News for the Flock

Stewardship Corner

WHERE OUR HEARTS ARE WORD CLOUD.jpg

God lets us participate in his redemption of the world. We have the opportunity to use the gifts God has entrusted to us— our finances, talents, spiritual gifts, relationships, and lives— to advance his kingdom on earth.

A story from an Arizona summer camp illustrates this privilege. At the beginning of camp, each child turned in personal spending money in exchange for a “bank card.” When a camper made a purchase at the snack bar, her card was charged. On the next-to-last day of camp, the counselors offered the children a chance to give money remaining on their cards to the work of a missionary family in New Mexico. One girl said, “I have $5.23 left. I only want to keep 40 cents for a soda tomorrow; I don’t have to have a candy bar. I want to give the rest to the missionaries. How much do I get to give?”

Perhaps, we are not as free as a child at summer camp to give, since we have many obligations. But, as children of God, we can ask ourselves: Is our stewardship of our blessings faithful to God’s will to advance his kingdom? How much do we need for ourselves?

The apostle Paul tells us that we can glorify God and be enriched in every way by our generosity as we meet the needs of others. How much of your time, finances, and talents do you get to give?

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Scouts Program

The God and Country program is for Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, Girl Scouts, American Heritage Girls, and non-Scout siblings. The program provides your child with the opportunity to grow in faith and service to God and others.

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Categories: Connect
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Christmas at SOTV Trivia ANSWERS

Here are the answers to the trivia questions about Christmas at SOTV.

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Categories: Worship
Tags: Christmas, Christmas trivia

Christmas at SOTV Trivia

Can you answer trivia questions about Christmas at SOTV? Check back later for the answers!

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The Most Wonderful Worship Service of the Year

By Randy Brandt, Pastor

Brrrr! Both October and November seemed to me like they were darker and colder this year. Now I’m wondering, will December be even more frigid and dark? Probably so - especially on days when I mistakenly set our new thermostat to “Air-Conditioning” instead of “Heat” and I come home to what feels like a “whole-house refrigerator” (yes, it did happen!).

The older I get, the more I appreciate being able to escape Minnesota’s cold season for even a little while so I can get to part of the country with more sunlight and temps above freezing. A short visit to Arizona not only feels good on my skin, but does something to my attitude. To put it simply: soaking up sunshine in the middle of winter makes me feel healthier in body and spirit!

I wonder if it is this need for warmth and light these early days of winter that draws thousands of people to worship at SOTV’s Christmas Eve candlelight worship services on December 24. In our Christmas Eve worship, there is a tangible sense for many that the cold darkness is literally pushed back when the nativity story is again retold, when lit candles are held, and carols joyfully sung.

The combination of special music, the sacred reading of scripture, and then reflecting on the ancient story of Christ’s birth, combined with the reverent lighting of candles, has the ability to heighten the assurance of God’s loving presence, of hope, and the goodness of this life. To put it simply: Christmas Eve worship on a cold winter’s night makes me feel better in body and spirit.

Yet, at the same time, I know there are people who will be tentative to worship this Christmas. Holidays can magnify the grief of loss, and the absence of loved ones can be powerful in the worship setting. There will also be visitors at SOTV who don’t know our traditions, and on Christmas Eve they will just be trying to not feel like strangers. But, don’t we all need to know we are not alone, that this place can feel to us like home, and that God’s embrace in the midst of the cold darkness can bring light to our lives?

I sincerely invite us to prepare for Christ’s birth these coming weeks. Use an Advent devotional, worship each week, or join the Sunday 5:00 pm family Advent dinner & worship. Be sensitive to both neighbors and strangers who need exactly what you and I need: love, hope, peace, and a warm light in the cold darkness.

Christmas at SOTV

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Categories: Care, Connect, Worship
Tags: Christmas, Christmas Eve, Christmas worship

Ushering at SOTV

Who can be an usher? What does an usher do? When are ushers needed? Why should I volunteer to be an usher? How do I sign up?

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SOTV All Church Serve Together

Hundreds of people of all ages volunteered during our all church Serve Together event! We partnered with The Drawer and Bundles of Love Charity to sew and cut fabric to make crib sheets and stuffed animals, colored fabric to make quilts, bundled socks and underwear, made cards, and more! Thank you to everyone who donated items and volunteered at the event!

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Responses to Religious 'Nones' Article

Pastor Paul Harrington and Jane Stubblefield responded to an opinion article titled “Fastest growing religion is ‘None” in the StarTribune.

Read responses from Pastor Paul & Jane Stubblefield.

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Categories: News
Tags: Pastor Paul, Paul Harrington, Religion is none, No religion, news, article

Emergency Shelter in Dakota County

We are working with Matrix Housing Services and others in our county to provide emergency temporary shelter from November 2018 through March 2019. The temporary shelter will rotate among secure locations, housing adults each night, and including breakfast and dinner, plus some emergency supplies.

We need your help! Please prayerfully consider how you might help.

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Categories: Connect, Care, Local Mission
Tags: Emergency Shelter in Dakota County, emergency shelter, homeless, homelessness, homeless dinner, homeless shelter, dakota county homeless shelter, Dakota county, local, local mission, Local Outreach, shelter dinner, overnight shelter, matrix housing services

Happy Birthday Shepherd of the Valley!

We have traditionally celebrated the birthday of Shepherd of the Valley during the month of November because on November 1, 1981 there was a meeting in which the church was officially welcomed as a member of the Lutheran Church and Pastor Paul Harrington was installed as the first pastor.

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Categories: News, building and facility
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Stewardship Celebration

By Rick Summy, Senior Pastor

One of the definitions of stewardship is defined as “everything we do after we say we believe.” (I’m Lutheran enough to want to quibble and say that it is everything we do once God claims us, which happens at birth and is sealed in baptism.) Either way, everything we do once we belong to God certainly involves time, talent, and treasure.

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Halloween Spooktacular with Trunk or Treat

Hundreds of children and their families came out for fellowship, fun, and of course - candy on Saturday, October 27! Thanks for all who participated, especially those who decorated trunks and handed out candy to over 250 trick-or-treaters!

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Categories: Connect, Local Mission, Youth
Tags: Halloween, Spooktacular, Trunk or Treat

Volunteer Before or After Worship

You are invited to use your gifts to serve out of love for God and our neighbor. We have many options that fit many different interests and schedules. Encourage your family, friends, or ministry group to serve with you!

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Categories: Connect, Local Mission, Global Mission
Tags: volunteer, serve

Tanzania Scholarship Fund

Each year, Shepherd of the Valley provides about $45,000 to support secondary and university scholarships for 150 students. Scholarships range from $400 for most secondary students to $3,000 for college students. Most of our students have parents who have died or who are subsistence farmers earning less than a dollar a day.

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Categories: Connect, Global Mission
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