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
Holy Week (all worship services are virtual) —- Maundy Thursday, April 1st, 6:30 pm — Good Friday, April 2nd, 6:30 pm — Prayer Vigil 7:30 pm Friday, April 2nd – 7:30 pm Saturday, April 3rd – Our Savior’s’ Easter Vigil is scheduled on Good Friday and Holy Saturday. We encourage you to participate in the Easter Vigil from home by setting up a quiet area/room in your home and a special time of day for prayer. God bless. —- Easter Sunday, April 4th, 9 am HE IS RISEN! ALLELUIA!!!
We’re Almost There!
Yep, it’s been a year! As I pen this April VOICE article to you, we have crossed the one-year mark of adjusting and living into a COVID world. Who could have envisioned that it would have lasted so long?
As I read last year’s VOICE article leading up to Holy Week and Easter, the Church Council had – at that time – made the very difficult decision that the earliest we could possibly open up for in person worship would be mid-May. Now it is with prophetic irony that we are still looking at mid-May for a possible date for in-person worship, ONLY ONE YEAR LATER!
Much has happened this past year. Spikes and waves of the virus have rolled across our land trying our patience and dampening our hope. As a country we have at times exercised great discipline in confronting this virus, and at other times, let our guard down to our own demise. Science, and love of the neighbor, has combined to mitigate the most deleterious effects of COVID through social distancing; and now there is light at the end of the tunnel as millions of us are vaccinated every day (I will get my second vaccination shortly after Easter).
We’re almost there… but yet not quite… to safely open up our doors for worship on Sunday morning, to wave our palm branches on Palm Sunday, to sit in somber contemplation on Good Friday, and to shout our Alleluias come Easter Sunday. To quote the title from hymn #439 in that red ELW hymnal which we all hope to soon caress in congregant worship: “Soon and Very Soon we are goin’ to see the King.”
We’re almost there… but yet not quite… other public places where people gather are opening up, why not our church? Fair question. Recently the Governor’s office rolled back restrictions for “churches and other houses of worship with no occupancy limit starting March 15th, but wearing of masks and social distancing is still required.”
However, the leadership at OSLC, our Smart Team, has exercised an abundance of caution in opening our sanctuary for in person worship for the following reasons
A Rise in Cases Locally: although confirmed Corona Virus cases are generally down in the State of Minnesota, there has been an uptick of cases on the Iron Range. Candidly, a super-spreader event can turn on the head of a dime, and we don’t want to be responsible for such an occurrence as a part of our worship, ministry, and mission.
Vaccination: More than 788,000 people — about 14.2 percent of the state’s population — have completed their vaccinations, while more than 1.3 million — 24 percent — have received at least one dose, including nearly 78 percent of people age 65 and older. Allowing more time for more of us to get vaccinated should create better and safer outcomes.
Herd Immunity: When most of a population is immune to an infectious disease, this provides indirect protection—or herd immunity (also called herd protection). According to the John’s Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 70% of any given population would need to be “protected” from the virus through either recovery from natural infection and/or vaccination in order to achieve herd immunity. According to Kris Ehresmann, the State’s Infectious Disease Director: while the State has made progress in vaccinations, especially among those age 65 and older, it hasn’t yet vaccinated enough people to establish a herd immunity, and there’s a danger of another surge…We are in a race between the variants and the vaccine, and the decisions we all make in the next few weeks will have a lot to say about the outcome of this race…We need to be cautious a little while longer.”
We’re almost there… but yet not quite… the Smart Team at OSLC realizes just how difficult this decision is for us all. If things continue to progress well, wisdom dictates a prudent – socially distanced – opening of our sanctuary sometime in mid-May. Till that time, we ask for your continued patience, and that you would be blessed by the continual dedication and commitment of your church staff to work with the tools of social media and virtual worship.
I began this VOICE article by referencing where we were a year ago right before Easter, let me close with what was said a year ago for the promise still applies:
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, your Lord and Savior rose from the dead on Easter so that you can have life, not an arbitrary timeline as to when the grip of a pandemic would loosen.
Easter is not so much a Sunday, nor a holiday, nor a season, Easter is a way of life! My friends we will celebrate and gather for Easter worship this year, but we will do so with prudence and responsibility. As we have proven to ourselves several times, perhaps we are no closer together than when we are standing six feet apart.
There will soon come a time when we will no longer sing our Alleluia’s over a virtual camera screen but face-to-face…And while we wait for that day let us comfort ourselves with this promise…
He has risen. He has risen, indeed, Alleluia! Pastor Kevin
Our Savior’s Emergency Food Shelf –Please consider donating to Our Savior’s Emergency Food Shelf as it continues to offer a life line to those individuals/families that find themselves in unexpected circumstances. Thank you and God bless.
Council Meeting Highlights (March 9, 2021)
- The council met remotely via Zoom
- Pastor Kevin will be providing First Communion instruction via Zoom for 5th and 6th Graders starting March 14th; First Communion is anticipated to be held virtually during the Maundy Thursday service
- Palms for Palm Sunday will be available for pick-up in the vestibule adjacent to the office
- Motion approved for stipend to Tech Lead for Lenten and Holy Week services
- We discussed returning to in-person worship. Based on the increased Positivity Rate for the Iron Range (more than double the state average), we determined to remain virtual-only, with a tentative return mid-May. We will revisit at our April meeting.
- We made another difficult decision to not allow re-starting other usual in-person activities until we have reopened to in-person worship
- White Elephant Sale: we will contact the fairgrounds about possible availability
- John Law will be championing the effort to update the OSLC webpage; council guidance needed
- Online, radio, and TV broadcasts of services are continuing to be provided
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.
Confirmation News: (Grade as of September 2020 – May 2021)
3rd grade – Please pick up your Bible from the office hallway.
4th grade – Have you been enjoying Pastor Kevin’s Children’s Talks?
5th-6th grade – Hope you attended First Communion classes and will be receiving the Sacraments on Maundy Thursday during virtual worship. Blessings to Each of You!
7th-9th grades – Classes resume April 7,14, 21, 28 and May 5. Participation: 10 sermon notes, 10 hrs. of service
10th grade– Participation: 10 sermon notes, 10 hours of service, complete any incomplete work and continue to meet with your mentor.
Property Committee —
New Heating System: The System is working great. Still adjusting various area t-stats. Donations are still being accepted toward this project and also future capital projects. Utility Costs: We are monitoring the Hibbing Public Utilities usage and costs and are comparing them to 2018, 2019, 2020. We are seeing a savings of close to 50% during every month, even through the 4-5 extremely cold weeks. Kitchen: Refurbishing of the kitchen cabinet doors and fronts is complete. They look beautiful! All the pots, pans, and utensils have been washed and put away. Next up is the new Formica counter top replacements and a new kitchen sink on North end of the kitchen. Thanks again to Rick and Kathy Koschak and the Oak Shop. Security System: The new system through ESC Systems (Endresen) out of Proctor MN is up and running. Had a couple of areas where radio signals would not permeate the thick foundation walls, but we believe that is now solved. Sanctuary Roof Replacement: Range Cornice to start on this project as soon as Spring type weather permits. Office Copier: The new office copier has finally arrived. Thanks for the Memorial Fund donation to replace the broken one. Please Note: We continue to follow Covid-19, State and CDC guidelines. We are utilizing as few people as possible while working on projects. If we need more help, we shall contact people to help.
Mike Stavnes and Joe Arthurs Property Co-Chairs
White Elephant Sale WES: With the cancellation of the sale in the Memorial Building now called off. The White Elephant Sale organizing team and the Church council continue to look into alternate plans. If anyone has an idea on how to accomplish some sort of sale, under these Covid-19 conditions, please contact someone on the WES Sale Committee, Church Council or the Church Office 263-7422. We are booked into the Memorial Building Arena for the 2022 sale (4/18-4/23). Mike S. and Joe A., Co-Chairs
Clothes Closet — God’s blessing to everyone that has given clothes to the OSLC Clothes Closet. They are put to good use for children that need them. Please help pass the word about our Clothes Closet which is open every day by appointment. We serve newborn to children’s size 14. Please call 263-7422 for assistance. Thank you everyone for your love and caring for our Closet. Sharon Cook and the Mission Group
News from Camp
Camper Registration– please register your camp age kids by going online at VLMcamps.org or call the camp office at (218) 666-5465 for paper forms and assistance. OSLC will pay the cost of camp for our members.
Help camp welcome back the campers! VLM Program Staff are scheduling interviews for summer staff applicants. More information at www.vlmcamps.org/summer-employment.
Camp Hiawatha Work Day – Saturday, May 1 ——Camp Vermilion Work Day – Saturday, May 15 —- Join other camp supporters for a day of fun and fellowship while we get camps ready for the summer. Registration happens between 8-9:30am and then we jump into projects and cleaning tasks until lunch time at 12:30pm. Projects continue into the afternoon as long as people have the energy. Lunch and morning snacks are provided. Bring your works gloves and a smile! Visit www.VLMcamps.org/work-days for more information and for site specific projects.
Paddle Building Retreat – April 16-18, 2021 Camp Vermilion – Build your own paddle in one weekend at Camp Vermilion! The weekend includes 4-5 sessions and the materials to craft your paddle, 4 meals in the Dining Hall, and a room in Voyageurs Lodge. The cost is $250 for one participant to build one paddle. Additional participants working on the same paddle can join for $50 each. Bring your kids, your friends, or your whole family and make some memories. The retreat starts at 6pm on Friday and runs through noon on Sunday. Space is limited to 6 paddles and up to 10 people. Covid-19 protocols will be in place. www.VLMcamps.org/paddle-building.
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.
News from the Mission Action Committee
A big thank you to everyone who has contributed to the food shelf here at Our Savior’s. At this time our funds are in extremely good shape. In order to be good stewards of this money we decided to contribute $2,500.00 to the Salvation Army during the month of March. March is MN Foodshare month and as long as the organization is part of the MN Foodshare program they get to take advantage of that money being matched. So, our $2,500.00 becomes $5,000.00. For many food banks this is the biggest drive of the year. During Covid 19 many of the food banks have been hit especially hard. Thanks to all for the financial and food items support throughout the year. Suzanne – Co-chair
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!