Happening Now Blog

Friday, April 30, 2010

From your treasurer

What was that?  Was there a misprint?  Did they put the decimal in the wrong place?

For those of you reading the bulletin last week, there was no misprint on the financials.  Our financial situation is getting better, but it is important for everyone to understand why and what still needs to be done.

At the end of March, SOV received a gift from an anonymous donor from outside the church for $12,000.  The donor specified that the offering could go to our prior year's loss.  This along with an increase in giving early this month has put our church in a position we have not seen in over 18 months, IN THE POSITIVE.  Currently we are NOT borrowing from any committed funds (Building, Memorial, etc).

Now for those who are wondering what this really means consider the following:
- We have had a heavy weight lifted, not by what our membership did, but by an outside benefactor.
- Jan – March of 2010 resulted in a net loss each month (part of this was during the Catch-up Drive).
- We still have 2/3 of the year to go.

While others may see this differently, I see what has happened as a divine challenge.  We had a great burden that we carried in from the last two years and now it has been lifted.  Like a person who has had their sins forgiven, we now have the ability to go forward with more strength.  We have been given a clean slate, but we now have to act to keep up this strength. 

Our stewardship is required to meet the needs of the current year, and also plan for the future.
Going forward, I have only one hope in regards to our financials, "Never Again".  Never again will we let the church fall over $20,000 in debt.  Never again will we feel that we are in a hole we can't climb out of.  Never again will we feel prisoner to our debt and let it distract us from where we really need to be focusing our efforts.

As I begin to wrap up my term of being Treasurer, I would like to thank all those who have helped through a challenging term.  I started my term with our general fund over $5,000 in the negative only to see that grow to greater than $20,000.  My hope is that after this month, a modest positive balance would be the best ending I could hope for.

Currently the nominating committee is having a difficult time finding a new Treasurer for next year.  Unfortunately, I won't be available due to other commitments.  If you are interested or can recommend a member, please contact Diane Lewis.

Mark Vignolo
Treasurer

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

"When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth."  Genesis 9:16
 
It was a day of blustery winds, bright sunshine, heavy rain and bursts of hail.  Picked up my lovely grand-daughters to bring them to choir practice and to attend a meeting.  The church building was a buzz with activity.  Plans for the future of the space itself, a flegling group lanning to express compassion and love through the time consuming effort of knitting prayer shawls, and others who also were planning the future outreach of SOV.  And of course there were the kids singing.
 
My mind was in all kinds of places as I left my office.  Again there were the kids and their exuberance.  Stepping outside I saw what added to it all.  There, with a background of dark gray clouds, was a rainbow, sometimes two of them.  It was bright and full, and the beauty of one never ceases to grip me.  The beauty gripped the kids too.  They wanted to find the end of one, asked if it was possible to do such a thing, brought up ROY G BIV, and just generally giggled and bounced around.
 
God's covenant.  God's promise.  God's presence.  God's reminder.  We are about a great many things here.  May God always be the inspiring force behind all that we do, and may that "bow", amongst many other things give us joyful guidance.
 
In the peace and beauty of the Creator,
Pastor Randy
 
This Week
 
Wednesday April 28th 6:30 pm Vesper Service
 
Thursday April 29th 12:00 pm All Church Luncheon
 
Saturday May 1 10:00 am meet @ SOV New to You Outing
 
Looking ahead
 
Men's Night     May 6th @ Old Chicago Pizza
Ladies Dinner   May 11th @ Old Spaghetti Factory
Rummage Sale Meeting    May 14th 12:30 pm
Transport Trio Concert   @ SOV May 15 & 16 6:00 pm
 
Continued prayers of healing for Dean and Les.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Prayer Shawl Ministry

SOV's Prayer Shawl Ministry is underway...

For all of those interested ......skilled or unskilled.....we will be having our first prayer shawl meeting

Tues. night April 27 at SOV, 7pm

Materials: Knitting: Knitting Needle size 11 or 13 -OR- Crochet: Size 'M', 'N' or 'P' crochet hook.  We will have some donated yarn available.

Come learn about what this important new ministry is all about!

Questions?  Contact BRENDA PLINKE.

Friday, April 23, 2010

You're invited May 2

The congregation is invited to a special party!

An American wedding celebration for Sandeep and Kranthi!

May 2 12:30PM (following late service)

Sandeep and Kranthi were married in India on May 11, 2009 in a traditional Christian Indian wedding.  They had less than a month to get to know each other before the wedding. Kranthi had to wait until the end of July to join Sandeep in the United States. 

We finally have our party scheduled to introduce them to some of our American wedding traditions as well as to those of you that haven't had the opportunity to get to know them. The wedding shower/wedding celebration will include having a traditional Lutheran pot luck.  We are asking that you bring a favorite salad or main dish (including the recipe on a 3x5 card) to share as part of our celebration.   Kranthi is excited to learn more about American cooking and they love American food!  Beverages and dessert will be provided.

Feel free to bring another 3x5 card with helpful hints for around home or some words of wisdom.  We want to make this a fun day as they are welcomed with some American traditions and "showered with love" from their Shepherd of the Valley family.

Sandeep made his church home with SOV before Kranthi became part of his life.  After their marriage we were introduced to Kranthi through pictures of their wedding until she could join Sandeep in Oregon in July.   Our church family has become their family and we will help celebrate the joy of their marriage through our party on May 2.  It will be fun to share our traditions with them as well sharing some of their Indian wedding story.

Sandeep and Kranthi are registered at Target. Any questions contact Diane Lewis.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

"Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice."  Psalm 141:2
 

We've sung those very words in worship.  I love the picture they present.  Though I must say that my own prayers would not always come across as being necessarily the sweetest smelling.  And when that is the case even then the Creator provides the incense.
 
Thinking of outside again.  Mowing away, lost in thought, and coming upon the lilac bushes I had truthfully forgotten about.  They had begun to bloom, despite my lack of attention.  And the smell, God's incense indeed.  Cut some and brought them inside, and the sweet gift lingered throughout the night.
 
Every night the last thing I do before drifting to sleep is to offer a prayer.  That prayer always begins with a thanks for the gifts of the day.  That does not make me some grand saint, often I drift off before finishing the prayer, and sometimes I struggle with the thanks to begin with.  The point is that God provides the incense and the sense of sacrifice in the first place, there is at least a need to take note.
 
Thanks for the gifts Lord and the time to lift them up.
 
In the peace and power of the Christ,
Pastor Randy
 
"Gracious God, you have given us the ultimate gift in the death and resurrection of your Son.  We humbly offer these gifts to you.  Bless them for your use - that the ministry of this congregation might serve as a witness to all those who need sight and sound of your loving presence.  Amen."
 

This Week:
 
Wednesday, Vesper Service at 6:30 pm
 
Continued prayers for Darlene, Jenny and Dean.
Prayers of peace and comfort for the family and friends of Pearl.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Camp Lutherwood update and announcements

Camp Lutherwood summer programs are available for registration at www.lutherwood.org. Brochures are available by mail. Call the camp office to request a copy. 541-998-6444

Association Meeting April 25, 2010 beginning at 4;30pm.at United Lutheran Church in Eugene. Brief meeting to approve new board members, approve 2010 budget, and to hear an update on the Strategic Plan.  After the meeting, all are invited to attend the Celebration Dinner following the meeting. Every Association congregation is encouraged to bring one clergy and two lay for voting purposes. Come and support our only Lutheran camp in Oregon and SW Washington.

Camp Lutherwood is hosting two Celebration dinners and all are invited to attend.  Dates are: April 25, 2010 at United Lutheran Church,Eugene 5:00pm. And May 1st, 2010 at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Lake Oswego beginning at 6:00pm.  There is no cost to attend the dinner but  there will be an opportunity to give a gift to support the ministry of Camp Lutherwood. Come and celebrate all that is happening and meet some of the summer staff as well as Andrea Scofield, Director and Jeff Bethke, Program Director.  RSVP to office@lutherwood.org or call 541-998-6444.

Work Days at Camp Lutherwood are May 8 and June 5.  Both days begin at 9:00am and end at 3:00pm. Lunch and snacks will be provided. Please come and help get camp ready for the summer program.  RSVP your participation at office@lutherwood.org or call 541-998-6444.

Thank you for getting the word out about Camp Lutherwood. I appreciate your willingness to support the ministry and your encouragement to others to support this important ministry of the church.

Blessings,

Andrea Scofield, Interim Director
Camp Lutherwood Ministries
22960 Hwy 36
Cheshire, OR  97419
503-679-6625 cell
541-998-6444 camp
www.lutherwood.org

PRAY!LOVE!SERVE!

Camp Lutherwood Ministries is now hiring college aged staff for summer positions. Referrals appreciated and welcomed.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

"O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!"  Psalm 8:9
 

There is so much that is grand that the Creator has put before us, and sometimes it is right before us indeed.  The wonders of nature provide remind me of majesty again and again.  At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I return again to the back yard.
 
There was a chance to mow grass and then take in the picture.  The smell of freshly cut grass, warm sunshine, blue sky, a few fluffy white clouds, flowering trees, walking around them again and again to see the variety of bees and other tiny winged creatures who are doing the work that will bring forth delicious fruit in just a few short months.  (The fact that most of this can be explained scientificly does not detract from the majesty a bit for me.  The awe remains.)
 
But majesty can come in so many ways.  It came the other day when I received a smile while visiting someone in the ICU at a local hospital.  It was a small smile, partially concealed by an oxygen mask, but a smile in those circumstances, after all that had transpired, was majestic.  I left that place smiling myself that day.  Smiling about prayers answered and the surprising presence of the Creator's majesty in all kinds of places, in sometimes the seeming smallest of things.
 
What will make us smile today?  In what will we see the majestic name of our Lord?
 
In Christ,
Pastor Randy
 
"Eternal and all-merciful God, with all the angels and all the saints we laud your majesty and might.  By the resurrection of your Son, show yourself to us and inspire us to follow Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever."
 
This Week
 
Wednesday evening Vesper Service 6:30 pm
 
Thursday 4/15  Council Meeting  7:00 pm
 
Sunday 4/18 @ 9:45 am Prayer Shawl Ministry meeting
 
Sunday 4/18 @ 10:00 am Adult Class begins the discussion on "The Shack"
please read through chapter 4
 
The Scrip Fundraising program is now accessible on our web page at sovlutheran.com 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

SOV Scrip Program

Download the Order Form (PDF)Acrobat PDF

Shepherd of the Valley is participating in the scrip program as a fund raiser with proceeds going to the general fund. Below are some common questions to understand the program better.

What is it?
Scrip means substitute money. It is a debit gift card or paper gift certificates for specific stores, restaurants, and services. It is a dollar for dollar exchange and costs the buyer nothing additional.

Where can Scrip be used?
The national stores' gift cards (i.e., Starbucks, Macy's, etc.) can be used at any store location nation wide. Some cards/certificates are only specific to the Portland metro area.

Where do you get the order form?
Click here to get the order form (PDF format) or pick one up at church.

Where do I turn it in?
You can turn it in to the church on Sunday mornings or any time during the week when Tammy is in the office. If you would prefer, you can mail your form and check to Linnea (see the directory or ask Tammy).

Who do I make the check out to?
Please make the check out to Shepherd of the Valley (SOV) and it will be deposited into a separate account for the Scrip Program.

When will the orders be placed? 
Orders will be placed monthly after the third Sunday of the month.  Delivery will be on the fourth Sunday of the month.

Why is SOV doing this? 
SOV receives between 2% and 46% profit from the stores!

Who do I contact with questions? 
You can contact Linnea Harmon, Clara Mashek, or Sharon Graalum with any questions.

You may also e-mail ScripSOV@gmail.com

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Stewardship Committee invites you...

Sunday April 11th

The SOV Stewardship committee is hosting Nancy Kingston at our adult forum class this Sunday from 10-10:45 AM. 
 
This is a great opportunity to learn more about where and how our benevolence dollars work to help the ministry of our larger church.

We are excited to have a special opportunity to learn where our benevolence to the ELCA Oregon Synod is directed and how it helps make a difference.

Nancy Kingston is an active member of Calvary Lutheran in Hillsboro.  She has been trained to volunteer to talk to congregations about where our giving to the Oregon Synod is directed.  She is called a "Mission Interpreter".

On Sunday, April 11, she will share information with our congregation during the adult education time at 10 AM.  Nancy will give a very brief synopsis of what she will be sharing with us at the end of 8:30 service and the beginning of 11 AM service.  There will be time for questions and discussion.  We will have this time with her recorded so that those that are teaching or unable to attend will have the opportunity to listen to her presentation.

The Stewardship committee is excited to have more education for our congregation.  We want to enable us as a congregation to learn more about the opportunities that have to help when SOV gives our church   offering (or benevolence) to the bigger church. 

Our congregation has voted to increase our benevolence and showing that we are acting in faith as we seek God's guidance to grow the ministry of our congregation as we commit ourselves to Stewardship as a church as well as us as individuals.

Please continue to keep SOV's ministry in your prayers as we strive to reach out and act together in faith as we "Build on Christ" as a "Caring community".

Together in Christ,

Your Stewardship committee

Friday, April 2, 2010