Happening Now Blog

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Dear Friends at SOV,

     You may remember the phrase from the Apostle's Creed, "he (Jesus) descended to the dead" or, another translation, "he descended to hell". There have been many understandings of this statement over the centuries. One is that it was another way of stating that Jesus literally "went through hell" for us. This experience was for him an extension of his death on the cross. For us Jesus went all the way through death and hell so that we wouldn't have to.

     I came across a newer understanding, for me, recently. Jesus' descent to the dead, or to hell, was the beginning of his "exaltation", that period where Jesus returns to God, being raised from the dead, ascending to heaven, to sit at "the right hand". He goes to the dead, to hell, first, to proclaim the victory of the cross over sin and evil, (see 1 Peter 3:18-19).

     In Christ our sins are dead. In Christ God experiences everything that we do, including suffering, temptation, and even hell. In Christ we have victory over these things. In Christ we are being brought into God's kingdom.

     Christ brings us right into this world, this strange mixture of heaven and hell, life and death, evil and good. Here we walk with him as we take care of God's creation, serve the poor and suffering, and work to see that this world reflects God's justice, fullness, and love.

      We walk together, with God.

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Lessons for Sunday, February 19
Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18
Psalm 119:33-40
1Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23
Matthew 5:38-48

THIS WEEK

Wednesday     9:00 - 1:00 pm KOK preschool/chapel
                       10:00 am Bible Study

Thursday        9:00 - 1:00 pm KOK preschool
                       10:00 am LLL
                       7:00 pm Council Meeting

Friday            9:00 - 12:00 pm KOK preschool

Saturday       9:30 - 11:30 am SOV Choir rehearsal

Sunday          8:30 & 11:00 am Worship services
                     9:45 am Sunday School for all ages

Please join us for Bible Study
Wednesdays at 10:00 am with Pastor Tom

"Bible 101 - Everything you ever wanted to know about the Bible but were afraid to ask"

February 28th
Shrove Tuesday

Pancake Supper SOV Youth Group Fundraiser
5:30 - 7:00 pm
Please add your name to the sign up sheet so we can plan accordingly

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Pastor's Wednesday's Message

Brothers and Sisters in Christ

     Martin Luther had a mentor named Johann von Staupitz. He once published an article called "Essay on the carrying out of eternal election".

     In it he argues that grace is not given to believers in order that they might thereby become pleasing to God, but that God would become pleasing to them.

     It's quite an interesting thought: God does not need to have God's tastes changed in order to find sinners palatable. God already loves us. Instead, when they have received grace, sinners acquire a stronger desire for lovelier things, especially the loveliest thing, God.

     We have a tendency to mistrust God. That is the nature of sin. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, God's grace works in us every day causing us to have faith, or trust, in God.

     May we become more aware of the work of the Holy Spirit. May we realize every day that God truly loves us and that we can trust in that loving God. May our growing love for God transform us so that we live out our daily lives for the sake of our neighbor. - Pastor Tom

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Lessons for Sunday, February 12, 2017
Deuteronomy 30:15-20
1 Corinthians 3:1-9
Matthew 5:21-37

THIS WEEK

Wednesday   9:00 - 1:00 pm KOK Preschool/Chapel
                     10:00 am Bible Study with Pastor Tom

Thursday      9:00 - 1:00 am KOK Preschool
                    10:00 am LLL
                    7:00 pm Council Meeting

Friday          9:00 - 12:00 pm KOK Preschool

Saturday      9:30 - 11:30 am SOV Choir Rehearsal

Sunday        8:30 & 11:00 am Worship
                   9:45 am Sunday School for all ages
                   1:30 pm OEC

Pastor Tom's email address is now set up and available for communication
pastortom.sov (at) gmail dot com

February Newsletter is available online

https://www.sovlutheran.com/news.php

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Pastor's Wednesday Message

From Pastor Tom

Luke 6:17-26

This story in Luke is about four men who wanted Jesus to heal their friend, who was confined to a bed. There was so many people in the house where Jesus was that they couldn't get in. So the men dug a hole in the roof and let their friend down to Jesus on a mat with ropes. Jesus was amazed at their faith and forgave the sins of their friend and healed him so that he could walk.

My father was a Lutheran pastor. As a synod executive he was often invited to churches all over eastern Colorado to preach at "mission festivals". He always preached the same sermon at those festivals, based on this story from Luke. I would often go with him on these trips and I heard the sermon so many times that I could preach it myself.

The men showed devotion, love, innovation, and persistence in accomplishing their task. Jesus did not object to their digging up the roof. Rather, he was amazed at their faith. He also recognized that their friend needed spiritual healing along with physical healing.

Through the forgiveness of sins, the Holy Spirit causes faith to grow in us on a daily basis. May that faith in Christ lead us to bring spiritual and physical healing to people in need. May we perform that task with devotion, love, innovation, and persistence.

May we also never grow tired of hearing the Good News of God's love in Jesus Christ.

                                         Pastor Tom
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Lessons for Sunday, February 5, 2017
Isaiah 58:1-12
Psalm 112:1-10
1 Corinthians 2:1-16

THIS WEEK

Thursday    9:00 - 1:00 pm  KOK Preschool
                   6:00 pm  Couples Night (formerly men's night) at Lil' Cooperstown

Friday        9:00 - 12:00 pm KOK Preschool

Saturday   9:30 - 11:30 am SOV Choir rehearsal

Sunday      8:30 & 11:00 am Worship services with Interim Pastor Tom Hiller
                 1:30 pm OEC

Couples Night (formerly Men's Night)
Thursday, February 2
6:00 pm

Lil' Cooperstown
2947 SE 73rd Ave, Hillsboro, OR 97123

Ladies Dinner
Tuesday, February 7
6:00 pm
Mazatlan Mexican Restaurant
1435 NW 185th Ave, Beaverton, OR 97006
Please RSVP to Tammy at secretarysov ..at.. gmail.com or 503.645.4994

Mark Your Calendars
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper and Pancake Race
Tuesday, February 28

5:30 - 7:00 pm
(SOV Youth Group Fundraiser)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Pastor's Wednesday Message

from Pastor Brian

Well, the time has come to say good-bye.  These are my last seven days at Shepherd.  Although I've been looking forward to this ending, I feel some sadness now that it's here.  I've grown to know and love many good folks at SOV.  I will miss those relationships.  I will miss the genuine care you have for one another, even in the midst of occasional disputes.  For all that is good and hopeful at SOV, I give thanks to God.  My prayer for you all is that you open yourselves to hope, to blessing, to growing and changing and thriving.  It's there waiting for you.  I feel some regret that I won't be with you to witness the flowering I expect to come to SOV.  Thank you for the journey we've had together.

I also want to say thanks to a few folks who have been especially significant partners in ministry.  First, gratitude to the Executive Committee.  Overall, this has been the most effective Executive group I've ever had the pleasure of working with.  These folks, led by President Linnea Harmon, have been unified in a good, encouraging spirit.  They have devoted considerable competence to the good of the congregation and have unfailingly provided wise counsel.  Much the same could be said for the two other Executive Committees that preceded this one.  As a whole, they have my admiration and gratitude.  I hope all of you will also express your appreciation to them for their ministry.

I also want to say special thanks to Director of Music Jon Quesenberry.  Jon has been the best partner in ministry I could have hoped for.  He has given generously of his great talent, good will, and gentle spirit.  His ministry of music has given me comfort, inspiration, and many smiles of joy.  God bless you, Jon, in the creative work you are called to do in this world.  SOV, you are blessed to have such a good and talented person in charge of the music program.  God bless you all in worship together!

I would thank many more of you but for brevity's sake I'll turn to practical matters.  First: once I'm done, I'm done.  It is important that I hand over this ministry totally to Pastor Tom Hiller.  After January 31, I will not perform pastoral acts for Shepherd of the Valley.  Contact Pastor Tom instead.  You probably will not see me again at SOV.  Saying good-bye to me means saying hello to another pastor, forming bonds and deepening a relationship with Pastor Tom and then with whoever follows as your regularly called pastor.  I will monitor my SOV email address during February but will redirect messages to whomever should receive them.  After that, I'll check the address irregularly and won't respond unless there's a compelling need.  That doesn't mean I don't love you; but now the duty of love is for me to direct you to Pastor Tom and to support him in his ministry at SOV.

This Sunday, January 29, is my last at SOV.  There will be one worship service at 10:00.  After that we'll have a congregational meeting to discuss the 2017 budget.  Finally there will be a farewell luncheon to bid me adieu.  I hope you'll be there for all of it.  It would be a great gift to have the whole community gathered to say farewell.  See you Sunday.  God bless us, every one.

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Lessons for Sunday, January 29, 2017
Micah 6:1-8
1 Corinthians 1:18-31
Matthew 5:1-12

THIS WEEK

Wednesday  9:00 - 1:00 pm KOK Preschool/Chapel
                   10:00 am Bible Study

Thursday     9:00 - 1:00 pm KOK Preschool
                   12:00 pm All Church Luncheon

Friday          9:00 - 12:00 pm KOK Preschool

Saturday      9:30 - 11:30 am SOV Choir Rehearsal

All Church Luncheon
Thursday, January 26th

12:00 pm
All are invited to join in food and fellowship
No RSVP needed and nothing to bring!

Sunday School notice
Due to there only being one worship service at 10 am, Sunday School is cancelled January 29th.