighting sleep, who just needs to be held and reassured that it’s ok to give in, the words “Come unto me, ye who are weary, and I will give you rest” takes on new meaning.

I’ve watched our toddler wrestle with separation anxiety, especially from Mama. At times my wife can’t walk from one room to another without our usually cheerful son breaking down in tears.

To which my wife quips “Lo, I am with you always…..even until the end of the age!”

The other night I watched James repeat to my wife, over and over, what he wanted, thinking Mama didn’t understand.

Then when she assured him she understood, he started crying loudly because she didn’t immediately give him what he’d asked for.

I was struck with the thought that we, like little children, fuss and complain to God that we don't get what we want.

Our perspective is that God doesn't understand what we're asking for or what we need...When the truth is we're not yet mature enough to see the process and timing of God.

We find ourselves, like little children, fearing the darkness of uncertainty, of being left by ourselves in the cold unknown. 

I remember a time when I felt deep fear. I was 24 years old, a seminary student doing my internship. I was one of 4 students in the US who had been selected for overseas internships.

I arrived in Cameroon West Africa, assigned to the local native Lutheran Church near an ELCA Mission compound. In my first weeks there I contracted a deadly strain of malaria.

I called my family in the states to say goodbye, and was deathly ill for days. I had surprisingly little fear. I talked to God and was at peace that He had me in His hands, whether I lived or died.

On December 18 th 1995 I followed a young native guide into the bush to see the sites. Cameroon’s next door neighbor is Nigeria, a country in civil war, long divided between Muslim and Christian factions. 

For the local people passports don’t exist; boundaries in the bush are unmarked. There are no checkpoints, no signs saying “Last exit before entering Nigeria.”

A few hours into our walk my guide and I were picked up by local Nigerian police. Muslim police. They believed I was a spy, and threw me in the local prison and interrogated me for 3 days.

They beat my guide. They let me know that my next stop, without any hearing or trial, would be a prison in the interior of Nigeria, a prison known as a death sentence.

The wilds of Cameroon and Nigeria have limited electricity. The night sky shines clear above the sounds of the wildlife. Indoors the night is inky. You literally can’t see your hand before your face.

In that prison, out the window at night, there was a faint glimmer of light somewhere across the village. That light symbolized hope, that somehow, some way, God would intervene. He did.

That’s another story for another time, but that December, in the darkness of my situation, I found great comfort remembering that Christ had walked through darkness darker than mine, and safe in the certainty that He was the light to my path.

The news-worthy part of the story of Jesus’ birth is the shining angels that appeared to common ordinary shepherds.

The riveting Words of the Lord, accompanied by a bright light, announced His own son, the Light of the World:  

Fear Not. 
There’s Good News. 
Great joy.  
A Savior. 
Glory to God. 
Peace to Man, for God is pleased. 

When we focus on the tradition of the stable we risk missing out on the powerful simplicity of God’s love in action. 

For you see, God understands our deepest fears and needs. He knew that the best way to comfort his people was by sending his most loved only son to be with us; not sending him as a king, but as an ordinary baby who could be with us and understand all the frailties of humankind.

God could have sent the king and messiah the Jewish people we expecting. But He didn’t send an obvious hero, on horseback with saber drawn, to swoop in and cut away our sins.

Instead he sent a baby to be tiny and frail, to struggle and grow and live among us. To be surrounded by ordinary people.

He sent a baby to understand us and to love us and to choose to give his life for ours and gently wash away our sins.

No matter where you are in your life; no matter what's holding you captive: no matter how dark and messy things may seem; the light of Christ illumines our life and lights the way that leads us to Bethlehem where a child will change our lives forever. And that is love at it's core.
By the time you read this, it’s only early December. But on the other hand, seasonal stuff needs to happen by early December. Including the family letter you include with your Christmas card. You know what they usually look like, but can you imagine the truth being told?

Dear family and friends: Well, another year has come and gone. And it was pretty much the same as every other year. Except that Bob has a new hip. It was supposed to go better than it did, but whatever. The sad news is that Cindy and Buck have separated. That’s no surprise but we’re not happy about it. Their kids are doing ok. Peggy Sue got sixth place in her class’ gymnastics meet. Bobby has decided he’s going to drop out of school and find a job somewhere. I keep up with the housework that never seems to end. Our dishwasher did end, by the way. But the sink still works! Uncle Frank, who raised me, died at the age of 92. A real blessing, I guess, but a loss all the same. Not sure what decorations will make it up this year. Climbing the ladder isn’t that easy. But we hope your year has been better than ours. Have a Merry Christmas. Love, Linda

Dear Linda and Bob and Cindy and Buck and Peggy Sue and Bobby: Wow! You’ve had quite a year. There must have been moments when you wondered whether anything good could come of it. Most people’s Christmas cards show a pretty nativity scene, but that hides life’s realities. So it occurs to us that they call it labor pains for a reason. And the expectant father must have been out of his mind with worry. And the manger had splinters and the straw scratched. And the animals smelled too. And company dropped by at what wasn’t an opportune moment. But God used all of that to become good for the world. To do something good and to become good. We believe that, and hope you can believe that too. In next year’s letter, let us know how it all worked out. Love, all the rest of us.

Prayers & Cares

Friends and Relatives
All Military, Flood, Earthquake, Volcano Victims, Cancer Patients, Rosa Aguilar, Chelsea Boet, Derek Burleson, Jim Constantino, Barbara Dice, Pam Grupp, Jill Hunger, Harley Jacobsen, Mary Lou Jackson, Diane Lewis, David Nelson, David Parker, Deb Payseur, Lloyd Paris, Phillip Paris, Shawn Plotz, Dave Roberts,, Miles Robinson, Jeff Santos, Fran Starke, Patsy Olson Family, and Sami Jo Gonzalez

At Home —   Eloise Anderson, Rick Barnes, Polly Bethea, Dick and Pat Bock, Shirley Braisted, Cris Crisafulli, Dorothy Cullen, Jack and Sue Diffily, Leatha Ferebee, Susan Gribben, Ellen Klingener, Florence McCormick, Leonard Nagel, Joan Nelson, Marian Oswalt, Barbara Reid, Jim Seevers, Jean Sherrill, Grace Sides, Gordon Zeller

In Extended Care Pinehurst Rehab: Peggy Smith, Quail Haven Rehab: Mary McNabb; Fox Hollow Rehab; Harris Skinner, Bonnie Springer
In Service To Our Country — Sean Barnes, Jon Drew, Pastor Linn Fisher, Ben Flanick, Mark Jennings, Ian Lilyquist, Mark Ochoa, Matt Prairie, Amy Ramirez and Sean Ramirez

Our Mission Partner — Water of Life Lutheran, Wilmington.
Our Missionary in Costa Rica — Pastor Stephen Deal.


To the Discretionary Fund
In memory of Bill Bradley
Given by Phyllis Bradley

To the Discretionary Fund
In memory of Bill Bradley
Given by Anna Marie Loeser

To the Discretionary Fund
In memory of Bill Bradley
Given by Chris & Fliorrie Crisafulli

Thank you for your continued support.

To submit items to be included in the monthly newsletter or on social media, please email Keri Johnson or visit the church social media/communications office across from the welcome desk. All submissions are due by the 20th of the month and are based on approval by the Pastor.