Lent and Easter 2019

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The burning of the palms, Transfiguration Sunday 2018. As you can see, we’ll burn those suckers rain, snow, or shine! 

Preparing for Lent: TRANSFIGURATION SUNDAY
March 3, 2019
We celebrate Jesus’ transfiguration on the mountaintop.
9AM
– Sunday school for children and adults
10:15AM – worship
We’ll also have some sugary treats (as some of us prepare to give stuff up for Lent), bury our “alleluias” until Easter, AND burn the palms from Palm Sunday 2018 to make the ashes for Ash Wednesday 2019! 

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LENT
A Season of Refocusing, of Turning Around and Trying Again
Lent mirrors Jesus’ forty days of being tempted in the desert, and the first Sunday in Lent always celebrates that story.

You’ve probably heard of people “giving up things” for Lent — and you’re welcome to do that too! Give up chocolate, meat, cursing, being negative – anything you want! – that reminds you that this is a special season where you can get a fresh start with a little focus. Alternatively, you can also take something on: a time of prayer, exercise, anything. Or you can just join us for worship!

Lent begins every year on Ash Wednesday and lasts for Forty Days.
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Ash Wednesday falls on March 6, 2019.
We will have a service at 6:30PM where we will hear a sermon, take communion, and receive ashes on our foreheads. On Ash Wednesday, we are reminded that we are mortal; when we receive ashes, we hear a rephrasing of the “dust to dust” phrase from Genesis that is often spoken at funerals: “remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The service lasts no more than an hour and is a great way to commit yourself to the discipline of Lent.

You can also join us for Lenten soup suppersEvery Wednesday in Lent at 6:30PM. IMG_0121
Lenten soup supper dates for 2019: March 13, 20, 27, and April 3 and 10, all at 6:30PM.

Dinner is provided by kind people in the congregation, so come, be our guest!
This Lent, we’ll be focusing on the Creed – what is it, where did it come from, and does everyone around you in worship actually believe everything they say on Sunday mornings? Come find out! During ancient times, new Christians would study the Creed during Lent as they prepared for baptism at the Easter Vigil. This year, we’ll do the same as we prepare for the big party of Easter!

ADULT EDUCATION: GENESIS
We’ll also continue to explore our faith’s roots in Genesis. 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).

Lent is forty days long and culminates in Holy Week.

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HOLY WEEK
We accompany Christ to the cross.
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Good Friday shadow drama, 2016.

You’ve heard the story of Jesus’s last days – but have you lived it?

Palm Sunday, 2018.

Palm Sunday (April 14, 2019) begins Holy Week. Our celebration will begin at 10:15AM. Meet us in the narthex (what Lutherans call a “lobby”) and get ready to wave some palms and shout some Hosannas! 
Note: THERE WILL BE NO 9AM ADULT EDUCATION ON PALM SUNDAY.

During Holy Week, the Triduum (“Three Days”) Service at the end of Holy Week is observed, as the name indicates, over three days. Though we most certainly go home at the end of each part and gather again the following evening, we do not officially dismiss one another until after the Easter Vigil. Join us for this life-altering journey as we accompany Christ from the Last Supper table, to the Garden to pray, to the cross, to the tomb – and out of it!
The 2019 Triduum at OSLC
Maundy Thursday: April 18, 2019 – 7PM
A dramatic retelling of the Last Supper through Word, Table, and voluntary foot washing.

Good Friday: April 19, 2019 – 7PM
A remembrance of the crucifixion through word and song.

Easter Vigil: April 20, 2019 – Gathering at 7PM. Worship begins at 7:15PM.
Easter Vigil is a special celebration of storytelling and resurrection that you have to see to believe! This service is for both children and adults. Refreshments and celebration to follow the service.

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EASTERFifty days of joy and resurrection!

Easter Vigil celebration, 2018

The First Sunday of Easter (commonly called Easter Sunday): April 21, 2019.
Join us at 10:15AM for a service of Word, Table, and celebration!
Note: THERE WILL BE NO 9AM ADULT EDUCATION ON EASTER SUNDAY.

Miss the big day?
Don’t worry! Good Lutherans know that EASTER IS FIFTY DAYS,  not one!
We will continue celebrating Easter every Sunday at 10:15AM from April 21 through June 2. That’s fifty days and seven Sundays of joy and hallelujahs! 

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We’ve been known to announce the news to the whole community! 
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ASCENSION
The feast of the Ascension happens Forty Days after Easter and celebrates Jesus ascending from a mountaintop. Our Savior’s celebrates with a hike (or a drive, if that’s more your speed) up Mt. Holyoke for a picnic lunch and a reading of the Ascension account.
Stay tuned for details!
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Ascension Hike, 2017.

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PENTECOST
We end our Easter celebration by telling the story of the coming of the Holy Spirit after Jesus’ ascension. Pentecost (“fiftieth [day]”) ends the Great Fifty Days of Easter.
The color of the day is red – think fire! 
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Our Savior’s flaming Pentecost setup, 2018.
Pentecost 2019: June 9
Join us for a service of Word, Table, and celebration at 10:15AM. Wear red! 

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! 

Coming Up: Our Savior’s Ascension Picnic

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2017 Ascension Picnic

Saturday, May 19
Noon (Goal summit time. Further details below.)

To celebrate the Ascension of Jesus, we will be taking a hike/drive up Mt. Holyoke for a brief worship service and a picnic.

Find yourself a sandwich, plenty of water, and comfortable clothing and join us on the mountain!

Hikers
 will be leaving from the church around 11:00. Those who would like to meet at the trailhead should arrive by 11:15. We will be using the Taylor’s Notch Trail to the summit road, where we will take the MM trail to the summit.

How to get to the trailhead: Leaving South Hadley, the trailhead is on the right on Hockanum Road (MA-47) about a quarter mile past Mitch’s Marina on the left. Look for the dirt parking area on the right.

Advice for potential hikers: The hike is about a mile and will take about 45 minutes. The trail is relatively steep and challenging, but we will take breaks. Those who hike even semi-often should have no problem. Those unsure if they can make the hike should talk to Pastor Anna on Sunday or inquire of others who have done the hike in the past. Driving/riding up the mountain is a perfectly valid option — the view is the same!

Drivers/riders should meet at the Summit House (195 Skinner State Park Rd) at noon. Carpooling from the church is encouraged — folks will be encouraged to ask around at worship on Sunday.

If you’re planning on joining us, sign up and share on Facebook here!

Join us on this wonderful yearly event linking two of our favorite things: the outdoors and a good Jesus story! 

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