Sundays, May 2- June 27
Families with children will connect together in worship with family in singing, the creed, communion, prayers, kids’ message, etc. After this, kids in preschool through 5th grade will meet their Shepherds in the Lobby, and head to the Fellowship Hall for Kids Connect, which is age-appropriate teaching and activities led by trusted adults in a safe environment while adults remain in the Worship Center for their own teaching time and closing song. When service ends, parents will pick up their kids in the Fellowship Hall
Why are we making this shift? We dream that every young person would grow and continue in their faith long after their early years at OSLC. Research shows that intergenerational worship and informal faith conversations are two of the most impactful elements for young people in their faith formation. To learn more about this research, click here.
We are so excited to see all your kids in this new experience!
How Do I Register My Child? Registration to attend worship opens Monday at 7:30am for the following Sunday at our central hub oslc.com. You must register your family for worship and then follow the prompts to register your child for Kids Connect. If you are unable to reserve a spot, please consider signing up for a different time or reserve a spot on the waitlist.
Contact Dereem if you have any questions.
If you would like to be added to our Kids emails on Sundays please contact Angela.
It has been a week after we celebrated God’s Easter peace that we receive through Jesus’ resurrection. How is God continuing to give you peace and restore your soul?
For me, it is driving my in-law’s car from Indiana to California (they’re moving later this spring). So, instead of writing much more, I’m going to share some pictures of how God has reminded me of Jesus’ constant peace in my life - even as He restores my soul with so many good things.
Me and my parents at their new home in Nebraska - a place of constant love, encouragement, and acceptance. It’s the first time we’ve seen each other (in person) since July 2019!
As I pulled off by Exit 59 in Western Nebraska, I’m thinking about and thanking God for all my friends I’ve made over the years... especially those from Nebraska and Wyoming (you know who you are!).
I didn’t get a picture, but I got to hang with my sister and her family (including their 3-week old son!).
I got to pull off and snap this picture near the Wyoming/Utah border. “The heavens declare the glory of God” (Psalm 19) and “look, I’m doing a new thing” (even in Wyoming and Utah).
I’m in Salt Lake City tonight (as I’m writing this). The solitude and silence of a solo road trip has reminded me of Jesus’ constant and faithful peace and work in my life and in our world. . . And I can’t wait to share that same constant and faithful peace with you.
Because that’s how Easter peace works.
God gives His peace to us in Jesus.
We experience Jesus’ Easter peace.
We give that same peace away to others.
I’m curious how God continues to give you peace and restore your soul in these days and weeks after Easter. Send me a note and I’ll respond back after April 18.
I recently read a BBC article about why Good Friday is called Good Friday.
I found it interesting that some would say that linguistically, “Good” is a corruption of the word, “God’s” - so it was originally God’s Friday.
I also learned that “the earliest known use of "guode friday" is found in The South English Legendary, a text from around 1290, according to the dictionary. According to the Baltimore Catechism - the standard US Catholic school text from 1885 to the 1960s, Good Friday is good because Christ "showed His great love for man, and purchased for him every blessing".
It's also interesting to me (maybe not to everybody) that both Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions often refer to the entire week between Palm Sunday and Easter as “Holy Week” - hence, “Holy Friday”.
I’m reminded of something I learned in one of my seminary Biblical Interpretation classes: words are just combinations of symbols to communicate meaning.
My point is that whether you call it Good, Holy, God’s, or just “Friday” - the meaning is the same. For Jesus followers, it’s “all the above”.
With that said - here’s why I think it matters for Easter Sunday…
And that’s why God’s, Good, and Holy Friday matters to Easter. It’s a mystery. It cannot be explained. It cannot be reasoned.
And Jesus did it all for you. So that however we experience the brokenness of our human experience, the mysteries that make today God’s Friday… a Good Friday… a Holy Friday… matter because to get to the supernatural and mysterious reality of Sunday’s hope, peace, and joy - we must experience the mystery of Friday.
We're all busy.
So, here's one simple way to prepare for the biggest celebration in our Christian faith on earth...
Sit with Jesus...
How best can you prepare yourself for Holy Week and Easter when you're busy?
Yes, come sit with Jesus. You will not be disappointed.
This is me and my brother, Paul. I think we are in Colorado… but I’m not sure. And, my parents don’t remember!
Anyway - while none of us remember this moment, I can say with great certainty (and by looking at my facial expression), I was very thankful for my coat.
Each spring, Our Savior collects coats to give away to kids in our community at our August Back to School Fair. How can something as ordinary as a coat make such a huge difference in the life of a child?
Earlier this week, I caught up with Kristi, our Director of Outreach + Connections and asked her why we are so passionate about coats? Here’s what she shared with me...
Giving away coats started as a partnership! A local community member offered to donate coats and asked us to help distribute them to kids who needed them. We reached out to the Franklin Pierce School District to confirm the need. They responded with a resounding, “yes!”. They were so grateful that we were able to meet this pressing (and very real!) need.
Why are coats so important for kids? Practically, coats are a big ticket item that families put off - especially when they must choose between rent, utilities, and food. So, coats help kids go to school on cold days. Without a coat, kids just won’t go outside - or they’ll layer other clothing just to shiver in the classroom. Coats also help kids feel safe and provide a sense of individual value and worth in something they can call their own. Additionally, providing coats to kids is easier (logistically) than shoes or other clothing because kids can typically wear a coat that is a little big for two years and tend not to be gender or age specific.
How are they distributed? Every August before school starts, families look forward to our Back to School Fair. They arrive early to make sure their children get one before supplies run out. The last few years, supplies were so limited and many children did not receive a coat.
Wow! I learned a lot from Kristi about how important this coat drive is for kids in our community (and their families!).
The need for kids’ coats in our local community is great - and we anticipate it to be even greater this year as we continue to move through the pandemic and towards post-pandemic recovery.
Will you join me donating a coat or a few bucks for a coat?
We have a goal of receiving 450 coats. Last year, we gave out 450 backpacks filled with school supplies but the supply of winter coats was exhausted long before that. So, our goal is to have a coat for each student. You can check out oslc.com/coatdrive for more information and keep tabs on how we are progressing toward 450 coats by April 18.
And, if you want to learn more about coats or how to join one of our outreach teams, send her an email at email@example.com.
Hey there friends!
It’s Friday, which means it’s blog day - the day I get to share some encouragement, occasional insights, and the rare deep thought that could leave us all confused. But hey - at least we can be confused together, right?
But seriously, I hope these blog posts inspire you to think and act more like Jesus.
Today, I want to share how play has a lot to do with following Jesus - our discipleship.
I used to think that fun and play was only for kids and that following Jesus as an adult had to be super serious 110% of the time. No time to waste. Don't smile, too much. The obligatory "hi" and "fine" were good enough. I mean, following Jesus was all about digging into deep bible passages and pondering how God really works. Worship had to be scripted and set on a schedule. Prayer time needed to be regimented. And fun? Nope. Fun was at best a distraction and at the worst, evil.
By this point, you might be thinking, "wow, you were super lame". The truth is. . . I was. (Some say I still am!)
A friend pointed the truth out to me... I was a Christian. But, I was not a fun person to be around.
When I think about Jesus, he had to be a fun guy. He was always at parties. He turned water into wine. He was invited to dinner parties at Tax Collectors homes. He always had crowds seeking him out. The gospels tell Jesus’ story as if he was one of the most fun guys to be around. Now, compare Jesus to the Romans or the church leaders of his day who didn’t seem all that fun at all.
Here’s my point - Jesus knows that having fun (or play) is a big part of following Him with other people.
It’s through times of having fun together over a meal, a day outing, a weekend trip, a week at summer camp, a few days on retreat, or a multiple week mission immersion or trip where we both experience the joy of Jesus’ presence being fun and bond with the people God has placed around us to enjoy as we follow Jesus together.
Several years ago, a cousin on my wife, Beth’s side of the family got me interested in the life and writings of John Wesley. Interestingly enough, John Wesley once said, “There is no holiness apart from social holiness.” While some people may think he’s talking about social justice. He’s not. He’s talking about how playing together brings a sense of the divine. When we set aside time to play with others, we actually honor the time God has given us by doing the things Jesus did with His time. Things like eating and laughing with sinners; spending days sailing across lakes with his closest friends; getting away on mountaintops, walking through gardens and valleys, sharing a supper in the upper room, and eating fish and chips on the shore after his resurrection.
So here’s something to think about:
Drop me a note and let me know. And in the meantime… keep playing!
Love you guys.
PS: When we see each other again face-to-face, let's share a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy being together. What do you say?
Wow! I don't think I realized how long that story was. . . if you've read this far, I'm curious to know how you might have experienced community at camp by making new friends or deepening existing friendships. Send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join Beth, the boys, and me at Lutherhaven Family Camp this summer on Lake Coeur d'Alene, July 11-16. Check out www.oslc.com/lutherhaven to learn more and register.
Lent literally means to lengthen.
Growing up, I would practice giving something up during Lent. One year it was soda. The next year it was watching TV. I tried to give up homework - but that didn’t happen. Then, when I was in college, I thought that I would get more attuned to the passion story of Jesus’ death and resurrection by taking on a new habit. One season it was reading my Bible everyday. Another season, I chose to fast and pray every Friday. Needless to say, Lent has been a life-shaping experience for me. In fact, Lent is my absolute favorite time of the year within the Christian rhythm of life (or the liturgical church year, as some of us might have grown up learning).
But, to be honest, Lent was never truly about giving up an indulgence, taking up a holy habit, or just focusing on how doggone sinful I am as a human being. And even though a 2012 Huffington Post article notes that Lent could be about ensuring longer days and easier lives… I’m pretty sure it’s more than that.
Lent is not about lengthening our behaviors (the things we do and don’t do). If it were about lengthening our behavior, we wouldn’t need to repent and confess how, “we have sinned against You (God) in thought, word, and deed by what we have done and by what we have left undone…”.
Lent is about lengthening Jesus’ behavior for me and my neighbor.
Lent is about Jesus’ ultimate behavior of love that is for me and all people.
And when Lent becomes about that kind of “lengthening”, it changes my life.
For example, Jesus lengthens His love for us when we worship and share communion.
N.T. Wright, the Archbishop of Canterbury writes:
We come into the presence of Almighty God, and to feast at his table, not because we are good people, but because we are forgiven sinners. We come as we come to a doctor, not because we are well but because we are sick. We come, not because we’ve got it all together, but because God’s got it all together and has invited us to join him. We come, not because our hands are full of our own self-importance or self-righteousness, but because they are empty and waiting to receive his love, his body and blood, his own very self.
This is as basic to Christianity as the ball is to football. And, just as you have a rotten game of football if people ignore the ball and simply tackle the opposition, or even the crowd, you have a pretty poor time in church if you forget for a moment that we are here because we don’t deserve to be. And when that truth gets hold of you, and sink s down inside you like a hot drink on a cold day, then the effect on the whole life of the Christian community is quite marvelous. We are all here by grace alone: so we can relax. You don’t have to pretend in the presence of God; no more should you need to pretend in the presence of your fellow Christians. The ground is level at the foot of the cross; the only people who are excluded from the party are those who exclude themselves, by supposing they don’t need the cross, don’t need God’s forgiveness, don’t need the free love of Jesus, in the first place (N.T. Wright, For All God’s Worth: True Worship and the Calling of the Church, p. 79-80).
May Jesus’ forgiveness that covers the full length of our sin.
May Jesus' Spirit constantly remind you whose and who you are.
May Jesus’ words of healing cure your body, minds, and spirits.
May Jesus’ invitation into what He is doing in the lives of other people give you deep meaning and purpose.
May Jesus’ nail-pierced hands fill your empty hands with His love, His body, His blood, and everything He has to offer you... so you can share it with others.
And may Jesus lengthen His love that flows through your thoughts, words, and actions into the lives of your neighbors, family, and friends this Lent.
Let’s begin our journey with Jesus that is full of questions, reflection, repentance, and the joy of grace at one of our Four Identical Ash Wednesday Worship Services on February 17. You can choose to reserve a seat at our Tacoma Campus at 12:00pm, 5:00pm, & 7:00pm or gather at our Online Campus at 7:00pm.
The OSLC ministry team is a growing collection of women and men who live as a family on mission, leading the OSLC family in connecting an unchanging God with a changing world by loving God, loving people, and living like Jesus.