Happening Now Blog

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Nov 1: Commitment Sunday!

Our Stewardship program continues this Sunday with Commitment Sunday as part of All Saints Sunday…two special celebrations in one worship service.

One celebration to honor the love and gifts of those that have gone before us.
Second celebration is to celebrate and give back to God some of the love and gifts He has given us.

We will have special music to sing, the children's choir to lead us in song, a visit from Peli, and the choir will sing as part of our special time of offering and commitment.

During our offering time we are each invited to come to the altar to give God our regular offerings as well as offering our new volunteer and financial pledges for the coming year.  A paper heart will be given to each person to share something that God has given them and then place the heart in the basket during our offering.

We will also be offering what we have collected from "Cans Can Make a Difference" and hope that each of you will bring something to share as we continue our stewardship of helping feed the hungry.

Your personal pledges are a joyful opportunity to help make a difference in the ministry of our church as we come together and share what God has given each of us.

Serving God together,

The SOV Stewardship committee

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

"I lift up my eyes to the hills- from where will my help come?"  Psalm 121:1
 
Driving south on I-5 on a Saturday afternoon, the traffic was pretty heavy, and I had just passed the junction with 205, and there was a deer in the median.  It was looking a little frantic, to say the least.  And my human interpretation of the situation was that the creature was sizing up the options for getting to one side or the other of the freeway.  Not sure how it got to that particular spot at that time of the day, but it was not a good spot for a frantic animal to be in.  I do not know if the predicament was solved without incident, but it sure didn't seem promising.
 
I felt sorrow for the deer, but also knew that I wasn't going to be of any help to it.  Another thing that I felt was a bit of an affinity with it, at least as far as inserting my human emotions into the life of another of God's creatures.  Maybe we all know something of that kind of moment.  How did I get here?  What was I thinking?  And what am I going to do now?  I may know full well that I got to this spot all by myself, but also being pretty sure that I am not going to get out of it alone.
 
There are those words of the Psalmist, in particular Psalm 121 this time.  There is more to it then that first verse.  It is a short, but deeply comforting bit of scripture.  But in the complexity of life, and the anxieties that sometimes manifest themselves, it is hard to believe.  The 2nd verse says, "My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth."  Help us to know your presence Lord, and the peace that it provides.
 
In Christ,
Pastor Randy
 
"Eternal light shine in our hearts.  Eternal wisdom scatter the darkness of our ignorance.  Eternal compassion have mercy on us.  Turn us to seek your face, and enable us to reflect your goodness, through Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.  Amen."

This Evening; Joyous Light Evening Service at 6:30 PM
 
Remember Commitment Sunday November 1st; bring your time, talent and financial pledge sheets.
 
"Fall Back"... dont forget to set your clocks back 1 hour.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

We All Can make a difference!

ACTING TOGETHER - SHARING ENOUGH
CAN'S CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
We All CAN make a difference!

The Stewardship team is excited to be three weeks into our new Stewardship program for this year.  Peli has flown in to get us going on thinking about pledging, why we pledge and how we think about being good stewards so that we all can make a difference.
 
Pastor Al Solmonson came lead our worship and to share some of our history, talk about our mission statement and how we as a congregation are putting our mission statement into action.  He challenged us to examine and think about what we are about and how we can build on our missions within our congregation, in our community and church wide so that we can continue to make a difference.
 
We each CAN make a difference. All ages of our membership CAN make a difference.
It just fits into "Acting together - Sharing enough" perfectly!  We CAN all bring a can of food each Sunday so that we CAN make a difference for the Shepherd's Storehouse supplies.  This gives us a chance to put Stewardship into action with a simplicity.
 
Please bring a can of food this Sunday October 25 and November 1.  Let's get the children involved too and consider letting them select something that they really like. It will be fun to have members of all ages be part of creating a mountain of food to share within our community.
 
Please continue to pray about the missions of Shepherd of the Valley and how you can pledge to help make a difference and experience the joy of being part of our mission.
Through acting together and sharing what we have we CAN make a difference.

Serving Christ together,
The Stewardship Team

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

Lying flat on my back and looking at the tube I was about to roll into it didn't seem so small after all.  Maybe the concerns about claustraphobia  were unfounded.  Ah, but this was my first MRI, and once inside the tube it felt plenty small, and after opening my eyes only momentarily there was concern about being able to make it through the next 20 minutes.  There was a need to find a better place to be, at least in my head, and that was something that I'd only considered before.  There was no plan.
 
Where I ended up was thinking of my little girl's wedding in just a few days. (Little girl?  No matter what, that word picture has no basis in human reality, she will always be that to me.  She will always be in some sense the little girl the blond angel that used to sit on my lap as I read to her.)  I thought about what would be said as part of the ceremony, about my hopes for this new family, about my love for them.  It was a good place to be, and the theatening time flew by in thoughts of hope and love for one another.
 
This is not about being a perfect parent, because I am far from it.  But if someone as imperfect as I, painfully imperfect, still desires a blessed life for his child, think about what God desires for us.  Think about how much we are loved and what the heavenly Father desires for us.
 
Take the time to check out Matthew 6:25-34, at the end of that section are the words, "So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own.  Today's trouble is enough for today."  There will always be troubles, but we will never be alone to face them.  There is someone in the tube with us, hoping to take us to a better, no less real, place.  Please lift us all with your love Lord.
 
In peace and power of the cross,
Pastor Randy
 
Wednesday Evening Service tonight at 6:30 pm.
 
This Sunday, October 25th, is Reformation Sunday, please wear red if you are going to be here.

Variety Show Sunday October 25th, 6:00 pm please bring a plate of cookies to share.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Winter Clothing Donations

If you wish to donate warm winter clothing items to the Union Gospel Mission, please drop your items off Tuesday, October 20th. Corrine will deliver the donated items on Wednesday.
 
Any questions call Corrine.
 
Warm winter items: gloves, scarves, hats, blankets, socks, sleeping bags, etc.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Stewardship News

ACTING TOGETHER -- SHARING ENOUGH
 CAN'S CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
 We All CAN make a difference!

The Stewardship team is excited to be two weeks into our new Stewardship program for this year.  Peli has flown in to get us going on thinking about pledging, why we pledge and how we think about being good stewards so that we all can make a difference.
 
Pastor Al Solmonson came lead our worship and to share some of our history, talk about our mission statement and how we as a congregation are putting our mission statement into action.  He challenged us to examine and think about what we are about and how we can build on our missions within our congregation, in our community and church wide so that we can continue to make a difference.
 
We each CAN make a difference. All ages of our membership CAN make a difference.
It just fits into "Acting together - Sharing enough" perfectly!  We CAN all bring a can of food each Sunday so that we CAN make a difference for the Shepherd's Storehouse supplies.  This gives us a chance to put Stewardship into action with a simplicity.
 
Please bring a can of food and leave it in the narthex starting Sunday, October 18 as well as October 25 and November 1.  Let's get the children involved too and consider letting them select something that they really like. It will be fun to have members of all ages be part of creating a mountain of food to share within our community.
 
Please continue to pray about the missions of Shepherd of the Valley and how you can pledge to help make a difference and experience the joy of being part of our mission.
Through acting together and sharing what we have we CAN make a difference.

Serving Christ together,
The Stewardship Team

Pastor's Weekly Message

"If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all."  Romans 12:18
 
Things seem to be more and more contentious all the time.  Some folks make their living betting on, and making use of, stoking, that contentious nature that can find a home in and all of us.
 
I trust that that is not news to most of us.  It just seems to have reached new heights lately.  And it also seems to be such an incredible waste of time and emotion.  Again, nothing new, so why does it get my attention now?
 
Reading in the most recent Christian Century, a periodical I've been reading for many years.  In a news note there was mention of a Cardinal O'Malley in Boston who had to defend his attendance of Senator Ted Kennedy's funeral.  This is not a commentary about politics in and out of the church (there is not room enough for that here), but about a quote that said the Cardinal's presence at that funeral was like "spitting on Christ himself at his crucifixion".
 
To use the cross of the Christ to berate another brings me nothing but sorrow.  Paul speaks to that, with great understanding of who we are as human creatures, "if it is possible" he writes, to not act out in a nature that is not peaceable.  The last words of that section to the Christians in Rome are these, "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."  (Rom 12:21)
 
Things are contentious alright, and that is no surprise in trying time.  How do we live out our stance on things?
 
In the peace and power of the cross,
Pastor Randy
 
"Direct us, Lord God, in all our doings with your most gracious favor, and extend to us your continual help; that in all our works, begun, continued, and ended in you, we may glorify your holy name; and finally, by your mercy, bring us to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen."
 
Joyous Light Wednesday Evening service this evening at 6:30 pm.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Town Hall Meeting Sunday 12:00 noon

Dear SOV Family

Please plan to attend the Town Hall Meeting Sunday October 11, 2009 following the 11:00 am Service.
 
It will be an opportunity to discuss the bbudget and other program plans.
 
See you all Sunday.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

To the family of Christ at Shepherd of the Valley,
 
"Without doubt, the mystery of our religion is great...."  I Timothy 3:16
 
Tuesday morning started off as most any other day.  Some plans, but also much mystery lay before me.  (That plays into the old joke, "How do you make God laugh?  Make a plan.")
 
There was the drive that is sometimes a drudgery from Albany to Beaverton.  Started in darkness, but soon there was a pink glow to the east and the Cascades, and there was low lying fog.  While it can be a challenge to drive in, this morning it hung on the fields and rolling hills south of Salem, and added a silver silence to the burgeoning morning.  So much beauty.  (The fog always seems to shroud the unknown, therefore more mystery.)
 
The day unfolded with many conversations, some surprises, studying, preparing for the whole of the week and beyond.  Sometimes it is hard to tell what is accomplished, because so many things are never done. The adventure just continues.
 
Late this evening, driving west on highway 26, after a dinner with most of my little family, and there before me lay the coast range and the pink glow of the now setting sun, and more mystery.  Answers and certainties are welcomed, but there is beauty in mystery, and it fills every day.  Thank you Creator God for your presence in the mystery.
 
In quiet wondering and certain celebration,
Pastor Randy
 
"Comfort with the grace of your Holy Spirit all who are in sorrow or need, sickness or adversity.  Remember those who suffer persecution for the faith.  Have mercy on those to whom death draws near.  Bring consolation to those in sorrow or mourning.  And to all grant a measure of your love, taking them into your tender care.  In Christ.  Amen."
 
Reminder:
Joyous Light Evening Worship this evening at 6:30 pm with communion.