Sunday, December 16, 2012


The Women of the ELCA held their annual Christmas party on Tuesday, December 11 at the home of Jan and Mary Schweitzer. Pictured in back row: Gayle Bahlmann, Sharon Kiesau, Chris Bolson, Pastor Laura Gentry, Donna Reed, Debbie Sero; in ront row: Mary Schweitzer, Grace Ziegelmaier, Betty Estebo.

The Sunday school of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church presented their annual Christmas program on Sunday, December 16th at 9 a.m. Pictured in back row: Emilio Rathbun, Hallie Vinson, Kai Timmerman, Laurel Scott, Kyle Hitchins, Kyle Scott, Jazmine Rathbun; in front row: Ethan Schweitzer, Jack Schweitzer, Austin St Mary, Zoey Timmerman, Dakota Steiber.

The Christmas Eve service will be held December 24th at 7 p.m. All are welcome to join us for the celebration of Christ’s birth.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Janice Clark's husband, Jay, passed away on Monday. Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family. 

Jay Clifford Clark, Lansing, Iowa, November 19, 2012

Jay Clifford Clark, 73, Lansing, Iowa, died Monday, November 19, 2012, at Gundersen Lutheran Hospital, La Crosse, WI.

Visitation will be held on Friday, November 23, 2012, from 4-8 pm at the Thornburg – Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Lansing, Iowa.

Graveside Services will be held on Saturday, November 24, 2012, at 11:00 am at Garden of Memories in Waterloo, Iowa.

Condolences may be left with:

Jay Clifford Clark, 73, Lansing, Iowa, formerly of Waterloo, Iowa, died Monday, November 19, 2012, at Gundersen Lutheran Hospital, La Crosse, Wisconsin. Jay was born on June 13, 1939, in Waterloo, Iowa, to Fred Clifford and Helen (Wildes) Clark. He graduated high school in Orange Township, Iowa. 

Jay was united in marriage to Janice Ferguson Tofte on April 20, 1981, in Waterloo, Iowa. He worked at Rath Packing Company in Waterloo as a hog buyer and was also a Feeder Pig Dealer with Premium Livestock until his retirement and continued as a consultant until his passing.

Survivors include his wife, Janice Clark, Lansing; three sons, Dean Clark, Frederika, Eric (Tami) Tofte, Cedar Falls, Finn Tofte, Muscatine; four grandchildren, Kayla, Raelyn, Alexa and Ashlee and one sister, Jean (Don) Fairbanks, Cedar Falls.

Jay was preceded in death by his parents.

Visitation will be held on Friday, November 23, 2012, from 4-8 pm at the Thornburg – Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Lansing, Iowa.

Graveside Services will be held on Saturday, November 24, 2012, at 11:00 am at Garden of Memories in Waterloo, Iowa.

Memorials may be given in Jay Clarks’ honor to Friends of Pool 9.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Jaxon Dean Kolker of Coralville, Iowa was baptized at Our Savior's Lutheran on Sunday, November 11th. Jaxon is the son of Dr. Justine Kolker. He is pictured above with his sponsor, Susan Bixenman, his mother, Pastor Laura Gentry and his uncle and sponsor, Joel Kolker. We welcome Jaxon into the family of God!

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Kristine Elizabeth Sero was baptized on Reformation Sunday, October 31. Pictured above: Mike Schweitzer and his sons Ethan and Jack, Debbie Sero, Pastor Laura Gentry, Kristine Sero, and her baptismal sponsors Mary and Jan Schweitzer.

Following the service, a reception was held. Here Kristine poses with the big cookie served in her honor. We are delighted to welcome Kristine into the Lord's family!

Sunday, September 9, 2012


On Sunday, September 9th, Our Savior's held Rally Sunday to install our Sunday school teachers and launch the Christian education program for the year. Classes will now be held each Sunday at 10 a.m. throughout the school year. The preschool-early elementary group, called the Sunshine Class, is being taught by Kim Timmerman. The upper elementary group, called the Celebration Class, is being taught by Dr. Mike Schweitzer with assistance from Debbie Sero. The Confirmation Class, is being taught by Pastor Laura and Vern Timmerman with assistance from Kristine Sero and Jazmine Rathbun. The adult education group will be watching a series of videos on how the Bible Happened by Dr. Richard Simon Hanson.

In addition, we welcomed ten new members. They are pictured above left to right Abby, Laurie and Al Burkhart (not pictured: Ben); Susan and Pat McNally, Pastor Laura Gentry, Kristine and Debbie Sero, Shirley and Gary Mulford. Double click the photo for a larger view. We are delighted to welcome them.

A reception followed worship in which we all enjoyed this welcome cake made by Carol Schaefer.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


On Sunday, June 24th, we set sail our 5th annual Riverboat Sunday worship cruise. See the slideshow video above (or click here:

Friday, June 1, 2012


On Sunday, May 27, Our Savior’s Lutheran celebrated Pentecost. On that day, two of our young people, Jazmine Rathbun (pictured left) and Alanna Plesants (pictured right), were confirmed.  These young ladies have been studying the word, sacraments, creeds and commandments for the past two years.  They have grown in their understanding and in their faith. The following are their faith statements.


My name is Alanna Pleasants, I'm 14 years old. My intrests include animals, photography, music, and making jewelry. I like to be around my friends, but I also enjoy being by myself. I can be funny, helpful, empathetic, and introspective. 

Before moving to Lansing I went to an all Lutheran church and a Christian school.Once we moved here, Our Savior’s was the only Lutheran church around so we came here.

Pastor Laura has been very encouraging, and she's the only pastor I've ever seen in such a variety of costumes such as an aligator and clown!

Confirmation is fun when we get to move around and do activities, but I can't say anything bad about it because my mom's the teacher! The chairs are really comfortable! And this year we got new curriculum with funny videos and interactive stuff in our “anti-workbook” and that was a lot of fun.

Confirmation answered a lot of my faith questions, but definately not all! I still don't understand the three in one of the Holy Spirit, God the Father, and God the Son. Although it's hard for me to understand, that doesn’t mean it's not true.

Although it can be hard to trust God sometimes, he's always there loving us. I plan to keep coming to church and learning more about God and growing in my faith even though I've finished confirmation.


I am Jazmine I’m fourteen and some of the things that I am interested in are; music, books, animals, singing, dance, and writing books, songs, and poems. What makes me so unique from anyone else is my imagination to think about things differently from what they are. When I talk to people the words that they say to describe me are; energetic, talkative, exuberant, fun, bubbly, and loveable.

I have been involved in this church for about four years now, and I am involved in this church, because I’ve known Pastor Laura since I was seven years old. Pastor Laura baptized me at the Waterville Lutheran Church. She gave me my first bible and I still have it. This church is helping me develop in faith and love. By that I mean that everyone at this Lutheran church is helping me to believe more in God, and everyone is helping me to work through my problems with love and not hate.

I have had many experiences during confirmation but my favorite experiences would have to be; making new friends and having Carla as my teacher. Carla has made it possible to be in confirmation by going beyond the curriculum and taking the conversation to a teenage level so that we can understand the things we need to. In confirmation I have learned that not everything we do or think is a sin and that not knowing what you believe faith is, is okay. During confirmation I have grown not only in my faith, but also as a child of God. Confirmation has answered some of my questions in life. 

Being in confirmation has helped me figure out what I believe faith is. I believe faith means freedom; the freedom to choose who you want to be in the name of God. It means having the freedom to choose how strong you want your beliefs to be. That’s what faith means to me, but everyone has a different opinion.

My beliefs in God the Father are very few, because I am still in the process of learning. My beliefs are that God is with everyone, every second of the day, all the time. I believe that God created us, because he needs us. I believe that God wants us to believe in him, because he believes in us. God relates to me like nobody else does, because God knows how I feel and what I think. In some ways I relate to God, because as a person so small in a world so big, I’m lost and at some point in time God was lost too.

My belief in Jesus is that he did die on the cross for all of us to live. Jesus did and still does love everybody. Jesus relates to me, because he wants to be loved by people. I relate to Jesus, because just like he was once, I am a child trying to find my way.

My belief in the Holy Spirit is that it lives in every one of us whether baptized or not. The Holy Spirit lives in me through my baptism. The Holy Spirit is giving me faith, courage, and wisdom by reminding me that God looks after me, which helps me to be who God wants me to be.

I will live differently, because I have the knowledge of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. After being confirmed I plan to learn more about God and not just give up on my faith. My faith will help me in the future to choose what I want to be, because I know that when nobody else choses to support me, God will.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


This year, the council of Our Savior's decided to send the Lenten service offerings to the ELCA Malaria Campaign. For the past several years, we have supported an important cause with the Lenten offerings. This is because almsgiving is an important tradition of Lent. This year, $609.28 was sent. We also learned more about the campaign during worship on April 29.

Watch the video below and read more about the ELCA Malaria Campaign, which is working to alleviate malaria by 2015 and is in the midst of raising $15 million to do so.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


On the Sunday after Easter, April 15th, Our Savior's held its 6th annual festival of Holy Hilarity—the joyful celebration of Christ's resurrection. The following are pictures and video from the day.

Donna Reed and Angela Kerndt in their matching novelty glasses
"A church is in a bad way
when it banishes laughter from the sanctuary."

The Bahlmanns in their laughter-wear
 "Christianity is a strangely cheery religion."

Carol Schaefer and her guests
Pastor Laura and Debbie Sero
"In Nigeria, the name of God is 'Father of Laughter.'"

Don Thran with Georgia Troendle
“The Christian should be an alleluia 
from head to foot.” 


Donna Reed with Pastor Laura
 "Humor is, in fact, the prelude to faith 
and laughter is the beginning of prayer."

Emilio Rathbun, the cool acolyte
 "The world will never be converted to God 
until Christians cry less and laugh and sing more."

Ethan Schweitzer getting into the Easter spirit
Gary Bahlmann's fish pun shirt
 “Keep company with the more cheerful sort of the Godly; there is no mirth like the mirth of believers.”

Florence McKee with her great grandchildren, Kyle and Laurel Scott
Gayle's funny shirt
 "From somber, serious sullen saints, 
save us, O Lord."

Gene Mueller in his pinwheel hat with Ceil Gray
Georgia as an Irish lass
Owen Kirk visiting with the green haired guy (Rick Gramlich)
Pastor Laura with the leaders of the UNI Interlude Dance, Cathy and Paula
"You have as much laughter 
as you have faith."

Kai in his hobo costume
Kyle in his wild hat
 "Walk cheerfully over the world."

Pastor Laura and Georgia
Laurel styling in Pastor's wig and hat
Margaret Cannon with the collection of quilts she'd help make for LWR
Melanie Wittman and Chloe in their laughter hats
"A good joke is the closest thing 
we have to divine revelation."

The smiling Seeleys
The Timmerman family (note that Vern is Dr. Ha Ha)
Fairy Princess Zoey with Pastor Laura
The congregation getting ready for worship
Georgia in a witch hat
Pastor with Jazmine Rathbun and Kyle Scott
Chris Bolson getting into the Holy Hilarity spirit even as she's recovering from her hospitalization last week.

The big surprise of the day is that we had a "half time" during the worship service in which we did the UNI Interlude Dance. See it on the video below or click here.

Monday, March 12, 2012


Our Savior’s Lutheran Church is firmly committed to alleviating hunger, particularly in our local region. In 2011, the church donated $7,450 to the Allamakee County Food Shelf.

The Food Shelf wrote the following to Our Savior’s:

We thank very much for your support and contributations to our organization. Without you, we could not continue to serve the needs of the citizens of Allamakee County. We can cost share $11 worth of food and supplies from the Northeast Iowa Food Bank in Waterloo for your donation of $1.

The Allamkee County Food Bank’s needs keep rising. In 2004, they distributed 62,637 pounds of food to 79 families. In 2010, they distributed 129,610 pounds of food to 120 families.

Our Savior’s also made a financial contribution to the United Methodist Sunday School Giving Tree Outreach Project. Angie Colsch, director of the project, wrote the following to Our Savior’s:

We would like to take this opportunity to extend a heartfelt thank you for your tremendous support of the Giving Tree Outreach Project. With God’s grace and your generous donations, we were able to provide the joy of opening Christmas gifts to 120+ members of our local communities including Lansing, New Albin, De Soto, and Waukon. Not only were gifts provided for children, there were grocery and gas certificates for families, laundry baskets filled with daily needs items, food boxes, and gifts provided for elderly and special needs adults in these communities. This surely not only brightened their holidays but also provided them with some needed support during these difficult financial times. Your donations have provided a great deal of assistance with this project.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


To promote their faith formation, Our Savior's Lutheran Church has presented six children with Bibles. These gifts were made possible by a donation made in loving memory of Marcella Guider and were presented to the kids during worship in February. Younger children were given Spark Story Bibles and older children were given Spark Bibles (an NRSV translation for kids complete with interactive stickers). These Bibles are published by the Lutheran publishing house, Augsburg Fortress and are designed specifically to activate faith in children. Our pastor, Laura Gentry, was a staff writer for the Spark Bible publication. 

Below are pictures of each happy child with their Bible.







Monday, February 27, 2012


A new eternal flame was donated to Our Savior's Lutheran by E.M. Mueller in loving memory of his late wife. The eternal flame symbolizes God's constant presence and burns continually. The new flame is an oil candle rather than the disposable inserts we had been using. We are grateful to Mr. Mueller for his gift, which was dedicated in worship in February.

Eternal Flame

Eternal flame with the entire altar and reredos

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Our Savior's Lutheran member, Daryl Bolson, is the subject of this article, which was published in The Standard on February 22. His benefit will be held on March 24th and we encourage all to donate items and attend.

Most people smile when they hear Daryl Bolson’s name. Bolson knows just about everyone in Lansing - he’s owned and operated Lansing Feed Service for 39 years. According to Brett Bolson, Daryl’s son, the name is synonymous with what friendship is all about - acceptance, positive regard, honesty. Brett says when customers come into the feed store, Daryl doesn’t sell them anything until he knows who they are, where they live, family background, kids’ names, etc. His customers are his friends, and vice-versa. But last year the Lansing community and Daryl’s family were stunned and saddened to learn of his diagnosis of stage four prostate cancer. 

Originally from Decorah, 63 year old Daryl Bolson and his wife Chris moved to Lansing in 1972 when Daryl became the manager of the feed store, which he then purchased in 1993. His life has always centered around the store and his family. A Christian man, Daryl and his family attend the Lutheran Church. When asked about Daryl’s hobbies, Brett laughed. “His hobby was working. Any other time he had was spent attending my and Anna’s school events. That and church.” Daryl never held anything against anyone - he was always unfailingly nice. In fact, Brett says his father was too nice to ask for payment when his customer friends needed supplies but were short on cash and couldn’t pay. So finances were something of a problem. Brett has tried to convince his father to get a little tougher to collect bills, but it just isn’t in his nature. Brett and his sister, Anna Darling, both say Daryl was a wonderful father. He was easy to talk to, always positive and easy-going - always there to encourage and support them.

Healthy all his life, Daryl began having symptoms of the cancer: fatigue, back pain, weight loss and urinary problems. After surgery, the doctors said the cancer had progressed into the bones so that radiation treatments were not an option. Family friends Dan Halvorson and John Rea decided to help. A benefit is planned March 24, which includes a Bake Sale and Kerndt Brothers Community Center from 2-5 p.m.  There will also be music, food and beverages at TJ Hunter’s banquet hall, followed by an auction and raffle from 5 to 11 p.m.

Daryl isn’t one to complain despite chronic pain, still looks good and continues to work every day. He spends time with his children and grandchildren when he isn’t working.  Daryl, Chris, Brett and Anna don’t talk about the illness among themselves. It’s too hard. But all the Bolsons appreciate their good friends, the prayers and well wishes. And what about the store? Brett says his father will continue to work there until he no longer can.

Monday, February 6, 2012


The acolytes at Our Savior’s Lutheran have just gotten an upgraded look. Instead of the old choir robes, they are now wearing crisp, white, zipped shirts with a cool, retro patch that says plainly: Acolyte. In the picture above, Jazmine and Emilo Rathbun model the new acolyte apparel. Incidently, this picture was taken on February 5th, which is their baptismal birthday.