What Does Not Change
Fellow Saints in Christ,

I had someone ask me an important question last week. It is a question on many people’s minds. “Why aren’t as many people going to church anymore?”

This question usually has a lot of “baggage”.

Some ask it because they want the church (their congregation) to be like it was back in the “good old days”. 10 Say not, "Why were the former days better than these?" For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.” (Ecclesiastes 7:10) Or as one person observed, “Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory.” In other words, even those big, successful days were probably not as great as you may remember. Theologically, we must be cautious about times of growth and success. An LCMS pastor from the late 1800’s noted to his growing congregation, “decay from within which often follows the pride that accompanies fast growth. History is replete with evidences of the fall of great empires.”

Others raise this question out of fear for the future of their congregation and its own existence. This of course makes sense and is a legitimate fear in the current context of decreasing congregational attendance and membership. However, this fear too is often loaded. It often has lurking underneath it a fear of losing the historic building, a sense of failure, a fear for the faith of subsequent generations. Also, legitimate fears. Still, the Lord has a clear Word for us about the church and who is responsible for it, “Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.” (Ephesians 5:23 ) In other words, even when things aren’t going well we are called to do some discernment first to see if our sin and unfaithfulness is to blame and then also recognize that God does do things which seem mysterious to us.

There are still probably other reasons this question is so pressing on people’s minds. Still the question remains. As the conversation continued it became apparent that while this concern about church attendance was present, the individual was just happy that people “have faith in anything”. Here is probably the root of the problem. If the church (the people who gather) don’t really care what they or you believe then church really doesn’t matter at all. You will save a lot of time, hassle, awkward conversations, not to mention money, by just staying home and telling people you believe something.  In fact, you may even get to avoid being challenged about your own views and life. In other words, if you believe anything is good then nothing really matters and certainly not gathering together with a bunch of people to hear that you’re fine the way you are, and if you’re not good enough, then you can fix it, or maybe just love yourself a little harder.

My answer to this individual was perhaps a bit blunt. I said, “There are probably a lot of reasons we can see practically and demographically. But theologically it is simply because people don’t actually believe what God says He gives and offers to us today through the Word and Sacraments. They don’t actually believe it.”

The world around us has been changing and will only continue to change as it always has. The church too faces challenges with this changing world. The size of the church will change, it will shrink, it will grow. What do we attribute this too? We could certainly address it with changing fads of the times, but that serves no eternal good. Instead in the midst of such a changing world we do well to remember, especially this month, the real theme of the reformation. Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum: The Word of the Lord Remains Forever.

The Lord and His eternal Word remain unchanged. The Word of Law and the Word of Gospel. The Word of Christ remains forever. This is not just a “principle”, it is in many ways the heart of our faith and life. This Word of the Lord directs our understanding about the importance of gathering together (going to church). It is not optional as some speak of it; it is a necessary fruit of faith in the Words and promises of God for us. The Word of the Lord is what clearly reveals our sins and so directs us to repent. The Word of the Lord directs us to this because of the redemption He worked in Jesus Christ for us on the cross. The Word of the Lord delivers to us the forgiveness of sins in our baptism into Christ, as we hear absolution is declared to us, and as we receive the Lord’s Supper. We don’t believe these things as mere ideas. We believe them because God has revealed them to us. We believe them and trust God’s promises because His Word does not change. Our fears will change, societies will change, cultures will change, times will change. Churches will grow, shrink, disappear, and even begin. But this is because in the midst of all that changes, the Word of the Lord remains forever. Thanks be to God.

Peace in Christ,

Rev. Jordon Andreasen

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
LCMS Stewardship Ministry
Newsletter Article – October 2023
It’s in the Way that You Use It

Consider the humble baseball bat. It is a simple tool designed for a complex task. The batter needs a tool that can consistently deliver force to a small ball which may be thrown at over 100 miles per hour, but which might also come slanting across the plate as a slow curve. For a game like this, the founders of baseball had to redesign the old cricket bat, which is more of a flat paddle. The tool had to fit the job.

But even a specially-designed tool can be used for a different purpose. It turns out that some years ago in England, the home of cricket, baseball bats suddenly started selling like hotcakes. What were folks across the pond doing with all those baseball bats? Using them as clubs in riots!

A tool can be used, and it can be misused. It’s all in the way that you use it.

The same is true with the things of God. The Second Commandment states that we should “not misuse the name of the Lord.” In the Small Catechism, Luther goes on to tell us exactly what this misuse is, as well as the proper use:
“We should fear and love God so that we do not curse, swear, use satanic arts, lie, or deceive by His name, but call upon it in every trouble, pray, praise, and give thanks.” (SC I)

The Lord has given us His name: He has placed it upon us in Holy Baptism and He has invited us to pray to Him as our Father. In this sense, the Lord’s name is something for us to use. We should not misuse it ... and we should not fail to use it. The Pharisees of old were so afraid of misusing the name of God that they decided to simply never say the name of God (YHWH, Jehovah) at all! This non-use is just as bad as misuse. The Lord gives His gifts for our use.

A Christian steward is one who is called to use all of God’s gifts for His purposes. This includes things like the Name of God, the Sacraments and the Word, and it also includes things like our family and friends, our talents and skills, our money and resources. Everything that God has given to you, He has given to you so that you may be blessed to use it for His kingdom.
It’s all in the way that you use it!                          

– LCMS Stewardship Ministry:                                                        

Our Savior
                October Birthdays                               
  1  David Johnson (Karla)   16  Zachary Johnson
  3  Sharon Deilke                18  Paul Haar            
  4  Bethany Andreasen        18  Viena Klipfel
  6  Vicki Jerde                      21  Katy Schaff
  7  Beverly Thayer               21  Brenda Taffe
  8  Dan Heinz                      23  Jackie Hales
12  Justin Hofer                    24  Isaac Nelson
12  Glen Rausch                   26  Alison Andreasen
14  Joann Pomplun               28  Trina Tschappat
14  Todd Salfrank   
         21  Jordon & Alison Andreasen
         29  Stuart & Stacey Nelson
         31  Dave & Rayma Scepaniak
Meetings in October
LWML – Mon Oct 2nd at 3:30 pm
Nursery Circle – Sun Oct 8th after the service
Board of Education – Sun Oct 15th after the service
Elders – Thur Oct 12th at 5:15 pm
Church Council – Thur Oct 12th at 6:30 pm
Voters Meeting – Sun Oct 15th at 9:30 am
The Quarterly Voters Meeting will be Sunday, October 15th at 9:30 am.  Please attend to help conduct the business of the church.

Elders for October – Douglas Klipfel & Don Hoops

Acolyte Schedule:
Oct. 1 – Tucker Brick & Teigan McKown
Oct. 8 – Bethany Andreasen & Cashlyn Angerhofer
Oct. 15 – Dalton Lee & Tristan Tschappat
Oct. 22 – Abigail Andreasen & Cassie McKown
Oct. 29 – Rhylan Tschappat & Caleb Siebert

Portals of Prayer for October – December are available in the narthex.

Fall Pastors’ Conference – Pastor Andreasen will be attending the SD District Fall Pastors’ Conference in Rapid City on Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 2nd and 3rd.

LWML Sunday is October 1st. This year’s theme is “The King Is Coming,” based on Psalm 24:7-10 —
 Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle! Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory!
Throughout human history, God pictured the coming redemptive King through various images of His promise, providence, provision, and protection for His people. We could easily become down and out because of the evil of our world, and quickly give up because of the constant bad news; but hope, peace, joy, and love is the promise of our God for His people. Christ is the King of Glory! The Gospel is our only hope, as the King of glory comes in, with, and through the Gospel, as we were buried with Him in Baptism and raised with Him to a new life!
LWML Aberdeen Zone Fall Rally
Saturday, October 14, 2023
Our Savior Lutheran Church, Aberdeen
Registration: 12:30 pm
Opening Devotions: 1:00 pm
Guest Speaker: from the New Beginnings Center
in Aberdeen
Business Meeting: 2:30 pm
Closing Devotions: 3:00 pm
In-Gathering: Hygiene kits for mission trip to Guatemala – Items should be travel-size and put in gallon Ziploc plastic bags: comb, wash cloth, shampoo, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, and nail clippers.

Game Night – The Board of Public Relations will host a game night on Friday, October 6th at 7:00 pm, for community-building and getting to know one another. Hot cocoa and tea will be provided. You can bring games and snacks to share.

Birthday Open House – Please join us to celebrate Patty Wiedmeier’s 90th Birthday! Her family is hosting an open house on Saturday, October 7th from 2:00-4:00 pm at Our Savior.

The Annual Meatball Dinner at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Aberdeen will be Sunday, October 1st, 4:30-6:30 pm. The cost is $12 for adults and $5 for children age 6-12.

The Senior Potluck will be Tuesday, October 10th at noon.  Join us for good food and friendship.

A Circuit Reformation Service will be held on Sunday, October 29th at 3:00 pm at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Groton.    The guest preacher will be Rev. Jeffrey Pulse, Professor of Exegetical Theology at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, IN.  Please join us for this special service.

Coffee & Confessions – Everyone is welcome on Tuesdays at 6:30 am at Our Savior. We are studying the Lutheran Confessions from the Book of Concord. (We will not meet on Oct. 3rd as Pastor Andreasen will be gone at the Fall Pastors’ Conference.)

Wednesday Bible Class – Join us on Wednesdays at 6:30 pm as we study the Book of Philippians.

Staff Devotions – Anyone is welcome to join us for a devotion on Wednesdays at 9:00 am in Pastor’s study.

Saturday Bible Studies – 9:00-11:00 am
October 14th – Eying the Six-Color Rainbow
     More and more, homosexuality and its cousins are vying for attention and demanding acceptance. How do we as Christians deal with our family, friends, and neighbors who are embracing this as the new normal? How do we show love for and acceptance of persons without implying endorsement of their lifestyles? What is “love” in such circumstances, anyway? These and other questions will be discussed, building on the foundation of Scripture’s teaching.
November 18th – Life Under the Cross
     We all know that Jesus tells His followers to take up their cross. What does this mean in everyday life? How do I “take up my cross” at home, at work, at  play, at church? Are the ordinary sufferings of life that believers and unbelievers alike undergo our “cross”? How is taking up our cross countercultural? Is the Christian life then necessarily gloomy? Can a Christian under the cross have any fun? These are some of the questions that will be explored in this study.

Christmon Ornaments: If there is anyone in church that does not have a set of Christmon Ornaments or the Advent Devotional that went with them but would like one, please talk to Alison Andreasen or let Cherise know by Oct. 29th. The cost for the Devotional is free. The cost for the Christmon set is $80 from the member, and the Board of Ed will cover the remaining cost.  

Revelation 14:6“Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth.”  During the Reformation this text was used to refer to Luther’s ministry and the Lutheran message: we have an eternal Gospel to proclaim. Christ has freed us from our sins without any works on our part. We are saved by grace alone. And, ironically enough, Luther said this should make him the “apostle of works” because once we are freed by grace, we are truly free to serve God in works that flow from thankfulness and praise.

St. John’s Columbia
October Birthdays
  4  Sharon Zastrow              21  Belle Rae Sieber
  5  Joyce Wilson                  28  Cole Bisbee
  8  Heather Underberg         28  John Bisbee
17  Amy Patton                    30  Dominick Borge
21  Cyndy Larson

  6  Alfred & Doris Larson

Usher List:
Oct 1        Anna Bisbee & Logan Ringgenberg
Oct 8        Brent & Barb Miller
Oct 15      Karl & Val Eichler
Oct 22      Lyle & Cathi Podoll
Oct 29      Mike & Molly Ringgenberg
Nov 5       Tony & Amanda Bisbee
Nov 12     Mic & Jen Daggett
Nov 19     Ray & Cyndy Larson
Nov 26     Roger & Sharon Zastrow
Click on the "Calendar" tab on the website to see the October Calendar.