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8:30am & 11:00am

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S-S-S-Simply S-S-S-Scrumptious S-S-S-Suppers for Advent Will Leave You S-S-S-Star S-S-S-Struck

Star #1    December 4—Service “Count the Stars”
Supper:  Sandwiches and Snacks
Are you “sandwiched” between too many demands?  You need a good sandwich!

Star #2    December 11—Service “Super Star”
Supper: Soups and Salads
Are drab winter days getting dreary?   Try our aromatic colorful soups!

Star #3    December 18—Service  “Co-Stars”
Supper: Stews & Spanish Foods
Are you in a stew over last minute shopping?  Settle in for some hardy stew and Spanish cooking!

 Meals are served from 6:15-7pm, service from 7:15-8:15pm
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Our Savior Lutheran Church

Welcome to Our Savior Lutheran Church

“Lord, Prepare Me to Be a Sanctuary’

For Millennials, this campfire song is as familiar as “Kum Bay Yah” to Baby Boomers.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted in this summer’s assembly to make it a song for all generations.
In fact, this song always has been for all generations, all ages, all times.  God sung it to the earliest Israelites so that their sanctuaries would include the harried and the hunted, the refugee and those running in fear. 
God wanted Israel to be a sanctuary.

The word itself has a rich history.  It can mean a holy place, like the Israelite tabernacle or the Jerusalem temple.  It can mean a safe place, like the six cities of refuge that were designated by Moses to protect fugitives from vigilantes or “lynching” mobs.  Those were the first ‘sanctuary cities’, established centuries before Christ.

 There is nothing new about sanctuary cities or sanctuary churches who offer safety and protection for the refugee.  In fact, sanctuaries do not even have to be houses of worship.  A manger in Bethlehem became a sanctuary for Mary and her newborn son.  A house in Mesquite can become a Bethlehem for refugees seeking protection and a fresh start.  The above song declares that even you and I—our very persons—are to be sanctuaries as well.

It comes as somewhat of a surprise, therefore, that our denomination’s declaration to be what it already is created such a firestorm … unless one realizes that the word ‘sanctuary’ itself sets off a flashpoint of controversy in our toxic political environment.  The ELCA simply wanted to recover what had been lost in our nation’s reckless rhetoric about the refugee.  As the ELCA’s website declares:
 “Welcoming the stranger is not a political issue for us—it is a matter of faith.”

To help navigate a path through our divided discourse, the ELCA’s website offers a ‘Q and A’ to help explain what it means to be a sanctuary denomination.  A few of the responses follow below.  You may check the ELCA’s website for a more comprehensive discussion.

What does becoming a sanctuary denomination mean for the ELCA?

  • In its simplest form, becoming a sanctuary denomination means that the ELCA is publicly declaring that walking alongside immigrants and refugees is a matter of faith.  The ELCA Churchwide Assembly, the highest legislative authority of the ELCA, declared that when we preach on Sunday that Jesus told us to welcome, we will us our hands and voices on Monday to make sure it happens.

  • Being a sanctuary denomination does not call for any person, congregation or synod to engage in any illegal actions.

  • We have a broken system regarding immigration, refugees and asylum-seekers.  To declare ourselves a sanctuary church body is to say that we seek to provide concrete resources to assist the most vulnerable who are feeling the sharp edges of this broken system.

  • Being a sanctuary denomination is about loving our neighbors.  While we may have different ideas about how to fix this broken system and may have different ways of loving our neighbors, our call to love our neighbor is central to our faith.

  • Being a sanctuary denomination will look different in different contexts.  Each must work our what this means for them in their context.

It is my fervent prayer that God’s ‘Sanctuary Song” sung around the campfires of ancient Israel, may still be sung around our campfires—by Millennials and Baby Boomers alike.  Our world needs to hear us still singing …

“With Thanksgiving, I’ll be a Living, Sanctuary for You.”

-Pastor Schelter