Do you understand why this is happening? To what am I referring? It could be many things, I suppose. But for now, let’s consider suffering.
There are so many ways in which people suffer, and not just during this global pandemic. Is it loneliness? Is it job loss or downward adjustment? Is it illness? Is it monetary misery? Is it family discord? Is it… Think back to the Old Testament account of Joseph and his brothers. What suffering Joseph endured! There was family mistreatment, a slavery sale, a forced move to a strange land, separation from his father, a false accusation, extended undeserved jail time! I have to believe that Joseph knew about suffering. But you know the ending! If not, take the time to read the last chapters of Genesis, beginning at chapter 37.
There were many years that Joseph did not understand why he suffered so. Ultimately, God made it clear. Joseph himself acknowledged that when he said, “You (his brothers) intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20). Will you some day clearly see why you suffered? Maybe. But, like Joseph, trust that God in still in control. Jesus, as your Good Shepherd, will keep you safe in his loving arms until you finally arrive in his saving arms in heaven.
Greetings from our Principal – School Update (Jon Hahm)
Our classrooms may be empty, but students and teachers are trying their best to continue learning. Their teachers are providing Pre-K through second grade students learning activities, and parents assist by communicating with teachers. Phones and video conversations work well for networking.
Our 3-8 grade students took their Chromebooks and textbooks home on March 13. Other than the week of spring break, teachers have been using technology to provide “virtual” learning. Though it presents challenges when students and teachers can’t meet in person, the Google Classroom and other available technology assist us as we work hard to carry out our purpose.
Dear members of Our Savior Lutheran Church,
We want to express our sincere appreciation for your Christian kindness and support to help our family offset some of our medical expenses. While we recognize this is a long road, right now appointments are on hold until doctors can start scheduling regular appointments once again. We continue to appreciate all your prayers and encouragement for our family as we wait patiently for the Lord’s direction for our health.
Joel and Amy Grulke and family
Any email address or cell phone updates?
“Lord, your mercy reaches to the heavens. Your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is as high as the mountains of God. Your justice is as deep as the ocean. You save both man and animal, O Lord. How precious is your mercy, O God! So all people find refuge in the shadow of your wings.”
For good reason, many people are offering advice about how to deal with the challenges of the day. We could, I’m sure, create a long list of struggles due to COVID-19, such as illness, loneliness, suspicion, job uncertainty, and on and on. Please consider the following challenge: focus on thanking God! Review and reflect upon the past few hours, or days, and create a new list, a list of reasons for which to thank God! Think big, think small, think generally, think details. And then as you think of reasons to thank God, such as music, a sunrise, a favorite snack, an encouraging word, kindness, technology to share and hear God’s Word, prayer, the Bible…then pause and pray. Even during COVID-19, let us give him thanks for his love, mercy, care, compassion, forgiveness… Consider the last words of Psalm 30, “O Lord, my God, I will give you thanks forever.”
Greetings from our Church Secretary (Sarah Smith)
From the eyes of the church secretary: Howdy! Things sure have been different the last few weeks, haven’t they? While our office routine no longer includes producing News & Notes and bulletins each week, we are blessed to be able to communicate to all our members by sending weekly letters through 303 emails and 72 home mailings. I have also been busy getting caught up on some long-term office projects and continuing to prep and plan for our summer and fall calendar activities.
I miss the hustle and bustle of people visiting our campus and office and look forward to when we can all be together for worship in God’s house. Until then, I will keep meditating on one of my favorite Bible verses, Matthew 6:25-34. Blessings to all of you and your families during this “Safer at Home” order.
Update from our Church Treasurer (Andy Koffman)
“Two things I ask of you, Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.” Proverbs 30:7-9
We live in uncertain times; this year continues to be like no other. While we don’t know when we can return to onsite worship, we do know how the story ends. We have eternal life because Jesus died and rose again. No virus can take that from us.
While expenses continue to be under budget, General Fund income also continues to be less than projected. We pray God continues to provide for our congregation’s needs. We look forward to sharing more comprehensive information next month as we discuss our new Ministry Plan (budget).
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say this, those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. They wandered in the wilderness, in the wasteland. They did not find the way to a city where they could live. They were hungry and also thirsty, so their lives were draining away. Then they cried out to the Lord in their distress. He delivered them from their troubles. He led them by a straight way to come to a city where they could live. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his mercy and his wonderful deeds for all people, because he satisfies the desire of the thirsty, and he fills the desire of the hungry with good things.”