Happening Now Blog

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Pastor's Weekly Message

Dear Friends in Christ,

Conflict is a part of relationships and life in community.  How we respond to it is key.  Many people in our society try to avoid conflict, or else they dismiss the arguments of anyone who disagrees with them.  In the church we are called to treat each other according to a higher standard:  Relationships are valued so highly in the Christian community that being reconciled always takes precedence over being right.  In our gospel lesson for this coming Sunday, Jesus offers some concrete advice on how to address the conflicts that will inevitably surface in the church (Matthew 18:15-20).  In a similar vein, the apostle Paul reminds us that love is the fulfillment of God's law (Romans 13:8-14).  As we worship together this Sunday, we gather in the name of Christ, assured that he is present among us with his gifts of peace and reconciliation.

Prayer of the Day

O Lord God, enliven and preserve your church with your perpetual mercy.  Without your help, we mortals will fail; remove far from us everything that is harmful, and lead us toward all that gives life and salvation, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord; Amen


· Beginning this Sunday, September 7, our worship times will move back to 8:30 and 11 am.

· Sunday, September 7 is Rally Day at Shepherd of the Valley!  Lots of fun activities are planned for the kickoff of Sunday School, and there will be exciting things happening in worship, too!  Also, immediately following late worship, there will be Town Hall meeting to share further information about the call process with the congregation.  And you won't want to miss the annual church picnic, which will be held right after the meeting.

· Sunday School for all ages begins Sept. 14.  The kids begin at 9:45, and the adult class will begin at 10 am.  The kids and their teachers will be using a new curriculum, Seasons of the Spirit, which focuses on the same Scripture lessons that are used in worship each week.  The adult class will begin the year with a seven-week course entitled "Opening the Book of Faith:  Lutheran Insights for Bible Study."  This is part of an exciting five-year initiative of the ELCA designed to promote greater familiarity with the Bible!

Prayer concerns:

· Prayers for safety and wisdom for all who serve in the military;

…Prayers for strength and guidance for all who are caring for loved ones;

…Prayers for strength and guidance for all who are unemployed.