Happening Now Blog

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wednesday Messages

 from Pastor Brian

Something really wonderful is going to happen this Sunday, June 29, at the late worship service. Hailey Miles is going to be baptized. Baptisms are always a joy for me. It's a great step in a family's life, a cause for celebration, to have their baby's life affirmed and blessed by God. It's also a big step in Hailey's life — a life-changing event — even if she doesn't realize it yet. Hailey's understanding will come in time — and you, her church family, will help her to grow into that life-changing blessing.

Baptism is also a chance for all of us to focus on the most foundational commitments of the Christian faith. We hear all over again how God takes the initiative to establish a gracious relationship with us. We learn of God's everlasting love for us, of God's never-ending care for us. We rehearse turning away from everything that keeps us apart from God; and practice turning toward God in trust and hope. We witness the washing that symbolizes spiritual cleansing and transformation. We hear the prayers that Hailey may receive God's spiritual power in her life and grow to fulfillment in Christ. Thus, we are reminded of the spiritual power poured out on each and all of us, and of our true identity as Jesus' brothers and sisters. Finally, as we welcome Hailey into the Body of Christ, our welcome communicates God's welcome to her (and to all God's children) from this day forward and forever more.

There is more good news. We will have a team of pastors helping to baptize Hailey. Hailey's grandmother, Pastor Jean DeVoll-Donaldson, will preside at the rite of Holy Baptism. Pastor Randy Schutt will perform the actual baptism and blessings. I will serve as Pastor Randy's helper. We three pastors will partner with all of you to celebrate this rite of passage for Hailey and her family. May our partnership bear good fruit in a life of blessing and hope for Hailey and in much thanksgiving to God.

~~

What one regards as interruptions are precisely one's life. C.S. Lewis

Those words from C.S. Lewis bring to mind a phrase I've heard and used over the last few months being "It is what it is" .  Those words don't say much, but they do seem to speak the truth.  There are real things in our lives, certainly not always of our own choosing. There are things we would rather not have, or maybe things we can do nothing about. They may be no more than interruptions or may be a seeming nightmare that dominates our life.  That is a terribly grim view of things, of life itself.

What to do then with the words of Isaiah 63:7?  He has shown them according to his mercy, according to the abundance of his steadfast love. His presence saved them.

So many "interruptions" may be a blessing if we but pay attention.  Or I may try to look beyond them and take in something else thinking of my stroke again of course. How much worse things might have been, those folks who have suffered worse, though it is hard to feel better because of another's misfortune.  So, there is a need, a grand challenge to embrace life in whatever form it meets us because "it is what it is".

From this time I have learned much of patience (though I am not wild about being encouraged to have more), learned about being loved and cared for at my worst (thank you Choice).  Learning to live with reality.

Lessons for Sunday, June 29th
Genesis 22:1-14
Romans 6:12-23
Matthew 10:40-42

THIS WEEK

Wednesday     10:00 a Bible Study

Thursday        12:00 a All Church Luncheon
                        1:00 p Prayer Shawl

Friday             1:00 - 9:00 p Palmeter Piano Studio

Saturday        10:00 - 11:30 a SOV Choir Rehearsal


Love INCs Packed with love Backpack project is collecting rulers with metric measure, we are asked to collect 200 rulers by August 8th, please place your donations in the barrel in the narthex. Thank you

SOV Rummage Sale is August 1 & 2
You may bring your gently used and clean items to the church anytime. Questions can be directed to any member of the rummage sale committee, Peggy, Jameson, Rachael, Erin.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wednesday's Messages

from Pastor Brian

I was with a group of Lutherans a while ago.  They knew I was a pastor, so we got to talking about our faith.  I said, "I've got three related questions for you.  First, what do you love?  Second, what are you willing to risk to protect and nurture what you love?  Third, what does God have to do with all this?"

Each of them answered in turn.  Several talked about their kids and how they would do anything for them.  God was an important part of this, they said, because their kids (or, in one case, their dogs) were gifts from God.  And they wanted to honor the giver by investing themselves in care for the gift.

Then one man said, "I'm risk averse.  I've organized my life in such a way as to avoid risk.  I don't really understand why you're asking us about risk."

I replied, "there are several places in the Gospels where Jesus tells his disciples: 'Those who want to be my followers must take up their cross and follow me.  For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.'  To take up your cross means being willing to risk your life, or to risk transforming who you are."  I concluded by asking, "How have your risked yourself for God?  That's what I was really wondering when I asked you the three questions."  He then gave a beautiful response that started the whole conversation on a new path touching depths of faith we hadn't yet explored.

This Sunday, we have a chance to ask ourselves what we'll risk for Jesus' sake.  The Gospel reading is Matthew 10:24-39, a series of tough sayings ending with Jesus' word that his disciples must take up their cross and follow him.  Naturally, we all tend to minimize risk as we walk with God.  But Jesus keeps on asking us, "How have you risked yourself for God?"  If you dare to answer, who knows where that will take you?

~~

"If there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise think about these things."    Philippians 4:6-9

The God of peace be with you!

I seem to be in a bit of rut here. Unable to set aside the January 19th  event that forever altered my life and seems to continue to do the same daily
still. I am trying to recognize moments of joy in spite of myself. Like the rose bud we brought in from outside, from Avery's bush. It is lavender in color and has opened to full flower now and has quite a lovely scent. Its scent is so much so that when I breathed in deeply I immediately felt the smile begin to spread across my face. Then on Thursday there was Taylor's 8th grade promotion. Looking at some pictures made me see a beautiful young woman in place of a little girl and that too is "worthy of praise". As are the many well wishes and promises of continued prayer and many other gifts. May I know some of your peace Lord.

In the peace and power of the Christ.

Pastor Randy

Lessons for Sunday, June 22, 2014
Genesis 21:8-21
Romans 6:1b-11
Matthew 10:24-39

THIS WEEK

Wednesday   10:00 a Bible Study w/Pastor Brian
                     7:00 p SOV Choir Rehearsal

Thursday      10:00 a LLL
                     7:00 p Council Meeting

Friday          1:00 p Palmeter Piano Studio

Saturday      10:00 a SOV Choir Rehearsal

Calvary Lutheran Church in Hillsboro is looking for a Part-time Preschool Director... 503.648.5686

New Member Sunday coming soon; if you are interested in joining SOV please email secretary Tammy (secretary@sovlutheran.com) or Pastor Brian at pastorbrian.sov@gmail.com

Please note Pastor Brian will be out of the Office on Tuesday, June 24th. He will arrange for Pastoral care in his absence, please look for that information by email later this week and in Sundays bulletin.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Wednesday Messages

 from Pastor Brian
June 11, 2014

This week God has given us another school shooting to meditate on.  As a pastor, I hardly know what to think about this tragic, increasingly predictable reality.  Probably the first thing to say is that we need to lift up prayers to God.  Prayers for the family of Emilio Hoffman, who was killed by the shooter.  Prayers for his friends and all students at Reynolds High School in Troutdale where the killing and mayhem took place.  Prayers for all of us as we struggle to know what we, as a society, should do about the rising levels of gun violence in our nation.  Pastor Susan Kintner, Assistant to Bishop Brauer-Rieke, wrote these helpful words in her weekly message from the Synod Office:

Prayers for all those touched by the tragedy of the shooting Tuesday at Reynolds High School.  Pastor Jeff Bethke is the registrar at the school.  He was very impressed with the School District response, as well as the Police, all quite professional.  Graduation is Thursday evening.  There were 2,000 students at the school, just ready to begin their morning final.  As the administrators sort out their next steps, we will continue to pray for them.

I'm not a big fan of the "WWJD?" fad current a few years ago.  But in this case, maybe it would be helpful for the Church to ponder that question — "What Would Jesus Do?" — in regard to gun violence in America.  Scripture sets Jesus as the model of good shepherding that we should follow.  God's people are to imitate Jesus in their life-choices and moral conduct.  What would Jesus say and do in response to the epidemic of gun violence sweeping through America, through its schools and movie theaters and shopping malls?  How should the Church best serve to shepherd American society in this time of trial?  I'm really not sure, though I've read a lot of scripture.  Maybe you know.  If you do, please share your thoughts with me so that I can learn how best to lead God's people in addressing this painful, urgent issue.

~~

"They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze."  Genesis 2:8

That is my favorite anthropomorphism in all of the Bible.  God takes a break by walking in the garden in the evening.  Of course, which is why it is such a good thing for us to do.  That is one of the things I missed the most during those long months of rehab and something I lament now not being able to do for myself and yet I am grateful that Choice willingly pushes me around in my wheelchair.  I envy those who choose their own paths and pace.  Its just not the same, but it is a very restful thing and I am thankful none the less as the sights are grand, the flowers and plants, kids playing, the half moon high in the deepening blue of the sky.

All those sights highlight the importance of rejoicing in the blessings.

Pastor Randy

Lessons for Sunday, The Holy Trinity
Genesis 1:1-2:4a
2 Corinthians 13:11-13
Matthew 28:16-20

THIS WEEK

Wednesday    6:15 p Worship Meeting
                      7:00 p SOV Choir Rehearsal

Thursday      9:00 - 12:00 p KOK Summer Camp
                    7:00 p LLL

Friday         1:00 - 9:00 p Palmeter Piano Studio

Saturday     10:00 a  SOV Choir Rehearsal

This and That
> SOV Youth Group is selling prepackaged fire works each sunday through June 29th

> KOK Preschool and Kindergarten is now enrolling for Fall 2014.

> SOV Rummage Sale
collecting gently used and clean items beginning June 22 for the August 1 & 2 Rummage Sale

> Love INCs Packed with Love backpack project
collecting school rulers with metric until August 8th. Our goal is 200. Please place your donations in the barrel in the narthex.

> Red Cross Blood Drive
  Monday, June 16th
  call 1-800-red-cross to register to donate
  Walks Ins Welcome

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Pastor's Wednesday Message

 from Pastor Brian

When I sit to write this weekly message sometimes I've no idea what to say.  But I trust God will provide.  Today, God provided an unexpected phone call that seems worth reporting.

The phone rang; Tammy said some woman wanted a pastor to share a prayer.  OK, I thought, this happens sometimes — a person in distress picks a church at random and calls looking for a kind word and a quick prayer.  But this was someone asking to pray for me!

The woman identified herself by name and asked, in a Southern drawl, if she could offer a prayer for me.  Surprised, I said "yes."  She proceeded to read the text often called the Aaronic blessing:

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.  (Numbers 6:24-26)

She then read a few other Bible verses about prayer and blessing.  Finally, she offered prayer for me, asking God that I be filled with joy and brought to everlasting life in Jesus Christ.  I thanked her; then offered a prayer for her.

I found this conversation notable for several reasons.  First, I've never before gotten a call from someone looking to pray for me.  Second, her recitation of the Aaronic blessing struck a chord because I use as a benediction to close worship.  Third, she seemed full of joy — almost giddy.  It reminded me of the first lesson on April 27: "Although you have not seen Christ, you love him, and... you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy." (1Peter 1:8)

Was her joy just a put-on? She read from a script.  Was her prayer sincere?  I'm putting the best construction on her offering.  My guess is that she's a Southern Baptist carrying out a prayer ministry on behalf of her church.  She and I would probably disagree on many things.  But as the Day of Pentecost draws near, we believe the Holy Spirit gives us community in Christ that reconciles differences in language, customs, politics, and religion.  May God surprise us daily with such a blessing of life-giving community.

Lessons for Sunday, June 8, 2014
Acts 2:1-21
1 Corinthians 12:3b-13
John 7:37-39

THIS WEEK

Wednesday  7:00 - 8:30 p SOV Choir Rehearsal

Thursday     6:30 p Men's Night @ Lil Cooperstown

Friday        1:00 - 9:00 p Palmeter Piano Studio

Saturday   10:00 - 11:30 a SOV Choir Rehearsal

Sunday      Pentecost Sunday: wear RED
                  Worship at 8:30 & 10:30 a

Prayers of Thanksgiving and continued Healing
Pastor Randy was discharged Tuesday, June 3rd. He is back at home, he is receiving home health care and will continue with outpatient physical therapy. He even made a trip to the park yesterday :)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Reaching Out - SOV Choir and Baccalaureate Service

Reaching Out!
Through the marketing of our GRO2W event we have had the opportunity to "Reach Out" in our community!
On Wednesday June 4 the SOV music team lead the  music for the Baccalaureate service that was held for 3 of the 4 high schools in Hillsboro at Century HS in Hillsboro. The choir preformed two sets of 4 songs. Jameson pulled in eleven choir members with only 5 days notice!  Four of our young people in the choir added their solo's. The  SOV band accompanied the choir adding instrumental music for the Gideon's presentation of New Testaments as well as Jameson singing with the band to add to a wonderful ending as the audience left the auditorium. 
As the service ended we Lutheran's were given the opportunity to respond Lutheran liturgical style as the pastor that closed with the benediction said, "The peace of the Lord be with you."  Our choir added spontaneously, "And also with you".   He looked back at us a little surprised. We just responded as well versed Lutherans. 

After the program people came up to us and asked where our church was located and expressed an interest in attending our services. Many of the grads (and their parents) thanked us for coming as well as voicing their praise for the kind of music we added to the service.

This events gave us the opportunity to "GROW" God's love within our community.We are blessed to have the support of our SOV congregation to "Reach Out" and act on our church mission statement through our music outreach.

We give God the Glory and thank the council and church for supporting the music team! Who knows what seed's were planted.  Know that the Spirit was alive and on fire at this program. As we head into Pentecost Sunday we know the "power of the Spirit" is alive at SOV.

Contributing blogger- Diane Lewis