Happening Now Blog

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pastor's Weekly Message

It was a bit of a microcosm.  The two oldest grand girls and I took off for a bike ride.  There was sort of a plan, partly derailed by high water.  Another path was part of the adventure, and we came upon some things that we would not have otherwise.  That brought about talk of checking out other things in the future.

So there was some disappointment and the concerns that come with any adventure, planned or not.  Glad for getting home safely in the end, and then being able to reflect on the surprises encountered along the way.

Such is the adventure of life itself, and the time known as "Lent" in the church year.  Some of Jesus first followers had plans, thought they knew what to expect, but they were taken aback again and again.  Only later could they begin to take in the powerful and frightening beauty they had been witness to.  And the one they called Lord had been with then the whole way.  (So often goes our journey of faith as well.)

In the peace and power of the cross,
Pastor Randy

"Lord as we seek you, you have already found us.  As we look ahead to following Jesus to Jerusalem, let us be confident in the faithfulness of the Christ who leads us, and the God who loves us.  Amen."
Wednesday   5:45 p  Lenten Soup Supper (last one)
                     6:30 p  Lenten Vesper Service
                                No Adult Choir

Thursday     12:00 p All Church Luncheon and Patricia's 80th Birthday Celebration
Sunday   Sunday of the Passion / Palm Sunday
               8:30 & 11:00 a Worship Services
               5:30 p Spaghetti Dinner  (YOUTH FUNDRAISER)
               6:00 p  Movie; Mel Gibson's The Passion of Christ (2 hrs 6 min)
               (if you haven't bought your tickets please let me know if you plan to attend so we may prepare enough Spaghetti)
Looking Ahead:  HOLY WEEK
Wednesday (April 4)  6:30p Healing Service
Thursday    (April 5)   7:00p Maundy Thursday Service
Friday        (April 6)  12:00p Good Friday Service (New)
                                7:00p Good Friday Service
Sunday      (April 8)  8:30 & 11:00a Easter Sunday Services
                               9:45 - 10:30a Easter Breakfast (youth fundraiser)
April Newsletter is now available

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Red Cross needs your blood donation

A Message from SOV'S Red Cross Representative:

To all of my wonderful Blood Drive Partners -

I wanted to let you know how much I have appreciated all of the help and support that you have offered our local communities over the years by hosting numerous blood drives.  I appreciate you so much and can't thank you enough for your support.As you may or may not know, it has been a particularly tough time for the American Red Cross, and us in Portland especially, to keep up with hospital demand for blood and blood products.

To name just a few challenges:

*  The snows of the first of the month and of the last couple of days canceled or delayed 5 large High School blood drives and that means hundreds of pints of blood went uncollected.
*  It is now Spring Beak week (or soon will be), and with family vacations and High School's out of session, it always puts a strain on the system.
* To go with the cold and snow, we were faced with heat and fire - our dear partner at Living Savior Lutheran Church in Tualatin had a horrible fire that decimated their church.  The congregation perseveres, but this is a challenging time for them.  Hold them close in your thoughts; and if you think you may be able to lend a hand of aid or comfort, please contact Ken Dale at: kwd595@hotmail.com.  I want to also specially recognize the wonder folks at Christ the King Lutheran Church for stepping in to host the blood drive that had been scheduled at the end of the month at Living Savior. Without their support, that could have been another 50 pints of blood we would not have been able to collect.
*  And lastly, fire was not done with the American Red Cross as one of our mobile Bloodmobiles spontaneously caught fire Tuesday morning at about Midnight.  Thanks to the quick actions of our overnight crew and the Portland Fire Department, the damage was contained and the bus was not a complete loss.  It can be repaired, but will hamper the ARC's ability to collect until those repairs are completed, perhaps 3-4 weeks from now.

With all of that negativity, let me share something positive.  Right now, as I type this, the American Red Cross is shipping out life saving blood, plasma, and platelets to our local hospitals to treat diseases, save lives, and improve the recovery of patients in 83 hospitals across the NW, some as far away as Alaska! We don't make the ask very often, but now is a challenging time.  For all of the reasons above, plus the hardships that are left unstated.  My question to you is:  Is there anything you can do to help?Could you send an email to your organization encouraging them to donate blood, even once, even if it is their first time and they are afraid of needles? :)  Could you make a mention in a church bulletin or make a mention of it at the end of services?  Could you remind one person why you are a blood donor, and encourage them to come with you to donate?

The Power of One is incredible.  One conversation, one email, one phone call.  It all adds up to lives improved, lives saved.  Anyone who wants to donate can email me, or simple call 800-REDCROSS (800-733-2767), or go online at www.redcrossblood.org to sign up to donate at a blood drive near them. Thank you for taking the time to read through my appeal.  I again can't say enough how much each of you do to support our life-saving mission.  If you ever have any questions or concerns…please reach out and I am here for you.


Jeff Mason

Jeffrey R Mason | Territory Representative
American Red Cross Pacific Northwest Blood Services Division
3131 N. Vancouver Ave, Portland, OR 97227
(503) 528-5605 (p) | (503) 475-4645 (c)
(503) 284-0151 (f) | masonjr@usa.redcross.org

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pastor's Weekly Message

"the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace."  Numbers 6:26

Those words are the last part of what is know as the Aaronic blessing.  In it God also offers the blessing of grace and finally peace.  What peace means for us as God wishes it for us is far too big a subject for such a brief space.  So right now I am simply thinking of moments of peace, brief times of tranquility.

Had a picture of that the other morning.  A couple of deer returned to our back yard (apparently not concerned about the fact that we haven't yet put in a garden).  They stayed for a few hours, knowing enough peace themselves to just lay down for a while.  Found a little peace in simply watching them while they did nothing at all, or when they chewed their cud, or when prancing and the gracefully jumping as they left.

In reality that was a pretty grand moment, an invitation to know peace even when peace itself seems nowhere in sight.  May it be so Lord, because I simply cannot find it for myself.

God's peace,
Pastor Randy

"O God, awaken us to the presence of your love.  May your love spill over into our lives in such a way that it lightens the path and eases the burdens of each person we meet.  We pray in the name of the one who came as the light of the world, as love incarnate, Jesus the Christ.  Amen."


Wednesday   10:00 a   Bible Study
                       5:45 p   Lenten Soup Supper
                       6:30 p   Lenten Vesper Service
                       7:00 p   Adult Choir Practice

Tickets are still available for Sunday of the Passion
Dinner and Movie event

5:30 p Spaghetti Dinner
6:00 p Passion of the Christ Movie
$5.00 each or $10.00 per family
(youth fundraiser event)

Donations and Loans Needed
Please prayerfully consider your support to SOV's 6 youth and 2 leaders attending the ELCA Youth Convention in New Orleans. Loans will be paid back in August 2012. Funds are needed up front to secure attendance registration and accommodations as well as airfare.  If you have air miles you wish to donate please let Debbie Z. know. (The youth have been actively fundraising for this event, but the biggest fundraiser does not happen until after registration is due)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pastor's Weekly Message

...." for God is a God not of disorder but of peace."  I Corinthians 14:33

Weather wise, yesterday was wild, wind and rain all day.  Last night the
creek behind our house was roaring.  Today was calmer, in a sense.  But it
was more varied, with snow, rain, hail, sunshine, depending in large part on
where I was at at the moment.  It all seemed to speak more of disorder than

The weather sure seems to speak to the disorder of life itself as we
experience it, and we may sometimes wonder where the peace part is.

Paul here is writing about worship and how we treat one another.  And that
is where we might find the "peace" part of his writing.  Indeed everything
may be in seeming disorder, and so it may always be.  But if that is all we
experience then the experience may overwhelm us.

But we need not be overwhelmed.  We all have the chance to offer peace, and
know peace, in the midst of disorder.  Help us out there Lord.  Wonder what
today will bring?

God's peace,
Pastor Randy

"Lord, we fill our lives to the brim with activity and noise, stifling any
opportunity to share silence with you.  Even in your house, we are
preoccupied with our busyness and stress, rather than wholeheartedly
focusing on you.  Reorient us to the truth that you love us and that your
will for our lives is good and perfect and true.  Amen."


Wednesday   10:00 a Bible Study
                      5:45 p Lenten Soup Supper
                      6:30 p Lenten Vesper Service

Thursday       7:00 p  Council Meeting

Reminder; Sunday April 1, "Sunday of the Passion"  Palm Sunday
SOV Youth group fundraiser....    Dinner and Movie Night
5:30 p    Spaghetti Dinner
6:00 p    Mel Gibson's movie "The Passion of Christ"
Tickets are available now,  $ 5.00 each or $10.00 family

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

You are Invited to a Service of Prayer

You are Invited to a Service of Prayer as Bethlehem Lutheran Church transfers ownership of its building to the Oregon Synod

On Sunday, March 11th, the congregation of Bethlehem Lutheran will take a significant step forward together in hope and faith as they gather to mark the gifting of their church building to the Oregon Synod.  This special service begins at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 11th to celebrate what has been, to honor the journey the congregation has taken in this discernment and decision process, and to bless what will be.

You are invited and welcome to join them in this important moment in the life of their congregation and community.  I ask that you announce this special service, convey their invitation to your congregations, and in your communities hold them in your prayers and care as they take their next steps forward together. 

If you have questions, please address those to Pr. Solveig or Diane Hess, see emails above.  Please also see Diane's letter of invitation below. 

And he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal.  And he said to them, "Take nothing for your journey....."

Bishop David Brauer-Rieke
Pastor Solveig Nilsen-Gooden
Diane Hess, Bethlehem Council


Dear Cluster Partners and Friends of Bethlehem:

The Worshipping community of Bethlehem Lutheran Church is on a Journey – a journey of both the physical dimension (nesting with other congregations in our cluster) and of the spiritual dimension (exploring how to follow our call as a congregation). 

One part of the spiritual journey has come to a crossroads: we have decided to let go of the building that has housed our congregation for over one hundred years. On March 11, we will officially gift the building to the Synod, and mark this transition with a Service of Transfer on March 11 at 4:00 pm in the Bethlehem Lutheran Church building. 

At this service we will physically present the Bishop with the deed and our keys, with prayers, grief, hope, and joy. We will share communion and be commissioned as we take the first steps on the next phase of our journey. 

We invite you and your congregation to join us on this part of the path. Please join us as we walk through this crossroads onto the new territory of following Jesus in a way that is new for us.

I hope to see you there.


Diane Elliott Hess
(Council member, for the Bethlehem congregation)

Synod Assembly April 27-29

2012 Synod Assembly: April 27-29 in Sunriver! 


 Every year the Oregon Synod holds a statewide Assembly of our 112 Oregon congregations (and our one, Tulelake, CA congregation!) This year we gather at the Sunriver Resort in Sunriver, OR and our keynote speaker will be Dr. Barbara Rossing from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, IL.    


Project Believe  
Faces of Believe Brochure  -  Believe Page  -  Project Believe on Soul Cafe


http://www.oregonsynod.org/    ( for more information and to register)

Pastor's Weekly Message

This ends up looking like a journal entry to me. Not real exciting stuff, but in the end the stuff of life.  

Start off at the church checking messages, and then to St. Vincent's Hospital to share a prayer with a member about to undergo a procedure (that word sounds so impersonal, sort of like "minor" surgery, but all turned out well for now).  Then greeting the youngsters from KOK back at the church again, during their recess time. Their greeting was grand and we made up our missed chapel time.  What a treat, as always, to share a story, prayer and and sing a bit.

Got to talk to my own children.  And then there were a couple of meetings in the evening.  Conversation was lively, if not always positive, and all in all a reminder that all these folks were present because this community of faith, their own faith as well, is an important part of their lives.

Well into the night I even saw my spouse for a bit and caught up on our respective days.  And finally there was the chance to look at the nearly full moon, and it was beautiful, with a star (actually a planet) shining brightly near by.  Rejoicing in the fact that God, the Creator of all things, was present in every moment.

Not exciting stuff, but the stuff of life.

Please guide me Lord, and thanks for the gifts.

Pastor Randy

A prayer from George Macdonald, "Maker of me, go on making me, and let me help Thee.  Come, of Father, here I am; let us go on.  I know that my words are those of a child , but it is Thy child that prays to Thee.  Is is Thy dark I walk in, it is Thy hand I hold.  Amen."


Wednesday  10:00 a  Bible Study
                     5:45 p  Lenten Soup Supper
                     6:30 p  Lenten Vesper Service
                     7:00 p   Adult Choir practice

Thursday     11:00 a  Evangelism Meeting
                     7:30 p OEC

Sunday       Scrip Order Sunday
(you can drop them off at the church anytime between now and Sunday)