Happening Now Blog

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Jill is going to China in March.  I wrote about Jill's challenges with visual perception a couple weeks ago.  Some of you asked me how she's doing. Well, she's still working on the perception problem but it's not stopping her from planning a month-long trip to out-of-the-way places most tourists never see. She lived in China for a year in the 1980s; she's still got good enough language skills and cultural literacy to get around and have fun. Just as important as language skills are her trip-planning skills.  She's got a clear idea of where she wants to go and what she wants to do.  She plans lodging and transportation connections to support those goals.  She budgets accordingly.  Working with a tight budget is made easier by clarity about where she wants to go and what she aims to accomplish.

This Sunday SOV is holding its annual budget meeting.  Our Treasurer, Dave, will present a budget supported by expertly-crafted columns and rows of numbers that add up to the last dollar.  Dave, the Executive Committee, and the Council have worked hard to allocate money in a way that makes sense for this congregation.  You'll get a good look at the fruits of their labor at the budget meeting.

Your job in that meeting will be like Jill's trip planning.  This budget meeting is really more about mission than money.  What is our mission this year? Where do we want to go?  What do we want to accomplish?  How can we best plan our journey to get where we want to go?  Accurate reckoning in presenting a viable budget is really important.  But we have to stretch our imaginations beyond the orderly numbers to dream about SOV's mission in 2016.  What would God have us accomplish this year?  Will the budget as presented help us do those things and attain our goals?  What are we willing to risk on this travel adventure with God?  Our money?  Our lives?  Jill's merely going to China.  We propose to go to a place totally unknown — the future — accompanying a God who's willing to risk everything.  So let's dream big, plan well, and budget accordingly for the adventure of our lives!

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Lessons for Sunday, January 31
Jeremiah 1:4-10
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Luke 4:21-30


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

Thursday      9:00 - 1:00 p KOK Preschool
                    12:00 p All Church Luncheon

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

Saturday       10:00 - 11:30 a SOV Choir rehearsal
                     10:00 - 12:00 p  Winter Family Day

Sunday         10:00 a One Worship Service
                     Followed by annual budget meeting

Matt is looking for people (a team) interested in creating the image power point for Sunday worship. If you would like to be part of this team or would be interested in running the iPad during service please let Tammy know or get in touch with Matt if you have more questions.

Kids of the Kingdom
"Winter Family Day" on Saturday
January 30, 10:00am-12:00pm
We love to play and we love families. Enjoy a fun morning of winter fun with special games, activities, crafts, and snacks for the entire family. This is a drop in event for families to come play together. We will also have a registration table for the 2016-17 school year for anyone interested in our preschool. We have classes for children ages 2-5. Our director will be available to share more details about the school and answer any questions.
Memorial Service for Don Roach

February 13, 2016
11:00 am
Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Pastor's Wednesday Message

The ministry of the gospel touches people at the most profound and tender moments of life.  It touches the vulnerable with special care: babies newly embarked on life's adventure and the elderly nearing its end.  Our ministry touches all who walk with the newborns or with the old, helping them trust that life holds promise when all such promises seem dubious.

The power of this work comes clear when birth and death impress themselves on us with some urgency.  That's happening now at SOV.  A baby will be baptized this Sunday.  One of our elders just died.  At Cosima's baptism and at Don's funeral, we'll proclaim that the promise of Jesus' gospel embraces us at birth and death and all our moments in between.

"When we were baptized in Christ Jesus, we were baptized into his death.  We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.  For if we have been united with Christ in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his."  (Rom. 6:3-5, in our service for Burial of the Dead)

The gospel promises infants and parents that life is lived in hope, bends toward justice, and brings a harvest of righteousness guided toward peace. In short, to live in the blessing of God is worth all the hard work of Christian faith.  The gospel comforts the dying and their loved ones through the body of Christ that surrounds them with presence, with touch, and with compassion that makes Christ's promise of eternal life compelling.

This ministry of the gospel is the work of the whole people of God. God has entrusted this ministry to you.  The promise of the gospel is present through you.  Come to Cosima's baptism and bless her beginnings with the Spirit's power.  Come to Don's funeral and bless him on his way to a blessed end.  Come and help us all to walk with Christ every day in newness of life.

Cosima will receive Holy Baptism at the late service on January 24.  Don's funeral service will take place on Saturday February 13, 11:00 a.m. at SOV.  May God bless Cosima and Don and their two families in these profound and tender events.

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Lessons for Sunday, January 24th
Nehemiah 8:1-3,5-6,8-10,12
1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
Luke 4:14-21


Wednesday  9:00 - 1:00 pm KOK Preschool/chapel
                   10:00 a    Bible study

Thursday   9:00 - 1:00 pm KOK Preschool
                 10:00 am LLL

Friday        9:00 - 12:00 pm  KOK preschool

Saturday   10:00 - 11:30 am SOV Choir rehearsal (all are welcome, no experience needed)

Sunday      8:30 & 11:00 am Worship services
                  6:00 - 7:30 pm Confirmation Class

**Please Note
It is once again time for our annual meeting to vote on the budget for Shepherd of the Valley. There will be one service on Sunday, January 31, 2016, at 10:00 a.m., and the budget meeting will begin after the service. The proposed 2016 budget will be sent in advance of the meeting to give everyone time to review it. Please print and bring your copy with you as only a few copies will be available at the meeting.

Kids of the Kingdom is hosting "Winter Family Day" on Saturday, January 30, 10:00am-12:00pm. We love to play and we love families. Enjoy a fun morning of winter fun with special games, activities, crafts, and snacks for the entire family. This is a drop in event for families to come play together. We will also have a registration table for the 2016-17 school year for anyone interested in our preschool. We have classes for children ages 2-5. Our director will be available to share more details about the school and  answer any questions.

60" Tables for adoption
We still have some 60" round tables, they fold flat, sturdy and make a great picnic table, craft table etc.

Memorial Service for Don Roach
February 13, 2016,  11:00 am

Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Pastor's Wednesday Message

A couple years ago my spouse, Jill, came down with a case of pneumonia.  She got over it in a few weeks, but her immune system's response left her with some neurological and perceptual issues.  Her brain now processes visual imagery from each eye differently, which sometimes makes it hard for her to walk properly.  She does a number of things to heal her visual perception.  One is looking at a book of 3-D stereogram images.  When you first see them they're just a bunch of dots, squiggles, and other apparently chaotic two-dimensional patterns.  But if you keep looking and your eyes refocus just right, suddenly deep vision emerges, a three-dimensional pattern snaps into clear view, and you have an epiphany of the maker's true design that lay hidden in the chaos until the moment of revelation.  As Jill works with these images, her vision heals and her ability to walk upright is gradually restored.

We're now in that part of the Church year usually called the Epiphany season.  What's the reason for the season?  Our Sunday Gospel readings are about Jesus beginning his public ministry.  So the spiritual energy of Epiphany is about insight: the eureka of discovering God's presence and awakening to God's way.  The 3-D stereogram images offer a nice analogy.  Our ordinary experience often seems puzzling, presenting chaotic patterns that appear spiritually flat.  But sometimes when the eyes of our heart refocus just right, deep vision of the Maker's will and design snap into focus.  The hidden holy presence comes to light; divinity obscured becomes clear.

How can the eyes of our heart refocus?  By God's Word and Spirit.  God speaks through the voices of everyone we hear, touches us in every moment of ordinary time.  We are never alone and never without the therapy of God's persistent love.  God opens up that epiphany moment.  Deep vision emerges.  Our ability to walk upright following God's way in the world is gradually restored.

God's presence is all around you and God's way lies ahead of you.  Have you lost sight of God?  Don't despair; God is not blind and hasn't lost sight of you. Keep looking.  Insight will come.  God will train the eyes of your heart so you can seek and find what you are looking for.

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Lessons for Sunday, January 17th
Isaiah 62:1-5
1 Corinthians 12:1-11
John 2:1-11


Wednesday  9:00 - 1:00 pm KOK Preschool/Chapel
                   10:00 a Bible Study

Thursday     9:00 - 1:00 pm KOK Preschool
                    7:00 pm LLL

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

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

Sunday        8:30 & 11:00 am Worship services

Scrip Order Sunday, January 17th
If you will not be a worship on Sunday, you can place your scrip order and payment in the scrip mailbox located in the Narthex anytime during the week.

60" round tables are still available for adoption.
There are 6 available. Please let me know if you would like to reserve one. Suggested adoption donation is $20.00

Parish Education is looking for a TV screen for the nursery area located in the loft.
If you have an extra screen you would like to donate please let Rachael Snow know or reply to this email.

Kids of the Kingdom invite young families with children to Winter Family Day
January 30th   10:00 - 12:00 pm.
This is a drop in event for families to come play together.
Enjoy a morning of winter fun with special games, activities, crafts, and snacks for the whole family.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Pastor's Wednesday Message

I'm on vacation this week and will be back in the office on Tuesday January 12.  With all the busy-ness of the holidays, I didn't arrange for another pastor to provide emergency pastoral care coverage.  So if you feel an urgent need for pastoral care, please call me at my home phone number; I'll be glad to talk with you.  Finally, Pastor Jim Flachsbart will be preaching and presiding at SOV this Sunday, Jan. 10.  Please welcome him warmly.  God's peace to the whole SOV family in this New Year!


Thursday   6:00 pm Men's night at Reedville Cafe

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

Sunday      8:30 & 11:00 am worship services

Up for adoption
60" round wood tables
Price?  your donation (suggested $20)

HS Youth Event
Sunday, January 10th
1:30 pm at Deb and Dean Mueller-Kruse's home
gathering for some fun playing pinball, bubble hockey and xBOX.