Happening Now Blog

Friday, December 31, 2010

January Newsletter

The January newsletter is available on line and hard copies are available at the information center located in the Narthex.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

We have spent a whole lot of time hearing about dreams and visions in scripture the past few weeks, some wild rides.  May God continue to speak to us in the same way.

Closing out this year with a favorite quote of mine that seems to fit the theme.  From C.S. Lewis novel "Till We Have Faces", "Of the things that followed I cannot at all say whether they were what men call real or what men call dream.  And for all I can tell, the only difference is that what many see we call a real thing, and what only one sees we call a dream.  But things that many see may have no taste or moment in them at all, and things that are shown only to one may be spears and water-spouts of truth from the very depth of truth."

Dream away, in the peace and power of the Christ.

Have a blessed New Year,
Pastor Randy
Thursday  12:00 pm  All Church Luncheon
Sunday   8:30 am & 11:00 am Worship Service
               9:45 am New Year Brunch; bring your favorite breakfast dish to share

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A few reminders...

No Bible study this week (December 29th)
No Vesper Service this week (December 29th)

Ushers needed for this Sunday and the month of January, February, March...etc

Two services Sunday January 2, 2011 8:30 and 11:00 am

Sunday January 2, 2011...
ALL CHURCH BRUNCH (9:45 am/between services)
please bring your favorite breakfast item;
brunch casserole,
sausage, bacon, ham
french toast

Thank you

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

"and a little child shall lead them." Isaiah 11:6 

I was ready to be disappointed.  Really wasn't sure what to expect, but our number seemed so small when we headed out for caroling.  On our first stop we just went up on the stage, after a warm greeting, and started singing.  I saw smiles and nods, eyes sparkling and lips moving along with the words of these beloved songs.

Disappointment?  How foolish.  It wasn't about numbers but about singing the good news and sharing some joy with others.  (Though starting Silent Night at to high a pitch did put a strain on us for a moment.)  Then we shared some greetings, blessings for the season and went to our next stop.

Now about that "little child" part.  Obviously through Christian eyes we see the baby Jesus as the one that Isaiah refers to, the one that we were singing about. But  there were other children with us that night as well.

So thankful that my grand-daughters Taylor and Avery were there.  But there was also Emery.  As we sang and walked she sometimes raced ahead.  When we stopped she would twirl, dance and sometimes direct our singing.  Her confidence and comfort, joy and enthusiasm, fit the moment perfectly.  Aware or not, she was a teacher.  There were smiles aplenty, and again a reminder of the purpose for being there.  Again we sang heartily, shared best wishes and a moment of warmth (and for me the warmth lasted more than a moment).

And I was ready to be disappointed, and also obviously still learning.

Christmas blessings, in the name of the child Christ,
Pastor Randy

"Be born among us that we may ourselves be born.  Be born within us that by words and deeds of love we may bear the tidings of your birth to a world that dies for lack of love.  We ask it in the child's name.  Amen."   (from prayers by Frederick Buechner)


WEDNESDAY  5:45 p  Advent Soup Supper
                       6:30 p  Advent Vesper Service
                       7:00 p  Adult Choir Practice

                4:00 p, 6:00 p, 11:00 p


SUNDAY      10:30 AM - Regular Worship Service with ccommunion

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God ..." Luke 2:13

Makes me think of singing.  And there has been a whole lot of sing going on around here.  Singing of the Christmas kind in particular.  We added some Christmas carols on Advent Sunday's (gasp!).  We sang at the excellent children's program this Sunday past.  We sang, and listened others sing as well, at the annual SOV Christmas concert.  And this Sunday evening we will go caroling, singing until our voices crackle.

Are we always melodious?  Maybe not exactly.  Are we some times discordant with our voices raised?  Some more than others I suppose.

But it is "praising God" that is the key for me here.  Luke does not write about how on key the "heavenly host" was.  So, sing away, boldly, loud and joyously.  We are part of the "multitude", and we still sing for the same reason some 20 centuries later.  On key or not it is all sweet music to the Lord.

In the peace and power of the manger,
Pastor Randy

"Lord, as we live this week, may we not only seek a sign from You, but be a sign from You, for our family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, classmates and everyone we encounter along the way.  For the sake of the One who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  Amen."
This Week
Wednesday   5:45/6:00 p Advent Soup Supper
                      6:30 p Advent Vesper Service
                      7:00 p Adult Choir Practice
Thursday       10:00 a  LLL
                       7:00 p  Council Meeting
Sunday        6:00 p Christmas Caroling carpool from SOV
                       Followed by chili/soup potluck
Monday       7:00 p Prayer Shawl Ministry will meet at
                              New Seasons Market in Orenco
                              (please note change of location)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Alzheimer's caregiver classes available

Home is Where my Heart Lives

As the disease progresses, a person with Alzheimer's often struggles with recognizing family members and familiar environments. As a result, they often repeatedly say things such as, "I want to go home." In this class, participants will learn how to accurately assess the person's comprehension levels, how to meet their basic needs, and how to respond when the person they are caring for is confused.          

         Date:   Tuesday, December 7
         Time:   6 - 7:30 pm
         Cost:   No Charge - No Registration Required
         Location:  Alzheimer's Association Office
                        1650 NW Naito Parkway, Suite 190
                        Portland, OR 97209

Dealing with Grief and Loss

Losing someone to Alzheimer's disease has been called "The Long Goodbye." On this journey, caregivers experience difficult and surprising emotions, such as shock, anger, guilt, and hopelessness.  While these feelings can be frightening and overwhelming, they are normal reactions to loss. This class will guide you towards accepting these feelings as part of the grieving process so that healing can occur.

         Date:   Saturday, December 11
         Time:   10-11:30 am
         Cost:   No Charge - No Registration Required
         Location:  Alzheimer's Association Office
                        1650 NW Naito Parkway, Suite 190
                        Portland, OR 97209

*This class is approved for 1.5 CEUs for Adult Foster Home providers. There is a $15 charge for credits. Call for more information.  Registration required - space is limited.  Please plan to arrive 15 minutes before the listed class time.

For more information, call 503.416.0201. To find our most up to date class schedule, click here.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

"The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork." Psalm 19:1

It was a pretty rich day all in all, and while there were a great many memorable moments, a couple of them stand out as work of the Creator's hand.  It is about surprise, and this is a season that reminds us all the more about the surprise of God.  A baby Messiah?

Sitting in my office, catching up on myriad messages, pre-occupied, but then taking note of a constant noise.  Rolled to the window and looked down to the park and saw the reason for the distraction.  Literally hundreds of geese landing, taking off, tramping around, constant movement and all the while their chorus dwarfing the traffic on Cornell.  "The heavens telling the glory of God."  Beautiful.

Went home for lunch.  foolish to drive the distance I suppose, but it just feels good to go "home" for lunch.  Stepping out back to see what birds might be at the feeder.  Froze while stepping out the door upon seeing a deer standing just below me.  Watched quietly for a bit and then suddenly noticed movement to my right, a youngster with dark tufts moves down to see mom, and yet another deer moves out from behind the neighbors house.  My heart thumped as I watched mom deftly leap over the fence and the trio wandered to the creek, and off.  "The firmament proclaims his handiwork"

The days are rich even without the surprises.  May we see God at work in it all.

Blessed Advent, in the peace and power of the Christ,
Pastor Randy

"Lord, open our hearts to help and serve others, to be bold witnesses to your redeeming grace and to care for people who suffer in body or spirit.  Strengthen us so that through our actions and in our words, the people we encounter will see you in us.  In Jesus name, Amen."
WEDNESDAY  5:45 p  Advent Soup Supper
                       6:30 p  Advent Vesper Service
                       7:00 p  Adult Choir Practice
SUNDAY     8:30 a Regular Worship w/communion
                  11:00 a Sunday School Christmas Program
                  6:00 p Choir concert and Music Fest 
                  (please bring your favorite holiday treat to share)
Looking Ahead
Sunday December 19  Christmas Caroling followed by potluck chili/soup supper
                                   Meet at the church at 6:00 p to carpool

Monday, December 6, 2010

Scholastic Book Offer

Kids of the Kingdom Christian Preschool participates in the Scholastic Book Program and are inviting church members to participate with us.  They have a wide variety of books for children grades Preschool through 6th.  They would be fantastic Christmas gifts.  Please follow the directions below.  If you have questions you can email kokpreschool@gmail.com

Remember when you order books, the preschool earns FREE books!

With the due date for December orders of December 8, 2010, the books will be here by December 17.  

Steps for ordering online: 

•  SIGN UP at www.Scholastic.com/bookclubs. On the parent page, click the "Don't have a User Name and Password?" link, then register for your own username and password. When prompted, enter the one-time Class Activation Code GYR6L. This code ensures that your order is sent to me.

•  SELECT the books you'd like to order from over 500 titles available online...and take advantage of online-only specials and discounts.

•  SEND your order to me online by the due date. Books will be delivered directly to the preschool.  I will call or email you to arrange a pick up day and time.

•  Online Ordering Information Recap
     Web address: scholastic.com/bookclubs
     Class Activation Code: GYR6L

Online Book Club Order Due Date: Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thank you,

Wendy Roeder
Kids of the Kingdom Christian Preschool
Book Club Coordinator

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December Newsletter

The December Newsletter is now available for viewing. Hard copies are available at the information center.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

"Prepare the way of the Lord...." Mark 1:3b 

That is a theme of Advent, preparation.  It is evident in all sorts of ways, in our homes, in church buildings.  Do we sometimes get carried away?  So much so that we miss the point, or lose it entirely?  Probably so, but this is not a time for casting aspersions, at least not from me.

Sunday night we put the tree up at our house.  The earliest we have ever done that in my recollection.  But the need was great in my heart.  It was a rich time of looking forward with excitement and remembering the gifts years filled with blessings.  Listened to Christmas carols, strung lights, and after some effort, some laughter, and even a few tears, we stopped.  It was not that we were done, such preparation is never truly done, whatever the season.

Then we sat in the relative dark and silence for a while.  These were pretty sweet moments actually.  A reminder again that the "light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not overcome it". Preparation for the coming of the Christ.  May we all have some time to do such things, in whatever ways speak to us.  Prepare the way indeed!

In Christ,
Pastor Randy

"God of grace and glory, refocus our minds on the real meaning of this season; to watch and to wait.  It is difficult to wait patiently for he birth of the Christ child, all the while anticipating our Lord's return.  Help us set aside the concerns of the world in this holiday season so we may hear John the Baptist's words, take them to heart and focus on preparing the way of the Lord.  Amen."
WEDNESDAY  Advent soup supper  5:45/6:00 pm
                       Vesper Service           6:30 pm
                       Adult Choir                 7:00 pm
THURSDAY     Men's Night  @ Old Chicago  6:30 pm
FRIDAY          Festival of Trees outing meeting @ SOV, 9:30 am
SUNDAY        Adult Sunday School class 10:00 am
                     (Ada will continue her presentation on 'Dreams')

Monday, November 29, 2010

Time for SOV "holiday fun"

It's time for the SOV holiday fun
Church Decorating~

November 30th
9:00 am

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Jesus Christ for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

The night is bitterly cold, a few high clouds, silver lights shining in the sky.  Rejoicing in the beauty of the moment.  Giving thanks for the chance to take it in and then being able to retreat to the warmth of a home and bed.

Praying for those who do not have such luxury.  Prayers that take place in thoughts, words and deeds.

Looking toward a meal, the presence of family, a chance to offer love and receive the same.  Giving thanks for the abundance, as well as a chance to share such abundance.

Continuing to pray for those who will eat alone, if they eat at all.  Delivering food to others is part of the prayer.  But there are so many needs, so much to be done.

And so Paul's words of encouragement are all the more important for us to take to heart.  Rejoice in the gifts indeed, being empowered by such rejoicing.  All the more ready to pray as a matter of giving thanks, so that we may indeed live out the will of Jesus in our lives.  Sometimes overwhelmed, but not defeated.

May we bless others as we have been blessed.  Happy Thanksgiving.

In the the peace and power of the Christ,
Pastor Randy

"We thank you Lord of all Creation, for the wonders of the world in which we live, for the earth and all that springs from it, and for the mystery of life.  We pray that our gratitude may be shown by our care to conserve, learn and share, to seek justice, and to always call for your guidance and mercy.  In the name of the Christ.  Amen."
WEDNESDAY  6:30 pm Vesper Service
                      7:00 pm Choir Practice
FRIDAY          Holiday, (office closed)
Saturday  5:00pm Celebration of Marriage for Melody Wright and Michael Burkesmith 
Monday 11/29 KOK Christmas greens, pick up 11:30 - 12:30 or 5:00 - 6:30 pm
                      (limited extra greenery is available for sale at time of pick up)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sunday November 21

Stewardship Commitment Sunday, November 21!

Facing the truth and following Jesus as we share the generous life that God provides each of us is a life long gift and opportunity. 

This time of our church year finds us involved in revisiting our own commitment of being a good steward of what God generously gives us each day of our earthly lives.  Sometimes those gifts are time, sometimes, money,  sometimes talents to share and sometimes a combination of everything.

We ask that each of us prayerfully consider making a pledge from your heart and share it as a personal offering during worship this Sunday.  These pledges help our council shape and guide our budget that in turn guides the mission and ministry for Shepherd of the Valley.
Each gift is a powerful expression of love and joy as we give back to God part of what He generously gives to us.

For those of us that have children, talk to them, include them in knowing that you are praying about this and ask them to share how they can also be part of giving back to God.  It is joy that keeps on giving.
We will have extra pledge forms and envelopes at the ushers station this Sunday.  Invite you children to participate with their own pledge.

Acting together, sharing enough, facing the truth and following Jesus gives us the foundation for "living a generous life" through the love, hope and promise of being children of God.
Together in His love,
Your Stewardship team

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

"... for I have learned to be content with whatever I have." Philippians 4:11b 

How are we doing with that?  With Thanksgiving next week and Christmas coming quickly it is good, or challenging, or necessary, to think about contentment.  With that in mind I can't help but think of the moments that wipe away concerns, if even for a short time, and bring contentment, or joy, or thanksgiving.

Could go all kinds of directions, but predictably my mind this moment settles on a walk in the park.  It was Choice and I with our two oldest grand daughters (3 month old Daphne has not yet discovered the park).  We were in a spot where a few days before Choice and I had seen a large leopard slug.  And just after mentioning that we came upon an even larger one.  It was a leopard slug of at least 6 inches racing across the path.  (okay maybe the racing part is an exaggeration.)

So we spent some time studying this creature.  A reminder that beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder.  We are pet free at our house and remain so, even after studying this sleek bit of the Creator's hand.  The point?   A simple moment, filled with foolishness, laughter, even a bit of wonder, and being reminded that I have people to love, and that love me, that there are so many things to see, and hear and taste.

Ah, to be content, even for a moment, with what we have.  How are we doing with that?

In the love of the Christ,
Pastor Randy

"Father, we are entering a season that celebrates the greatest gift we have ever received, your son.  But we confess that the gifts we think about are ones on wish lists and sometimes we leave you out of it.  Help us see yo this season and celebrate the light you gave to the world.  And may the greatest gift we give this year be in sharing your gift with others.  Amen."  

WEDNESDAY  6:30 P   Vesper Service
                       7:00 P  Adult Choir Practice
THURSDAY     12:00 P All Church Luncheon
                       7:00 P  Council Meeting
SATURDAY    Thanksgiving Basket Distribution
                 (9:00 a shopping, 10 a basket filling)
Youth Game Night has been cancelled for Saturday and will be rescheduled for a later date.

Looking Ahead; 
   Advent Begins November 28th
   Soup/Bread Suppers begin December 1st
   Festival of Trees outing/lunch Friday December 3rd (see sign up sheet in Narthex)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

"....a sound of sheer silence"... I Kings 19:12

Giving thanks.  Starting off prayer after prayer with thanks because it certainly helps the attitude.  To recall blessings when faced with trials, or when tempted to think that God is absent, is a good way to take in the whole of reality.  Often it is pretty easy to list the things that I give thanks for, the obvious gifts of family, home and daily sustenance.  But the Lord can take me by surprise and remind me of a powerful presence in all sorts of ways.

So there I was, standing outside again late at night.  There were some stars to be seen and things were pretty still.  It was simply lovely.  And then there was the unmistakable sound "hoo - hoo hoo - hoo".  I stood stock still and heard it again and yet again.  It was the sound of a great horned owl, two of them probably, talking to each other.  And I listened to their conversation for a while, grinning like a fool.  Another reason to give thanks, unexpected, God ever present.

For the prophet Elijah it was a still small voice, or sheer silence.  The point is that God is constantly speaking to us.  May we hear the voice, in whatever form, and give thanks.

In thanksgiving for the whole of creation,
Pastor Randy

"Merciful Savior, you loved the world so much that you gave your all - your very life - for us.  We often receive your outrageous gift imperfectly, forgetting the abundance of it, and living instead in poverty of spirit.  We often reject the grace you freely offer and cling instead to guilt and shame.  We often deny your gift's liberating power and live instead in fear.  Grant us, we pray , courage and faith to live as children of a risen and saving Christ.  Amen."

Wednesday     6:30p Vesper Service
                       7:00p Adult Choir Practice
Social Concerns is accepting frozen chicken or turkey's for the Thanksgiving Food Basket Distribution November 20th.
Operation Christmas Child boxes are due this Sunday November 14
(using an empty standard shoe box, wrap in Christmas paper (lid separately) pray for the child who will receive the gift, then fill with your gifts. Gift suggestions for inside the box. Basic school supplies: pens, pencils, crayons, markers, writing pads, coloring books, calculators. Small toys: cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, jump rope etc. Hygiene items: toothbrush and toothpaste, mild soap in plastic bag, comb, washcloth etc. Other: hard candy, lollipops, gum (in plastic bag), hair clips, jewelry, watch etc.  Please do not include broken or damaged items, no war related items, such as guns, knives. No chocolate, no lotions or liquids, no medication or vitamins, no glass or aerosol cans.  Please label it for Boy or Girl (or pick up a label from the social concerns bulletin board).
Prayers of thanksgiving for the successful surgery of Ginnie's brother in law.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

"You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle... " Psalm 56:8

Standing outside again, late on a November night.  It is a beautiful night, warm, still and clear.  There are stars shining brightly.  There is something extra out in the back yard now though.  The trees are less full of course, but the major difference is the sound.  What was recently a dry creek bed is now a flowing stream, and the sound of the water running is a blessing to my heart.

There is no need to pretend, amidst the beauty, that sorrow does not exist.  Ever had a sleepless night?  Ever know tears that would not stop?  The psalmist speaks to that in the verse above.  That is reality of where life sometimes finds us, whatever the reason may be.  In the longest chapter in the Bible, also in Psalms, that fact is pointed to, "My eyes shed streams of tears..." (119:136).  Seems to grim?

Back to that lovely night again, and a reminder of more words from that same Psalm 56 that opened this little tome.  Now, vs. 13 says, "For you have delivered my soul .... and my feet from falling, so that I may walk before God in the light of life."

Just a creek in the backyard on a lovely night.  The reality of sorrow and the promise of God present at any and all times.

In the peace and power of the Christ,
Pastor Randy

"Merciful Savior, you loved the world so much that you gave your all - your very life - for us.  We often receive your outrageous gift imperfectly, forgetting the abundance of it, and living instead in poverty of spirit.  We often reject the grace your freely offer and cling instead to guilt and shame.  We often deny your gift's liberating power and live instead in fear.  Grant us, we pray, courage and faith to live as children of a risen and saving Christ.  Amen."
Wednesday  6:30 pm Vesper Service
                    7:00 pm Adult Choir Practice
Thursday     1:30-7:00pm American Red Cross Blood Drive
                                   To register call 1.800.RED.CROSS 
                    6:30 pm Men's Night- meeting at Pastor Randy's (and Choice's)
                    please let him know you are attending so he may order enough pizza

Saturday     "FALL BACK" Don't forget to set  your clocks back one hour
Sunday      All Saints Sunday
(if you would like a loved one remembered please email Tammy the name, date of birth and date of death)
                 Scrip orders due 
                 5:00 pm  Youth Group Meeting at SOV (snacks provided)
                 6:00 pm  Transport Trio and Company in concert at SOV

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November Newsletter

SOV Family
The newsletter is now available to view on line. Hard copies are available at the information center in the church Narthex.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

"God made the two great lights - the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night - and the stars." Genesis 1:16

Sunday was a wild one, with God's powerful presence apparent in all sorts of ways.  It had been raining hard during the night so it was a pleasant surprise, on Sunday morning, to see the moon and stars shining so clearly.  So I stood in the driveway a bit, taking in the celestial bounty.  And during the day it was a constant back and forth, between dousing rains and hail, and bursts of sun and blue sky.  It captivated me during our worship time and through the rest of the daytime hours.  And when evening came the Lord tossed in a little light not mentioned in the creation account of Genesis.  Lightning flashed brilliantly on the drive home from the variety show.  And the wind blew.  The rain poured.  And then later that night the back yard was lit up by the silver light of a just past full-moon high in the sky.  And the night was still, except for the occasional tree frog and the suddenly renewed creek running through the trees below.  It was astoundingly lovely. 

All a reminder to me that when God set the creation in motion He did not walk away, but is still creating now.

The day was also like a microcosm of life itself.  Moving in fits and starts.  Beautiful, challenging, somehow all necessary, always changing. 

Sunday was a wild one.

In Christ,
Pastor Randy

"Infinite and Creator God, you alone hold the secrets of the history of the universe; you alone know the mysteries of life and of love; you alone comprehend the purposes of good and evil.  Even beyond time and space, you probe the farthest reaches of eternity.  We marvel at your majesty.  We revere your holiness.  We are humbled by your love and care for us.  We trust in your eternal purposes and plans, knowing that you are good and faithful.  Amen."
WEDNESDAY  6:30 pm    Vesper Service
                      7:00 pm    Adult Choir Practice
THURSDAY   12:00pm All Church Luncheon (everyone is invited)
           Special offering to be taken for Thanksgiving Food Baskets
           Bring canned food for Thanksgiving Food Baskets;
                   Rice (1/2 pound bags)
                   Flour (5 pound bag)
                   Canned vegetables (corn or green beans)
                   Cooking oil
                   Boxed Stuffing Mix
                   Canned cranberry sauce

Friday, October 22, 2010

Free Diabetes Clinic Nov 6, 9am

Your Health Team would like to share with you an upcoming Free Diabetes Clinic. 

Saturday, November 6, 9am
Tuality Health Education Center, Hillsboro
(free, RSVP 503-681-1700)

If you or someone you know is affected by Diabetes please consider attending this clinic. If you have further questions or would like to carpool please contact Corrine Gilbertson.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Child First Aid and CPR Training

Kids of the Kingdom Preschool is having a Child First Aid and CPR training on Monday, October 25, from 6:30 to 10 pm at the Church.

We would like to extend an invitation to anyone that is interested for this certification to join us.  It may be that you have young ones at home or a teenager who is baby-sitting and this training would be very helpful.

The cost will be between $32-26 per person.  Please email kokpreschool@gmail.com to let us know that you are coming.  Any questions can be directed to Linda Rasmussen or Wendy Roeder.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

"Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you." 2nd Corinthians 13:12

Whenever I read those words of Paul, or some form of them, I can't help but smile a bit.  It makes me think about how much the "passing of the peace" has changed in my time as a pastor.  From a time when it just was not done, to a time when (in some places at least) in can go on for a quite a while.  I know it still makes some folks feel quite uncomfortable, and this is not an admonition to take part, or condemnation if you really don't want to. ( But, my goodness, how uncomfortable it would be if we were to greet with a holy kiss.)  There are even instructions, in a book called "Here I Stand", on "How to share the peace in church."  This is a book that is used at least a bit in confirmation programs.

In particular I thought of those words, and our passing of the peace the other day when Choice and I went for a walk.  We walk often at Rood Bridge Park, and on it's miles of trails we often meet folks and usually say "Hello" in passing.  It is not a big deal, just a part of my nature, and often times there is no greeting in return.  Every one's nature is different.  Still, on that Sunday afternoon, as the sun shone and the smells of fall filled the air, every person that we greeted responded in kind.  It made me smile.  Not a big deal, but a sweet touch none the less. 

And that then made me think of a writing by Walter Wangerin called "Edification/Demolition" where he offers these words, "There are no useless, minor meetings.  ..... There are no pointless lives.  Swallow your sorrows, forget your grievances and all the hurt your poor life has sustained.  Turn your face truly to the human before you and let her, for one pure moment, shine.  Think her important, and then she will suspect that she is fashioned of God."

It is a way to grant one another peace. 

In Christ,
Pastor Randy

"Gracious God, the generosity of your Spirit is evident all around us in the diversity and pageantry of your creation.  May our giving to your mission  and ministry be cheerful, open-handed and gracious, as we give thanks for our blessings and recognize the needs of our neighbors, both near and around the world.  Amen."
Wednesday  Vesper Service         6:30p
                     Adult Choir Practice 7:00p
Thursday     Stewardship Meeting  10:00a
                    LLL                          10:00a
                    Council Meeting         7:00p
Friday          Confirmation Retreat   7:00p
Saturday     Pumpkin Carving 2:00 - 4:00p

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

Greetings to the family of Christ at SOV,

A month ago  I wrote about music changes and quoted from Martin Marty's Context.  Mentioned then that the publication was winding down and received the nearly last one that covers what he covered from 1978 to 1985.  Hope you don't mind if some of the things that stood out for me are now shared with you.  They are things that make me go "hmmm".

First there is this piece from educator Parker Rossman, from October 1981, and the future he was writing about is already past, "Electronic communications had at first seemed a danger: isolating people, making them passive...For a time there had been less travel, fewer meetings, and much more time had been spent in front of the television or home computer. [But by] the year 2000, families and congregations were using electronic networks to grow closer, to  keep in daily touch, so that the elderly, children, single people, teenagers, and everyone in the congregation was surrounded with a network of enfolding, caring love. Where one-way communication had been oppressive, propagandizing, even tyrannical at times, two-way communication could be personalized, loving, caring growth-producing, drawing people into continuing dialogue and conversation. Spiritually, church people in 2000 were also in continuous, closer contact with Christians all over the world; a global network of acquaintance and concern which was bringing world peace close and helping people join their efforts in solving global problems."  Ten more years have passed.  How is that working out?

And then there is this quote from philosopher and Christian mystic Simone Weil, "Why should I worry?  It's not my business to think of myself.  My business is to think of God.  It's his business to think of me." 

Sort of an easy out I suppose, but I may return to Context again from time to time.  Does it make you think too?

In Christ,
Pastor Randy

"Holy God, we thank you for equipping us through your Word to be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.  It is our desire to your your Word, receive it and respond to it in obedience.  Where our desire falters, we ask for courage.  Where our will is weak, we ask for strength.  Speak to us, we pray, the word of conviction, of encouragement, of comfort or of teaching that we most need to hear, for you alone know our hearts.  Amen."
This Week

Wednesday   6:30p Vesper Service
                     7:00p  Adult Choir practice
Household items needed for a KOK family
- Microwave
- 2 queen beds
If you have items that you would like to donate please contact Tammy or Wendy

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

".... and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8

It seems so simple, but sometimes we can make it so complicated.  Jesus said much the same thing as the prophet.  Remember his words about "loving God with all our heart, soul and mind, and loving our neighbor as ourselves" (loosely from Matthew 22:37-39).  It seems so basic. 

But we can argue about what is just, and who our neighbors are, and how it is that we really show our love for God.  Semantics get involved, and then emotions, and how can they not?  And then we can fight about loving God, and be anxious about loving others in the right way.  And humility?  That may be the first casualty in our quest to show who is the most just in loving God the best.

Sometimes we are a curious lot.  Wanting things simple, but inventing and inviting complications at the same time.  What is this apropos  of?  Nothing in particular and everything in general I suppose.  Just that sometimes when it seems things might be simple, they get complicated all over again.  But the Lord's directive and invitation still stands.  And in the midst of this sometimes self-invented adventure He loves us still, and always will.  Even though sometimes he must shake his head in wonderment.  (Or maybe that is just me.)

Thanks for the love Lord, because the adventure surely continues.

In the peace and power of the Christ,
Pastor Randy

"Merciful Savior, you loved the world so much that you gave your all - your very life - for us.  We often receive your outrageous gift imperfectly, forgetting the abundance of it, and living instead in poverty of spirit.  We often reject the grace you freely offer and cling instead to guilt and shame.  We often deny your gift's liberating power and live instead in fear.  Grant us, we pray, courage and faith to live as children of a risen and saving Christ.  Amen."
This Week
Thursday     American Red Cross Blood Drive
                   1:30-7:00 pm (call 1.800.red.cross)

                   Men's Night @ Old Chicago Pizza 6:30p
Saturday     Compassion Clinic @ Barnes Elementary
                   (visit www.CompassionBeaverton.org)
Sunday       Youth Group Meeting 12:00p
                   All 7- 12th grade youth and parents

Friday, October 1, 2010

October Newsletter

Now available on line (http://bit.ly/sovnews) Hard copies are also available in the church Narthex.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

From your Stewardship Committee

"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit."  Psalm 51:10-12
The over-arching theme for our community of faith this year is "Living a Generous Life". In the midst of that we are challenged by the realities of life as we "Face the Truth", and also consider our call to "Follow Jesus".
The realities? This is a complex world we live in, and often times we may feel pushed and pulled in all sorts of directions. Sometimes by things we choose to do, and sometimes by the vagaries of life itself. All that pushing and pulling, and wondering if we have enough time, energy and other resources to meet the demands placed on us may leave us fearful at the very least. We may feel like the disciples on the boat in the storm with Jesus, wondering if He can make things alright.
In the end Jesus did make things alright, but he also had a question for the disciples, "Why are you afraid?" They focused on the wind and waves instead of Jesus presence with them. So the question comes to us as well, "Why are you afraid?"  What is it that we focus on?
Can we focus on "following Jesus"?  Or do we over schedule ourselves so much that we find it impossible to focus on anything much? Is there ever enough of us to go around? I am already being generous enough, can I be still more generous?
There are many questions there. Questions that we can only answer individually. But the answers affect us as a whole. This letter is about us individually and as a whole at Shepherd of the Valley. It is about our financial pledges, our time and talent commitments, our prayerful support of this community of faith.
As we consider our commitments may we do so with the words of the Psalmist as a guide, that God would continue to "Create in us a ... willing spirit." May we not be guided by fears or demands, but by faith.
Commitment Sunday this year will be November 21st, which may seem like a long way off in some respects, but will be upon us soon. Please use the time to prayerfully consider what we are called to do.
Thank you
Pastor Randy, Bob McFall, Diane Lewis, Larina Hoffbeck, Deb Mueller-Kruse, Terry Wagemann

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

"From this time forward I make you hear new things, hidden things that you have not known."    Isaiah 48:6b

I don't know how many times I walked up and down the front steps on Monday.  Out to the car and back, to the mail box, on and on.  Even stopped to water the plants, in particular the hanging plant right by the front door.  It wasn't until late afternoon that I noticed what appeared to be a clump of leaves in that hanging plant.  Except, upon closer inspection, I noticed that this clump of leaves had pointy ears.  Indeed a little bat friend was roosting in this oddly obvious spot, nearly unnoticed.

There are always surprises, even if we try to pay attention.  Even if we do something over and over again.   So, read that piece of scripture again.  Offer that prayer again.  Because maybe there is something new this time.  Maybe something was missed before.  Maybe the perspective will be a little different.  In truth, with God's creative hand, there is always something new to take in, no matter how old it may seem, or how many times we have walked past it. 

Still trying to pay attention, in Christ,
Pastor Randy

"Lord, we give you thanks for the richness of this world.  Strengthen and guide us to be a part of that richness for the lives around us.  Help us to be boldly attentive in your name. Amen."

Wednesday   Vesper Service     6:30 pm
                     Adult Choir           7:00 pm
Thursday     All Church Luncheon 12:00 pm (no reservations required)
Sunday       Blessing of the Pets  (after both worship)
                   Movies with Meaning     6:30 pm  (no childcare provided)
**Property management announced on Sunday imperative building improvements are needed to our church home (building);  new furnace w/ optional A/C, new electrical, and siding/paint. Financial funds are being explored at this time. Any questions can be directed to Connie or Jeff on property management.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sunday 9/26

The Stewardship Committee would like to remind you of Sunday, September 26th "Support SOV Storehouse Sunday".

Please bring canned/boxed foods to be placed at the Altar during offering at both worship services this Sunday. Shepherds storehouse gives food baskets to families in our community each Tuesday that are in need.
Don't forget to attend the baby shower for Daphne Kelley this Sunday September 26th following the 11:00 service.  If able, please bring a salad to share at the salad luncheon.  If you would like to help with hosting the shower please be in touch with Diane.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

"The leech has two daughters; 'Give, give,' they cry. Three things are never satisfied; four never say, 'Enough.' " Proverbs 30:15

(Seems like an odd way to start things I suppose, but some of the OT proverbs are a little odd, and may speak to us in a different way than they were originally intended, but please bear with me.)

Standing on the deck, looking out at the trees and the activity all around me.  Enjoying a libation, barbecuing, one of the best places to be in the whole of the world in my simple estimation.  And yet there is a part of me that invites in a bit of sorrow.  How many more chances will there be to do this as fall arrives?  Thinking how nice it would be to make the moment last.  And also thinking, "hey genius, how about you enjoy the moment while it is here?"

In such a sweet moment, but thinking of something more.  It is so easy to do, and we rob ourselves of the beauty of a gift given.  Ever do that yourself?

Reminded of a brief story I just read in Christian Century.  "John C. Bogle tells how Joseph Heller responded when someone pointed out that his billionaire party host made more money in a single day of hedge fund trading than Heller had ever earned from his book Catch - 22.  Heller replied, 'Yes, but I have something that he will never have: enough.'"

What is enough?  We will never know if we are always looking for something else.  May we, at least at some moments, take in the beauty of the moment.  It is enough.

In thanks to the Creator of all things,
Pastor Randy

"Lord, as we give you thanks for the richness of our lives and the adventure of them, we also ask for another gift.  Please give us the wisdom and patience to know what is enough and to enjoy what it is that is already ours.  In the name of the grand gift of the Christ we pray.  Amen."

Wednesday;  Vesper Service  6:30 pm
                     Adult Choir        7:00 pm
Saturday;     American Red Cross CPR/AED training @ SOV
                    9:00 - 2:15 pm, open to all adults, please contact
                    Connie M. if you would like to attend, cost is $35
Sunday;       Celebrate SOV's Storehouse; bring canned food
                    to place at the altar Baby Shower Luncheon
                    12:00 pm for Daphne Kelley, come celebrate
                    our newest member.
Next scrip order is October 3rd

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Now available....Thrivent Choice Dollars

SOV is now available under Thrivent Choice dollars.  Here are the steps to direct your Thrivent Choice Dollars to SOV.  If you have not registered on line you can do so by going to www.thrivent.com or calling 1-800-847-4836 and stating Thrivent Choice.

If you have any questions or issues, please contact Betty S.

1. Log in to www.thrivent.com or call 1-800-847-4836 and state "Thrivent Choice".
2. Click on the red bar that says "Direct Choice Dollars".
3. Type in "Shepherd" and select Beaverton, OR, and click Search.
4. Click on the "Direct Now" button.
5. You can choose to direct all or some of your balance, either check the "Direct All" box or enter amount to give, then click Submit.
6. Confirm payment by acknowledging and responding Yes.
7. Decide if you want to set up a recurring direction to SOV, click either Yes or No.
8. Click Done when you are finished.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Prayer Shawl Ministry

Prayer Shawl Ministry meets tonight
Monday September 20th
7:00 pm
men, women and youth invited to join.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Stewardship in action.. Living a generous life!

September 19... is Volunteer Sunday. We will focus on how we can lead a generous life through volunteering.  Race for the Cure will be celebrated during Sunday School.  To start our Sunday School program this Sunday all ages are welcome to join the children for walk around the park to honor all our members, family and friends that have been affected by breast cancer. Before each service and during the fellowship time between services we will have time to acknowledge volunteering   We want to create a collage of the different areas of volunteering that our members support.  Everyone will be invited to write on cards or balloons to create a vision of volunteering.  Sharing God's love through service for our church, for other causes and for people in need is love in action.

September 26... will be celebrating our Storehouse.  The congregation will be encouraged to help with a food drive to support the spirit of generous living by collecting food and bringing these gifts to the altar during worship. Let's help fill our alter area with food and items that can help those in need that are ministered through our Shepherd's Storehouse outreach ministry.  Did you know that each Tuesday, Larina is our SOV contact person as she puts together the food boxes and meets the people in need that come to SOV for help?  Ask her to share some of her stories and what the Storehouse needs.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

"See, I am making all things new." Revelation 21:5 

Alright, I must begin by saying how astounded and enthralled I continue to be by little Daphne (our newest little grand baby).  I had forgotten how tiny a newborn is, especially to hold.  She is the "newness" that marvels me the most now, and there is always newness to take in, though sometimes it is hard to appreciate.  Because sometimes we expect more.

Thinking of my grandson Chase and his first view of his little sister.  He held her gently, looked at her carefully, and then asked his mom, "What does she do?"  (I know many have already heard this story, but I just can't help but smile at the question.  He has come up with many a line, and we have learned much together in his 14 years.)

Equating newness with beauty, because of those words of promise from Revelation, it does not have to do anything.  It just is.  It is there for us to take in, to marvel at, to give thanks for.

Daphne doesn't have to do a thing.  The continuing newness of the Creator's work amongst us just begs to be appreciated.  May we just take it in, and be lifted by all the things being made new.  The promise is fulfilled all around us.

In celebration of creation,
Pastor Randy

"Gracious God, the generosity of your Spirit is evident all around us in the diversity and pageantry of your creation.  May our response to creation be cheerful and gracious as we give thanks for our blessings and recognize the needs of our word.  Amen."
Wednesday    6:30 p Vesper Service
                       7:00 p Adult Choir Practice
Thursday       10:00 a LLL
                      7:00 p  Council Meeting
CPR/AED class;  Saturday September 25th @ SOV 9:00 - 2:15
please contact Connie McFall  if you plan to attend. Registration fee is $35.00
(or reply to this message)
Baby Shower for Daphne Kelley, Sunday September 26th. They are registered at Babys R Us, if you have questions or would like to help contact Diane Lewis.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

You're invited

A Baby Shower for Daphne Kelley! 
Sunday September 26 at 12:30 PM
Daughter of Chris and Amie Kelley
Sister to Avery, Taylor and Chase
Granddaughter of Choice and Pastor Randy
Sister in Christ to all of our SOV family
The congregation is invited to help welcome little Daphne to our church family, celebrate her new life, share some time with her as well as her family and experience the joy of a beautiful new life.

A special baby gift basket has been created to hold any item that you would like to share for a new baby girl.

The baby basket will be located in the narthex or the Rainbow room. 
Her new room is decorated in green, brown and pink. 
They are also registered at Baby's R Us.
We will start immediately after late church on Sunday, September 26 (about 12:20 PM). 
A potluck salad luncheon will start our time together.  Dessert will complete our celebration.  If you would like share in the planning of our baby shower or would like to bring a salad please contact Diane Lewis or Caryl Husk.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

"What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun."  Ecclesiastes 1:9

A periodical I have been reading for quite a while is ceasing publication.  That has been pretty common over the last couple of years.  This one is called "Context" and is put together by Martin Marty (a well known Lutheran theologian and historian).  As this publication is winding down he is going back in time a bit, reflecting on what was current once upon a time.

I share this, apropos of nothing, but of interest to me from December 15, 1970, "Turn up the volume for Context's first full-dress comment on the music of our age, rock.  Jesus Christ Superstar, the Decca record that may or may not be the record of the era, the decade, the year, or the month, ... some old folks thought, along with Vice President Agnew, that rock had to do only with drugs, etc. ......why bother religious leaders, the intended audience of this newsletter, with chatter about rock music?  Easy: Skip it and you skip the main form of expression for over half of America's audience; forget its impact and you will never reach the mentality of the majority .....while there is a movement away from the church by young people, creative people may be able to stimulate a new interest in religion through the kind of music that questions and stirs controversy .... the 'scandal' of rock just might turn out to be a more effective evangelism instrument during its moment under the sun...rock is now unavoidable ... it has to be studied as a religion, a surrogate for religion, a problem for religion, and certainly a new element of worship..."

Just found it interesting, hope you did too.

In Christ,
Pastor Randy

Creator of all things, help us to see beauty where we might otherwise refuse, or be too busy to.  Guide us in our adventures and assure us again and again of the power of your presence.  Amen.
Wednesday      6:30 p   Vesper Service resumes
                        7:00 p   Adult Choir Practice
Sunday   September 12  RALLY DAY; Sunday School registration  @ 9:45
                                        SOV Annual Picnic 12:00 p
                                        Next Scrip Order

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sign up for CPR+AED training

 When an emergency strikes...
 Will you be ready to save a life?
 Get prepared!

While you can't predict when an emergency will occur, you can be prepared. In less time than you think, American Red Cross training can give you the vital knowledge and skills you'll need to respond to a life-threatening situation with confidence.

Red Cross CPR/AED training will teach you to:
- Care for conscious and unconscious choking victims
- Perform CPR
- Use an automated external defibrillator (AED) on a victim of sudden cardiac arrest

You'll also receive a participant's workbook and laminated Adult CPR/AED skills card that include full-color images and easy-to-read text that will walk you step by step through a variety of lifesaving skills. The skills card will also serve as an excellent refresher and reference tool after training is complete.

Mark your calendar today for our next training session:

Date: Saturday, September 25, 2010
Course: CPR/AED—Adult
Time:  9:00 a.m. – 2:15 p.m.

To sign up, call Connie M. or email/call Tammy.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

"And when the Lord smelled the pleasing odor......" Genesis 8:21

After those words the Lord went on to offer a promise after the time of the great flood.  But the words came to mind for me because of the time of the year and some of the experiences it brings with it.  Especially there was that smell in the air on Sunday night, late, the first rain after about two months of little rain.  The fresh smell.  The sweetness of it.  It is a "pleasing odor" indeed, and I can scarcely put it into words.

And then less than 24 hours later, walking in the park with Choice, remarking on the smell in the air of this too chilly August evening.  It speaks of fall, of the end of some things, of change, and yet it is comforting and a treat to the senses as well.

And later that same night, stepping outside again and taking in the unmistakable scent of the dairy farm not too far away.  Hardly a pleasing odor to most I would guess. But it first causes me to think of the farm, of youth, and even such a smell can bring pleasure to some.

And there are more and more of course.  What smells bring what memories to you?  Can you even now know a pleasing odor?  This creation is a rich place, may we continue to know the blessings the Creator wishes for us in it.

In Christ,
Pastor Randy

From the Psalm Prayer in "Joyous Light", "O God, from the rising of the sun to its setting your name is worthy of all praise.  Let prayer rise before you as incense, and with the lifting up of our hands may we offer our whole lives to you,  through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen."
Wednesday  10:00 a Bible Study
                    11:15 a Rebecca Brown Bag Lunch
Thursday      2:00 - 7:00 p American Red Cross Blood Drive @ SOV
                                          1.800.RED.CROSS to register
                    6:30 p   Men's Night @ Old Chicago Pizza/Tanasbourne
Sunday        10:30 a  ONE WORSHIP SERVICE
Prayers of healing for Ginny.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Stock Gifting

SOV members,

Just want to let everyone know that we have closed our MorganStanley/SmithBarney account.  If you want to contribute to SOV by gifting stock, please use the ELCA Foundation. You will find instructions below provided by Diane Lewis. Thank You for your support during this transition.

Gifting Stock made simple through the ELCA Foundation

Gifting stock is one opportunity we can take advantage of to help in giving to our church.  Giving the stock through the ELCA has several advantages.  It is easy to accomplish, the fees are lower, in some cases it can be done over the phone and some brokerages don't charge a transfer fee.  If the stock has appreciated in value then you can gift stock to the church and not have any capital gains from the appreciation as well as take the entire gift as a tax deduction.  The ELCA Foundation has made it simple for the one gifting.  Some financial brokerage businesses won't charge you to transfer the stock. The only fee will come from a small charge from the ELCA Foundation and the balance is sent directly to the church.

Here are the easy steps in gifting a stock to Shepherd of the Valley:

1. Contact your stock broker and give the name and amount of the stock you want transferred.  Ask if that firm has a transfer fee for non profit transfers.

2. Give the broker the information for gifting to the ELCA Foundation

Wells Fargo Advisors, DTC Clearing #0141, FBO Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Account # 5103-9400

3. Inform Shawn Greene (ELCA 1-800-638 8322 ex.2976) as to the exact date and the shares that are being transferred out of your account.  Let her know that the funds are to be sent to Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, Beaverton, OR. This can also be done by email to: shawn.greene@elca.org

4. Once the stock is transferred it will be immediately sold.  The small fees are taken out of the sale price and the remaining funds are sent to the church with a letter from the ELCA stating who is from.

5. The person gifting will receive a letter of confirmation from the ELCA with the full tax deductable amount of the sale.

6. Contact SOV's financial secretary about how you want the money designated.

Monday, August 30, 2010

September Newsletter is available

September's newsletter is now available on line or you may pick up a hard copy from the information station in the Narthex.

Are you a Thrivent Member?

To all SOV members,

You may be able to help contribute to SOV without any cost to you!

If you are a Thrivent member, you may have received a letter from them explaining a program called "Thrivent Choice" and "Choice Dollars".  This program allows you to participate in where Thrivent directs part of its charitable funds.  This includes many Lutheran organizations including congregations. 

We are working right now to get SOV signed up for this program.  This may take about 3 weeks.

If you have eligible Thrivent products, and would like to direct your portion of Thrivent's charitable funds, you can log into your account at Thrivent.com or call 1-800-847-4836.  If you would like to direct those funds to SOV, please wait until we notify you that SOV has been fully signed up.

If you have any questions about this or how to log in, you can contact Rod or Betty S.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

"As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment."  I Timothy 6:17

Outside again, wondering around Rood Bridge Park.  Walk there often and have been watching the effect of the summer without rain on the Tualatin River, and especially the big pond in the park.  When I first road my bike there in the beginning of June I couldn't even go through the whole park because some of the paths were flooded.  Now there is one little pool that has been long cut off from the big pond, and as I looked at it the other day I was amazed.  There were the usual number of frogs jumping into the water, and I planned on waiting quietly for them to return.  It is a kick to watch their heads begin to pop up again.

But this time there was an added dimension.  The ever shrinking pool was alive with tad poles.  I am not the only one to have taken note as I saw heron and raccoon tracks all around the edge.  There were hundreds, if not thousands, of little creatures flitting around in the water.  It was extravagant, as nature often needs to be, so that at least some will survive.  It may sound cruel, but it is just reality.

The extravagance of the Creator.  The richness of the creation.  A God who makes life rich for us to take in.  It may sometimes be so overwhelming that we can scarcely take it in.  And so God also comes to us with His love.  May we be wise enough to trust in the riches the Creator provides for us, and not depend solely on our own doing.

As one richly blessed, in Christ,
Pastor Randy

"Lord, thank you again for the richness of this life, for the blessings you have given us, for the chance to take at least a part of it in.  May we be strengthened by your presence in all ways.  Amen."
This Week:
Wednesday 10:00 a Bible Study w/Pastor
Thursday   12:00 p  All Church Luncheon at the home of Pastor Randy and Choice
                              please bring a side dish to share.
Ushers needed for 10:30 worship this Sunday August 29th, and for 11:00 worship in September.
American Red Cross Blood Drive...September 2nd @ SOV if you would like to register to donate blood call 1.800.Red.Cross
Rally Day and Annual Picnic....September 12th

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

"He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds." Psalm 148:3

Why those words now?  They are not inspired by a specific recent event, but by looking at the list of the commemorations for the whole of the church.  That list is about learning about the rich history of our faith, about those who have gone before us.  This Friday there are two people listed, Florence Nightingale and Clara Maass, and they are listed as "renewers of society". 

In particular it says this about Florence Nightingale, "when she decided to be a nurse, her family was horrified.  In the early 1800's nursing was done by people with no training and no other way to earn a living.  ....   she lead a group of nurses to serve in the Crimean War, where they worked in appalling conditions.  She returned to London as a hero and resumed her work there for hospital reform.   This commemoration invites the church to give thanks for all who practice the arts of healing."

So we do give thanks for the those who practice that art.  We take that seriously here at SOV with our parish nurse and our health team.  We recognize the presence of the healing touch of the Creator in a great many ways.  As a matter of fact, whether we would know it or not, each one of us has part in the healing of the brokenhearted and the binding up of wounds.  May we offer a helping hand where we are able, an encouraging word whenever possible, a simple kindness that can make all the difference in a moment of sorrow. 

The healing presence of the Christ in, and even through, us.

In the peace and power of the Christ,
Pastor Randy

"Holy God, the stories of the saints through all the ages come to us as a gift, for its is through them that we have learned the meaning of faith.  We receive this gift with thanks and praise.  We are grateful for their example, for showing us the way, for challenging us to continue to live faithful lives.  Grant us perseverance when the race gets tough, courage when trials beset us and rest when we grow weary from the struggles of life.  May Christ's joy renew us as we fix our eyes on him.  Amen."
This Week
Wednesday    Bible Study @ 10:00 am (No Bible Study 8/18)
                      Prayer Shawl Ministry @ 7:00 pm
Friday          Health Team Meeting @ 9:00 am
School Supplies are due Sunday 8/15 for the LOVE INC. Back pack project
- Glue Sticks
- Colored Pencils
- Pink Pearl type erasers

Ushers needed
10:30 service  8/15
10:30 service  8/22
10:30 service  8/29
11:00 service September
Please let Tammy know if you can assist.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

"....they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest......" Isaiah 9:3

I suppose most folks don't feel a thrill at the sight of black berry vines.  Have cut back plenty of them myself, throwing them on a pile to be burned.  But seeing them at the edge of the back yard of our new home made me smile, especially considering they were growing on the other side of the fence.

Have been watching the vines, trimming some, but not the ones that were flowering.  And suddenly (at least it seemed sudden) there was fruit, and some of it appeared to be ripe.  In the bright late afternoon sun light I navigated the thorns and precarious setting and picked the darkest berries.  Some were a bit tart (alright they weren't really ready) bit it seems that nothing tastes better than those first few.  I couldn't help but grin.

It wasn't truly a harvest, but there was joy none the less.  Another reminder of the richness that the Creator has set before us.  May we all have at least a taste of this richness and rejoice.

In praise of the Creator of all things,
Pastor Randy

"At our baptism we died with Christ, but we have also been reborn with Christ.  Scripture calls us the first fruits of the new heaven and new earth.  May we strive to put away those things that take us away from God.  Amen."

Thursday,  August 5th ~ American Red Cross Blood Drive 2 - 7pm
Sunday, August 8th ~ Next Scrip Orders are due
Continued prayers for Marty McDonald and family at the death of this father.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Red Cross: Volunteer for Just Two Hours

Giving Blood

Two hours of your time can make a difference.

That's all it takes to help the Oregon Red Cross as we educate Oregonians about the importance of preparedness and encourage their support of local disaster relief.


Every Saturday from Sept.11 through Oct. 2, we'll be stationing greeters in Fred Meyer stores around the state and asking customers to buy a "virtual blanket," a gift of comfort and hope for their neighbors after a devastating house fire.

We'll also give them a disaster checklist filled with inexpensive items that will help them be prepared for anything.

Whether you're in Milwaukie or Medford, Portland or Pendleton, it's easy to volunteer – just sign up for a two-hour shift at the Fred Meyer store closest to home.

Help us help others. Sign up as a volunteer greeter today.

In Other News...

Compression-Only CPR hit the headlines last week, when the New England Journal of Medicine confirmed that the use of chest compressions only, without the addition of rescue breathing, should be supported in certain situations.

This is in line with American Red Cross guidelines, though we still encourage Oregonians to be trained in full CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED).

VIDEO: How to perform Compression-Only CPR 

Wilderness First Aid Perfect for Hikers, Outdoors Enthusiasts

Oregon is known for its natural beauty - soaring mountains, rushing rivers and sandy coastlines. But that beauty can turn deadly if you ever find yourself stranded in the wild.

To ensure Oregonians are never caught unprepared, the Oregon Red Cross offers a Wilderness and Remote First Aid course, taught over the course of two Saturdays. This 16-hour course is for those who work, live or play in remote areas – away from the usual EMS service.

Learn more about Wilderness First Aid 

Haiti Update
Red Cross funds initiatives in Haiti, including $6.1 million cash-for-work program with Mercy Corps.

Blood Drive
Blood donors rock with free VIP access to Vans Warped Tour.

Fundraising Event
Jeld-Wen TraditionAugust 16-22
Sunriver Resort
Charity Ticket Program benefits Oregon Red Cross.

Volunteer Profile
From hurricanes to house fires, former Seattle firefighter Tom Jellum has helped people recover from disasters of all sizes.

Special Thanks
Spirit Mountain: "As a rural Tribe, we know the importance of safety planning and preparedness. We are honored to support the Red Cross' efforts to help families and neighborhoods be prepared in case of a community crisis."
-- Shelley Hanson,
Director, Spirit Mountain Community Fund 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Shepherd's Storehouse

Shepherd's Storehouse is running very low on many non-perishable foods that are vital to our mission of helping fight hunger in our community.  If you could pick up any of the following items next time you do your grocery shopping and drop them at church in our food donation barrel, we'd greatly appreciate it.
Canned vegetables and fruits, pasta and sauce, breakfast cereal, peanut butter, boxed macaroni and cheese mix, soup, tuna, rice, dried beans or any other healthy non-perishable item.
Thank you!
-Social Concerns Committee

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

"... you... are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God."  Ephesians 3:22

Those words speak of family for me.  It seems that family, that spiritual dwelling place, was made manifest in some divergent ways this past week.

There was the continuation of the rummage sale.  What made it a spiritual dwelling place?  Maybe this is a stretch, but it was a treat to watch folks continue to work together, to listen to the laughter, the welcoming attitudes, to take in the effort and commitment.  It was good.  Maybe it wasn't all grand, but it sure warmed my heart.

And then there was Ann's death, and the moments before and after it.  There meals, visits, prayers by many that touched the lives of many more.  Because they were her family, they were also our family.  There was collective sorrow, united in tears and quavering voices, soon to join in a celebration of life, and in that "spiritual dwelling place" that makes us family, family beyond the normal bonds.

There is so much more that fills in the picture, now you provide the minds eye.  Just another week?  There is never such a thing in the family of God.

In the peace and power of the Christ,
Pastor Randy

"Lord, you have called us to make a difference in this world, a world that is often broken and lost.  You have given us a challenge to make this world a better place.  Allow people to see a glimpse of what effect true faith can have on a life, and strengthen us to provide that glimpse.  Help us to go forth with your power to transform the world.  Amen."
This Week
Thursday 12:00 pm; All Church Luncheon, every one's invited, no RSVP needed.
Friday 5:00 pm;  Celebration of the Life of Ann Smith (at SOV)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Celebration of Life...

A Celebration of Life for Ann Smith will be held Friday July 30th at 5:00 pm at Shepherd of the Valley.
At Ann's request a "Lutheran Potluck" will follow the service.
Please call or email Tammy if you are able to bring a potluck dish to share.
Thank you.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

"All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your faithful shall bless you."  Psalm 145:10

The rummage sale.  If you happen to stop by the church this week it would be impossible not to notice the reality of it.  To put together such an event, especially with the space we have to work with, it takes the effort of many, many working together.

This past Sunday morning spoke to that reality for me.  There was a pretty good sized stack of items sitting outside our front doors, and it all needed to get inside somehow.  A simple plea was offered and the response was a sweet picture, because we worked together.

In quick order, and with a little direction, this family went to work.  I asked young Lisa if she was going to work and she replied that she was thinking about it.  Her thoughts apparently melded with most everyone else.  Young and old there was a parade of movement, and all the while people were smiling, talking, laughing and much was accomplished in short order.

Okay, maybe it was not the largest of job, but it was an example of what a community can do when working together.  We are the "works" that "give thanks" to the Lord, "faithful" blessings, in even the simplest of things.

In Christ,
Pastor Randy

"Lord you know us better than we know ourselves.  And what is amazing is that you still love us and want the very best for us.  Help us to open our very hearts to you and simply say 'yes'.  Amen."
This Week:
Friday and Saturday 9 - 5  RUMMAGE SALE

Continued prayers of healing for;
Ann Smith
Blackie McFall

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Rummage Sale

SOV Rummage Sale is just 3 days away...
Its not too late to bring your unwanted, clean usable items! More is better!

(Please place your items in their appropriate locations, tables are marked)
We are also in need of volunteers:
Cashiers and assistants for Thursday's preview sale 12 - 3:30 pm or 3:30 - 7pm
 1 Cashier for Friday 1-5pm shift
 2 Bankers to make cash deposits 5 pm Friday
 2 Bankers for 1 pm Saturday
 2 Bankers for 5 pm Saturday
 2 people for clean up crew on Saturday (5-6 pm)
Please let Tammy know if you can assist or add your name to the sign up sheet in the narthex.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Kids of the Kingdom Open House

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The KOK Board is pleased to announce the fall 2010 opening of Kid's of the Kingdom Christian Preschool serving 3- and 4-year-old children mornings from 9:00 to 11:30. 

As a ministry of SOV, our mission is to develop in children a love of God, self, and others while helping them discover their place in God's creation. 

We are blessed to have found two wonderful, experienced preschool teachers, Deb Halligan and Veronica Murray, who are called to love and nurture children. 

We will be having an Open House on Friday and Saturday, July 23-24, during the church rummage sale. Our teachers will be available on Friday for tours and preschool information and our directors will be available on Saturday. 

We ask for your support through prayers for staff, families and our program.  We also ask for your support by getting the word out to friends and family members who may be looking for a preschool where their children will be loved, nurtured and free to learn and grow at their own pace in a safe, Christ centered environment.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Linda Rasmussen or Wendy Roeder, Preschool Co-directors.  Registrations forms and brochures may be picked up in the Narthex, from Tammy during church office hours, or at the preschool table at the rummage sale.

Yours in Christ's Service,

Linda Rasmussen & Wendy Roeder
Preschool Co-directors  

SOV Rummage Sale

Rummage Sale Update 
The date is set.
The plans are made...
SOV's Rummage Sale is just 8 days away!
All volunteers are encouraged to attend the "last" Rummage sale meeting...
July 16th
12:00 pm (lunch provided)

(you will learn the order of operation, shift rotation and other guidelines and FAQ to make this a successful and fun event)
It's not too late...to bring your unwanted, clean, gently used items for the Rummage Sale, our stock is a bit lower this year than past years. Your items can be brought to the church after worship on Sunday and up until the sale.
Donations of bake goods...are still needed for our bake sale. Please package in small servings (2-4 count).
Volunteers needed...it takes many hands to organize for the sale (Monday - Wednesday) and many to assist during the sale; cashiering, sales and good ol' customer service/greeters.
Any questions can be directed to Peggy.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

"The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace."   Numbers 6:24-26

Familiar words to many.  They are commonly referred to as the "Aaronic blessing".  (Words the Lord gave to Moses to give to Aaron to bless the people of Israel.)  They are grand to share and sweet to hear.  Have been thinking about them much lately, especially when walking into the house that is now our home.  It hardly seems real. 

There are always so many blessings, even in that strange year (just passed) when, by the grace of God and the kindness of many, there were many homes to stay in.  And now though, to be able to go home for lunch, to have the grand kids come over on a spur of moment instead of planning carefully.

Indeed all of those promises of the blessing Aaron offered at God's direction have been present all along, it is just that now they seem all the more real.  Please forgive my rambling, but I cannot help but share how good it feels to be "home" and to know the "peace" that comes with it.  It is true that sometimes we can only truly appreciate something when it is gone, and to have a return to "normalcy" now, makes those words sound all the sweeter.  May I never be foolish enough to take such blessings for granted.

And may those words of blessing speak to you as well, may you know the "shining countenance of the Lord" and the "peace" that comes with it.

In Christ,
Pastor Randy

"Holy God, may your Word, read and proclaimed, be for us this day living water and the bread of life.  We yield ourselves to the Word you will speak to each of us, seeking only to hear your voice, see your face and respond to your will for our lives.  Amen."
This Week
Wednesday  10:00 am Bible Study with Pastor
Thursday  7:00 pm  Council Meeting
Friday  12:00 pm  Rummage Sale Meeting - for all volunteers
Sunday  8:30 & 10:30 am Worship

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

KOK Preschool Open House

Kids of the Kingdom 
Christian Preschool 

Open House
July 23-24, 2010
Friday and Saturday
10am - 3pm

Enroll now for Fall 2010! 

Morning classes available for 3 and 4 year olds, 9 - 11:30am. 

Get driving directions!   Click for more information about KOK Christian Preschool.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Prayer Shawl Meeting
 - Meeting tonight, Wed. July 7th @ 7pm @SOV

 - All welcome! 
 - Experience not required!
 - No age limit
 - Yarn available

Bring yourself, a friend if you would like,  and your enthusiasm!

Also~ No Bible Study this morning or pastor's weekly message
Sunday worship on Sunday July 11th at 8:30 & 10:30

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Men's Night

Men's Night is meeting tonight Thursday July 1st, 6:30 pm, Old Chicago Pizza - Tanasbourne.

July Newsletter

July newsletter is now available online (http://bit.ly/sovnews) and hard copies are available at the information center in the narthex.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

"O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever."   Psalm 107:1

Start with thankfulness to the Creator of all things.  That is the only way to begin for me and keep a perspective.  Thinking about the pervasive presence of God in so many things.

Looking at family pictures, may that have been stuck away for a year.  Pictures decades old and much less, people and moments it give thanks for.

Choice and I walking with our grand-daughters in the park and watching with wonderment as a great blue heron takes flight.  Watching the finches seemingly bicker amongst themselves for spots on the feeder even when there seems to be be plenty of spots to share the bounty from.  Plucking cherries off a tree and spitting out the pits while enjoying the tart, tasty fruit.  Singing with a bunch of kids of all ages at Vacation Bile School.

Standing at home plate of a live, green baseball field, under blue skies and a warm sun while taking part in the marriage of a young couple.  It was a surreal moment.  (May they know thankfulness for that moment for years to come.)  I could go on and on, but for the moment it just feels good to be home.

No matter where we may find ourselves, challenges or sorrows present as well, may we have a chance to be thankful in the midst of it all "for the steadfast love that endures forever".

In the peace and presence of the Christ,
Pastor Randy

"Holy God, may your Word, read and proclaimed, be for us this day living water and the bread of life.  We yield ourselves to the Word you will speak to each of us, seeking only to hear your voice, see your face and respond to your will for our lives.  Amen."
Sunday - July 4th  ONE SERVICE @ 10:30 AM
No Wednesday Bible Study (July 7th only)
Pastor Randy and Choice are on vacation through July 12th.

Friday, June 25, 2010

June 30 CPR training cancelled

The CPR and AED training scheduled for June 30th has been cancelled.

This training will be rescheduled.

Connie McFall
SOV Health Ministry

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

"...your people shall be my people, and your God my God."   Ruth 1:16c

Back to VBS again.  That partial verse is part of our focus for our last night.  And it fits well the theme "Love Binds Us Together".  What the verse is about is establishing family where the world says there is no real family.

It is a lovely idea.  And that is what we are about. Are we related?  Only by that God who is the Father of us all.  So, we gather together for VBS and it is a microcosm of what we try to do as a community of faith as a whole.  We have plans and a time table, but they are not always kept to strictly.  What we do have is a wide variety of people singing boldly sometimes looking pretty silly.  We eat together, pray together, pretend that someone is in charge, and sometimes we simply go with the flow.

We adjust our plans and laugh at ourselves and play games and sing some more.  We create art that others might question.  We get unacceptably loud according to who?), run in circles, play when we are supposed to be serious and wonder where being serious gets us.  Sometimes we get hurt (like my little grand daughter Avery), but then there is someone there to take care of us (thanks Brenda), and we live through the hurt, and manage to smile after all.

It is the life of the family of the church.  "Your people are my people.  Your God is my God."  We do not fully know what that means, or how it might work out.  But we jump in, know pain and joy, foolishness and certainty, and end up grinning in the end, in spite of ourselves.

Giving thanks for showing up, for the seeds that are planted and watching how the growing is going for us all.

In the name of the Christ,
Pastor Randy

"Lord God, thank you for the privilege of serving you with our resources as well as with our very lives.  Use these gifts, we pray, to bring about peace and justice, healing and hope, and to spread the good news that Jesus Christ offers reconciliation to God.  Amen."
Thursday;   ALL CHURCH LUNCHEON @ 12:00 PM, everyone is invited
Sunday; Worship at 8:30 & 10:30   Graduation Celebration at 9:30 am

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Shoe boxes

VBS Needs your help, 
VBS is in need of twelve regular sized shoe boxes with separate lids, in good condition. The kids at VBS will decorate the boxes and the lids, then fill the boxes with small gift items, to be given to less fortunate children.

We would sure appreciate getting any shoe boxes the congregation members could donate. They could bring the boxes with them Sunday.

Thank you

CPR re-certification

From The Parish Nurse
The Red Cross training for CPR / AED  is scheduled for  June  30  Wednesday evening 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm @ SOV.

So those who need RE-CERTIFICATION ---this class is for you!  We also need those of you who have current certification but need only orientation to the AED. (which will happen towards the last half of the class)

We have some members who need the the entire class for the first time and I will help you locate where these classes are available.  That class is more like 6 hours total!
Please call Tammy at the church office, Connie McFall or myself  if you have any questions. Thank you so much for your participation and service.

I am so grateful that this emergency service will soon be in place . 
Thanks be to God!

Pastor's Weekly Message

"But Jonah set out to flee .... from the presence of the Lord."   Jonah 1:3

Those words describe Jonah's first action in the brief book that bears his name.  Not exactly the actions of a hero.  But God worked through him anyhow, because God loved him.  Mostly we know him as a result of the story of him being swallowed by a large fish, not because he was a sweetheart of a guy.  It is as Frederick Buechner writes, " Within minutes of swallowing the prophet Jonah, the whale suffered a sever attack of acid indigestion, and it's not hard to see why.  Jonah had a disposition that was enough to curdle milk."  Not exactly high praise.

But again the key is that God loved him and worked through him.  And Jonah is part of our family history and one of the folks we will be learning about at Vacation Bible School next week.  Our theme this  year is "Where love is the tie that binds."  God's love for us binds us all together, a huge family, not always lovable, but always loved. 

We will sing, play, learn, do for others and simply be together.  Come and join us.  Raise your voices.  At the very least (although it is hardly a least kind of thing) keep this time in your prayers. 

In the name of the Creator of all things,
Pastor Randy

"God hears the prayers of the humble and contrite heart.  God sees beyond our family name and sees our innermost being, not for what is was or is but for what it can and will be once God gets a hold of it.  God's grace takes our old life and old self and re-creates them into the very image of Christ."
Thursday June 17  7:00 pm Council Meeting
VBS (Vacation Bible School) Monday 6/21, Tuesday 6/22 and Wednesday 6/23
5:45 pm - 8:00 pm
Wednesday Morning Bible Study @  10:00 am
Thursday June 24 12:00 pm All Church Luncheon, no RSVP required, no need to bring any thing...come have lunch and just visit!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Outreach for Seniors

You're invited to a free seminar~ 
Healthy Eating for Seniors
June 17th (Thursday)
9-11 am
St Pius Church
1280 NW Salzman Rd

Featuring; Linda Sharp
Dietician from St. Vincents
Judith Auslander will be on hand as well to discuss how seniors can apply for food stamps.
This is great opportunity for seniors and caregivers of seniors.
Healthy snacks will be provided.
Further questions or if you wish to carpool can be directed to Corrine.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice."  Philippians 4:4

Those are the first words of a beautiful section of that letter.  The rest of it talks about setting aside worries and knowing God's peace.  I refer to it again and again, to be reminded of the possibilities that faith can provide.  But at this point in time it is the whole "rejoice" part that really grips me.

And so I return to the same theme as last week.  Rejoicing in moving, in being here fully physically for all the folks who helped in the actual move.  Rejoicing in what seems to be simple things, things that are sorely missed when they are not present.

Actually hung up some pictures I haven't seen for a while.  Gosh that felt good, and I probably looked like an idiot staring at pictures on a wall.  Stood on the deck for a moment in the morning before heading into the office, heard birds singing, saw lots of green, and then driving, turning on to TV highway and there was Mt. Hood.  My soul swelled at the beauty.  Rejoice indeed!

The old is made new and it is truly possible to take in all of those words of Paul and look at life in a whole new light.

In Christ,
Pastor Randy

"Creator and Redeemer, help us to go forth as a changed people.  People whose lives have been forever changed by the grace of God.  And let us never more nullify that grace by taking it for granted in any and all things that we do.  Amen."
Looking Ahead;
Scrip Orders are due Sunday June 13th, Clara will be collecting orders this month, please submit your orders and money to her or leave them in the church office.
Next order date is July 11th (Ladies Dinner group, July dinner will be at Olive Garden, don't forget to order your gift cards to cover your dinner.)
Council; Executive Council meets June 15th, Council meets on June 17th
VBS is scheduled June 21 - 23,  5:45 p - 8:00 p ages preschool - 6th grade.
If you have not registered your children please fill out a registration form located in the narthex.
Rummage Sale is July 23 and 24, please continue to bring your clean and gently used items to the church. Volunteer sign up sheet is located in the narthex, please take a moment to look at them and see where you can assist. (cashiering, bake sale, hot dog sale, bagging, assisting customers etc)
Prayers of Thanksgiving and Healing for Larry Gilbertson's recent day surgery
he is recovering at home.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Celebrating our 2010 Graduates

A celebration to honor our High School and College SOV Grads!

June 27, 9:30 - 10:15 AM (between services)

Ryan Degner, Nicole Smith and Halie Tracewell are 2010 high school grads!
Bjorn Zetterberg, Stacey Roeder and Katelyn Degner are 2010 college grads!
Our grads and their families are invited to join the congregation as we celebrate our graduates and the accomplishments that they have made to achieve their diploma's.  We want to show our support for each of them as they take the next steps in their life journey.  All these students have been part of the SOV family since they were very young children.  Please keep them in your prayers as they each go in different directions after their graduation. We are proud of each of them!