Happening Now Blog

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pastor's weekly message

Dear Friends in Christ,

This Thursday, May 1st, is known and celebrated in some parts of the world as "May Day," a day that welcomes the new growth of springtime. But did you know that this Thursday is also Ascension Day? Yes, it's the day that the church remembers and celebrates the resurrected Jesus' ascension to the Father. So, as we gather for worship this coming Sunday, May 4th, we find ourselves in the time between Jesus' ascension and the coming of the promised Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

Like Jesus' first disciples, we gather to wait for the Spirit to transform the church around the world. We gather around Word and Sacrament, the means of grace through which our Lord comes to us. In our gospel lesson for this coming Sunday (John 17:1-11), Jesus prays for his followers and for their mission in his name. Amid religious, social, and economic divisions, we seek the unity that Jesus had with his Father. Made one in baptism, we go forth to live our faith in the world, eager for the unity God intends for the whole human family.

Prayer of the Day

O God of glory, your Son Jesus Christ suffered for us and ascended to your right hand. Unite us with Christ and each other in suffering and in joy, that all the world may be drawn into your bountiful presence through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

A BIG "thank you" to all who helped make the SOV Variety Show such a fun event! My, SOV sure has some talented members and friends. A good time was had by all!

Happy 80th Birthday to Darlene Anderson tomorrow (April 30th)!!!

Please hold these sisters and brothers in prayer:

Prayers for peace and healing for members and friends of SOV who are dealing with the pain of divorce.

Prayers for strength and guidance for all who are caring for loved ones.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Walk for Jacob Tabor

Some of you have asked questions about the walk at the end of June for Jacob Tabor.  Kathy has provided a website: www.active.com/donate/TakeStepsPortland07/1jtabor1

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Building on Christ our Foundation

Sisters and Brothers of SOV,

Who would have believed that, in 35 years of ministry, Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church would touch the lives of so many people? God probably knew it would happen, but we don't think we did. We can't fathom visions like this, because they are of God, and not our own in the making. It reminds us of the old saying: God doesn't call us to do anything we think we can do, only that which is beyond us. If we think we can do it, we don't need God. But when we venture forth into a challenge that is beyond our human ability that is when God begins his awesome work. This is how we feel about this campaign that we have begun.

We never thought we would add a dedicated sanctuary to our church facility, but that is how the Spirit is leading us. How will it all get done? We don't know. That is where faith in God takes over. We walk by faith and not by sight. But the beginning of any journey with God involves our commitment. The scripture teaches us that God tests our commitment before he blesses our action. It is now the time for you and me to make our commitments to the capital funds that we have begun.

It has taken the commitment of the whole community to get us to this moment. It takes the process of discernment led by a Building Committee charged with clarifying God's mission for Shep0herd of the Valley. It took the overwhelming "Yes!" declared by the congregation to the question, "Shall we stay and do ministry here?" It took the imagination and brainstorming of dozens of members to begin to shape on paper the facility in Phase I and Phase II.

It's taken literally hundreds of hours given by dozens of people continuing to contribute their technical or artistic or organizational acumen to making things take the planning to this level.

But most of all, it's taken trust in knowing that our commitment to expanding God's work is no more than we are capable of doing. It's taken trust that this place is where we belong, and that this building is a tool, which God will use for God's good purposes. It will take the trust that the congregation will back up with dollars for the ministry. The Holy Spirit is working in and through us to form us into more faithful disciples and enthusiastic missionaries witnessing to the difference that the Light of Jesus Christ makes in our lives and in a dark world.

Tammy and I have been truly blessed to be co-directors of the KAIROS Capital Funds Campaign.

Bob R. McFall & Tammy McDonald

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pastor's weekly message

Dear Friends in Christ,

In our gospel lesson for this coming Sunday, we hear the reassuring message that our Lord Jesus does not leave his followers orphaned (John 14:15-21). Through the Holy Spirit Jesus comes to abide with his disciples of every generation. As Pentecost draws near, we are reminded that the risen Christ dwells in us as the Spirit of truth. We receive this spirit in baptism and pray that in our gathering around Word and Sacrament the Spirit will transform us to be the body of the risen Christ in the world.

Prayer of the Day

Almighty and ever-living God, you hold together all things in heaven and on earth. In your great mercy receive the prayers of all your children, and give to all the world the Spirit of your truth and peace, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

Please read on for prayer requests and important congregational announcements!

"Lord, teach us to pray….":

…for peace and healing for members and friends of SOV who are dealing with the pain of divorce.

…for strength and guidance for all who are caring for loved ones.


Have you heard the lowdown on the hoedown?! Y'all are invited to come on down to SOV this coming Sunday, April 27th, beginning at 6 pm, for some downhome, kick-yer-shoes-off fun at our Variety Show! We're fixin' to have a grand old time: singin' and dancin' and hootin' and hollerin'. Afterward we'll belly up to the table for some good old fashioned pie and lemonade. Yum yum!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Guest Preacher

Hello everyone- this is a reminder that Pastor John Cross from Kairos will be our guest preacher and worship leader this Sunday, April 20th.  The focus will be on our stewardship of God's gifts.  Everyone is welcome!
Nancy, church secretary

Information on Vacation Bible School

Hello all,
It is amazingly time to plan for another Vacation Bible School event for SOV.
For this year I have proposed a mini-weekend VBS, running a Friday night, a portion of Saturday, followed by a less complex role during the 2nd Sunday service.
The Dates/times I have proposed are as follows:   





5:45 PM - 8:00 PM

10 AM-4 PM

2nd Service





To get the VBS planning rolling I would like us to meet for our first planning session in the Rainbow room, shortly after the close of the 2nd service on APRIL 20.

RSVP if you can or can not make this time slot, or if anyone is aware of any SOV conflicts.   

I am proposing several other changes for this year, hopefully they will peak your interest, some of which include:
-- Augsburg Fortress not Gospel Light - I would like us to use the  Augsburg Fortress "Rainforest Adventure, VBS 2008"  as our underlying theme materials.  Their program theme is:  A Tree Top Bible Blast  --  a sky-high adventure into God's Word for a faith-filled weekend with a Stewardship theme that will have kids taking care of God's wondrous creation and each other too!   Link to the Rainforest VBS program for more info and music samples: http://www.thevbsplace.org/ 

-- SOV Youth Choir - proposing we leverage  the youth choir with some pre-learning of selected music, along with the leadership of Kevin and Larina during the weekend VBS sessions 
-- No LIVE SKIT - Instead of lining up actors/actresses and  design stage backdrops I am suggesting we use the DVD  skit materials from the VBS kit and show the skit via a movie style approach

-- Community Service activity instead of individual crafts 

Blessings to you for supporting our youth,

Lisa Ramsey Barnes

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pastor's Weekly Message

Dear Friends in Christ,
This coming Sunday we continue our celebration of the fifty days of Easter.  As baptized followers of the Risen Lord, you and I have been commissioned to share God's love for the world by proclaiming the One who called us out of darkness into light.  Amazingly, by the power of God, our human words and deeds bear witness to the risen Christ, bringing his light into the world.  One of the ways we share the light of Christ is by using wisely the gifts God has given us.  This is called "stewardship," a word that is translated from the original Greek of the New Testament "oikonomia" ("economy").  In biblical terms, being a good steward means taking care of God's household (i.e., the whole world), which God has entrusted to our care during our lifetime.  Wow!  What an awesome responsibility—a responsibility we can only fulfill by the help of God.
Recently, I became aware of a study in which researchers determined that people who spend part of their money on others are happier than those who spend it all on themselves.  This fits in with God's plan for our lives:  God calls us to give of ourselves, so that ALL may have life and have it abundantly.  This is the theme of our worship this Sunday.  Come celebrate and reflect on all that God has given you, and then ask God to help you grow in your response to God's generosity.  I guarantee you won't regret it!
Prayer of the Day
Almighty God, your Son Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life.  Give us grace to love one another, to follow in the way of his commandments, and to share his risen life with all the world, for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen
Congregational Announcements
  • Pastor John Cross from Kairos will be our guest preacher and worship leader at worship on April 20th, as we focus on our stewardship of God's gifts.  (Note:  Pastor Michelle will be the guest preacher at St. Paul of Damascus Lutheran Church this Sunday, another church that is in the call process.  The folks at St. Paul have never experienced a woman in the pulpit before, and they have some questions about women in ordained ministry, so Interim Pastor Wally Gustav invited Pastor Michelle to come and give them a glimpse of what it might be like to have a woman pastor! Thanks to the people of SOV for sharing Pastor Michelle with the wider church!  J)
  • Warm up your voices and put on your dancing shoes!  It's time for SOV's Variety Show:  Sunday, April 27th at 6 pm.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Pastor's Weekly Message

Dear Friends in Christ,

The Fourth Sunday of Easter is sometimes called "Good Shepherd Sunday." Jesus is called the "gate" of the sheep in our gospel lesson for this coming Sunday (John 10:1-10). The risen Christ opens the way to abundant life. He anoints our heads with oil and guides us beside the still waters of our baptism. Each Sunday he spreads a feast before us in the midst of the world's violence and war. We go forth to be signs of the resurrection and to extend God's tender care to all creation.

Prayer of the Day

O God our shepherd, you know your sheep by name, and you lead us to safety through the valleys of death. Guide us by your voice, that we may walk in certainty and security to the joyous feast prepared in your house, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

Congregational Announcements:

- This coming Sunday, April 13th we will kick off SOV's Capital Campaign by celebrating with ONE WORSHIP SERVICE at 10 am; a special fellowship time for all ages will follow. You won't want to miss the fun!

- Pastor John Cross from Kairos will be our guest preacher at worship on April 20th, as we focus on our stewardship of God's gifts.

- Warm up your voices and put on your dancing shoes! It's time for SOV's Variety Show: Sunday, April 27th at 6 pm.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Women's Retreat and April 13th church service

Hello everyone - JUST A REMINDER THAT THIS COMING SUNDAY, APRIL 13TH, THERE WILL BE ONE CHURCH SERVICE AT 10:00 AM!  NO SUNDAY SCHOOL, AS IT IS THE KICKOFF FOR THE CAPITAL CAMPAIGN.  There will be a grand gala immediately following church.  Don't miss this exciting event.

Women's Retreat!

Women...a weekend at the beach is always relaxing, but add a time for fellowship and spiritual renewal and you can't go wrong.  Prince of Peace Lutheran Church is hosting a retreat, and they have graciously invited the women of SOV to join them at the Cannon  Beach    Christian  Conference Center, April 25-27. The "Spirit of Laughter" is the theme for the sectionals lead by Carolyn Schoenborn, a seasoned  presenter in faith retreats. The $125 registration fee  includes two nights lodging, three meals, and snacks.   Please submit your registration by  April 14th to either Prince of Peace Lutheran or Brenda Plinke.  Also, please put your name on the sign-up sheet in the narthex and contact Brenda Plinke (503) 648-4092 to let her know you will be attending.