News for the Flock

Endowment Fund Awards Its First Grants

For members of the Endowment Committee, we have always agreed that the Endowment Fund will be “for real” when we have made grants impacting the lives of members of SOTV and the community.  

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Categories: stewardship, News
Tags: Planting Seeds, Endowment

Congrats, Scholarship Winners!

The Shepherd College Scholarship Committee is proud to announce its 2017 winners. These awards are funded by proceeds from the annual Golf, Gears, and Gutters for the Good event.

The Committee weighs the applicant’s academic record, involvement in church and other activities, as well as financial need. This year the Committee awarded four scholarships in the amount of $250 each.

Elizabeth Sanders is graduating from Farmington High School and Normandale Community College. She will attend the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire and major in either Elementary Education or Early Childhood Education.

Ryan Pagois is graduating from Eagan High School. He will attend Boston University and major in International Relations.

Maggie Slater is graduating from Apple Valley High School. She will attend the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire and major in Nursing.

Olivia Simons is graduating from Rosemount High School. She will attend the College of St. Benedict with a double major in Nursing and Physician Assistant.

Thank you to everyone who applied. We hope that you will continue to apply annually.

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Categories: Learn, News
Tags: Planting Seeds

Mrs. Stenbom Retiring in May

Mrs. Stenbom

Mrs. Stenbom

Celebrating Children Preschool (CCP) announces the retirement of a long time teacher, Linda Stenbom. With the conclusion of the current preschool program year in May 2017, Mrs. Stenbom will retire after 35 years of teaching. Her last 15 years have been with Shepherd of the Valley here at CCP!

Prior to CCP, Mrs. Stenbom taught in the Friday Mornings Out (FMO) program here at SOTV. She has taught over 500 students while at CCP and still knows many by name when she sees them around town or in church. She has seen a lot of change including the new preschool classrooms and expansion of our curriculum.

Mrs. Stenbom has played an active role in defining our philosophies and enriching the wonderful program offered at this preschool. We are grateful for the dedication and love she has always shown her students, as well as, the contribution to this important ministry. We wish her a joyful retirement.

We are compiling a book for memories for Mrs. Stenbom. If you would like to contribute to the book, please email your memory and 1-3 pictures to Linda Nelson at linda.nelson@sotv.org. Deadline: Tuesday, May 9.

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Categories: Learn, News
Tags: Preschool, Planting Seeds

Plant, Water, Grow?

Faith is very much like a garden. Neglect results in some kind of withering of our life with God and others. On the other hand, I know from experience that an intentional nurturing of faith produces what Jesus calls "abundant life"

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Categories: Learn
Tags: Planting Seeds

Increasing our Facility’s Safety and Security

Thanks to the generous gifts to the Capital Fund, a new entrance security project is underway. We have added security card readers at key entrances to increase the safety and security for everyone who regularly uses our facility.

Here’s what you need to know:

During worship times, the doors will be open as normal. More specifically, doors at Entrance 1 and Entrance 3 will be open from 3:00 pm - 6:45 pm on Saturdays, and Sundays from 7:30 am - 2:00 pm.

During regular building hours, use the south bank of doors at Entrance 1. Building hours will remain the same: 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday, and 8:00 AM - 9:00 PM Monday to Thursday. The south bank of doors at Entrance 1 (the automated disability doors and the adjoining set of doors) will either be open or you can use the call box attached to the wall to buzz the facility staff to let you in.

When inside, go directly to the Welcome Center. Welcome Center volunteers can answer
your questions, find the appropriate staff person to help you, and help you access the Admin office. If a volunteer isn't available at the Welcome Center, clear signage will direct you.

What about special events? When there are large special events in the building, we’ll make sure there is access through our two main entrances. Also, our preschool families and food shelf clients will have dedicated access through Entrance 3.

Why do we need this added security? In many ways, we are simply catching up with the times. Most public buildings in our area already have this same level of security in place. The Apple Valley Chief of Police, Jon Rechtzigel, and Fire Chief, Nealon P. Thompson (both SOTV members) have encouraged us to take these steps to make our facility safer. We have also consulted with fellow church facility managers in the area.

Thank you for your patience as we implement these new security features. If you have questions, please contact our Facilities Director, Greg Nonweiler at 952-985-7340 or Greg.Nonweiler@sotv.org.

 

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Categories: building and facility

Continuing to Know Our Neighbors

In March, Shepherd of the Valley hosted a unique Somali Dinner with guest speakers from LSS Refugee Services. Everyone enjoyed a meal of delicious sambusas, jasmine basmati rice, chicken fantastic, and chai tea. Following dinner, our guest speakers inspired us with stories of refugee families fleeing persecution and beginning new lives in the U.S. LSS staff also shared their approach to community engagement and how we could take action to be part of their “Circle of Welcome.”

Here are a few highlights:

  • Refugee resettlement has a long history of community involvement, especially within Lutheran churches.
  • Reaching out to refugees is a little jump that can make a huge difference. Interaction and conversation helps everyone to get to know “the other” better, strengthen bonds, and break down silos.
  • Last year, volunteers served over 5,550 hours – that’s over $130,000 of time given! Beyond the dollar amount, think of how much support was given to refugees during those hours.
  • LSS provides families with “The Long Welcome” by providing mentors, financial support, and other services to families during the difficult first year. The goal is that families will feel empowered, a part of the community and able to become self-sufficient.

While Shepherd of the Valley has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with LSS, we have recently expanded our efforts over the past year to better get to know our neighbors in partnership with LSS.  In addition to hosting the LSS Study, “And Who is My Neighbor?”, Shepherd of the Valley activities have included collecting hygiene items and making fleece blankets for refugees, field trips to Somali neighborhoods and restaurants, book studies, and writing letters to elected officials in support of refugee resettlement. Several 9th grade Confirmation students also took part in a “refugee connection” class, learning more about young refugees and having dinner with them.

There is still a lot to learn about our neighbors. An ongoing Racial Truth & Reconciliation Task Force sponsors a monthly movie night/discussion and an ongoing book study. Shepherd of the Valley is also building relationships with area faith partners including the South Metro Islamic Center in Rosemount and Lily of the Valley AME Church.

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Categories: Local Mission, Connect
Tags: Racial Reconciliation, Race, Knowing Our Neighbors, #OneBodyManyParts

Minnesota FoodShare Results

March came in and left like a lion with a wonderful response to the Minnesota FoodShare campaign to #SquashHunger! All of the donations of food and monetary support went directly to Our Daily Bread Food Shelf, co-operated by our volunteers and 360 Communities, and located in our church facility.

The final tally is in, the results are final. The goals were blown away!

With the help of a whole bunch of "rescue food" (food from grocery stores would otherwise be wasted), we took in a total of 14,201 pounds of food vs. the goal of 8,000. And the generosity of the SOTV congregation showed again with a total dollar amount of $9,852 vs. the goal of $6,000.

If you’re interested in comparisons, the 2016 numbers were 9,003 pounds and $7,417, and 2015 came in at 7,196 pounds and $4,248. Of further interest, the totals of food brought in by SOTV members alone were: 2015 – 2,892 pounds, 2016 – 4,847 pounds, and 2017 – 5,265 pounds, Each recent year has been bigger than the year before!

Thank you to everyone who donated so generously! We are also thankful to Cub Foods, Kwik Trip, and Fresh Thyme for their partnership. Special thanks to Harley Peterson and the team of food shelf volunteers for their continued diligence in weighing and tracking all the donations to give us these totals.

Wow! Thankful for what God has done, we are a generous and compassionate community. Shepherd of the Valley and its community partners continue to respond to the Gospel with a grace-filled spirit that is beautiful to behold. The sky is the limit to what we can accomplish together.

 

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Categories: Connect, Local Mission
Tags: #SquashHunger, Food Shelf

One Mission, Many Quilts

This year's Annual Caring Quilt Day was a great success thanks to the 30 women who gave of their time and talents to make over 20 quilt tops on a beautiful Saturday. These quilts will be sent to provide comfort to children who are suffering from illness or abuse.

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Categories: Connect, Local Mission
Tags: Caring Quilts Day, #OneBodyManyParts

One Body, Many Parts

This month, we celebrate the many members that make up our church, and that make up the body of Christ.

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Categories: Monthly, News
Tags: #OneBodyManyParts

A Cutting Edge Food Shelf

By Trip Sullivan

Since 2010, Shepherd of the Valley has partnered with 360 Communities to operate Our Daily Bread Food Shelf in our church building. Did you know our food shelf is considered at the cutting edge of food shelves? Over the past year, we’ve hit many milestones in our quest to squash hunger in Dakota County:

  • †We are a “Choice Model” food shelf which means families can shop for their own groceries.
  • Thanks to new partnerships with Cub Foods, Kwik Trip, and now Fresh Thyme, we are receiving a lot more food to fill our shelves. This is "rescue food" - produce, dairy, meat, bakery, and other items that would otherwise be wasted.
  • †Spending less on food at food banks allowed us to purchase new equipment. We now have three fridges and three freezers!
  • †Renovations over the summer allowed the food shelf to have its own dedicated space.
  • †All of these factors have enabled the food shelf to offer a larger variety of healthier foods. We now offer milk, eggs, several varieties of meat, several choices of fruits and vegetables, bread, and much more. 
Ways to support our food shelf:
1. Bring a food item or two (or whole bag) with you to church each week
2. Make monetary donation to help purchase additional food.
3. Organize a neighborhood food drive.
4. Tell others!
Thank you for your support!

Before the Choice Model, volunteers used to pack groceries for clients before they came in. Now when clients come in for 20 minute appointments, volunteers work alongside them as they shop. Volunteers love having more interaction with clients, and clients love being able to choose the items that best meet their family’s needs.

Being a healthier food shelf is important. Of clients who use 360 Community food shelves, 67% suffer from diabetes or heart issues. Healthy food is also more expensive, and thus harder for our clients to obtain. Making healthier foods available is only the first step. That’s why volunteers work with clients to provide recipes, education and resources as needed. We’ve also begun a new partnership with the University of Minnesota who is doing research, taking inventory of our items, surveying clients, and training volunteers to help us be even more at the top of our game.


Our March Food Drive is now underway. Many of us have more than enough. When you go shopping this month, pick up an extra bag of some non-perishable items each time. It will add up! And it will feed the hungry. (See most needed items here)

If we reach the goal of collecting $6,000 and 8,000 pounds of food, your pastors pledge to engage in a display of public silliness (exact details to be determined). Just a little bonus on top of your faithfulness. Thank you for your support!

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Categories: Local Mission
Tags: Food Shelf, #SquashHunger

A Lenten Hunger Prayer

By Pastor Rick Summy. People are hungry. Here, in the United States of America. Here, in Minnesota. Here, in Apple Valley, Rosemount, Eagan, Burnsville…Here, at Shepherd of the Valley, we aren’t going to solve this problem. But we are part of the solution.

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Categories: Monthly, Local Mission
Tags: Food Shelf, #SquashHunger

Wendy's Ordination in Photos

Thank you to everyone who joined us to "welcome home" Wendy Steger at her Ordination and Installation February 18 & 19, 2017!

A Word of Gratitude from Wendy

I am very thankful to each of you for joining me on this important day in my life. Thank you for representing the Church and all of God’s people in witness and support as I make these statements of faith and promises to serve the church with the help of God. Most of all, thank you to my family and friends for walking with me on this long journey toward becoming a pastor. I am so very thankful for your love, support, and patience.

Photo Gallery

Thank you to our talented photographers, Patty Zwiefel and Kris Horton!
(Click on a thumbnail to see larger)

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Categories: News, Photos
Tags: pastoral news, worship, home sweet church

What Becomes of the Brokenhearted?

February is National Heart Disease prevention month, and coincidentally, Valentine’s Day is also in February. How do those two go together?

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Categories: Care
Tags: parish nurses

Home Sweet Church

Many people call SOTV their "home away from home" but not everyone knows what goes on inside our walls each week. Here's a quick look at the past week alone.

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Categories: Monthly, News
Tags: home sweet church