Happening Now Blog

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

"And Jesus increased in wisdom..."  Luke 2:52
After all the preparation and expectation it seems to end so quickly.  But it isn't at an end yet (talking about Christmas here).  We are still in the time of Christmas until the Epiphany arrives on January 6th.  It is time to bask in the beauty and richness a bit.
For me it was all a little surreal, as it should be I suppose, but my first Christmas at SOV certainly added to that.  Yet the story was the same, thank goodness, but it was so different as well.  Not being in my own "home" for Christmas Eve, after worship services were done.  Staying at our daughters (and her new husband) a place they were still in the process of moving into themselves.  That whole part of the picture probably was a little more true to the nature of that first Christmas that Luke tells us about.  (So, not terrible stuff, just different and noteworthy, life's changes.)
And then there is the chance to bask in the beauty of the worship time that was shared.  Filled literally to overflowing early Christmas Eve, all the excellent music, the beauty of the space, the many smiling faces and warm greetings shared,  The darkened sanctuary lit by the tree lights and candles as we sang Silent Night.  There was laughter too, and moments to relax as we simply let the joy of the story wash over us.
The preparation was worth the effort even if it all passed too quickly.  Expectations were met in the telling of the story yet again, and in the sharing of even brief moments.  And yes Christmas still continues, giving us a chance to see the chaotic days (especially with the consideration of the surprise, disruptive snow on Tuesday) with "increased wisdom"  to appreciate anew what gifts we have been given and how rich life is.  Indeed as Jesus "increased in wisdom" may we do a little growing ourselves.
The adventure continues,
and it is a grand one.
In Christ,
Pastor Randy
"Holy God, you sent your Son to warm the darkness with light.  We pray for all those who cannot see the light because they are afraid or are in too much pain - physically, spiritually or emotionally.  May the power of your light search for cracks in which it might start to shine through.  May all people know the healing power of your Word and grace.  Continue to drive out the demons that taunt and torment us so we may be made whole.  In the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen."
Bible Study and Wednesday evening services resume January 6th

Rebecca Circle Meets Wednesday January 6th
"Growing Together" in leadership/stewardship with John Cross January 9th 12-2pm

Monday, December 28, 2009

Leadership Training January 9th

John Cross our partner with Kairos will be with us at SOV on Saturday, January 9, 2010 to provide a leadership training and stewardship session. This opportunity is open to everyone in the congregation with the session to be from 12:00 noon until 2:00 PM. A light snack will be provided therefore please RSVP prior to Tammy McDonald (secretarysov [at] gmail [dot] com) no later than January 6th, 2010.
On Wednesday January 27th a Healing Service will be held at 6:30 PM by the Capital Campaign Spiritual Team.
On Friday January 29th an all day Prayer Vigil will be held from 10:00 AM until 8:00 PM. The Health Team has volunteered to assist the Spirituality team in the implementation of these two Events!  We will be providing a comfortable setting and assistance during all hours of the Prayer Vigil!  Pastor Randy will be available.  There will be a spread sheet with ½ hour increments allowing everyone to sign up for a time convenient to them.
We are excited about celebrating the "New Beginnings" of our Capital Campaign and look forward to everyone's continued support of the Capital Campaign.
We continue to ask God for his guidance and remembering that all we do is to the Glory of His Holy Name. Thanks be to God.
Tammy McDonald
Bob McFall
Executive Directors

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

 Greetings to all,

Your Executive team would like to wish our Shepherd of the Valley family all the blessings of this joyous Christimas season!!  If you are traveling, God's speed and a safe return home. All are in our prayers. All are our blessing. 

Pastor's Weekly Message

"But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart."  Luke 2:19
We went caroling the other night and it was a grand time in my eyes.  We started off at "Rock Creek" and sang in the dining room there.  Folks continued to drift in as we sang continuously for 25 minutes or so.  There were smiles, nods of recognition and sometimes others sang along with us.  We enjoyed the time and it seemed we were enjoyed as well.  (Singing, and singing together, what a simple sweet thing.)

Then we went to "The Springs" and started off in a small dining room, finished in a large dining room with a fairly large crowd of people.  Those moments were good too, but in between we sang to a small group in an area that is secured so that the residents there cannot wonder away.  (The area has a safe sounding name that escapes me now, it is an attempt to put a nicer face on a finally debilitating illness.) 
Some families members were present and tried to explain to their loved ones why we were there.  Whether they understood or not faded in importance as we sang because it seemed that the words of familiar Christmas carols and songs touched them in a deep place. 
There were efforts to clap along to Jingle Bells, and tears were shed during Silent Night.  I cannot pretend to know what they remembered, or even necessarily heard, but the feeling was that those simple beautiful words about the birth of the Christ child touched a place deep in their hearts.
Like Mary?  Like us?  May we sing the hymns loudly, softly, or just listen.  But in the end may the promise of the gift touch us deeply, in the times that we too ponder all these words.
Blessed Christmas,
Pastor Randy
"Heavenly God, may our hallelujahs ring loud and true as we celebrate the birth of our Savior.  Let us rejoice knowing that he is truly Emmanuel, God with us.  Our hearts are filled with joy knowing that we see your face in the precious baby Jesus.  May our worship and praise be to your glory, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Amen."
regular worship services on Sunday December 27th at 8:30 & 11:00

Monday, December 21, 2009

Capital Campaign Update

As we prepare for the New Year


We wish to thank each and everyone who has made their financial commitment to the Capital Campaign to build a new church building.


Because of the economic times we have all faced we elected to postpone our recommitment from June 2009 until January 31st 2010 in the hope that our nation's economy would be stronger.


We have been asked what if anything could we do with money committed to the Capital Campaign for needed projects of our current building.


While we and the Building Committee are stewards of these funds given a fiduciary responsibility we have and will continue to look at the needs of current building which have been designated as Phase I of the new building project.


On that end we have agreed to fund the replacement of the plumbing in our current building and have authorized a loan to SOV for the completion of our financial obligation to the contractor for the new deck/fire escape. We continue to look at other needs that fit within Phase I of the new building project.


Now back to our Capital Campaign.


John Cross our partner with Kairos will be with us at SOV on Saturday January 9th 2010 to provide a leadership training and stewardship session. This opportunity is open to everyone in the congregation with the session to be from 12:00 noon until 2:00 PM. A light snack will be provided therefore please RSVP prior to Tammy McDonald (secretarysov@gmail.com) no later than January 6th, 2010.


On January 27th, Wednesday a Healing Service will be held at 6:30 PM by the Capital Campaign Spiritual Team.


On Friday January 29th an all day Prayer Vigil will be held from 10:00 AM until 8:00 PM. The Health Team has volunteered to assist the Spirituality team in the implementation of these two Events!  We will be providing a comfortable setting and assistance during all hours of the Prayer Vigil!  Pastor Randy will be available.  There will be a spread sheet with ½ hour increments allowing everyone to sign up for a time convenient to them.


We are excited about celebrating the "New Beginnings" of our Capital Campaign and look forward to everyone's continued support of the Capital Campaign.


We continue to ask God for his guidance and remembering that all we do is to the Glory of His Holy Name. Thanks be to God.

Tammy McDonald
Bob McFall
Executive Directors

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

"In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night. "  Luke 2:8
Things are back to normal.  The big freeze is over for now and the rains and milder temperatures have returned.  Things are back to normal?  What does that mean exactly?
It would be nice to have a normal Christmas.  Remember last last year?  The weather wreaked havoc with lots of plans.  It didn't turn out to be normal at all.

The shepherds were just doing their jobs.  It was a normal night for them.  And  all heaven broke loose.  Chances are it changed their lives forever.  It sure made a difference for what they witnessed, and shared, that night.  But beyond that we don't hear anymore about them.  Maybe their perception of normal was never the same again.  Maybe they paid more attention from that time on, and enjoyed all the more what passed for normal.
What will the days ahead bring?  I know what my plans are.  Will it be normal?  What exactly is that again?  Seems there are more questions here than anything else.  In the mean time, like the shepherds, do what seems normal and see how it is that God breaks in to the plans already made.
Pay attention!  In Christ,
Pastor Randy
"Holy God, forgive us.  Where we lack a generous spirit, fill us.  Fill our hearts with joy and song so others see in us the grace and mercy you have given us through your Son.  Instill in us a spirit of gratitude.  Open our eyes and ears, and prepare our hearts to receive the most precious gift of all.  Amen."
Last Advent soup/bread supper this evening at 5:45 pm
Joyous Light Service follows at 6:30 pm

DON'T MISS IT... This Sunday December 20th at both worship services;
Chuck Neighbor's performance of  "Merry Christmas, Mr. Jones"

'Calling all Carolers'  Bring your Christmas Spirit; Santa Hats, Scarves, Mittens...etc.
We will be meeting at the church at 4:30 pm to carpool over to 'The Springs,' and 'Rock Creek' Retirement homes, (bring soup or chili to share afterwards)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

"to you is born this day ... a Savior ... a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger."  Luke 2:11-12
The sun is shining brightly.  The sky is a beautiful bright blue.  And the way it looks belies the reality of what it feels like upon stepping into the open air.  It is bitterly cold, and not a time to stay outside unless you're prepared with layers of clothing.  (This is not to deny the beauty, but points to the very real fact that things are not always as they seem.)

Luke writes about "the Messiah, the Christ" being born.  God's great promise fulfilled in a mere baby (miraculous as any birth is), and this child lying in a feed box no less!  Really God?  Are we to believe such grand things from such simple beginnings?  Indeed things are not always as they appear.
This little Christ child is a sign that God meets us exactly where we are.  This is also the time of the year that many of us feel all the more pressure to appear differently than we actually feel.  Smiles on the outside, but inside something far different.  And we are all met there.  Met by the Christ, who gives us the chance to see beauty and know warmth in spite of the reality we face.
As I write these words, sitting on the couch of this week's adopted home, it is cold, very cold, outside.  But there is also an absolutely beautiful clear sky to take in.  In the darkness there is still a great light.  And so the Christ meets us.
Thanks for the gifts Lord.  In Christ,
Pastor Randy
"We strive to be people who live in the light, not weighed down by darkness or fear or uncertainty, but sometimes that is difficult.  Help us remember that your abiding love and mercy sustain us in times of fear.  Our culture expects this to be a season of good cheer, but for some of us, the fears can be overwhelming.  Many of us sit in fear of the unknown - worrying about what will happen tomorrow.  We celebrate in the hope of the One who was born in a lowly stable and who will come again.  We remember that he is Emmanuel, God with us.  Always.  That is what gives us confidence to unburden all of our fears, concerns and joys with the One who created and sustains us.  Amen."
Advent soup/supper this evening at 5:45 pm
Joyous Light Evening Worship at 6:30 pm
Health Team Meeting Friday at 12:30 pm (bring a Christmas snack to share)
Sunday December 13th  8:30 regular service,
                                  11:00 Sunday School Program
                                    6:00 pm SOV Carol fest and Choir concert (bring your favorite
                                                 Christmas dessert to share; hot cider and hot chocolate
                                                 will be provided)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

Luke wrote "....many have undertaken to set down an orderly account...."

Whoa!  Is what I want to say.  But it wouldn't do any good.  Thanksgiving flew by, along with the first Sunday of Advent.  And before Wednesday evening worship comes the sanctuary will be decorated for Christmas.  Time rolls, sometimes seems to fly by.  It won't be stopped, and the "whoa" that I want to shout won't mean diddly.
So I look forward to the rolling.  Haven't been here for "this" before, but have been through the time before.  Guessing that the church decorating will be messy and chaotic at times, and there will be laughter and warmth as well.  Worship on Wednesday evening will be preceded by soup, noise, conversation, and more laughter.  And worship itself will be about taking in the whole thing, not slowing it down, or even hoping to, but enjoying the chance to observe the richness.
Life will not slow down.  It will be filled with grins and tears.  There will always be that one constant, which is why we gather and do all this stuff in the first place (whether we always remember it or not).  The Christ is on the way.  Breathe deep.  May we take in all that we can, just don't count on it being "orderly".  There are always surprises in store in the midst of the constant promise.
In Christ,
Pastor Randy
"All powerful and unseen God, the coming of your light into our world has brightened weary hearts with peace.  Call us out of darkness, and empower us to proclaim the birth of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen."
This evening;   Advent Soup - Supper   5:30 pm
                      Joyous Light evening worship     6:30 pm

December Newsletter is now available online or at the church

Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas tree stand

Dear SOV Family
If you have an unwanted Christmas tree stand we are looking for 3 to donate to needy families.
Please let me know or drop it by the church.
Thank you

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

"O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever."  Psalm 107:1
What other words could I turn to on this day?  It is just about Thanksgiving day.  This particular psalm is a long one, and carries with it the title (at least in the Bible I am looking at) "Thanksgiving for Deliverance from Many Troubles".  One day for such recollection and thanksgiving is not enough, but it is a good start.  Sometimes we need to be reminded (Now what do you say?) and sometimes we can get so lost in those troubles that thanksgiving may be far from our minds.  And so there is a need for us to deliberately take the time, to slow down, to look around, to even let our minds drift through the whole of our lives, and consider the things that we can give thanks for.
And as we do that, may we also consider again how we can live out our thanksgiving in the lives of those who are not as blessed as us.  To be a blessing to others is a grand way to give thanks.  Just looking at some pictures on the Social Concerns bulletin board, and in one of those pictures there are boxes of food sitting around the altar, food that went out that very day to folks in this community.  That picture says well that the things that we do for others are indeed gifts that we offer to God. 
Enjoy the day, the food, the family, whatever gifts are yours.  And in thanksgiving may those gifts be even more enjoyable.
In Christ,
Pastor Randy
"Almighty God our Creator, your generous goodness comes to us new every day.  By the work of your Spirit lead us to acknowledge your goodness, give thanks for your benefits, and serve you in willing obedience, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen."
This evening; 5:30 pm Thanksgiving Pie Social
                      6:30 pm Joyous Light Evening Worship Service

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Pie Social

Just a reminder that the will be tomorrow, Wednesday, November 25, 2009 at 5:30pm.
Followed by Joyous Light Evening worship at 6:30 pm.
Please consider the many varieties of pie out there; pot pie, shepherd pie, pumpkin pie, etc. It doesn't have to be limited to a dessert only function!
See you all Wednesday!
Wednesday, December 2nd  at 9:00 am  "Decorating the Church for Christmas"
any questions can be directed to Connie McFall.
Thursday, December 3rd Men's Night will be meeting at Ken Plinke's home for the
"CIVIL WAR" game. (Men you may bring your spouses or significant other)
Any questions contact Ken Plinke or Kevin Cope.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

"....for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."    Matthew 5:45
That was certainly the case today.  Everybody got it pretty much the same after a wild windy night.  Started off the drive this morning from Albany in darkness and a pelting rain.  By the time SOV was in sight there were patches of dry pavement, blue sky and a warming sunshine.  But that all changed quickly enough.  The sun was still shining when the first heavy rain came, accompanied by some hail.  And so the rest of the morning and afternoon went.
There were downpours, enough hail to cover the ground, and more sunshine and the accompanying blue sky.  In some ways it was a microcosm of life itself, it seemed to me. 
There are moments of beauty as well as moments that  make it difficult to see the beauty, and there are even those moments that threaten life itself.  With the weather today it was impossible, and unwise, to get settled, because it would all probably change in a moment.  Such is life.  Sometimes it is unwise to get too settled.  Sometimes it is also best to take the moment for what it is, literally.  Enjoy the moments, expect the changes, but don't let the changes steal from the beauty of the moment. 
Know the truth of that, but living it out is not an easy thing, but remembering as well, that we are all in it together.  Bless and strengthen the whole mess of us Lord.
In the peace and power of the cross,
Pastor Randy
"Holy God, your word feeds your people with life that is eternal.  Direct our choices and preserve us in your truth, that we may live in you, and you in us, through your Son, Jesus Christ, in who's name we pray.  Amen."
Remember Joyous Light evening worship at 6:30 pm, this evening~
Thanksgiving Basket assembly and delivery Saturday at 9:00 am at SOV~

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Wed Nov 25th Pie Social

This year we are going to do a pie social in place of the Thanksgiving dinner. The pie social will be Wednesday, November 25, 2009, starting at 5:30pm followed by the Wednesday Evening Service at 6:30pm.
If you would like to sign up to bring a pie there will be a sign up sheet in the Narthex. If you aren't a baker, Albertson's is running a good deal right now that would work perfect for the occasion. Buy any Sarah Lee Oven Fresh pie for $6.39 and get a second Sarah Lee Oven Fresh pie for free, plus two 1.5qt of Breyers Ice Cream for free! (any flavor, no limits) 

This deal is only valid at Albertson's through Tuesday, November 17th.  The sale is at the very bottom of the front page. Online ad: http://albertsons.shoplocal.com/albertsons/default.aspx?action=entryflash&CityStateZip=97006
Let me know if you have any questions,

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

Thank you to all our men and women who are and have served in the Military... Happy Veterans Day! 
"Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping, alert in it with thanksgiving."  Colossians 4:2
Praying and thanksgiving.  They don't always go together, but I do try to start off that way.  Thanksgiving first and foremost.  It is thanksgiving that keeps prayer from falling into pleas for what it is that we think we need and hopefully maintaining a perspective beyond ourselves.
It may be a chance to be taken by surprise by God.  That happens again and again to me, especially outside at night, which is where and when I am most apt to pray the most intently.
So, on this night, stepping out to find the wind and rain had stopped, but barely noticing because my mind was elsewhere, concerned.  But before there was a chance to open myself to lament (and there isn't necessarily a problem with that, it gets a book in the Old Testament by name after all) there was movement in the darkness.  Thought it was one of the neighborhood cats, until it stood up on hind legs and studied me carefully, not as a threat really more a curiosity, and then slinking away away with a partner I had not even noticed.  (A pair of young raccoons, new to the yard for me.)  And then I heard the hooting of a great horned owl in the distance, shortly followed by the response of another.  Such a haunting beauty, a cause for thankfulness as a smile crept across my face.
Not as alert as I need to be, but thankfully I am not in this alone.  The Creator of all things keeps tapping at my sometimes dense nature.  Yet another chance for thankfulness, a change in attitude, and all the more reason to "devote yourselves to prayer".
In the peace and power of the cross,
Pastor Randy
"Almighty God, you have taught us in your Son that love fulfills the law.  Inspire us to love you with all our heart, our soul, our mind, and our strength, and teach us how to love our neighbor as ourselves, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen."
Reminder; Joyous Light Evening Worship this evening at 6:30pm.

Spaghetti Luncheon Sunday November 15th at 12:00 pm. Please RSVP to the Secretary.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Nov 15 is our Blessings Event!

Greetings and God's Blessings to All, 
This is a reminder that this Sunday November 15th is our Blessings Event!! 

Bill and Linnea are graciously providing this luncheon to our SOV family and it will occur right after our second service. Bill is our chef!!!

We will be celebrating the blessing of family and friends,
the blessing of completing the deck project,
the blessing of the new and improved Shepherd's Storehouse mission (now housed indoors),
the blessing of our work with Lutheran Community Services through our Refugee Resettlement Mission, and
the blessing of our mission to kids and families in our area through Kids of the Kingdom Christian Day Care.

As we begin this season of holidays, we invite you to join this celebration and feel free to include family and friends as well - those folks who are a blessing to you.

Our family is a blessing to one another!!!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

From your council president

Canceled: Sunday November 8th Congregational Meeting

Blessings to all,
  • The furnace information obtained by property management indicates that, while aging, the furnaces are not in immediate need of replacement. Therefore, the Sunday special congregational meeting is cancelled and we will proceed with the Mission Investment Fund loan to complete the deck project only. More info on our building will be forthcoming.
  • New sanctuary look - When you arrive on Sunday, please note the new paint job in the sanctuary. This update is a work in progress. Please thank Tammy M., Jeff W., Larry G and Connie M. for their contributions of time and paint.
  • Check out Shepherds Storehouse - The Ladies Night dinner group donations purchased all of the new shelving with funds remaining for additional supplies. Larina and Joe did the installation. Arden completed the electrical and Jeff helped with appliance moving and orchestrating the storehouse relocation. Thank you all.
  • Make your reservations! "The Blessings for All" spaghetti dinner is coming November 15th. RSVP to secretarysov ( at) gmail ( dot) com
  • The narthex Kiosk -  please take a moment to read and be informed of upcoming events and happenings. Many thanks to Trevor M. for his time in fine tuning and set up, we had a KOK parent inquire about our Wednesday evening worship service because of the Kiosk now in operation.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Stewardship Committee Thanks You

The Stewardship Committee would like to share the results from last weeks Commitment Sunday on November 1.

Stewardship 2010    "Acting together...Sharing enough"

We had 162 in attendance, both our choirs sang and we had a fly in by Peli. We came together to offer hearts in thanks to God for His gifts to us, received 44 financial pledges along with 69 members turning in volunteer forms.  This is a wonderful start to our yearlong Stewardship program!  We will continue to have more opportunities to learn how we can strengthen our SOV ministries, missions and experience joy of giving and living Stewardship within all areas of our lives.

Pledge forms are welcome at any time.  Members making a pledge are always welcome to reevaluate all areas of commitment. 

Thank you for your food contributions during the onset of the, "Cans can make a difference" part of our "Acting together…sharing enough" Stewardship program.  We can continue to help stock our Shepherds Storehouse as we help strengthen our ministry to help people in need.  We would like to remind each of you that we have another easy way to be good Stewards as we fill our newspaper drop box.  This money goes to help the general budget.  Bring your papers and fill our box …often!

Thank you for your support and participating in learning how each of us can make a difference for our church when we act together and share what God has given us.  We will continue to share information with the congregation and plan more activities throughout the year. 

Please continue to pray for all the missions and ministries of our congregation. 

In Christ's service,
The SOV Stewardship team  
Jim Allgaier, Larina Hoffbeck, Diane Lewis and Deb Mueller-Kruse

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

To the Family of God at Shepherd of the Valley ~

"And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?"  Matthew 6:27
Sometimes there are thoughts running in so many different places.  There are worries aplenty, both real and imagined.  Sometimes it is possible to think too much and not get anywhere but deeper in the hole, to lose perspective, and in the end just feel lost.
So, I walked out in the back yard.  There was a brilliant blue sky and warming sun on a brisk fall afternoon.  There was a smell in the air, some of it had to do with decay (as is the wont of fall) but more it suggested the richness of life itself.  And my memory was triggered to consider other times of fall.  Running cross-country, working in fields, the presence of the colors in the trees and on the ground.  It felt comforting and it was beautiful.  The glory of the continuing of creation.
Later that night, stepping outside into the cool darkness, everything bathed in a silver light, there was a full moon.  It was silent.  It was absolutely beautiful.  Another reminder of the glory of God, and love's abiding presence.
The things that cause worries are not erased, but they do receive a different perspective.  So many reminders of God's presence bring thoughts to a different place yet again, and a beauty all it's own.  So many gifts in this life.
In the peace and power of the Christ,
Pastor Randy
"O God, you  show forth your almighty power chiefly by reaching out to us in mercy.  Grant us the fullness of your grace, strengthen our trust in your promises, and bring all the world to share in the treasures that come through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen."
Joyous Light Evening Worship Service this evening at 6:30 pm
SOV Fundraiser at Sweet Tomatoes, November 4 - 17 (coupon attached to this email)
Men's Night, meets Thursday 6:30 pm at Old Chicago Pizza/Tanasbourne.
Confirmation Class this Sunday November 8th at 10:00 am

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Nov 1: Commitment Sunday!

Our Stewardship program continues this Sunday with Commitment Sunday as part of All Saints Sunday…two special celebrations in one worship service.

One celebration to honor the love and gifts of those that have gone before us.
Second celebration is to celebrate and give back to God some of the love and gifts He has given us.

We will have special music to sing, the children's choir to lead us in song, a visit from Peli, and the choir will sing as part of our special time of offering and commitment.

During our offering time we are each invited to come to the altar to give God our regular offerings as well as offering our new volunteer and financial pledges for the coming year.  A paper heart will be given to each person to share something that God has given them and then place the heart in the basket during our offering.

We will also be offering what we have collected from "Cans Can Make a Difference" and hope that each of you will bring something to share as we continue our stewardship of helping feed the hungry.

Your personal pledges are a joyful opportunity to help make a difference in the ministry of our church as we come together and share what God has given each of us.

Serving God together,

The SOV Stewardship committee

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

"I lift up my eyes to the hills- from where will my help come?"  Psalm 121:1
Driving south on I-5 on a Saturday afternoon, the traffic was pretty heavy, and I had just passed the junction with 205, and there was a deer in the median.  It was looking a little frantic, to say the least.  And my human interpretation of the situation was that the creature was sizing up the options for getting to one side or the other of the freeway.  Not sure how it got to that particular spot at that time of the day, but it was not a good spot for a frantic animal to be in.  I do not know if the predicament was solved without incident, but it sure didn't seem promising.
I felt sorrow for the deer, but also knew that I wasn't going to be of any help to it.  Another thing that I felt was a bit of an affinity with it, at least as far as inserting my human emotions into the life of another of God's creatures.  Maybe we all know something of that kind of moment.  How did I get here?  What was I thinking?  And what am I going to do now?  I may know full well that I got to this spot all by myself, but also being pretty sure that I am not going to get out of it alone.
There are those words of the Psalmist, in particular Psalm 121 this time.  There is more to it then that first verse.  It is a short, but deeply comforting bit of scripture.  But in the complexity of life, and the anxieties that sometimes manifest themselves, it is hard to believe.  The 2nd verse says, "My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth."  Help us to know your presence Lord, and the peace that it provides.
In Christ,
Pastor Randy
"Eternal light shine in our hearts.  Eternal wisdom scatter the darkness of our ignorance.  Eternal compassion have mercy on us.  Turn us to seek your face, and enable us to reflect your goodness, through Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord.  Amen."

This Evening; Joyous Light Evening Service at 6:30 PM
Remember Commitment Sunday November 1st; bring your time, talent and financial pledge sheets.
"Fall Back"... dont forget to set your clocks back 1 hour.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

We All Can make a difference!

We All CAN make a difference!

The Stewardship team is excited to be three weeks into our new Stewardship program for this year.  Peli has flown in to get us going on thinking about pledging, why we pledge and how we think about being good stewards so that we all can make a difference.
Pastor Al Solmonson came lead our worship and to share some of our history, talk about our mission statement and how we as a congregation are putting our mission statement into action.  He challenged us to examine and think about what we are about and how we can build on our missions within our congregation, in our community and church wide so that we can continue to make a difference.
We each CAN make a difference. All ages of our membership CAN make a difference.
It just fits into "Acting together - Sharing enough" perfectly!  We CAN all bring a can of food each Sunday so that we CAN make a difference for the Shepherd's Storehouse supplies.  This gives us a chance to put Stewardship into action with a simplicity.
Please bring a can of food this Sunday October 25 and November 1.  Let's get the children involved too and consider letting them select something that they really like. It will be fun to have members of all ages be part of creating a mountain of food to share within our community.
Please continue to pray about the missions of Shepherd of the Valley and how you can pledge to help make a difference and experience the joy of being part of our mission.
Through acting together and sharing what we have we CAN make a difference.

Serving Christ together,
The Stewardship Team

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

Lying flat on my back and looking at the tube I was about to roll into it didn't seem so small after all.  Maybe the concerns about claustraphobia  were unfounded.  Ah, but this was my first MRI, and once inside the tube it felt plenty small, and after opening my eyes only momentarily there was concern about being able to make it through the next 20 minutes.  There was a need to find a better place to be, at least in my head, and that was something that I'd only considered before.  There was no plan.
Where I ended up was thinking of my little girl's wedding in just a few days. (Little girl?  No matter what, that word picture has no basis in human reality, she will always be that to me.  She will always be in some sense the little girl the blond angel that used to sit on my lap as I read to her.)  I thought about what would be said as part of the ceremony, about my hopes for this new family, about my love for them.  It was a good place to be, and the theatening time flew by in thoughts of hope and love for one another.
This is not about being a perfect parent, because I am far from it.  But if someone as imperfect as I, painfully imperfect, still desires a blessed life for his child, think about what God desires for us.  Think about how much we are loved and what the heavenly Father desires for us.
Take the time to check out Matthew 6:25-34, at the end of that section are the words, "So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own.  Today's trouble is enough for today."  There will always be troubles, but we will never be alone to face them.  There is someone in the tube with us, hoping to take us to a better, no less real, place.  Please lift us all with your love Lord.
In peace and power of the cross,
Pastor Randy
Wednesday Evening Service tonight at 6:30 pm.
This Sunday, October 25th, is Reformation Sunday, please wear red if you are going to be here.

Variety Show Sunday October 25th, 6:00 pm please bring a plate of cookies to share.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Winter Clothing Donations

If you wish to donate warm winter clothing items to the Union Gospel Mission, please drop your items off Tuesday, October 20th. Corrine will deliver the donated items on Wednesday.
Any questions call Corrine.
Warm winter items: gloves, scarves, hats, blankets, socks, sleeping bags, etc.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Stewardship News

 We All CAN make a difference!

The Stewardship team is excited to be two weeks into our new Stewardship program for this year.  Peli has flown in to get us going on thinking about pledging, why we pledge and how we think about being good stewards so that we all can make a difference.
Pastor Al Solmonson came lead our worship and to share some of our history, talk about our mission statement and how we as a congregation are putting our mission statement into action.  He challenged us to examine and think about what we are about and how we can build on our missions within our congregation, in our community and church wide so that we can continue to make a difference.
We each CAN make a difference. All ages of our membership CAN make a difference.
It just fits into "Acting together - Sharing enough" perfectly!  We CAN all bring a can of food each Sunday so that we CAN make a difference for the Shepherd's Storehouse supplies.  This gives us a chance to put Stewardship into action with a simplicity.
Please bring a can of food and leave it in the narthex starting Sunday, October 18 as well as October 25 and November 1.  Let's get the children involved too and consider letting them select something that they really like. It will be fun to have members of all ages be part of creating a mountain of food to share within our community.
Please continue to pray about the missions of Shepherd of the Valley and how you can pledge to help make a difference and experience the joy of being part of our mission.
Through acting together and sharing what we have we CAN make a difference.

Serving Christ together,
The Stewardship Team

Pastor's Weekly Message

"If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all."  Romans 12:18
Things seem to be more and more contentious all the time.  Some folks make their living betting on, and making use of, stoking, that contentious nature that can find a home in and all of us.
I trust that that is not news to most of us.  It just seems to have reached new heights lately.  And it also seems to be such an incredible waste of time and emotion.  Again, nothing new, so why does it get my attention now?
Reading in the most recent Christian Century, a periodical I've been reading for many years.  In a news note there was mention of a Cardinal O'Malley in Boston who had to defend his attendance of Senator Ted Kennedy's funeral.  This is not a commentary about politics in and out of the church (there is not room enough for that here), but about a quote that said the Cardinal's presence at that funeral was like "spitting on Christ himself at his crucifixion".
To use the cross of the Christ to berate another brings me nothing but sorrow.  Paul speaks to that, with great understanding of who we are as human creatures, "if it is possible" he writes, to not act out in a nature that is not peaceable.  The last words of that section to the Christians in Rome are these, "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."  (Rom 12:21)
Things are contentious alright, and that is no surprise in trying time.  How do we live out our stance on things?
In the peace and power of the cross,
Pastor Randy
"Direct us, Lord God, in all our doings with your most gracious favor, and extend to us your continual help; that in all our works, begun, continued, and ended in you, we may glorify your holy name; and finally, by your mercy, bring us to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen."
Joyous Light Wednesday Evening service this evening at 6:30 pm.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Town Hall Meeting Sunday 12:00 noon

Dear SOV Family

Please plan to attend the Town Hall Meeting Sunday October 11, 2009 following the 11:00 am Service.
It will be an opportunity to discuss the bbudget and other program plans.
See you all Sunday.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

To the family of Christ at Shepherd of the Valley,
"Without doubt, the mystery of our religion is great...."  I Timothy 3:16
Tuesday morning started off as most any other day.  Some plans, but also much mystery lay before me.  (That plays into the old joke, "How do you make God laugh?  Make a plan.")
There was the drive that is sometimes a drudgery from Albany to Beaverton.  Started in darkness, but soon there was a pink glow to the east and the Cascades, and there was low lying fog.  While it can be a challenge to drive in, this morning it hung on the fields and rolling hills south of Salem, and added a silver silence to the burgeoning morning.  So much beauty.  (The fog always seems to shroud the unknown, therefore more mystery.)
The day unfolded with many conversations, some surprises, studying, preparing for the whole of the week and beyond.  Sometimes it is hard to tell what is accomplished, because so many things are never done. The adventure just continues.
Late this evening, driving west on highway 26, after a dinner with most of my little family, and there before me lay the coast range and the pink glow of the now setting sun, and more mystery.  Answers and certainties are welcomed, but there is beauty in mystery, and it fills every day.  Thank you Creator God for your presence in the mystery.
In quiet wondering and certain celebration,
Pastor Randy
"Comfort with the grace of your Holy Spirit all who are in sorrow or need, sickness or adversity.  Remember those who suffer persecution for the faith.  Have mercy on those to whom death draws near.  Bring consolation to those in sorrow or mourning.  And to all grant a measure of your love, taking them into your tender care.  In Christ.  Amen."
Joyous Light Evening Worship this evening at 6:30 pm with communion.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

"O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth."  Psalm 96:1
As it ended up, I couldn't help but smile.  Wondered how my grand daughters would feel about their first youth choir practice here at SOV.  This place is still new to them (becoming less so for me all the time).  And they really don't know the other kids yet.  Lots of unknowns, and newness can sometimes be overwhelming.  And as a grandpa, part of my concern was that I just wanted them to be okay.  Okay would be good enough.
So, I couldn't help but smile when, stepping out of my office, I was met with their singing, and twirling, and smiling.  Worries were washed away by their joyous voices.  It was much more than okay.  They are looking forward to singing more next week, singing for all of us sometime soon (with other smiling, twirling voices as well).
A little later in the evening, stepping outside to see that beautiful silver orb, not yet full, coloring the clouds streaking across the sky.  It brisk, still, nearly silent, more joyous reminders.
Can't help but smile.
In thanks for the continuing creation,
Pastor Randy
"Thank you Lord Jesus, for all our happiness.  Thank you especially for the happiness which takes us by surprise.  Above all we ask you to lead us toward the surprising discovery that what most pleases you will bring the greatest joy to us.  In His name.  Amen."
Sunday October 4th~  Blessing of the Pets, pet blessing will take place after each service.
Fellowship Hosts needed;  Don't let making coffee intimidate you,  simply make a note  on the sign up sheet.(no fail instructions are located on each coffee pot in case you feel adventurous)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

Greetings to the people of God and Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church~
  "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."  Hebrews 13:8
Beginning with thanks, thanks for the many kind remembrances of my birthday last week.  Being the new kid of the block it was more than expected.  There were a ridiculous amount of chocolate chips in cookies, and many other goodies.  Maybe my back was hurting this week because of the difficulty in trying to reach shoe laces.
The weather continues to amaze, and provide yet another reason to give thanks.  Warm days, cool evenings, leaves already coming down in bunches, crunching under foot, a lovely bitter-sweet sound.
Time rolls on, along with adventures that go with it.  Aging cannot be stopped, the seasons continue inexorably.  And with them the promise of newness.  Never the same, but still calling forth remembrances of times gone by.  There is the temptation to wallow in the past and cower from the future, in search of comfort I suppose, but then I am reminded that One thing amongst all this jumble, is always the same.  That is the Christ and the promise of new life in his name.  New life even now.  May we see all things through the eyes of that good news.
Peace and blessings in Christ,
Pastor Randy

"Almighty God, Creator of all things, we bless you for creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your gift of love, for the means of grace and for the hope of glory given us in Jesus. Give us such an awareness of your mercies that with truly thankful hearts we show our praise for you in the living of our lives.  In the name of the Christ.  Amen."
This Sunday; Congregational Vote immediately following the 11:00 am service
on the Deck/Fire Escape project.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

Greetings Family of Christ at Shepherd of the Valley,
Sometimes I find myself low on patience, and it shows.  There are deep sighs, fidgeting and shuffling feet.  Reduced to the behavior of an unruly child.  It is not always easy to maintain a positive attitude. (None of this is news to you is it?  Or maybe you have a much better grip on reality.)
As it always seems in this life, there is something else to turn to, something else to lift us through those difficult times.  Turning again and again to the beauty of nature, and in this time of the year there is beauty aplenty.
Stepping from the grocery store to bright sunlight and the beauty of an abnormally warm mid-September afternoon.  The trees in the parking lot are a blindingly, brilliant yellow.  And that is only the beginning.  May you add in the moments of beauty that you have taken in (or take the time now to take it in).
As the Psalmist writes, "The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork."  Psalm 19:1
In the peace and power of the cross,
Pastor Randy
"Eternal light, shine in our hearts.  Eternal wisdom, scatter the darkness of our ignorance.  Eternal compassion, have mercy on us.  Turn us to seek your face, and enable us to reflect your goodness, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Community: LMG Concerts - Volunteer!

Volunteer for LMG Concerts

Are there people in your congregation that are looking for a way to be of service? Are there those that would love to see a show, but can't afford it? Here is that opportunity!

Come be Part of the Event and See the Show for Free - Volunteer!

We are looking for groups and individuals who want to be part of the show and also get to see the concert for free - If you or your group are interested in helping out we have many positions available.

Load-in/Load Out - Helping unload equipment, set-up the stage, tear down and load-up at the end of the show
Merch - Help the band with t-shirt and CD sales
Ushers - Help concert guests find their seats and their way around
Email Team - Help concert goers enter to win prizes

If you or your group are interested please contact Charlie at Charlie@lmgconcerts.com.

As a thank you for helping us out, we will also provide you with 2 free tickets that you can give to someone to come and enjoy the show.

Receive one free ticket when you place your order For the Casting Crowns Concert - 9.25.09 at Rolling Hills Community Church

Offer Available Online Only - www.ticketmaster.com - call 866-696-9039 for details. Quantities and Seat Locations based on Availability - One Free Ticket Per Order. Offer as good as long as supplies last only.

Other shows coming up to help out at:
10/15 David Crowder Band - First Baptist Church of Eugene
10/16 David Crowder Band - Rolling Hills Community Church
10/30 Skillet - Oregon State Fair Pavilion
11/20 Jeremy Camp - Rolling Hills Community Church
12/13 Toby Mac's Winter Wonder Slam w/ Relient K and More - Oregon State Fair Pavilion

Keep looking for details on other great shows coming soon.
Visit www.LMGConcerts.com for more information!


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

To the family of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church,
Standing on the back deck of my home for the night.  Can hear the buzz of Hwy 26, the trickle of what I take to be a water feature in a neighbor's back yard.  The waning moon is about a quarter above the horizon, shining brightly, leaving a warm glow on the dark lawn.  There are wispy clouds streaking across the sky and stars visible directly above me and to the west.  It is lovely, truly beyond words in the end.
I am alone, but not lonely, talked to Choice a few times, to my daughter Amie, to many folks here at SOV, and so never really alone either.  Reminded of some words I saw on a wood carving at St. Andrew Lutheran Church when I was there for a meeting today.  From Psalm 139:1ff " O Lord, you have searched me and known me.  You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away.  You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways."
Turn to that Psalm sometime, and though there may be some disconcerting words, it offers the comfort of One who is always with us.
Peace and blessings,
Pastor Randy
"Almighty and ever living God, with mercy you look upon our weaknesses.  Stretch out your wondrous hand to protect us from danger and restore us to health, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen"
This Week:
Please note; our parish nurse, Corrine Gilbertson (and Larry) are out of town until September 30th.
Sunday September 13, 2009 following 11:00 am service SOV's Annual Picnic.
Fellowship will provide Fried Chicken, beverages, and paper ware. Members with the last name beginning A-L please bring a salad; fruit, veggie, pasta, potato, macaroni etc. Members with the last name beginning M-Z please bring dessert; cookies, cake, pie etc,
**There will be no Sunday Super Social for the month of September, the annual picnic will take its place.**

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Confirmation Mtg 6:20pm Sept 17

For all 7th & 8th graders and their parents there will be a Confirmation meeting Thursday, September 17, 2009, 6:20pm at SOV.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

Family of Christ at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran,
Sometimes it is like a roller-coaster.  And it can happen day by day.  Some things are new and some just keep hanging around.  It was a beautiful day and traveling went well, even smoothly.  There was more bad news about the deck, more money and more time needed to complete a necessary project.  Throw that on top of the general budget struggles and it can seem a bit overwhelming if dwelling there too long.
But there was good news at the hospital as one of our members had a slightly surprising procedure that went as well as could be expected and had immediate positive results.  And the place I stayed in last night had many humming bird visitors.  They fascinate me with their delicate nature and swift movements, their little snapping sounds, another one that God got right. 
And there were spiders too, with webs in three places across the front walk.  The third one I didn't know was there until it got tangled around my head.  Dropped stuff off early in the day and when I returned in the evening they were back across the walk again (though this time I avoided one crawling around on my face).  They were undeterred by having to build everything over again.  A reminder, God teaching a lesson through insects.
And then I looked up some favorite words from Philippians 4:6-7, "Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  Amen to that!
In the peace and power of the cross,
Pastor Randy
Again we pray, "O most loving Father, you want us to give thanks for all things, to fear nothing except losing you, and to lay all our cares on you, knowing that you care for us.  Grant that fears and anxieties in this mortal life may not hide from us the light of your immortal love shown to us in your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord."
One worship service this Sunday September 6, 2009 at 10:30 am

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Community: Light of Life 25th Anniversary

Light of Life Lutheran Church
25th Anniversary Celebration

Saturday October 17, 2009
2:00 PM

RSVP by September 26, 2009
(Contact SOV secretary for more details)

Community: Dr. Martin E. Marty, Sep 25-27

St. Mark Lutheran Church
Visiting Theologian Program
Willamette University
The Center for Religion, Law and Democracy presents;

     Dr. Martin E. Marty, Historical Theologian & Author

September 25, 26 and 27, 2009

for more information: saintmarklutheran-salemor.org

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Work Party - 9am Sat Aug 29

SOV Family, Just a reminder;

Work Party
This Saturday, August 29th
9:00 AM

Bring your work gloves, garden tools, paint brushes...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

Dear Family of Christ at SOV,
The reverie that is sometimes summer is winding down.  I really don't want to think about it much, but think about it or not, that time still seems to stretch out for so long when viewing it from the end of May, never seems to last quite enough.  It can feel so bittersweet, no matter how many years have passed.  And I hear one person after another say, "I can't believe it's over already."  Not meaning to be quite so sorrowful sounding because this is just the way it is.  Time continues to roll, and things are certainly not always sorrowful.  It is often a matter of perspective. 
If those warm summer days had not continued to pass there would not be those tasty pears, plums and grapes to indulge in from our back yard.  Yes the time passed quickly, but was the expectation really that time would slow down now?  So instead of lamenting what has gone by, the choice can be made to simply give thanks for what has gone by.
It was late afternoon of the day off, a beautiful day, and I lay on the couch on the deck, in the shade, reading a book.  What a simple, glorious time to enjoy.  Nodded off once in a while, reading the same paragraph more than once.  Then stopping to simply look at the canopy above me.  The green of the tree, the blue of the sky, the sound of the birds and a slight wind rustling.  Instead of thinking of time passing, simply letting the moment be a gift.  And it was.
Thank you Lord.  What moments do you give thanks for?  May they lift you well.
In Christ,
Pastor Randy
"O God, give us times of refreshment and peace in the course of this busy life.  Grant that we may so use our leisure to rebuild our bodies and renew our minds that our spirits may be opened to the goodness of your creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen."
Reminder; Sunday Supper Social August 30th, 4:00 PM at Pastor Randy and Choices home in Albany;

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

Family of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran,
It seems that the quail are always around, regardless of the time of year.  Sometimes there are a dozen, but lately there have been only two to four of them.  I can always hear their distinctive call long before they show up, and I get a kick out of watching them walk around, with that herky-jerky walk, and the plume on the males flopping around.   One of them must always be on guard, to come in first to check things out.
I Had been working outside for quite a while, now standing just behind the house looking out toward the garden, when I saw the first quail come out from the raised garden beds, a bit cautiously, then closely followed by another, and then another, and  a whole troop.  There was a parade, and as they first stopped underneath the pear tree and then on to the feeders I counted twenty-two birds. 
Sometimes we may expect very little and get surprised by alot.  (And while that isn't always a good thing, now consider blessings versus challenges.)  And the only way that big brood is going to move from place to place and continue to grow is if they look out for one another, just like us.  God  continues to enrich life, providing surprising moments of teaching If we are willing to learn.  May we pay attention.
"Most loving Creator, you want us to give thanks for all things, to fear nothing except losing you, and to lay all our cares on you, knowing that you care for us.  Grant that fears and anxieties in this mortal life may not hide from us the light of your immortal love shown to us in your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 
In the peace and power of the cross,
Pastor Randy

Bridal Shower for Amy Sugiyama Sunday
at 2:00 PM

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Sitting here early on a Wednesday morning, and my it is a lot different than just a couple of weeks ago and our record breaking heat wave.  Talking about the weather again because it had an effect on some hopes many people had for last night.  Last night was to be the height of viewing for the Perseid meteor shower.  Enjoy the night time sky a lot my self, and that event is a yearly treat.  Thoughts of driving out away from the city lights a bit and taking in the celestial show were made moot with the arrival of the rains.  It was disappointing, but also a perfect metaphor for what happens sometimes in a life of faith.
Even though the light show was not visible by me, the truth is it still went on.  It was not dependant on my sight to make it real and true, and beautiful.  Sometimes my vision gets clouded in other ways.  Feelings of hopelessness, frustration, and sometimes just a gloomy outlook, prevent me from seeing the good news that is still there, from knowing the joys that God would have me take in.  Makes me remember again a favorite Bible verse of mine that I turn to again and again, from John 1:5, "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it."
Let me also share a part of a prayer, written by Henri Nouwen some years ago, "Please accept my distractions, my fatigue, my irritations, and my faithless wonderings.  You know me more deeply and fully than I know myself.  You love me with a greater love than I can love myself. ..... Look at me, see me in all my misery and inner confusion, and let me sense your presence in the midst of my turmoil.......Take my tired body, my confused mind, and my restless soul into your arms and give me rest, simple quiet rest.....Come, Lord Jesus, come.  Amen.
In the peace and power of the Christ,
Pastor Randy
Fellowship Host's needed for Sunday August 16 and August 30

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

Family of Christ,
We have lots of birds that visit our back yard, and they provide many moments of simple pleasure, watching their interactions and nervous natures.  There are finches, doves, jays, towhee, sparrow, quail and more. I get a kick in particular out of robins.  They have a distinctive hop, but it is their method of hunting that always brings a smile.  They stop, cock their head and seem to listen intently, apparently to a sound no one else can hear.  And then suddenly strike the ground, and more times than not it seems, come up with a worm that is quickly chopped up like a chef preparing a meal for someone else.  They seem to have an ability to pay attention, to notice the slightest thing, that astounds me.
Life is almost always in a rush it seems, and while we cannot take it all in, I sometimes wonder what we do miss because we don't take the time to pay attention, even for just a moment here and there.  What things we may take in and relish that only we can hear, see, taste and then share with others.  And in it all we find even more reasons to give thanks for the richness of our lives. 
Thanks for the gifts Lord. 
 In Christ,
"O God, eternal goodness, immeasurable love, you place your gifts before us; we eat and are satisfied.  Fill us and this world in all its need with the life that comes only from you, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen."
Ushers needed for 10:30 service this Sunday, Please let me know if you are available.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

Family of Christ at SOV,
Trying to think cool thoughts in the midst of record setting heat.  It may be that you are tired of hearing about it, especially in the midst of another day.  But it is a little difficult to avoid.  In watching the local news it is as if the rest of the world has ceased to exist. all there is is our heat wave.  News folks standing out in the blazing sun telling us it is hot.  One sitting in a car (with a doctor near by) telling us this is really hot! (And don't do this!)  It is fascinating for a while, because it is record setting stuff, but then I begin to wish for something besides the obvious, maybe even something that would help me not to think about the heat.  And here I am doing the very thing I would decry in others.
Alright, so is there ever anything so dominant in our lives that we cannot help but talk about it?  Our kids, grand kids, new possibilities, a sight seen?  Does the cross and resurrection of the Christ ever come close to that kind of territory?  Typically most of us would look slightly warily at someone who talks too much Jesus.  Just something that came to mind.  How big a deal is being a Christian in our day to day lives?  Something to think about, maybe even talk about. (Anything but the heat.)
A commemoration for this week, today July 29th, Mary, Martha and Lazarus.  They are Jesus friends, offered him hospitality. Drawing from Luke's descriptions Martha represents the active life, Mary the contemplative life, and Lazarus was the one over whose grave Jesus wept, and who was then raised from the dead even as Jesus himself headed to the cross.
"O God, eternal goodness, immeasurable love, you place your gifts before us; we eat and are satisfied.  Fill us and this world in all its need with the life that comes only from you, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen."
In the peace and power of the cross,
Don't Forget this evening 7:00 PM Jockey Clothing Party at SOV

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sunday Supper Social

This coming Sunday, July 26th we are going to kick off the Sunday Supper Social!
Eric and Diane L. will be hosting the first one of the season.  Plates, napkins, tableware and drinks are provided.  Please bring a dish to share.
Due to the 'summer heat', the Sunday Super Social will start at 6pm. (usual start time is 4 pm) Eric and Diane do have air conditioning and a covered outdoor area.

Please refer to the directory for address information.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

Family of Christ at Shepherd of the Valley,
The church has many days of commemoration, times to recall those who have gone before us, to think about how large this family is, and how long it has been around.  It is a way to learn from, and about, that "great cloud of witnesses".  July 22nd is the date to remember Mary Magdalene.  There are several Mary's mentioned in the gospels, and sometimes they get mixed together, and so there are some traditions about Mary Magdalene that are not necessarily true.  What we do know is that she is one of the women of Galilee who followed Jesus.  It is at the end of the gospel according to St. John that she comes most clearly into focus.  
She was present at the crucifixion and and burial of Jesus, headed for the tomb to anoint his body, discovered the empty tomb, reported that to the disciples, and then was the first person to whom the risen Christ appeared.  She was in tears when he first appeared to her, not expecting anything miraculous, and only when Jesus said her name did she even know him for who he was.  She knew joy at seeing him alive, but also some confusion and sorrow when told she could not touch him.  She was the one then who witnessed to the disciples about what she had seen and as a result is sometimes called "the apostle to the apostles".  
Tears and joy, shock, confusion, hope, and the need to share it all, just like real life.  So much to learn.  So many that would teach us.  It is a rich history that we share, may know well that we are never in this adventure alone.
In Christ,
Gracious God, you have placed within the hearts of all your children a longing for your word and a hunger for your truth.  Grant that we may know your Son to be the true bread of heaven and share this bread with all the world, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The mid-way point of the month of July.  Is it summer for you?  Not sure exactly what that question may mean for everyone, many of us have the idea that it is a laid back time when hopefully we do a little less "work" and simply enjoy a slowing down.  (It's a nice idea anyhow, and maybe just having the idea in mind feels good for a while.)
Summer in the church means fewer people and smaller offering.  That is not a lament (OK maybe it is a little bit), but it is just the way it is, and after nearly three decades of following this call it has become necessary not to sweat some things, especially in summer.  Certainly the work of the church goes on, but most importantly I am reminded that the presence of God does not lessen, regardless of the time of year, even if it might be possible to think otherwise.
Personally there has been a sweet way I have been reminded of that very clearly these last few summers.  For several years we have brought home a Lilly or two after Easter has passed, and Choice has dutifully planted them in the garden.  They look pretty sad when that grand celebration begins to fade (at least as measured by the passage of time), but now we have lots of those old Lillie's, and they don't look sad at all.  Every spring they green up again and they have become our 4th of July Lillie's.  This year around a hundred blooms.  They provide that scent that usually is connected with the altar of Easter Sunday morning.  They remind me that the beauty and power of the resurrection is no less real on a hot, lazy summer afternoon that at the height of the grandest of "church seasons".
The presence of God at any and all times, speaking to the whole of us.  Ah, summer time.
In Christ
O God, powerful and compassionate, you shepherd your people, faithfully feeding and protecting us. Heal each of us, and make us a whole people, that we may embody the justice and peace of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

This Sunday, 7/19

Exciting things await this coming Sunday July 19th
Special Music at both worship services; 
 a solo, a duet,  a quartet...

Baptism of Gabriel Garcia at 10:30 worship
Quarterly Town Hall Meeting between services
See you Sunday

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Wednesday Bible Study July 15

Just a reminder there is no Wednesday Morning Bible Study this week.

It will resume on July 15th.

Thank you

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

Children of Christ,

Thinking again about this summer time, that is now full upon us, and
how it is often seen as a time to refresh ourselves. (If we are
fortunate enough to have that opportunity.) Maybe one of the ways we
refresh ourselves is by play.  And we do not have to go a long ways or
have a great deal of time to play.

Thinking of the time there is to play with the grand kids.  They were
down the other day, and usually the first thing that happens is that
we head outside, first to see what changes are taking place in the
ever changing creation of our back yard.  At this time of the year
there are cherries, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries all
waiting to be taste tested, and they never fail to delight.  It is a
form of play to take in those changes and sometimes literally rush
from spot to spot and see what there is to be seen.

But then the play can begin in earnest with croquet, pickle ball,
playing catch, riding bikes, going to the pool, exploring the creek,
pausing now and again to check out the birds and butterflies, and on
and on.  It is play, and it is good.  It is not rest as many people
would define it, but it is refreshing, rejuvenating, fulfilling even,
and sleep comes well after a day of play, and a moment to offer thanks
for the richness of this world.

Please, if you are able, take some time to play (don't even have to
have kids around to do it, and the whole of the world can be our back
yard) and be refreshed.

Blessings, in praise of the Creator of all things,


We pray for those who work to protect and conserve our rich and
plentiful resources.  Give them insight and innovation as they deal
with the vast challenges of caring for you creation, and for all who
long for welcome and hospitality but find only rejection and
exclusion.  Lead us into a ministry of hospitality in our workplaces,
schools, neighborhoods, and homes.  In Christ, Amen.

Pray for Vacation Bible School, August 16-20, for the coordinators,
the leaders and the children.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

"He must increase, but I must decrease."  John 3:30

Why those words now?  As I sit writing this it is the 24th of June,
which is the commemoration day for John the Baptist, exactly six
months before Christmas Eve.  Seems like and odd thing to think of at
this time of the year, but it fits perfectly actually.  Those are the
words of John, talking about Jesus, the one who for John was "the
light coming into the world".

Summer has just begun, but (while I don't want to think about it) the
days become shorter.  At the time of Jesus birth (think about that in
the heat of the day?) the days become longer.  Even the calendar would
point us to the light of Christ, just as John the Baptist hopes to,
and gospel writer John does with the opening song of the the 1st
chapter of his book.

It is something to think about as time rushes past, to apply some
meaning where sometimes we only find a melancholy truth.  Summer has
really just begun for goodness sake, enjoy it well.  Rest, play, read,
investigate, rediscover, visit, sleep well, eat well, just not all at
once.  Do some things that may increase our awareness of the presence
of the Christ in our lives.  And think of John the Baptist today, the
direction in which he would point us.  (At the beginning of summer no

In the peace and power of the cross,

Offer up in prayer Elizabeth Haydamack, Dolores Austin, Ginny Adamo,
Wesley Plinke, Katelyn Degner, "Almighty and merciful God, we implore
you to hear the prayers of your people.  Be our strong defense against
all harm and danger, that we may live and grow in faith and
hope,through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen."

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tree Falling

From The Property Management Team,
These are exciting times at SOV as we turn a new leaf and prepare for our new decking on the west side of our church. One of the necessary steps to assure the longevity of our roof and new decking is the removal of the large trees adjacent to the church. There will be new trees coming soon to improve our landscaping.
Staff Breed has graciously offered to start his Homelite chain saw at 9 am this coming Saturday.  With the grace of God he will fall the birch tree within inches of the hand-railing on the west side of our church into our parking lot.  (This means you should Not park in the smaller parking lot or use the Cornell Road entrance/exit Saturday morning)
We are still looking for several busy beavers who can help with the cleanup of the branches and debris.  Smart beavers will arrive with gloves, ear protection, safety glasses and boots. We predict that the project should take around 4 hours with enough help.  Depending on Saturday's efforts we may require some additional chipping on Sunday after church. 

Refreshments for busy beavers always seem to appear at these events.  Amazing how food and drink keep appearing.  Thank you to all of the other busy beavers working hard inside to make SOV a better place.
Come and be a part of the new look of Shepherd of the Valley as we remove the last of the large birch trees.
Property Management Team

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Congregational Meeting Review

Greetings and thanks to all who participated in the annual meeting. The new officers elected were as follows: President, Peggy Vermaas; Vice-President, Lee Bonacker;  Secretary, Linnea Harmon; Treasurer, Mark Vignolo; Financial Secretary, Valsala George. Also, two resolutions were passed. These resolutions authorized the Executive Council to sign the contract and then seek appropriate funding for the deck/fire escape project. This is now the time to finalize funds available to pay cash for this project. Currently we have received commitments for about $27,000.  If you are considering making a contribution, it would be most helpful to give that information to our financial secretary, Valsala George, as soon as possible.  If you would like to make a contribution as part of a memorial gift, that is possible as well. Just note on your commitment or check that those are your wishes. Our Memorial/Endowment folks can discuss with you more specifics about that as needed. Just let us know.  Again, we are getting close to funding this project on a cash basis!!!  What a blessing that would be!
This effort is a another great example of how working together we achieve our goals.
'Touched by Christ and touching others for Christ'     

Blessings to all, Peggy

Pastor's Weekly Message

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Yesterday was chapel time and the kids ambled in a little after 9:00am. My grand -daughters were here too, and at first they weren't going to come in, but curiosity got the best of them. Today we were to talk about creation, in particular flowers and birds, and we looked around the sanctuary to see what we could see (and of course we saw more than flowers and birds, because young eyes were doing the looking, and things needed to be pointed out), then we sang eight verses of "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands", and then we headed outside.

Haven't spent as much time as I might outside around this space, so I was prepared to be surprised too. There are many flowers to take in, so many roses, so many hues, and not only the roses. As we walked down toward the water I told of the blue heron I had seen Sunday when we were leaving church, how it flew over Cornell and landed right down there. We stopped on the side walk to see what we could see, noticed a few different birds, trying to listen to their songs above the hum of the street. And then out of the tall grass came the ducks, a mom and six ducklings (although the babies were nearly as big as mom) and they walked right up to us. (My guess is they are used to receiving some food from visitors.) The kids stood still. The ducks stood still. It was a pretty sweet moment. We went looking for a particular part of creation and God said, "How about this?" And yes that worked pretty well.

They followed us a bit. We looked at some more things. Picked some "flowers" (I used to give my mom dandelions when I was a kid and she pretended they were rare beauties). And we were reminded that the wonders of creation are all over the place, ready to surprise us indeed. Thanks for the gifts Lord, and help me to pay attention.

Peace and blessings,
Pastor Randy

Take a moment to pray, "O God of creation, eternal majesty, you preside over land and sea, sunshine and storm. By your strength pilot us, by your power preserve us, by your wisdom instruct us, and by your hand protect us, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen."

Friday, June 12, 2009

Summer Worship Schedule Starts

Summer Worship schedule begins this Sunday June 14th.  Services at 8:30 am and 10:30 am.
Please don't forget to attend the Congregational Annual Meeting following the 10:30 am service, pizza and salad luncheon will be available.
Thank you

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

"He has made everything beautiful in it's time..."  Ecclesiastes 3:11 (RSV)

Driving into the church from my daughter Amie's place in north Portland, just off of Lombard.  After a string of lovely mornings, this one did not seem so lovely.  It was damp and cool, overcast.  Not being much of a morning person my less than sparkling attitude was no great surprise.  Headed for the St. John's bridge, and before I got there saw my grandson cutting across Lombard, headed for his last day of school.  Honked the horn, surprised him more than he surprised me, maybe he wasn't supposed to be there, but  the surprise made me smile.
Got to the bridge faster than usual, smoothest trip there yet, and then sitting on the bridge itself, thoughts drifting to the day ahead, sitting in traffic, feeling the bridge shake as heavy trucks rumbled past.  That was a little unsettling, to be bouncing like that so far above the Willamette River, but looking to my left I saw, settled amongst the fog and mist, the Fremont Bridge and downtown Portland behind it.  I've seen pictures like this framed and for sale at Saturday market.  It was beautiful in it's own way and I took a moment to thank God for the beauty.
Then the trip continued.  From that point on it was my longest drive (timewise) into the church.  I waited and inched along, talked to other drivers and did some lamenting, didn't do much thinking of beauty for a while.  But now here I sit in the middle of the afternoon, and what is remembered most clearly are those moments of beauty and promise, the ones that made me smile.
Sometimes I am not capable of noticing, but I am reminded again and again that "he has made everything beautiful in it's time".

The Lord calls us to pay attention, but we do that at the very least, from time to time.
In Christ,
Give time to this prayer, or something like it, "O God, you are the tree of life, offering shelter to all the world.  Graft us into yourself and nurture our growth, that we may bear your truth and love to those in need. through Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.  Amen."

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Memorial Service for John Adamo

A memorial service for John Adamo will be Thursday, June 11, 2009 at 7:00 pm at Shepherd of the Valley.

In lieu of flowers remembrances can be made to: Alzheimer's Association - Columbia/Willamette Chapter, 1311 NW 21st Ave., Portland, OR 97209 or to Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church Building Fund, 17625 NW Cornell Road, Beaverton, OR 97006.

Wednesday Bible Study

Just a reminder; 

Wednesday Morning Bible Study

10:00 AM

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Invitation of Installation

Please join us in the celebration of installation of
Pastor Randy Schutt
Sunday, June 7th
3:00 pm
Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church

Refreshments will be served following the installation

Pastor's Weekly Message

To All the Saints at SOV~

Came upon this by way of "Context" a commentary on religion and culture put together by Martin Marty (a noted Lutheran theologian\historian), in the June issue. "The story is told about the Baptism of King Aengus by St. Patrick in the middle of the fifth century. Sometime during the rite, St. Patrick leaned on his sharp-pointed staff and inadvertantly stabbed the king's foot. After the Baptism was over, St. Patick looked down at all the blood, realized what he had done, and begged the king's forgiveness. 'Why did you suffer this pain in silence?' Patrick wanted to know. 'I thought it was part of the ritual,' the king replied."

That may indeed be the feeling that some people have about the church as a whole. But (the call to take up our cross and follow the Christ not withstanding) to be a part of a community of faith can be just the opposite of what folks may think. Instead of painful it might be downright delightful, a blessing to have an extended family to turn to at any and all times.

I remember many years ago, a good friend, who I was also pastor to, was asked what he was doing on a given Friday night. When he said he was going to his pastor's house, he was met with a look of sorrow and compassion that he was condemned to such a pitiful thing, and on a Friday night no less. But that person didn't have a clue, only a pre-conceived notion of the painful drudgery that comes with church people.

May we continue to dispel that perception as we care for one another, and welcome others joyfully into our midst. May we foolishly know the truth of what Paul writes, "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice." Philippians 4:4

In the peace and power of the Christ,

As we pray for many, please be sure to offer support in prayer for Ginny Adamo, and come next Thursday, June 11th, at 7:00pm as we celebrate the gift of John Adamo's life.

Remember the presentation of "Animals and other things" at both services this Sunday, and that this is also Holy Trinity Sunday, and with that I share this prayer, "God of heaven and earth, before the foundation of the universe and beginning of time you are the triune God: Author of creation, eternal Word of salvation, life-giving Spirit of wisdom. Guide us to all truth by your Spirit, that we may procalim all that Christ has revealed and rejoice in the glory he shares with us. Glory and priase to you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen."

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bible Study

Wednesday Morning Bible Study with Pastor Randy starts tomorrow June 3rd.

10:00 - 11:00 Bible Study, beginning with the book of Genesis.

Brown bag lunch following if you so desire.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Burgerville FUNdraiser Sun May 31

SOV members:
My friend Kathy is having a FUNdraiser for the American Cancer Society.   If you don't have any plans for lunch or dinner Sunday May 31st , please, stop by a burgerville near you with the flyer (link below).
Thanks for your support,

Something FUN we've got going on Sunday, May 31st...ALL Burgervilles (all 38 of them) are donating 10% of their sales to all our local Relays...We need your help getting the word out.  All you & your friends/family need to do is print the flyer from this link http://relay.acsevents.org/site/DocServer/BurgervilleFlier.pdf?docID=88509 and come enjoy some fun food at Burgerville this Sunday.  If you have a FaceBook account, add it there too!
I personally will be at the Beaverton, Canyon Rd. near Hwy 217 Burgerville from 9am - 6pm busing tables and talking to customers about Relay For Life.  Please, stop on my to say "hi" and help Burgerville and the American Cancer Society find a cure for cancer!  Kathy

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pastor's weekly message

Greetings again Dear Family of Christ,

Last Saturday began ominously enough for me when I answered the phone and it was Berdena (that is Choice's mom) and I knew, without her uttering a word, what the call was about. Choice's brother Tom had died, after a long struggle with cancer. He was only 59 years old. But the day was not filled with sorrow. The grand-kids were with us and so we played, and then played some more, and then played a little more. It was a beautiful day, and there was much to enjoy. But there were also moments of tears as a song, a smell or some other stimulus would cause Choice to remember anew what had been lost some 2,500 miles away, back in Ohio. So often joy and sorrow are interspersed, life and death share the day.

On Sunday morning there was more of the same. We celebrated the baptism of little Lillie Ott (she was not in a celebratory mood for a bit because when you have to eat you have to eat), and it was a grand thing to be part of. Ken and Brenda Plinke were there, and Ken shared after the service how good it was to be present for that event as he had just returned from burying his father. Death and life, life and death, from the ending there comes another new beginning.

Hopefully we know the truth of that, but sometimes it is made a little more powerfully clear to us. This Sunday is Pentecost, another showing of the promise of new life in, around and through us. It receives fuller attention sometimes, but it is something that is present for us everyday. (That is one of the reasons Luther encouraged starting each day by making the sign of the cross on our foreheads, so not only would we be reminded of whose we are, but also of that promise of new life through the gift of the Christ.)

May we appreciate the gift of life anew every day.

In the peace and power of the Christ,

Breath of God, every living thing depends on you for life and sustenance. Open your hand and fill us with good things that delight and satisfy. Grant all that we need to live as your Spirit-filled people, in the name of the risen Christ. Amen.

Please, if you read this before Sunday, and are interested and able, wear some red in celebration of Pentecost.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Town Hall Mtg, Sun, May 31

Reminder.  The Town Hall Meeting on the Deck/Fire Escape repair proposal begins around Noon after the late service.  Sunday, May 31.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pastor's Weekly Message

Greetings in the name of Christ,
Well, well, this is my first attempt at this endeavor, and I hope it goes well.
Today is Ascension day.  It has been noted, if not celebrated, in the church since the 4th century.  It is the 40th day of Easter, the day that Jesus departed and rose into heaven.  The story recounting it can be found at the end of the gospel according to St. Luke and the beginning of the book of the Acts of the Apostles.  Read the story and think about the disciples the next time you look up toward the heavens, and how often it would be nice to just freeze things in time, or how often we may find ourselves staring off into the distance, not necessarily connected to where we are, and what it is like to be jolted back to reality.
Sometimes the jolts are necessary, and sometimes they seem to be a cruel reminder.  It is what happens after that jolt to the disciples that continues, at least in part, in this coming Sunday's lessons.  Stay tuned.
This is the second week for me here in the office, and while there hasn't been any routine established, somethings, and more importantly, some faces, are beginning to look familiar.  Routine will be difficult to establish, especially until we are able to move to the area.  It is not ideal, but for now it is how it is.  Please bear with me, and let us at least enjoy getting to know one another. 
This is a holiday week end, and for this particular one there will be only one worship service on Sunday, May 24th, at 10:30am.  And if you find yourself traveling, please be careful, and most all enjoy the time, be it to relax, the visit with family and friends, to take in the wonders of nature, or some combination of them all.  Feed yourself well, in mind, body and spirit.
Remember in prayer:
the men and women in our armed services;
those who struggle daily with addictions;
the continuing ministry of SOV
SOV annual meeting on June 14th, following late service.  An important time in the life of this community of faith.
And please let me know of prayer concerns you may have. 
In the peace and power of the cross.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

SOV Youth Choir Presents

ANIMALS And Other Things
June 7 at both SOV services
What can we learn from God's creation?  Specifically, what can the ANIMALS in God's creation teach us? You'd be surprised! Come to worship, to learn, and to enjoy the music of our SOV Youth Choir this June 7th as they present this wonderful musical.  Special appearances by the Soggy Bottom Beaverdam Boys and numerous "critters."  Our kids have been working so hard on this project for months. Come and celebrate with them!

Kevin Cope
Minister of Worship SOV
503.690.0385 Home
503.645.4994 Church