Please listen to the radio on WMFG 1240 AM Sunday mornings at 9:00 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.
June office hours will remain the same, Tuesday – Friday, 10 am – 2 pm.
Smart Decisions Require a Smart Team…
It goes without saying that as we dig into the nitty-gritty of what this LONG COVID “WINTER” is going to look like – even during the beauty of summer – some important questions need to be correctly answered; and good, life giving, decisions need to be made. Answers to questions such as…
- When will it be safe to re-open our church building and return back to congregant worship; or any sense of “normal” the way things used to be?
- Assuming the threat of the Corona Virus stays with us, how, and under what circumstances, can we physically gather as a worshipping community?
- Should a dramatic shift in the threat of the Corona Virus happen, either an increase or decrease, how will we as a Congregation react to that?
- What advice does the Bishop’s office have in the decisions to open or shutter our church buildings; and what are the best practices to help mitigate the spread of the Corona Virus within our worshiping community?
Good questions! And to answer these questions, and to help navigate the complexities of Our Savior’s living into the reality of a COVID-19 world, our Synod Bishop, Bishop Tom Aitken has advised that each congregation in the N.E. Minnesota Synod form a Smart Team.
To quote from Bishop Aitken, in a recent pastoral letter address, the vision for a Smart Team consists of “leaders in the congregation who are concerned about the health and safety of our church community; people who are willing to do the good work of strategy as to when is the best time to re-open our church building.”
I have asked our Church Council President, Julie J, to form a Smart Team at OSLC in accordance with article C 13.06 of our Church Constitution which gives the Church Council the authority to create committees as needed to address needs within the congregation.
The Church Council has unanimously approved the need and purpose for a Smart Team quickly passing a resolution, the resolve which reads… to create a “Smart Team” at OSLC, the purposes of which would be: 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. Members of this team would be members of the Church Council, the Worship & Music Committee, and the co-chairs of the Property Committee.
Members of the Smart Team are as follows…Church Council Members: Julie J, Scott F, Al L, Kate A, Renee W, Heather P, Melissa S and Gavin V. Worship & Music Committee: Roy & Nadine B, Kara R, Sue R, Karolyn T, Mark G, and Dustin D. Property Committee: Mike S and Joe A. PLEASE, BY ALL MEANS, SPEAK TO ANY ONE on this team if you have questions or concerns on how OSLC lives into the future of life in a COVID world.
This newly formed Smart Team will work with me as we continue to be advised through Center for Disease Control (CDC), Governor Walz’s COVID Pandemic Task Force, local COVID assessment within St. Louis County, and counsel from the Bishop’s Office, as well as the wider church of the ELCA.
Candidly there is a lot of information to digest and discern, and some of it is ever changing as our Country and Community wraps its head around the threat of the Corona Virus. But as ever fluid as the situation might be, rest assured that the Smart Team will be making smart decisions as to when is the best time to open things up at OSLC, or, perhaps a more accurate metaphor might be, dial things up or down with respect to the imminent threat of the Corona Virus.
As the Smart Team discerns the best path in the weeks ahead, for the foreseeable future we will not be gathering for congregant worship during the month of June, and most probably this practice will remain through the month of July. Yes, this is a tough reality. But we will continue to make the very best out of a very bad situation: gathering for virtual worship live streamed through Facebook and Youtube, pushing forward in our conversion from steam heat to natural gas (please read the article put forward by the Property Committee), and praying for each other socially distanced, but yet never spiritually apart!
God bless you all! Pastor Kevin
“KEEP THE HOME FIRES BURNING”
While we are all doing what we have to do to stay healthy, including missing gathering together for regular worship and fellowship activities, many people are busy working to update our heating system, and we are so very grateful to our Property Committee members for overseeing this project, that is moving right along. Since our last report on the Capital Campaign, we have seen additional donations totaling $10,045.00, bringing the total amount raised, as of 5/17/20, to $293,206.59. We will continue to accept donations to this fund, and thank you all for your continued support with your prayers and gifts.
2 Timothy 1:6 “…I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you..” The Capital Campaign Committee
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
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
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.
Radio broadcast sponsorships are needed. If you would like to sponsor a broadcast in memory of a loved one or in celebration of an event, please call the office at 218-263-7422. Weekly broadcasts cost $50 each and will be broadcast at 10:30 am. on WMFG 1240 AM.
Council Meeting Highlights (May 12,2020)
- The council met remotely via Skype
- As of April 30, the General Fund had a positive balance of $2,758.15
- We were granted a federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan for approximately $36,000, to be spent within 8 weeks on payroll expenses. By strictly following loan criteria, we expect the loan to be forgiven.
- Donations to the Capital Campaign as of the council meeting were $291,861.59. Approximately $160,000 has been spent on the project.
- We expect in-person worship may not happen until early August, though we will continue to track guidance from the state and federal governments.
- Our intent is to continue to provide worship services live on YouTube after we start meeting in person again. Online worship has been a significant outreach and will continue to provide services for those congregants who may not be able to join us in person. The Worship Committee is leading the discussion on forming a “Tech Committee” to continue providing our online presence.
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 Renovation
For the second month in a row there is “Great News” from the Property Committee. The Heating Project keeps forging ahead, with “social distancing at the forefront”. The very limited use of the Church Facility has played into the renovation projects hands. Limited cleanup is required, to prepare for Sunday Church broadcast. With all of the mass demolition completed, the dust is finally settled and Travis has been coming in, to mop, mop and re-mop. However, mass cleaning will not be done until fintubing is installed or normal Church activities resume. All the old heating system has been removed with the exception of one unit under the dishwasher in the kitchen and the unit up in the organ instrument area. All new copper piping has been run and crimped in about 85% of the Church. The main runs are being run into the new boiler room this week and connecting of components to the new boiler has started. It should be noted that the fintube radiators units are not scheduled for delivery until June 15. But rest assured, there is plenty of work for Iron Range Plumbing & Heating. We still remain on budget with few contingencies.
Also, on the Great News side, Joe A has returned and completed his 2 week quarantine. A tour was made to see what needs to be done on finishing patching and painting, once the system is completed. The Property Committee will utilize the Church memberships talents to complete this work. A side note is that the Parament closet that was at one time in Room 18 is now having a new home built in the Fireside Room, where an underused storage and sump room was. This new Closet will house all the Paraments and have permanent shelves and new lighting installed. Completion of this closet is expected the first week of June.
We would like to thank those who have had to visit the Church for staying out of the construction zone. It prevents distraction of the contractors and helps in not tracking dust everywhere in the facility.
Mike S. and Joe A., Property Committee Co-chairs
Confirmation News: (2019-2020 grade) —–9th graders are presently attending class with Pastor Kevin via ZOOM—–7th – 10th graders: sermon notes can be taken during virtual services and jotted on any type of paper, please be sure to include your name, thank you. —–4th graders: I plan to communicate with you soon regarding Family Devotions.
I find it easiest to communicate by text, for identification and questions my number is 218-245-1068. Please be sure the church has a cell number for your family. Blessing on Your House, Cindy, Confirmation Coordinator
SPRING IS HERE!!!!!!
This is the time of the year we usually shift focus on what activities happen at church, but—this has already happened. I do not anticipate any formal quilting activity until maybe August. There are individual projects I can get to people to work on but give me about 7-10 days to get them together.
Thank you to all who helped sew masks for the local medical people at clinics and hospital. Some were also given to area fire stations, individuals, nursing homes, mental health facilities and others made their way to Missouri, Iowa and a Savage, MN hospital. If you know of anyone or group that still needs masks let me know. We also have several in church food shelf room.
Pastor Kevin and Travis O. continue to staff the food shelf twice a week and members of the committee keep it stocked and boxes filled. A bonus set of towels and washcloth goes out with each box. When an area hotel changed ownership our quilting group was blessed with all the linens. If someone would like one or two bath towels let me know. They are white.
When the WES did not occur, quilting was gifted with 28 large bags of various fabrics and sewing supplies. It has all been gone through and several church and quilting members got unusual fabrics for their hobbies. Some also went to another ELCA quilt/LWR group for backpacks and charity quilt backs. There are 11 bags of odd fabrics waiting to go to Goodwill. We took lots for quilt squares, children’s quilts and fabric kits for LWR.
Six high school seniors selected their quilts this week, received their Bibles (with their special Bible verse from Pastor Kevin taped inside the cover) and received a half dozen cupcakes to take home to their families. There were also anchor face masks and other trinkets and cards for them. These students were truly grateful for OSLC remembering them so graciously. Thank you to Elaine A. and Ossie S. for the helping with this.
Blessings on a great summer as we venture forth a little more and yet much is still unknown. God is our anchor.
Sue Schock for Mission Action and Congregational Life and Care.
Prayer for a Pandemic—–May we who are merely inconvenienced remember those whose lives are at stake. May we who have no risk factors remember those most vulnerable. May we who have the luxury of working from home remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent. May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close remember those who have no options. May we who have to cancel our trips remember those that have no place to go. May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market remember those who have no margin at all. May we who settle in for a quarantine at home remember those who have no home. During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other, Let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors. Amen.
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.
Please Read our New Bylaws and 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!