News for the Flock

Preparing Our Hearts... Feel!

This year, can this season be less stressful? The answer is yes. But that means being more deliberate about what you want this season to be for you and your family.

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Preaparing Our Hearts... Hear!

This year, open your heart—and your ears—to the Sounds of the Season.

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Preparing Our Hearts... See!

When's the last time you stopped to open your eyes and see the magic of Christmas all around you?

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Categories: Learn
Tags: Preschool

Preparing Our Hearts: Taste!

I had grown up in a church where they made Scandinavian cookies so I asked some of the women if they would be willing to do that.

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Categories: Connect, Care, News
Tags: Advent, Preparing Our Hearts

A Family Thanksgiving Devotion

A family devotion time during Thanksgiving doesn't need to be awkward! If you are game, here is a new thing to try this year with your guests.

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Gifts of Compassion and Gratitude

Want to raise kinder, less entitled kids? Yes please! Then according to a recent Washington Post story, you should be participating in this year's Christmas Gift Giving program.

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Categories: Local Mission, Connect
Tags: Christmas Gift Giving

Freed to Respond

We believe that everything about us belongs to God. Through the invitation of God’s love, we are freed to respond by sharing the gifts of our time, talent, and treasure.

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Categories: stewardship

Share Your Gratitude

By Pastor Maggie Novak

What gives you feelings of joy or thankfulness? What makes you smile from the inside out? What stops you in your tracks to take notice of the wonderful world in which we live? Truly, there are times and things in life that wake us up to gratefulness.

The theme of this year’s Thanksgiving Eve Worship is Gratitude. We will gather the night before Thanksgiving to pause from the busy-ness of preparing meals, cleaning, or preparing for travel. Together, we will hear God’s word, praise God with music from the Senior Choir and Brass Ensemble, give gifts of canned goods to the food shelf, and offer our prayers of thanksgiving to God. I will be bringing the message during this service of gratitude, and I need your help.

Wednesday, Nov. 23 at 7:00 pm
Pastor Maggie Novak
Holy Communion
Senior Choir & Brass Ensemble
E-mail photos of gratitude to by Nov. 14

I have noticed more and more how people take pictures with their phones. Have you? One day I saw someone take a picture of their breakfast. Someone else was stopped by the side of the road snapping pictures of a tree aflame with beautiful autumn colors. There was a woman taking pictures of a display at Target. At a high school football game, there were all sorts of photos being snapped Some were actually of the game, but most were friends taking pictures of each other in silly poses. What do all of these pictures have in common? People are not merely capturing random things in their life. These are the people, places, and times that are important to us, and that we want to share with others.

The photos that we take are a living document of what we are grateful for. During the sermon at Thanksgiving Worship, I want to share all of these things that wake us up to gratefulness in life. Will you help?

Scroll through your photo galleries or scrapbooks and e-mail us photos of what you are grateful for. It could be a family photo, a prized possession, a meal prepared by a loved one, vacation adventures, or a nature scene from your yard or neighborhood.

Send these pictures of gratitude to by November 14. We can’t guarantee that all photos will be used during our time of worship but we will try. Thank you!

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Categories: Worship
Tags: Thanksgiving

November: We Are Grateful

News for the Flock: November Edition

What gives you feelings of joy or thankfulness? What makes you smile from the inside out? What stops you in your tracks to take notice of the wonderful world in which we live? Truly, there are times and things in life that wake us up to gratefulness.

This November, you are invited to pause and think about what you are grateful for in your lives and share it with your friends, family, and above all, God.

This month...

  • You are "Freed to Respond" to God's Love
  • Share Your Photos of Gratitude at Thanksgiving Worship
  • See the Gifts in Kind and Dollars Given in 2016
  • Welcome the Community at the Holiday Boutique
  • Be a Homework Help Mentor
  • Shop for Christmas Gifts
  • Make a World of Difference
  • Build a Legacy of Service
  • Read Thank You Notes (from church and community members)




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Categories: Monthly, News, Worship, Learn, Connect, Care
Tags: Gratitude, Giving

The Rite of Confirmation

Many people have described the Rite of Confirmation as “the best worship service of the year” but what exactly goes on at this service?

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Categories: Worship, Youth
Tags: Rite of Confirmation

We Affirm Our Baptism

News for the Flock: October edition. The Rite of Confirmation is a significant milestone for youth at Shepherd of the Valley, typically made in the fall of 10th Grade. You are invited to be a witness to this Affirmation of Baptism.

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Categories: News, Youth, Worship, Monthly
Tags: Rite of Confirmation

Pastor Rick's First Week, Block Party, and More

It's been a crazy week with Pastor Rick Summy's arrival, a Camp Wapo retreat, the start of GodZone and Confirmation, and to cap it all off, another successful Block Party!

But rather than describing it with more words, let's have some pictures do the talking!

Adult Retreat at Camp Wapo, September 13-17, 2016
Photos by Dalton Senechal

Pastor Rick Summy's First Week
Photos by Patty Zwiefel and Trip Sullivan

Block Party 2016
Photos by Patty Zwiefel and Trip Sullivan

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Pastoral Staff Updates

Please give a warm Minnesota welcome to new Senior Pastor Rick Summy and his wife Christine Summy this weekend. Volunteers are taking photos to help him get to know names and faces. Pastor Rick will be installed September 24 & 25 at all services.

Pastor Ron Olson will be concluding his interim service with SOTV effective October 5, 2016.  His final weekend in worship is scheduled for October 1-2, 2016.  Pastor Ron will be available between services in the Great Hall to greet the congregation and say good-byes. We have been grateful to Ron for his ministry and dedicated service to SOTV.  We will miss him greatly and wish Ron all the best as he moves on to his next journey.

Pastors Maggie Novak and Wendy Steger will continue their interim status with SOTV for a time. They will continue to work with the pastoral staff as we transition Pastor Rick Summy into his Senior Pastor role. We are grateful for their continued dedication to the ministry of Shepherd of the Valley.  We will continue to keep the congregation updated as to the interim status of Pastors Maggie and Wendy.


Kitchen Staff Needed

The return of Sunday Breakfasts are dependent upon a fully staffed Kitchen and Hospitality structure of paid staff and volunteers.  We are working hard to fill the staff positions of Kitchen Coordinator, Kitchen Assistant, and Barista. Please view the full job descriptions on our Employment page and spread the word to qualified candidates.

Both Staff and Volunteer roles are key to the success of the breakfast and fellowship ministries. Once we are adequately staffed, we will resume Sunday Breakfast and the schedule will be communicated. Questions may be directed to Thank you for your patience!


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Categories: News
Tags: pastoral news, Staff Update

Tim Schaefer Returns to Teach Crossways

Longtime Crossways Bible Study teacher Tim Schaefer makes his return to SOTV this fall to teach “See Through the Scriptures” beginning September 12 at 7:00 pm (more info). We caught up with Tim to learn a little bit more about the new class. 

How long have you been teaching Crossways courses?
I went to the first-ever workshop Harry Wendt ever did in this country--June of 1979.  I began teaching it that fall, and have been doing so almost every year since.  In 1999 I began going around the country doing workshops for Crossways International--20 - 30 of them a year until 2008, and sporadically ever since.  I began teaching Crossways at SOTV in either '96 or '97!

Why is teaching the Bible to others important to you?
Each Christian is graced  with one or more spiritual gifts. I am convinced that at the very minimum one of mine is teaching. Equally important is that the teaching process helps to keep my focus squarely on proper membership in the Kingdom of God and its Messiah, Jesus the Lord.  The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life work as hard on me as anyone else in the satanic attempt to derail my journey of discipleship in the Lord's Kingdom. Teaching is a perfect discipline that helps keep my eyes on the goal.

How would you describe Crossways to someone unfamiliar with it?
Crossways is a helicopter ride over the forest of the Scriptures. We hover and study, and now and then we land for a thorough examination of the trees. Because of the hover, we know where the trees fit into the big picture of the forest. Also, experience has taught me to ask two questions of the text: a) What is the story that informs the text; and b) What is the culture that informs the text. All of this has one purpose: to help us better understand  the mind and manner of Jesus the Messiah, and to seek to become in His kingdom what he has, by His grace, already declared us to be. 

Who should participate in See Through the Scriptures?
I can't think of anyone who for any reason shouldn't do it. It is somewhat like asking those present at a family gathering for Thanksgiving: “Who shouldn't participate in the feast?”

What about people who previously took the 2-year Crossways study with you?
We are life-long students of the Lord Jesus and full-time members of His kingdom. Bible study is daily bread for the whole person! Therefore, those having gone through the 2 year program will have a great opportunity to have it all “summed up” for them again. At any rate, Bible study is not to be viewed like visiting the grand canyon—I've been there once, therefore I don't need to visit again. Bible study is a full time, life-long endeavor that nurtures the disciples of Jesus living in His kingdom. We are never “done.” Immersion in scripture helps to maintain focus on the chief Shepherd of the flock. There are plenty of distractions to that focus facing us each day.

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Categories: News, Learn
Tags: Crossways