Happening Now Blog

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."   1 Thessalonians 5:18

Last Sunday I preached about gratitude.  Expressing gratitude is an all-purpose spiritual practice that cultivates many virtues and covers a multitude of sins.  Jesus is God's way of helping humanity say "thank you" in a manner that matches the majesty of God.  We send our thanks to God through Jesus Christ, along with all our other prayers.

So here, at year's end, I want to practice expressing gratitude.  What am I grateful for this year?  I'm grateful for having a decent home to live in, good food to eat, clothing to wear.  Basic goods that I don't take for granted, not with so many poor people all around us.  Thank you, God.  What else?  I'm grateful for my spouse, Jill.  She still laughs at my jokes after 26 years together.  That's love!  Thank you, God.  I'm grateful for the kids I get to play with and teach at SOV.  I have no kids of my own, so it's a real treat to touch the joy of creative play with these children.  Their parents do all the hard work and share the beautiful fruits of their parenting with me!  Thank you, God.

I could go on and on.  I have blessings too numerous to count — what great good fortune.  What about you?  During my sermon last Sunday I asked listeners to tell us what they were grateful for.  Maybe a dozen responded, expressing their gratitude to us and to God.  But let me pose the question again.  What are you grateful for, here at year's end?  You can share the thoughts of your heart with God or with others who are close to you.  But it's good to count your blessings and give God thanks.

I mentioned in my sermon last Sunday that expressing gratitude is not just biblically sound.  It's also scientifically verified to be a healthy, hopeful, encouraging practice.  Do an internet search on "practicing gratitude."  You'll find lots of articles offering guides.  Please give it a try — I suspect you'll be glad you did.  Thank you, God, for the grace of giving thanks.

* * * * * * *
Lessons for Sunday, January 3rd   Epiphany
Isaiah 60:1-6
Ephesians 3:1-12
Matthew 2:1-12

Sunday, January 3rd worship at 8:30 & 11:00 am

Ladies Dinner
Tuesday, January 5th

6:00 pm
Old Spaghetti Factory
18925 NW Tanasbourne Dr, Hillsboro, OR 97124
please RSVP this email or by phone to Tammy

Men's Night
Thursday, January 7th
6:00 pm (note earlier time)
Reedville Cafe
2947 SE 73rd Ave. Hillsboro, OR 97123.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Christmas gifts?  Many of us don't really need anything for Christmas.  Most of us already have more than enough to enjoy a tolerable balance between happiness and sorrow during our brief stay Earth.  What more do we need?  God sends apostles and preachers to clarify what we lack.  The following excerpt from Martin Luther's Sermon for Christmas Day of 1521 helps us see how Christmas brings the one gift we truly need.

LUTHER'S CHRISTMAS SERMON: "TO YOU CHRIST IS BORN"

"The angel said to them, 'Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people; for there is born to you this day a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.'"  Luke 2:10

The Gospel teaches that Christ was born, and that he died and suffered everything on our behalf, as is here declared by the angel.  In these words you see clearly that he is born for us.

He does not simply say, Christ is born, but to you he is born.  Neither does he say, I bring glad tidings, but to you I bring glad tidings of great joy. Furthermore, this joy was not to remain in Christ, but it shall be to all the people.  This faith no condemned or wicked person has…. Christ has a pure, innocent, holy birth.  Humans have an unclean, sinful, condemned birth.  … For this purpose Christ willed to be born, that through him we might be born anew.

O, this is the great joy of which the angel speaks.  This is the comfort and exceeding goodness of God that, if anyone believes this, they can boast of the treasure that Mary is their rightful mother, Christ their brother, and God their father.  For these things actually occurred and are true, but we must believe.  This is the principal thing and principal treasure in every Gospel.  Christ must above all things become our own and we become his.  This is what is meant by Isaiah 9:6, "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given."  To you is born and given this child.

Therefore see to it that you do not treat the Gospel only as history, for that is only transient; neither regard it only as an example, for it is of no value without faith.  Rather, see to it that you make this birth your own and that Christ be born in you.  This will be the case if you believe; then you will repose in the lap of the virgin Mary and be her dear child.  But you must exercise this faith and pray while you live.  You cannot establish it too firmly.  This is our foundation and inheritance, upon which good works must be built.

Thus says Martin Luther.  And I say unto you, when you worship on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, forget about the goodies by the tree and the savory treats in your tummy.  Forget what you have and focus on what you need: the Christ, the whole Christ, and nothing but the Christ.  Then thank God that the Christ has been sent to you.  Grab hold with all the faith you can muster.  And trust that in Christ's birth you also discover the secret gift of your own.

* * * * * * *

Sunday, December 27th
One Service at 10:00 am
followed by "bringing in the New Year" brunch
please bring a potluck side dish; fruit, sweetbreads etc

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

If you travel in Muslim countries, you'll hear the muezzin calling the faithful to prayer five times a day.  These days it usually comes over a loudspeaker placed atop a tower centrally located in a town or city neighborhood for maximum broadcast coverage.  We may not understand the Arabic in which the call is issued, but there's no denying the beauty of the muezzin's art, nor the wisdom of stopping to pray to God five times every day.  How I wish Christians would pray to God so frequently!

Today I proclaim a call to prayer.  Not just because it's the season of Advent — though this is a season of penitence and prayer.  I ask you to pray because tomorrow night the Church Council will elect our Call Committee.  The Council needs our prayers as they consider candidates and cast their ballots.  Pray that the Holy Spirit guide their hearts.  Pray that God's will be done in Council as it is in heaven.  Human wisdom and feelings by themselves cannot put together a good Call Committee responsive to God's call.  Only God's Spirit can call, gather, enlighten, and empower a Call Committee fit to fulfill the holy work ahead: considering, identifying, and recommending a pastor who truly meets the needs and honors the aspirations of this community of faith in Jesus Christ.

When we find out who is on the Call Committee, keep answering this call to prayer.  Pray for the Call Committee regularly.  Maybe not five times a day, but if you pray daily for your Call Committee, it would be a good thing.  The work is challenging, the responsibilities weighty.  Busy people are adding more work to their week.  Pray they stay healthy.  Pray that God give them a spirit of hope and joy in their work together.  Pray that their conversations are respectful and bear good fruit.  And as the Synod staff are selecting a slate of candidates to bring to the Call Committee, pray that this will be a good bunch of clergy who have the gifts, the stamina, and the hunger to serve as Shepherd's pastor for years to come.

As Advent brings us to Christmas, and our work of calling a new pastor begins, let St. Paul's words guide us on our way:

"We appeal to you, brothers and sisters, to respect those who labor among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you; esteem them very highly in love because of their work.  Be at peace among yourselves.  And we urge you, beloved, to admonish the idlers, encourage the faint-hearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them.  See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all.   Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."  (1 Thessalonians 5:12-18)

* * * * * * *
Lessons for Sunday
Micah 5:2-5a
Hebrews 10:5-10
Luke 1:39-55

THIS WEEK

Wednesday  9:00 - 1:00 p KOK Preschool/chapel
                   10:00 a Bible Study
                    5:30 p Advent soup/bread potluck
                    6:00 p Advent devotion
                    6:30 p Advent Holden Evening Prayer

Thursday      9:00 - 1:00 p KOK Preschool
                    10:00 a LLL
                    12:00 p All Church Christmas Luncheon
                     7:00 p Council Meeting

Friday        9:00 - 12:00 p KOK Preschool
                  1:00 - 9:00 p Palmeter Piano Studio

Saturday      10:00 - 11:30 a SOV Choir rehearsal
                     2:00 - 4:00 p Christmas Pageant rehearsal
                     4:00 - 8:00 p Youth Group Drop and Shop fundraiser
                                  Drop your children off at SOV for an evening of fun; food, games, crafts and movie! While you go out and finishing your Christmas shopping or have a date night.

Sunday     8:30 & 11:00 a worship services
                Sunday school Christmas pageant will be at the 11:00 a service.
                4:00 p Christmas Caroling


Please join us tomorrow, Thursday, December 17 at 12:00 pm for our All Church Christmas Luncheon.
Wear your festive attire, bring hats, gloves, mittens or scarves to donate to a local shelter.

Christmas Caroling, Sunday, December 20th
Meet at SOV at 4:00 p,  leaving at 4:15 p to carpool or Avamere Bethany and Rock Creek retirement homes. Followed by soup/chili potluck. All ages Welcome!

Sunday, December 27th
One Service at 10:00 am followed by Brunch.

Three more breakfast casseroles are needed, please email if you can bring one.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

With Christmas coming soon, we come to a comparably gifted turning point in SOV's transition.  This Thursday evening (God willing and the creek don't rise) Pastor Susan Kintner from the Oregon Synod office will meet with the Transition Task Force.  Pastor Kintner is the Assistant to the Bishop; she has responsibility for clergy mobility (i.e., matching congregations seeking pastors with pastors seeking congregations).  She'll talk to us about our work over the past half-year carrying out the self-study and writing the Ministry Site Profile.  I don't expect any significant changes will come from this meeting, because our MSP is a nice piece of work.  It's well researched, thoughtfully pondered, well written.  This meeting will be a chance for the TTF to feel proud of the work it has done.  Pastor Kintner will learn a lot from this conversation, and will, I'm pretty sure, tell them "Job well done."

A few days thereafter, next Sunday, December 13, Pastor Kintner will join us for worship.  She will preach at both services.  (I will preside, as usual.)  Her sermon will help us understand what God is doing among us in the upcoming call process.  Pastor Kintner will be personally involved in this call process, in the sense that she and Bishop Dave will select the slate of clergy candidates who will be considered by SOV's Call Committee.  She will work with each of those candidates to help them interpret the Ministry Site Profile and other information they may pick up about SOV.  So, it's a good thing Pastor Kintner is getting to know SOV well.  I know she wants the best for Shepherd and will work hard to help it get the pastor it needs and deserves.

Pastor Kintner is one practical expression of the good things the Evangelical Lutheran Church in American offers to support our local ministry.  Please join us at church on Sunday.  Help us celebrate the completion of the Ministry Site Profile.  The Transition Task Force will hand over the MSP to Pastor Kintner during worship.  Together, we will bless it on its way to God, trusting that God will answer this prayer for a new pastor in a way that is better than anything we could ask or imagine.

* * * * * * *

Lessons for December 13, 2015
Isaiah 12:2-6
Philippians 4:4-7
Luke 3:7-18

THIS WEEK

Wednesday     9:00 - 1:00 p KOK Preschool/chapel
                      10:00 a Bible Study
                       5:30 p Advent soup/bread supper
                       6:00 p Advent devotion
                       6:30 p Advent Holden Evening Prayer
                      *Wednesday Evening Advent Soup-Supper -- there will be no children's activities offered tonight.  Due to heavy rain and water standing on roadways, our children's ministry elves are staying home to make sure they're in good shape for Christmas!
                       7:00 p SOV Choir rehearsal

Thursday       9:00 - 1:00 p KOK Preschool

Friday           9:00 - 12:00 p KOK Preschool

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

Sunday        8:30 & 11:00 a Worship services
                   Third Sunday of Advent
                   Pastor Pastor, Pastor Susan Kintner

Last Sunday to order Scrip for Christmas


All Church Scandinavian Christmas Luncheon
Thursday, December 17th
12:00 pm

Wear your festive attire. Bring a donation of hats, mittens, gloves or scarves for a local homeless shelter.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

   American popular culture, increasingly unchurchy, denies most people knowledge of what "Advent" is.  Do a web search on the term "Advent" and you get as many hits for business firms as you do for a season of the church year.  Even many Christians in non-liturgical churches don't have a clue.  But for those of us who are Lutheran or Catholic, or come from other mainline churches, Advent is that special season of the church year when we look for the coming of Christ.  Practically, that means getting ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus on Christmas.  But Advent is really more about Jesus' second coming than his first.

    Is Jesus really going to come again? We say we believe it will happen.  We confess: "He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end."  (Nicene Creed)  When will that day come?  If the gospel stories are right, it will happen when we least expect it.  That's really inconvenient.  Unlike earlier generations, we get grumpy when guests drop in without calling or texting first.  We've probably got our week all planned out, scheduled full.  If Jesus is going to come again, he'd be well advised to arrange a meeting with us in advance.  Otherwise he might not find us at home or be able to track us down at all.  We'd already be on the move to another meeting.

    Advent, traditionally, is a penitential season turning our attention toward God.  We pray and meditate, anticipating an upsurge of mystery.  We wait and wonder what God is up to in our lives.  Will Jesus come again?  Maybe.  While waiting to find out, we look deeply to see other ways in which God may be approaching.  Do you have time for that?  While you're waiting for a meeting to start, abscond with God for a few moments and pose this question to the One who waits with you: "What next?"

* * * * * * *

Lessons for Sunday, December 6th
Malachi 3:1-4
Philippians 1:3-11
Luke 3:1-6

THIS WEEK

Wednesday  9:00 - 1:00 p KOK Preschool/chapel
                    10:00 a Bible Study
                     5:30 p Advent soup/bread supper potluck
                     6:00 p Advent Discussion
                     6:30 p Holden Evening Prayer service
                     7:00 p SOV Choir rehearsal

Thursday      9:00 - 1:00 p KOK Preschool
                    6:30 p Men's Night at Reedville Cafe (please note location change)
                    7:00 p LLL

Friday         9:00 - 12:00 p KOK Preschool
                   1:00 - 9:00 p Palmeter Piano Studio

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

Sunday       8:30 & 11:00 a Worship Second Sunday of Advent

Wednesdays in Advent
        December 9th, and 16th
             5:30 pm   Potluck Soup & Bread  Supper
             6:00 pm  Advent Devotion
                Advent Supper activities.  Adult Discussion: Cutting through the Clutter of Commercialism to Connect with True                    Christmas.
               Kids:Advent calendars, Advent crossword puzzle, Christmas story coloring.
             6:30 pm  Holden Evening Prayer (misprinted in the bulletin it should be 6:30 not 7:00 pm)
 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Tomorrow is the National Day of Thanksgiving. We're waiting for that day to arrive, but we're waiting actively, waiting by preparing, anticipating the feast. A lovely thought!

Shortly after Thanksgiving, on November 29, Advent starts.  Advent is a season of waiting, watching, praying, hoping.  But it's active waiting for the day of Jesus' coming.  It's not just sitting around feeling bored, distracted, dull.  To introduce Advent, I'll share part of one of my favorite Advent reflections.  It's by Henri Nouwen, whose writing on prayer and spirituality is well-known. Here it is:

What is the nature of waiting?  What is the practice of waiting?  …Waiting, as we see it in the people on the first pages of the Gospel, is waiting with a sense of promise.  "Zechariah… your wife Elizabeth is to bear you a son."  "Mary, …Listen!  You are to conceive and bear a son" (Luke 1:13, 31).  People who wait have received a promise that allows them to wait.  They have received something that is at work in them, like a seed that has started to grow.  This is very important.  We can only really wait if what we are waiting for has already begun for us.  So waiting is never a movement from nothing to something.  It is always a movement from something to something more.  Zechariah, Mary, and Elizabeth were living with a promise that nurtured them, that fed them, that made them able to stay where they were.  And in this way, the promise itself could grow in them and for them.

Waiting is active.  Most of us think of waiting as something passive, a hopeless state determined by events totally out of our hands.  The bus is late?  You cannot do anything about it, so you have to sit there and just wait.  It is not difficult to understand the irritation people feel when somebody says "Just wait."  Words like that seem to push us into passivity.

But there is none of this passivity in scripture.  Those who are waiting are waiting very actively.  They know that what they are waiting for is growing from the ground on which they are standing.  That's the secret.  The secret of waiting is the faith that the seed has been planted, that something has begun.  Active waiting means to be present fully to the moment, in the conviction that something is happening where you are and that you want to be present to it.  A waiting person is someone who is present to the moment, who believes that this moment is the moment.


Nouwen's words remind me of one of my favorite sayings: "The meek are getting ready."  That's what Advent is: getting ready for the reign of God's love.  May this be the day you realize that God's burning charity and perfect providence are getting ready to arrive all around you at any moment.

* * * * * *

Pastor Jim Flachsbart, who filled in for Pastor Brian last Sunday, does work as a handyman while he's waiting for assignments to serve as an interim pastor in the Oregon Synod.  He spoke to several people about this last Sunday.  If you would like to have further conversation with Pastor Jim, you can call him (contact secretary Tammy for the number).  If you'd like a flyer about Pastor Jim's work, please email Pastor Brian; he'll send you a copy.

* * * * * * *

Lessons for November 29, 2015
Jeremiah 33:14-16
1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
Luke 21:25-36

This Week

Wednesday  7:00 - 8:30 pm SOV Choir

Thursday     Happy Thanksgiving

Friday          offices closed

Saturday     10:00 - 11:30 am SOV Choir
                  11:30 - 5:00 pm  Private event

Sunday       8:30 & 11:00 am worship Second Sunday of Advent
                  4:00 pm Church decorating

Monday, November 16, 2015

Pastor Brian vacation notice

Pastor Brian will be on vacation November 16-22.  During that week, Pastor David Eppelsheimer of Community of ChristChurch will cover emergency pastoral care needs.  Pastor Jim Flachsbart will preach and preside at both worship services on Sunday November 22.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

One of the things I love most about the ELCA is the set of effective relief and development programs coordinated from the Churchwide offices in Chicago.  (ELCA = the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the national church body to which SOV belongs.) These programs do an extraordinary amount of good in many countries around the world — including the USA. From the ELCA web site:

RELIEF AND DEVELOPMENT: We are a church that rolls up our sleeves and gets to work.

One billion of our neighbors — that's one in seven people in our world today — live in poverty. As members of the ELCA, we are called to respond. Working through Lutheran connections in the United States and around the world, we start by listening to the needs of our neighbors and getting their ideas to help break the cycle of hunger and poverty. Then we partner with them to make their dreams and hopes a reality. From health clinics to microloans, water wells to animal husbandry, food pantries to soup kitchens, we work together to support innovative solutions that get at the root causes of hunger and poverty.

Our work is pursued and accomplished through a variety of bold, active ministries and initiatives:
- ELCA Malaria Campaign
- ELCA World Hunger
- HIV and AIDS Ministry
- Lutheran Disaster Response
- Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

Each effort strives for justice, peace and change in the world, and draws its strength and effectiveness from working in partnership with others who share a common vision of serving and loving our neighbor and restoring and reconciling communities in Jesus Christ's name.

Last Sunday I preached about some of my experiences learning from poor people in Kenya.  I talked about the ELCA's "Good Gifts" program as a way to carry out God's work with our hands.  Psalm 146 invites us to join God in the work of executing justice for the oppressed, giving food to the hungry, watching over strangers, upholding poor orphans and widows, lifting up those who are bowed down by life's burdens.  Contributing to the ELCA's "Good Gifts" program is a great way for us to do that because it supports each of the programs listed above.  Looking for holiday gifts that build the Kingdom of God?  Go to this link to access the Good Gifts program online: https://community.elca.org/ELCAGoodGifts

Or, to download a copy of the Good Gifts catalogue: http://download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/ELCA_Good_Gifts_Catalog.pdf

"God's work, our hands" is more than just a slogan for the ministry of the ELCA.  It is the truth of our lives as followers of Jesus Christ.  With millions of other disciples, these programs invite us to roll up our sleeves and get to work!

* * * * * * *
Lessons for Sunday, November 15th
1 Samuel 2:1-10
Hebrews 10:11-25
Mark 13:1-8

THIS WEEK

Wednesday 10:00 a Bible Study
                   7:00 - 8:30 p SOV Choir rehearsal

Thursday   9:00 - 1:00 p KOK Preschool

Friday        9:00 - 12:00 p KOK Preschool
                  1:00 - 9:00 p Palmeter Piano Studio

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

Sunday       8:30 & 11:00 worship services
                   6:00 p Pie and Praise
                   6:00 - 7:30 p Confirmation

Remember Sandra in your prayers

Halie (and Geoff) are moving and are in need of appliances.They need electric stove, microwave, refrigerator and clothes dryer. If anyone knows of any to sell or donate please contact Halie

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Ministry Site Profile

We're coming to a turning point in Shepherd's transition process.  The work of the Transition Task Force is nearly done.  Their main project, the Ministry Site Profile (MSP), is very close to completion.  This Sunday members of the congregation will have a chance to give the TTF feedback on the MSP.   By now you have received a PDF copy of it via SOV's email list so you can look it over, think about it, and pray about it before the Town Hall meeting.  Note that we'll have a single worship service (10:00 a.m.) this Sunday, with the meeting to follow.

This Ministry Site Profile is the congregation's résumé.  Every potential clergy candidate identified by Synod staff will be evaluated in light of this document.  Every actual candidate will look carefully at the MSP and use it as part of their evaluation of Shepherd as they go through the interview and discernment process.  The MSP gives the Call Committee valuable information as they enter into discernment about clergy candidates.  So this is a really important document.

That's why it's so important that you pay careful attention to the information in the MSP.  I urge you to read everything in the document and critically assess the information to make sure that it says things you believe to be true about the congregation. Whether it does or does not, please make your opinion known at the Town Hall meeting.  Your feedback will help the TTF do final revisions if any are needed so that the MSP can be as accurate and fairly representative of SOV as possible.  The better we do creating the MSP, the more likely it is that Shepherd will get a new pastor that actually fits its needs.  So please help the Transition Task Force fulfill its commission by giving them your input on this draft document.  Creating the MSP is truly the work of this whole community.  The Holy Spirit calls every one of you as partners with the TTF in carrying out this vitally important project.

Adult Education Follow-up

Last Sunday Mr. Reynold Roeder did a fine presentation about three non-profit organizations whose work he supports.  Those who attended got an introduction to these amazing organizations and some insight into why Reynold is involved with them.  I want to share web links to those organizations so you can learn more about them and consider whether you, too, might want to support their work.

Helping Men Heal — http://helpingmenheal.org/
Union Gospel Mission Portland — http://ugmportland.org/
NCompass — http://www.worldncompass.org/

As I said at the conclusion of Reynold's presentation, his support of these organizations exemplifies the traditional Lutheran slogan about the Christian life: "faith made active in love."  I encourage you to check out these organizations to see if your love of God and neighbor can become faithfully active in partnership with them.

* * * * * * *

Lessons for November 8th
1 Kings 17:8-16
Psalm 146
Mark 12:38-44

THIS WEEK

Thursday   9:00 - 1:00 pm KOK Preschool
                  5:45 pm TTF Meeting
                  7:00 pm LLL

Friday        9:00 - 12:00 pm KOK Preschool
                  1:00 - 9:00 pm Palmeter Piano Studio

Saturday   10:00 - 11:30 am  SOV Choir rehearsal

Sunday     10:00 am One Service

Reminder...
Please return your Stewardship pledge cards this Sunday.

November Newsletter is available
http://www.sovlutheran.com/news/pdf/november2015.pdf

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Daylight savings time: FALL BACK tonight

Don't forget to turn your clocks back one hour this evening before you retire...





Thursday, October 29, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

I just got home from the annual Bishop's Convocation.  This yearly event is a time for clergy from across the Oregon Synod (covering all Oregon) to gather for worship, learning, fellowship, and mutual support.  The venue was just right: the Kah-Nee-Ta Resort on the Warm Springs Reservation in Central Oregon.  High desert, stark and lovely hills, dry grass, sage, juniper.  Quiet.  They made us welcome and treated us like honored guests.

The theme of the program this year had to do with the huge changes in society and church culture that we expect in the next decade, and in numerous ways are already experiencing.  We had sessions where we prayed for and talked about three separate areas of our work as pastors: our churches, our selves, and our hopes for a good future for both church and society.

More specifically, the focus was adaptation – how we adapt to changing circumstances, especially when the changes are not a slow progressive change but dramatic quantum leaps, rapid discontinuous shifts where new phenomena sprout up and "go viral," bringing unforeseen challenges (and opportunities).  Of these three sessions, I found the last one the most interesting.  We paired off and interviewed each other, recording each other's answers in a form that had three questions.  First, what kind of transformations do you think we need in church and society?  Second, what skills are needed to make these transformations?  Third, who should make these transformation?

I suggest you try this exercise yourself, not necessarily pairing off for mutual interviews (though that might be fun, too), but simply thinking for yourself about these three areas.  What would SOV and Beaverton/Hillsboro look like if your transformational ideas were implemented?

The Synod staff will gather the interview forms from the Ministerium group today, and put them together with other such interviews that are being conducted in a variety of places.  A report will be generated on the basis of these interviews, targeting areas for investment in new ministries by the Oregon Synod.  It will be really interesting to see what sort of innovative ministry initiatives come out of this process.

Part of your support of our congregation, SOV, is given to the Oregon Synod (about 5%).  So your mission support is helping the Oregon Synod of the ELCA do some promising new work.  Thank you for your support of God's work through the Oregon Synod!

* * * * * * *

THIS WEEK

Thursday  12:00 pm All church luncheon, all are welcome lunch will be furnished
                 5:45 pm TTF Meeting

Friday       9:00 - 12:00 pm KOK preschool

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

KOK Christmas Greens Fundraiser reminder

Sunday is the last day to order your Christmas greens from Kids of the Kingdom Christian Preschool for this annual fundraising event.

Wreaths, centerpieces, sways and garlands are available.  Samples will be at the church and you can put your form with payment into the offering plate or find a KOK Board member and hand it to them.

Delivery is Sunday, November 22 at church, and November 23 and 24 at the Preschool. We appreciate your support!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Basket Project

As Tom announced at Sunday services, your Social Concerns Committee has begun working with Love INC and the Healthy Families program, a joint project between Lutheran Community Services and the Community Action program of Washington County.

The older youth of SOV will be preparing the boxes for delivery on Saturday, November 21st.

We are now asking for volunteers to deliver the food boxes to addresses in Washington  County, mostly Beaverton and Hillsboro.

Please let Christine know before November 8th if you want to be a volunteer delivery driver, starting around noon on November 21st.

You may reach Christine by email at plummail2003 (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Thank you.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Earlier today I informed members and friends of SOV that two elected officers of this congregation have decided to resign from the Church Council.  You probably have read their letters of resignation.  Here, I want to comment on this news.  My first response is sorrow.  Lynn and Elaine have given a great deal of themselves to the work of ministry at SOV.  They are extraordinarily capable people and faithful servants of God.  I will dearly miss their partnership in ministry.  I also feel sad for SOV.  The resignation of these two good and faithful leaders means that this congregation must undergo yet another challenging transition at a time when we are already seeking a new Pastor and searching for a permanent Director of Music.  Undergoing multiple transitions at once is hard.  I feel sad for the people of God at SOV who have endured so many misfortunes with leadership, and now have to discover even greater resources for resilience and adaptation to the challenges God is setting before us.  God is good.  All the time.  But sometimes following God's way is not easy.  This is one of those times.  I trust that God will provide what we need to find a good way forward in this time of trial.

Lynn and Elaine noted some important issues as reasons for their resignations.  They are far from the only members of SOV to express their concerns about such matters to me.  These issues are serious, systemic, deeply rooted at SOV.  I've been trying to address them in my ministry; I will continue to do so.  I will gladly work on these issues with all people of good will at SOV who want to bring about healing and carry out God's mission in a respectful way that builds up the body of Christ in this place.

Fortunately, this coming Sunday, October 25, the Church Council and Transition Task Force members will be meeting with Pastor Mike Keys of the Oregon Synod staff.  This workshop will follow up on the presentation Pastor Keys did at SOV on August 2, where he interpreted results of the Congregational Vitality Survey we did earlier in the summer.  The aim of this workshop is to help SOV build capacity for mission.  We've certainly got our work cut out for us.  This workshop will offer a great opportunity for SOV's leaders to talk about what is going on and to discover how to respond faithfully.  May God's Living Word, Jesus Christ, guide us as we talk, discern, and strive toward the good future we believe God has in store for us.

* * * * * * *

Lessons for October 25th
Deuteronomy 26:1-11
Philippians 4:4-7, 12-13
Luke 19:1-10

THIS WEEK

Wednesday   9:00 - 1:00 p  KOK Preschool
                    10:00 a   Bible Study

Thursday      9:00 - 1:00 p   KOK Preschool
   
Friday           9:00 - 12:00 p  KOK Preschool
                     1:00 - 9:00 p    Palmeter Piano Studio

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

Sunday          8:30 & 11:00 a   Worship Services, Reformation Sunday
                                              New Member Sunday
                      9:45 a    Youth Sunday school for all ages
                      10:00 a   Adult Education; guest speaker Jacob Tabor presenting a water-related development project he recently worked on in Ghana.


KOK Christmas Greens fundraiser ends November 2nd

Fellowship Kitchen Shower is still accepting pantry donations.

Stewardship Month; pick up your pledge packet


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Living in an Age of Digital Attachment

St. Andrew Lutheran Church
12405 SW Butner Road
Beaverton, OR 97005
office@standrewlutheran.com
503-646-0629

Big ones, little ones: we see screens everywhere in our modern lives—and they scream for attention. Research tells us that most Americans spend an average 12 hours a day in front of screens of some type. How does this time with technology affect human relationships?

All are invited to Living in an Age of Digital Attachment, a presentation and roundtable discussion at St. Andrew Lutheran Church on Saturday, November 7, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. Please register before November 1 by calling the church office at 503-646-0629. A light lunch will be served and a $5 donation is suggested to help defray lunch costs.

Featured speaker Dr. Doreen Dodgen-Magee, a noted community educator and psychologist with more than 22 years of experience, will address ways that technology is changing us and affecting our relationships.

Have you noticed people in a room together texting other people not present rather than talking to the individuals around them? How does that affect friendships and family? Do our efforts to be constantly connected by technology have us multitasking so much that it's impossible to live mindfully in the present? We'll have an opportunity to ask the expert at Living in an Age of Digital Attachment.

This conference is being supported by the Health Ministry Team at St. Andrew and funded by an ELCA Oregon Synod grant for health and wellness. For more information, please contact Diane Reiner at reinerd2009@gmail.com.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Confirmation class is up and running.  You know this because you hear my announcements in worship services.  Since we had some struggles finding a viable schedule, as I wrote a few months ago, I thought I should tell you we're meeting regularly and doing well. Classes happen most Sunday evenings, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

We're in the "Lutheran Heritage" section of the curriculum.  We've looked at the Lutheran Reformation, at some of the Protestant Reformers, at the Reformation heritage now, and at things that are essential for the church to be the church — as contrasted to those things that are non-essential. (Coffee: non-essential or sacramental?)  The students (all six of them) appear to be well engaged in the discussions we have about these things — or at least they're good at faking it!

This past Sunday we started looking at Luther's Small Catechism.  We made them a deal they couldn't refuse: this little text is free! But mandatory!  So, with joy  we opened the pages of this book that has graced the spiritual life of many generations of Lutherans.  This edition has all the parts Luther put into the original — not only the big three (Ten Commandments, Lord's Prayer, Apostles' Creed) and the two sacraments, but also prayers, confession & forgiveness, and a sharp-tongued indictment of bishops and pastors who have not taught God's people the basics of the Christian faith.  Good thing all our people now know these basics of the faith summarized in this Small Catechism.  Luther would have nothing to complain about if he examined our adult members on these things.  Right?

This past Sunday we had a great discussion that started while we talked about the Apostles' Creed.  The kids decided the Creed was essential, not optional.  (Opinion is divided about the Bible's status.)  We got into the doctrine of the Trinity.  One God, three persons.  Makes sense, doesn't it?  Well, no.  The kids got creative in proposing models to understand the Trinity: web site design, sports teams, family relationships, quantum physics.  Honestly, these are better discussions than those I had in my Confirmation classes!  Thank you for your steadfast support of SOV and its educational ministries that make it possible for the Church to pass on the faith of Reformers and Apostles to the next generation.

* * * * * * *

Lessons for October 18th
Genesis 3:1-10
2 Corinthians 5:11-17
Matthew 6:24-33

THIS WEEK

Wednesday  9:00 - 1:00 p KOK Preschool
                    9:30 a KOK Chapel
                   10:00 a Bible Study

Thursday     9:00 - 1:00 p KOK Preschool
                   5:45 p TTF Meeting
                   7:00 p Council Meeting
                   7:00 p SOV Choir rehearsal
                 
Friday         9:00 -12:00 p KOK Preschool
                  1:00 - 9:00 p Palmeter Piano Studio

Saturday    10:00 - 11:30 a SOV  Choir rehearsal
 
Sunday       8:30 & 11:00 a worship service
                   Scrip Sunday
                  10:00 a Adult Sunday School Climate change/Earths Oceans by Deb Mueller-Kruse
                  6:00 - 7:30 p Confirmation

KOK Christmas Greens Fundraiser
If you would like to support KOK and order your Christmas greens and centerpieces please do so by November 6th.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Autumn has come and brought its signs of the season.  Waning daylight hours, the sun swinging across the sky at a daily descending angle, cooling temperatures, falling leaves.  And kids back in school.  At SOV, that means KIDS OF THE KINGDOM are back on campus.  And I'm glad to see them.

I meet the 4s and 5s every Wednesday morning for chapel.  They're awesomely cute and a great joy to work with.  At 9:45 their teachers, Miss Hannah and Miss Cheryl, bring the kids upstairs to the sanctuary.  They're learning to walk in line with one another (useful to prepare for adulthood, yes?) and to sit still, cross-legged, on the floor.  Criss-cross applesauce!  I practice this, too.

I start by welcoming them and reciting their names.  Practice makes perfect – they love being called by name!  Then Miss Hannah leads us in a couple songs.  I help but she's the one who really knows the songs and actions to go with the words.  "Waiting on the Lord" is a big favorite because we get to do actions while we're "Waiting" – jumping for the Lord (or is it on the Lord?), stomping for the Lord, etc.  The latest fashion is "spinning for the Lord."  It takes us to dizzying heights of religious ecstasy.

Then I give a short Bible message.  So far, we've gone through both creation stories from Genesis.  (Did you know there are two?  If not, dig out that heirloom Bible and read Genesis, chapters 1-2!)  This week, we'll talk about Abraham and Sarah.  They had a baby when Sarah was really old, because God promised it.  And God keeps promises.  So do we, if we're God's people.  It's a good thing to teach Kids of the Kingdom!

We close with a song and a prayer.  Then the kids practice walking in line back to class.  I go with them and we say goodbye at the top of the stairs, they to their classroom and I to mine. (Wednesday morning Bible study, 10:00 a.m.)  It's a lovely way to start my day.

Kids of the Kingdom (a.k.a. KOK) has been a partner in ministry with SOV for many years.  The teachers do a really fine job with the kids.  I rarely see such patience and love in a church.  This small but mighty school deserves our good will and support.  They could do with a few more students.  If you have neighbors or friends whose kids need a good place to start their education, please get them in touch with KOK.  They'll be glad they did, and the angels in heaven will rejoice.  What more could you ask for?

* * * * * * *

Lessons for Sunday, October 11th
Second Sunday of Stewardship Month
Deuteronomy 8:11-18
2 Corinthians 9:6-12
Luke 24:36-53

THIS WEEK

Wednesday  10:00 a Bible Study
                    6:30 p Men's Night at Lil' Cooperstown (new night)

Thursday     7:00 - 8:30 p SOV Choir rehearsal
                    7:00 p LLL

Friday          1:00 - 9:00 p Palmeter Piano Studio
         
Saturday      10:00 - 11:30 a SOV Choir rehearsal

Sunday        8:30 & 11:00 a worship services
                   10:00 a  Adult Sunday School Deb Mueller-Kruse will discuss the emerging reality of Global Climate Changes

Music Librarian wanted
Please see Jon for more information

KOK Christmas Greens Fundraiser
Its time to pre-order your Christmas Greens. Order forms are available at the usher station. Orders are due the first week of November and will be available for pick up on November 21st

October is Kitchen Shower Month
please help restock SOV's pantry with basic household items; paper towels, toilet paper, dish soap, coffee creamers, coffee, napkins, trash bags, ziploc bags, coffee cups

Thursday, October 1, 2015

KOK Parent's Night-In

Kids of the Kingdom is hosting "Parent's Night-In"  
Thursday, October 1st from 6:30pm-7:30 
for any parents who are in the midst of raising toddlers and preschoolers. 

Do you have a toddler or preschool aged child? 

Do you feel isolated in the craziness of raising children? 

Certain behaviors or challenges that have you stumped on what to do? 

Come and gain support through growing friendships with other preschool parents and adding to your parenting knowledge with hot topics, and a questions and answer time with our director, Hannah Benedict who is also a certified PCI Parent Coach®. Childcare is provided.

Get your questions answered and RSVP today at kokpreschool@gmail.com


Hannah Benedict
Kids of the Kingdom Preschool

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Last week I wrote about the "Site Profile Survey" and about the Town Hall meeting on Sunday, October 4.  These things are so important that I'm writing about them again this week.  Tom Barnes did a good presentation at both worship services last Sunday inviting folks to attend the Town Hall meeting this Sunday after the single worship service (worship starting at 10:00 a.m.). Tom's explanation is worth repeating: the survey report you received is a place to start discussion.  More conversation is needed to clarify a few points that remain unclear.  Moreover, its important to discuss all the survey results.  Only face to face conversation in a community gathering can truly inform a group like the Transition Task Force about matters like what's needed and desired in a new pastor.  They need this conversation to do justice to SOV as they write the "Ministry Site Profile," which will, in effect, be SOV's résumé as it searches for a new pastor.  So I ask you and urge you to come to this meeting and speak your mind as part of the whole public conversation.

Transition Task Force members will be listening carefully to what everyone is saying.  They will listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking among, within, and through your voices.  What we're doing in this conversation is not only posing questions and getting answers.  More than that, this meeting is a place for wisdom and insight to emerge.  I have great faith that God is with us in these deliberations.  I have strong faith that the Holy Spirit will lead us to discover the kind of pastor SOV really wants and needs as God's people speak the truth with love in this public setting.  The TTF will bring a format to facilitate conversation, questions to kick off discussion, and some food to keep our energy up.  Your part: to bring yourselves, your ideas, and your hopes to share with one another.  With good faith, God will bless us in this conversation.

* * * * * * *

Lessons for October 4th
Genesis 1:26-31
Ephesians 4:4-13
Gospel John 1:6-14

THIS WEEK

Wednesday 10:00 a Bible Study with Pastor Brian

Thursday    5:45 p TTF meeting

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

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

Sunday      10:00 a One Worship (please note one service) followed by TTF town hall meeting
                  Scrip Sunday

October is Kitchen Shower Month
items needed to restock SOV's  pantry;
Regular coffee, Air Wick or Glade air fresheners & spray, Toilet paper, Dawn liquid dish washing soap, Liquid hand soap, Qt./Gal. zip-lock bags, 16-32 oz. liquid coffee creamer, Vanity Fair napkins – lunch size, Crystal Light dry juice mixes, Cocktail napkins – any brand, Spray kitchen counter cleaners, Tall & medium plastic Kitchen trash bags, Paper Towels, Windex glass type cleaner, 8 oz. or 10 oz. paper coffee cups (no Styrofoam please)

KOK Christmas Greens Fundraiser: It's hard to believe but Christmas is right around the corner! Partner with Kids of the Kingdom and order your Christmas wreaths and centerpieces during our Christmas Greens Fundraiser. Order Forms will be available this Sunday at church and online. All orders are due the 1st week of November and will be delivered the weekend of the 21 of November.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Town Hall Meeting October 4, 2015

We will be having a Town Hall meeting on October 4th to review the results of the Ministry Site Profile Congregational Survey. A copy of the presentation we will make at that meeting has been emailed to the congregation; if you need a copy, please contact secretary Tammy.  We are sending this out in advance of the October 4th meeting so that you will have an opportunity to review the results and come prepared to participate in lively discussion!
 
Thanks,
 
Your Transition Task Force Committee

Pastor's Wednesday Message

We did a couple surveys at SOV over the summer.  In June we took the Congregational Vitality Survey.  Pastor Mike Keys did presentation on the results of that survey on August 2.  It was well received.  The Council is now following up by planning a workshop with Pastor Keys on October 25.

That survey was part of a study being conducted by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), which is the national church body to which SOV belongs.  But we did our own survey about a month after that first one. This second survey is called the "SOV Site Profile Survey." You'll be getting a report about that second survey soon, so let me refresh your memory about why we're doing this.

In the "Site Profile Survey," the Transition Task Force (TTF) took some questions out of the "Ministry Site Profile," which is a standard ELCA form we will complete as part of the Call Process.  The MSP, once completed, will tell synod officials and prospective pastors a lot about SOV.  You might consider it SOV's résumé.  The questions we asked in the "Site Profile Survey" have to do with the skills, tasks, and characteristics SOV believes it needs in its new pastor.  Your answers to these questions are very helpful in guiding the TTF as it completes those sections of the MSP.

This week, you should receive the TTF's report about those survey results.  Most of you will get it by email; some by surface mail.  Either way, I ask you to read the report and give it careful thought as you prepare for the Town Hall meeting to be held on October 4.  At that Town Hall meeting we will have a public congregational discussion about the skills, tasks, and characteristics that you believe SOV needs in its new pastor.  You will be informed both by your own opinions and by the opinions of other SOV folks as they're reflected in the survey report.  You'll also see some questions included in the TTF's report to help you focus on a few areas where the survey results are a little hard to understand.  Through conversation together, we trust that understanding will emerge. 

These questions are important, so our congregational discussion about them is important.  I urge you to attend the Town Hall meeting on October 4.  The answers we give to these questions about what's desired in our new pastor will have a big influence in the process of interviewing and choosing the next pastor.  So please join in this important process of congregational discussion and discernment. 

On October 4, we'll have only one worship service, beginning at 10:00 a.m. We hope to start the Town Hall meeting before 11:30 a.m. and be done by 1:00 p.m., though we will go later if the conversation needs to go longer.  May God bless us in this important work.

* * * * * * *

Lessons for Sunday, September 27th
Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29
James 5:13-20
Mark 9:38-50

THIS WEEK

Wednesday  10:00 a Bible Study with Pastor Brian
                    7:00 - 8:30 pm SOV Choir rehearsal

Thursday     12:00 pm All Church Luncheon
                    5:45 pm TTF meeting

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

Saturday      10:00 - 11:30 am SOV Choir rehearsal

Sunday         8:30 & 11:00 a worship

October is Kitchen Shower Month
Fellowship and property management are in need of items to stock their pantries: paper towels; kitchen rolls and bathroom dispenser towels, toilet paper, vanity fair napkins   - lunch size, air wick or Glade air fresheners and sprays, Dawn liquid dish washing soap, 16-32 oz liquid coffee creamers, crystal light dry juice mixes, regular coffee, glad Ziploc bags, quart and gallon size

Looking ahead

Ladies Dinner
Tuesday, October 6th
6:00 pm
Copper River Restaurant

Men's Night
(new night during football season)
Wednesday, October 7th
6:30 pm
Lil' Cooperstown

October Scrip Sunday's
October 4th
October 18th

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

SOV All Church Luncheon

Thursday, September 24, Noon to 1:30 PM
SOV All Member Monthly Luncheon  
 
SOV Friends and Family are welcome!
Fall is here and it's time to add some soup to our member luncheon.
Come and share some conversation, time together and lunch with friends at SOV.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Saying goodbye is important.  If someone we love dies, that loss is easier if we've had a chance to say goodbye.  Whenever relationships end or change significantly, it's important for us to say goodbye well, to put closure on the relationship, to let go, to place our hearts and futures in God's hands.

That's what God calls us to do now in our relationship with Jameson, SOV's departing Director of Music, and his spouse Jenna.  These two people have been vitally important members of this congregation.  They have given generously of themselves, of their talent, of their love.  We have been blessed.  Now it's time to say goodbye, to let go, to place them in God's hands and bless them on their way.

This Sunday, September 20, we'll have the chance we need to say goodbye in good style.  We'll have a single worship service beginning at 10 a.m.  Near the end of the service, we'll do a "Farewell and Godspeed" ritual.  After the service, we'll have a party.  We'll celebrate Jameson and Jenna and give thanks for all the ways they've blessed SOV.  It's sad to say goodbye, but good for us to do so.

I encourage you to attend worship this Sunday and come to the party.  As we bid farewell to Jameson and Jenna, and we'll also welcome Jon Quesenberry, our Interim Director of Music.  By marking this transition with joy (and some tears), we strengthen our church and prepare ourselves in a healthy way for other transitions soon to come when a new pastor is welcomed sometime next year.

So please come to worship and to party this Sunday.  You'll bless your church, support Jameson and Jenna, and welcome the good future God is bringing to SOV.

* * * * * * *

Lessons for September 20th
Jeremiah 11:18-20
Psalm 1
James 3:13-18, 4:7-8
Mark 9:30-37

THIS WEEK

Wednesday   9:00 - 1:00 p KOK Preschool
                    10:00 a Bible Study with Pastor Brian
                     7:00 - 8:30 p SOV Choir rehearsal

Thursday     9:00 - 1:00 p KOK Preschool
                   10:00 a LLL
                    7:00 p Council Meeting

Friday          9:00 - 12:00 KOK Preschool
                   1:00 - 9:00 p Palmeter Piano Studio

Saturday      10:00 - 11:30 a SOV Choir rehearsal
                    12:00 - 3:00 p  The Tabor Studio rehearsal
                    7:00 p The Tabor Studio Concert

Sunday        10:00 a One Worship
                    11:15 a Celebration of Service for Jameson Tabor and Welcoming Jon Quesenberry
                    Scrip Sunday

September 20th is Name Tag Sunday.  Please look for the table in the narthex with boxes of name tags.  Someone will be staffing the table to help you find yours.  You can return your name tag to boxes on the table after the service.

Sunday, September 20th is SCRIP Sunday.
Columbia Sportswear Employee Store Passes are back – Good Thru 9/30/15
For every $50 card purchased you will get 1 pass.

October Newsletter articles are due September 24th.

Worship music request                                                                                              
As we constantly look to create a passionate and meaningful worship atmosphere in our services at SOV, the Director of Music would like to invite you all to send your favorite church songs to music@sovlutheran.com.

ALL CHURCH LUNCHEON
Thursday, September 24th
12:00 pm
All are invited for lunch and fellowship!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

You're invited to a Celebration

Celebrating Jameson! Welcoming Jon!
Sunday, September 20!  11 AM!

               
Our SOV "send off" and appreciation party for Jameson and Jenna will be after our 1 service at 10 AM on September 20. The salad and finger food pot luck will start at 11:15 AM.  Desert and beverages will be provided.
 
As a tribute to Jameson we are putting together a surprise slide show of the 23+ years Jameson has been part of our SOV family. If you have any photo's, stories or antidotes that you can share please give them to Tammy McDonald, Jacob Tabor or Diane Lewis.  
Part of our party will include a special SOV style welcome to Jon Quesenberry as our interim music director. We appreciate Jameson bringing Jon to our music team!  Jon is a man of many talents!
 
Shepherd of the Valley has been very blessed with Jameson's leadership, energy, talent, vision and sharing his love of God through music.  In recognition of his contributions, your council is planning an appreciation gift for Jameson and Jenna.  If you would like to donate to this gift, please put your donation into the offering plate with the appropriate notation or it can be sent to or left at the church office by September 19.
 
If you have ideas or questions regarding the party please contact Diane L. or anyone else on the Fellowship team. (Peggy, Ginny, Dee, Sharon or Amber)
 
Let's come together as a family of Christ to say, "Go in Faith Jameson and Jenna! Thank you for serving the Lord at Shepherd of the Valley!"

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Rally Sunday is coming up fast, September 13.  We're kicking off a new cycle of church life. The Spirit of change is in the air.  We will be registering Sunday School students.  We'll do a pancake breakfast between the two services.  (Remember we go back to our regular schedule — 8:30 & 11:00 services.)  Rachael Snow is the chair of Parish Education.  She's been working hard on organizing our educational programs, taking only a little time off to have a new baby — Cosima — who was introduced at the late service last Sunday.  Thank you to Rachael for all her hard work on Christian education at SOV.

Rally Sunday will also bring the last worship services for Jameson as our Director of Music.  Jameson has done some fine work leading SOV's choir and band.  Jameson will still be with us on September 20, when we'll be throwing a farewell party for him.  But he'll just be "sitting in" with the band that day, since Jon Quesenberry already will have taken on the office of the Interim Director of Music.  So please come on September 13 to worship and to show support for Jameson's ministry at SOV.  And don't forget the "Glorious!" concert on Saturday September 12 at SOV, 7:00 p.m.  It's a great opportunity to hear Jameson, the band, and the choir praise God to high heaven and all the Earth!

Speaking of Jameson's farewell party, there will be only one worship service on September 20, at 10:00 a.m.  It's good to have us all together that day so we can worship as one and then move directly into a meal and farewell celebration for Jameson and his spouse, Jenna.  It will be a special day and I hope you'll make a special effort to join the SOV community then.

Amid all these changes, God is still here.  God is faithful to us, faithful to holy promises of steadfast love, faithful to the mission Jesus proclaimed, to bring God's reign from heaven to earth to stay.  We can adapt to change because is God is faithful.  And that's a really good thing to rally 'round!

* * * * * * *
Lessons for Sunday, September 13th
Proverbs 1:20-33
Psalm 19
Mark 8:27-38

THIS WEEK

Wednesday 10:00 a Bible Study with Pastor Brian
                   7:00 - 8:30 p SOV Choir rehearsal

Thursday    7:00 p LLL

Friday         1:00 - 9:00 p Palmeter Piano Studio
                   6:00 - 8:00 p SOV Choir rehearsal

Saturday     10:00 - 11:30 a SOV Choir rehearsal
                   7:00 p  "GLORIOUS" concert

Sunday       Fall Worship Schedule begins
                   8:30 & 11:00 am

Transition Task Force — Revised Timeline
 by Pastor Brian


As I wrote in my newsletter article for September, the TTF has had to revise its timeline. Here's the latest version. God willing, it will all work out this way!

October 4    Town Hall meeting to talk about the skills, talents, character needed in the new pastor. By September 23, the congregation should have received information about these things from the TTF. Discussion from this Town Hall meeting will be taken into account as the TTF writes the Ministry Site Profile.

October 29  TTF presents first draft of the MSP to Council (special meeting) so Council can review and comment.

November 8  Town Hall meeting to present revised draft of MSP to congregation for review and comment.  TTF will again revise the MSP based on discussion at this Town Hall meeting.

November 19  TTF presents the second draft of the MSP to Council for approval. No further revision of MSP unless Council asks TTF to do so.

November 25  TTF electronically submits MSP to ELCA & Oregon Synod.

December 10  TTF meets with Pastor Susan Kintner, Assistant to Bishop of the Oregon Synod, to review MSP and get it approved.

December 13  Pastor Kintner preaches at SOV (both services) to ritually receive the MSP and to encourage SOV as it enters the second phase of transition — getting names of clergy  candidates, carrying out interviews, making decisions.

Please Note!
Sunday, September 20th
One Service at 10:00 am
followed by a celebration potluck (please bring a finger food and/or a salad to share)
We will be celebrating Jameson's service to SOV as Director of Music as well as welcoming Jon who will serve as interim Music Director.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Sunday reminder

One service: 
Sunday, September 6th 
10:00 am

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

I'm back from vacation. Folks have asked how was it, and where did you go?  Answers: It was good!  I got some much needed R&R. Thank you for granting me time off.  Where?  Mostly we stayed home and did minor house fix-up projects.  But we did enjoy a couple days at Cape Meares. Therein hangs my tale.

We stayed in a friend's log cabin on a low hill surrounded by tall trees.  It's a four block walk to the beach.  Weather was perfect: sunny skies, daytime temps in the low 70s.  Beauty everywhere.  We walked the long beach, forded shallow channels of water streaming from the rising tide across the sand, breathed in deep the ocean's salty breeze.  We wondered at the layers of sedimentary rock skewing skyward toward the towering headland at the south end of the beach.  Soaring birds, shining breakers, endless surf.  Fog rolls in.  We head back to the cabin where we eat ripe blackberries with gratitude to the God who is kind enough to offer sweet fruit among the thorns.  One can't help but see traces of the Creator when the natural world not made by human craft is so immediately present.

We saw another face of creation when we went into Tillamook for lunch.  Walking back to our car, we passed an old woman in a wheelchair accompanied by a young girl, who I'm guessing was her great grand-daughter.  They were obviously poor; the woman clearly not in good health.  They were trying to figure out if between them they could scrape together enough cash to get an ice cream cone.  They almost had enough, they thought.

Jill, my spouse, opened open her heart and her wallet; she found a five dollar bill and gave it to this elderly woman.  Jill said, "Please use this to get some ice cream for both of you."  The woman's response: "O bless you!  You're my angel! I'm so grateful for your kindness!"  In Jill's compassion, I saw the Redeemer who hears the cry of creation suffering and responds to mend the broken-hearted.

So, our vacation was graced with spiritual experiences.  And that is the gift of the Holy Spirit.  When we recognize the Creator's presence in the splendor of creation, that is the work of the Spirit.  When we recognize the Lord Jesus acting in our works of compassion, that is the power of the Spirit.  These things make a vacation truly good.  May you have such good vacations, too!

* * * * * * *
Lessons for September 6th
Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23
James 2:1-10, 14-17
Luke 6:17-31

THIS WEEK

Wednesday  10:00 am Bible Study with Pastor Brian
                    7:00 - 8:30 pm  SOV choir rehearsal

Thursday      5:45 pm TTF Meeting
                     6:30 pm Mens Night at Lil Cooperstown

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

Saturday      10:00 - 11:30 am SOV choir rehearsal

Sunday        10:00 am One Service

Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!

Scrip order this Sunday
September 6th
(you can leave your order at the church anytime now through Sunday)

Saturday, September 12th
Glorious Concert
7:00 pm

Sunday, September 13th Rally Sunday
Fall worship schedule begins
Worship at 8:30 & 11:00 am
pancake breakfast at 9:45 am

Please note;
Sunday, September 29th
One Service at 10:00 am
followed by a celebration farewell to Jameson and Jenna and
Welcoming Jon Quesenberry as SOV's interim Director of Music
Please bring your favorite potluck finger food and/or salad to share.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Please join us for... Ladies Dinner and Men's night

Just a reminder

Ladies Dinner
Tuesday, September 1st
Bugattis at Tanasbourne
2364 NW Amberbrook Dr
Please RSVP to secretary Tammy

Men's Night
Thursday, September 3rd
Lil' Cooperstown
2947 SE 73rd Ave Hillsboro
Just show up!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Reminder

Please join us...

All Church Luncheon (salad luncheon)
Thursday, August 27th
12:00 pm

All are invited!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

By now you know that Jameson, SOV's Director of Music, will be departing in September.  He's going to follow his dreams to the music scene in southern California and there build a career.  May he find much success and satisfaction!  As I said when we acknowledged this news at worship last Sunday, Jameson and Jenna are both very much appreciated at SOV, and will be dearly missed.  Like many others, I am happy for them.  This seems like the right move for them at the right time.  But I'm sad that these two good and talented people will no longer be with us on Sunday mornings or at other gatherings.  Seems like God gives us joy only with a complementary measure of sadness.

During these months that I've been at SOV, since April 2014, I've developed an increasingly close relationship with Jameson as we've worked together planning worship.  I very much appreciate both his considerable talent and his genuine passion for Shepherd's well-being.  I can't help but smile at Jameson's irrepressible enthusiasm as he's leading the band and choir.  May his energy and talent and caring heart serve him well as he develops his musical craft and takes it to the next level.

Even as we say goodbye to Jameson, we will welcome Jon Quesenberry who has agreed to serve as SOV's Interim Director of Music.  Jon accompanied SOV in its Easter worship this year and has filled in a few times for vacations.  Like his friend Jameson, Jon brings talent with keyboards, choral directing, and leading the band.  He sings well, too.  I recently met with Jon to talk about the ministry of music at SOV.  I feel confident that with my partnership and guidance, Jon will do very well indeed as he becomes accustomed to Lutheran worship traditions and how those traditions are expressed in worship at SOV.  Jon will be working with Jameson and the SOV band over the next few weeks during Sunday worship as he prepares to take on the Interim Director of Music position.  I hope you will join me in making him feel welcome at Shepherd.

May God bless Jameson and Jenna as they prepare to move to a new place and undertake new adventures.  And may God bless us as we adjust to the ongoing changes God is bringing to SOV, remembering, as the Apostle wrote, that God's power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine.

* * * * * * *
Lessons for August 23rd
Ephesians 6:10-20
Psalm 34:15-22
John 6:56-69

THIS WEEK

Wednesday  10:00 a   Bible study with Pastor Brian
                    7:00 - 7:30 p   SOV Choir rehearsal

Thursday     10:00 a  LLL

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

Saturday      10:00 - 11:30 a  SOV choir rehearsal

Register now for Sunday School
Instructions (at bottom of post): http://now.sovlutheran.com/2015/08/pastors-wednesday-message_12.html

Save the Date
September 12th, 7:00 pm
SOV Choir presents "Glorious"
Fall Concert featuring Contemporary Christian, Rock and Gospel songs 

Washington state wildfires burn near Holden Village

Dear Friends, many of us at SOV have spent time at Holden Village.  So I thought you'd want to see this news release about wildfires that threaten this important Lutheran retreat center.  Please keep Holden and its staff in your prayers.
Pastor Brian 

ELCA News
Aug. 19, 2015
Washington state wildfires burn near Holden Village
The Wolverine fire in northeastern Washington state continues to burn near Holden Village, an outdoor ministry related to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The community, established more than 50 years ago, is located in a former mining town in the North Cascade Mountains above Lake Chelan.
Firefighters have managed to keep the fires from spreading into Holden Village by creating back-burns—controlled fires that are set to burn in the opposite direction in order to stop the advancing fire.
Chuck Hoffman and Peg Carlson-Hoffman are the co-executive directors of Holden Village. In an Aug. 17 blog post, Chuck Hoffman described the efforts of two hotshot crews brought in to fight the fires.
"Back-burns here are almost complete, and we maintain hope that they will hold the fire as it burns its way around the village, keeping Holden safe. The hotshot crews feel good about the work being done, but by its nature, fire is unpredictable. So we continue to wait and be vigilant in our tending to the village," Hoffman wrote.
On Aug. 1 about 360 people were evacuated from Holden Village, including villagers and mine remediation workers. Since 2013, the village has housed up to 290 contractors involved in mine cleanup work during the summer months.
Hoffman remains in Holden Village with four staff members, while Carlson-Hoffman and about 20 others are staying at Celebration Lutheran Church, an ELCA congregation in East Wenatchee, Wash. Members of Lake Chelan Lutheran Church in Chelan, another ELCA congregation, also cared for Holden Village evacuees until they were evacuated when the fires spread into Chelan.
"Here in the village, the group has grown close, trusting and knowing that we are linked to one another," wrote Hoffman in his blog post. "Peg and I feel the same link with our evacuees in Chelan and with villagers across the world. We feel honored to serve as your director team and are grateful for your love and support. Together we will find our way through this time of challenge and celebrate what is yet to unfold in the life and ministry of Holden Village."
The Wolverine fire has consumed about 40,000 acres in northeast Washington and, as of Aug. 17, about 30 percent of the wildfire had been contained. A total of 23 fires are burning throughout the state, destroying at least 32 homes. Thousands have been evacuated and more than 40 homes and businesses have yet to be accounted for. Wildfires are also burning in California, Idaho and Oregon.
"We have been grateful for all the prayers from around the world and inspired by the way our faith community has supported us with prayer," Hoffman said in an email exchange. "The good news is that the early flowers that come after a fire are already present. A visible sign of renewal ... it is a privilege to witness God's creation in this way."

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America | 8765 West Higgins Road | Chicago, IL 60631

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Council meeting date change

The Council Meeting has been changed to Thursday, August 27th at 7:00 pm.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Good things are happening with youth ministry at SOV.  A couple Sundays ago, between the two worship services, we had a fine presentation by Youth Group members who went to the ELCA National Youth Gathering in Detroit.  The kids' photos and stories shared their experience quite effectively with a loving congregation who have given them a lot of prayer and financial support.  Thank you to the Youth Group and to leaders Stacey & Caitlin for committing themselves to this adventure!

That same day, late in the afternoon, I gathered with the Confirmation group.  We've begun doing a unit on Lutheran heritage (the Reformation and Luther's Small Catechism).  Our lesson that day was about how reformation happens – not just historically in Luther's Germany, but in any community or institution.  Our project was to think about making reformation happen in some place or organization familiar to the students.  So I asked them to tell me what a reformation at SOV would look like.

They responded magnificently.  I won't share details here about their plan to reform SOV.  But I have shared my notes on that conversation with the TTF and some other congregational leaders.  I think it's likely the Church Council will get a chance soon to consider some of the reform initiatives the kids are proposing.  I can't predict if, or how, these things will be implemented.  But I'm impressed with the thoughtfulness and genuine passion the Confirmation students brought to the project.  There's some good spiritual energy being contributed to SOV by its Confirmation students! And today I talked with Stacey, who (with Caitlin) led the Youth Group's Detroit trip.  She told me about her passion for doing youth ministry at SOV.  It would be premature for me to share details of our talk. But as I listened to her vision for youth ministry, I found myself filled with happiness and gratitude.  I think she's headed on the right path for building up youth ministry at SOV.  I look forward to working with her and the Youth Group to help them grow together.

My message today is just a brief news report to tell you there's a ferment starting up with youth ministry and youth group leaders.  More partners will be needed.  If someone asks you to join with them in helping youth ministry to happen in this 2015-2016 cycle, I hope you will prayerfully consider their request — and then say "Yes!"

* * * * * * *

Lessons for Sunday, August 16th
Proverbs 9:1-6
Psalm 34:9-14
John 6:51-58

THIS WEEK

Wednesday    10:00 am Bible Study with Pastor Brian
                       7:00 - 8:30 pm SOV Choir Rehearsal

Thursday       7:00 pm LLL

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

Saturday      10:00 - 11:30 am SOV Choir rehearsal

Kids of the Kingdom is now enrolling for Fall 2015
This year we will be offering classes for children ages 2 through Pre-Kindergarten. Pre-Kindergarten Class that will meet Monday-Thursday from 9:00 am-1:00 pm and be taught by our new teacher, Cheryl Taylor. The 4-Year-Old Preschool class will meet Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00 am-12:00 pm. The 3-Year-Old Preschool class will meet Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 am-11:30 am. Our three and four-year old classes will be taught by Hannah Benedict who is also serving the school this year as the director. Once a week, our 2-Year-Old Parent-Child Program will meet for 75 minutes of parent/child play and learning. The day and time for this class will be decided in September.

The ministry of Kids of the Kingdom is to love and teach young children and minister to their families.

If you have a heart for young children and their families, then we have a place for you. We are in need of volunteers to help weekday mornings during the school year.

For more information, please contact Hannah Benedict at kokpreschool@gmail.com or call the school 503-645-0236.

Register Now for Sunday School
Request access
1. Go to Sparkhouse Online at http://sundayschool.sparkhouseonline.org.
2. Under "New User," enter your Church ID: SOVKids
3. Complete the rest of the requested information and click "Submit."
4. You will receive a confirmation e-mail when your request is approved.
Log in
1. After you receive the confirmation e-mail, return to Sparkhouse Online.
2. Enter your e-mail address and password under "Returning User." Click "Log In."
Edit your profile and add family members
1. After you log in for the first time, click on your name in the upper right corner of the screen.
2. On the form that displays next, update your profile information and change your   password as needed. Click "Save" when you are done.
3. To add a child to your profile, click "Add a Child Family Member," near the bottom of the form. Complete the requested information and click "Save."

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Last Sunday we had a Town Hall meeting about the Congregational Vitality Survey carried out in June.  Pastor Mike Keys did a presentation and interpreted the findings.  Pastor Keys is the Director of Evangelical Mission for the Oregon Synod, of which SOV is a part.

It was a good meeting.  Good presentation, good questions, good conversation.  While I don't want to go into detail about Pastor Keys' presentation, I do want to mention a few points.  First, we've got significant strengths: lively energy, a much appreciated music program, and high commitment.  Second, we've got some challenges: we could do a better job managing disagreements and would benefit from increasing attention to spiritual growth.

Now, the question is what we do with the report and the discussion at the Town Hall meeting.  There is no ready-made answer; we've got to make it up ourselves.  I don't mean we should have another Town Hall meeting to talk about this.  But it's important that we engage one another in conversation about the survey findings.

I suggest you talk with your friends and tell each other what you found of interest.  Ask each other if the information we got on Sunday should lead to further action.  If so, what, and how soon?  Share your thoughts with someone else so the conversation continues.  Then I suggest you engage either Transition Task Force members and/or Council members in conversation about your ideas.  Ask them to bring your ideas into deliberations as they write reports to support the call process (TTF) and make decisions about further actions to benefit the congregation (Council).

The TTF will be talking about Pastor Keys' presentation and the ensuing discussion at our meeting tomorrow night.  I'm pretty sure the Executive Committee will be discussing it at their meeting on August 12.  It's likely that Council will discuss it, too, at its monthly meeting on August 20.  It is important that you let the TTF and the Council know your thinking about the Vitality Survey report.  The more they hear from you, the better prepared SOV will be to call a new pastor who will be a good fit to help this congregation live well as God's people.

* * * * * * *

Lessons for Sunday, August 9th
1 Kings 19:4-8
Psalms 34:1-8
John 6:35, 41-51

THIS WEEK

Wednesday  10:00 a Bible Study with Pastor Brian

Thursday     5:45 pm TTF Meeting
                    6:30 pm Men's Night at Cruise In Country Diner

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

Saturday     10:00 - 11:30 am Choir rehearsal
                    12:00 - 1:00 pm The Tabor Studio

Volunteer opportunities — We need each member to commit their  time, talent and gifts to SOV. It is what sustains us to continue doing God's work here at Shepherd. Please consider volunteering for what your family and work commitments allows you to do comfortably.  There are sign up sheets located in the Narthex or talk to a council member to learn more.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Maybe you remember the old "Family Feud" TV game show. Two families compete to name the most popular responses to survey questions from various national polls.  The host poses a question; family members respond with their best guess. Then the host announces the actual answer with the words:

"Survey says…".

What do you think are the top priorities for the tasks and skills in a new pastor for SOV?  We just got done taking a survey to measure your responses to such questions.  I'm not sure what your actual answers were, but if I were competing on a game show I'd guess "youth and family ministry" is somewhere near the top. This Sunday you'll have a chance to see our youth ministry in action.  The teens we sent to the ELCA National Youth Gathering in Detroit are making a presentation between the two worship services.  It will start at 9:45 a.m. and wrap up before the 10:30 worship service.  If youth and family ministry is a priority for you, then you should attend this youth group presentation.  They'll have some great stories to tell and I'm sure they'll be very grateful for your presence and support.I had a chance to talk with one of the teens last Sunday.  The stories I heard about the Youth Gathering were impressive.  I felt moved by the passion and conviction this person put into those stories.  It's often said "the youth are the future of the church."  Actually, youth are also the present of the church.  They have voices, opinions, aspirations they'd like you to hear.  And act on.  With them.  Will you listen to what they have to say? You don't have to guess what sort of experience our Youth Group members had at the national gathering in Detroit.  Come to the presentation on August 2 to hear their stories about what they did and what it meant for them.  Then, let's think about how we can work as partners together with our youth to do God's work with our hands.

* * * * * * *

THIS WEEK

Wednesday  10:00 am   Bible study

Thursday     12:00 pm  All Church Luncheon (summer salads)

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

Saturday     10:00 - 11:30 am  SOV Choir rehearsal
                   12:00 - 1:30 pm   The Tabor Studio
                    Painting KOK, if you would like to help please contact Peggy V, or arrive at 11:30

Sunday        8:30 & 11:00 am Worship
                    9:45 am Youth Group presentation on ELCA Youth Gathering in Detroit
                    12:00 pm  Mike Keys will share with SOV our recent Vitality Survey results, Survey Says...

ALL CHURCH LUNCHEON
"Americana Theme", wear your Red, White and Blue
Mert would like to attend the luncheon this Thursday, July 30th  if someone is available to provide transportation please be in touch with her.

YOU'RE INVITED
Youth Group will be presenting a slide show and short presentation on their recent trip to Detroit to the ELCA Youth Gathering
Please join us this Sunday, August 2 at 9:45 am

Town Hall Meeting — Vitality Survey
Sunday August 2, 12:00 noon
We got the report on the Congregational Vitality Survey we took in June.  Pastor Mike Keys of the Oregon Synod staff will join us on August 2 to help us understand the results and learn how they can help us energize SOV for mission.  Pastor Keys, the synod's Director for Evangelical Mission, has helped over 40 congregations use this survey.  His presentation will start around noon and last for about 50 minutes.  Q&A will follow.  The event will wrap up before 1:30 p.m.  Sandwiches and beverages will be provided by the Transition Task Force, which is sponsoring this event.  Please attend — your presence and partnership are important.

Have you noticed the church grounds?
pruning, weeding and new bark chips have been transforming our church grounds. This has been accomplished by volunteers and donations. If you would like to donate the cost of bark chips or provide bark chips and/or spread bark chips please respond to this email or be in touch with Peggy. We would love to complete the landscaping improvement/cleanup project this summer. Thank you to all those who have given of their time and donations.

Scrip Sunday
August 2nd