Happening Now Blog

Friday, July 24, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Many good things are happening at SOV now.  The Youth Group members we blessed and sent to the ELCA National Youth Gathering have returned.  Plans are afoot to have those Youth Group members do a presentation for us.  The Transition Task Force is conducting small group conversations about mission priorities for a new pastor.  It's also offering an online survey asking for your input on tasks and skills needed in the new pastor.  And on August 2 after the late worship service, we'll welcome Pastor Mike Keys from the Oregon Synod staff to help us discuss results from the Congregational Vitality Survey we took last month.

All this is good.  But something even better is coming this Sunday, July 26.  At the late worship service, Claire Anderson will be baptized.  Claire's parents, Mark and Deirdre, will bring her to worship, stand by her, hold her and bless her as she is baptized.  They'll make promises on her behalf to raise her in the Christian faith.  So will we.  Because, as the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child.

Like all baptisms, Claire's will be a joyous event.  This is so not only because Claire and her parents receive the affirmation of their church family.  It's mainly because Claire will receive the ultimate affirmation: the promise of God's steadfast good favor and the blessing of communion with Christ.  Here's how the baptismal rite will say it on Sunday:

In Holy Baptism our gracious God liberates us from sin and death by joining us to the death and resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ.  In the waters of Baptism we are reborn with Christ as children of God, given renewal of life, and made inheritors of eternal life.  Baptism unites us with the Body of Christ across the globe and with the Communion of Saints throughout the ages.  At our baptisms we are also anointed with the Holy Spirit, filled with living hope, and sent out in mission so that God may bless all peoples and all the creatures of the Earth through us.

These are big dreams for such a small girl.  But with God, all things are possible.  May Claire emerge from the waters of baptism to walk the paths of righteousness.  May she always live that baptismal calling blessed by God's love, guided by Christ's wisdom, and fulfilled with the Holy Spirit's joy.

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Lessons for Sunday, July 26th
2 Kings 4:42-44
Ephesians 3:14-21
John 6:1-15


Wednesday  10:00 a Bible Study

Thursday      5:45 p TTF Meeting

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

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

Sunday         8:30 & 10:30 a Worship
                     10:30 a Baptism of Claire Bernice Anderson
                     4:30 - 6:00 pm Confirmation Meeting


Town Hall Meeting — Vitality Survey
Sunday August 2, 12:00 noon

We got the report on the Congregational Vitality Survey we took in June.  Pastor Mike Keys of the Oregon Synod staff will join us on August 2 to help us understand the results and learn how they can help us energize SOV for mission.  Pastor Keys, the synod's Director for Evangelical Mission, has helped over 40 congregations use this survey.  His presentation will start around noon and last for about 50 minutes.  Q&A will follow.  The event will wrap up before 1:30 p.m.  Sandwiches and beverages will be provided by the Transition Task Force, which is sponsoring this event.  Please attend — your presence and partnership are important.

Confirmation Meeting for 2015/2016 Confirmation year
Sunday, July 26th
4:30 - 6:00 pm