Happening Now Blog

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.