The Tree of Life – Midweek Lenten Series

SOV Midweek Lenten Series – The Tree of Life

Rom, Basilika San Clemente, Apsis 1" by Dnalor 01
“Rom, Basilika San Clemente, Apsis 1” by Dnalor 01 – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –,_Basilika_San_Clemente,_Apsis_1.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Rom,_Basilika_San_Clemente,_Apsis_1.jpg

Our Midweek Lenten series “Tree of Life” will begin on Wednesday, February 25th and will take place at 7 pm each Wednesday evening through March 25th. “Many world religions use the image of the tree of life when depicting their central beliefs and values. For Christians, that tree of life is the cross.” (Sundays and Seasons, p.112, Augsburg Fortress)

Each week a scripture passage and a hymn will illumine the cross of Christ as our tree of life.

February 25 – The tree of life in Eden is given, and then denied.
March 4 – God will transform the low tree into the tree of life.
March 11 – We hold fast to wisdom, as if it were the very tree of life.
• March 18 – The mustard bush is a tree of life only in a hidden way.
• March 25 – Love, joy, peace, patience… are fruits of the tree of life.

All are welcome to attend this five part Lenten series.

Transfiguration of Our Lord – SOV Bulletin – 021515

Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church
Sunday, February 15, 2015
Transfiguration of Our Lord
10:15 AM Holy Communion

Welcome to our guests and visitors!  All are welcome at communion who believe that Jesus is present in this meal.  Please sign our guest book and let us know if you’d like to subscribe to our email newsletter notification.

Our liturgy is from the “Light of Christ” booklet found in the back pocket of your hymnal, and is referenced as “LOC”.  Our songs today are from the Evangelical Lutheran Worship book and are numbered at the top of the pages. Continue reading Transfiguration of Our Lord – SOV Bulletin – 021515

SOV – December 17th – Advent Service

Wednesday, December 17th, 7:00 PM – Advent Service (a meditation on the verses of O Come, O Come Emmanuel)

O Come, O Come Emmanuel!

SOV Antiphons Image in Words

This is probably one of the most familiar hymns we sing during Advent.  But did you know that this hymn is centuries old, and that it is based on something called the O Antiphons? Continue reading SOV – December 17th – Advent Service

SOV – Easter Vigil Service

Easter Vigil Service

SOV - Easter Vigil ServiceThe Easter Vigil will be observed on Saturday of the Triduum. Starting from the outside fire, candles will be lit and brought into the sanctuary. Individual members of the Congregation are invited to adopt one of the scriptural readings from the salvation story and recount it with their own creative interpretation, e.g., as a dramatization, song, slides, or other approach, with participation of the gathered congregation. The service concluded with the story of the resurrection and Holy Communion.  Read More…

SOV – Good Friday Tenebrae Service

Good Friday Tenebrae Service

SOV -  Good Friday Tenebrae ServiceFrom its Latin roots, tenebrae suggests darkness and shadows. The Good Friday service offers participants the opportunity to contemplate the passion and death of Jesus through his atoning acts of both propitiation and bearing the price of taking on the sins of mankind. Using the eight Stations of the Cross as a frame work for the Scripture readings, meditations, and prayers, Jesus’ path along the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Sorrow, will be followed from Pilate’s Hall to His death on the cross. This contemplative journey is begun with the penitent’s prayer, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24).

Individual members of the congregation are invited to consider “adopting” a station, by contributing symbols and reading the scripture and meditation. The symbols might include art work, a photo, a newspaper or Good Friday Tenebrae Service, Concluded magazine clipping, and other things to touch, smell, hear, or feel. Such symbols might consider the perspectives both of the historical Jesus’ life and of the living Jesus’ life.    Read More…

SOV – Seder – Maundy Thursday Service

Triduum services include Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil on Saturday, and Easter Sunday.

Seder to Highlight Maundy Thursday Service

The Seder is the Jewish Passover meal that Jesus celebrated with his disciples in the upper room on the day that we Christians now call Maundy Thursday. Since 1993, we at Shepherd of the Valley have begun our Maundy Thursday observance by telling the story of the Jewish exodus and deliverance from slavery in Egypt. We follow a Haggadah, a narrative which combines the traditional ritual of the Seder with a focus on modern day examples of enslavement and freedom.

SOV - Sedar - Maundy Thursday ServiceThe table is laden with symbols. Candles represent the light God gave to his world. Fresh flowers, egg and parsley point to our hope of spring. Matzoh reminds us that the Jews had to flee in such a hurry that there was no time to allow the bread to rise. The roasted shank bone of a lamb symbolizes the sacrificial lamb’s blood that served as a sign for the Angel of Death to pass over the homes of Jews in Egypt.
Salt water is the tears of those in bondage. Charoset, a dish whose main ingredient is chopped apple, resembles the clay the Jews used to make bricks while yet slaves in Egypt.

After participating in the ritual meal of the Seder, we have a sumptuous potluck dinner. We conclude our Maundy Thursday celebration by offering bread and wine to the person next to us to fulfill Jesus’ commandment to his disciples at the Last Supper.

Children and guests are more than just welcome; they are an integral part of the retelling and celebration of the Passover.

Please consider joining us. We are looking for a few families to host a table. Janet Vesper will happily serve as a resource. There is a sign up sheet on the table in the vestibule or contact Janet Vesper at church, by phone 978-597-8605 or by email  Read More…