Happening Now Blog

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

I'm back from Synod Assembly.  I'll tell you about that another time because today I have news about the Transition Task Force.  We've had two planning meetings.  We're starting to learn what God wants us to do.  There's a lot to learn.  We aim to be historians, storytellers, and consultants.  To do that well, we have to think carefully about how to hear your stories and get them right.  We want to reflect your stories back to you, to help SOV know itself in Christ.  Who are we now in 2015?  Who are our neighbors?  What is God calling us to do?  The TTF will look deeply into these things, and help you to look deeply, too.

We've been sorting through different methods as we plan our research.  Observing what's happening at SOV; questionnaires; interviews; focus groups; cottage meetings; town hall meetings; gathering statistical data about SOV and census data about our neighborhood.  We'll use some combination of all of these as we engage you in conversation about your hopes and dreams for SOV, and hear your concerns, too.

We're putting together an action plan.  Here are some things we want to roll out soon.  The Sunday bulletin will have a brief write-up about the TTF, including names of members.  That will probably start on May 10.  We'll include a Gmail address so you can give us input.  Next to that article, we'll have a notice about the next two events coming up.  We also plan to send out a "Thursday Message" email about the TTF's progress every other week.  That will probably start May 14.

Soon after these first steps, we will hold regular "Listening Posts" so folks can talk with TTF members after worship services.  We will set up a Google Docs site so the TTF can share information about its work there in addition to newsletters, emails, and announcements at Sunday services.  And as soon as we can work out an overall plan for TTF events we will publish it so members have a "road map" to plan participation in these conversations.

This is important work.  And it's not simple.  We want to serve you well, help SOV call a pastor who will lead effectively, lovingly, and faithfully for many years to come.  We're trying to lay the ground-work for that outcome in this study process.  We ask for your participation, your help, and your prayers as we try to follow our Lord Jesus in this work of transition.

TTF Members: Tom Barnes, Ada Burris, Scott Duff, Christine Edgar, Lynn Gates, Corrine Gilbertson, Linnea Harmon, Michael Johnson, Russ Martinelli, Rachael Snow.  Chair, Pastor Brian; Administrative Assistant, Tammy McDonald.

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Lessons for May 3, 2015
Acts 8:26-40
1 John 4:7-21
John 15:1-8


Wednesday    10:00 a Bible Study
                      7:00 p SOV choir rehearsal
                      8:00 p SOV band rehearsal

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

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

Saturday      5:30 p  Wedding Shower for Allen Sugiyama and Fiancee Kim Ulrich
                   Please bring a potluck dish to share. Allen and Kim are registered at Crate and Barrel and Macy's

Scrip Order Sunday's
May 3 & 17

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

The Church Council asked me to write this message about money.  Seems that giving is down over $11,000 compared to budget for the first quarter.  Considering we're not a big church, that's a big hit on SOV's ability to carry out its mission.  So here's some frank talk from the pastor about your offerings of money and the future of SOV.

What's up with this deficit?  You, my friends, probably know better than I why this money is not showing up in regular giving.  But let me hazard some guesses.  First, there might be a good reason.  We've experienced a lot of generosity in giving for special purposes.  It turns out that money we've received as gifts for Pastor Randy plus money we've received as gifts for the Youth Group's trip to the nationwide Youth Gathering approximately equals the deficit in our regular giving.  Thank you for all your generosity to Pastor Randy and to the Youth Group!  But special gifts like these must be given in addition to regular giving, not in place of it.  Otherwise, we run into problems trying to carry out the ministry and mission we endorsed when we passed the budget a couple months ago.  Please review how you've allocated your giving over the past three months.  If you have redirected regular giving to special gifts, please consider how you might increase regular giving to help SOV make up the deficit.

Is there another reason for the deficit?  I'm being speculative, but it's not unusual for some people to decrease or withdraw their giving during an interim period.  They're not sure they'll want to support the church's direction under a new pastor.  So they wait to see how things develop before they recommit.  Similarly, some people decrease or withdraw giving because they do not like what is happening during the interim period.  In both instances, these folks may absent themselves from regular attendance at worship and participation in holy communion.  The result of both is the same: the church is weakened.  What is well-intended as an act of conscience turns out to harm the very institution they love.  This is not a good way to go.

SOV is a community of Jesus' disciples.  Its future is open.  It lives by the Word of God and the breath of the Holy Spirit.  I encourage you to put your words, your breath, your spirit into SOV at this crucial time.  Keep its future open by opening your checkbook.  If you love SOV, help it to live.  If you are unsure how SOV will shape up, now is the time to shape its future in a way that makes sense to you.  And you do that by engaging, not by disengaging.  The Transition Task Force will offer many opportunities for you to make your voice heard.  If we speak and listen to one another, we will forge a future for SOV responsive to our deepest needs and to our highest aspirations for this church.  Please join me in determining the future of SOV.   Bring your presence, your passion, your voice, and yes, your money.  Together, we will give SOV a future to be proud of.  And that's a good way to go.

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Lessons for Sunday, April 26th
1 John 3:16-24
Psalm 23
John 10:11-18


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

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

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

May 2, 5:30 PM
A wedding shower party for Alan Sugiyama and his fiancée Kim Ulrich will be held at SOV on May 2 at 5:30 PM. This will be a congregational potluck dinner party to introduce Kim to Alan's SOV family. Gifts are optional. We will provide information where they are registered but gifts are optional.

Memorial Service for Rudy Wagenmann
May 16th,  2:00 pm
If you have a special memory or story of Rudy please let Terry or Tammy know of it.
Thank you.

Everyone in the SOV family is cordially invited to attend the 25th wedding vow renewal of Les and Cyndi Peterson at 4 p.m. followed by an annual SOV picnic - reception. The picnic will be a catered event and more information will be forthcoming - there will be fun and games galore for the whole family so mark your calendars and plan to attend.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

"Honor your father and mother."  That commandment comes to mind when I reflect on the Wagemann family.  I've spent several hours with them over the past few days.  As I said in worship last Sunday, Rudy is nearing the end of his life.  His family has kept vigil since last Thursday while he moves closer to that mysterious threshold between this life and the next.  Rudy and Aggie's four children and a changing cast of several grandchildren have been lovingly attentive to Rudy's needs.  They have also cared for Aggie with grace and devotion.  I have been touched by their thoughtfulness, their kindness, and by their discerning attention to all of the many factors that constitute good care.  It's already been a long journey, though everyone stays gathered in one room.  Please keep Rudy and Aggie and their family in prayer, asking God's blessing for Rudy as he prepares for transformation; and for Aggie as she tries to adjust; and for the rest of the family as they watch, wait, work, and hope that love will overcome.  Surely, the commandment is being well kept.

Today Rudy's breathing was quite labored.  He was unaware of it, but his body was working hard to keep going.  The hospice nurse said that Rudy's hard work was like that of a woman in labor about to give birth.  Yes, I thought, he's getting ready to give birth to that spiritual body St. Paul writes about, when the mortal body puts on immortality.  And the family's vigil, I thought, is like an Easter Vigil: waiting for new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.  That's the heart of the gospel.  We honor our Father in heaven when we trust God's promise that this gift is for us, too, by the gift of our savior Jesus Christ.

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From the Wagemann Family
For those of you who haven't heard my dad fought hard all day, but his heart gave way at 10:28 pm Tuesday evening. We played his favorite polka music for him much of the evening to sooth him. We know he is dancing in heaven. We couldn't have asked for a better father and husband.  Thank you for all your prayers and support and ask that you especially continue to keep our mother in your prayers.  (Terry, Jeff, Tammy and Jim)

Lessons for Sunday, April 19, 2015
Acts 3:12-19
1 John 3:1-7
Luke 24:36-48


Wednesday     7:00 a Coffee Group meets at Starbucks in Bethany Village
                      10:00 a Bible Study with Pastor Brian
                       7:00 p Prayer Team Ministry Meeting (open to everyone)
                       7:00 p SOV Choir Rehearsal
                       8:00 p SOV Band Rehearsal

Thursday        10:00 a LLL

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

Sunday is SCRIP order Sunday
all proceeds from this scrip Sunday will go to the SOV youth group to help fund SOV's 8 youth and 2 leaders attending the ELCA Youth Gathering in Detroit.

Town Hall Meeting
Sunday, April 19th
9:45 am

Pastor Brian will facilitate a Town Hall meeting to share information about the Transition Task Force authorized by the Church Council at its March meeting.  The TTF will carry out SOV's self-study process in preparation for calling a new pastor.  The TTF will gather information from God's people at SOV and use that information to create a "Ministry Site Profile."  Please attend the Town Hall meeting to hear more about the TTF and how it will prepare the way for the work of the Call Committee.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

It's a joy to give thanks for Easter Sunday.  God gave us a sunny day during rainy season.  The chancel glowed with flowers and banners.  The choir and band gave us joyful music mighty enough to resound from earth to heaven and beyond!  And you, friends, filled the sanctuary to overflowing twice!  We had about 240 worshipers.  Impressive!

Your generosity was on display in many ways — money offered, goods donated, service rendered, voices raised in worship.  On behalf of all who benefited from the good will of the many folks who worked so hard to make this Easter Sunday a day of delight, thank you!

Let me say special thanks to a few particular groups.  First, to Jameson, the choir, and those who played musical instruments, thank you for all your dedication, many hours of rehearsal, and the joyful music you offered in support of the church's worship.  Well done!

Second, thanks to the Youth Group and all who pitched in to make the Easter Breakfast a heart-warming, tummy-humming community gathering and a successful fundraiser for the Youth Group's trip to the National Youth Gathering in Detroit.  It astounds me that God's people at SOV are able to change a worship environment into a dining hall and back again in the space of a little over an hour.  It's a notable achievement.  Thank you for your smart organization and hard work.  And thanks to the whole community for its generosity to the Youth Group.  They received about $1,700 between the breakfast offerings, raffle tickets, and photo card sales (thank you Theresa for those cards!).

Third, to Altar Guild and others who work behind the scenes to support our Easter Worship in ways that become obvious only when something's forgotten, I thank God for you.  I'm grateful for your quiet, consistent labor to serve God in subtle ways that help our worship go well.  We couldn't have good worship without you!

As your interim pastor, I felt grateful to be part of such a strong worshiping community celebrating Jesus' resurrection.  May the power of Jesus' resurrection strengthen us as we walk with him to do Easter daily: doing good, healing, bringing peace on Earth and good will to all.

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Lessons for Sunday, April 12th
Acts 4:32-35
1 John 1:1-2:2
John 20:19-31

This Week

Wednesday  10:00 a   Bible Study with Pastor Brian
                     7:00 - 8:00 p   SOV Choir Rehearsal
                     8:00 - 9:00 p   SOV Band Rehearsal

Thursday     6:30 p     Men's night at BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse
                   7:00 p    LLL

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

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

KOK Purposeful Playgroups
Second Wednesday of each month 12:00 - 1:00 pm
Children ages 2-5 and their parents (younger siblings welcome)
at Kids of the Kingdom Christian Preschool
Reserve your spot by emailing Hannah Bennedict at kokteacher4@gmail.com

Sunriver Raffle tickets
Support SOV's youth group, proceeds go towards their trip to the ELCA Youth Gathering in Detroit in 2015
$5 a ticket or 5 for $20.
5 nights at The Pines Resort in Sunriver.

Town Hall Meeting
Transition Task Force
April 19th
9:45 am

2015 Graduates
Its time to submit the names and accomplishments of all 2015 Graduates.
Please send me; (secretarysov@gmail.com)
graduates name
school/college graduating from
degree, certificate and/or accomplishments
where they go from here; additional schooling, work etc.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Annual Congregational Meeting Notice

Please Mark your calendars:

SOV's annual congregational meeting will be held on Sunday, June 7, 2015 following worship.

There will be one worship service that day at 10:00 AM. 

Please plan to attend and be a part of this important meeting.

Cal Sugiyama
Council President

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Today being April Fool's day, I'm reminded that some people think the resurrection of Jesus is just a practical joke.  That sort of thinking started long ago.  Have you ever read this story from Matthew's Gospel?  (Matthew 27:62-66)


62 The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, "Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive, 'After three days I will rise again.' 64 Therefore command the tomb to be made secure until the third day; otherwise his disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, 'He has been raised from the dead,' and the last deception would be worse than the first." 65 Pilate said to them, "You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can."  66 So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.


But we believe that the resurrection of Jesus is no joke.  It may be a reason to smile, but not because we're just humoring one another!


The dramatic events of Holy Week culminating in the good news of Easter reveal the pathos and promise of human life.  Maundy Thursday: we are befriended by Divine Love and invited into spiritual intimacy with the Source of all life.  Good Friday: we betray that trust and disaster results.  Easter: betrayal is forgiven; friendship overcomes hate; death is overwhelmed by life; love wins.


It's a great story.  It becomes more than a story when we gather for Holy Week services.  In Holy Week worship, we become the story.  Inwardly, we hope and groan and weep and rejoice as we take part in this liturgy – the work of God's people – performing a drama that moves us from fear to peace.  You think I'm kidding?  Come do Holy Week and discover its truth for yourself.


* * * * * * *

Lessons for Easter Sunday

Acts 10:34-43

1 Corinthians 15:1-11

John 20:1-18


Wednesday    10:00 a Bible Study with Pastor Brian

                      7:00 - 8:30 p SOV Choir rehearsal

                      8:00 - 9:00 p SOV Band rehearsal

Thursday    7:00 p   Maundy Thursday Service

Friday        12:00 p   Good Friday Service

                  7:00 p    Good Friday Service

Saturday  10:00 - 12:00 p SOV Choir rehearsal

Sunday     8:30 & 11:00 a Easter Services

                9:45 - 10:30 a Easter Breakfast & Easter Egg hunt.  The youth will be serving pancakes, turkey sausage, hash browns, hard boiled eggs, fruit salad, and muffins. We will be accepting donations that will go towards the ELCA Youth Gathering trip to Detroit this July. 


 Purposeful Playgroups

Join other parents and their preschoolers once a month for purposeful play and support

Children explore fun art and sensory activities, grow friendships and practice their social skills while parents get support for common preschool challenges from each month's "Preschooler Hot Topic Q&A."  Church members welcome.


When: Second Wednesday of Each Month


Who: Children ages 2-5 and their parents *younger siblings welcome

Where: Kids of the Kingdom Christian Preschool


Reserve your spot by emailing Hannah Benedict at kokteacher4@gmail.com

open to all children ages 2-5 (you don't have to been a student of KOK)

Prayer Team

Please remember the prayer team is here to pray for you and your loved ones.  Fill out a prayer request, talk to Tammy or one of us, and we will join you in submitting our prayers to God. The next Prayer Team meeting is on Wednesday, April 15th, at 7:00 p.m.  Please consider joining us.  We'd love to see you there!


Ladies Dinner

Tuesday, April 7th

6:00 pm

Bethany Public House

Bethany Public House

4840 NW Bethany Blvd, Portland, OR 97229

Please RSVP to Deann, Tammy or reply to this email.

Men's Night

Thursday, April 9th 

6:30 PM

BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse

7390 NE Cornell Rd, Hillsboro, OR 9721 

No RSVP needed, just show up!