Happening Now Blog

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

"Who was Jesus?"  "Who is Jesus for me?"  Those are the questions we ask in our Lenten journey.  We have to figure out who this Jesus guy is while we're walking with him to Jerusalem.  To help us answer the Jesus questions I'm offering some video clips during the Wednesday evening Lenten sessions.  The video lessons come from a DVD-based curriculum called "Saving Jesus."  The subtitle: "Ever feel like Jesus has been kidnapped by the Christian Right?"  These video lessons feature some of the best Biblical scholars of our time: Marcus Borg (who recently died at his home in Portland), John Dominic Crossan, Walter Brueggemann, Helen Prejean (of "Dead Man Walking" fame), and others.  They are learned scholars and committed Christians.  Their reflections on Jesus and the Kingdom of God are well worth hearing.  Yours are, too.
Here's the schedule:
Feb. 25 — Kingdom of God: happening now and we get to help it happen
Mar. 4 — Kingdom of God: a transformed world of mercy, justice, truth
Mar. 11 — Jesus' ministry of compassion
Mar. 18 — Killing Jesus, Part 1: Who killed Jesus?
Mar. 25 — Killing Jesus, Part 2: Atonement (how does Jesus' death save us?)

Each of these video clips will be 7-9 minutes in length.  They are excerpts from longer lessons.  I want to keep the clips short and sweet so we have about 20 minutes for table discussions.  It's really in the conversation we have with one another that the best learning takes place.

Supper will begin at 5:30p.   At 6:00p, we'll start the video clips and move into table discussions.  At 6:30p, we'll close with Holden Evening Prayer: a short, lovely, contemplative vespers liturgy.  Please feel welcome to join your friends for supper, Jesus talk, and worship.

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Lessons for March 1st
Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
Romans 4:13-25
Mark 8:31-38


Wednesday  10:00 a Bible Study with Pastor
                     5:30 p  Lenten potluck soup & bread supper
                     6:00 - 7:00 p Lenten devotion
                     7:00 - 8:00 p SOV choir rehearsal
                     8:00 - 9:00 p SOV band rehearsal

Thursday      12:00 p All Church Luncheon
                    1:00 p Prayer Shawl Ministry

Friday           1:00 p  Palmeter piano studio

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

> SOV Youth group vacation raffle ticket fundraiser, buy your tickets from any youth group member.

> KOK "Loving your neighbor" canned food drive, please place your canned non perishable food in the box by the church office.

> SOV Kitchen shower; fellowship is collecting items to restock the pantry, you can bring items any Sunday in March: regular coffee, toilet paper, qt & gallon ziploc bags, vanity fair napkins/lunch size, cocktail napkins, air wick or glade air fresheners & spray, dawn liquid dish washing soap, 16-32 oz liquid coffee creamers, crystal light dry juice mixes

Children/youth annual review meeting

Dear SOV families,

Children and Youth Annual Review meeting- March 15th after 2nd service
 Please come to our first children/youth annual review meeting. Pastor Brian will be leading a discussion on how we can work together to strengthen SOV's program. All ideas, concerns and comments are welcome and we encourage all parents to attend. We hope to discuss: Confirmation, Sunday school classes, family events/special programs, current/future needs of our congregation and curriculum.

Stacie Sandow

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Something unforgettable happened at an Ash Wednesday service I led in my first congregation.  For the imposition of ashes, people came to kneel at the altar railing as they did when receiving holy communion.  Among those kneeling was a family with a couple children.  One child was about ten years old, the other much younger, maybe three or so.  I went down the line, drawing an ashen cross on the foreheads of daddy, mommy, big sister, and finally younger brother.  It felt odd to mark the cross on the little one's forehead.  How sad, I thought, to be pronouncing over him the formula, "From dust you have come and to dust you shall return."  But even children are mortal, and in need of God's grace.  So I did what the pastor had to do, and finally all the worshippers wore the ashen cross on their foreheads. 

That, however, is not what remains so memorable.  What sticks in my mind was what happened with this same family later in that worship service.  They knelt for holy communion, as they had to receive ashes.  Down the line I went, giving communion to daddy, mommy and big sister.  But when I came to younger brother, I couldn't give him the bread.  This congregation had a practice not to commune children until they had completed a first communion class, usually around age ten.  When I came to the little boy, he reached out his hand.  He was ready and eager to receive the wafer.  I had to tell him he couldn't have the bread, that he was too young.  He stared at me in disbelief, wrinkled up his face, and cried in a loud voice, "Why can't I have the bread!?"  And he began to wail in despair. 

As I passed him by to serve bread to others, I thought to myself that something is dreadfully wrong when a church allows me to paint the cross of death on a child but not to give him the bread of life. Ever since I have insisted that as long as parents are OK with their children receiving communion, I'm going to commune them, no matter how young.  As one pastor said, we don't need our children to understand the science of nutrition before we feed them.  And we don't need our children to understand all the theological mysteries of holy communion before we feed them.  So if you come to receive the ashes, please also enjoy holy communion — and may all God's children enjoy the feast.

* * * * * * *

Lessons for February 22, 2015
Genesis 9:8-17
1 Peter 3:18-22
Mark 1:9-15


Wednesday   10:00 am Bible Study with Pastor Brian
                     11:30 am Ash Wednesday Service
                      7:00 pm Ash Wednesday Service

Thursday       10:00 am LLL
                      7:00 pm Council Meeting

Friday            1:00 - 9:00 pm Palmeter Piano Studio

Saturday       10:00 - 11:30 am SOV Choir rehearsal

KOK Canned Food Drive
Loving Our Neighbors Canned Food drive: collection of non perishable food items.

SOV Youth Group Vacation Raffle tickets
get your tickets for a chance to win a 5 day vacation at
The Pines at Sunriver
$5 a ticket or 4 for $20.00

Lenten Potluck Soup Suppers
Wednesdays  5:30-6:30 pm (2/25, 3/4, 3/11, 3/18, 3/25)
Lenten Devotion 6:30 - 7:00 pm

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

 from Pastor Brian

"Give us this day our daily bread…"  I've been reflecting on how we are daily bread for one another.  Luther says daily bread means "Everything our bodies need such as food, drink, clothing,…" (a long list follows, ending with) "…good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like."  I'm thinking that good friends and faithful neighbors are essential daily bread. 

Yes, we need food, shelter, and other basic goods to survive.  But we need good friends and faithful neighbors to live well as human beings.  We get joy in life from experiencing the vitality, charm, wit, and uncalculating goodness of people we encounter day by day.  These can't be compelled, only received as gifts.  The gift of relationship, the gift of the human spirit, the gift of kindness — this is the daily bread God gives all people so they can thrive and grow in fulfillment.

I've been especially grateful for the good friends and faithful neighbors with whom I work at SOV.  The folks on Executive Council and Church Council come to mind.  Over the past ten months, I've come to know and appreciate the faithful leadership of these friends in Christ.  I'm always amazed at the dedication of lay people who serve as elected church leaders.  They give so generously of themselves.  They carry out important work, often difficult work, that brings a burden of stress and care over and above the usual concerns of daily life.  I take none of this for granted.  I'm grateful day by day for the daily bread of leadership given so graciously by our Church Council members.

As we approach Transfiguration Sunday, we see our daily bread has an unsuspected sacred depth.  On the mountaintop, Jesus shines with the glory of the holy One he embodies.  The promise of the gospel is that, following Jesus, we ourselves are filled with the light of Christ.  Leavened by the word of God, we become holy manna for one another and for the world.  When we pray "Give us this day our daily bread," God answers our prayer by giving us one another filled with the love of God in Jesus Christ.

* * * * * * *

Lessons for Sunday February 15, 2015
2 Kings 2:1-12
2 Corinthians 4:3-6
Mark 9:2-9

This Week

Wednesday   10:00 a Bible Study with Pastor Brian
                      7:00 p SOV Choir rehearsal
                      8:00 p SOV Band rehearsal

Thursday       7:00 p LLL

Friday           1:00 - 9:00 p Palmeter Piano

Saturday      10:00 - 11:30 a SOV Choir and band rehearsal
                     5:00 - 9:00 p SOV Youth Group Babysitting Fundraiser
 Valentine Babysitting Night
              Saturday, February 14th  5-9 pm
crafts, games, pizza, movie, games and more for children 11 years old and younger.

KOK Non Perishable Canned Food Drive
items needed; canned meats; tuna, chicken, salmon, peanut butter or other nut butters, canned or dried beans and peas, pasta, rice, cereal, canned fruits and vegetables, 100% fruit or vegetable juice in plastic or box containers, cooking oil. 

SOV Vacation Raffle  youth group fundraiser
buy your tickets to win a 5 day vacation at The Pines at Sunriver.
$5 a ticket or 5 tickets for $20 

​Shrove Tuesday (youth group fundrasier)
February 17th
Pancake Supper 
5:30 - 7:00 pm​

​Ash Wednesday
Services at 
11:30 a & 7:00 pm​

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

 from Pastor Brian

God calls us by name.  That's powerful.  One of Jesus' super-powers is that he knows people personally, calls them by name.  He summons people into God's service as unique individuals, not as generic worker-bees.  That is why I work hard at learning names.  I found out in my first church that people found it deeply meaningful when I called them by name as they came forward to take communion.  I'm not sure why I started doing that, but I certainly kept on doing it because people let me know how much they valued my acknowledgment of their personal humanity. 

I don't have a miraculous memory.  I have to practice.  The main practice I have for learning names is saying them when I give communion.  And I've gotten over my shame at forgetting.  If I forget, I ask over and over again until the pairing of person with name sticks in my noggin.  Sometimes, I simply draw a blank even when I know very well what a person's name is.  So if I ask when you come up for communion, just smile and help me out – I'll probably remember the next time around.

My latest challenge is learning the names of the three-year old class at KoK.  Last week, I started doing weekly chapel services with the threes, as I have been with the fours/fives for some months now.  There are about ten of the threes.  I'm still learning.  I'll stick with it.  I have discovered that kids like being called by name just as much as us older folks do.

SOV's Youth Group is currently working on a new pictorial directory.  Thank you, SOV Youth!  I hope you'll pose for a portrait and let it appear in the new directory.  After all, each of us is created in the image and likeness of God.  Why not share your version of God's image with others at SOV?  This new directory filled with photos of God's saints will be a big help to all of us who want to gain the gospel super-power of knowing people personally and calling them by name to love and serve God.

* * * * * * *

Lessons for February 8th
Isaiah 40:21-31
Psalm 127:1-11, 20c
Mark 1:29-39


Wednesday  10:00 am  Bible Study with Pastor Brian
                    7:00 pm SOV Choir Rehearsal
                    8:00 pm SOV Band Rehearsal

Thursday      6:30 pm Men's Night at Cruise In Country Diner

Friday          1:00 pm Palmeter Piano Studio

Saturday      10:00 am SOV Choir Rehearsal

Sunday         8:30 & 11:00 am Worship

Looking Ahead

Youth Group Fundraisers;
     Valentine's Babysitting Night
      February 14th
      5:00 - 9:00 pm at SOV

     Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Supper
      February 17th
      5:30 - 7:00 pm at SOV
     Raffle Tickets for a chance to win
     The Pines at Sunriver
      $5 a ticket or 5 tickets for $20.00
      see a youth group member to buy your tickets

† Ash Wednesday
February 18th
11:30 and 7:00 pm Services

Next Scrip Sunday is February 15th
Remember to link your Fred Meyers reward card by calling 1.800.576.4377 with SOV's non profit #91312