Happening Now Blog

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Every Tuesday at the See See Motor Coffee Company in Portland I get together with Jon, SOV's Director of Music, for a staff meeting. It's always productive because they have hi-octane Stumptown espresso and great music (jazz, blues, rock-n-roll) playing over the loudspeakers. We debrief the previous Sunday's worship music, check this week's bulletin draft, and plan ahead to make SOV's worship experience a satisfying one.

I'm very grateful for Jon's ministry of music, so I want to respond to a question he posed to me this week by letting you know that we'd like to recruit more members for the choir. We have a very fine Director of Music and a fantastic little choir. Even as I sing their praises I also want to say that both Jon and I would like to attach a different adjective to the choir than "little." Medium-sized? Large? You choose! I'm being a little silly here but seriously, if you can help us recruit more people for the choir that would be a real blessing for current choir members and a great benefit to SOV.

Choirs grow through people-to-people connections, friends sharing news with one another and extending an invitation. If you know someone who is currently outside the congregation, whom you believe might respond positively to an invitation to sing with our choir, please talk with Jon. If he encourages you to invite your friend, then go for it. Or, if you yourself want to give the choir a try, please talk with Jon about that, too. And if you have other ideas for growing the choir, please share. Nature explores many options for evolution and growth; we can do the same with the choir.

I thank God for the ministry of music offered by our choir, band, and Director of Music. Their talent and dedication make SOV's worship fun and satisfying. Please take time to express your appreciation to these sisters and brothers when you see them after worship. And don't forget also to say thanks to God who provides the talent and the venue in the first place!

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Lessons for Sunday, July 31, 2016
Colossians 3:1-11
Psalm 107:1-9,43
Luke 12:13-21


Wednesday  10:00 a  Bible Study

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

Saturday      9:30 - 11:00 p SOV Choir rehearsal

Sunday        8:30 & 10:30 a Worship Service

Social Concerns school supply drive to benefit SOV families
Buy Fred Meyer scrip on 8/7 using special colored order form. Use checks to give SOV the maximum benefit

Next Scrip Sunday
August 7, 2016

No All Church Luncheon in July
Due to the lack of hosts July's all church luncheon has been cancelled.
If you would like to host the August luncheon please let me know.
Its very simple or you can make it as elaborate as you like it.
All Church Luncheons are held the last Thursday of the month at 12:00 pm
(SOV has canned soup and crackers in the pantry or you can make your own from scratch, or you can have salads or sandwiches, SOV also provides the beverages)

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Sisters and Brothers in Christ, I am writing on behalf of the Church Council to tell you that our call candidate has decided to withdraw from consideration for call to Shepherd of the Valley. I sincerely regret to share this news with you. I, like many of you, feel that he has the gifts and character needed to lead this congregation as its pastor. But he prayed a lot and worked hard to discern where God is leading him. After much reflection, he came to believe that he should withdraw from consideration for call to SOV. So, now we grieve the loss of the good spirit and good leadership he might have brought to SOV.

It's hard to predict where a pastor's spiritual discernment will lead during a call process. Every pastor strives to remain open, listen to God, and respond faithfully to the Holy Spirit's guiding. I trust that his process and decision reflects his best effort to live in obedience to God. I pray that you will accept his decision in this same spirit.

Where do we go from here? We will move into another round of interviewing candidates, discerning the right one, and inviting that person to serve as Shepherd's pastor. The second time around will be easier and quicker than the first because the Call Committee has rehearsed its process and honed its skills. Pastor Susan Kintner from the Oregon Synod office will need some time to find new candidates. Early Fall would be a likely time for the Call Committee to get those names. I hope and anticipate that a second cycle of interviews leading to a Congregational Call Meeting could be completed before the end of 2016. Meanwhile, I will continue to serve as Shepherd's Interim Pastor.

This Sunday, July 24, we will hold a Town Hall Meeting between the two worship services. When a congregation experiences a disappointment like this, it's helpful to meet together to share thoughts and feelings, grieve our losses, and begin to look to the future. I will facilitate the meeting with those aims in mind. I hope you will attend as the Spirit moves you.

The Gospel lesson for July 24 offers guidance for us today. Jesus is teaching his disciples how to pray. After he gives them The Lord's Prayer, he tells them to be persistent (annoyingly persistent!) in prayer. "So I say to you, Ask and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you." (Lk. 11:9) So, we follow the Lord's teaching. We will keep on asking, knocking, and searching — for a new pastor for SOV. We will keep on pestering God in prayer and action. Our part now is to keep the faith and keep on going. At the right time, God will answer our prayers and provide the right pastor for SOV.

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Lessons for July 24th
Genesis 18:20-32
Colossians 2:6-15
Luke 11:1-13


Wednesday  10:00 a Bible Study

Thursday     10:00 a LLL
                    7:00 p Council Meeting

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

Saturday      9:30 - 11:30 a  SOV Choir rehearsal

Sunday        8:30 & 10:30 a worship service

Community volunteers needed

Loving arms are needed to cuddle babies and toddlers of teen parents
Beaverton School District
Continuing Education for Young Parents Program
Merlo Station High School
1841 SW Merlo Drive
(not far from SOV)
Caregivers are needed one morning or afternoon a week, or as substitutes. Call or email Kate Richman (contact secretary Tammy for the phone/email address).

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Pastor's Wednesday Message

This week we meet the candidate being considered for call to serve as Shepherd's new pastor. This is a big deal. It's important to meet a clergy candidate before the Congregational Call meeting. There's no substitute for personal experience when you're trying to figure out whether this clergy person is the right one to be your pastor. If you are one of the people who has been invited to meet the candidate and talk with him personally in a small group setting, I encourage you to attend that meeting. If you're not scheduled for a small group meeting, then by all means attend worship this Sunday, July 17, and come to the session between the two services. During that special session, the candidate will lead a devotional reflection; and then there will be Q&A. This will be a great opportunity for you to get a look at this person so you'll be better able to make a good decision when it's time to cast your vote.

If you know folks who have been staying away from Shepherd during this interim period, for whatever reason, or whose attendance has been spotty, please reach out to them with a phone call or personal conversation and invite them to show up on Sunday. This would be a good time to jump in again and resume active participation in SOV.

There will be a special Council meeting Thursday night so our leaders can meet the candidate. I will not attend that event. And I'll keep a low profile between services on Sunday. This is the time for the candidate to be the center of attention. I'll do my part to help that happen. I trust you'll do your part by showing up and joining in these activities designed by the Call Committee to help SOV call its new shepherd. May God bless these meetings and conversations, and may God's Holy Spirit rest upon the congregation as it enters into this crucial time.

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Lessons for Sunday, July 17th
Genesis 18:1-10a
Colossians 1:15-28
Luke 10:38-42


Wednesday 10:00 a Bible Study

Thursday    7:00 p LLL
                   7:00 p Special Council Meeting

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

Saturday     9:30 - 11:30 a SOV choir rehearsal

Sunday       8:30 & 10:30 a worship service
                   9:30 a  Devotion with Q & A session with the pastoral candidate

Meet and Greet
Sunday, July 17th, 9:30 am

Pastoral candidate will lead a devotional reflection; and then there will be Q&A.

Next Scrip Order
Sunday, August 7th

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Pastor's Wednesday message

I was sleep deprived after my neighbors celebrated Independence Day with fireworks well into the wee hours of July 5. You, too? Their antics make me wonder if they were really celebrating the national holiday. Looked to me like they were more interested in liberating Heineken or PBR from the bottle than in remembering the liberation of the American colonies from King George.

I'm not saying it's bad to celebrate America's independence from the tyrannical powers of eighteenth-century Europe. The United States of America kick-started a movement toward democracy that reshaped the world, mostly for the better. Regardless of whether my drunken neighbors were actually celebrating Independence Day instead of just having fun making noise, America's autonomy and the personal liberties it brings us certainly are worth celebrating.

It's just that I wish we would celebrate Christian liberty as enthusiastically (and publicly!) as folks do when they gather for their neighborhood bang-boom- sparkle after dark on July 4. Liberty was important to Jesus. He refused to bow to the tyranny of the Devil or of human rulers, living with a fierce independence that has inspired countless generations across the world since his resurrection proved the Crucified was right. St. Paul cherished his freedom in Christ: "For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." (Gal. 5:1).

Luther thought it was so important he wrote a book about it: "Christian Liberty." Written in 1520 as a manifesto of the cultural insurgency we call The Reformation, it is considered a classic of Christian spirituality. In "Christian Liberty" Luther states the paradox of freedom: "A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. / A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all." That's the irony of freedom in Christ. God gives us freedom to serve: serve God, serve life, serve those who most need help. It is a tremendous freedom we have in Christ — the power not to waste our lives but spend them working with others to build community that is wholesome, life-giving, long-lasting, and deeply satisfying. Every Sunday is (Christian) Independence Day. So let's celebrate the Lord's Day with all the revelry and fireworks that liberation in Christ deserves.

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Lessons for Sunday, July 10
Deuteronomy 30:9-14
Colossians 1:1-14
Luke 10:25-37


Wednesday 10:00 a   Bible Study

Thursday     6:00 p   Men's Night at Cruise In Country Diner

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

Saturday      9:30 - 11:30 a   SOV Choir rehearsal

Sunday        8:30 & 10:30 am   Worship services

Men's Night
July 7, Thursday
6:00 pm
Cruise In Country Diner
All men are invited to attend
No RSVP needed, just show up!

Mark your calendars
Sunday, July 17
Meet and greet the pastoral candidate
our call committee has selected between worship services beginning at 9:30 am.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Call Committee update!

Greetings from the Call Committee!

We are at a very exciting and anxious time in the Call process.  I know we are all ready to move onto the next chapter for Shepherd.

We have been planning on how best to introduce our candidate to the congregation. We believe we have a plan that should provide enough exposure.

Based off the priorities we listed in our Ministry Site Profile (MSP) that the Transition Task Force had put together, we will be having the candidate meet with some small groups later this month (Worship committee, music director, church secretary, youth group, KOK board, and Council).

On July 17 for the congregation at large, we will be using between services for our candidate to lead a devotional and have some Q&A time. Our plan is to have him attend both services and be available.

If all goes to schedule (and with Lutherans this could be a big problem!), we are looking at holding a Congregational Meeting at the end of the month (July 31).

We are blessed to be able to see the end of the road on this journey!

So mark your calendars for July 17 between services to meet our candidate.

As always, if you have questions please contact myself (see secretary Tammy for contact info) or any member of the Call Committee if you have questions or concerns.

Thanks for your patience and continue to pray for us.

Chris Reger, Call Committee

Sunday, July 3rd: One Service

   Just a reminder
     One Service
     July 3rd
     10:00 am