SOV 2017 Christmas Event for Children

Follow the Christmas Star!
A FREE Christmas Event for Children and Their Families at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, Saturday, December 2nd, 9:30-11:30 am

Follow the Christmas Star!Looking for a great way to start the Christmas/Advent season with your kids?  On Saturday morning, December 2nd, children dressed as sheep will join their parents (dressed as shepherds) and flock to “Bethlehem” to witness the birth of Jesus, as they participate in a dramatic re-telling of the Christmas story, acted and narrated by Shepherd of the Valley adults and youth.  The children will also enjoy singing Christmas carols, making star-shaped Christmas crafts, and munching star-themed goodies. Continue reading SOV 2017 Christmas Event for Children

From Our Pastor – November 2017

~ From Our Pastor ~

Jesus said, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” – John 7:31-32

Dear Flock of the Shepherd of the Valley,

What does it mean to continue in Jesus’ word? To be Jesus disciples? What is truth? What does it look like to be free?

Answers to these questions (perhaps even more questions that rise out of these questions) are not the same for everyone. It would be much easier if they were. And some of us may have been raised to believe that there is some absolute truth and one way to continue in Jesus’ word. Some of us may equate the freedom of which Jesus speaks with the freedom promised by our nation. I know this is the way I was raised. The combination of voices coming from home and family, church, school, advertisement, media, journalism all culminated in this kind of message: Just believe in Jesus and it will all work out for you. And by “working out” I understood that to mean that I could accomplish anything if I just tried hard enough. Continue reading From Our Pastor – November 2017

SOV Blessing of the Animals – 2017

GROTON — Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church (SOV) will hold its annual Blessing of the Animals worship service at 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 1st, at Helene’s Stables, 485 Martin’s Pond Road, Groton, MA (rain or shine).

Bring your own animals and your own seating. All are Welcome!

SOV Blessing of the Animals

SOV – Grotonfest 2017

SOV - Grotonfest 2017

SOV at Grotonfest 2017

Grotonfest,a free annual outdoor festival, with more than 150 business, non-profit and artisan booths, all kinds of amazing food and much more, will take place Saturday, September 23rd (rain date is September 24th).

We will be sharing information about SOV, offering giveaways, and doing children’s games and crafts.

There are many ways you can participate. Click on the following link to sign up: https://www.volunteersignup.org/EHQXE

 

 

From Our Pastor – August 2017

Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning home; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. Then the Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go over to this chariot and join it.’ So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ He replied, ‘How can I, unless someone guides me?’ And he invited Philip to get in and sit beside him. (Acts 8:27-31)

Dear Flock of the Shepherd of the Valley,

Many congregations identify themselves as welcoming communities. Some have signs that say “All Are Welcome” or sing songs with the same message. Scripture is full of references of God welcoming everyone and a lot of communities of faith strive to live this out. At the same time, personal anecdotes of not feeling welcomed abound. Sometimes these stories describe an explicit message of not belonging – a single, young adult who only hears events announced which cater to families with children, a person in a same-gender committed relationship who hears a sermon condemning homosexuality, a child in a wheelchair who cannot join in the games the other kids are playing, a person of a different Christian denomination who is denied communion. Continue reading From Our Pastor – August 2017

From Our Pastor – July 2017

Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 4:10-11)

Dear Flock of the Shepherd of the Valley,

It is said that the first year a pastor is with a congregation she can do no wrong. The second year, she can do nothing right. This hyperbolic saying has already been proven wrong in our case as I have made more than a few missteps in our first year together. Looking ahead, I hope I manage to get something right during this second year! What has been clear though is that through whatever happens to SOV, we are in this together. And when individuals and families discern that this community of faith is no longer a fit for where they are in their journey, our prayers and support go with them. At the same time God continues to bring new faces through the doors of the Grange and for those who seek an active role in a faith community are finding a home here. Thanks be to God! Continue reading From Our Pastor – July 2017

From Our Pastor – June 2017

Jesus gives us hope, courage, direction, love and power. – Cave Quest VBS daily themes

Dear Flock of the Shepherd of the Valley,

As we near our first year anniversary together, I yearn for some time to reflect on all that has happened since last summer. Often the charge of writing this letter to you for the newsletter offers me this kind of space. This month though I’m feeling the crunch of moving out of our old house and into our new one. I’m working with people to plan sum-mer happenings like VBS and the middle school mission trip. I’m experiencing the transi-tion of new leadership on the congregation council. And I’m helping to shepherd the pro-cess of exploring the possibility for a new space to call home with the Federated Church in Ayer. Continue reading From Our Pastor – June 2017

From Our Pastor – May 2017

“Be still, and know that I am God” – Psalm 46:10

Dear Flock of the Shepherd of the Valley,

In the office area of my house, to the left of my desk, I have a professionally framed callig-raphy piece with this verse from Psalm 46. This is the psalm upon which Martin Luther’s most famous hymn “A Mighty Fortress is our God” is based. The imagery in the whole psalm is quite tumultuous, including earth-shattering events and warring nations. God is described as a refuge and strength and as exalted. All of these characteristics are a re-sponse to trouble all around. The response of the psalmist Is not to fear. The role of God is to be present. Our role in the midst of turmoil is to be still and to know that God is God. Continue reading From Our Pastor – May 2017

From Our Pastor – April 2017

“But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.” – Luke 24:1-5

Dear Flock of the Shepherd of the Valley,

“Why do you look for the living among the dead?” This question has been rattling around in my head since I began thinking about what to write for this April news-letter. It’s not from the version of the resurrection story that we will hear this Easter but it is nagging at me nonetheless. I’m writing this on the second day of spring. During this time, it’s easy to start seeing signs of life in the tips of bulbs pushing through the ground and even snow, buds emerging on tree branches and the varied songs of birds. We can look for the living among the dead. Continue reading From Our Pastor – April 2017

From Our Pastor – March 2017

From the Pastor

‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’
– Matthew 6:19 – 21

Dear Flock of the Shepherd of the Valley,

On Ash Wednesday (March 1st) we will join together with Union Congregational Church and Christian Union Congregation. We will share some simple food together and then worship together. This worship service invites us into the season of Lent – preparation for the Easter celebration of Christ’s resurrection! The passage above is the end of the gospel reading for that day. Prior to these words, which are a continuation of the Sermon on the Mount which have been the gospel readings for the past few Sundays, Jesus instructs those listening about acts of piety. Specifically, he talks about giving alms, prayer and fasting. He tells them how to do these things in ways that lead to rewards from God, our Father in heaven. Continue reading From Our Pastor – March 2017