Beginning at the Great Vigil and echoing throughout the season, this cry has gone up around the world. In every language, Christians have shouted with joy: Χριστός ἀνέστη! Hristos a inviat! Surrexit Dominus!
Christ is Risen Indeed!
This proclamation truly is the center of our faith, and it is no wonder that Easter Sunday is (and always has been) the single service attended by the greatest number of worshipers.
But Easter is more than a single Sunday. It is a season of rejoicing. The privations of Lent lasted forty days, but the feasting of Easter outdoes them, and lasts a full fifty days. It is a two-month festival, the greatest in the world. It is filled with stories of the risen Christ, tales of the first apostles, and promises of God’s help yet to come.
We celebrate the victory of Jesus until Pentecost (June 9 this year), and keep celebrating with the Feast of the Holy Trinity (June 16). Don’t miss out!
“Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” (Psalm 94:6)
“What God Has First Given Us”
You may have noticed a small change to our Sunday worship services during the season of Easter. Rather than bringing the gifts of bread and wine from the credence table before Communion, our altar servers and ushers are bringing them forward with the offerings of money.
This is called an “offertory procession,” and it is a very ancient part of the service. It began in the early Church, when members brought forward the bread they had baked at home, the wine they had made or bought for their own table, along with the money they were giving for the church’s mininstry to the poor.
Those early offertory processions were a grand parade, but they also made an important point about Christian spirituality. Everything we possess comes to us, in one way or another, as a gift from God, and it is our joy to set some of that bounty aside for the work of God accomplished through the Church.
Over the past few weeks, we have used an offertory prayer that thanks God for the things we have, and invites God to transform our offering not only into the Body and Blood of Christ, but also into other specific, visible ministries. Our offering is changed by grace into a food pantry, and ECHO events, Sunday School and VBS, quilting and Bible study – as well as a building that houses not only worship services but Scouts and theater rehearsals and many other community organizations.
The offertory procession (which we will use until Trinity Sunday) is another symbolic reminder that in worship we we give back to God what God has first given us – and go forth to do God’s work with our hands.
On Maundy Thursday, the following group of young people received their Communion Class Blessing:
- Julia Rose Joyce Bonnaire
- Clare Elizabeth Ashby
- Evelyn Kathleen Maynard
- Lilly Francis Knisely
- Jaiden Tanner Shorey
At Our Saviour, Holy Communion is offered to all the baptized, at such time as they (and their parents and pastors) feel that they are ready to receive it. A formal Communion Education program is offered every year during Lent for people in the fifth grade, whether or not they are already communicants.
We thank Yvonne Rodgers for teaching this year’s class.
National Day of Prayer
Thursday, May 2
Join fellow Christians in prayer around the country as we pray for America and love one another. OSLC is hosting a Sunrise Service at 6:00am (in the prayer garden if possible).
At noon, a Community Prayer service is at John Barton Payne Building. At 6:00-7:30pm come for Prayer and music in Eva Walker Park. For a public listing of events visit Facebook:@National Day of Prayer–Fauquier County, Virginia.
Confirmation at the 10:30 Service
This Pentecost, June 9, we will confirm a group of young people who have spent two solid years studying the Bible and the catechism.
Because the Spirit gave the apostles the gift of speaking different languages, one beloved custom is to proclaim the story in foreign languages. If you speak a foreign language, and are comfortable reading the Bible in public, you can help! Just talk to Pastor Michael.
“Wisdom is a fountain of life.” (Proverbs 16:22)
Upward, Outward, Inward
A Study of Prayer (April 29-May 26)
Do you want to ignite your prayer life? Come and check out the ancient and beloved prayers of the Church, or learn to pray in the middle of a muddle – or two pray through the wall of a difficult situation.
Tina Korte and Pastor Michael will offer a 5-week course, from April 28 to May 26, during the Sunday School hours (9:15-10:15am). Although they are both life-long Lutherans, they have very different preferences and perspectives when it comes to prayer, so the class should be extra-stimulating.
The Fire at Notre-Dame
On the Monday of Holy Week, the entire world watched in shock as flames engulfed the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris. Hundreds of firefighters worked tirelessly and to good effect; within about twelve hours, the fire had been extinguished.
As this issue goes to print, we still have no clear picture of the damage. The roof and spire are gone, but the stone towers and buttresses remain. Their stability will need to be assessed. So too will the condition of the interior, including a collection of sacred art and artifacts gathered in the course of almost a millennium.
But, astonishingly, it appears that no lives were lost, and that injuries are blessedly few. For this mercy, Christians all over the world may join the people of Paris in giving thanks to God.
How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses to help? (1 John 3:17)
Food Pantry Needs … Food!
Our Saviour is the home to a small food pantry, that provides those in need with a bag or two of healthy, non-perishable groceries. We do this without asking any questions or demanding any qualifications, as an expression of pure, unconditional love.
At the moment, our supplies are a little low. We especially need the following: items
- Peanut butter or other nut butters
- Canned meats
- Ready-to-eat foods like canned spaghetti, chili, soups, beans, etc.
- Pasta and sauce
- Macaroni and cheese
- Canned or dried fruits
Remember that many of the people who use our pantry have no kitchen tools and no way to cook food. So it is best if canned foods have pull-tab tops, and if the contents can be eaten either hot or cold.
For more information, call the church office or contact Tamar Yager by email at email@example.com.
Good news! Our production is on the rise again! So, we need 30-35 sewn quilt tops each month.
If you can sew and help us, packets of 48 precut squares (with directions) are available on the rolling cart in Fellowship Hall.
Leave completed tops on the Quilt Ministry shelves. Thank you!
Social Ministry Activities
These are some of the ways that our congregation has served the poor this past month.
Food baskets filled: 2 (Mar-Apr)
- 89 households
- 142 individuals
- 30 under 18, 64 over 60 (Mar)
People Helping People:
- $9,073 for rent and utilities
- $1,881 total income.
- 30 families
- 34 individuals
- 26 children
- 5 seniors over 65
- 59 OSLC volunteer hours in March
At Fauquier Health and Rehab Center, OSLC volunteers served a lunch, Apr 9. Next luncheon is on May 14. Contact Elfie Schmid, 540-937-5315 for information.
- Food collection for Summer Food Program. Lists available at church in early May.
- Give Local campaign to support People Helping People–May 7. Contact Elfie Schmid, 540-937-5315.
- Food Distribution, May 20. OSLC’s month to sponsor the event. Need volunteers for Friday, May 19, to bag food and Saturday, May 20, to distribute. Contact Dave or Judy Raecke, 540-937-5334
Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. (Acts 2:46-47)
Saturday, May 18
Experience the love of Christ through a gathering of mothers, daughters, sisters and friends, along with tasty treats, an inspirational message and beautiful music by The Fresta Valley Singers and opera singer Angela Knight.
This event will be held at OSLC from 1-2:30pm.
A free-will offering will be taken to defray the costs. We are also seeking table hosts. For more information or to RSVP, contact Amelia Stansell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 208-989-4887.
VBS June 17-21
Come to Vacation Bible School, June 17-21, to find out! VBS registration is now open, more information is on OSLC’s website and Facebook page. Make sure to sign up before space is gone! (Registration deadline is May 31.)
VBS needs volunteers & donations. Links to register and to sign up to help or donate are on the website.
Please contact Abby Compton at email@example.com or call 757-897-7215 with questions or to see how you can support this year’s VBS! Thank you!
Rejoice, young man, while you are young, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. (Ecclesiastes 11:9)
A Youth and Children’s Play
We are putting on the above play, a fashion show of Old Testament characters, on Sunday, May 19 following the 10:30 service in the OSLC fellowship hall. Beginning around noon, guests will enjoy an informal tea, followed by the performance. While the three primary speaking roles are already cast, there are more than a dozen roles to be filled by other youth.
My hope is that we can have a broad range of participants—from elementary to senior youth. Those playing the Old Testament characters have very brief lines (a Bible verse), but it can be arranged for those who do not want to speak to simply “walk down the runway” when it’s time for their character to make an appearance. This is a fun way for youth of varying ages to get a taste of theatre without a lot of time commitment or line memorization. The only true requirement is that they are comfortable walking down the red carpet and back!
Do you have one or more children who would like to participate? If so, please contact Nancy Bonnaire by April 22, either via email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 703.407.3984.
We will restrict rehearsals to Saturdays/Sundays as much as possible. Your child/ren would need to be available for a final dress rehearsal on Saturday, May 18 during the day and be at church for the 10:30 service on performance day, May 19. Other than that, we can work with individual schedules.
In addition, there are a number of costume pieces and props that we hope to source/borrow from congregation members to keep production costs to a minimum. If you have any of the following items that you’re willing to lend to us, we promise to treat them with great care:
- Rain slickers (3: for small, medium, and larger boys)
- Galoshes (3 pairs, same as above)
- Umbrellas (3, silly designs welcome)
- Burlap sack
- Stretchy belt
- Large backpack
- Military hat
- Judge’s robe
- Long fake beard
- Lyre (real or fake)
- Dancing shoes (one pair, preferably girl’s)
- Hat or cape that resembles a lion’s ruff
- Sunglasses (several pairs, large/silly)
Please feel free to reach out with questions or suggestions to Nancy Bonnaire, email email@example.com or phone 703.407.3984.
Kairos: For Senior High Youth
June 23-28 at Eagle Eyrie
Kairos is the Virginia Synod’s annual week-long faith formation event for youth who will be in 9th-12th grades in the coming fall.
It is a chance for youth who are already committed to a life of faith to be part of a unique Christian community for an entire week and to develop habits for discipleship.
Visit the Synod website for more information.
Junior High Servant Event
Parents! Why does your youth who just completed 6th, 7th, or 8th grade need to go to JHSE at Virginia Beach for the week of July 21-26 this summer? To help ignite their passion for service, to help them learn that the world is a bigger place than themselves, and to have them think about their relationship to God in a new way! Best of all, the cost is only $110.
For more info, call or text Tom Bartkiewicz at 540-270-8120. Registration is open at https://tithe.ly/event-registration/#/632658
VBS – For Adults! (And Kids, Too)
Join us July 11-13 for a weekend of worship, learning and fun. Our theme this year is “Children of the Same Heavenly Father.”
Hosted at beautiful Roanoke College in Salem Virginia, Power in the Spirit is an inspirational conference for everyone who wishes to explore God’s call to service through joyous worship, Bible study, keynote addresses, workshops, and fellowship.
In addition, congregational leaders—teachers, organists and choir directors, choir members, committee or council members, family life consultant, pastors, and others—will find Power in the Spirit nurturing and challenging as they consider their mission and ministry.
- Our 2019 keynote speaker will be Dr. Dawn Rundman, developer of faith formation resources for Sparkhouse and Augsburg Fortress.
- Our Bible Study leader will be the Rev. Dr. Rolf Jacobson of Luther Seminary, returning to Power in the Spirit as one of our most popular presenters.
- Music will be led by the terrific George Donovan, a longtime member of the Power in the Spirit team and a music ministry leader in the Virginia Synod!
To learn more, ask Pastor Michael, who helps organize Power in the Spirit worship. To register, visit the synod website: www.vasynod.org/ power-in-the-spirit/
Our Lutheran Heritage
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!
(1 Chronicles 16:24)
Lutheranism’s Best-Kept Secret
In 1836, in Germany, Pastor Theodor Fliedner and his wife Friedericke Műnster, using the story of New Testament Phoebe (Romans 16:1), called women to serve as deaconesses in a small pastoral charge in Kaiserswerth.
By 1884, there were 56 deaconess communities in Germany, France, Switzerland, and Scandinavia. They ministered with vagrants, epileptics, those in prison, those recently released from prison, the sick, orphans, and anyone in need.
Florence Nightingale learned nursing in Kaiserswerth with the deaconesses.
Throughout the latter half of the 19th century, pastors and deaconesses came to America from Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and various parts of Germany. They began hospitals and other institutions of mercy, and motherhouses in which to train deaconesses for service. The modern professions of medical nursing and social work were largely developed by deaconesses.
Today, rostered deaconesses (called by an ELCA congregation) lead in the formation, education, and empowerment of the baptized.
They work in a wide variety of settings, depending on their spiritual gifts and training. They serve as teachers, counselors, administrators, health professionals, Christian educators, youth workers, information specialists, ecumenists, and more.
To learn about the ELCA’s Deaconess Community, visit: deaconesscommunity.org