Happening Now Blog

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

"He must increase, but I must decrease."  John 3:30

Why those words now?  As I sit writing this it is the 24th of June,
which is the commemoration day for John the Baptist, exactly six
months before Christmas Eve.  Seems like and odd thing to think of at
this time of the year, but it fits perfectly actually.  Those are the
words of John, talking about Jesus, the one who for John was "the
light coming into the world".

Summer has just begun, but (while I don't want to think about it) the
days become shorter.  At the time of Jesus birth (think about that in
the heat of the day?) the days become longer.  Even the calendar would
point us to the light of Christ, just as John the Baptist hopes to,
and gospel writer John does with the opening song of the the 1st
chapter of his book.

It is something to think about as time rushes past, to apply some
meaning where sometimes we only find a melancholy truth.  Summer has
really just begun for goodness sake, enjoy it well.  Rest, play, read,
investigate, rediscover, visit, sleep well, eat well, just not all at
once.  Do some things that may increase our awareness of the presence
of the Christ in our lives.  And think of John the Baptist today, the
direction in which he would point us.  (At the beginning of summer no
less.)

In the peace and power of the cross,
Randy

Offer up in prayer Elizabeth Haydamack, Dolores Austin, Ginny Adamo,
Wesley Plinke, Katelyn Degner, "Almighty and merciful God, we implore
you to hear the prayers of your people.  Be our strong defense against
all harm and danger, that we may live and grow in faith and
hope,through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen."

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tree Falling

From The Property Management Team,
 
These are exciting times at SOV as we turn a new leaf and prepare for our new decking on the west side of our church. One of the necessary steps to assure the longevity of our roof and new decking is the removal of the large trees adjacent to the church. There will be new trees coming soon to improve our landscaping.
 
Staff Breed has graciously offered to start his Homelite chain saw at 9 am this coming Saturday.  With the grace of God he will fall the birch tree within inches of the hand-railing on the west side of our church into our parking lot.  (This means you should Not park in the smaller parking lot or use the Cornell Road entrance/exit Saturday morning)
 
We are still looking for several busy beavers who can help with the cleanup of the branches and debris.  Smart beavers will arrive with gloves, ear protection, safety glasses and boots. We predict that the project should take around 4 hours with enough help.  Depending on Saturday's efforts we may require some additional chipping on Sunday after church. 
 

Refreshments for busy beavers always seem to appear at these events.  Amazing how food and drink keep appearing.  Thank you to all of the other busy beavers working hard inside to make SOV a better place.
 
Come and be a part of the new look of Shepherd of the Valley as we remove the last of the large birch trees.
 
Thanks,
 
Property Management Team

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Congregational Meeting Review

Greetings and thanks to all who participated in the annual meeting. The new officers elected were as follows: President, Peggy Vermaas; Vice-President, Lee Bonacker;  Secretary, Linnea Harmon; Treasurer, Mark Vignolo; Financial Secretary, Valsala George. Also, two resolutions were passed. These resolutions authorized the Executive Council to sign the contract and then seek appropriate funding for the deck/fire escape project. This is now the time to finalize funds available to pay cash for this project. Currently we have received commitments for about $27,000.  If you are considering making a contribution, it would be most helpful to give that information to our financial secretary, Valsala George, as soon as possible.  If you would like to make a contribution as part of a memorial gift, that is possible as well. Just note on your commitment or check that those are your wishes. Our Memorial/Endowment folks can discuss with you more specifics about that as needed. Just let us know.  Again, we are getting close to funding this project on a cash basis!!!  What a blessing that would be!
 
This effort is a another great example of how working together we achieve our goals.
 
'Touched by Christ and touching others for Christ'     

Blessings to all, Peggy

Pastor's Weekly Message

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Yesterday was chapel time and the kids ambled in a little after 9:00am. My grand -daughters were here too, and at first they weren't going to come in, but curiosity got the best of them. Today we were to talk about creation, in particular flowers and birds, and we looked around the sanctuary to see what we could see (and of course we saw more than flowers and birds, because young eyes were doing the looking, and things needed to be pointed out), then we sang eight verses of "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands", and then we headed outside.

Haven't spent as much time as I might outside around this space, so I was prepared to be surprised too. There are many flowers to take in, so many roses, so many hues, and not only the roses. As we walked down toward the water I told of the blue heron I had seen Sunday when we were leaving church, how it flew over Cornell and landed right down there. We stopped on the side walk to see what we could see, noticed a few different birds, trying to listen to their songs above the hum of the street. And then out of the tall grass came the ducks, a mom and six ducklings (although the babies were nearly as big as mom) and they walked right up to us. (My guess is they are used to receiving some food from visitors.) The kids stood still. The ducks stood still. It was a pretty sweet moment. We went looking for a particular part of creation and God said, "How about this?" And yes that worked pretty well.

They followed us a bit. We looked at some more things. Picked some "flowers" (I used to give my mom dandelions when I was a kid and she pretended they were rare beauties). And we were reminded that the wonders of creation are all over the place, ready to surprise us indeed. Thanks for the gifts Lord, and help me to pay attention.

Peace and blessings,
Pastor Randy

Take a moment to pray, "O God of creation, eternal majesty, you preside over land and sea, sunshine and storm. By your strength pilot us, by your power preserve us, by your wisdom instruct us, and by your hand protect us, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen."

Friday, June 12, 2009

Summer Worship Schedule Starts

Summer Worship schedule begins this Sunday June 14th.  Services at 8:30 am and 10:30 am.
 
Please don't forget to attend the Congregational Annual Meeting following the 10:30 am service, pizza and salad luncheon will be available.
 
Thank you
Tammy

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

"He has made everything beautiful in it's time..."  Ecclesiastes 3:11 (RSV)

Driving into the church from my daughter Amie's place in north Portland, just off of Lombard.  After a string of lovely mornings, this one did not seem so lovely.  It was damp and cool, overcast.  Not being much of a morning person my less than sparkling attitude was no great surprise.  Headed for the St. John's bridge, and before I got there saw my grandson cutting across Lombard, headed for his last day of school.  Honked the horn, surprised him more than he surprised me, maybe he wasn't supposed to be there, but  the surprise made me smile.
 
Got to the bridge faster than usual, smoothest trip there yet, and then sitting on the bridge itself, thoughts drifting to the day ahead, sitting in traffic, feeling the bridge shake as heavy trucks rumbled past.  That was a little unsettling, to be bouncing like that so far above the Willamette River, but looking to my left I saw, settled amongst the fog and mist, the Fremont Bridge and downtown Portland behind it.  I've seen pictures like this framed and for sale at Saturday market.  It was beautiful in it's own way and I took a moment to thank God for the beauty.
 
Then the trip continued.  From that point on it was my longest drive (timewise) into the church.  I waited and inched along, talked to other drivers and did some lamenting, didn't do much thinking of beauty for a while.  But now here I sit in the middle of the afternoon, and what is remembered most clearly are those moments of beauty and promise, the ones that made me smile.
 
Sometimes I am not capable of noticing, but I am reminded again and again that "he has made everything beautiful in it's time".

The Lord calls us to pay attention, but we do that at the very least, from time to time.
 
In Christ,
Randy
 
Give time to this prayer, or something like it, "O God, you are the tree of life, offering shelter to all the world.  Graft us into yourself and nurture our growth, that we may bear your truth and love to those in need. through Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.  Amen."

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Memorial Service for John Adamo

A memorial service for John Adamo will be Thursday, June 11, 2009 at 7:00 pm at Shepherd of the Valley.

In lieu of flowers remembrances can be made to: Alzheimer's Association - Columbia/Willamette Chapter, 1311 NW 21st Ave., Portland, OR 97209 or to Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church Building Fund, 17625 NW Cornell Road, Beaverton, OR 97006.

Wednesday Bible Study

Just a reminder; 

Wednesday Morning Bible Study

10:00 AM
 
 

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Invitation of Installation

Please join us in the celebration of installation of
Pastor Randy Schutt
Sunday, June 7th
3:00 pm
Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church

Refreshments will be served following the installation

Pastor's Weekly Message

To All the Saints at SOV~

Came upon this by way of "Context" a commentary on religion and culture put together by Martin Marty (a noted Lutheran theologian\historian), in the June issue. "The story is told about the Baptism of King Aengus by St. Patrick in the middle of the fifth century. Sometime during the rite, St. Patrick leaned on his sharp-pointed staff and inadvertantly stabbed the king's foot. After the Baptism was over, St. Patick looked down at all the blood, realized what he had done, and begged the king's forgiveness. 'Why did you suffer this pain in silence?' Patrick wanted to know. 'I thought it was part of the ritual,' the king replied."

That may indeed be the feeling that some people have about the church as a whole. But (the call to take up our cross and follow the Christ not withstanding) to be a part of a community of faith can be just the opposite of what folks may think. Instead of painful it might be downright delightful, a blessing to have an extended family to turn to at any and all times.

I remember many years ago, a good friend, who I was also pastor to, was asked what he was doing on a given Friday night. When he said he was going to his pastor's house, he was met with a look of sorrow and compassion that he was condemned to such a pitiful thing, and on a Friday night no less. But that person didn't have a clue, only a pre-conceived notion of the painful drudgery that comes with church people.

May we continue to dispel that perception as we care for one another, and welcome others joyfully into our midst. May we foolishly know the truth of what Paul writes, "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice." Philippians 4:4

In the peace and power of the Christ,
Randy

As we pray for many, please be sure to offer support in prayer for Ginny Adamo, and come next Thursday, June 11th, at 7:00pm as we celebrate the gift of John Adamo's life.

Remember the presentation of "Animals and other things" at both services this Sunday, and that this is also Holy Trinity Sunday, and with that I share this prayer, "God of heaven and earth, before the foundation of the universe and beginning of time you are the triune God: Author of creation, eternal Word of salvation, life-giving Spirit of wisdom. Guide us to all truth by your Spirit, that we may procalim all that Christ has revealed and rejoice in the glory he shares with us. Glory and priase to you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen."

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bible Study

Wednesday Morning Bible Study with Pastor Randy starts tomorrow June 3rd.

10:00 - 11:00 Bible Study, beginning with the book of Genesis.

Brown bag lunch following if you so desire.