Happening Now Blog

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Returning from a restful vacation, I'm glad to be back at SOV and ready to head toward Christmas.  We've got three things coming up this week that I feel excited about so I want to bring them to your attention.

Tonight: the first of our Wednesday evening Advent soup supper gatherings.  On Monday, I sent out a reflection piece by Henri Nouwen that we'll discuss after supper.  These enjoyable Wednesday evening gatherings build church community.  Please come and savor the good food and good company.  Nouwen's piece is about waiting — a key theme of Advent.  I can hardly wait to begin the discussion!

Sunday: the baptism of Kinsley Kay, daughter of Solveig and grand-child of Linda and Dave, folks well-known to the SOV community.  Holy Baptism is a blessing and a welcome into the embrace of God's people.  We thank God for Kinsley and her family.  Please come to take part in the rite at the late service.  When you welcome Kinsley to SOV, you express God's welcome to her.  Here's a lovely and wholesome way to play God and determine someone's ultimate destiny!

Also Sunday: for Adult Education Mr. Joey Jenkins will speak about his organization, Ncompass, which helps at-risk children in Haiti.  Ncompass works with many partners to support the Maranatha House Orphanage.  It also works to offer mentoring and transitional services so kids can grow up into well functioning adults.  Joey has a compelling personal story to tell of how and why Ncompass was formed.  If his story of Ncompass touches your heart, you'll also want to learn about ways to support its work through prayer, volunteering, or financial donations.

We gather as God's people to thank God and to help each other do good things.  And these are good things.  Thanks be to God that we've been given the opportunity to receive such blessings.

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Lessons for Sunday, December 4th
Isaiah 11:1-10
Romans 15:4-13
Matthew 3:1-12

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 - 7:00 p Advent Devotion

Thursday    9:00 - 1:00 p KOK preschool

Friday        9:00 - 12:00 p KOK preschool

Saturday    9:30 - 11:30 a SOV Choir rehearsal

Sunday       8:30 & 11:00 am worship services Second Sunday of Advent
                   1:00 p Confirmation Class
                   1:30 p OEC

KOK Preschool Playground and SOV Youth Group Fundraiser at Chevys Fresh Mex
Today, November 30th
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Flyer must be present with payment: https://www.sovlutheran.com/kok/files/chevys2016.pdf

Reminder:
Toy Angel gift donations are due THIS SUNDAY the 4th! Many thanks from Social Concerns and Youth Group!

Scrip Order Sunday

December 4th
Gift cards make great stocking stuffers, hostess gifts, co worker appreciation gifts, and use them to buy your holiday food items or gifts. Columbia Sportswear Employee Passes will now come with every $50 scrip card purchased. Good for up to 5 people to get in to the store, AND can be used to purchase items online at the employee prices. Good for other Columbia brands as well: Sorel, Mountain Hardwear, Prana and Montrail. Passes are good thru January 16th, 2017 and make a great addition to the Columbia cards as a gift.

Ladies Annual Christmas Dinner
Tuesday,  December 6th
5:00 pm** (note the earlier time)
Old Spaghetti Factory/Tanasbourne
Please RSVP to Tammy

It's that time of year again!  SOV Christmas Caroling Party!
We will be meeting at the church on Sunday evening, December 18, at 5:15 PM.  Our caroling party is for all ages and everyone's invited to wear their Christmas sweaters, Santa hats, jingle bells, antlers or elf hats. We will carpool to several retirement homes and return to the church for chili, cornbread and hot cider. Song sheets will be provided! All we need is you! Feel free to contact Diane Lewis or Corrine Gilbertson.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Pastor's Wednesday Message

I'm on vacation this week so I won't see you next Sunday, November 27.  Pastor Chuck Hunt will be preaching and leading worship instead.  People I trust tell me he's a good preacher; he says he's a story teller.  So please listen to his stories and let me know if you like them.

If you have an urgent need for pastoral care this week, please contact me.  I'm staying at home so will be available if needed.  You can email me at my usual address, or call me at the numbers listed in the bulletin.  Home number is usually best.

May you and your loved ones have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving Day celebration!

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Lessons for November 27th, First Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 2:1-5
Second Lesson Romans 13:11-14
Gospel Matthew 24:36-44

THIS WEEK

Wednesday    No Bible Study

Thursday      Happy Thanksgiving
                     offices are closed

Friday          Offices closed

Saturday     9:30 - 11:30 a SOV Choir rehearsal

Sunday        8:30 & 11:00 a Worship Services
                   No Sunday School
                   No Confirmation Class

Looking for a fresh Christmas Tree?
Take a visit to the Zetterberg Tree Farm

Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church Christmas Tree Fundraiser
What: Uncultured Noble Fir (All Sizes!)
Price: Free Will Offering ( All Proceeds to Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church )
How: U-Pick, U-Cut ( A hand saw can be provided or bring your own chain saw! )
Where: LaZe Acres Farm 25180 S.W. Labrousse Road Sherwood, Oregon 97410
Directions: Head South on Highway 99 West from Sherwood toward Newberg. Turn Left to Brookman Road. Stay on Brookman Road until the Stop sign at Middleton Road then turn Right. Take the next Left at Labrousse Road and keep going until you cross the bridge at the bottom of the hill. Turn in at the 2nd driveway on your Left and Park in the turnaround by the Big Red Barn!
Who to contact before coming:
Craig Zetterberg (503-936-4448) or Julie Zetterberg (503-936-4582)

KOK and SOV Youth Group Fundraiser Night
Wednesday, November 30th
Chevys Fresh Mex
1951 NW 185th Ave
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
You must present flyer: http://sovlutheran.com/kok/files/chevys2016.pdf

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Support KOK and the SOV playground!

Mark your calendars and print the required flyer (PDF)!

Chevys Fresh Mex
185th & Cornell Rd

11:00am - 10:00pm
Wednesday, November 30

SOV/KOK will receive 20% of total food sales when the flyer is presented this day.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Last Sunday Bill Russell of the Union Gospel Mission gave us a great presentation at Adult Ed.  He spoke about the crisis of homelessness in the greater Portland area and shared some engaging stories about the excellent work UGM does in helping people turn their lives around after they've just about hit bottom.  Folks who attended (30 or so) were totally engaged listening to Bill's message.

Afterwards, some of them came to me and said, "There's a lot of energy around this today.  Can we gather a group to talk about organizing support for UGM's work at Shepherd?"  Yes, we can.

So I'm announcing here that we'll have a forum next Sunday between services to talk about UGM.  We'll discuss Bill's message, hear what folks have to say about UGM's work, and brainstorm about how Shepherd might assist UGM.  UGM serves the homeless, hungry, and hurting in Portland, Beaverton, and Tigard.  It's worthy of support.  We just have to decide how we want to proceed, and then do it.

We'll start at 10:00 and wrap up at 10:45 a.m.  Jesus will be there; you might get a chance to talk with him if you come and join the discussion.

Finally, please look for a second email today from SOV.  I've asked Tammy, our Church Secretary, to forward you a message of "Post-Election Affirmations" from Bishop Dave Brauer-Rieke of the Oregon Synod.  It's a reminder of who we are as God's people and Lutheran Christians in America.  Please read the Bishop's letter and then give some prayerful thought to his encouraging message.

* * * * * * *

Lessons for Sunday, November 20, 2016
Jeremiah 23:1-6
Colossians 1:11-20
Luke 1:68-79

THIS WEEK

Wednesday  9:00 - 1:00 pm KOK preschool/chapel
                    10:00 am Bible Study

Thursday    9:00 - 1:00 pm KOK Preschool
                   10:00 am LLL
                   7:00 pm Council Meeting

Friday        9:00 - 12:00 pm KOK preschool
                   6:00 - 10:00 pm Thanksgiving  food basket preparation

Saturday   8:00 - 12:00 pm Thanksgiving  food basket preparation

Sunday       8:30 & 11:00 am Worship services, Christ the King Sunday
                  KOK Christmas Greens pick up between worship services.


Just a reminder; if you ordered Christmas Greens through KOK, pick up is Sunday, November 20th. If you did not order, and would like to purchase a wreath or swag Wendy has some extra items for sale.

Thanksgiving Food Basket preparations, this Friday and Saturday
Friday       6 pm - 10 pm
Saturday  8 am - 12 pm
For more information contact Tom or Lisa or anyone from the social concerns committee.

Post Election Affirmations

Dear Members & Friends of SOV,

I'm writing to commend the letter you'll find below from Pastor Dave Brauer-Rieke, the Bishop of the Oregon Synod.  These "Post-Election Affirmations" are an important reminder of what it means for us to be God's people as Lutheran Christians in America today.  Many people have felt scared and uncertain in the wake of the recent election.  Bishop Dave's letter encourages us to take heart in the Gospel and take care of one another as we wait to see what God has in store for us and for our nation.  I ask you to read the Bishop's letter and give it some thought.  If you want to talk with me about any of the affirmations Bishop Dave provides, I'm happy to explore those matters at your request.

God bless us and keep us all,

Pastor Brian

---

November 12, 2016

Dear Oregon Synod Friends in Faith,

President Obama, President Elect Trump, and former Democratic Nominee for the presidency Secretary Clinton have all recognized the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States. They have all pledged their full cooperation to a smooth and cooperative transition of power. This is the American way.  At the same time, the citizenry of this country is playing out significant fear, hurt and uncertainty about what our future holds. I write as your bishop consciously into this context. These realities help us clarify our calling.

We are blessed to live in a country with a constitution that respects and affirms the importance of religious freedoms and diverse voices. This includes all religious practice consistent with the laws of our nation – not just Christian. We in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America joyfully and thankfully claim our traditionWe also accept our role as a moral and value based voice for society. In the days to come, as in the past, we must continue to insist  that those who approach God differently be honored and protected. Thank you to all who have been encouraging and practicing inter-faith cooperation and respect. These relationships will continue to be of importance in the days to come.

I am thankful for our long, Lutheran, history with Lutheran Community Service Agencies, especially the work of Lutheran Immigration and Refugees Services. We are honored, able and equipped to help welcome and resettle people from around the world displaced by war, poverty or persecution. This work must and will continue, and you can give thanks that our church has a vital and central role is such ministries.

While I mean to reference may peoples and circumstances with these words, I also want to mention by name our Muslim brothers and sisters and Syrian Refugees. For some time now both have been becoming the focus of increasing violence and persecution. Our clear call in Christ is to stand with and around such people in times like these.

Many African American sisters and brothers;  gay, lesbian and transgendered friends; our Latino neighbors; and even many women simply by virtue of their gender, are feeling unsafe, insecure and at risk in these post-election days. I pray their fears will pass and security and respect will prevail, but for now I ask your prayers for many who fear for their children, their families, their livelihoods and their physical safety. Whether you or I see or understand their fears in not the issue. Love, safety and service to our neighbor is.

Last Spring we in the Oregon Synod declared ourselves to be a Sanctuary Synod. We did this as misunderstanding and persecution of our Latino neighbors was ramping up under the Obama Administration. It seems possible that unrest and deportations will intensify with a Trump Administration. You have heard a call. Now is the right time to embrace it. The ELCA has resources with which you might education yourselves and become a "Welcoming Congregation." Becoming a sanctuary congregation would be a deeper commitment yet. I will see that there are resources available for you on the synod website in the coming weeks and I encourage your collaboration and cooperation in this work.

The ELCA is currently in the process of delving deeply into the issues of Justice for Women. Now would be an opportune time to engage this question. Extending such a conversation with those in the the broader community around you would undoubtedly be most welcome in these days. Your church has resources to help you do precisely that.

I could write more here, but this is enough for now. We will continue to be in conversation as need and opportunity arises. However, in these days I give thanks, and want to remind you, who we are as Lutheran Christians:

•    We are, and always have been, committed to the care and safety of refugees and 'aliens' brought to us by God for food, shelter and a home. We will continue in this ministry.
•    We are, and always have been, committed to honoring people of all races, gender orientations, faiths and circumstances. We will continue to surround and stand with any who suffer persecution or abuse.
•    To my sisters in the faith, to those who mother; answer the call to ordained or consecrated ministry; teach; lead; administer; heal; imagine and agitate I say "Thank you!" You are due deep honor and respect
•    To younger leaders who live your faith; forgive and honor your elders; bravely engage the new and believe so intensely; I also say "Thank you!" We all need your insight and confidence even as you welcome and engage the traditions passed on to you.
•    As a church we have clear articulations about what it means to live and work in the public realmcare for God's creationshape a just economy; and live together with civility and care. Our country and our world is always in need of such leadership and articulations. We will continue to be bold in our proclamation and service!

I encourage you to study together, pray together, worship as one and 'gird your loins' for action as the Spirit directs. I thank  Jesus it is well with our soul, but recognize that it is not always well with our world. What a blessing to be called and equipped for days like these.

With you in ministry,

Bp. Dave Brauer-Rieke
Oregon Synod – ELCA

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Thanksgiving Day comes later this month.  Usually we don't think about fasting until the day after eating the turkey & fixings & pie but here's a word from Isaiah the Prophet to help us get ready to fast after we feast:

"Is this not the fast I choose (says God)?  To share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house…. If you offer your food to the hungry, and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness…."  (Isa. 58:6-7, 10)

Now, such things are easier said than done.  Especially when the Ducks or Beavers game is on TV.  We need encouragement and a little help from our friends if we want to do the sort of fasting and sharing Isaiah tells us God has in mind.

Fortunately, we can get some help this Sunday from our friend Bill Russell, Executive Director of the Union Gospel Mission.  UGM has been helping the homeless, hungry, and hurting on the streets of Portland since 1927, and in recent years has expanded its work to Beaverton and Tigard.  Bill will do a presentation at the Adult Education session (NOTE start time 9:45 a.m.).  He's got some great stories to tell about UGM's work.  He will also discuss the crisis of homelessness in the metro area — a topic much in the news lately and on the minds of many civic leaders in the greater Portland area.

Thanksgiving is sweeter when we realize just how much we have to give thanks for.  I suspect Bill's talk will help us give heartfelt thanks to God.  Not just for how much we have, but for how much we have to share.  Come and listen if you can.

* * * * * * *

Lessons for November 13,2016
Isaiah 65:17-25
2 Thessalonians 3:6-13
Luke 21:5-19

THIS WEEK

Wednesday  9:00 - 1:00 p KOK preschool/chapel
                    10:00 a Bible Study

Thursday     9:00 - 1:00 p KOK preschool
                    7:00 p  LLL

Friday        Happy Veterans Day
            1:00 - 9:00 p Palmeter Piano Study

Saturday   9:30 - 11:30 a SOV Choir rehearsal

Sunday     8:30 & 11:00 a worship services
                 9:45 a Sunday school for all ages
                1:00 p Confirmation Class
                1:30 p OEC
         
Join us for Adult Education this Sunday: Bill Russell, Executive Director of Union Gospel Mission, will be the presenter today.  UGM ministers to the homeless and the hurting in Portland, Beaverton, and Tigard.  Bill's topic will be the crisis of homelessness in the metro area.  Please come and learn about the fine work UGM is doing.

November newsletter is available on line and in hard copy located in the Narthex
http://www.sovlutheran.com/news/pdf/november2016.pdf

Looking ahead;
KOK Christmas greens pick up is November 20, 21, 22

Next Scrip Order
December 4th

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Now that Halloween hoopla is over we can celebrate All Saints.  November 1 is the traditional date but we'll remember our loved ones this Sunday, November 6.  This holy day, however, is not simply to honor dear ones who've recently died.  All Saints is also the day when we remember and give thanks for all those, living and dead, who have been saints for us, who have guided our steps on God's way.  Maybe they are the great saints commemorated by the global Church.  Maybe they are saints known only to you.  All saints, great or humble, living or dead, deserve remembrance and gratitude.  Once again we'll be able to light candles in thanksgiving for the saints.  The lovely wooden sandbox made specially for this purpose will stand near the baptismal font. After we take communion, we can pause to place a candle honoring those saints whose memory is so dear to us.  Their lights still shine in the presence of God so it is fitting that we should kindle a flame to remember them in worship, too.

This Sunday we'll also convene a congregational meeting between the two worship services to discuss the Communication Covenant. The purpose of the Covenant is to guide our steps on God's way.  We honor saints by lighting candles in worship but we also honor saints with our words every day.  This Covenant contains a set of guidelines developed over three weeks as the Healthy Communication Ad Hoc Committee carried out Adult Education sessions on this topic.  At the session on October 23 good feedback was given that helped HCAC members revise these guidelines.  Put into practice, they will help us speak well and truly of all the saints who carry out God's work through Shepherd of the Valley.

I encourage you to come to church next Sunday, both for worship and for the congregational meeting.  Each offers us a way to honor the saints we hold dear.  Each offers guidance as we walk on God's way of holy living with the other members of the Communion of Saints who are always present to us in the eternal love of God.

* * * * * * *

THIS WEEK

Thursday      9:00 - 1:00 p KOK Preschool
                    6:00 p Men's Night at Reedville Cafe

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

Saturday     9:30 - 11:30 a SOV Choir rehearsal
                    Daylight Savings Time  (turn your clocks back one hour)

Sunday        8:30 & 11:00 a Worship Services
                    9:45 am Sunday School
                    Scrip Sunday

Congregational Vote this Sunday (10:00 a between services)
HCAC Communication Covenant
Please plan to attend

Scrip Order Sunday, November 6th
New to the order form is a prepaid Visa (no activation fee) and See's Christmas candy promotion.

Thank you to everyone at SOV who made possible the memorial for Dean. Thank you for your gifts of love, food, prayers, cards, and expressions of comfort. Thank you for contributing to Dean's memorial fund. I would especially like to thank everyone who helped set up, plan, usher, and participate in the event that made it special for me and our relatives. Love, Deb Mueller-Kruse