Happening Now Blog

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pastor's Weekly Message

"They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze ...." Genesis 3:8 

Have always loved that word picture.  The Creator of all things taking in a peaceful evening stroll (though Adam and Eve were fearful at the time).  Thinking especially now of the soothing sounds of this day.

Right now there is indeed a breeze outside, gently rocking some chimes, that add to the sound of the creek rushing below the back yard.  Hearing the choir of tree frogs along that creek as well.  Remembering the singing of the kids in chapel this morning, and the joy sometimes barely contained.  A day full of sounds and now a moment of silence to remember at least a bit of the blessings.  (A walk in the garden as it were.)

Thanks for the gifts Lord,
Pastor Randy

"Lord, continue, please, to move among us.  Help us to hear you call us in the sounds and voices of the day.  Help us to be heard when we are bold enough to speak your word, a blessings of good news to all.  Amen."

THIS WEEK

Wednesday   10:00 a Bible Study
                     5:45 p Lenten Soup Supper
                     6:30 p Lenten Vesper Service
                     7:00 p Adult Choir Practice

Thursday       6:30 p Men's Night @ Old Chicago
                     7:30 p OEC

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pastor's Weekly Message

Today is Ash Wednesday, a day of contemplation, of repentance, of recognition of our mortality.  Seem pretty depressing?  It needn't be.
 
If you can't take part in a worship service with others on this day, for whatever reason, please take a few moments and read these quotes.
 
From Desmond Tutu - "Forgiving and being reconciled are not about pretending that things are other than they are.  It is not patting one another on the back and turning a blind eye to the wrong.  True reconciliation exposes the awfulness, the abuse, the pain, the degradation, the truth.  It could even sometimes make things worse.  It is a risky undertaking but in the end it is worthwhile, because in the end dealing with the real situation helps to bring real healing.  Spurious reconciliation can bring only spurious healing.
 
From Frederick Buechner's definition of Lent in "Whistling in the Dark" -  "If you had to bet everything you have on whether there is a God or whether there isn't, which side would get your money and why?  When you look at your face in the mirror, what do you see in it that you most like and what do you see in it that you most deplore?  If you had only one last message to leave to the handful of people who are most important to you, what would it be in twenty-five words or less?  Or all the thing you have done in your life, which is the one you would most like to undo?  Which is the one that makes you happiest to remember?  Is there any person in the world, or any cause, that, if circumstances called for it, you would be willing to die for?  If this were the last day of your life, what would you do with it?    To hear yourself try to answer questions like these is to begin to hear something not only of who you are but of both what you are becoming and what you are failing to become.  It can be a pretty depressing business all in all, but if sackcloth and ashes are at the start of it, something like Easter may be at the end."
 
In Christ,
Pastor Randy
 
"Lord, we quiet ourselves.  We mourn the loss of our innocence.  We mourn the loss of our hunger and passion for you.  We come with hearts in need of you.  We quiet ourselves now, and we ask you to meet us in the quiet.  May your grace be more real to us than ever before.  Amen."
 
THIS WEEK

Wednesday   10:00 a  Bible Study
                     11:30 a  Ash Wednesday Service
                     6:30 p  Ash Wednesday Service
                     7:00 p  Adult Choir Practice

Thursday      12:00 p All Church Luncheon (all are invited for lunch and fellowship)
                     7:30 p  OEC

Friday         10:00 - 2:00 p  KOK Open House
                    7:00 p  Confirmation Retreat

Saturday     9:00  Confirmation Retreat Continues
                   10:00 - 2:00 p  KOK Open House

Monday, February 20, 2012

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper

Tuesday, February 21st
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper
6:00 - 8:00 pm

Come support SOV's Youth Group
There will be a free will offering.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pastor's Weekly Message

"Ah, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field that the Lord has blessed." Genesis 27:27
 
That is a pretty, poetic, picture. (Even though it was wound into a story of betrayal.) And the sense of smell may take us o all kinds of places as we... evoking thoughts of beauty and blessing, or not.
 
Mowed the grass for the first time a little over a week ago.  Stepping into the garage later that evening the scent of the newly mown grass was there, and it was rich.  So many good smells, like my grand babies hair after a bath.  Or when the lids come off the soups all at once at a soup supper.
 
There is also the tell tale hint of a skunk in the back yard, or the reality of the dairy farm just down the road drifting our way.  Maybe not so pleasant, but still evoking memories.
 
What scents evoke memories and pictures for you?  Thanks for the richness Lord.
 
Pastor Randy
 
As we look to the Transfiguration Sunday we pray, "We will one day have a front row-seat from which to behold Christ's glory.  For now, we live in the 'already not yet', with his kingdom breaking forth though not always fully in view.  May we go this week to be agents of that kingdom, living in the hope and power of God, Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer.  Amen."
 
THIS WEEK

Wednesday 10:00 a Bible Study
                    6:30 p Acts 2:42 Service
                    7:00 p Adult Choir Practice

Thursday     7:00 p Council Meeting

Friday          7:30 p OEC

Sunday        8:30 & 11:00 a Worship 
                    8:30 p  HS & MS Youth Group Bowling @ Park Lanes

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pastor's Weekly Message

"The mountains skipped like rams, the hills like lambs." Psalm 114:4
 
I have always liked that word picture, and it has often made me grin to imagine the mountains and hills skipping around in joy.  (It is called anthropomorphizing, and it usually refers to giving God human qualities.)  That picture came to mind the other day when I was driving across the St. John's Bridge.  It was a beautiful day, sun lit, blue sky, and there they were glowing white, the peaks of St. Helen's, Adams and Hood.  I couldn't look too long, that might have been a bit of a traffic problem, but even a glimpse was uplifting.
 
Okay, so they were not skipping, but they did cause my spirit to skip a little bit.  I imagined them grinning at the very least (a little anthropomorphizing of my own).  Such grandeur and beauty.
 
Thanks for the gifts Lord,
Pastor Randy
 
"Holy Spirit, thank you for your presence in our lives.  Thank you for guiding us as we journey along life's path.  Thank you for knowing the words we wish to pray but can't.  Thank you for your gentle whispers.  Thank you for giving us great comfort.  Without you we would be lost and so we take a moment to express our gratitude.  And we thank you Creator for giving us the Spirit, so that we may know the Son, in the name of the Holy Three.  Amen."
 
THIS WEEK

Wednesday   10:00 a Bible Study
                      6:30 p Acts 2:42 Service
                      7:00 p Adult Choir

Thursday       7:00 p  LLL
                     7:30 P  OEC

Saturday       5:00 - 8:00 p SOV  Youth Group Fundraiser
                    Child care offered at SOV (children can be 
                    dropped off anytime, dinner is provided as
                    well as fun activities)

Sunday       8:30 & 11:00 a Worship Services
                  Scrip Order Sunday

Looking ahead
Ash Wednesday Service
February 22    11:30 & 6:30 p 

KOK Open House
February 24 & 25   10:00 - 2:00 p 

New Member Sunday
February 26
(if you would like to become a member please let Pastor Randy know)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pastor's Weekly Message

"And God said,' and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky. .... So God created ... every winged bird of every kind.  And God saw that it was good."  Genesis 1:20-21
 
Stepping outside again the other night and hearing the great horned owls talking to each other.  Something so mysterious and hauntingly beautiful about their conversation.  And the very next morning stepping out to the same spot, before hopping into the car, and the place was filled with conversation, so much more than on those very cold mornings of late.  Teeming with life and the promise of spring, even if it was a January morning.
 
Have seen some pretty impressive flocks of geese overhead too.  While walking in the park, or looking out my office window (what a great view this continues to be by the way), and lately there has been a pretty sizable group of geese landing in the park here by the church.  They are noisy and can make quite a mess, but they are also something to behold.  Even noticing are young KOK students taking in their presence too. (Wondering if we could count them in worship attendance, their being a flock and all?)
 
Point being?  (If there needs to be one.)  There is life all around us.  It is good to take it in for even a moment.  And creation continues, the work of God is in our midst, telling me that God is not done with us yet.  So what do we do next?
 
In praise of the Creator,
Pastor Randy
 
"May the strength of God pilot us; may the wisdom of God instruct us, may the hand of God protect us; may the word of God direct us.  Be always ours this day and forevermore."   St. Patrick

THIS WEEK

Wednesday   10:00 a Bible Study
                      6:30 p  Acts 2:42 Service
                      7:00 p  Adult Choir

Thursday       6:30 p  Men's Night at Old Chicago Pizza
                         
Sunday         8:30 & 11:00 a Worship
                     9:45 a  Sunday School for all ages
                     9:45 a  HS Youth Group Meeting  (note change of time for this month due to Super Bowl)