Happening Now Blog

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.