Happening Now Blog

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.

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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