Our Savior Lutheran Church, Arcadia, CA
Our Savior Lutheran Church of Arcadia, CA (OSLC) continues celebrating a growing outreach ministry. OSLC’s new slogan “Sharing Our Savior” carries a three-fold meaning: Through Gospel proclamation, learning to logistically Share Our Savior within our walls via a full slate of ministry activities and new faces, and Sharing Our Savior specifically with our local Chinese Neighborhood.
This year OSLC is uniting its English and Chinese Sunday School times together, linking our active legacy English worshipers with our new seeker Chinese worshipers. As a result, ministry is happening and relationships are being built. On Reformation, OSLC rejoiced in seven baptisms celebrated between our English and Chinese services. OSLC’s youth and music ministry programs are growing as well.
Recently installed Rev. Eric Eichinger shares, “The Los Angeles area, and Arcadia in particular, is full of exciting ministry opportunities. I really enjoy the work of building a bridge between the Chinese-speaking and English-speaking populations of our Church. It's rewarding to put my missionary years in China to work in this way."
Upon Pastor Eich’s arrival in the summer, OSLC members and hardworking Chinese evangelists Peter and Kathy Jin were seeing 20-30 Chinese worshipers in Sunday service, but they were fairly separate from the OSLC ethos. After nine months of partnered ministry and diligent teamwork, OSLC regularly sees 50-60 Chinese worshipers in worship on any given Sunday. Additionally, Peter and Kathy are beginning the colloquy program into the LCMS. Kathy is officially enrolled with Concordia, on a pathway to DCE status, while Peter is studying for colloquy under Rev. Andy Wu’s mentorship.
Additionally, OSLC’s Chinese outreach seeker service is becoming more liturgically Lutheran. Pastor Rev. Eric Eichinger preaches twice per month, while Rev. Peter Jin preaches the other half under colloquy supervision, employing use of the pulpit, albs and stoles, as well as other Lutheran Christian traditions and customs.
Some of OSLC’s ministry highlight actions have been;
-Bringing two Chinese men onto our board of elders for the first time is OSLC’s history
-Hiring three part-time Chinese ministry assisting employees; choir, piano, and secretary
-Re-establishing our youth group (joint English and Chinese)
-Catechism study— Pastor Eich teaches several 2nd generation English-speaking Chinese students blended within a large youth and adult catechism class every Sunday.
-Concurrently, OSLC’s veteran Deacon Greg Kniep teaches catechism through a translator to a group of fourteen Chinese mandarin speakers.
Other collaborative English and Chinese shared ministry events are: Christmas dinners, Chinese New Year Banquet, Harvest-fest, Yard Sales, badminton, and Bible Times Adventure to name a few. More Baptisms are in the works for the Easter season. Our Savior is certainly being shared. Jesus is on the move and God is mightily @ work in Arcadia.
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