April Newsletter



Contact Information

Office Hours: Tues-Fri 9-2pm

During COVID-19 we are better reached on our cell phones or by email

Pastor: James Baumgartner 907.310.0342

Office Admin/Youth Leader: Ericka Stoltenberg 907.440.0367

Family Life Director: Britt Baumgartner 907.310.0341

Faith Community Nurse: Sally Coburn

Mailing Address:

Po Box 670150 Chugiak, AK 99567

Beans Cafe Items Needed

During this time of COVID-19 I have seen so many people stepping up and assisting where they can, both within our church, our community and our state. We have another opportunity to help our community at Beans Cafe. As you know they have opened up the Sullivan Arena as a place for the homeless to "hunker down" while maintaining a safe distance. There are two ways that you can donate:

1. Bag your items, leave them on your porch Thursday April 2nd by 12pm for pick up. Contact me via text/call and let me know if you have a pick up 907-440-0367

2. Drop your bagged items off at the kitchen door at the church by 5pm Thursday April 2nd . There will be a designated tote

3. Or if you would like to take the items yourself to the Sullivan, they will be doing a drive through drop off Friday April 3rd 10am-12pm and 2pm—4pm.

If you have any questions let me know. We continue to pray for each one of you!

List of Supplies Needed

Tithing during COVID-19

Online tithing can be done through our website HERE

or you may also mail checks to:

Our Redeemer Lutheran Church

Po Box 670150 Chugiak AK 99567.

Helping One Another during COVID-19

ORLC families and community, please know that we have a crew of servant hearts who are willing to run errands and/or do shopping for those that are self isolating or in quarantine. If you would like to be a shopper or are in need of assistance, please contact our coordinator Gaye Sarvela at sarvela@mtaonline.net or by call/texting her at 907-841-2046
Volunteer Opportunity (Sewing Face Masks)

Sewing Masks or Donating Material

Message from Pastor James

I’m clued into quite a variety of online groups where church workers and pastors discuss topics and bounce ideas off each other. You can imagine that with the coronavirus creep that’s been happening across our nation, the scope of conversations has narrowed to how best to deal with it and how best to offer ministry during this time. Sometimes I hear good ideas. Other times I hear things that make me want to throw my computer out the window.

As governing authorities began to tighten what it meant to be socially distant and businesses started locking their doors, pastors across the nation asked the question, “What qualifies as essential businesses?” For the most part, new regulations were silent on religious matters (though that’s now changed). It seemed as though congregations still had some right—for a time—to gather, even though neighborhood stores had their lights off. As official lists of essential business activities came out, I saw pastors looking for an asterisk. There had to be a glitch somewhere…otherwise why wouldn’t churches be listed as essential?

So for example, businesses that “provide services for disadvantaged individuals” are allowed to stay open. I started seeing arguments about how sinners are disadvantaged individuals and therefore churches need to… Well, you get the picture. I almost threw my computer out the window.

The author of the book of Hebrews says, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (10:25) That sure sounds essential. And it IS essential. But it’s essential on a different level, and for a different reason than the world around us could ever understand.

God’s people need to meet with each other. They need to speak His Word to each other, reminding each other of the Good News. Paul wrote, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (1 Thess. 5:11) That’s essential! It’s essential for YOUR faith, for MY faith, and for the faith of our neighbor. The Body of Christ supports its members. That’s an absolute must. It’s absolutely essential.

But it does us no good at the present if we physically meet up together and it sends people to the hospital, or worse. This is not the moment to be a martyr or a hero. Luckily, I know you all agree with me on this. Not a single member of our church has pushed back, demanding that we continue to hold worship services together. That means you maintain a great balance between the Two Kingdoms (see my 2nd Coronavirus letter). You understand the importance of meeting together…and you understand the importance of public safety and respecting our authorities. That’s a great way to make this pastor proud of his church!

When things settle down, I’m hoping we’ll have a deeper hunger and longing to meet together as a congregation. I’m hoping we’ll take those words to heart that we shouldn’t give up meeting together, but rather strive to make it a priority in our lives. It’s a great reminder that we don’t know what we’ve got until it’s gone!

In the meantime, keep reaching out in love to your neighbor. Call them, text them, encourage them online. We’re still meeting together, and the Church is still One Body together. It just looks kind of goofy right now.

It’s all about Jesus!

Pastor James

Lutheran Social Services of Alaska

The LSSA Food Pantry continues to operate during these troubling times. Our numbers are increasing dramatically as we are now serving many who have recently been laid off in our community. Close to half of who we see on daily basis are new and most have never been to a food pantry. We are receiving many phone calls in a day asking how they can access some food.

We are pre-packing food boxes for distribution and we are practicing social distancing during distribution. We have also been given permission to discontinue signing for the TEFAP (The Emergency Food Assistance Program) and the CSFP (Commodity Supplemental Food Program or senior boxes) during this emergency so they do not need to touch a pen or the desk.

We are thankful that there is a lot of food in the TEFAP system at this time. Presently we are boxing canned beef, pork and chicken, mac-n-cheese, raisins, canned peaches and apricots, dried fruit, peanut butter along with frozen shredded cheese, pork loins, shave ham and ground beef. What we are needing to purchase each day we are open is bread and Franz Bakery does not have much on their shelves in their retail store.

The one item that we had a good supply of and that is disappearing from our desks rapidly is hand sanitizer. We are down to just a few bottles left. We need to find a way to secure the bottles to the desk or if anyone knows where we can purchase wall units please let us know.

On a sad note we said goodbye to Ryan Chernikoff who has been our Food Distribution Manager for over 6 years. His last day was March 25th and we are sorry that we couldn’t host a farewell party for him. Ryan’s new position is with Cook Inlet Housing Authority and his office will be two blocks away on Spenard Road. Ryan’s replacement is also named Ryan. Please help me welcome Ryan Winpigler to his new position with the LSSA Food Pantry.

Thank you to all who donated Easter baskets to the food pantry this year. The baskets are of many different styles and colors but they all were similar as they contained the message of Easter. What a blessing it is to be able to share the Gospel in such a heartfelt way. These baskets come as a huge relief to parents who may not have otherwise been able to afford an Easter basket and will be a great surprise to the children who receive them! We will be distributing Easter Bakset through April 9th. Thank you to Betty Anderson for all her work coordinating the distribution of the baskets.

Please keep LSSA, our staff, volunteers and our clients in your prayers as we continue struggle in response to this new disaster called COVID 19. We appreciate the support.

Together Caring for Others,

Alan Budahl

Executive Director, LSSA

1303 W. 33rd Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99503 or call 272-0643


Window Easter Egg Hunt

Community Easter Egg Hunt

Paint your windows for the kids....

Lets keep the fun in an Easter tradition, instead of an egg hunt at the church, families can drive around neighborhoods searching for painted Easter eggs in the window..

DIY Window Paint

At home Easter Craft & Games Resources

Easter Craft


Easter Egg Toss Game


Easter Activity


April Calendar of Events

Due to the hunker down order and the fact it keeps changing, our April calendar will be edited as soon as we know we are able to meet again.

Dear ORLC Families,

Well, here we are, sitting in our homes in hopes that we are saving lives by preventing the spread of COVID-19. It's extremely hard to put out a newsletter calendar with so many unknowns. I would love nothing more than to be planning out Confirmation Sunday, Easter celebrations, InteGR8 events, Youth Mystery Dinner, Cardboard City, End of year Potlucks, and Graduation Sunday.... All things that are, and were supposed to happen between April & May. BUT, as you all know, we are living in a world where planning for tomorrow is so uncertain let alone 2 or more weeks down the road. I am a planner, I plan things way in advance, so this is my struggle and challenge during all of this, this is my time to self reflect, give it to God, and let him take the lead. So right now I am not going to stress out about what is on the church calendar and how I am supposed to be planning for things that may or may not happen.

What we do know is that we are in "hunker down" mode until April 14, what we know is that we are all supposed to limit our outings to public places and we are all supposed to be social distancing. What we do know is that God is greater than this virus, our fears and our anxiety. What we do know is that we are all in this together, we are there for each other through serving and through prayer!!!

So with that, we will continue our online worships, and we will continue to support each other the best way we know how, and above all, we will trust in our God to get us through this as an individual, as a family, as a congregation, as a community, state and nation.... With God, all things are possible...

As things change and we are able to start planning, we will update our Calendar of events, until then.... hunker down, social distance, and be the hands and feet of Jesus to the best of your ability, and enjoy this time with your loved ones!!

God Bless

Ericka Stoltenberg

Big picture

Resurrection Pass Bike Trip 2020

June 26-28th

Cabins are reserved at East Creek on 26 June, and Juneau Lake 26 and 27 June. If you would like more information contact Chuck Semmler.

Fred Meyer Community Rewards

Are you a Fred Meyer Customer?

You are now able to link your Rewards Card to your favorite nonprofit by following the link below. Whenever you use your Rewards Card when shopping at Freddy’s, you will be helping that organization earn a donation from Fred Meyer. If you do not have a Rewards Card, you can sign up for one at the Customer Service Desk of any Fred Meyer store.

Fred Meyer Website