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Worship begins at 10:30 am.

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Dear Friends,

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I pray this letter finds you, your families, and your friends safe and well. I want to begin by saying how much I miss seeing each of you, leading worship with you, and sharing the Holy Spirit in fellowship! We are blessed to have the ability to live stream our services and to meet via social media platforms like Zoom, but it doesn’t replace the joy of meeting “face to face.”

I am writing to you today, on this fourth Sunday of Easter also known as Good Shepherd Sunday, with great news of anticipation and excitement. Six weeks ago we were asked to close our doors and to “shelter in place,” but I want you to know that the staff and vestry have been hard at work planning for the day we will be allowed to reopen.  Please note that day is dependent on the bishop’s permission to reopen and then the selection of that day by the rector and vestry. I promise that when that day is determined, I will inform you as soon as humanly possible!

Our mission of Connecting to Christ and Community with the vision of being a church that makes disciples who make disciples, who is the church!? WE ARE THE CHURCH! The pandemic has tried to thwart that mission and vision, but you have not allowed that to happen! One of the many ways that God has worked through this time is to renew our appreciation and appetite to gather and worship as a community. I believe we can all identify with David, who after wandering in the Judean desert for a long time writes in Psalm 63: 1-2

O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.

On Thursday, the vestry began finalizing our plans to reopen that we are calling, “Re:Connect.”  The most important thing for you to understand about Re:Connect is that while we are anxious to gather and worship together, keeping everyone safe and healthy is and will be of utmost importance. Following established guidelines, there are some specifics to decide and implement. The following is an outline of what your clergy and leadership have formulated.

Re:Connect will be one Sunday service in the church building beginning at 10 am. The service will have music, preaching, and communion (bread only) and be designed to provide the best possible avenue for corporate worship while minimizing time spent in the building.  There will be no coffee hour or refreshments served before or after the service. The Sunday service will continue to be live-streamed for those who choose not to attend for whatever reason may participate in worship. The church will be cleaned and sanitized before and after each service. We will attempt to provide sanitizer as it is available, but worshippers and volunteers will be asked to bring their own masks and hand sanitizer. We will arrange the seating so that social distancing can be practiced while allowing families to sit together, and there will also be a standing area for those who wish to be further removed. We will not have a nursery or children’s church, but will stream the service in the parish hall will serve as additional space for families who may need to spread out.

We are finalizing other more specific details, but I believe this gives you a good picture of what we will be doing once we get permission from Bishop Mark and the vestry decides the best Sunday for us to Re:Connect.  Please know that if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, I would love to hear them. 

A few things as I close:

It’s never been easier to invite someone to church. Like, share and subscribe to our online worship Sundays at 10:30 am. OurSaviourSC.com/live. 

Every weekday morning at 9 am, I am live on Facebook with a 10 minute devotional on a Psalm. You can access that on my Facebook page or Church of Our Saviour’s Facebook page. 

On Wednesdays, our assistant pastor, Newman Lawrence, and our executive pastor/worship leader, David Childs, are presenting a weekly worship opportunity on Wednesday’s at 11:30 am.  This is accessible on the Our Saviour website (www.oursavioursc.com) or the Facebook page.  

Small Groups continue to meet via Zoom and are extending an invitation for you to join in the weekly meetings. If you are interested in joining, please let me know. Karl@OurSaviourSC.com

Lastly, I want to thank all of you for your kind words of encouragement, prayers, and for your continued financial support of the Church of Our Saviour during this unique time. Without your participation, the church cannot be the hands and feet of Christ. The pandemic has not stopped our mission, it has not blunted our resolve or enthusiasm for the Gospel, nor has it prevented us from continuing to make disciples who make disciples. I look forward to worshiping with you soon and Re:Connect, but in the meantime, let us use today to praise and glorify God and not just prepare to return to corporate worship, but let us prepare for the return of the Good Shepherd!  Hallelujah!  

May God Bless You and Keep You,
Karl+

We are so grateful Elkie, our church kitty, found her way to Church of Our Saviour and was able to touch the hearts and lives of many people simply by her presence. Thank you, God, for this precious little one, who you gifted us with these last 5/6 years! This past week, Elkie began not acting like herself and while in the care of the vet, who made her comfortable, passed away. She will be missed.



Hey Kids!

The lesson we read today is from John chapter 10, verses 1-10 and it talks about how Jesus is our shepherd and we are His sheep. We need to know His voice because He is the only one who can keep us safe. Others may try to lead you and be your shepherd, but they will lead you into danger. We need to know Jesus and His voice, so that we are only following Him. 

Watch this video for more about this scripture: Video: The Story of the Good Shepherd

So how do we know His voice? How do we know what He sounds like? How do we know if He is talking to us?

When we read the Bible, we hear so many stories with phrases like “God told Abraham….” or “God spoke to Noah” or “God told His people…” We also hear our pastors say things like “God told me…” when they preach.

How do they know that God is talking to them? Do they hear an actual voice? Yep, sometimes they do! Remember Moses and the burning bush? (Exodus chapter 3)

Does it come out of the mouth of another person? Sometimes!  

Is it just thoughts in their head? Yep! Many times it is!

But how do we know if someone is telling us something from God or just from themselves? How do we know if our thoughts are words from the Lord? 

Here is the answer. We know that a message is coming from God, when we know who God is. What I mean is that we know His character. We know him as a friend. We know him as a father. We know what he is like, and we have a relationship with Him. 

How do we get to know Him like this? We read his words in the Bible. We spend time praying and asking for Him to make His words clear to us. We pray that He will give us ears to hear His words and eyes to see Him. We ask Him to give us a heart that knows Him. 

Think of it like this...

If you read an important message written to you and it has your mom’s handwriting on it, you probably know it’s from her even if she doesn’t put her name on it. It’s familiar to you, and if you love and trust your mom, you will probably trust what the note says. 

If your mom left you a voicemail on your phone, but didn’t say who she was, you’d probably still know it was from her and you would trust what she is telling you because she loves you. 

If you were about to do something wrong, and you knew it was wrong because your mom taught you it was bad, you’d probably have a pretty good idea in your head of what she would say to you if she found out. You know her rules and you know what she expects of you.

All of these examples are kind of like how we can hear from and know God. The more we read about Him and talk to Him, the better we can tell when He is talking to us and what He wants us to do. 

Memory Verse: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

Watch this video, see if you can learn some of the sign language, and follow along with David as he sings “His Mercy is More” during the service! 

Video: His Mercy is More with Hand Motions

 

Printable Activities:

Good Shepherd Coloring Page

Sheep Dot to Dot activity

The Good Shepherd Maze

The Shepherd's Voice crossword puzzle

The Shepherd's Voice Word Search

 

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Regular Sunday Services: 9:00am Traditional & 10:30am Contemporary 
Wednesdays: Holy Eucharist - 11:30 am
Office Hours: Monday - Thursday
9:00 am - 5:00 pm (Closed Fridays)

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Church of Our Saviour
4416 Betsy Kerrison Pkwy.
Johns Island, SC 29455

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