March 18, 2020 at 9:00 am

Dear Brothers and Sisters, 

Last night our Council met to discuss and provide direction for our upcoming worship services.Our governments (Federal, State and City) are moving pretty rapidly to curb the spread of COVID-19. And as good citizens of the earthly kingdom and out of love for those at risk in our church, community, and city, we want to join them in minimizing exposure by practicing the social distancing they have advised. 

“In Person" Worship Services Temporarily Suspended 

Our ministry staff, elders, and church council have decided to cancel all “in person” worship services for at least two weeks. We will assess the situation at that time and decide what to do next. Starting today we will not have Wednesday evening, Saturday evening, and Sunday morning services/ Bible classes at our Vance Jackson or Cole Elementary campuses through at least April 1. In addition, all on-campus activities for these weeks have been canceled. 

Livestream Worship Services Will Be Available

During this time we will move our Wednesday evening (7pm) and Sunday morning (9am) worship services online. You can access these worship services by any device (e.g., smart phone, tablet, laptop, personal computer, etc.) at www.osl-sa.org/live. The services will be simplified since there won’t be a live audience, but there will still be hymns, Bible readings, prayers, and a sermon. If you need any help getting your device to view the livestream, please, let us know. We will assist you. If you have any technical trouble while viewing, email info@osl-sa.org and describe the problem immediately. 

For those that frequent our Saturday service or cannot make it at 9am on Sunday, we will provide a recording of the entire service at our website. www.osl-sa.org/media  

If you are unable to access these online services, let us know as soon as possible and we will make arrangements to accommodate you.

Offerings

One way that we demonstrate our trust that God really is good all the time is by giving generously at all times, even times like these. God has still given us his mission to reach the lost and spread the gospel to the ends of the earth. This uncertain time is all the more reason for us to value that mission both here in San Antonio and to the ends of the earth. You can give anywhere anytime at www.osl-sa.org/give. You can even set up a recurring weekly/monthly gift.

Bible Studies Online

For this week all Bible studies and small groups have been suspended. More details will be forthcoming as we seek to provide Bible studies/small groups online, especially during this time when we lose our usual “face-to-face” time. Pastor Nate will be in contact with the confirmation parents and students about meeting online on March 28 (and potentially beyond). 

Pastoral Staff Is Ready to Serve You 

Our pastoral staff- Pastor Nate, Pastor Mark, and Staff Minister David- will continue to make calls, provide private communion, and meet with people within the guidelines laid out by public officials, medical institutions and good common sense. We want to minister on the middle road between the two ditches of paranoia and carelessness. Our goal is to serve you with God's word and sacraments while keeping you healthy in body as well as the soul. If you need us, call, email or text us. We will be there for you.  

Final Reminder

Finally, keep this in mind - just because a church takes a break from physically gathering together doesn’t mean it ceases to be a church! We all know that a church is more than bricks and mortar- it is the people that God has brought to faith in Jesus and together to share that faith (Matthew 16:18; 1 Peter 2:9-10). Certainly meeting together “face-to-face” is special and important to the church, but temporarily stopping our meetings does not cause the church to cease existing. You are the church, so be it as you livestream, gather online in Bible studies/small groups, and reach out to those you would normally see at OSL worship services (phone call, encouragement cards, FaceTime). Finally, be the church as you live out your faith, hope, and love by loving and serving those in your families, your jobs, and your neighborhoods as God

Most of all, at this moment our culture needs something it doesn’t have. No, not simply more test kits, but the peace that surpasses all understanding. We are surrounded by anxiety and fear. Yet as followers of Christ, we must not give into fear—instead we are called to meet all thigs with faith- faith in our God who is the “ever-present help in times of trouble” (Psalm 46:1). Corrie ten Boom reminds us, “Worry doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrows, it empties today of its strength.” We alone can offer the world these words from God: 

 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4:6-7)

We will overcome this, because Jesus, in whom we hope, has promised that he will stay by our side until we do.  
 

In Christ's Love,

Pastor Nate Sutton
Pastor Mark Krueger
Staff Minister David Kasischke
The Leaders of Our Savior Lutheran