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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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Tags: pastoral news, worship, home sweet church

Associate Pastor Call: Wendy Steger

Update: The Congregation voted overwhelmingly in favor of calling Wendy Steger as Associate Pastor, Connect.

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Categories: Connect, News
Tags: pastoral news

Interim Pastor Update

During a time of pastoral transition at Shepherd of the Valley, we have been blessed by the ministry of three gifted people to fill our interim needs.  These interim roles were set up to be in place through the call of a new Senior Pastor.

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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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Tags: pastoral news, Staff Update

Rick Summy Called to Serve as Senior Pastor

We are very excited and pleased to announce the Reverend Richard (Rick) Summy has been called to serve as Senior Pastor of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church.

Following a recommendation from the Call Committee, and approval from Church Council, the congregation was invited to approve this call by vote on Sunday, July 17, 2016 at 12:15 pm. The Call Committee outlined the process, shared a video greeting from Pastor Rick (see below), and took questions. The official minutes will reflect this discussion in detail and will be published on our website ( once they are completed by our Council Secretary.

With 223 people in attendance, the vote in favor of calling Pastor Rick was 98% of those present. There were 218 yes votes, 4 no votes, and 1 vote to abstain. The call to serve as Senior Pastor has been extended to Pastor Rick, and he has verbally accepted. A formal Letter of Call will now be issued.

Pastor Rick’s official start date is September 15, 2016. You can look forward to meeting him at our Fall Block Party on Saturday, September 17! He will be installed the weekend of September 24 & 25 at all services. The Reverend Louise N. Johnson, President of Wartburg Theological Seminary will preside.

Thank you for the care and support you have shown your Call Committee, Pastors, and staff leaders during this interim period. We are excited to move forward in our ministry as together, we experience the Welcome, Transformation, and Sending of Jesus Christ!

Candidate Summary

Reverend Richard (Rick) Summy is currently serving as the senior pastor of Atonement Lutheran Church, Wyomissing, PA. He graduated from Wittenberg University and from The Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia. Prior to serving at Atonement, Pastor Rick served at St. Luke’s, Freeland and St. Michael’s, Sellersville. He was also the Region 7 Coordinator and deployed Staff (Synodical Relations and Division for Ministry) for the ELCA. In addition, Rick was the Director of Admissions at The Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia.

His churchwide experience includes service on the First Call Theological Education Advisory Committee and as a voting member to the 2003 Churchwide Assembly. During the 1990s he was active in leadership of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Academy of Preachers. He has led workshops on vocation and Mutual Ministry in a variety of settings.

Pastor Rick has published materials to include sermons, sermon reviews, devotional materials and articles. He was co-author of the Augsburg Fortress Senior High Outdoor Ministry Curriculum for 2007 and of Connect: Calling Faithful Leaders for a Changing World, a successful $3,000,000 grant request on behalf of the Eastern Cluster of Lutheran Seminaries. He wrote a chapter (“Mutual Ministry”) in the book Pastor and People: Making Mutual Ministry Work which was published by Augsburg Fortress in 2003.

Pastor Rick Summy is married to Christine Summy, who is a Spiritual Counselor at the Caron Foundation. They have two daughters, Ashley and Haley. He enjoys golf, racquetball, and is an avid sports fan. Together they share a passion for ministry which the SOTV Call Committee has been able to learn more about. This includes a genuine passion for care ministry, encouraging people to respond to God’s gifts with action and service, recovery ministry, and connecting people together in community.


Call Committee Process and Summary

Your SOTV Call Committee had the opportunity to learn about Pastor Rick’s call to ministry, his balance of “head and heart” to build relationships, leadership style, and vision for ministry. Pastor Rick is a collaborative team leader who is not afraid to make decisions with a servant heart. His passion for ministry, his desire to care for people and facilitate and develop relationships shows through in the work he has done in his previous and current calls, as well as, his discussions with the Call Committee.

Your pastors, Council leaders, and staff have also had the opportunity to meet Rick Summy and have additional conversation. The Call Committee evaluated feedback from these processes including a staff survey. Some of the observations at this time would include words such as (in no particular order): “Leader, Balanced, Relational, Confident, Caring, Good Listener”, etc.

The Call Committee had the opportunity to hear Rick preach a sermon prepared specifically for the Call Committee. In addition, the Call Committee reviewed other sermons available to them.

Based upon the interviews, discussions held, feedback and referrals received, and sermons heard and read, it is the recommendation of the Call Committee as approved by Church Council and supported by pastoral leadership, that Reverend Richard (Rick) Summy be called to serve as Senior Pastor of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church.

Call Committee Members

Cheryl Seely, Co-chair
Nikki Zeches, Co-chair
Eric Bartosh
Bruce Feld
Jenny Harrits
Jennifer Maxwell
Mike Schaeffer

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Tags: call committee, pastoral news

A Candidate for Senior Pastor

On behalf of the SOTV Call Committee and Church Council, we are pleased to announce a candidate has been recommended and approved to serve as Senior Pastor at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church! A special meeting of the congregation is being called to hold a vote to approve the congregational call of the Senior Pastor candidate.  Everyone is encouraged to attend, and all confirmed members of SOTV are invited to vote. You must be present to vote.

Sunday, July 17, 2016
12:15 pm Immediately Following Worship
Location: Sanctuary

If the congregation votes affirmatively, a Letter of Call is extended and a timeline for arrival to SOTV will be confirmed.

To maintain confidentiality, we are waiting to release specific candidate information until July 7, 2016. At that time, an email update, including a video introduction from the Senior Pastor candidate, will be sent to members subscribed to our "Weekly Devotion" or "Special Congregation Alerts" email lists. If you're not sure if you receive these emails already, manage your preferences here. Information will also be available on-site at SOTV.

Thank you for all the care and support you have shown your Call Committee, Pastors, and staff leaders. We look forward to sharing more information soon and seeing you at the meeting!

Your partners in ministry,

The Senior Pastor Call Committee:  
Cheryl Seely & Nikki Zeches (Co-Chairs), Eric Bartosh, Bruce Feld,
Jenny Harrits, Jennifer Maxwell, and Mike Schaeffer


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July 2016 Newsletter

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


The Year of Welcome in Review

Pastoral Call Update & Congregation Vote

Annual Meeting Recap

Featured Ministry: School Supply Drive

Knowing Our Neighbors

Journey to Tanzania

Your Capital Gifts at Work: June Edition

July Volunteer Needs

June Milestones

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Categories: Monthly, News
Tags: call committee, pastoral news, capital campaign, Local Outreach, Tanzania

Pastor Randy To Take Sabbatical

Pastor Randy Brandt will be on a sabbatical from April 28 to July 20, 2016.

Also: exciting news about our Pipe Organ!

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Categories: Weekly, News
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Meet the Interim Pastors!

Three new interim pastors began working at Shepherd of the Valley (SOTV) on Thursday, October 1. All three interim pastors will be working part-time sharing pastoral duties of...

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Categories: News, Weekly
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Open Call for Senior Pastor

Updated 9/15/15

Senior Pastor Job Description

A search for a new senior pastor is underway.

The Call Committee received many candidate nominations from the congregation (The deadline for nominations was September 13, 2015). Thank you to everyone who participated!

Interested candidates in the Senior Pastor role must contact Lamont Koerner at the St. Paul Area Synod

In the meantime, Pastors Randy Brandt and Duane Paetznick will share the role of interim senior pastor. In addition, candidates are currently being interviewed with the goal of employing two interim associate pastors to support Randy and Duane. 

Questions? Contact

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Categories: News
Tags: pastoral news, call committee