Nipper Notes

Weekly eNewsletter of Our Saviour Lutheran Church

March 12,2016

This Sunday 

OSLC Choir


Our Saviour Lutheran Church, 212 Sunset Drive, Johnson City, Tennessee, will offer three Holy Communion Services 8:15 traditional, 10:45 traditional and Heartsong 10:45.


A nursery is provided.  

All are welcome. 


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10:00 AM - Holy Communion


11:00 AM - Malting Pot


Church Office closed


8:00 AM - Men's Prayer Breakfast

"Death, Taxes, and, well, the Poor"
"You will always have the poor with you..." (John 12:8a)

You have heard it said:  "The only sure thing in life - the only constant in this world - are death and taxes."

How true.  Death comes expectedly sometimes, and in other times, unexpectedly.  We in and around Our Saviour have experienced in the last couple of weeks both the loss of Susie Estep (our son-in-law Clint's mother) which was very unexpected, and, of course, our dear brother in Christ, Gary Shealy, passing away from ALS, which, even though it was expected, it was just as painful for us all.

Taxes.  Well, in about a month, we will all experience the paying of taxes.  Some will be blessed with a refund; some will not.  It is what it is.  For all of the freedoms and gifts that come from our democracy (the security of police, fire, and military protection, to name just three), I'm glad to pay what is my portion.

On Sunday, Jesus adds a third tier to that infamous saying.  He says quite clearly that the poor will always be with us.

So - a shadow statement could be made:  Funeral Homes, the IRS, and the Church will never go out of business.  As long as we have humanity, each entity will always have business.  To quote our brother, Martin Luther:  "This is most certainly true!"

You and I as members-ministers-of Our Saviour Lutheran Church-neighbors to anyone in need-will always have challenges set before us.  The poor are always there; their needs never stop.  Our own food pantry will continue to need food.  The little red wagon that we lovingly use to transport the groceries to people from the pantry itself to their cars is emptied and filled-emptied and filled - over and over and over again.  Thanks to Annabelle Mason and David Chalkley, this week the pantry is full again, but it will empty beginning today!

As we move through the season of Lent, consider ways to reach out to "the poor."  It's not only those who are financially destitute, but those whose spirit has been broken, their lives somehow disfavored.  Pastor Ed and I do a lot of counseling with folks who have all of these needs. 
Pray for your pastors but also pray for yourselves as you are dared by God's Holy Spirit to step out of your comfort zone to help anyone less fortunate that you or me.  Lent is a great time to create a new discipline of service to others.  Even though we're past the half-way mark of the season, there is no better time to consider this! 

Peace be with you as you move forward this Lent.  And - as always - remember:  God loves you and so do we!

Pastor Jim
Jesus Anointed At Bethany
               MID-WEEK LENTEN SERVICES:  

We have one more mid-week worship opportunity during Lent.  Join us at noon for a worship service with Holy Communion, or in the evening for dinner and worship - Lenten Meal in the Fellowship Hall at 6 p.m. and worship in the Sanctuary at 6:45. Pastor Ed has the homily in the evening!
Coming Up at OSLC 
The Women of ELCA are putting together Personal Care Kits for Lutheran World Relief.  We are still seeking these items to be donated:  Light-weight bath towels of a dark color, any brand bath-sized bar soap, adult toothbrushes.  If you can't bring items, you may give a monetary gift!  Checks may be made out to OSLC with "Health Kit" in the memo, and placed in the offering plate.
We welcome into the Kingdom of God through the sacrament of Holy Baptism this Sunday:
Adonis Kaywood King (Born April 4, 2014)
Audrey Elizabeth King (Born December 22, 2006)
Adryana Michelle King (Born December 22, 2006)
Parent:  Christi King
Godparents:  Toni King (grandmother)
Rocky King (uncle)
Pastor Ed celebrating these baptisms!

Our High Road Sunday School Class needs of bags of individually wrapped Easter candy to fit inside the plastic eggs used in the annual Easter Egg Hunt.  Candy donations may be placed in the specially marked baskets in the main hallway or fellowship hall by Sunday, March 20. Help us make this the biggest Easter Egg Hunt at OSLC ever!  Easter Egg Hunt will be on Saturday, March 26, at 2 p.m.
Interested in playing on the co-ed softball team?  There will be a meeting this Sunday, March 13, after the 10:45 worship services in the library.  Bring your driver's license.  Any questions?  Please call Sean Golden at 423-426-6448.
Sign up today!  $12.50 per pot. Sign-ups are in the hallway!
There is a sign-up sheet on the WELCA bulletin board for volunteers who would be willing to be callers for our Prayer Chain ministry.
PRAYER SHAWL Visitor Team:  
Cheryl Milliken, Trudy Blackmer, Betty Chalkley
The OSLC Prayer List
Praying Hands

The family of Bob & Patti Hembre, upon the death of Bob's father, Don, in Littleton, Colorado;Erica Dalton; Berla Smith; Pat Keffer; Otto Zinser; Marjene Chapman; David and Martha Herting; Penny Van Hooser; Larry McCoy; Mike Rice; Barbara Diehl; Tom Loveday; Janet Ecklund; John Stafford; Anne Godsey; Kay Scheurer; John Paul Neas; Betty Marshall; Josiah Flint; Pat Tomita; Irene Ackley; Truman Billings; Phoebe Sand; Mary King; Janice Knipp; Mary Ostermeyer; Jennifer Stafford; Wendi Garrison; Lori Markstrom; Debbie Garrison

Family Members and Friends:  
Alice Sulkowski; Jason Rakel; Carey Outen; Jessica Jernigan; Sharon Neuhaus; Lou Fox Baskette; Haskel Sykes; Reese Creasy;  Rev. Willis Bowers; Josh Nunn;  Ann Carter; Bruce and Betsy Shine; Glenn Nutter; Mark Mullinex; Howard Parsons; Brian and Jen Milliken; Linda Linden; Bonita Martin; Taylor Miller; Jim Ackley; Barbara Noe; Rosalina White; Preston Burke; Robin Barnett; Angie and Amber Frazier; Eve Hargrave, Abi Amato, Ashton Drinnon, Mark Singleton, Mark Helton (Pastor Jim's cousin), Bob Fetterolf, Eric & Chrissy Essmann (family of Becky Hamilos); Ray Osejo.
Special Prayers this week:  
Pastor Mary Louise Sitton, to be installed at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Blountville, Sunday (March 13)  at 2:30 p.m.  All are welcome!

Military Service - Members:
Chance Johnson (Army); Nick Harris (Air Force); 

Military Service -
Friends and family:
Nick Hodge (Air Force) friend of the Flints; Chase Estep (Marines) brother of Clint Estep; Matthew Sibenaller (Army) godson of Ed Wolff; David Guck (Marines) friend of the Pat Wolf; Jeremy Downes (Navy) cousin of Joni Cannon; Adam Beier (Army) nephew of Carolynn Bailey
A Ministry of Reconciliation - Southeastern Synod Advocacy Team

by Hilton Austin Jr
Member of All Saints, Lilburn, GA 
and the Southeastern Synod Advocacy Team

On February 15th, the Southeastern Synod Advocacy Team had its first advocacy event at All Saints Lutheran in Lilburn, Georgia. Folks gathered from around Georgia to talk about what it means to advocate for state and national public policy that represents our Christian values. While our team has gained great momentum over the last year, we are one of the only task forces that cannot function with only the participation of its own members. Each member of this synod is an essential piece of our success. Having influence on public policy requires a lot of people, and we want to invite all of you to join us in this important work.
In an earlier E-News article, I talked about why Christians should be involved in advocacy work; now, I would like to share with you my vision of our purpose and how we might go about this important work.

The Southeastern Synod Advocacy Team has two major priorities:

1. To educate and inform as many people as possible within our four state synod about state and national public policy on certain issues our church has spoken about, including information on current pending legislation.
2. To activate a network of folks willing to form and address public policy.

You can play as big a role as your circumstance and desire allow. We would like to have a State Public Policy Officer in each state who would stay informed and disseminate information to congregational advocates who would simply keep the members of the congregation informed. Our network of 'ready benches' would include people willing to simply send emails or letters to their elected representatives on pending legislation all the way to those willing and able to attend planned advocacy events at the State Capitol.

Our ministry is all about reconciliation, the ministry of reconciliation that we, as Church Together, are called to.  Rather than focus on current points of contention, we will find places where we agree to begin our work. We will focus on biblical values such as peacemaking, hospitality to strangers, care for creation, and concern for people living in poverty and struggling with oppression, hunger and disease. We will bring people together around difficult social issues, using all of God's gifts to find and support creative and reconciling solutions.

To illustrate the point, let's look a the list below.  I think we can all agree on the seven points:
  1. No one should go hungry
  2. No one should be a victim of slavery
  3. We incarcerate entirely too many people
  4. All children deserve a quality education
  5. Our current immigration system is broken
  6. All people are of equal value
  7. We should care for God's creation
John Johnson, Director of Domestic Policy in the ELCA Washington Office said in his recent Lenten reflection, "I bet if we tried, we could add to that list in some simple and meaningful ways."

We probably could; but, regardless of the length of the list, when we begin our conversation from points of agreement rather than from points where we disagree, it will be much easier to come to consensus on how to move forward. No longer Jew or Greek, Democrat or Republican, just all God's children doing God's mission in the world. Imagine the Church being a unifying, reconciling light to the nation.

I invite you to invite me to talk with your congregation about this reconciling ministry as Church Together for the sake of the world. I would love to visit with every congregation in the synod. God has given us all that we need to do this work in the world; and with God's   help and guidance, we can fulfill our call to this ministry of reconciliation.

Thought for the Month


Saint Francis of Assisi (1182-1226)


The Peace Prayer of Saint Francis


Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is error, truth;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love. 
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in self-forgetting that we find;
And it is in dying to ourselves that we are born to eternal life.









Families of the Week                             
                                                                 Ronda Keffer & Julia Harris; Steven & Twila Sharar


Our Purpose
Make disciples, and grow in grace.

Our Vision
We love God and neighbor, so that all people will be disciples.