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.

 

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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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EVENTS: SPRING 2018 @OSLC

GREEN BURIAL WORKSHOP
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How to do a Family-Directed Green Burial in Western Mass
Saturday, April 28, 2018, 9-11 am
Our Saviors Lutheran Church (319 Granby Road, South Hadley)
Event is free and open to the public. 

Come learn about how to take care of your family members the way you want to when they pass away.
 
We’ll go over the basics of:
·         how to prepare so that you’re ready when someone passes away,
·         what to do in the first hours after someone passes away,
·         how to work with your town/city hall to obtain a death certificate and burial permit,
·         how to work with Middle Farms Cemetery in Westfield (the only cemetery that we know of in this part of western Mass who will allow family-directed green burials), and
·        where to get green shrouds or boxes.

For more information on what constitutes a “green burial,” visit The Green Burial Council’s website.

 
Facilitated by:
Carol Coan, Green Burial Massachusetts

Lynn Benander, daughter of the Rev. Bruce Benander (Lynn directed her father’s green burial last month) and friend of Our Savior’s

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Pioneer Valley Beer & Hymns
Monday, April 30, 6pm
Sok’s Bar (30 Bridge Street, South Hadley)
No cover. Open to the public. 

This event delivers no more and no less than what it advertises: a night of craft beer and a singalong of your favorite hymns and other songs, both sacred and secular. Join us!

Note: Sok’s has a diverse drink menu including alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. If you don’t drink beer, don’t drink at all, and/or are in recovery, you are still welcome to join us as you are able and comfortable. Singers under 21 are welcome to join us and raise a non-alcoholic beverage, too! All attendees are obliged to consume responsibly.

Lent and Easter at OSLC!

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The burning of the palms, Transfiguration Sunday 2017.

Preparing for Lent: TRANSFIGURATION SUNDAY
We celebrate Jesus’ transfiguration on the mountaintop.
February 11, 2018,
at 10:15AM
Join us for a service of Word and Table as we bury our “alleluias” (come and see!) for Lent. Stay after worship for the burning of the palms from last year’s Palm Sunday service (which make the ashes for Ash Wednesday) and some sugary treats! 

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crossprayersLENT
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, 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, a time of exercise, anything. Or you can just join us for worship – that works, too!

Lent begins every year on Ash Wednesday and lasts for Forty Days.
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This year, Ash Wednesday falls on Valentine’s Day, February 14.
We will have a service at 6:30PM where we will hear a sermon, take communion, commit ourselves to the journey of Lent, and receive ashes on our foreheads. The service will last no more than an hour.

You can also join us for Lenten soup suppers: Every Wednesday in Lent at 6:30PM. IMG_0121
Lenten soup supper dates for 2018: February 21 & 28, March 7, 14, 21
Dinner is provided by kind people in the congregation, so come, be our guest!
This Lent, we will be focusing on the Dark Side of theology — what do we mean when we talk about Satan, sin, or human depravity? Why do we need to confess?
Come enjoy, learn, and discuss with us! 

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 – but have you lived it?

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Palm Sunday, 2017.

Palm Sunday (March 25, 2018) begins Holy Week. Our celebration will begin at 10:15AM and include lots of palm waving and coat laying (you’ll see)!

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 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!
Maundy Thursday: March 29, 2018 – 7PM
A dramatic retelling of the Last Supper through Word, Table, and voluntary foot washing.

Good Friday: March 30, 2018 – 7PM
A remembrance of the crucifixion through word and song.

Easter Vigil: March 31, 2018 – 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 specifically tailored to both children and adults. Join us! 
Refreshments and celebration to follow the service.

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EASTER
Fifty days of joy and resurrection
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Easter Vigil celebration, 2017

Easter Sunday: April 1, 2018
The “big day”! Join us at 10:15AM for a service of Word, Table, and celebration!

Miss it? Don’t worry!
We will continue celebrating Easter every Sunday at 10:15AM from April 1 through May 13.

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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 always 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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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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Pentecost 2017.
Pentecost: May 20, 2018 
Join us for a service of Word, Table, and celebration at 10:15AM. Wear red!