Happening Now Blog

Friday, November 28, 2014

Pastor's Wednesday Messages

from Pastor Brian

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, a secular holiday with Christian roots.  Christian language and values pervade President Lincoln's proclamation of this holiday in October, 1863.  As we anticipate tomorrow's festivities, I offer it (slightly abridged) for thoughtful reflection.

The year that is drawing towards its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. 

[Lincoln goes on to note that, amidst a terrible civil war, America enjoyed peace with other nations; that peace and the rule of law exist in all parts of the country except for theaters of military conflict; that the economy was not devastated; and that despite war, the population kept increasing.  He continues…]

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States … to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.

Well, friends, our nation is not now at war with itself — at least not in the sense of military conflict.  Yet, Lincoln's words affirm timeless truths as meaningful now as then.  May God remember mercy and heal the wounds of our nation wherever civil strife be found, so that all people — of every color and belief — may live thankfully in harmony and Union with one another and with all of God's Creation.

* * * * * * *

From Pastor Randy

"Yes, everything is for your sake, as it extends to more and more people, so that grace may increase thanksgiving to the glory of God. So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wearing away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day."    II Corinthians 4:15-16

Two times in the last couple of weeks I have traveled on Burnside St. through downtown Portland, taking note of the myriad folks outside, waiting for a meal or a place to sleep for the night. I also took note that many of them are probably my age. I dont believe I could live under the same circumstances so many live under. The last time I came even close was 10 years ago while living in Albany and I slept outside overnight to draw attention to peoples' plight and raise money for a shelter for homeless folks. But my night was luxurious in comparison to many. There was a fire ring available and I had a refrigerator box all my own and clean sleeping bag and no fears of someone trying to jack roll me during the night.

Sitting in my home as I write this, taking for granted so many grand gifts as I did earlier today, I was looking out my basement window and seeing clouds rolling by and bits of blue sky showing through. I was also watching birds flit in and out of the hedge and a squirrel trying fruitlessly to get into the large feeder, but not matter the acrobatics he eventually just dropped to the ground and ate the birds spillage, which just affirms my belief that the two are in cahoots in the whole thing, one of so many ways that I might be renewed every day because of the richness around us.

Thanks again to the Creator of all things,

Pastor Randy

Lessons for Sunday, November 30th
Isaiah 64:1-9
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Mark 13:24-37


Thursday   HAPPY THANKSGIVING  offices closed

Friday        limited office hours, call before visiting if assistance is needed

Saturday    10:00 - 11:30 A SOV choir rehearsal

Sunday      First Sunday in Advent worship at 8:30 & 11:00

Monday, November 24, 2014

Ladies Annual Christmas Dinner

Inviting all women (feel free to bring a guest)

SOV Annual Ladies Christmas Dinner
Tuesday, December 2nd
Stanford's Restaurant (Tanasbourne)
2770 NW 188th Ave, Hillsboro
5:30 pm

Please RSVP to Deann or Tammy during the week/Sunday.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Pastor's Wednesday Messages

from Pastor Brian

I've got prayer shawls on my mind. I've loved the prayer shawls (and the women who make them) since I came to SOV seven months ago. Sometimes, each of us needs a tangible reminder that God loves us and watches out for us. Prayer shawls provide that. Sacraments are called "visible words" — practical promises that God loves us and plans good for us. SOV's prayer shawls are like that — visible, palpable reminders that God cares for us when we feel much in need of care.

I'm thinking of prayer shawls because my spouse, Jill, recently received one from SOV. She's had health challenges that are frustrating, though not life-threatening. When Brenda, one of our prayer shawl creators, learned of Jill's situation, she was moved to make a shawl specially for Jill. Brenda and I picked out a pretty yarn that felt just right. Then Brenda and God worked together on the shawl. A couple weeks ago, I brought it home to Jill. She loves it! She wears it frequently. I know she feels fortunate to be blessed with the gift of this beautiful shawl.

Tomorrow Jill will attend the community luncheon at SOV. After lunch, we'll gather with shawl makers to bless her prayer shawl. Every prayer shawl made by our ministry team receives a blessing prayer from the pastor — either Randy or me — and from the person who's making or giving it. So I thought I'd share a blessing from Psalm 5:11-12, substituting "shawl" for the Psalmist's final word "shield."

Let all who take refuge in you rejoice / let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them / so that those who love your name may exult in you. For you bless the righteous, O Lord / you cover them with favor as with a shawl. May you never need one of the prayer shawls, but may God still cover you with favor!

* * * * * * *

From Pastor Randy

"Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God"      Romans 15:7

          Hoping that I haven't overdone a certain aspect of my life, but this has been a long year.  I feel like I lost most of it, thereby also losing touch losing touch with many of you.  So when I lead worship for the first time, it came with no small amount of trepidation.  Being concerned with my lack of concentration and not being the same person, the Christ continues to welcome me with a boundless and sustaining love.   The prayer and laying on of hands was a grand welcome, another reminder of the power of prayer in community.  So many kind words and I thank you for such a warm welcome back. 

In the Power of the Christ,

Pastor Randy

Lessons for Sunday, November 23rd     Christ the King Sunday
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
Ephesians 1:15-23
Matthew 25:31-46


Wednesday      10:00 a Bible Study w/Pastor Randy
                         7:00 p SOV Choir Rehearsal

Thursday         12:00 p  All Church Luncheon

KOK Christmas Greens pick up
Sunday, November 23rd  after worship
Monday, November 24th   9-1 p
Tuesday, November 25th  9-1 p

Need some extra chairs?
SOV is selling the brown padded (worship chairs) $5 ea  and the overflow blue folding chairs  $2 ea
Let Tammy know how many to reserve for you.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Out with the old, in with the new

SOV is ready to purchase new chairs to replace both the brown padded
and blue folding chairs. Our goal is to have the chairs at the
beginning of December.

We are offering the chairs to the congregation before selling them on
eBay. The brown padded are selling for $5.00 ea. and the blue folding
for $2.00 ea. They will be available for pick up between today and
December 5.

Contact the church office at 503 645 4994 to reserve.

KOK Christmas Greens

Thank you so much for ordering Christmas Greens from Kids of the
Kingdom Preschool and Kindergarten.

They are available for pickup at the Church on Sunday, November 23,
after first and second services. You may also pick them up on Monday
or Tuesday, November 24 and 25, between 9 am and 1 pm at the church.

There are a few centerpieces and wreaths available for sale. So if
you did not place an order, you may purchase one on Sunday.

Thanks for all your support for this ministry of SOV!

Wendy Roeder, Director
Kids of the Kingdom Christian Preschool and Kindergarten

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Pastor's Wednesday Messages

from Pastor Brian

Our National Day of Thanksgiving comes in a couple weeks.  What do you give thanks for?  And why?

It's good to give thanks; giving and receiving gratitude meets a deep need.  Marelisa Fabrega's comments clarify the goodness of gratitude:

Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you've been given. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present. In addition, behavioral and psychological research has shown the surprising life improvements that can stem from the practice of gratitude. Giving thanks makes people happier and more resilient, it strengthens relationships, it improves health, and it reduces stress.   (http://www.thechangeblog.com/gratitude/)

Her point is that practicing gratitude makes us better people — healthier, happier, more adaptable, and maybe more fun to be around.  But what does our religious tradition have to say about gratitude?

Gratitude is a basic response to waking up in God's world.  God's Spirit touches us and we see: everything is a miracle!  Our life; family and friends; our world filled with beauty, danger, and joy found on the far side of risk — all these are means of grace connecting us with God, giver of gratitude.  So we sing: "I praise the name of God with a song; I magnify God with thanksgiving" (Ps. 69:30)

Thanksgiving flows through us in Christ.  "As you have received Christ…, live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him…, abounding in thanksgiving."  (Col. 2:6-7)  In Christ, we share God's work for others.  Gratitude abounds as we discover God's blessings and gifts flowing from God through us.  We feel gratitude not only for the giftedness of our lives, but for the gift our lives become for others, given to serve and bless all people and all the Earth.

Whatever reason you have for gratitude, may these weeks leading up to our national Thanksgiving holiday be a time to savor what is good and say "thanks" to the God who gives it.

* * * * * * *

From Pastor Randy

"For he satisfies the thirsty and the hungry he fills with good things"     Psalms 107:9

          While I was in rehab I often looked with longing at the people who were literally one step ahead of me.  Starting with the people who I saw stand up on their own, I was excited at the prospect of being able to do that myself.  It wasn't long and that wasn't satisfying enough and I focused on the folks who not only stood up but began to walk as well without alarms going off as they moved away from their beds.  And then it was desiring to be like those who walked with the simple aid of a cane and then those who could do so without limping badly.  I am still not satisfied.  Is that a common human malady, not being readily satisfied?  There is a part of me that longs to go back to how I was before my stroke, even though foolishly I didn't always feel satisfied then.  So then, it really is a matter of finding satisfaction of another form, as the Psalmist promises God might bring us.  That satisfaction may come to us in grandly different ways.  For me, in this case it was a moment that took place after rehab, upon returning to the same place with the choir and the band, and celebrating communion for the first time.  The room was pretty much filled with strangers.  As I offered the words of institution with cracking voice and tear filled eyes it felt quite satisfyingly spectacular.  Such is the power of the grace of God, offering peace and satisfaction in all kinds of ways, at any time.

          Help us all to know your promise of satisfaction Lord.

In the peace and power of the Christ

Pastor Randy

Lessons for Sunday, November 16th
Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Matthew 25:14-30


Wednesday   9:00 - 1:00 p KOK Preschool/ Kindgergarten (Chapel)
                    10:00 a Bible Study w/Pastor Randy
                    7:00 - 8:30 p  SOV Choir Rehearsal

Thursday      9:00 - 1:00 p  KOK Preschool/Kindergarten

Friday           9:00 - 11:30 a KOK Preschoo
                     1:00  - 9:00 p Palmeter Piano Studio
                     6:45 - 10:00 p Confirmation Class

Saturday      10:00 - 11:30 a  SOV Choir Rehearsal

Please Note
New signs were installed on the property of SOV on Monday indicating "Private Property No Thorough fare". To enforce these new signs the cable is being put up each day during KOK/office hours. (cable near the entrance of SOV and Cornell). Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause with SOV parking but "pass through traffic" has been excessive and the speed of which the vehicles have been driving is dangerous. Thank you for your patience.

Scrip Sundays
November 16
December 7 & 14
Thank you for your continued support

Thanksgiving Basket prep
November 21st

Thanksgiving Basket distribution
November 22nd

If you haven't turned in your stewardship pledge form or time and talent sheet please remember to do so. The pledge form is needed to determine the SOV budget and volunteers are needed to fill committees and keep SOV flourishing.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Blessing of the Pets...this Sunday

Sunday, November 9th
Blessing of the Animals
9:30 am (or immediately following 8:30 service)

Blessing of the pets will take place under the covered area near the main entrance of the church.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wednesday Messages

 from Pastor Brian

"Are you still going to be here?"  I got several questions like that last Sunday.  It was Pastor Randy's first Sunday back.  Some people wondered if this meant I was leaving SOV, supposing that Pastor Randy is back full-time.

The short answer is, "Yes, I'm still going to be here."  The longer answer is a bit more nuanced.  So, I'll try to give you a better answer now.

First, read the article I wrote for the November newsletter.  That information should help you to understand what Pastor Randy's part-time return means for me.  An important point: Pastor Randy is preaching and leading worship on November 2 and 16.  I'll be leading worship and preaching as usual on the other three Sundays.  Meanwhile, I'll be doing most of the other things I regularly do, except I won't be in the office on Fridays and I won't be leading the Wednesday morning Bible study.

Second, a lot remains undetermined at this time.  November is experimental.  We're exploring to find out how much Pastor Randy can do.  None of us, including Pastor Randy, know for sure right now.  His preaching and worship leadership last Sunday were a good start.  More to come.  Toward the end of November, SOV's elected leadership will review things with Pastor Randy.  Then they'll come up with a schedule for December.  We don't know how much Pastor Randy will be working next month, and how much I'll be working.  So, it's "wait and see."

Third, my best guess is that things will continue like this for a few months.  Pastor Randy may continue at .2 FTE with me at .8.  Or, his hours may increase; then mine would decrease accordingly.  Either way, it seems likely that I will continue to do some of the pastor's work among you for the next several months, sharing duties with Pastor Randy based on how much work he's able to resume.

Finally, as I said in my newsletter article, I look forward to celebrating Advent and Christmas with you.  Whatever comes, it's all a gift from God.  So, let's wait with confidence and unwrap God's gifts as they arrive day by day.

* * * * * * *

From Pastor Randy

"Many Lord are asking, "Who will bring us prosperity?"  Let the light of your face shine on us.  Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound.  In peace I will lie down and sleep for you alone Lord, make me dwell in safety."   Psalm 4:7-8 NIV

          This psalm is entitled "Thoughts in the night, Prayer for help".  That sounds about right.   Do you ever lie awake at night and just think about things and hope for some sense of peace or joy in the darkness.

          The psalm spoke right up with the same thoughts beginning with the words "Listen to my words Lord, consider my lament, hear my cry for help for to you I pray. Joy can drive away the darkness as certain as the morning light.

          In a recent conversation with one of our newest church members I was told he looked forward to worship on Sunday mornings at SOV. That sounds like anticipating joy to me.  I have felt that way the last couple of months myself while attending worship.  The music and personal atmosphere have lifted me to something akin to joy.

          This past Sunday night as we celebrated our own limited version of Oktoberfest, I witnessed two little girls leaping and spinning on the dance floor as Lyle played the accordion.  They seemed to have limitless energy and unrestricted joy.  Their exhibition of joy brought joy to my own heart.  May we pray with the Psalmist, letting loose of our thoughts in the night as well.  May you know peace and joy.

In the name of the one who lights the darkness,

Pastor Randy

Lessons for Sunday, November 9th
Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Matthew 25:1-13


Wednesday   7:00 a Coffee Group
                     9:00 - 1:00 KOK Preschool/Kindergarten
                     9:30 a KOK Chapel
                     10:00 a Bible Study w/Pastor Randy
                     7:00 - 8:30 p SOV Choir Rehearsal

Thursday      9:00 - 1:00 p KOK Preschool/Kindergarten
                    7:00 p LLL

Friday           9:00 - 11:30 a KOK Preschool
                     1:00 - 9:00 p Palmeter Piano Studio

November Newsletter:

Thank you youth group (and youth leaders)
Job well done Sunday evening at the "Give Thanks" dinner / Oktoberfest Celebration. Your professionalism, attentiveness and responsibility was OUTSTANDING!!

GAP Ministries is in need of non-essential items
cleaning supplies; all purpose, toilet, window
laundry detergent
dish soap

Kitchen pantry needs
paper products cups; coffee & Juice, paper towels,
juice; frozen or powder
treats store bought or homemade; crackers, cheese, muffins, breads, bagels, spreads, fruit

Kevin Cope extends an invitation to

Saturday, November 8th
6:30 pm
First Baptist Church

Saturday, November 1, 2014

THIS SUNDAY at 5! Give Thanks Dinner

Sunday, November 2nd
5:00 pm

SOV Annual Give Thanks "Oktoberfest Celebration"

(sausage was made this week, see picture)

**Please bring your Time, Talent and Treasure form

A few reminders

Sunday, November 2nd
Daylight Savings Time ends
"Fall Back" move your clock back 1 hour.
(before you go to bed Saturday)

Sunday, November 2nd  All Saints Sunday
We welcome Pastor Randy to the pulpit,
serving both 8:30 & 11:00 am worship.
**Please bring your Time, Talent and Treasure form

Sunday, November 2nd
5:00 pm
SOV Annual Give Thanks "Oktoberfest Celebration"
**Please bring your Time, Talent and Treasure form

Men's Night  CHANGE in location
Tuesday, November 4th
Cruise In Country Diner​
​6:30 pm
9785 SW River Rd, Hillsboro, OR 97123
(503) 628-0500