Welcome to Our Savior’s in Hibbing!

Version 2
Sunday September 13th, 2020 – Live Broadcast

Please listen to the radio on WMFG 1240 AM Sunday mornings at 10:30 am or tune in to our TV Broadcast—channel 5 Tuesday’s at 6 pm or Wednesday’s at 8 am.  You may also follow us on Facebook and You Tube.  

Our Savior’s is ready to accept e-donations. It’s easy and secure. To get started download GIVE+ app for free in the App Store or Google Play or Click Here

September office hours will be going back to full time hours. Monday – Friday 8am – 4:30pm. However, September 7th, Labor Day, will be closed.

The OSLC COVID-19 Preparedness Plan

So, when are we going to be able to come back to church?”

          Good question!  But before we muse on the possibilities as to when we might see each other in face-to-face congregant, corporate, worship at Our Savior’s, let me begin by saying THANK YOU!            Thank you for your patience as together we navigate what life is like in this COVID world that we live in, exchanging a church pew for a computer or television screen.  Thank you for your informed understanding that the only way to truly “flatten the Curve of COVID” is to stay the course in social distancing, wearing the mask, and avoiding large crowds.  And thank you for your discipline as you error not on the side of your personal rights, but on your personal responsibilities, as the day-to-day practice of social distancing truly does display your love for the neighbor. 

Patience. Understanding. Discipline. These are three Christian virtues that will deliver us all through these dark times.  Earlier this summer a Smart Team was formed to create a Reopening Plan utilizing the best patience, understanding, and discipline we can muster as to when it would be safe for us to gather in corporate worship at OSLC. Quoting from the June Voice two months back the purpose of the Smart Team is to:  1) to help discern the best and safest way to re-open our church building; AND 2) to determine what might be the best practices of continuing to do worship and ministry in the reality of a COVID-19 world.

Studying the best resources available to address the COVID pandemic, the OSLC Smart Team has just completed a detailed Reopening Plan, the given title: Our Savior’s Lutheran Church of Hibbing COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.  Every church member will be mailed the COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in early September. 

The COVID-19 Preparedness Plan will spell out, in detail, all of the social distancing protocols and precautions that we will need to take to help mitigate the spread, or avoid a resurgence of, the Corona Virus as we gather for worship.  Part of this planwill require everyone to: 1. Wear masks at all time during Sunday morning worship. 2. Sign-up for worship ahead of time answering a medical  questionnaire, and taking an assigned pew socially distanced  from others, with a maximum capacity of 65 people in the sanctuary at any given time.  3. Entering and exiting specific doors, and following instructions to limit  as much as possible any tactile contact with building surfaces and/or other people.   

And there is much more important information to follow on this four page document.  Please read it carefully, and abide by the instructions and the protocols that are written there in. 

With respect to when we can re-gather for worship under the directives spelled out in the COVID-19 Preparedness Plan, we simply don’t know.  It is our goal that when we do deem it “somewhat safe” to gather for worship that there will be a working plan in place so that we can deftly communicate to you when the sanctuary will be open for worship.  Of course it goes without saying we will continue to worship via the virtual medium of Facebook and Youtube well into the future.

Finally, let me conclude by giving yet another shout of thanks to our Church Council President, Julie Jordan, our Church Council, our Property Committee, and the Worship & Music Committee, our Smart Team, for the fine work they have done in drafting the COVID-19 Preparedness Plan!  Their work and dedication has been indispensible “for such a time as this!”   God’s blessings to us all!           Pastor Kevin

The 50th Anniversary of the Ordination of Women

Due to the COVID threat among us, this year’s 2020 Northeastern Minnesota Synod Assembly of the ELCA was postponed from last spring, and was not held until most recently – having “gone virtual” – under the theme of: “You Are the Light of the World” from Matthew 5:14-16. 

A huge highlight of this year’s assembly was – and still remains – the 50th Anniversary of the Ordination of Women for parish ministry within the ELCA, and the predeceasing Lutheran church bodies that merged to become the ELCA.  A summarizing statement from our Presiding Church Wide Bishop, Elizabeth Eaton (herself the first woman to hold such an office) reads as follows: 

With gratitude for those who have gone before and hope for the future, the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America) gives  thanks to God for the ministry of women.  In 2019 and 2020 we celebrate 50 years of Lutheran women being ordained in the United States, 40 years of women of color being ordained, and 10 years of  LGBTQIA+individuals being able to serve freely.  On June 29th, 1970, the Lutheran Church in America voted to change the word “man” to “person”  in its bylaws and opened the door for the ordination of women.  The American Lutheran Church achieved the same thing by resolution a few months later.  The church was led by the Spirit to change.  Fifty years later we celebrate the anniversary as a whole church.

“The influence of those decisions 50 years ago is not merely the impact on women.  This is a celebration for the whole church, because the whole church has been strengthened by the gifts of ordained women in its leadership.  We celebrate how these pastors have shared the Word, including with words of  compassion, conviction, and curiosity.  We also give thanks for the moments when there are no words, but they have offered their presence.

We also know that women who are pastors have struggled in ways men who   are pastors have not.  They deal with sexual harassment, disrespect, and often lower pay due to gender-based discrimination.  The first women of color in our predecessor bodies weren’t ordained until 1979.  And it wasn’t until 2009 that barriers to ordination were removed for   LGBTQIA+individuals  in committed relationships.  We know that racism and heterosexism complexify and intensify these problems.  This discrimination is also part of our heritage, and something that we need to continue to work to eliminate”.

Candidly, the church within our “neck of the woods” – the Laurentian Conference of the NE MN Synod of the ELCA – has been rather slow to embrace women as parish pastors within our congregations.  Entrenched attitudes can be difficult to change, and interpretations from cherry picked scripture texts can be used to support destructive division, and enforce stereotypes that have no place in the Body of Christ.   

Worship within our churches is steeped within set traditions, and early memories that we carry with us from childhood may make it difficult for us to see anyone but a man wearing a robe and stole in front of the church on Sunday morning, and preferably that he is married and has 2.3 children! 

But this tragic paradigm needs to be graciously challenged.  A careful reading and study of the scriptures reveals that the early church was greatly empowered and enhanced by the leadership of women in public ministry.    Moreover, who can refute the Spirit filled admonition from the Apostle Paul from Galatians 3:26-28 “For in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.  As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all you are one in Christ Jesus.”

As the 50th Anniversary of the Ordination of Women within the ELCA is being celebrated, women serve 10 out of the 25 active congregations within our Laurentian Conference.  These women are competent, gifted pastors, who in many cases have sacrificed much to serve the church.  But unfortunately these women have also run into many of the challenges and roadblocks that Bishop Eaton just articulated, and that obviously should not be. 

These women deserve to be called by their titles, they deserve to not have their authority challenged when they seek to serve their flock, they deserve to be embraced as full partners in full equality, male and female, as the Body of Christ.   And as we live into the next 50 years of what ministry might bring us, may we all strive for such a greater light. 

Pastor Kevin

Our Savior’s Emergency Food Shelf continues to offer a life line to those individuals/families that find themselves in unexpected circumstances.  We would encourage you to consider the Food Shelf as part of your donation .   Thank you from the Mission Action Committee

Notes from Roy               
I have been thinking more and more about how we might present music in our services.  Choirs certainly were not intended for social distancing.  We should be able to find a way to do it both in practice and performance.  I am thinking that we may even start with a small ensemble and gradually expand.  I will certainly understand if a singer opts out.  I will expect feedback from my singers.  The music of course would have to be selected with all of this in mind.  We want to ‘do no harm’.  Handbells are a less likely item at the moment.  Players have to be in close proximity because bells are shared and arms don’t stretch enough for the six foot rule.  We will continue to give this much thought.  Larger churches did music with their section leaders so that all of the parts were there, singers could be spaced and music was selected that would work with four voices.  We are also watching closely what others are doing.  Our music will come back in baby steps much like our faith often begins.  There is so much to learn in the current state of things and if we use the good sense that God has given us, we will be back together.  In our faith journey we have prepared for a time such as this.  The fact that we cannot be separated from our God is in evidence everywhere!                                                       Roy

Property Committee is looking for a couple of additional members. These are some exciting times, with numerous projects in the works. The Church Facility is 60+ years old and in need of some updates and we are looking for additional input and assistance. If you are interested please contact Joe A. or Mike S., Pastor Kevin or the Church Office. 

Council Meeting Highlights ((August 11, 2020)

  • The council met remotely via Skype
  • As of July 31, the General Fund had a positive balance of $12,779.89.  White Envelope offering hovers close to 2019 offerings-to-date.
  • The draft reopening plan was reviewed and final changes made.  The rest of the Smart Team provided input, and the document will be mailed to all OSLC households in early September.
  • In-person worship is not expected until later in September at the earliest.  Services will be conducted in-person every Sunday at 9:00 AM.  Preregistration will be needed (call the church office, or register on our website); parishioners will be asked to self-screen prior to coming to church; masks will be required.  Seating will be limited to every other pew; the maximum seating capacity of the sanctuary is about 65.  The church basement will not be open.  We will continue to track guidance from the state and federal governments.
  • Pastor Kevin will be conducting in-person Holy Communion in the courtyard on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:00-4:00 PM beginning August 18.  Social distancing will be followed.
  • Online, radio, and TV broadcasts of services will continue to be provided after reopening.
  • Sunday School will not be conducted in-person this fall.
  • The resignation of Council Member Kate Arens was accepted; candidates are being sought to fill the remainder of her term.  Thanks to Kate for her years of service and dedication!
  • The Synod Assembly will be held via Zoom on Aug. 28-29.  Bishop election will take place.

A sincere Thank You to Kate A. for her years of service on the Church Council.  Kate has served as member and secretary, and just recently resigned due to impacts of our Covid-19 world.  Kate provided valuable input to the council and was always able to bring a little bit of refreshing insight to issues.  We will miss her bubbly enthusiasm, but wish her good health and much blessings.  Thanks Kate!

The Columbarium at Our Savior’s offers perpetually endowed care for the remains of those who choose cremation.  It is a place of peace, solitude, and prayer restoring the ancient practice of church burial.  If you would like to learn more about the Columbarium, please make an appointment with Cindy in the church office by calling 218-263-7422.  An optional payment plan is available.

Heating System RenovationDone, Done, Done. Yes the project is essentially done! Today, 8/20/2020, the factory representative started the new Boiler, Pump, and Valve System. Everything went great. System was started up and each of the 3 boiler sections worked. System then ran to temperature and hot water was pumped into every zone with control via the thermostats (26). System safety functions were then tested for each boiler subsection (3). Passed them all. Normal operation and maintenance was then provided to Travis Odegaard and 2 people from Iron Range Plumbing and Heating.          A Super Day!

The other good news is the replacement grillwork to replace the damaged in shipment grillwork arrived on Monday and was installed today. There is still some minor to do items to finish, plus the full load test in September when the outside temperature is cooler. Today’s test brought the in room temps up from 74 to 80 degrees. We are right on budget for expenses. Donations toward the project continue to come in and with that less money is needed from the White Elephant Fund.

Pastor Kevin continues to utilize the air conditioning for the Sunday services, as it is a welcome relief to these hot and humid days

Mike S. and Joe A., Property Committee Co-chairs

Property Committee Report

Many projects are coming to an end.

Entire old section of the Church: Travis has been given 2 lists of things to do on the cleaning of The Church following the heating renovation project. There is a systematic sequence on what and when items are cleaned.

Fireside Room: This area is also done. It looks great, with new wall paint, new LED lights, new switches and outlets and best of all “New Carpet”.

Nursery: New carpeting has been installed. Carpet was worn and has been through many floods.

Fellowship Hall: Walls have been repaired, painted, new outlets and switches. Also 7 new identical bulletin boards have been installed. The Boy Scout Display is also back up in the same place. The plaques which honored Troup 17 Eagle Scouts is on display. New LED lights installed in dark elevator waiting area and the tower stairwell which are on 24/7.

Kitchen: The ceiling and walls have been painted. A few other updates are being contemplated, “News on that to follow, once formalized”.

Church Office: Flaking walls and ceiling will be repaired and painted and the worn-out carpet will be replaced. All work and completion in September.

Please Note: We continue to follow covid-19, State and CDC guidelines. We are utilizing as few people as possible in cleaning. If we need more help, we shall contact people to help. This past Month Oscar Schock and Larry Schmelzer were called to help. Roy Berg helped with reroute of audio and video cables.Note: As fluorescent bulbs and ballasts burn out on fluorescent lights, we are replacing them with LED lights. In some cases if they are in an area where there are 2 of the old lights we change out both. We continue to reduce our power footprint. Mike S. and Joe A. Property Committee Co-Chairs

Dear Friends in Christ. Greetings. It has been a long time since we have met for Sunday School. As we are planning to return to services, we need to prepare a return to Sunday School plan. Due to the uncertainty of the times, we are looking at a return in October. All plans will be based on any changes due to the cases of Covid-19. If we are unable to meet for the typical class, I will send out a weekly kit for the children. If you are new to Sunday School and would like to receive a school kit, please feel free to reach out to the church office or me. I am also looking for teachers or assistance with the school kits. Please, prayerfully consider volunteering your time for the youth of the church. I can be reached via email, heatherpinkoski@outlook.com, phone, or text (218) 966 -6655.

In Christ, Heather Pinkoski, Sunday School Superintendent

Confirmation News: (Grade as of September 2020 – May 2021)—–

3rd grade  –   You will receive a Bible and Sunday Morning this fall

4th grade  –   Next spring you will receive a devotional book

5th grade  –   If you have received Communion instruction plan to attend Communion in the courtyard any Tuesday or Thursday at 3 p.m. in September, weather permitting and social distancing

6th grade  –   Communion in the courtyard is everyone.

7th-10th grades –     Classes will be held virtually this fall.  Notice of starting dates will be texted or emailed soon.          Participation:  10 sermon notes, 10 hours of service 

11th grade – As soon as plans for the Rite of Confirmation are made you will be notified.  Continue to meet by phone or social distanced and complete your sermon note requirements.

Sharik/Farseth Scholarship applications are being accepted – deadline is September 15th.  Our selection criteria would include the following – Member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church; must have completed 1 year (minimum of 30 credits) of post-secondary education within the past 3 years (include transcript); volunteer activities in school, church and community; and, academic performance.  Applications available in the office, via mail or e-mail.

MISSION ACTION has continued to serve our community in various ways this summer.  The Food Shelf continues to be staffed by Pastor Kevin and Travis on Thursdays and Fridays.  Starting in September we will go back to being open from 1-2:30 p.m. as church office hours are expanding.  Thank you for your continued support.

We will post on the Hibbing School page about our clothes closet and how to access use of it.  Sharon has been busy sorting all the items that recently came in and assessing what the needs are to fill gaps in certain sizes.

The quilters have been participating in mask making all summer and now with the school mask challenge.  Thank you to Lauren J. and Ossie S. for cutting hundreds of yards of elastic to the needed sizes.  Also to Emily L. for washing and ironing the pillowcases we use for mask backs.  This is truly many hands making work lighter.

The target date for starting actual quilting will be October 5th  from 9:30 to 11:00 at first since we will have no formal coffee time.  This is subject to change to a longer time period.   Protocol in place will be masks and worn in building as it is appropriate.  We can basically social distance quite well in the Fellowship Hall and still have 20 people.  Each person will need to bring their own beverage and snack.  Chairs will be set up around perimeter for seating when needed.   We will allow only three people at a table set up for tying.   The plan now is the week of September 21st to move items back to the quilting closets.  We are coordinating with cleaning that is still going on in the kitchen/fellowship hall area.  Thanks Mike, Joe, Larry, Travis and Ossie for the great work in that area.   Each chair and table have been washed and sanitized and the FH received a coat of paint and seven new bulletin boards.

Areas like the dessert corner will need to be cleaned and sanitized, but in cooperation with Mike and Joe for that project.

Thank you for your patience and all your prayers for our church and the ongoing projects. Blessings in Christ, Sue Schock

Thank you for being part of Bluegrass 2020! Together we raised more than $32,000 to support the ministries at Camp Hiawatha and Camp Vermilion.

     Members of Our Savior’s— Thank you for your fun and creative “Wake Up!” basket you donated to VLM’s Bluegrass Festival.  The combined baskets raised over $7,000 this year, with your contribution bringing in $642 of that.  VLM is so blessed by your partnership with us in ministry!     Thank you,  Gretchen B.

Prayer for WisdomIf I need wisdom, I will ask my generous God. He will give it to me. He will not rebuke me for asking. (adapted from James 1:5) — Thank you, Lord that when we need wisdom, all we have to do is ask. You are ready and willing to pour out Your wisdom for those who seek You. Help us to walk in Your wisdom as we navigate school this year. Let us not just be hearers of Your Word, but doers of Your Word. Let the light of Your Word shine brightly through us, that others may see You in us. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Clothes Closet — Our Savior’s Lutheran Church has a Children’s Clothing Closet with sizes up to 12-14.  It is free to use.  Usually you can receive two to three outfits, one of which is new.  Shoes, boots, winter outer wear, under garments are also available most of the time.  Children’s quilts are also available and sometimes twin bed sheets.  If you need bath towels or bath mats they are available from another group within the church.  You must call 263-7422 to request an appointment time to meet with a committee member to help you.  Church office hours are right now Tuesday thru Friday 10am – 2pm.

Would you like our congregation to pray for any issues, problems, or health concerns you have?  We believe in the power of prayer and know that our petitions are heard and answered. Please call the church office at 218-263-7422 and we will pass your request on to the Prayer Chain.

Our Savior’s Emergency Food Shelf continues to offer a life line to those individuals/families that find themselves in unexpected circumstances.  We would encourage you to remember the Food Shelf in your donations.  Approximate cost of 1 box of food is $30.00.

TEACHER’S PRAYER — HEAVENLY FATHER, ENABLE ME TO TEACH WISDOM, FOR I HELP TO SHAPE THE MIND. EQUIP ME TO TEACH WITH TRUTH, FOR I HELP TO SHAPE THE CONSCIENCE. ENCOURAGE ME TO TEACH WITH VISION, FOR I HELP TO SHAPE THE FUTURE. EMPOWER ME TO TEACH WITH LOVE, FOR I HELP TO SHAPE THE WORLD. AMEN.

_______________________________________

Please Read our New Bylaws and Constitution

2019 OSLC Bylaws

2019 OSLC Constitution

Welcome to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church (OSLC)! Upon entering, you will notice the beautiful sanctuary with stained glass windows depicting parables of Christ and the large crucifix hanging above the altar. Friendly congregational members will greet you, and as you sit in the pews, our music will fill your soul! We have an active Temple Choir and also a worship band for a more contemporary sound. Music is emphasized within each service, and the sermons will speak to your heart and feed your soul while creating a deeper relationship with God.

Our church’s mission is A Community transformed by Christ, to be Christ in the World. We invite you to join us to become “the hands and feet of Christ”. Our ownership of this mission is shown in outreach through our Food Shelf, Clothes Closet, Habitat for Humanity, and God’s work. Our hands. Sunday. The Food Shelf is open on Thursdays and Fridays from 1:00-2:30. Our clothes closet can be accessed through appointment only by calling the church office.

Our worship service provides opportunities for you and your family to grow in your Christian faith. Children of all ages are welcome during worship and are invited to join Pastor Kevin for a Children’s Message each week. After service, during the school year, children may attend Sunday School while you enjoy coffee, goodies and fellowship with parishioners downstairs. We partner with First Lutheran (another ELCA church in Hibbing) in our Confirmation and Youth Ministry, as well as some congregational worship and seasonal events through the year. Baptism and First Communion are joyous events which precede Confirmation. Students in grades 3-11 are involved in our Confirmation program. Youth have opportunities through our church to participate in Bible camps, vacation bible school, BWCA canoe trips, national youth gatherings, church services…. On average, OSLC sends over 70 youth to Bible camp each year.

OSLC has a long and rich history of service to the community of Hibbing and the world. Both young and old participate in potluck dinners, Lutefisk suppers, pasty bake fundraisers, the fall bazaar with much of the profits benefiting ministries such as the Salvation Army, Lutheran Social Service, local Bible Camps, and worldwide missionary support.

For over 60 years, we have held the White Elephant Sale in the spring, which provides clothing, furniture, appliances, sporting goods, tools, bicycles, and many other items for inexpensive prices to our community and the surrounding communities.

OSLC is a “community safe space” offering the use of our facilities to Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Lutheran Social Services, Advocates for Family Peace, among others.

OSLC was formed in 1903 by Norwegian immigrants under the name “Tabor” with 23 members. It officially became known as Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in 1904. The church held a groundbreaking ceremony in July of 1952 with the cornerstone of our present church laid in October of that same year.

Please call our church office with any questions you may have. Our staff is pleased to help you!