Summer at Our Savior’s

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Everything tends to slow down in New England in the summertime, as we all take the opportunity to be outside on the beautiful, warm days of summer.

Our Savior’s is no different – things slow down, people go on vacation, and our pastor usually goes for a week or two to work with the kids at Camp Calumet, our synod’s summer camp in New Hampshire. (By the way, Camp Calumet offers plenty of space for anyone in a beautiful environment that’s also quite Lutheran – including Bible study for adults, day camp for children, gorgeous scenery and lots of possibilities for outdoor adventures, and Sunday worship! Check them out here.)

However, things don’t slow down completely – we still have plenty going on here at OSLC, and because our numbers are a bit smaller in the summertime, it’s a great time to join us or start attending again! Here’s what we’ve got going on.

BEER & HYMNS
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I mean – who wouldn’t want to hang out with these great guys?!

Beer & Hymns doesn’t break for summer! Our next event is Monday, June 17, at 6PM at Sok’s Bar (30 Bridge Street, South Hadley). This event is all it says it is and nothing more: beer + hymns. There’s no sermon or obligatory invitation to church – we just sing, drink beer, and enjoy the good company.
NoteIf you don’t drink beer, are in recovery, or just don’t enjoy alcohol, we’d still love to welcome you. Sok’s has a diverse drink menu with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages available. Not all of our attendees drink beer or other alcoholic beverages, and drinking beer isn’t a prerequisite to enjoying your time with us.
Bottom line: come if you’re comfortable, sing with us, and drink whatever you want!

OUR SAVIOR’S CAMPING WEEKEND
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“Get in the picture, Ken!”

Every year, Our Savior’s goes camping! This year, we’re going camping on August 23-25 at Country Aire Campground in Charlemont, Massachusetts, just off the Mohawk trail. You can check out the campground here, and you can call to make a reservation of a campsite or RV site.

If camping isn’t for you, you can still participate! Every year, we have a brief worship service with communion followed by a famous Lutheran potluck. That’ll be on Saturday, August 24, around 5PM.

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Our brief worship service out in God’s gorgeous creation, often complete with campfire! 

AND FINALLY, WORSHIP!
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We’ll be here, every single Sunday, at 10:15am with Good News and communion.
Come see us! 

Note: There’s no 9AM adult ed or children’s Sunday school during summer.

Celebrate Easter With Us!

If you hang around with us during springtime, you’ll notice that Easter is kind of a big deal for Lutherans.

Easter falls this year on April 21, but for us and other liturgical Christians, it doesn’t end there: it’s a FIFTY DAY FESTIVAL.

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We’ve got lots of opportunity to celebrate! 


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Kicking off the Party: Easter Vigil, April 20, 7PM
For the ancients and for many religious folks today, festivals begin at sundown on the day before, as sundown signaled for our ancestors the end of a day and the beginning of a new one.
That’s why we start celebrating Easter on Saturday night!
Join us for this one-of-a-kind celebration of fire, storytelling, laughter, bread and wine — and wine & sweets! Children are especially welcome at this service, but we welcome folks of all ages to come and kick off our favorite season with us.

Easter Sunday: April 21, 10:15AM
Easter Sunday is typically our largest service of the whole year, as we gather with friends and family from near and far to celebrate the biggest day in Christianity.

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Beer & Hymns: April 29, 6PM
It’s our birthday! We started Pioneer Valley Beer & Hymns two years ago in May. Come celebrate with us at Sok’s Bar (30 Bridge Street in South Hadley Falls). This event is all it says it is, and nothing more: we drink beer (or whatever we want — alcoholic or non-alcoholic), we sing hymns, we laugh, we have fun.
Come enjoy the singing and the good company!


Adult Education: Genesis, Every Sunday in April and May EXCEPT Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, 9AM
Join us as we explore the first book of the Bible together in an informal, low-pressure setting. No prior biblical knowledge is required, and each sessions stands alone.

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Our Savior’s Works: Fine Arts Show, Pentecost Weekend
(June 8, 5PM-8PM and June 9, 11:30AM – 3PM)
This year, we’re celebrating Pentecost by displaying how God’s Spirit of creativity has inspired our people! Come see their good work and meet the artists themselves.
Wine and refreshments will be served. 

Wicked Big Storm Coming, BUT CHURCH IS STILL ON! (January 20)

YES, we are having church tomorrow morning, January 20, at 10:15 as always.

However, YOUR SAFETY is the most important thing to us.
Please do not venture out if you are not 100% confident doing so.
This applies regardless of any worship leadership duties you may have tomorrow. 

For those who are snowed in, Pastor Anna’s sermon manuscript will be made available on her blog like always, and we will be “going live” on Facebook for the sermon and possibly other parts of the service as well. If you can’t join us in person, feel free to join us there!

Stay safe, stay warm, and see you soon!

For more on the current season we’re celebrating, see our post below. 

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The Time After Epiphany: A Season of Light

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Here at Our Savior’s, we celebrate all the seasons of the church year, not just the well-known seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter.

DID YOU KNOW? The Sundays after Epiphany are known as a season of light!

Why tho?

Well, Epiphany itself is celebrated on January 6 and signals the end of Christmas by celebrating the arrival of the magi who followed a bright star. Then, the Sundays after the Epiphany detail the revelation of Jesus’ light to the world by telling the stories of his baptism, his first miracles, and many of his key teachings.

The season ends with a celebration of the Transfiguration, when “light” goes from being a metaphor to being literal. In the story, Jesus amazes and confuses his disciples on a mountaintop when his clothes “become as bright as a flash of lightning” and Moses and Elijah appear in the dazzling light with him. The Transfiguration is always celebrated on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday — this year, that Sunday is March 3. 

Finally, for us in the Northern hemisphere, the Sundays after Epiphany coincide with the time of the year when the days are slowly getting longer, driving home the theme of light for us.

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Sunrise from Mount Norwottuck, a few miles from Our Savior’s.
Photo credit: Christopher, Tania, and Isabella Luna

OKAY. SO HOW DO WE CELEBRATE THIS SEASON OF LIGHT?
Great question! Here’s what’s happening at OSLC during the season after Epiphany!

WORSHIP
First and most obviously, join us any Sunday from January 13 through March 3 at 10:15AM for our weekly service of word and table as we hear the stories of Christ’s light being revealed to the world and gather at the family table to be fed by the light of Christ in bread and wine.
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ADULT EDUCATION: GENESIS (THE BOOK OF THE BIBLE, NOT THE BAND)
Beginning on February 10, join Pastor Anna in the fellowship hall every Sunday at 9AM as we discuss the book of Genesis and all the questions (both silly and existential) that it raises. The series will continue every Sunday through the end of May, with the exceptions of Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday (April 14 and 21, respectively).
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DON’T FORGET THE KIDDOS!
We’ll also have Sunday school and kid-oriented worship on the first Sundays of February (the 3rd) and March (also the 3rd) at 9AM. Be sure to invite the kids in your life to join us for this fun time of learning, music, and snacks!
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BEER & HYMNS
February’s weather got you down? Join us on February 25 at 6PM at Sok’s Bar (30 Bridge Street, South Hadley) and raise your spirits, your voices, and your glasses with us!
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THE TRANSFIGURATION: LAST LIGHT AND LENTEN PREP
Where do Ash Wednesday’s ashes come from?
Simple – Palm Sunday’s palms from the previous year. 

Finally, on March 3 at 10:15AM, join us for worship as we remember the Transfiguration of Jesus, then join us after the service for some traditional pre-Lenten sugary treats – and a fire! We will be burning last year’s Palm Sunday palms to make Ash Wednesday’s ashes.
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As you can see from last year, we’ll burn the palms on Transfiguration Sunday – rain, snow, sleet, or shine! 

The Ash Wednesday service will be held this year at 6:30PM on March 6, ending the season of light and ushering us into the penitent days of Lent.

We hope to see you soon during this season of light! 4139846569_132a094861_b

Advent and Christmas at OSLC

As you probably already know, December and January hold some important stuff for Christians! At Our Savior’s, we are preparing and celebrating in a number of ways, each of them free and open to the public.

ADVENT
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Our Savior’s Second Annual ADVENT FESTIVAL: December 2, 9AM, Fellowship Hall
Join us for an inter-generational time of making Advent wreaths for our homes. Adults, teens, and children of all ages are welcome. In addition to the Advent wreath that you and/or your children will create, you’ll receive prayers to use with your wreath in your home throughout the Advent and Christmas seasons. If you’re planning to attend, help us with our planning by emailing Gail Mailhott-Foster at gemfoster@gmail.com.

RAISE YOUR (CHRISTMAS) SPIRITS – Pioneer Valley Beer & Carols: December 3, 6PM, Sok’s Bar (30 Bridge Street, South Hadley)
Did you know that beer + hymns is a great combination? Come raise a glass and sing with us in South Hadley. As Advent begins, we’ll be getting into the Christmas spirit a little early with some carols. Join us!

Wednesdays in Advent: December 5, 12, and 19 from 6:30PM-8PM
Community Soup Supper & Reflections
PresentationIt’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
In recent years, apocalyptic and dystopian literature have captured the collective imagination of the western world. The Handmaid’s TaleThe Hunger Games, Man in the High Castle, American Horror Story: Apocalypse — the list is long. During Advent, the Bible readings for worship also strike an apocalyptic tone. What do these works all have in common, what do they tell us about being human, and what the heck do they have to do with Advent and Christmas?! Join us and find out!
Dinner is provided each week by generous volunteers from the church; come relax and contemplate the holy with us during this sacred season!

Sundays in Advent: December 2, 9, 16, and 23 at 10:15AM 
Advent services of Word and Table
THE BEGINNING IS NEAR!
Join us as we hear the Word and gather at the table to prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ among us. You’ve been hearing Christmas songs in stores since October, but in here, it’s Advent! Join us and practice the sacred practice of anticipation.

CHRISTMAS
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Christmas Eve at Our Savior’s: December 24, 6PM
Christ-mass: Service of Word, Table, and Light
Come celebrate with us! Adults, teens, and children of all ages are welcome and wanted at this special yearly celebration.

First Sunday of Christmas: December 30, 10:15AM
Service of Word and Table
Say goodbye to 2018 and celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas with us!
The Rev. J. Eliot B. Moss, professor in the College of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of Massachusetts, will be our guest preacher and presider.

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Epiphany: January 6, 2019, at 10:15AM
Service of Word and Table / Blessing of Chalk for New Year Home Blessings
Join us for the celebration of Epiphany, or the arrival of the magi who came to visit and bring gifts to Jesus as a young child. In keeping with ancient Christian tradition, we will also bless chalk so that we may bless our homes for the New Year.

Epiphany also begins the Epiphany season, or the winter celebration that celebrates Light as the winter days begin to get longer.

 

Fall 2018: Education and Service Opportunities Ahead!

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Some of the awesome foliage coming to Our Savior’s campus again soon! 

EDUCATION
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For children (all ages): Sunday school begins on September 9 at 9AM in the fellowship hall and continues every first Sunday of the month at 9AM through June 2019.

September 9 at 10:15am, join us for a kid-friendly worship service with a backpack blessing. Kids, remember to bring your backpacks (teachers are also welcome to bring their school bags) as we bless them (and you!) for a new school year!

For teens and adults of all ages: Pastor Anna is leading a deep dive on the Gospel of John that begins on September 9 at 9AM and continues every Sunday* through October 28. Bring a Bible if you have one; if not, we have plenty!
*we will meet during coffee hour, after the 10:15AM service, on September 16 only.

SERVICE
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Part of Our Savior’s 2017 “God’s Work/Our Hands” work crew. 

Join us after the 10:15AM service on September 9 as we help out some neighbors who need us. (Bring clothing and shoes suitable for yard work.)

RAISE YOUR SPIRITS!
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Raise your spirits: our next Beer & Hymns event is happening on October 22 at 6PM at Sok’s Bar. Beer & Hymns is just that: beer + hymns (+ lots of joy)!

Join us for a night of craft beer and a singalong of some of your favorite hymns.

Important Note: Alcoholic beverages reserved for those 21 and older, per federal and state law. Children and teens are welcome to come and sing; a variety of non-alcoholic beverages is available for those who are underage and those in recovery.

It’s gonna be a fall to remember at OSLC! Join us!