Happening Now Blog

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Daylight savings time: FALL BACK tonight

Don't forget to turn your clocks back one hour this evening before you retire...

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

I just got home from the annual Bishop's Convocation.  This yearly event is a time for clergy from across the Oregon Synod (covering all Oregon) to gather for worship, learning, fellowship, and mutual support.  The venue was just right: the Kah-Nee-Ta Resort on the Warm Springs Reservation in Central Oregon.  High desert, stark and lovely hills, dry grass, sage, juniper.  Quiet.  They made us welcome and treated us like honored guests.

The theme of the program this year had to do with the huge changes in society and church culture that we expect in the next decade, and in numerous ways are already experiencing.  We had sessions where we prayed for and talked about three separate areas of our work as pastors: our churches, our selves, and our hopes for a good future for both church and society.

More specifically, the focus was adaptation – how we adapt to changing circumstances, especially when the changes are not a slow progressive change but dramatic quantum leaps, rapid discontinuous shifts where new phenomena sprout up and "go viral," bringing unforeseen challenges (and opportunities).  Of these three sessions, I found the last one the most interesting.  We paired off and interviewed each other, recording each other's answers in a form that had three questions.  First, what kind of transformations do you think we need in church and society?  Second, what skills are needed to make these transformations?  Third, who should make these transformation?

I suggest you try this exercise yourself, not necessarily pairing off for mutual interviews (though that might be fun, too), but simply thinking for yourself about these three areas.  What would SOV and Beaverton/Hillsboro look like if your transformational ideas were implemented?

The Synod staff will gather the interview forms from the Ministerium group today, and put them together with other such interviews that are being conducted in a variety of places.  A report will be generated on the basis of these interviews, targeting areas for investment in new ministries by the Oregon Synod.  It will be really interesting to see what sort of innovative ministry initiatives come out of this process.

Part of your support of our congregation, SOV, is given to the Oregon Synod (about 5%).  So your mission support is helping the Oregon Synod of the ELCA do some promising new work.  Thank you for your support of God's work through the Oregon Synod!

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Thursday  12:00 pm All church luncheon, all are welcome lunch will be furnished
                 5:45 pm TTF Meeting

Friday       9:00 - 12:00 pm KOK preschool

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

KOK Christmas Greens Fundraiser reminder

Sunday is the last day to order your Christmas greens from Kids of the Kingdom Christian Preschool for this annual fundraising event.

Wreaths, centerpieces, sways and garlands are available.  Samples will be at the church and you can put your form with payment into the offering plate or find a KOK Board member and hand it to them.

Delivery is Sunday, November 22 at church, and November 23 and 24 at the Preschool. We appreciate your support!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Basket Project

As Tom announced at Sunday services, your Social Concerns Committee has begun working with Love INC and the Healthy Families program, a joint project between Lutheran Community Services and the Community Action program of Washington County.

The older youth of SOV will be preparing the boxes for delivery on Saturday, November 21st.

We are now asking for volunteers to deliver the food boxes to addresses in Washington  County, mostly Beaverton and Hillsboro.

Please let Christine know before November 8th if you want to be a volunteer delivery driver, starting around noon on November 21st.

You may reach Christine by email at plummail2003 (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Thank you.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Earlier today I informed members and friends of SOV that two elected officers of this congregation have decided to resign from the Church Council.  You probably have read their letters of resignation.  Here, I want to comment on this news.  My first response is sorrow.  Lynn and Elaine have given a great deal of themselves to the work of ministry at SOV.  They are extraordinarily capable people and faithful servants of God.  I will dearly miss their partnership in ministry.  I also feel sad for SOV.  The resignation of these two good and faithful leaders means that this congregation must undergo yet another challenging transition at a time when we are already seeking a new Pastor and searching for a permanent Director of Music.  Undergoing multiple transitions at once is hard.  I feel sad for the people of God at SOV who have endured so many misfortunes with leadership, and now have to discover even greater resources for resilience and adaptation to the challenges God is setting before us.  God is good.  All the time.  But sometimes following God's way is not easy.  This is one of those times.  I trust that God will provide what we need to find a good way forward in this time of trial.

Lynn and Elaine noted some important issues as reasons for their resignations.  They are far from the only members of SOV to express their concerns about such matters to me.  These issues are serious, systemic, deeply rooted at SOV.  I've been trying to address them in my ministry; I will continue to do so.  I will gladly work on these issues with all people of good will at SOV who want to bring about healing and carry out God's mission in a respectful way that builds up the body of Christ in this place.

Fortunately, this coming Sunday, October 25, the Church Council and Transition Task Force members will be meeting with Pastor Mike Keys of the Oregon Synod staff.  This workshop will follow up on the presentation Pastor Keys did at SOV on August 2, where he interpreted results of the Congregational Vitality Survey we did earlier in the summer.  The aim of this workshop is to help SOV build capacity for mission.  We've certainly got our work cut out for us.  This workshop will offer a great opportunity for SOV's leaders to talk about what is going on and to discover how to respond faithfully.  May God's Living Word, Jesus Christ, guide us as we talk, discern, and strive toward the good future we believe God has in store for us.

* * * * * * *

Lessons for October 25th
Deuteronomy 26:1-11
Philippians 4:4-7, 12-13
Luke 19:1-10


Wednesday   9:00 - 1:00 p  KOK Preschool
                    10:00 a   Bible Study

Thursday      9:00 - 1:00 p   KOK Preschool
Friday           9:00 - 12:00 p  KOK Preschool
                     1:00 - 9:00 p    Palmeter Piano Studio

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

Sunday          8:30 & 11:00 a   Worship Services, Reformation Sunday
                                              New Member Sunday
                      9:45 a    Youth Sunday school for all ages
                      10:00 a   Adult Education; guest speaker Jacob Tabor presenting a water-related development project he recently worked on in Ghana.

KOK Christmas Greens fundraiser ends November 2nd

Fellowship Kitchen Shower is still accepting pantry donations.

Stewardship Month; pick up your pledge packet

Living in an Age of Digital Attachment

St. Andrew Lutheran Church
12405 SW Butner Road
Beaverton, OR 97005

Big ones, little ones: we see screens everywhere in our modern lives—and they scream for attention. Research tells us that most Americans spend an average 12 hours a day in front of screens of some type. How does this time with technology affect human relationships?

All are invited to Living in an Age of Digital Attachment, a presentation and roundtable discussion at St. Andrew Lutheran Church on Saturday, November 7, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. Please register before November 1 by calling the church office at 503-646-0629. A light lunch will be served and a $5 donation is suggested to help defray lunch costs.

Featured speaker Dr. Doreen Dodgen-Magee, a noted community educator and psychologist with more than 22 years of experience, will address ways that technology is changing us and affecting our relationships.

Have you noticed people in a room together texting other people not present rather than talking to the individuals around them? How does that affect friendships and family? Do our efforts to be constantly connected by technology have us multitasking so much that it's impossible to live mindfully in the present? We'll have an opportunity to ask the expert at Living in an Age of Digital Attachment.

This conference is being supported by the Health Ministry Team at St. Andrew and funded by an ELCA Oregon Synod grant for health and wellness. For more information, please contact Diane Reiner at reinerd2009@gmail.com.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Confirmation class is up and running.  You know this because you hear my announcements in worship services.  Since we had some struggles finding a viable schedule, as I wrote a few months ago, I thought I should tell you we're meeting regularly and doing well. Classes happen most Sunday evenings, 6:00-7:30 p.m.

We're in the "Lutheran Heritage" section of the curriculum.  We've looked at the Lutheran Reformation, at some of the Protestant Reformers, at the Reformation heritage now, and at things that are essential for the church to be the church — as contrasted to those things that are non-essential. (Coffee: non-essential or sacramental?)  The students (all six of them) appear to be well engaged in the discussions we have about these things — or at least they're good at faking it!

This past Sunday we started looking at Luther's Small Catechism.  We made them a deal they couldn't refuse: this little text is free! But mandatory!  So, with joy  we opened the pages of this book that has graced the spiritual life of many generations of Lutherans.  This edition has all the parts Luther put into the original — not only the big three (Ten Commandments, Lord's Prayer, Apostles' Creed) and the two sacraments, but also prayers, confession & forgiveness, and a sharp-tongued indictment of bishops and pastors who have not taught God's people the basics of the Christian faith.  Good thing all our people now know these basics of the faith summarized in this Small Catechism.  Luther would have nothing to complain about if he examined our adult members on these things.  Right?

This past Sunday we had a great discussion that started while we talked about the Apostles' Creed.  The kids decided the Creed was essential, not optional.  (Opinion is divided about the Bible's status.)  We got into the doctrine of the Trinity.  One God, three persons.  Makes sense, doesn't it?  Well, no.  The kids got creative in proposing models to understand the Trinity: web site design, sports teams, family relationships, quantum physics.  Honestly, these are better discussions than those I had in my Confirmation classes!  Thank you for your steadfast support of SOV and its educational ministries that make it possible for the Church to pass on the faith of Reformers and Apostles to the next generation.

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Lessons for October 18th
Genesis 3:1-10
2 Corinthians 5:11-17
Matthew 6:24-33


Wednesday  9:00 - 1:00 p KOK Preschool
                    9:30 a KOK Chapel
                   10:00 a Bible Study

Thursday     9:00 - 1:00 p KOK Preschool
                   5:45 p TTF Meeting
                   7:00 p Council Meeting
                   7:00 p SOV Choir rehearsal
Friday         9:00 -12:00 p KOK Preschool
                  1:00 - 9:00 p Palmeter Piano Studio

Saturday    10:00 - 11:30 a SOV  Choir rehearsal
Sunday       8:30 & 11:00 a worship service
                   Scrip Sunday
                  10:00 a Adult Sunday School Climate change/Earths Oceans by Deb Mueller-Kruse
                  6:00 - 7:30 p Confirmation

KOK Christmas Greens Fundraiser
If you would like to support KOK and order your Christmas greens and centerpieces please do so by November 6th.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Autumn has come and brought its signs of the season.  Waning daylight hours, the sun swinging across the sky at a daily descending angle, cooling temperatures, falling leaves.  And kids back in school.  At SOV, that means KIDS OF THE KINGDOM are back on campus.  And I'm glad to see them.

I meet the 4s and 5s every Wednesday morning for chapel.  They're awesomely cute and a great joy to work with.  At 9:45 their teachers, Miss Hannah and Miss Cheryl, bring the kids upstairs to the sanctuary.  They're learning to walk in line with one another (useful to prepare for adulthood, yes?) and to sit still, cross-legged, on the floor.  Criss-cross applesauce!  I practice this, too.

I start by welcoming them and reciting their names.  Practice makes perfect – they love being called by name!  Then Miss Hannah leads us in a couple songs.  I help but she's the one who really knows the songs and actions to go with the words.  "Waiting on the Lord" is a big favorite because we get to do actions while we're "Waiting" – jumping for the Lord (or is it on the Lord?), stomping for the Lord, etc.  The latest fashion is "spinning for the Lord."  It takes us to dizzying heights of religious ecstasy.

Then I give a short Bible message.  So far, we've gone through both creation stories from Genesis.  (Did you know there are two?  If not, dig out that heirloom Bible and read Genesis, chapters 1-2!)  This week, we'll talk about Abraham and Sarah.  They had a baby when Sarah was really old, because God promised it.  And God keeps promises.  So do we, if we're God's people.  It's a good thing to teach Kids of the Kingdom!

We close with a song and a prayer.  Then the kids practice walking in line back to class.  I go with them and we say goodbye at the top of the stairs, they to their classroom and I to mine. (Wednesday morning Bible study, 10:00 a.m.)  It's a lovely way to start my day.

Kids of the Kingdom (a.k.a. KOK) has been a partner in ministry with SOV for many years.  The teachers do a really fine job with the kids.  I rarely see such patience and love in a church.  This small but mighty school deserves our good will and support.  They could do with a few more students.  If you have neighbors or friends whose kids need a good place to start their education, please get them in touch with KOK.  They'll be glad they did, and the angels in heaven will rejoice.  What more could you ask for?

* * * * * * *

Lessons for Sunday, October 11th
Second Sunday of Stewardship Month
Deuteronomy 8:11-18
2 Corinthians 9:6-12
Luke 24:36-53


Wednesday  10:00 a Bible Study
                    6:30 p Men's Night at Lil' Cooperstown (new night)

Thursday     7:00 - 8:30 p SOV Choir rehearsal
                    7:00 p LLL

Friday          1:00 - 9:00 p Palmeter Piano Studio
Saturday      10:00 - 11:30 a SOV Choir rehearsal

Sunday        8:30 & 11:00 a worship services
                   10:00 a  Adult Sunday School Deb Mueller-Kruse will discuss the emerging reality of Global Climate Changes

Music Librarian wanted
Please see Jon for more information

KOK Christmas Greens Fundraiser
Its time to pre-order your Christmas Greens. Order forms are available at the usher station. Orders are due the first week of November and will be available for pick up on November 21st

October is Kitchen Shower Month
please help restock SOV's pantry with basic household items; paper towels, toilet paper, dish soap, coffee creamers, coffee, napkins, trash bags, ziploc bags, coffee cups

Thursday, October 1, 2015

KOK Parent's Night-In

Kids of the Kingdom is hosting "Parent's Night-In"  
Thursday, October 1st from 6:30pm-7:30 
for any parents who are in the midst of raising toddlers and preschoolers. 

Do you have a toddler or preschool aged child? 

Do you feel isolated in the craziness of raising children? 

Certain behaviors or challenges that have you stumped on what to do? 

Come and gain support through growing friendships with other preschool parents and adding to your parenting knowledge with hot topics, and a questions and answer time with our director, Hannah Benedict who is also a certified PCI Parent Coach®. Childcare is provided.

Get your questions answered and RSVP today at kokpreschool@gmail.com

Hannah Benedict
Kids of the Kingdom Preschool

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Last week I wrote about the "Site Profile Survey" and about the Town Hall meeting on Sunday, October 4.  These things are so important that I'm writing about them again this week.  Tom Barnes did a good presentation at both worship services last Sunday inviting folks to attend the Town Hall meeting this Sunday after the single worship service (worship starting at 10:00 a.m.). Tom's explanation is worth repeating: the survey report you received is a place to start discussion.  More conversation is needed to clarify a few points that remain unclear.  Moreover, its important to discuss all the survey results.  Only face to face conversation in a community gathering can truly inform a group like the Transition Task Force about matters like what's needed and desired in a new pastor.  They need this conversation to do justice to SOV as they write the "Ministry Site Profile," which will, in effect, be SOV's résumé as it searches for a new pastor.  So I ask you and urge you to come to this meeting and speak your mind as part of the whole public conversation.

Transition Task Force members will be listening carefully to what everyone is saying.  They will listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking among, within, and through your voices.  What we're doing in this conversation is not only posing questions and getting answers.  More than that, this meeting is a place for wisdom and insight to emerge.  I have great faith that God is with us in these deliberations.  I have strong faith that the Holy Spirit will lead us to discover the kind of pastor SOV really wants and needs as God's people speak the truth with love in this public setting.  The TTF will bring a format to facilitate conversation, questions to kick off discussion, and some food to keep our energy up.  Your part: to bring yourselves, your ideas, and your hopes to share with one another.  With good faith, God will bless us in this conversation.

* * * * * * *

Lessons for October 4th
Genesis 1:26-31
Ephesians 4:4-13
Gospel John 1:6-14


Wednesday 10:00 a Bible Study with Pastor Brian

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      10:00 a One Worship (please note one service) followed by TTF town hall meeting
                  Scrip Sunday

October is Kitchen Shower Month
items needed to restock SOV's  pantry;
Regular coffee, Air Wick or Glade air fresheners & spray, Toilet paper, Dawn liquid dish washing soap, Liquid hand soap, Qt./Gal. zip-lock bags, 16-32 oz. liquid coffee creamer, Vanity Fair napkins – lunch size, Crystal Light dry juice mixes, Cocktail napkins – any brand, Spray kitchen counter cleaners, Tall & medium plastic Kitchen trash bags, Paper Towels, Windex glass type cleaner, 8 oz. or 10 oz. paper coffee cups (no Styrofoam please)

KOK Christmas Greens Fundraiser: It's hard to believe but Christmas is right around the corner! Partner with Kids of the Kingdom and order your Christmas wreaths and centerpieces during our Christmas Greens Fundraiser. Order Forms will be available this Sunday at church and online. All orders are due the 1st week of November and will be delivered the weekend of the 21 of November.