Loaves and Fishes Food Collection – December 18

~ Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry’s Holiday Distribution ~

Loaves & Fishes-LogoNow that Thanksgiving is just past we are gearing up for Christmas of course! In our quest as a church family to always support our community, we will once again be providing food for Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry’s Holiday distribution
which will take place at the pantry on Monday December 18th. Please consider contributing to this drive by bringing to church items for this special Holiday Distribution. Continue reading Loaves and Fishes Food Collection – December 18

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

From Our Pastor – September 2017

~ From Our Pastor ~

I want you to know, beloved, that what has happened to me has actually helped to spread the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to everyone else that my imprisonment is for Christ; and most of the brothers and sisters, having been made confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, dare to speak the word with greater boldness and without fear. Some proclaim Christ from envy and rivalry, but other from goodwill. These proclaim Christ out of love, knowing that I have been put here for the defense of the gospel; the others proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but intending to increase my suffering in my imprisonment. What does it matter? Just this, that Christ is proclaimed in every way, whether out of false motives or true; and in that I rejoice. Philippians 1:12-18

Dear Flock of the Shepherd of the Valley,

The group who studies Greek New Testament on Wednesday mornings is about to begin Paul’s letter to the Philippians. This is one of several letters he wrote from prison and it is also one of his most joyful. Paul has very little to correct them about, although he does throw in some unsolicited advice. His joy is in the fact that Christ is becoming made known. He doesn’t even mind that one’s motives may not be the purest when proclaiming Christ. He is just happy that word is getting out! I guess he falls in the “all publicity is good publicity” camp. Continue reading From Our Pastor – September 2017

SOV Family Friendly Summer Events – August 2017

SOV Family Friendly Summer Events – Consider joining us for these family events

Hotdogs and “The Wizard of Oz”

Friday, August 18, 6 p.m.—9 p.m., at the GrangeSOV - Movie Night
Enjoy a light dinner of hotdogs and chips at 6 p.m., with the movie to follow. There will be a facebook event for rsvping or you can call SOV at 978-540-0SOV.

Picnic at Mirror Lake – Sunday, August 20

SOV Picnic - August 20th - Mirror LakeCome and enjoy a relaxing afternoon at Mirror Lake. There is swimming, sand for the little ones and lots of shade. Bring a lawn chair, a drink and a sandwich. You may bring a snack or sweets to share, but this is optional.

Mirror Lake charges an entrance fee, but in order to make it easier to invite friends and family, SOV is covering the fee. Make sure to sign in to the SOV Log at the check-in table. Parking is up the hill from the beach, but you are able to drive down to drop off things and then go back up to park. Please ask anyone with an SOV baseball cap if you need a ride back down! This is a laid back afternoon with rest and companionship—bring friend/s!! What a nice way to end the summer!!

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

Wednesday Evening Mini-Series – 2017

Follow Jesus: The Light of the World 5 weeks beginning June 7 through July 5

Jesus is the Light of the World

Come for a light supper at 6:45 p.m. and join dis-cussion around five scripture passages that talk about Jesus lighting up dark places (this summer’s Vacation Bible School theme).  We will wrap up this informal group conversation and prayer time around 8:00 p.m.

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