Happening Now Blog

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Redundancy is often considered a bad thing.  Like the old joke about a certain large business firm that has a Department of Redundancy Department. Ecologists, however, tell us that every vital living system has multiple levels of redundancy.  Many species in each ecosystem carry out similar roles so that one way or another these vital functions continue to support the web of life.

Something like this is happening in the preaching office at Shepherd.  The regular preacher is the pastor.  That's me, for the time being. But it's good to have redundancy, multiple people providing the same function.  At SOV, we have another person who is willing and able to preach occasionally.

Last Sunday, Sandra Carasco, one of our lay members, brought us God's word.  Sandra has had some experience preaching prior to coming to Shepherd.  She's also a PK (preacher's kid) and such an upbringing always helps prepare one for the preaching role.  Sandra is a careful student of scripture and serious about her prayer life.  All this informs her preaching and helps her connect well with the brothers and sisters at Sunday worship.  And it's good for me to hear someone other than myself so I get a different perspective on things.  We all learn from one another.  Sandra has preached several times now since I've been at SOV.  I look forward to hearing her again sometime this autumn.  I'm grateful to Sandra for her generosity and skill in bringing us a message from God.

This coming Sunday we'll have another preacher bringing us God's word.  Because I'm now working at .75 FTE, we'll have a supply pastor once a month.  So on August 28, Pastor Ray Venghaus will be preaching and presiding.  He's been at SOV several times before, and generally has been well received.  Every preacher has their own valuable point of view to share. So I encourage you to come to worship this Sunday, welcome Pastor Venghaus, and listen to what he has to say.  Scripture says that God speaks in many and various ways.  It's good that God provides multiple preachers so that one way or another, the Word of Life can be spoken and shared among us.

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Lessons for Sunday, April 28, 2016
Proverbs 25:6-7
Psalm 112
Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16
Luke 14:1, 7-14

KOK Registration for Fall 2016
We still have a few spots left in our classes for the coming school year. Are you or someone you know, looking for a   preschool with a quality Christian education for the whole child, where learning is fun and families are cared for?  Email Hannah at kokpreschool@gmail.com for more information and to arrange a tour.

11th Annual Strollathon

for Rett syndrome
September 10, 2016
Rose Quarter
One Center Court
Portland, Or
1:00 pm registration
2:30 pm stroll
If you would like to donate directly to Karina Krueger's team please visit the weblink below

SOV Choir presents
Change the World Concert

Saturday, September 10th
7:00 pm
Help is needed with set up. clean up, and greeters. Please let Cyndi know where you can help.

Rally Sunday
September 11, 2016
Fall Services begin
8:30 & 11:00

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Pastor's Wednesday Message

God has ordained that entropy increases over time.  So says the second law of thermodynamics, anyway.  SOV's parking lot is a perfect example.  When I came to SOV in 2014, the parking lot was already in rough shape.  Since then, the disorder (entropy) of the system has steadily increased.  People have fretted over this.  Well, fret no longer, brothers and sisters.  The "Pave Our Parking lot" (POP) project is a success.  It's in the cards, so to speak, that you turned in to indicate the amount of financial support you were willing to commit.  Through your generosity, God has provided the means to address the most urgent concerns about the parking lot.  Thanks be to God and to you.

I won't disclose the dollar amount registered so far, but I do want to say that this paving project is important and necessary for SOV's ministry and mission.  Like it or not, motor vehicles are absolutely indispensable for SOV to exist in this suburban context.  Therefore a decent parking lot is a non-negotiable requirement for doing ministry.  And of course, there is the safety issue that many have noted.  For folks with mobility limitations, it's simply unsafe to traverse some portions of the deteriorating pavement.  So dollars contributed to repave the parking lot yield more than practical value.  They make it possible for people to enter the Lord's house with confidence that they have a firm foundation for their Christian walk.

This project will also pave the way for calling a new pastor.  When candidates visit SOV, they will note the recent work and take it as a hopeful sign that this congregation is alive, well, and committed to its mission.  The same can be said of people visiting for Sunday worship.  So on all levels, this decision to repave and repair is a good one.  As it is written by the Prophet Isaiah: "Prepare the way of the Lord… the uneven ground shall become level and the rough places a plain; then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed…."  Who could have guessed that Isaiah was dreaming of SOV's parking lot?

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Lessons for Sunday, August 21, 2016
Isaiah  58:9b-14
Hebrews 12:18-29
Luke 13:10-17


Wednesday  10:00 a Bible Study

Thursday     10:00 a LLL

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

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Where does God do banking? With the ELCA Federal Credit Union! The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, our national church, has approximately 3.7 million members in 10,000 congregations. That's a lot of people, to whom God has given stewardship of a lot of money. Now the ELCA has formed a credit union. Here's information from its web site. https://www.elcafcu.org/

About ELCA Federal Credit Union
"…to use and share what God has given for the sake of all."
That's the definition of good stewardship. The ELCA Federal Credit Union supports that mission by providing services and benefits to all of its members regardless of their socioeconomic status.

Credit unions provide services to groups that share a common bond, such as a church affiliation. Like other financial institutions they accept deposits, make loans and offer other financial services.

But unlike other institutions, credit unions are financial cooperatives that serve their members, not shareholders. That means any profits the ELCA Federal Credit Union realizes — from interest payments on loans, for example — are returned to member/owners like yourself in the form of lower rates on loans, higher rates on savings, reduced fees and enhanced services.

The ELCA Federal Credit Union is regulated and federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) to the same levels as deposit insurance offered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Why We Exist
The ELCA Federal Credit Union was created by the ELCA to provide additional financial services to ELCA members, employees of synods, congregations or any other ELCA-related ministry. Family members of current ELCA FCU members are also eligible to join. The ELCA Federal Credit Union operates in ways consistent with the church's values, making it a socially responsible way to do your banking.

Benefits of Membership
By becoming a member and banking with us, you're helping fellow Lutherans. The money you save with us is loaned out to other ELCA Federal Credit Union members. As a member you can take advantage of the wide variety of financial services offered by the ELCA Federal Credit Union, including auto loans, personal loans, credit cards, checking and savings accounts, surcharge-free ATMs and more. As a not-for- profit financial cooperative, you'll find better rates and lower fees than those at most other financial institutions.

Pastor Brian's conclusion: God calls us to use our gifts wisely. Can the ELCA's credit union help you be a good steward of God's gifts? Even if this option is not for you, I hope you'll feel encouraged knowing your national church is trying hard to find innovative ways to serve God's mission. May this spirit of innovation guide us in our stewardship as God's people at Shepherd of the Valley.

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Lessons for August 14, 2016Jeremiah 23:23-29
Hebrew 11:29-12:2
Luke 12:49-56


Wednesday  10:00 am   Bible Study

Thursday      7:00 pm   LLL

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

Saturday       9:30 - 11:30 am  SOV Choir rehearsal (new members welcome, no experience necessary)
                     11:00 am  Memorial Endowment meeting

Sunday          8:30 & 10:30 am  worship services

"POP" Update

We are off to a great start on the "POP" or "Pave Our Parking" campaign!  An anonymous donor has offered to match the first $15,000 pledged to the project.  This is a great opportunity to get the initial $30,000 of this project funded.  Please get your POP pledge card filled out and returned to Christine E, SOV Financial Secretary.  Sealed POP pledge card envelops can be put in in the offering plate or in Christine's box in Tammy's office.  Please direct any questions to the parking lot committee – Reynold R, Arden T, or Dave R.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Yesterday Council President Harmon announced, by email, that I'm moving to .75 FTE after having served SOV on a full-time basis since April, 2014. As she said in her message, the Council and I see this as a win-win. I care about SOV and don't want to see its budget go so far into the red that it has trouble funding its mission. Reducing my work hours will help balance the budget. And this change will free up time for me to attend to things at home that have been put on hold. So I feel the change is good both for me and for SOV.

No significant part of the pastor's duties will be neglected. I will still attend all the usual meetings. I will still provide leadership in teaching. I've been working on Confirmation Class planning; soon I'll start sorting through options for adult Christian education. I'll still lead Wednesday morning Bible study (join us!). I'll still preach and lead worship as usual except for one Sunday per month, when we will have a pulpit supply pastor. The pastor's ministry will continue much as before.

And I will still be available on-call 24/7. No matter what day it is, even on my Monday & Friday days off, if you have an urgent need for pastoral care, please call me. I will gladly talk with you by phone or come to be with you wherever you are as quickly as I can. During evening or weekend hours, my home phone number is best as I usually turn off my cell phone when I get home. Both numbers are listed in the worship bulletin, as is my email address. Please feel free to phone or email me if you need pastoral care. Even if the call comes at midnight or later, I will respond as soon as I can.

One difference is that I won't stay put for the same office hours as before. I'll exercise more flexibility in taking care of various duties off-site during the Tuesday-Thursday period. At this point I don't know exactly what stable office hours might be, but here's my best guess: Tuesday mornings 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday mornings 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Thursdays I'll probably be at SOV, in and out, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. but occasionally I have to attend Thursday meetings of the Oregon Synod Interim Pastors' group and the Sunset Cluster Clergy group. Sometimes I have evening meetings Wednesdays and Thursdays; that means I'm at SOV or in the neighborhood all afternoon. So, if you want to meet me in my office, at your home, or at a coffee shop, please get in touch by phone or email and I will gladly schedule a meeting for a day and time that works for you.

God bless us as we walk together, waiting for Shepherd's new pastor to answer God's call.

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Lessons for Sunday, August 7, 2016
Genesis 15:1-6
Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16
Luke 12:32-40


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 a Worship Services

Sunday is Scrip Order Sunday
Only one scrip Sunday in August. If you would like to support the social concerns Back to School project you may order your Fred Meyer scrip this Sunday.