Happening Now Blog

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Here's an update on the Transition Task Force.  Three weeks ago, on May 31, the TTF held the "Heritage Discussion," which was pretty well attended and very interesting.  TTF members listened carefully, took notes, and will keep these things in mind as the Ministry Site Profile is being written.  That document (MSP) will function as the congregation's résumé when the Call Committee begins the process of interviewing candidates to serve as SOV's next pastor.

At that Heritage Discussion meeting, the TTF introduced SOV to the "Congregational Vitality Survey."  This survey measures a congregation's capacity to sustain its essential activities and to engage in mission in its neighborhood.  Some folks returned paper copies; some submitted the questionnaire online.  We received nearly 50 responses, which is good for a church this size.  All responses should now have been received at the ELCA's Churchwide offices in Chicago.  We hope to have a report from them before the end of July explaining the findings of the Vitality Survey.

On Sunday, August 2, the Rev. Mike Keys will meet with us to help us understand the report and how we can use it in our Call Process.  Pastor Keys is the Director for Evangelical Mission of the Oregon Synod.  He's helped a number of congregations in our synod to understand and use the results of this survey.  He'll show up at SOV just after the late service.  The TTF will provide snacks as we hear Pastor Keys' presentation and engage in discussion with him.  He's an engaging speaker and an interesting guy.  Please attend if you can.  It will give us inspirational food for thought as we look for SOV's next pastor.

Presently, the TTF is working to offer small group sessions as listening posts so it can get input from SOV members about ministry, mission, and the sort of pastoral leadership needed to support that mission.  We hope to finish a plan tomorrow night.  God willing, we'll go public with the small group offerings next week.  So please look for an opportunity to participate.  The Ministry Site Profile will reflect what you tell us in these sessions and in other ways.  So, tell the TTF about the sort of future you dream of for SOV, and about the new pastor needed to help us make those dreams come true!

* * * * * * *
Lessons for Sunday, June 28th
2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27
Wisdom 1:13-15, 2:23-24
Mark 5:21-43


Wednesday    10:00 am Bible Study

Thursday       12:00 pm All Church Salad Luncheon, all are  invited to join us for lunch and fellowship.

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

Saturday       10:00 - 11:30 a Choir rehearsal

*Love INC's Packed with Love backpack project;
Love INC needs our support to help reach the goal of providing back packs filled with school supplies to 1,000 local middle and high school children in Washington County.

 The Social Concerns Committee will be sending a group of pre-registered committee members on August 8th to directly REACH OUT and help with the back pack assembly and pick-up event at Aloha High School.

We are asking you to REACH IN and consider donating money to help us collect funds.  Your contribution will help purchase needed items, and will also help offset the newly required $5 per child receiving a back pack registration fee.

JULY is the month to collect money as by early August it's go time!!!

Make checks to SOV, and in the memo line put "Packed with Love" Social Concerns.

We all REACH UP with prayers of thanks!

Monday, June 22, 2015

An invitation from St Andrew's Lutheran Church

There are still a few spots available in this summer's Lutherwood Day Camp at St. Andrew.  Please register by this Friday!

+++ Camp Lutherwood Day Camp at St. Andrew +++
July 6 - 10
Monday - Thursday9am - 3pmFriday9am - noon.

Staffed by Lutherwood Camp Counselors and St. Andrew Volunteers

Register by this Friday, June 26.
Registration form available on the St. Andrew website. 
If you need extended care (7am - 6pm) you MUST register through the St. Andrew Learning Center

Camp Lutherwood brings the camp experience to St. Andrew for kids entering 1st through 6th grade.  Each day is filled with music, games and Bible Stories. Questions?  Contact the Volunteer Organizer, Johanna.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

When you come to church on Sundays, have you noticed the striking images on the big TV screens in our sanctuary?  I want to give credit where credit is due.  Matt Kotvis is our "Minister of the Visual Word."  That's a title I just created but I think it fits.  Matt does a great job selecting images to support Sunday worship.  So I want to say "thank you!" to Matt.  I also want to tell you a bit about how he selects those images.  Then I want ask you to support Matt in this ministry.

Thank you, Matt! – and thanks be to God for the excellent work you do in finding images to support our Sunday worship.  The pictures you find are lively, engaging, and pertinent.  As the pastor, I'm grateful for what you do and for your faithfulness and skill in doing it.  You've been key in creating a new worship arts ministry at Shepherd.  You've set and maintained a high standard.  I pray that everyone who works with you or follows you will serve this church as well as you are doing.

How does Matt do it?  Only he really knows, but I'll tell you the part of the story I know.  This all started late last summer when the TV screens were installed.  The folks who planned the project told me about the intended purpose.  It was pretty vague.  Somehow, visual images would add to worship.  OK, but how?  It seemed clear to me that not just any image would do.  How to find ones that would enhance worship instead of distract us?  I'd already started doing a "Lectionary Themes" document for use by Tammy (our church secretary) and Jameson (our Director of Music).  It gives the scripture readings, my brief interpretation of them, and a summary of common themes.  So, I started giving that to Matt.  He says it's helpful to point him in a good direction.  Later, I added some suggestions of my own for visual images.  But they're just suggestions to help spark Matt's creativity.

Somehow, Matt takes that basic guide and works magic with it.  This is where Matt's own spiritual creativity comes in.  He searches the internet for images that are both suitable for the Sunday and legally OK for us to reproduce.  The results are fabulous.  I called Matt our "Minister of the Visual Word."  That's because Matt is interpreting God's Word to support our worship and spiritual formation.  It's important work.  And, thanks be to God, it's being done well by a person who takes it seriously as a ministry of the church.

Finally, I want to invite you into partnership with Matt.  He's told me he'd love to have some partners in this ministry.  He's got techniques already worked out and would be glad to share his practices and wisdom with you.  This is an opportunity to support Matt and to enhance SOV's spiritual life.  I hope you'll talk with Matt to see if you might be able to partner with him in this ministry.  May God bless our congregation's creativity as we look for new ways to live as God's people and celebrate the goodness of our God.

* * * * * * *


Wednesday   10:00 a Bible Study with Pastor Brian
                      No SOV Choir rehearsal

Thursday      10:00 a LLL
                      5:45 p TTF Meeting
                      7:00 p Council Meeting

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

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

Celebration of 2015 Graduates
Please join us this Sunday between services to celebrate our 2015 Graduates.
Congratulations Graduates!

High School
Kelsey B
Grant H
Austin M
Michael W

Gunnar R
Jacob T

Packed with Love – managed by Love Inc. Beaverton
Needs our support to help reach the goal of providing school supplies to 1,000 local middle and high school children. The Social Concerns Committee will be sending a group of pre-registered committee members on August 8th to directly REACH OUT and help with the back pack assembly and pick-up event at Aloha High School. We are asking you to REACH IN and consider donating money to help us collect funds.  Your contribution will help purchase needed items, and will also help offset the newly required $5 per child receiving a back pack registration fee. JULY is the month to collect money as by early August it's go time!!! Make checks to SOV, and in the memo line put "Packed with Love" Social Concerns. We all REACH UP with prayers of thanks!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

"The Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart."  We'll hear those words next Sunday.  They're in the first reading from 1 Samuel.  We see the surface.  God looks into the depths.  God knows our hearts and our minds.  God seeks us out, questions us, then leads us on right pathways to build the beloved community, the Body of Christ.

Last Sunday we started looking into the heart and mind of SOV.  The Transition Task Force handed out a "Congregational Vitality Questionnaire."  This survey takes a snapshot to identify a congregation's strengths and challenges for mission.  It measures how much vitality we have for "reaching up, reaching out, reaching in."  It's one of the ways God reaches out to us, reaches into our church life to help us learn about ourselves.  It will help us figure out what sort of pastor is needed to help SOV carry out its mission in years to come.

This questionnaire comes from the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), our national denomination.  It's part of a pilot project being carried out in five ELCA synods across the country.  Oregon is one of those.  The Oregon Synod staff have done a lot of work using this survey with churches across the state.  Now the fruit of this work will help SOV, too.

The survey is not long; it will take 10 minutes or so to complete.  We started last Sunday by handing out paper copies at the Congregational Meeting.  Yesterday we sent an email to the SOV list with a link to the online version of the survey.  Next Sunday, June 14, at the end of both services, we'll hand out paper copies to those who haven't already completed it.  We'll encourage folks to complete the questionnaire right there.  The TTF hopes to have all the paper forms (and online input) turned in and done by a week from today, June 17.  And you don't have to be a member of SOV to take the survey.  Anyone who's been hanging out at SOV, worshiping here for a while, is welcome to take part.

When survey input is complete, it will take 4-6 weeks for the data to be processed at ELCA headquarters.  Then they'll send us a report.  To help us understand the results, we'll have a visit from the Rev. Michael Keys, the Director for Evangelical Mission of the Oregon Synod.  He's done a lot of work using this survey and will do a great job helping us understand how the results will help SOV call its next pastor.

I hope you'll take the survey.  More responses yield more accurate results.  Please help us help the Holy Spirit know SOV's heart and mind as we pray for God's blessing on this process of calling a pastor who will be a great fit for this beloved community.

* * * * * * *

Lessons for Sunday, June 14th
1 Samuel 15:34-16:13
2 Corinthians 5:6-10, 14-17
Mark 4:26-34


Wednesday    10:00 a Bible study with Pastor Brian
                      7:00 pm SOV Choir practice with Jon Quesenberry
                      8:00 pm SOV Band practice with Jon Quesenberry

Thursday       7:00 pm LLL

Friday            2:00 pm Celebration of Life service for Larry Gilbertson
                             St Andrew Lutheran Church
                             12405 SW Butner Road
                             Beaverton, Oregon 97005

Saturday       10:00 am SOV Choir practice with Jon Quesenberry

Sunday         Summer Worship schedule begins
                        8:30 & 10:30 am Services
                        4:00 pm SOV Annual Picnic and 25th Wedding Vow Renewal
                             if you haven't RSVP'd please do so by contacting Tammy. This is a catered event and requires a headcount for adequate food ordering.

Please Note
Summer worship schedule begins this Sunday, June 14th
Services at 8:30 & 10:30 am

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Annual Congregational Meeting Reminder

Sunday June 7, 2015 
One worship service at 10:00 am

Followed by SOV's Annual Congregational Meeting
Voting will take place on new officers and committees for 2015/2016
Please plan to attend, a quorum must be met for voting.

Please bring a finger food item to share if you can (tea sandwiches, cheese and crackers, fruit, bagels etc). Cookies and beverages will be provided.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Larry Gilbertson

Shepherd of the Valley is deeply saddened to inform you that Larry Gilbertson passed away peacefully, Sunday, May 31st at his home surrounded by his family.

His Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, June 12th at St. Andrew Lutheran Church, 12405 SW Butner Rd, Beaverton, OR 97005 at 2:00 pm.

A reception will follow at St Andrews.

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Sunday was sunny, but it was one of those "when it rains, it pours" kind of days.  We already had the Heritage Discussion scheduled after worship (thanks to the Transition Task Force).  Thirty minutes before worship, I got a call from Corrine Gilbertson telling me her beloved husband, Larry, had died at 9:00 that morning.  She told me an amazing story about his passing, which I shared when worship started.  We'll tell it again, and tell it better, when we celebrate his life on Friday June 12, 2:00 p.m., at St. Andrew Lutheran Church (Butner Road, Beaverton).  So we began worship with tears, prayers, and the 23rd Psalm.  And still, it was a day our God had made for us to give thanks for the gift of life.

After worship, we had the Heritage Discussion.  It was well attended.  I reckon maybe 50 people stayed to speak and listen.  Many good stories were shared.  I read one by Corrine (who stayed home with family) about the founding of SOV.  Mert Warneking told several stories by video and in person about the early days of SOV and about the refugee resettlement program she ran here.  Many others contributed memories and reflections about how SOV grew, weathered crises, and rebounded.  The whole discussion was a moving testimony to the faith and resolve of God's people here.

I thank the storytellers, and I thank you, the people of SOV, for these stories.  I learned a lot.  The Transition Task Force will debrief the Heritage Discussion on Thursday.  We'll ask ourselves what we learned and how we can use it to help SOV find a new pastor.  One of the things I learned was that there's still grief work to do around Pastor Kurt Rizer's sudden death in 2007.  At one point I asked if we were over that traumatic event.  I was surprised at how many shook their heads "no."  If Pastor Kurt's death still hurts, then we take that into account so we can look for a pastor who can help us bring it to God for healing.

After the Heritage Discussion was over, I went to the Gilbertson's house.  The family was gathered.  We told stories.  We cried and prayed and blessed Larry on his way.  He had a good dying, surrounded by family who loved and treasured him.  When we hold Larry's memorial service, we'll make it plain that his church family treasured him, too.  Larry and Corrine's love created not only their own family, but also helped to create this larger family at SOV.  I trust you'll find a way to express your care for Corrine and her kin in these days to come.  Such steadfast love is our greatest heritage from God.  May we share it now with the Gilbertson family and with many others in their hour of need.

* * * * * * *

Lessons for Sunday, June 7, 2015
1 Samuel 8:4-22
2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1
Mark 3:19b-35


Wednesday   10:00 pm   Bible Study

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

Sunday          10:00 am One Service followed by Annual Congregational Meeting
Please bring a potluck finger food to share ie; sandwiches, cheese, crackers, meats, veggie sticks etc. (cookies and dessert are provided)

Sunday, June 14th
Summer worship services begin
8:30 & 10:30 am
Annual Picnic and 25th Wedding Vow Renewal (Les and Cyndi Peterson)
4:00 pm
Please RSVP by email or sign up on the sign up sheet in the Narthex,this is a catered event.

June Newsletter is now available on line http://www.sovlutheran.com/news/pdf/june2015.pdf