News for the Flock

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Our generosity makes a difference!

SOTV is blessed to have a very supportive congregation that provides food, cash donations, and committed volunteers to serve people in need within our local communities. Our generosity makes a difference!

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Categories: Care, Connect, stewardship
Tags: Shepherd of the Valley Food Shelf, SOTV Food Shelf, Food Shelf, 360 Communities, super shelf

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

Thank you to everyone who donated and volunteered for Christmas Gift Giving, the Winter Outerwear & Mitten Tree, and our Blood Drive.

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Categories: Connect, Care, Local Mission
Tags: Christmas Gift Giving, Winter outerwear, Mitten Tree, Blood Drive

Community Garden: Volunteer Coordinator or Co-Coordinators Needed

Work with our Facilities Manager to oversee the Community Garden. Help with needed administrative and communication tasks. Visit www.sotv.org/jobs for a description of the responsibilities. If interested, please contact jennifer.davidson@sotv.org.

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Categories: building and facility, Care, Connect
Tags: community garden, garden, volunteer

Thank you to everyone who participated in Christmas Gift Giving this year!

Together, we sponsored 43 families, 24 homeless youth, and 58 individuals with disabilities. Plus, hundreds of gifts for Southside Family Nurturing Center and Dakota Woodlands Homeless Shelter. Monetary donations help hurricane relief efforts, feed kids over the weekends, assist kids with mentoring programs, and aid orphans in Tanzania. Many thanks for working together to make the world a better place!

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Categories: Care, Connect, Local Mission
Tags: Christmas Gift Giving, Christmas gifts

Meals on Wheels Drivers Needed

4th Thursdays

Meals on Wheels provides hot meals to the homebound over the lunch hour in Apple Valley, Eagan, Burnsville, and Savage. SOTV provides between two to four drivers every 4th Thursday of the month. To learn more or volunteer, contact Audrey Degler: 612.209.7452 or adegler@hotmail.com.

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Categories: Care, Connect, Local Mission
Tags: meals on wheels, homebound, hot meals

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

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

Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Apple Valley has a New Pastor

Lindsey Bina has been called as an Associate Pastor to Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church (SOTV) in Apple Valley. Her installation was September 29/30, and October 13/14 was her first weekend preaching.

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Categories: Care
Tags: Pastor, Pastor Lindsey, Pastor Lindsey Bina, Care Pastor, Care ministry, Associate Pastor, Lindsey Bina

“I saw God at Wapo”

My first summer as counselor at Camp Wapo just ended and it had to be the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Camp is such a special place filled with such special people. It’s so surrounded by God’s presence, words can barely describe it. I don’t think I’ve ever felt stronger in my faith and felt the way God works in our lives more.

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Categories: Care, Connect, News, Youth
Tags: testimony, camp wapo, camp counselor

Food Shelf Volunteers Needed

Many volunteer opportunities are available and all skill sets are needed. Please read more to see specifics on current opportunities.

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Categories: Care, Connect, Local Mission, News
Tags: Food Shelf, food shelf, SOTV food shelf, food shelf volunteers

Welcome Pastor Lindsey Bina

Pastor Lindsey Bina will oversee the Care ministry team, preach, teach, and much more! Lindsey’s first day at SOTV was September 13, and her installation will be September 29/30. Join us in welcoming her!

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Categories: Care, News
Tags: Care Pastor, call committee, Pastor of Care, Care ministry, Associate Pastor, Lindsey Bina, Pastor Lindsey Bina, Pastor Lindsey

Christian Education Programs

SOTV provides outstanding children’s Christian education programs ranging from age three to grade 12. The 2018-19 program year begins this month, and we expect around 1,000 kids to participate.

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Categories: Care, Learn, Youth
Tags: Christian education, Sunday school, Wednesday school, church school, church class, GodZone, Confirmation, faith formation, Bible study, General Fund

New: Pet Ministry

SOTV Pet Ministry seeks to provide opportunities to grow in faith through a shared love of animals.

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Likes: 1
Categories: Care, Connect
Tags: pet ministry, pets, blessing of the animals, pet memorial service

Be a Blessing to Others

He was the only survivor of five siblings. Afflicted with ill-health, he needed to change careers twice. He survived war and was almost killed three times. And yet, poet laureate Johann Heerman is considered by some to be the most important chorale text writer between Martin Luther and Paul Gerhardt.

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Categories: Care, stewardship
Tags: where our hearts are, blessing to others, stewardship