Happening Now Blog

Monday, January 31, 2011

February Newsletter

Now available on line, paper copies are located in the narthex at the information center.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pastor's Weekly Message

It is late at night and I can hear the creek running again, a remarkably soothing sound, meaning that the flood water at the park have receded.  Things have taken on an eerie beauty.  Even the street lights have a little less glare because the fog has descended.  Even the bony fingers of the leafless trees have a beauty in the drifting silver light.  The traffic noises seem softened too.

The days care, tomorrow's projected worries, all become a little softer, less troublesome to the heart.  For the moment, in the safety of a back stoop, it is in a sense God's blanket in my mind.  Be careful, slowdown (works for the driving in the stuff as well), pay attention, see things a little differently.

What quiets your heart when the need arises?

Thanks for the comfort and beauty Lord, and your presence in this continuing adventure.

In Christ,
Pastor Randy

"Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it;  I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you;  I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations" (Isaiah 42:5-6).  Trust.  Go.  Be God's light in the world.  Amen.
Wednesday  10:00 a Bible Study
                     6:30 p Vespers Service
                     7:00 p Adult Choir Practice
Thursday      12:00 p ALL CHURCH LUNCHEON
                     (soup lunch & fellowship time)

Sunday        12:15 p Congregational Meeting

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pastor's Weekly Message

"But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience." Romans 8:25

Over the last few weeks folks have been planting trees in the park behind the church building, down by the pond and creek.  It is a surprisingly pleasant place, an oasis surrounded by traffic, apartments and sprawl.

They have been planting trees, not sure how many, what kind, but there must be hundreds of them.  Wonder how many of them might survive.  But wondering more, when looking down at that little piece of nature, wondering what they might look like in 10 years.  I can only imagine.  In the end nothing can hurry the picture along, only the passage of time and the patience that it requires.

Patience is tough territory for me sometimes.  But it is certainly a part of faith, a part of the future for any of us.  Who knows what we may yet see in this community of faith, what we may see in the larger world around us.  Be patient.

The trees have been planted and my imagination runs wild in picturing what that area might look like.  Have to wait for the reality.  The hopes are grand.

In praise of the Creator,
Pastor Randy

"Holy God, thank you for demonstrating who you are with the power of your presence in so many ways.  Our understanding is still partial and imperfect, yet in the gift of the Christ you continue to inspire and and compel us.  Move us, as we receive your love and mercy, to be manifestations of them as well.  Empower us to be children of light in this world.  Amen."
Wednesday   6:30 pm Vespers Service (its only 30 minutes and a great mid week refresher, especially if you missed last Sunday or may be away this weekend)
                      7:00 pm Adult Choir Practice
Thursday       10:00 am LLL
                      7:00 pm Council Meeting
Friday            7:00 pm Confirmation Retreat
Looking ahead:
The SOV Youth Group (7-12 graders) are offering their services of babysitting as a "fundraiser". Mark your calendars and make plans to drop your children off February 11th 5-9 pm at Church. (Maybe an early Valentines dinner or just a night out?) Free will donation will be accepted, games, crafts and movies will be provided.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pastor's Weekly Message

"Like the cold of snow... are faithful messengers... they refresh the spirit..."  Proverbs 25:13

After all the predictions, scaling back, changing by the hour.  After all the canceled meetings (better to be on the safe side certainly) we got just a dusting.  Taylor and Avery were excited by the possibilities and promise of more of course.  I still remember that feeling too.

Got a bit of that feeling back last Sunday driving back from the coast.  There was sleet falling as we left and there was trepidation.  As the climb into the cost range began it was snowing big time.  There was a bit more of those tense feelings when driving where there were no tracks in the snow.  My thoughts necessarily focused on the task at hand.  But then things eased a bit.  There was slush and evidence of snow plows.

We stopped for a while, just to take in the beauty.  Foolish perhaps, just giving it time to get worse. And during the rest of the drive I gazed briefly at the laden trees and the beauty of them.  Would have enjoyed it more without the demands of a safe drive of course, but it was sweet to steal even glances of beauty.

So many times the Creator desires to "refresh our spirits" with many different "messengers".  May we steal some glances and receive the refreshing gifts.

In awe of the Creator,
Pastor Randy

"Almighty and Creator, as we come to your Word today, give us fresh insight.  We invite your Holy Spirit to come guide us as we take in and respond to your truths.  We thank you for revealing yourself to us in so many ways.  May we be changed because we have experienced the power of your presence today.  Amen."
Wednesday   10:00 a Bible Study
                      6:30 p Vespers Service
                      7:00 p Adult Choir Practice
Sunday        Next Scrip Order due
                    9:45 a Sunday School for all ages
                    10:00 a Adult Sunday school will discuss the "History of the Bible"
Don't forget to recycle your old phone books (or any paper, magazines etc) in the big brown recycling bin, SOV gets revenue everytime its emptied. 
Has anyone seen the tea pots that belong in the kitchen? (they are nowhere to be found)
Also, it appears something over heated on the stove top...the knobs are scored and melted? anyone know what happened there?

Habitat for Humanity is building 8 houses in Aloha.  Many of the churches in the Tualatin Valley Chapter of Thrivent will be participating in work teams and fund-raising.  Are you interested in joining a team from SOV?  The build effort will occur around March/April.  We would like to get a rough count of volunteers as soon as possible.  Rod Stoltenburg will be coordinating efforts from SOV.  If you are interested in helping, please contact Rod.  He will be providing more details as they become available.  All skill levels are welcome.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Pastor's Weekly Message

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Happy New Year!  How long can we say that? 

This week brings the celebration of Epiphany.  It used to be a big event in the church and we do still honor it here at SOV,  Epiphany will be the focus of our worship this evening and even of our time as we un-decorate the church Thursday morning beginning at 8:30am. (That is the actual day of Epiphany, always on January 6th in our part of the world.)

The time means, quite literally, "to show, or make known", and so it may be a time of some revelation for us.  Notice the numbers and letters above the doors as you enter the sanctuary, another piece of tradition for Epiphany worship (and beyond).  Ask about them, or look it up.

Life is rich.  May our faith and forms of worship help us take it all in.  Those forms of worship may be wider than we ever imagined.

Please consider these words, an excerpt of a prayer from violinist Yehudi Menuhin, "Help me to preserve my capacity for wonder, ecstasy, and discovery; allow me everywhere to awaken the sense of beauty,and with and for others and for myself to contribute to the sum of beauty we behold, we hear, we smell, taste, or touch or are otherwise aware of through mind and spirit; help me never to lose the life-giving exercise of protecting all that breathes and thirsts and hungers, all that suffers.  Help me find a balance between the longer rewards and the shorter pleasures, while remaining in tune with relative values, while patiently according the passage of time its rich harvest of loyalties, experience, achievement, support, and inspiration."

Peace and blessings in Christ,
Pastor Randy
Wednesday    6:30 pm Vespers Service
Thursday       8:30 am Un-Decorating party
                     1:30 - 7:00pm Red Cross Blood Drive
                                          (walk-in's welcome)