News for the Flock

Call Committee Update & More

The News for the Flock has transformed into a monthly publication! The June issue is now available at church and for download online.

Here's a few short updates for a few things happening around the church...

The Senior Pastor Call Committee is deeply engaged in discussions with a qualified candidate at this time. Continued discernment is expected over the next several weeks. Additional details can be expected in July 2016.  Please continue to hold the Call Committee, the candidate, and the call process in your prayers. 


Big Band Jazz Worship

Check out photos from the past weekend in worship


Front Sidewalk Construction

Thank you to everyone for their flexibility this past week while improvements were made to the main entrance walkway. The entire curb has been eliminated to create an accessible ramp and a more welcoming entrance for all members. This project is budgeted maintenance to the facility, and is not tied to the Capital Fund.


Annual Meeting

Thank you to everyone who attended our Annual Meeting of the Congregation last Sunday. We had a great "Year of Welcome" in 2015-16 and are looking forward to the "Year of Transform!" A full report of the meeting minutes will be available soon. Until then, please enjoy these video highlights from the past year.

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2016 Synod Assembly Recap

 Artwork by David Linner

Artwork by David Linner

Shepherd of the Valley is a member of the Saint Paul Area Synod in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The annual gathering of area churches at Synod Assembly was May 20 & 21 at Prince of Peace in Burnsville.

SOTV was represented by lay members Judy Anderson, Vern Bloomquist, Pat Buss, Chad Dahlke, David Linner, and Aldrea Malo, and rostered leaders Mark Ertl, Pastor Duane Paetznick, Pastor Ron Olson, and Pastor Wendy Steger.

These delegates gathered to worship, to vote on resolutions, and synod council committee nominations, and to conduct other synod business. They also enjoyed fellowship time together and learned about the many ministries happening across the synod.

Other highlights included:

Artwork by member Kris Horton was featured at Assembly as part of a challenge to creatively reinterpret the Luther Rose.


A report on the Synod's Bega Kwa Bega Tanzania ministry was given by members Kirsten Levorson (partnership corrdinator) and Pastor Peter Harrits (Director of Bega Kwa Bega). The video "Because of Iringa" was shown which features a few faces from SOTV!

We asked people, "What difference have our global companions made in your life?" This is what they said. . .

Videos about mission development aired throughout Assembly. They are gradually being made available on the Synod's Facebook page (You do not need to be a Facebook member to view them).

Mission Strategy in the Saint Paul Area Synod

One of the major focuses of Assembly this year is on mission strategy, including mission renewal and mission development. In this video, Bishop Lull & the Rev. Justin Grimm give intro to what mission strategy means to our work together as a synod and as a church. #spas2016 #luther499

Posted by Saint Paul Area Synod, ELCA on Friday, May 20, 2016


Finally, the synod's new Statement of Purpose was revealed at Assembly:

The Saint Paul Area Synod is made up of congregations, mission starts and institutions committed to growing in faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Living out of our identity as Lutherans, we recognize we are grasped by grace and are free to devote our energy to being church in a way that is rooted in tradition and open to experimentation.

This means we will show up where we have not been before. We will walk with those who have felt excluded, hurt or indifferent to the witness of the church. We will act with the confidence that God calls us to meet Christ in every one of our neighbors.

Christ has begun this good work among us and is renewing us today for –

deeper faith in the living God;
wider engagement in God’s world;
bolder trust in God’s work through us;

In our common work we will:

build partnerships that are local, global and mutually transformative;
embolden our public witness to justice and service;
welcome possibilities for being church in a new day;

We are not there yet. We are on the way together.

This statement is available in all 4 of the primary languages of our synod here.

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Categories: News
Tags: Synod

June 2016 Newsletter

The News for the Flock has transformed into a monthly publication! The June issue is now available at church and for download online.


"Being Church" in the Summertime

June & July Worship Highlights

Featured Ministry: Habitat for Humanity

Your Capital Fund Gifts at Work: May Edition

Upcoming Events & Milestones

Tell us what you think of the new format. The deadline for the July issue is June 13. Contact Trip Sullivan at (952) 985-7311 or

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Categories: News, Monthly

Ken Bailey: An Appreciation

Dr. Kenneth E. Bailey, renowned scholar, theologian, and author, died May 23, 2016 at age 85. We were honored to host Dr. Bailey as a guest preacher and teacher twice at Shepherd of the Valley in 2005 and 2013.

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Categories: News, Worship, Learn

Summer Life of the Flock


Are You a Microwave or a Crockpot Christian?
By Pastor Randy Brandt

Summer Worship Highlights

Reaching Your Renaissance
By Chad Dahlke

Racial Reconciliation: The Pea Under the Mattress
By Pastor Wendy Steger

By Kirsten Levorson

Upcoming Events & Milestones

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Categories: Life of the Flock, News

A Place to Call Home

Did you know there are about 50 people in Dakota County on any given day that need emergency and transitional shelter?  Be a part of the solution!


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Be Known... And Know Others

A message from Aubree Tsurusaki, speaking to the Class of 2016 at our annual High School Senior Recognition.

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Categories: Youth

2016 Scholarship Winners

The Shepherd Scholarship was set up by members of this church to help alleviate the cost of continuing education. We are grateful to the Shepherd Sale for providing the funds that we are able to give. As a committee, we would like to thank you for making this scholarship possible.

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Categories: News, Weekly, Youth
Tags: Scholarship

Take Part in the 2016 Annual Meeting

An invitation from Jenny Harrits, Council President:
Please plan to attend the 2016 Annual Meeting to learn about our current year in summary, what’s coming, and to approve the 2016-2017 fiscal year budget.

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Tags: annual meeting

Burning Questions

Join us starting May 21 & 22 for a new preaching series, "Burning Questions" which seeks to answer many of the difficult faith questions we often wrestle with. The conversation continues on Wednesday nights with a follow-up discussion hosted by the preaching pastor, 7:00 - 8:00 pm (May 25 - June 22). See list of topics.

Other upcoming worship highlights include a Big Band Jazz Weekend (June 4-6), Summer Trip Commissioning (Sunday, June 12 at 9:45/11:00), and the MN Adult & Teen Challenge (June 11 & 12)

Don't forget we begin a single Saturday service at 5:00 pm on May 28, and Monday Cabin Worship at 7:00 pm (perfect for weekend travelers) begins June 6.

See full worship schedule

Shepherd's Columbarium and Memorial Garden

Why build a columbarium at SOTV?

Shepherd of the Valley has embarked upon this venture to provide a meaningful area for the inurnment of cremated remains (cremains). It will provide a final resting place with special meaning for those whose involvement in the church was an important part of life on earth. The columbarium has been designed to complement the structure of the church and will be located near the outdoor chapel, east of the sanctuary.

How will the columbarium be funded?

The costs for building and maintaining the columbarium will be SELF-FUNDED; only proceeds from the sale of niches and memorials, or donations made to the columbarium project, will be used to cover construction costs. Therefore, construction cannot proceed until costs for Phase 1 have been covered. The Columbarium Committee estimates that a minimum of 125 niches must be sold by April 1, 2017, in order to break ground.

How much is a niche?

A niche, which will hold the cremains of up to two individuals, is $1,900. A down payment of $950 (50%) must be submitted with your reservation. The remaining 50% will be due April 1, 2017, assuming enough niches have been sold to build the columbarium. If construction costs have not been covered, the columbarium will not proceed, and your down payment will be returned.

More information and downloads



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Categories: Weekly, News, Worship
Tags: worship, columbarium

A Taste of Summer & Capital Update

Summer is a wonderful time for rest and relaxation, and it’s also an opportunity to explore some exciting new ways to worship. Here's a taste of what's in store...

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Tags: capital campaign, worship

“It is a Miracle!”

Pastor Paulo Masinga and Evangelist George Kioniani have arrived safely at home in Tanzania after their two week visit to Shepherd of the Valley. Thanks to all who provided a warm welcome!

During their visit, they learned about our daily routines at home, in schools, and at church. They were amazed at how our lives are so driven by the clock, and they were inspired by the way our church welcomes people in need, particularly through our food shelf. They were impressed with friendly teaching strategies and the low teacher to student ratio they saw in school classrooms as well as in GodZone and confirmation classes. They enjoyed a visit to a construction site and a farm—amazed again at nail guns, cranes, tractors, and combines.

At a partnership meeting, Paulo and George provided updates from Tungamalenga and Makifu Parishes, and offered thanks for the many ways we work together to support
evangelism, education, healthcare and economic development. Together, we discussed our next steps in constructing the primary school at Mpalapande, as well as future goals such as the water project at Ikwavila and upgrading the Tungamalenga dispensary to a small hospital.

Most of all, we experienced the joy of creating, renewing and strengthening the relationships we have through this partnership. George and Paulo each said on various occasions, “We are together because of Jesus Christ. It is a miracle!”


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Categories: Weekly, News
Tags: Tanzania

Awesome Givers!

2016 March Food Drive Results

Thank you to everyone who generously gave non-perishable food and monetary donations during the March Food Drive! Consider making a regular donation of food or funds on a regular basis throughout the year. Our clients thank you!

Most needed items this week: refried beans, mayo, dish soap, ketchup, deodorant, salad dressing, Monetary donations are also needed to purchase food. Write “Our Daily Bread Food Shelf” in the memo line or in “Misc Description” when giving online. Thank you for your support!

Thank You, Thrivent Choice Donors!

Thank you to all the Thrivent members who directed their “Choice Dollars”to benefit Shepherd of the Valley. SOTV has participated in this program for six years, and since August 2010, 187 individuals have selected the church as the recipient of some or all of their allocation. The total amount received in this time is $69,693. These gifts make a real difference, and help fund our ministries to worship, learn, connect, and care together as a community of faith.


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Call Committee FAQs

These were the most frequently asked questions following a detailed presentation of the call process at our recent congregation dialogues. Thank you to everyone who attended! If you have specific questions regarding the call process, please e-mail  The Call Committee will be happy to answer your questions. 

Q: How long will it take for SOTV to get a Senior Pastor?
The typical call process can take 12-18 months.  SOTV is unique in that we are still among the top 20 congregations in the ELCA in the country for size with over 8,000 members. There are limited candidates available with the qualifications to lead a church of our size, making it difficult to establish a more specific timeline.  

Q: Are we only searching for candidates locally or across the country?
Our search is nationwide. We are in partnership with the Saint Paul Area Synod (SPAS) and they partner with other synods to help us search for qualified candidates. 

Q: Who reviews the candidates we receive?
The Call Committee and SPAS review each candidate. If a candidate is recommended for call, he/she will be reviewed by the Church Council. If approved by Council, a vote of the congregation will be held to approve the call. 

Q: Where are we in the process right now?
As of March 29, the Senior Pastor Call Committee has been in conversation with a highly qualified candidate, and is considering one additional candidate at this time.  

Q: What is next in the process after the Call Committee recommends a candidate for call?
Once a candidate is recommended for call and approved by the Church Council, information about the candidate will be shared with the congregation and the congregation will vote to approve the call. The call is approved by a majority vote. Once the start date for the pastor is established, a date is set to install the pastor to the congregation.

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Categories: Weekly, News
Tags: call committee