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Kevin, Chase, Logan and Alayna Aleckson

Michael, Sara, Brandon and Mathew Cedarblade

Jill and Jayda Lewter

Pastor Melinda Melhus

David and Wendy Trautsch


La Verne Bjerke

Byron and Char Buelow

Rachel Byers

Marc, Ann, Aidan, Alena and Cade Donahue

Jayme, Erin, Jayden and Julia Hansen

Victoria Hay

Eric, Jill, Jennifer, Jacob, Joshua and Jonathan Iliff

Tristan, Laura, Grace and Noah Johnsrude

Teresa Jordan

Michael, Joyce, Megan, Benjamin and Andrew Larson

Joan Marker

Carol Ann Noel

Jamie, Patricia, Taylor, Jacey, Jillian, Riley and McKenah Olson

Stacia Osiecki

Paul and Marilyn Ranum

Treena, Andrew and Megan Schneyer

Stephanie, Jenna and Taylor Thompson




Joyce Berge Dorothy Bahan

Susie Fernstaedt Malcolm and Betty Gilbertson

Bob Gullickson Clara Johnson

Lucille Johnson Bea Kasdorf

Claudette Monson Lorraine Linberg

Lois Willinger Deanna Simrell

Herb Wehrenberg



Joanne Nelson Dawn Andres

HELEN HOUSE ~ Audrey Molldrem ST. JOSEPH’S REHAB CENTER Carolyn Haldeman

HILLVIEW ~ Wes Kjome


^ EAGLE CREST ~ Carl and Marie Seibert Ragna Lee


Looking back on 2010, I am reminded of the many blessings and challenges our congregation shared this year and how God has been with us through them all. Isaiah 43:1-3Restoration and Protection Promised But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…” Trusting that God is with us always is what helps us to enjoy the blessings and face the challenges together.

Some of the blessings that we shared this year included welcoming new members, confirming 20 youth in August, participating in our annual Lutefisk dinner, the opportunity for family photos for the new pictorial directory, the generous Holey bequest which enabled us to meet the first of our strategic goals, celebrating Pastor Dave’s 40th anniversary of his ordination, the corn roast which made it possible for us to share a meal with our neighbors, Marty Frank’s survey of the congregation, welcoming Pastor Rog and his wife, Carol, supporting our youth as they traveled to Pine Ridge Reservation to do mission work, volunteering for mobile meals and the community food pantry, and deepening our faith by sharing these blessings with one another.

Mixed with all of these blessings were some of the challenges we faced; the resignation of Pastor Melinda Melhus, the deaths of beloved family and friends, job losses, turbulences in our relationships, illnesses, struggling to meet our budget, a toilet overflowing the day before the lutefisk dinner, and snow storms.

As we look to a new year, we know that we will again face blessings and challenges. Working together as a congregation, while trusting in God’s faithfulness, we will remain a strong and vibrant church.

Bonnie Klos


Bonnie Klos led the Council as President with Denise Jones as Vice-President, Pastor Dave, Pastor Melinda, Pastor Roger, Kay Niemeier - Church Secretary, Carol Schomberg - Church Treasurer and 13 other Council members met the second Monday of every month. Each member of the Council also participates in another committee within the church: Administration, Education, Outreach, Property, Social, Stewardship, Worship, and Youth.

Early in the year, discussion concentrated on how to implement the Strategic Plan formulated in the prior year. As this progressed, the Council agreed that reaching these goals would be more successful if they focused on them one at a time. The first strategic goal to be implemented was that of engaging a part-time Director of High School Youth and Family Ministry. In November, the Council approved Bonnie Klos for the Director position.

The Synod Assembly was held at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa in June. Bonnie Klos, Pam Gresens, Bill Bateman, Curt Bottem, Vernetta Moe, Ross Hardie, Pastors J. David Bersagel, Melinda Melhus and Ken Eggen were the delegates for Our Savior’s.

In August, the Council accepted Pastor Melinda Melhus’ resignation and we prayed for her future endeavors in ministry. The Council considered options for her replacement including forming a call committee and hiring an interim Associate Pastor. After considering these options, Pastor Roger Grow was invited to preach the weekend of October 16-17 at Our Savior’s. In November, the Council entered into a contract with him as an interim Associate Pastor.

Council size reduction was a topic of discussion throughout the year. In July, Pastor Mark Solyst of English Lutheran and Pastor Jean Pagliaro of Halfway Creek Lutheran spoke to the Council about their experiences with a reduced council. The details of reducing the Council size will be brought forward to the congregation in the Annual Meeting.

In His Service,

Rod Jobs, Secretary


The Administration Committee met several times throughout this past year. We had the privilege, once again, of assisting in the selection of the high school senior scholarship recipients. We had several great candidates to choose from. These scholarships were graciously provided by the Clifford Michelson family, the Adolph and Esther Marking Fund, Ken and Norma Piper and the Kolb Family.

Next, we were able to work with the Youth and Family Committee to determine how the Holey Bequest would most benefit our congregation. We decided to divide the bequest and use it towards funding a part-time Director of Youth and Family Ministry, providing additional scholarships to those youth attending Sugar Creek Bible Camp and providing additional funds to the Youth Group and their ministries in our congregation.

Lastly, we worked hand-in-hand with the Executive Committee of the Church Council and our Church Treasurer to prepare the budget for 2011.

Denise Jones


Education Committee: Shelly Addington, Mike Alumbaugh, Thippi Fleckenstein,  Rob Kneifl, along with Pastor Dave, Pastor Melinda and Pastor Rog.

Sunday School: There are 142 children enrolled in Sunday School for the 2010-2011 school year.  They are taught by a staff of 52 people, which includes 17 teachers, 18 helpers, 10 subs, 4 stewards, 3 music staff, and the Education Committee.  Classes are offered for 4-year-old Pre-Kindergarteners through 5th grade on Sunday mornings.  The curriculum being used this year is called Spark: Activate Faith, which is a lectionary based lesson plan that correlates with readings assigned for the worship of the day. 

This year’s Sunday School Music Program is led by Kathy Brisson with the help of Shannon Vick and Connie Pinski.  The kids sing throughout the year at various times.  The Christmas program was held at Our Savior’s this year with Grades 2-5 singing on December 18 at the 6 p.m. service and Pre-K through First Grade singing on December 19 at the 10:30 a.m. service. Due to the amount of children, the classes had to be split up to accommodate the amount of people anticipated to attend the program.

What a year this has been thus far; we have an overflowing amount of 4-year-old Pre-Kindergarteners, multiple classes for certain grades, wonderful teachers and helpers who so graciously give their time and commitment to teaching our children about God.  Thank you for all you do for our children, it is much appreciated. 

^ Explorer Day Camp – July 15: There were 23 youths and 6 chaperones who took the bus from Our Savior’s to Sugar Creek Bible Camp in Ferryville, WI at 8 a.m. and arrived back at 4 p.m.  The youth had a fun filled day with plenty of activities that consisted of horseback riding, silly games, singing, arts and crafts, swimming, devotions and fellowship.  Sugar Creek staff did a very nice job of getting the kids motivated, even providing a wagon ride tour for the chaperones and a plethora of cookies and coffee to keep the adults going as well. What a beautiful and inspirational place for our kids to explore and ponder about God and the world around them.

^ Vacation Bible School – August 1-5: There were 38 students and 44 helpers involved in Vacation Bible School. Vacation Bible School was held at Our Savior’s church from

6 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. The church was transformed into an African Savannah Jungle with a Baobab tree at the core center of our meeting place and our theme of God’s great get-together.  The kids delighted in getting their own pouch filled with animal characters to help remind them about the important things they learned on their journey.  Not only did they learn about love, trust, caring, and sharing, they also learned animal facts, the ecosystem of the Baobab tree, and the importance of taking care of the Earth.  The kids rotated into different stations to do different things and got a chance to share their knowledge with their loved ones through a mini program on the last night of VBS.  This was a big undertaking and it wouldn’t have happened without a lot of planning and volunteers to help.  Thanks to all who participated, donated food and stuffed animals, and volunteered, it was a great success because of all your hard work!  A special thanks to Sherry and Rob Kneifl for their beautiful artwork, and all the long hours they put into VBS!         

  Thippi Fleckenstein

^ Sunday School Staff


Education Committee: Shelley Addington, Rob Kneifl, Mike Alumbaugh,

Pastor Dave, Thippi Fleckenstein, Pastor Rog

Supply Coordinators: Shelley Addington, Carla Long, Sherry Kneifl, Jenny Leren

Stewards: Sherry Kneifl, Scott Fleckenstein, Mike Alumbaugh, Jeff Haldeman

Emergency Contact People: Stewards, Thippi Fleckenstein, Bonnie Klos

Music: Kathy Brisson, Shannon Vick, Connie Pinski


Class A: Teachers: Dawn Beal, Lisa Jobs Helpers: Mikaela Hunter, Sarah Novak

Class B: Teachers: Michelle Witte, Rita Schmitz

Helpers: Rachael Quamme, Carlie Burkhardt, Molly Hunter


Teacher: Kim Schurhammer, Kim Berg Helpers: Anne Wermedal, April Haldeman

Grade 1

Teachers: Jaime Fortier, Debbie Nuttleman

Helpers: Lynzi Schurhammer, Alyssa Nuttleman, Kate Nuttleman

^ Grade 2

Teachers: Elizabeth Reschke, Morgan Meyer Helpers: Allison Rigotti, Taylor Novak

Grade 3

Teachers: Keely Schurhammer, Jessica Alumbaugh

Helpers: Cody Kneifl, Sammy Peterson

Grade 4

Teachers: Wendy Knudtson, Michael Knudtson

Helpers: Gavin McClintock, Janessa Halverson

Teachers: Shannon Wiese, Cindy Averbeck Helper: Molly Klos, Mariah Arneson

^ Grade 5

Teacher: Rob Kneifl Helper: Sara Frank


Bonnie Klos, Maureen Wermedal, Sherry Kneifl, Tracy Skrentny, Thippi Fleckenstein, Michelle Giblin, Carla Long, Clara Haldeman, Jenny Leren

Substitute Helper: Jennifer Linse

Confirmation Ministry


Grade 6 Corey Sjoquist, Tamie Batzel

Grade 7

Kristy Alumbaugh Jill Iliff

Bridget Peterson Rob Kneifl

Rhea Servais Pat Schwartz

Grade 8

Craig Thompson Tricia Aleckson

Eric Ender Pam Arneson

Joyce Schultz Jim Anderson

Michelle Miller Rod Winter

Beth Quamme Mike Valencia

Grade 9

Curt Bottem Jane Frank

Tammy Bottem Tricia Mulholland

Holly Rigotti Monte Wick

Sarah Koenen Kim Hunter

Mike Alumbaugh Dain Gilbert

After School Coordinator Rob Kneifl

Pastor Dave Bersagel

Pastor Rog Grow


Our Savior’s Lutheran Church is a community upon itself AND is part of the larger West Salem/Bangor community. The OSLC Outreach Committee’s mission is “to reach toward God and to each other for the sake of the world!”

This year, the Outreach Committee accomplished the following through the hard work of congregational members:

  • In February, a Health Fair was held. Stations included a blood-pressure check and information about healthy eating, exercise, and relaxation.

  • Over 100 health kits were given and over $1000 was raised by Sunday School children to aid the Haiti earthquake disaster relief; in addition, food and supplies were collected and taken to the La Crosse Area Synod Assembly in Decorah.

  • The Community Corn Roast was held August 11. Changes in the Bible School plans made it necessary to hold the Corn Roast separately. We had a HOT day, but the turnout was very high. An estimated 350 were served. Many thanks to all volunteers, especially Darlene Affeldt of the Outreach Committee and Steve Noffke and his corn-picking/roasting crew.

  • The Pictorial Directory through Olin Mills was the largest undertaking and we look forward to seeing the results soon! We want to thank everyone who participated in the photo sessions, and will miss those who were not able to be photographed. This is a project that is done approximately every five years. Good notes were taken to help with the organization next time.

  • Advertisements were published in the Coulee News at Easter and Christmas, as well as the weekly church notice section.

  • Provide subscriptions to The Lutheran to each family at OSLC.

  • New members were welcomed into the Our Savior’s family at several points in the year. The Outreach Committee drafted a New Member Mentor ‘job description’ to assist members in welcoming new members. This document will be posted on the OSLC website.

The Outreach Committee welcomes anyone to become a member, or to get involved in any of the annual projects listed above. Again, thank you to those of you who assisted in our church’s outreach. Your impact is far-reaching and your work is appreciated.

Carla Burkhardt

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