Happening Now Blog

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Please join us...

All Church Luncheon (salad luncheon)
Thursday, August 27th
12:00 pm

All are invited!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

By now you know that Jameson, SOV's Director of Music, will be departing in September.  He's going to follow his dreams to the music scene in southern California and there build a career.  May he find much success and satisfaction!  As I said when we acknowledged this news at worship last Sunday, Jameson and Jenna are both very much appreciated at SOV, and will be dearly missed.  Like many others, I am happy for them.  This seems like the right move for them at the right time.  But I'm sad that these two good and talented people will no longer be with us on Sunday mornings or at other gatherings.  Seems like God gives us joy only with a complementary measure of sadness.

During these months that I've been at SOV, since April 2014, I've developed an increasingly close relationship with Jameson as we've worked together planning worship.  I very much appreciate both his considerable talent and his genuine passion for Shepherd's well-being.  I can't help but smile at Jameson's irrepressible enthusiasm as he's leading the band and choir.  May his energy and talent and caring heart serve him well as he develops his musical craft and takes it to the next level.

Even as we say goodbye to Jameson, we will welcome Jon Quesenberry who has agreed to serve as SOV's Interim Director of Music.  Jon accompanied SOV in its Easter worship this year and has filled in a few times for vacations.  Like his friend Jameson, Jon brings talent with keyboards, choral directing, and leading the band.  He sings well, too.  I recently met with Jon to talk about the ministry of music at SOV.  I feel confident that with my partnership and guidance, Jon will do very well indeed as he becomes accustomed to Lutheran worship traditions and how those traditions are expressed in worship at SOV.  Jon will be working with Jameson and the SOV band over the next few weeks during Sunday worship as he prepares to take on the Interim Director of Music position.  I hope you will join me in making him feel welcome at Shepherd.

May God bless Jameson and Jenna as they prepare to move to a new place and undertake new adventures.  And may God bless us as we adjust to the ongoing changes God is bringing to SOV, remembering, as the Apostle wrote, that God's power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine.

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Lessons for August 23rd
Ephesians 6:10-20
Psalm 34:15-22
John 6:56-69


Wednesday  10:00 a   Bible study with Pastor Brian
                    7:00 - 7:30 p   SOV Choir rehearsal

Thursday     10:00 a  LLL

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

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

Register now for Sunday School
Instructions (at bottom of post): http://now.sovlutheran.com/2015/08/pastors-wednesday-message_12.html

Save the Date
September 12th, 7:00 pm
SOV Choir presents "Glorious"
Fall Concert featuring Contemporary Christian, Rock and Gospel songs 

Washington state wildfires burn near Holden Village

Dear Friends, many of us at SOV have spent time at Holden Village.  So I thought you'd want to see this news release about wildfires that threaten this important Lutheran retreat center.  Please keep Holden and its staff in your prayers.
Pastor Brian 

Aug. 19, 2015
Washington state wildfires burn near Holden Village
The Wolverine fire in northeastern Washington state continues to burn near Holden Village, an outdoor ministry related to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The community, established more than 50 years ago, is located in a former mining town in the North Cascade Mountains above Lake Chelan.
Firefighters have managed to keep the fires from spreading into Holden Village by creating back-burns—controlled fires that are set to burn in the opposite direction in order to stop the advancing fire.
Chuck Hoffman and Peg Carlson-Hoffman are the co-executive directors of Holden Village. In an Aug. 17 blog post, Chuck Hoffman described the efforts of two hotshot crews brought in to fight the fires.
"Back-burns here are almost complete, and we maintain hope that they will hold the fire as it burns its way around the village, keeping Holden safe. The hotshot crews feel good about the work being done, but by its nature, fire is unpredictable. So we continue to wait and be vigilant in our tending to the village," Hoffman wrote.
On Aug. 1 about 360 people were evacuated from Holden Village, including villagers and mine remediation workers. Since 2013, the village has housed up to 290 contractors involved in mine cleanup work during the summer months.
Hoffman remains in Holden Village with four staff members, while Carlson-Hoffman and about 20 others are staying at Celebration Lutheran Church, an ELCA congregation in East Wenatchee, Wash. Members of Lake Chelan Lutheran Church in Chelan, another ELCA congregation, also cared for Holden Village evacuees until they were evacuated when the fires spread into Chelan.
"Here in the village, the group has grown close, trusting and knowing that we are linked to one another," wrote Hoffman in his blog post. "Peg and I feel the same link with our evacuees in Chelan and with villagers across the world. We feel honored to serve as your director team and are grateful for your love and support. Together we will find our way through this time of challenge and celebrate what is yet to unfold in the life and ministry of Holden Village."
The Wolverine fire has consumed about 40,000 acres in northeast Washington and, as of Aug. 17, about 30 percent of the wildfire had been contained. A total of 23 fires are burning throughout the state, destroying at least 32 homes. Thousands have been evacuated and more than 40 homes and businesses have yet to be accounted for. Wildfires are also burning in California, Idaho and Oregon.
"We have been grateful for all the prayers from around the world and inspired by the way our faith community has supported us with prayer," Hoffman said in an email exchange. "The good news is that the early flowers that come after a fire are already present. A visible sign of renewal ... it is a privilege to witness God's creation in this way."

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America | 8765 West Higgins Road | Chicago, IL 60631

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Council meeting date change

The Council Meeting has been changed to Thursday, August 27th at 7:00 pm.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Good things are happening with youth ministry at SOV.  A couple Sundays ago, between the two worship services, we had a fine presentation by Youth Group members who went to the ELCA National Youth Gathering in Detroit.  The kids' photos and stories shared their experience quite effectively with a loving congregation who have given them a lot of prayer and financial support.  Thank you to the Youth Group and to leaders Stacey & Caitlin for committing themselves to this adventure!

That same day, late in the afternoon, I gathered with the Confirmation group.  We've begun doing a unit on Lutheran heritage (the Reformation and Luther's Small Catechism).  Our lesson that day was about how reformation happens – not just historically in Luther's Germany, but in any community or institution.  Our project was to think about making reformation happen in some place or organization familiar to the students.  So I asked them to tell me what a reformation at SOV would look like.

They responded magnificently.  I won't share details here about their plan to reform SOV.  But I have shared my notes on that conversation with the TTF and some other congregational leaders.  I think it's likely the Church Council will get a chance soon to consider some of the reform initiatives the kids are proposing.  I can't predict if, or how, these things will be implemented.  But I'm impressed with the thoughtfulness and genuine passion the Confirmation students brought to the project.  There's some good spiritual energy being contributed to SOV by its Confirmation students! And today I talked with Stacey, who (with Caitlin) led the Youth Group's Detroit trip.  She told me about her passion for doing youth ministry at SOV.  It would be premature for me to share details of our talk. But as I listened to her vision for youth ministry, I found myself filled with happiness and gratitude.  I think she's headed on the right path for building up youth ministry at SOV.  I look forward to working with her and the Youth Group to help them grow together.

My message today is just a brief news report to tell you there's a ferment starting up with youth ministry and youth group leaders.  More partners will be needed.  If someone asks you to join with them in helping youth ministry to happen in this 2015-2016 cycle, I hope you will prayerfully consider their request — and then say "Yes!"

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Lessons for Sunday, August 16th
Proverbs 9:1-6
Psalm 34:9-14
John 6:51-58


Wednesday    10:00 am Bible Study with Pastor Brian
                       7:00 - 8:30 pm SOV Choir Rehearsal

Thursday       7:00 pm LLL

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

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

Kids of the Kingdom is now enrolling for Fall 2015
This year we will be offering classes for children ages 2 through Pre-Kindergarten. Pre-Kindergarten Class that will meet Monday-Thursday from 9:00 am-1:00 pm and be taught by our new teacher, Cheryl Taylor. The 4-Year-Old Preschool class will meet Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00 am-12:00 pm. The 3-Year-Old Preschool class will meet Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 am-11:30 am. Our three and four-year old classes will be taught by Hannah Benedict who is also serving the school this year as the director. Once a week, our 2-Year-Old Parent-Child Program will meet for 75 minutes of parent/child play and learning. The day and time for this class will be decided in September.

The ministry of Kids of the Kingdom is to love and teach young children and minister to their families.

If you have a heart for young children and their families, then we have a place for you. We are in need of volunteers to help weekday mornings during the school year.

For more information, please contact Hannah Benedict at kokpreschool@gmail.com or call the school 503-645-0236.

Register Now for Sunday School
Request access
1. Go to Sparkhouse Online at http://sundayschool.sparkhouseonline.org.
2. Under "New User," enter your Church ID: SOVKids
3. Complete the rest of the requested information and click "Submit."
4. You will receive a confirmation e-mail when your request is approved.
Log in
1. After you receive the confirmation e-mail, return to Sparkhouse Online.
2. Enter your e-mail address and password under "Returning User." Click "Log In."
Edit your profile and add family members
1. After you log in for the first time, click on your name in the upper right corner of the screen.
2. On the form that displays next, update your profile information and change your   password as needed. Click "Save" when you are done.
3. To add a child to your profile, click "Add a Child Family Member," near the bottom of the form. Complete the requested information and click "Save."

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Last Sunday we had a Town Hall meeting about the Congregational Vitality Survey carried out in June.  Pastor Mike Keys did a presentation and interpreted the findings.  Pastor Keys is the Director of Evangelical Mission for the Oregon Synod, of which SOV is a part.

It was a good meeting.  Good presentation, good questions, good conversation.  While I don't want to go into detail about Pastor Keys' presentation, I do want to mention a few points.  First, we've got significant strengths: lively energy, a much appreciated music program, and high commitment.  Second, we've got some challenges: we could do a better job managing disagreements and would benefit from increasing attention to spiritual growth.

Now, the question is what we do with the report and the discussion at the Town Hall meeting.  There is no ready-made answer; we've got to make it up ourselves.  I don't mean we should have another Town Hall meeting to talk about this.  But it's important that we engage one another in conversation about the survey findings.

I suggest you talk with your friends and tell each other what you found of interest.  Ask each other if the information we got on Sunday should lead to further action.  If so, what, and how soon?  Share your thoughts with someone else so the conversation continues.  Then I suggest you engage either Transition Task Force members and/or Council members in conversation about your ideas.  Ask them to bring your ideas into deliberations as they write reports to support the call process (TTF) and make decisions about further actions to benefit the congregation (Council).

The TTF will be talking about Pastor Keys' presentation and the ensuing discussion at our meeting tomorrow night.  I'm pretty sure the Executive Committee will be discussing it at their meeting on August 12.  It's likely that Council will discuss it, too, at its monthly meeting on August 20.  It is important that you let the TTF and the Council know your thinking about the Vitality Survey report.  The more they hear from you, the better prepared SOV will be to call a new pastor who will be a good fit to help this congregation live well as God's people.

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Lessons for Sunday, August 9th
1 Kings 19:4-8
Psalms 34:1-8
John 6:35, 41-51


Wednesday  10:00 a Bible Study with Pastor Brian

Thursday     5:45 pm TTF Meeting
                    6:30 pm Men's Night at Cruise In Country Diner

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

Saturday     10:00 - 11:30 am Choir rehearsal
                    12:00 - 1:00 pm The Tabor Studio

Volunteer opportunities — We need each member to commit their  time, talent and gifts to SOV. It is what sustains us to continue doing God's work here at Shepherd. Please consider volunteering for what your family and work commitments allows you to do comfortably.  There are sign up sheets located in the Narthex or talk to a council member to learn more.