Last Month's Newsletter

  Last Month's Newsletter  
JUNE 2024
Do I Have to Go to Church to Be a Christian?
The axe murderer was sitting on the cot in his dingy cell, talking to the prison chaplain through steel bars. “No, Reverend, I’m not sorry for what I did. I killed once, I’ll kill again. But that’s OK, right? I’m a Christian. I have faith.” What do you think the chaplain would say to such a person?
The answer is fairly obvious. How can someone who has no regard for the 5th Commandment, “Thou shalt not kill,” have Christian faith? A faithful chaplain would tell the murderer that this is impossible, reminding him that God’s wrath and punishment are against all who despise His commandments.
In the case of the 5th Commandment, we’re on board. When it comes to the 3rd Commandment, however, we’re not so sure. Maybe it’s because it doesn’t seem to hurt anyone when we don’t “remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.” Yet in God’s eyes, breaking the 3rd Commandment is just as serious, maybe more serious, than breaking the 5th.
For Christians, the Sabbath Day is fulfilled in Christ and is no longer a set day of the week (Colossians 2:16–17). Yet we still share in God’s Sabbath as He gives rest to His gathered people through the ministry of the Word and Sacraments. The New Testament commands us to remember the Sabbath by gathering, “not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together, as is the manner of some” (Hebrews 10:25). As the Catechism says, “We should fear and love God that we may not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.” The person who cold-bloodedly refuses to gather with fellow Christians, hear the preached Word, and receive the Sacrament is as guilty of unrepented sin as is our axe murderer. (See Hebrews 10:24–31.)
Such a person also misses out on the food and drink that feed faith in Christ. Can someone have a living faith who won’t nourish that faith? Faith is so much more than accepting certain facts as true. It’s a vital, vibrant gift of God that trusts, that reaches out and lays hold of His promises in Christ. Faith isn’t natural but supernatural. This gift from above can only be nourished with food from above, with the heavenly manna of God’s Word. Our manna from heaven is given through the church.
So to our question: “Do I have to go to church to be a Christian?” The answer is no. We aren’t saved by any deed of ours, including our church attendance, but only by God’s free grace, through faith in Christ. This is of great comfort to those who wish to go but are hindered from attending church by ill health, exile, or imprisonment.
But it is equally true that a living faith will want to be fed. Saving faith naturally moves Christians to gather together. It isn’t faith but some other, darker force that keeps us away from hearing the Word month after month, year after year. And it is a sad, simple fact that true faith can’t continue to survive in those who despise Christ’s Word and Sacrament by staying away and feeding their pleasures instead of their souls.
Christians gather together to hear the Word for two reasons: God’s command and promise. We fear breaking His holy commandment and risking His anger, which will surely come upon all who stubbornly despise His Word. At the same time, we joyfully gather with His church, where alone He promises the gifts we sinners so badly need: forgiveness, life, and salvation, offered and sealed to us in His preached Word and in His precious body and blood.
Much more could be said, but I pray this little bit will help you to consider afresh the “why” of your church attendance and to encourage others who need encouraging.
Pastor Ludwig

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
LCMS Stewardship Ministry –
Newsletter Article – June 2024
The Gift of Contentment

As children grow up, they often feel cramped by their parents’ restrictions. Dad says to be home by 11. But why can’t I say out ‘til midnight? Mom says to clean your room on Saturday morning. But I want to sleep in late, then roll out of bed, hop in the car and go to my friend’s house without delay. I want to do what I decide is best.

The older we get, and especially when we have kids of our own, we begin to see the truth. Mom and Dad were not cramping our style or trying to crush our personal freedom — they were looking out for us, providing for us and teaching us a better way of life.

If that’s how it is with fallible human parents, how much more so with our Heavenly Father! We sinners often feel cramped by the Law of God. Our sinful flesh wants to go its own way, do its own thing and be in charge. But in our heart of hearts, we know how foolish this is. We know that God loves us, and therefore all of His commands are for our benefit. Each one of His commandments is meant to bless us. Consider the last two commandments:

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.
What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not scheme to get our neighbor’s inheritance or house, or get it in a way which only appears right, but help and be of service to him in keeping it. (SC II)

You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not entice or force away our neighbor’s wife, workers, or animals, or turn them against him, but urge them to stay and do their duty. (SC II)

The commandments against coveting are warning us against losing one of the greatest gifts we can possess: contentment. Being content and thankful with what God has provided for us is a necessary building block of living a happy life. Unthankful coveting of what we have not been given will only make us miserable, so God warns us against it.

God has proven His love for us in sending His only begotten Son to shed His blood for us, cleanse us of our sins and brings us back into His family. If He loves us this much, then when percentage of His commandments do you think are meant to harm us? Probably no more than one or two percent, right? Of course that’s absurd. God means to bless us with everything He says to us. The Law of God simply describes what a truly happy life, lived in thankfulness to Christ, looks like: It’s a generous, merciful, contented life that uses all of the resources God has given us for His purposes.

Man Up!”
A South Dakota District Men’s Ministry Event
Campfire Cabins, Rapid City, SD
August 15-18, 2024
Featuring Rev. Jeffrey Hemmer, Author of “Man Up!” and Assistant to the Synod President
Open for all men seeking fellowship, brotherhood, and to be faithful followers of Christ for their family, church, and community.*  

*Please note:  Recommended for men High School age and older.

Cost:  $50 per participant (covering food, book, and materials), not including cost of accommodations.  To make reservations to stay at Campfire Cabins call (605) 209-8574.  Availability first-come-first-serve.

Thursday, August 15 (Optional)
Late Afternoon/Evening Arrival and time for fellowship and campfire.  Evening devotion at 8:00 pm at campfire.

Friday, August 16 (Daytime Optional)
7 am – 8:30 am:  Breakfast
8:30 am:  Morning Devotion
8:30 am – 5:00 pm:  Free time for exploring Black Hills with friends and family. 
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm:  Supper at Campfire Cabins
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm: “Man Up!” with Rev. Hemmer, Session 1
8:00 pm:  Evening Devotion.  Fellowship and Campfire to follow

Saturday, August 17
7 am – 8:30 am:  Breakfast
8:30 am:  Morning Devotion
9:00 am – 11:00 am: “Man Up!” with Rev. Hemmer, Session 2
11:00 am – 4:00 pm: Servant Projects (Sack Lunch Provided)
4:30 pm – 6:30 pm: “Man Up!” with Rev. Hemmer, Session 3
6:30 pm:  Supper with fellowship and campfire to follow
8:00 pm:  Evening Devotion

Sunday, August 18 (Optional)
7 am – 8:30 am:  Breakfast
9:00 am:  Worship, Following Worship depart for home.

Our Savior    
June Birthdays

  1  Verdena Dabbert          16  Felix Lassanske
  2  Jeanna Jerde                 16  Rayma Scepaniak
  2  Jasa Mayer                   18  Vickie Wilson
  3  Bethany Severson         20  Caden Gelling
  4  Cheryl Markovetz         21  Collin Haar
  5  Maci Johnson                21  Fred Rauscher
  6  Eliana Klipfel                25  Paul Dennert
  7  Debora Heine                25  Delores Neumann
  7  Justin Mayer                  26  Andrea Christianson  
  7  Katie Person                  26  Rachel Rausch
  8  Chris McHenry              27  Mark Navurskis
10  Taylor Johnson              29  Courtney (Salfrank) Melcher
11  Gwen Petrich                 29  Wilma Schnabel
12  Vernon Korab                30  Berwyn Bain
15  Sandy Nelson                30  Dalton Lee    
                      1  Dean & Gaylene Haar
                      2  Carl & Judy Bulian
                      7  Todd & Sheri Severson
                      7  Harlan & Barbara Wickham
                    10  Daryl & Maurine Bierman               
                    13  Raymond & Joann Pomplun
Meetings in June
LWML – Mon June 3rd at 3:30 pm
Elders – Thur June 13th at 5:15 pm
Board of Education – Sun June 16th after the service

Church Council will not meet in June.

Nursery Circle will not meet during the summer. Meetings will resume in September.

Elders for June – Don Hoops & Douglas Klipfel

Acolyte Schedule:
June 2 – Rhyan Johnson & Dalton Lee
         9 – Teigan McKown & Tucker Brick
       16 – Caleb Siebert & Cashlyn Angerhofer
       23 – Cassie McKown & Tristan Tschappat
       30 – Rhyan Johnson & Dalton Lee

Greeters Needed – Help welcome people to the Divine Service! Greeters stand at the entrance to the nave for about 10-15 minutes prior to the service. There is a sign-up sheet in the narthex. Choose your date, and you can sign up alone, or in pairs, or as a family, however you would like!

Please pray for Rev. Ross Fritz, his family, and his congregation at Grace Lutheran in Breckenridge, MN, as he considers the Call to serve Our Savior and St. John’s.
Rev. Fritz and his family will visit on June 4th & 5th. On Wednesday, June 5th, you are invited for coffee, fruit, rolls, and fellowship with them at 9:00 am at Our Savior.

VBS is June 2 – 6, with the theme “Celebrate the Savior!” Of all the blessings God gives us, His Son Jesus is the biggest reason to celebrate. Starting with Jesus’ birth and concluding with His resurrection, children will learn about Jesus’ unending love and forgiveness.
Hours are from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm, with time for a sack lunch from 5:30 to 6:00. Friends, neighbors, and relatives are welcome also!
Everyone is invited to the closing service on Thursday, June 6th at 8:00 pm, with cake and ice cream afterward.

Wednesday Vespers and Bible Study will not meet on June 5th during VBS.

Church League Softball – Our first game is Monday, June 3rd at 8:30 pm, at Players Field (the new north complex) on field D. Come out to cheer on our team! Watch the Sunday bulletins for future game dates and locations.

Youth Fundraiser – Everyone is invited!
Summer Kickoff
Carnival and Concession
JUNE 9  12:30-2:30 pm
at Our Savior Lutheran Church
Hot dogs, brats, and popcorn, and fun for all ages: Bingo, Cake Walk, Football Toss, Golf Putt, Fishing Pond, Lollipop Tree, and more!

Saturday Bible Study – Join us for Bible study at Our Savior on June 15th from 9:00-11:00 am: Meet the Pentecostals and Charismatics. In the last hundred years or so, Pentecostal and charismatic churches have had a huge impact on American Christianity, especially with their contemporary worship styles and music. Their version of the faith is marked by speaking in tongues and other “spiritual gifts,” such as prophecy and miracles. They look for direct guidance from the Holy Spirit in the Christian’s life, and find backing for their beliefs in the Book of Acts and Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians. Is there any basis for their claims? How can we know whether we are really hearing the voice of God or witnessing a miracle? How do their beliefs coincide and conflict with ours?

Gifts from the Heart – The following items will be collected in a box in the narthex of Our Savior, to be taken to the LWML SD District Convention in Aberdeen on June 7th and 8th and then distributed to Safe Harbor and the Journey Home.  
SAFE HARBOR is a shelter and advocacy organization that provides services in northeastern South Dakota. Any of the following donated items will be appreciated: Ladies deodorant, brooms and dust pans, shampoo and conditioner, scrubbing brushes, facial tissues, floor cleaner, all-purpose cleaner spray, bath towels and kitchen towels, Ziplock bags of all sizes, Swiffer starter sets, disinfecting wipes, toilet bowl cleaner and toilet brushes. 
JOURNEY HOME: Their goal is to provide struggling people in the community with a hand-up not a hand-out, based on the love and wisdom of Jesus Christ. The following donated items will be appreciated:
Food Bank: peanut butter, coffee, toilet paper and non-perishable food.
Clothes: hats, any sheets, clothes for babies, elderly, men, women, and children.
Used Items: pots and pans, silverware, and drinking glasses to give out when going on their own.

Traveling? Enjoy the Unity of the Faith!  Our actions speak, teach, and confess our faith in Christ and His work among us! When you are out of town or away for the weekend don't let that stop you from gathering to receive Christ's gifts in Word and Sacrament! Download the LCMS app to help you locate a sister church when you travel. You can also go to to find a sister congregation via the "locator" in the upper right. We share a unity of faith which means that when we travel we are always home in our sister congregations where the Gospel is preached and the Sacraments are administered.

Save the Date!! Universal Church Directories will be at Our Savior doing photography for a new pictorial directory for both congregations on September 17, 18, & 19, 2024.

Happy Father's Day! 

St. John’s - Columbia

        2  Micah Christianson       13  Doris Larson
        2  Troy Podoll                    24  Paxton Eichler
        5  Trevor Podoll                 26  Stephanie Fehn
        7  Logan Ringgenberg       27  Arthur Eichler
      10  Braelynn Chaston          30  Keith Underberg

                      3  Roger & Sharon Zastrow
                    17  David & Amy Patton
                    19  Michael & Molly Ringgenberg
                    20  Dean & Lorie Ringgenberg
                                    Usher List
             June 2     Ray & Cyndy Larson
                     9     Dean & Lorie Ringgenberg
                   16     Lyle & Cathi Podoll
                   23     John Bisbee & Logan Ringgenberg
                   30     Cole & Anna Bisbee

              July 7     Brent & Barb Miller
                   14      Josh & Desa Larson 
                   21     Karl & Val Eichler
                   28     Roger & Sharon Zastrow
Click on the "Calendar" tab on the website to see the June Calendar.