from the pastor's desk

Our Savior's Shared Journey

An Unexpected April”

Here is some of what you need to know about your church and you.

     In keeping with the recommendations of Northeastern Minnesota ELCA Bishop Tom Aitkin, (see his letter on page  2), ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton (see her letter on page 2), the CDC, the President, Governor Walz, and a host of others, Our Savior’s will not have "in-person" gatherings of more than 10 people for the foreseeable future . This strategy was approved by Our Savior's Parish Planning Council (PPC) meeting Tuesday night, March 17. The hope and prayer is to keep each other as safe as we can. PPC brainstormed and evaluated recommendations from your ministry staff about how best to continue to live out our mission “To know Christ and to have others know Him.”

     Since we already have WKLK AM Radio and YouTube for sharing worship, we will be moving our worship ministry "online.” We will be producing what we hope will be inspirational and encouraging worship experiences for those ministries. We will be expanding contact ministries to stay in touch with as many people as possible, in as many ways as possible, as often as possible. Volunteers will be calling you (see the Stewardship Team article on page 3), writing you, emailing you, “Facebook Messaging” you, posting for you on Facebook as much as possible. Ministry staff will do our best to keep you connected with accurate and faithful information. Your church leadership is acting to enhance our ability to stay prayerfully, spiritually, lovingly, emotionally, and psychologically connected.  Many of Our Savior’s other ministry teams are already adapting.

     Sunday School (Juli Lattner & Roxanne Frederick): Sunday school will not be meeting in person for the foreseeable future. But that doesn't mean we won't have Sunday school. We will be using our Facebook page to post weekly lessons for the kids to watch or activities to do. We know it's not the same but we are hoping that you will be able to participate. The good thing is you can participate whenever you have time!  I know not everyone uses Facebook, but if you do and haven't “Liked” Our Saviors page yet - please do so! I will also use email to send out links just in case you don't use Facebook. Please let me know if you have any questions! And watch for this Sunday’s lesson!  Thank you! Stay healthy, be kind and pray often!” - Juli

     Confirmation (Jennifer Hamilton, Pastor Chris and Bill Schlenvogt):  Confirmation will be “happening” in some form in the near future. Pastor Chris has a variety of interactive lessons that will be emailed as necessary. Planning for the Service of Confirmation next fall will begin online and the materials for the final topics for 2nd year students will be emailed. We are exploring options for interactive face-to-face experiences.

     Youth (Jennifer Hamilton & Katie Anderson [Zion]): While in-person middle school and high school events are on hold for now, a wide variety of extremely helpful resources are being made available by Catherine Anderson, the Northeastern Minnesota Coordinator of Youth Ministry. Those resources will be shared and Jennifer and Katie are committed to staying in touch with the youth by whatever means necessary and available. They will be in touch.

     Children and Family (Jennifer Hamilton): Resources are being made available by Catherine Anderson, the Northeastern Minnesota Synod Coordinator of Youth Ministry that Jennifer will be sharing with families. Jennifer is also planning conversation (by whatever means available) to support and encourage families (see Jennifer’s article on page 7).

     Preschool (Angel Gamache and Thera Weirsma): The Preschool is currently closed. A small cadre of parents are deep cleaning the classroom. Our schedule is typically tied to the public schools, and remain so for the time-being. Pastor Chris is exploring sending “chapel videos” via email or posting of Facebook.

     Visitation (Pastors):  Nursing home and hospital visits are currently curtailed by those institutions, so home visits and phone and mail contacts will be emphasized. Pastor Karen suggests we all use our church directory to reach out to each other, call each other, send birthday or other cards, even if you do not know the recipient.

     Other. Most of the groups and organizations that use our building have already canceled their activities.

     This is all completely new; I am asking God to guide and bless us. Please keep the Parish Planning Council and your Ministry Staff in your prayers; we are praying for you! There are helpful suggestions for how you can help each other on page 5.   More things will change; let’s do our best to walk together in prayer and peace.

I am on that journey with you.

Pastor Chris