Welcome to Our Savior’s in Hibbing!

Version 2
Sunday October 11th, 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

Congratulations!… But, Proceed with Caution! 

As I pen this October’s Voice article to you there is great cause to celebrate; but yet, there is equal need to be careful and cautious as well.   

First the need to celebrate: as of mid-September, $303,737.48 has been raised for the completion of the steam-heat conversion to natural gas project in the Keeping the Home Fires Burning Capital Campaign! 

Candidly, as we looked at the enormous challenge of this project a year ago it looked like a mountain that we would never be able to climb; but climb we did!  Having sufficiently raised these funds we have eliminated the need to take out a loan from the bank, AND left more reserves in the White Elephant Sale fund to finance more perpetual maintenance and upkeep to the building.  To all who have so generously donated to this cause this past year, and to all who have volunteered so much time and talent to make these much-needed upgrades a reality, THANK YOU, and to God be the praise!

The steam-heat conversion project is not only well financed, it is also completed; and the Property Committee will be conducting church tours of the completed project throughout the month of October (see the adjoining article in the October Voice to sign-up).  Please pay heed to the social distancing protocols for the tour, masks must be worn, tours will be conducted in groups of no more than 10.

But as we celebrate the completion of a building that waits to be occupied, it is also with extreme caution that we re-enter that building.  As you are reading this issue of the October Voice, we have set a tentative re-opening of the building for “in person” congregant worship for Sunday, October 4th

Once again, please pay heed to the social distancing protocols that have been spelled out in the Our Savior’s COVID-19 Preparedness Plan that was mailed earlier in September.  In addition to the written preparedness plan, the Worship & Music Committee will be producing a short video meant to highlight the safe practices that we will need to abide by for Sunday morning worship (look for it on the virtual worship broadcast, and our OSLC Facebook Page). 

Please note that as we experiment (and it is an experiment) with re-opening the building for limited in-person attendance on Sunday morning, we will continue the virtual broadcast service that we have conducted since mid-March; for many this might be the more prudent and viable option. 

 God’s peace and be well!           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

I have been trying to envision ways to provide some special music in our service when we come together (initially in a ‘minimalist’ fashion).  Looking at musical performing groups one can see that most are crippled by the pandemic and not able to perform their tasks.  Arron Brown had a fine article in the 9/20 Mesabi Tribune about how performers have been impacted.  Churches utilize a number of musicians in which church music is a part of their income or for others a place to volunteer their gifts.  It is unfortunate that performing arts will be one of the last areas to have a chance to fully engage with a congregation or audience.  As I work on assembling some sort of musical offering, I assume some individuals will not be comfortable in participating and I will certainly understand.  If we do it with very few performers, it means that each performer has to be confident in their abilities.  Please be patient as we try to solve these problems and present something uplifting.  When we are open, if you are comfortable with coming to service, please do.  We look forward to seeing you.  Otherwise, you will still be strongly encouraged to view services in one of the other methods that are offered.  Don’t let anything come between you and a close relationship with our Lord and Savior.  Let us all be a strong witness to whatever God has in store for us.  Love one another!                          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 (September 8, 2020)

  • The council met remotely via Skype
  • Kathy Anderson was elected to fill the council vacancy till the Jan. 2021 annual meeting
  • As of August 31, the General Fund had a positive balance of $16,255.50
  • The reopening plan was mailed to all OSLC households this morning
  • In-person worship is tentatively scheduled to start October 4.  Parishioners will be asked to preregister and self-screen prior to coming to church; masks and physical distancing will be required.  Seating is limited to every other pew; revised maximum seating capacity is about 60.  The church basement will not be open.  We will continue to track guidance.
  • Courtyard Communion will continue on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:00-4:00 PM
  • Online, radio, and TV broadcasts of services will continue to be provided after reopening
  • Committee 2021 budget requests are due October 14

WELCOME to our newest council member, Kathy A.!  Kathy has agreed, and was elected, to fill the vacancy on the Church Council, with the term expiring January 2021.  Kathy brings to the council her most recent experience as chair of the Capital Campaign committee.  We are grateful to have her join us during these uncertain times and welcome her valuable input to the council.  Thank You, and Welcome, Kathy!

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.

KEEP THE HOME FIRES BURNING

SOON we will be reaping the benefits of our new heating system!  Praise God, and thanks to every one of you who pushed this necessity forward with your prayers, donations, and moral support.  With all of you on this team, we were able to accomplish this without creating a liability for our future in the form of a loan on our building.  As our fund stands now, we will still have to utilize some of our White Elephant Sale money, however, I have been assured that the account is still open to accept any donations that might still come in.   I can’t wait until we ALL have a chance to see and ENJOY the changes that have been made during these quarantining months. 

Stay safe and healthy! Kathy Anderson, on behalf of: The Capital Campaign Committee

2 Timothy 1:6 “…I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you…”

Welcome Back!!  After six-and-a-half months, we are eager to welcome you back to in-person worship services!  Unless Covid numbers and our preparations have gone terribly wrong, we anticipate opening our doors (actually, only one door will be open) on October 4th to in-person worship.  This does not mean we are returning to normal.  On the contrary, things are anything but normal.  The reality is that worship will not be the same.  You have seen our preparedness plan in print.  I know for me, that’s when it really hit home, and I have felt grief over the loss of the way things were.  However, Alleluia!  We still can boldly declare that God has not changed and will never change, and that God continues to be in control!  These have been such words of comfort to me during these otherwise dark months.  I hope you have found similar comfort, through watching or listening to our worship services on radio, online, and on public access television.  Such services will continue to be provided even after we resume in-person worship.  We encourage those of you who are vulnerable or at high risk of severe illness from Covid-19 to take advantage of our remote worship services.  Finally, I wish to say that words cannot begin to express my thankfulness and gratitude to our worship team, who has provided us “live” worship services during all this Covid time: Pastor Kevin, Roy and Nadine Berg, Linda Saralampi, Dustin Davidson, and most recently John Law.  Theirs has been a herculean effort and commitment of time and energy (you should re-watch our earliest online service to see how far we have come – the talent and persistence of our team over time has been remarkable!).  Thank you!  Thank you!!  God’s Blessings to you and to all of our OSLC worshippers.  Julie J, Council President

Property Committee — Many projects are coming to an end.

Entire old section of the Church: Travis has been given 3 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.

Kitchen: Electrical: The kitchen has long needed some electrical updates to alleviate overtaxed circuits. Hart Electric came in and in about a day and a half straightened out a so-called mess and updated the kitchen service. With the new service that was installed for the dishwasher booster heater, during the Heating Update, we increased power capacity for the kitchen area. The back-wall power strip now has 2 circuits, the daily used coffee pot now is on its own circuit and “no longer needs to be unplugged at the end of every day”. At the serving counter the “new microwave” is on its own circuit and the 2 main outlets at the prep counter are also on their own circuit along with the dishwasher and the refrigerator. On the serving side of the counter circuits are now separated into 3 circuits. There should be no problems with tripping breakers now. Thanks to Hart Electric, Jeff and Jeremy.

With all the new paint and electrical updates done, Oak Shop and Rick Koschak have come forward with a proposal to recondition the kitchen cabinets which will be followed by replacement of three Formica counter tops. This endeavor includes labor covered by Rick and all materials paid for by WES funds. Thanks to Rick and the Oak Shop.  All work should be done in 3 days’ time, in October, and will be done around any other activities which may take place if protocols and restrictions are eased.

Church Office: Walls and ceiling have been painted, in both the entry vestibule and main office area. Nancy picked out the colors and we have gotten many great reviews. Carpet installation should be done by the time you read this. The office needed this update.

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.

Building lighting:  LED lighting got a boost this past month as some designated money toward lighting upgrades was utilized to change all remaining fluorescent lights in the older portion of the Church to LED’s. The Main Sanctuary lights are still the same, however they will need change somewhere down the road, utilizing present fixtures.

Mike Stavnes and Joe Arthurs Property Co-Chairs

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  –   We will arrange to deliver a devotional book to you this Fall.

6th grade  –   Enjoy the beauty of Fall.

7th-10th grades –     Wednesday classes meet via ZOOM this Fall        Participation:  10 sermon notes, 10 hours of service 

11th grade – Rite of Confirmation will be Sunday, Oct. 25th. Watch your mail for details.

MISSION ACTION  — It is natural for individuals and groups to turn their attention to the upcoming election.  The Mission Action Committee is also looking to what is happening on Capitol Hill.  This is the season we as a congregation look towards hunger issues internationally, domestically and in our own community. There is a greater urgency for Congress to enact legislation to increase funding that would address the increased hunger crisis due to the pandemic. The corona virus is a hunger issue due to the economic fallout caused by COVID-19.

The theme of this year’s Offering of Letters is “Better Nutrition, Better Tomorrow”. With Better Nutrition come healthier children and more productive individuals who can help give them a Better Tomorrow. Information can be found on Bread for the World’s website at www.bread.org/ol. We urge you to prayerfully consider writing or emailing Senator Amy Klobuchar, Senator Tina Smith at U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510 and Representative Pete Stauber at U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515, to increase funding for nutrition programs that can help those that are most vulnerable in the U.S. and abroad.

Offering of Letters will be held Sunday, October 18th at Our Saviors. Letters will be provided, as in years past, to our Senators and Representative. This year we will have three letters and envelopes for each placed in individual plastic bags so you can sign with your name, home address and stamp to be mailed. These letters will be placed in the narthex, church office and church library.

Thank You to our Smart Team!  Since June, after Bishop Tom Aitken issued the call for congregations to form Smart Teams, consisting 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”, our Smart Team has been busy tracking guidance from state and federal offices, and putting pen to paper to draft our own best and safe re-opening plan.  You have all received a copy of OSLC’s Covid-19 Preparedness Plan, which is the result of hours of work by this team.  We will change this document as circumstances warrant, but today’s version is the best that this assemblage of wise minds could discern.  Know that in drafting this document, the team felt the weight of responsibility for the health and safety of our church family – this was a big “ask” of this team.  If you get a chance, please thank them: Kate A, Joe A, Nadine B, Roy B, Dustin D, Scott F, Mark G, Al L, Heather P, Kara R, Sue R, Melissa S, Mike S, Karolyn T, Gavin V, Renee W, Julie J, and Pastor Kevin.

I, too, extend my very heartfelt thanks to all of them.  They have been great to work with! – Julie J

Heating System Renovation Update — Yes, the Renovation is done. We have completed all the systems testing and run in. The State Boiler Inspector was in and we passed, with flying colors. There was a short “to do” list of items that Iron Range Plumbing & Heating and Hart Electric needed to complete and a full load test in cooler weather needed to be done. But by the time you read this, all that will be done, and the system will be up and running on its own. Travis O. has been working off of three cleaning lists and the Church should be totally back in order soon, including carpet cleaning and window washing. Final walkthrough with ARI and System turn over will be done by 10/1/2020. Great job was done by all. Final billing will not be done until later in October, but all indications are that we met original budget estimates and very little contingency funds were used. As of 9/20/2020, our costs are under $320,000. Donations toward the project continue to come in and with that, less money is needed from the White Elephant Fund.  Funds are still being accepted toward the project. Boy, would it be a thrill if we did not need to utilize the WES funds!!!!!

Mike S and Joe A, Property Co-Chairs

OSLC WOMEN’S UPDATE —      After much discussion it has been decided we will not sponsor a church bazaar this Fall.  Many factors played into this decision, however, the underlying reason is Covid-19, CDC recommendations, Church Protocols and Smart Team recommendations.      We as OSLC women have pledged $4000.00 each year for support for the missionary—this is over and above the Missionary calendar.  We are asking that you consider a monetary donation in an amount you would have spent to make items for the bazaar or would have spent at the bazaar.      Also at this time there are no pasty bakes in the plans.      Patience will win in the end and then we can meet to do church basement lady (men, too) projects.      Quilting is still being planned to start some-time in October dependent on Covid-19, CDC recommendations, Church Protocols and Smart Team recommendations.  I do have some quilt tops for people to sew.

God’s blessings on a safe and healthy Fall.    Sue S

MASKS, MASKS, MASKS!  We made our goal and then some for the beginning of the school year.  Now we can more leisurely think about doing winter themed masks in sizes 5×7” and 5 1/2x 8” with 6” ear loops.  In about a month kits will be available once again in the library area.  The teachers and other staff I have heard from are very appreciative of your effort to help in this regard. Thank you for supporting our schools.

God’s blessings, Sue S

WHAT YOU DON’T SEE — Most of you have not been in the church since the middle of March when the ‘big’ shutdown began.  You will probably not have a very clear picture what things were like and what condition they were in.  I have been in the church many times throughout this period, planning services and doing some needed repairs and improvements.  This however cannot hold a candle to what the three Amigos (Mike, Joe and Larry) managed to accomplish in this period of time.  Others have also chipped in but most of my contact was with this trio.  There were so many areas of the church that had been neglected or experienced some form of damage over time.  This is by no means a complete list but for example; floors were repaired, rooms were resized to make room for new equipment, holes left in walls because of new piping were filled in, missing or damaged ceiling tiles were replace, numerous areas received new paint, the fireplace room is presentable again, lighting has been updated, the kitchen has had numerous improvements, Pastors office has moved, new bulletin boards put up In the Fellowship Hall and on and on!!!  This is just a snapshot of what has taken place.  Many of you may not notice some of these things but I am hard-pressed to think of any area that doesn’t show the massive amount of work that was done.  Knowing these individuals, I know that this was all done in demonstration of the love they have for this church.  Thanks to all the members of the Property Committee who also contributed so much time and talent.  I thank all who helped from the bottom of my heart! Can I hear an “AMEN”,   Roy

2020 Synod Assembly

     This year’s Synod Assembly, originally scheduled for May 1-3 at the DECC in Duluth, was rescheduled (due to Covid-19) to an online Zoom meeting August 28-29.  Voting members for OSLC were Pastor Kevin Olson and delegates Ossie & Sue Schock and Julie Jordan.  The theme of this year’s assembly was “You Are the Light of the World.”  This was the first virtual assembly for our synod and only the fifth in the nation.  Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Duluth “hosted” the meeting.  All videos and worship services of the assembly, and Synod Ministry reports, are available on the Synod website: http://www.nemnsynod.org/.

     Business of the assembly included approval of the 2021 Synod Budget and the 2021 Synod Salary, Benefits & Compensation Guidelines.  Synod Assembly offerings were designated to the Northeastern Minnesota Synod’s Seminary Scholarship Fund and the Seminary Loan/Debt Reduction Fund.

     The primary focus of the 2020 Assembly was to elect a new Bishop to serve a six-year term.  Ms. Victoria Flood, ELCA Director of Mission Support, brought greetings from ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, and assisted Mr. Mark Hollabaugh, Bishop Election Chair, with the bishop election balloting process.

     The Rev. Amy J. Odgren, Director of Evangelical Mission and Assistant to the Bishop in the Northeastern Minnesota Synod, was elected Bishop on the fifth ballot, receiving 167 votes.  The Rev. Dr. David Carlson, pastor of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Duluth, received 140 votes on that ballot.  Installation date for the bishop-elect is set for October 17, 2020 with a start date of November 1, 2020.

     Resolution 20-1 (the only resolution of the assembly) was passed, designating Bishop Emeritus Status to The Reverend Thomas Aitken for his 12 years of service as the Bishop of our Synod.  The same status was also conferred on our previous two Bishops (The Rev. Roger Monson, and The Rev. Peter Strommen) and upon future Bishops who faithfully fulfill the duties of the Office of Bishop.  This designation is an honorary title only.

     The 2021 Synod Assembly is scheduled for April 30-May 2, 2021 at Cragun’s in Brainerd.

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!