Pastor’s Post for Sunday August 14th!!


Grace and peace to you and yours from God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!

This Sunday August 14 we gather for the Shepherd of the Valley 50th Anniversary Celebration Picnic on the church grounds from 4:00-6:00 pm. The 50th anniversary team has worked very hard to organize this event so that it is a time of food, fun, and fellowship for everyone. Please invite your friends and family to join you on the lawn at the church, bring a side or dessert dish to share, and a say a little prayer for good weather.  There will be a bouncy house for children and the Reams family singers from Zion Lutheran in Corvallis will share their Blue Grass and Gospel musical talents including some sing-a-longs.

In order for the picnic to be a fun celebration for everyone it was decided to use the Cross+Gen Sunday School time this Sunday 10:30-11:30 AM for setting up, so stay if you can after worship and fellowship and lend a hand – many hands make light work. Just to be clear, we will have the regular worship service this Sunday with Holy Communion at 9:00 AM. 

I want to thank Thrivent Financial for Lutherans for financially supporting the school back pack mission project this past week for needy students. Thanks to their support back packs filled with school supplies will be available to needy students at Linus Pauling Middle School when they start school. I am not sure how many back packs were filled by the volunteers last Sunday, but it was a bunch. I am guessing at least fifty. Katy Trautman, who spearheaded the effort, and I, delivered the back packs to Love INC offices last Monday and they were delighted to receive them. They even took our picture for their Facebook page.  So let me say a heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped with this project for reaching out to children in need in our community. It may interest you to know that there are about 150 homeless students in the Corvallis School District alone according to published statistics.

Our Transition Team has begun meeting weekly on Mondays this month and is making good progress toward completing its tasks. Thanks to those serving on the team: Bill Randall, Jennifer Klammer, Nichole Havranek, Katy Trautman, Jay McDougal, Rob Durbin and myself. We have reviewed the history of the congregation, had much discussion about the ups and downs of the life of the congregation, a draft statement brief statement summarizing, has been written, and a “SWOT Analysis” (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) has been completed. I really appreciate the fact that this team has had many frank discussions about Shepherd of the Valley and continues to learn from each other in every meeting. Next week we will be working on the self-study document for the Northwest District and we will be completing a group assessment of the traits the team feels are most important in a new settled pastor’s ministry.

We are still struggling to figure out what our “missional responsibility” is toward campus ministry at OSU. Last week I had a conference call with Pastor Marcus Zill who is with LCMS Lutheran Campus Ministries and himself is a campus pastor. I was surprised when he told me that no LCMS congregation is registered with LCMS Campus Ministries in the state of Oregon. So I registered our congregation so that college students search on the LCMS website for a church with which to connect while a student at OSU will find our congregation and its website.  If you have a heart for young people I would invite you to set aside Saturday, August 27, 9:00-4:00 to attend the workshop we are hosting on behalf of “Transforming Campus Ministries.”

This Sunday in worship the preaching focus will be on the relevance of the Prophet Jeremiah and his message for our own day and time. Jeremiah is sometimes referred to as the weeping prophet, and that for a good reason. God gave him message no one wanted to hear, and when he did deliver it, the people of ancient Jerusalem tried to shut him up. We actually have more info about the life and personal experiences of Jeremiah in the Bible than any other prophet. I hope to see you in worship this Sunday and at the picnic Sunday afternoon.

God’s blessings!

Pastor Joe Hughes
Voice & text:  217-898-9063