Weekly Connections

January 6, 2023

The Season of Epiphany is here! Join us for worship that uplifts the Light of the World to shine brightly in our lives!


8:15 | Sanctuary
10:45 a.m. | Sanctuary + Livestream
And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. ~Matthew 3:16
This Sunday we celebrate the Baptism of Jesus and affirm our intention to continue in the covenant made with God at our own baptism!

9:15 a.m. | Activity Center
Food for Fellowship offers up breakfast on Sundays until 10:15 a.m. Support this ministry and give online anytime by selecting the Fellowship Events/Breakfast Fund.

9:45 a.m.
| Library + Zoom
Great discussions of the Good Book. Contact Ruby Cadenhead for more information.

9:45 a.m. | Activity Center

Bring the whole family and let’s eat breakfast together while we catch up on what we did over Christmas Break! Contact Megan Getman with questions.

After Late Worship

All we need is 15 minutes and lots of helping hands! Please stay and help take down the wreaths and garlands, we’ll have the tubs to put them in ready to go in the Gathering Space. Thank you!

*6:30 p.m. | Activity Center

*Note the new time! Bible study and games for grades 5-12. Contact Joel Timmons, Student Ministry Coordinator.


Check the calendars on Realm or the website for a complete list of events including Pickleball, PALS, Yoga, and more!

Resumes this Wednesday, January 11
7:30 a.m. | Early Riser’s Study on Zoom
10:00 a.m. | Late Riser’s Study in the Library + Zoom

Two times, same great study! Both are Pastor-led. Contact Pr. Lauren or Pr. Tom with questions.

Wednesday, January 11
1:00 p.m. | Rm 205

Saturday, January 14
9:00 a.m. | Rm 205

Creative and crafty? Come introduce yourself and help us tie quilt tops for Lutheran World Relief. No experience is needed! Contact Ruth Felger.

Saturday, January 14
8:00 a.m. | Activity Center

Start the year off right by investing in your friendships! Contact Weldon Allison.

Sunday, January 15
Noonish | Rm 205

The Shepherd of the Hills Care Team and Stephen Ministers invite you to gather for lunch to meet and share with others who are experiencing grief. The new year awaits, and your community at ShepHills will be here to support you on your grief journey. Please invite others who may be interested in attending.

We ask that you RSVP to Rebecca Guengerich by January 13 so that we have enough food!

Registration Deadline February 1, 2023
Walk where Jesus walked and experience the great adventure of faith on this fantastic Holy Land trip, hosted by Pr. Tom and Jeanne on November 8-17, 2023. Friends and family are welcome! Find brochures in the Gathering Space or contact Pr. Tom.

Registration Begins Noon on January 18
Go online beginning January 10 and choose from 66 classes that start the week of February 13. Most classes meet once a week for 8 weeks. These classes will be held at ShepHills: Ancient History of the West World on Tuesday afternoons; Estate Planning, Probate, and Guardianship Process on Wednesday mornings; and Entomology-Get to Know the Insects on Friday mornings.


We are excited to announce that Megan Getman has joined our staff as part-time Children’s Ministry Coordinator (Interim)!  We are thrilled about this addition to our faith formation ministry and all the gifts that Megan brings.

Megan “officially” joined our congregation a year ago and has been involved in various congregational groups for several years. She has been serving as our Sunday School Superintendent this year and has already been doing a lot of tasks related to children’s ministry. Megan brings a host of gifts and experience to this position.  She is extremely dependable, creative, trustworthy, independent yet team-minded, loves children & families, and has previous experience as the full-time Director of Children’s Ministries at Westlake United Methodist Church.  

In conversation with Megan, the Personnel Team, and Church Council, we have offered her this 10-15 hour/week position so that she can continue doing what she already does–and more!  Megan will be responsible for shepherding and leading all of the children’s ministry, which includes birth through 4th graders and their families.  You’ll probably also see her in worship leading some children’s messages, as well as on Sunday mornings leading our Sunday School ministry. 

With the addition of Megan to our staff, and along with Joel Timmons continuing as Student Ministry Coordinator, we’ll be able to continue momentum in both youth & children’s ministries under their solid, faithful leadership. 

Be sure to introduce yourself to Megan when you see her on Sunday mornings!  We will introduce her to the congregation this Sunday, January 8 during both worship services!

New Year! New You! Same God! Re-engage your faith by joining an Ignite! Small Group today. Contact Pr. Tom for help finding a group whose time and location works for you. Our upcoming study centers on Signs and Wonders: A Beginner’s Guide to the Miracles of Jesus, where Amy-Jill Levine explores selected miracles of Jesus in historical and theological context. For each miracle, she discusses not only how past witnesses would have understood the events, but also how today’s readers can draw meaning from Jesus’s words and actions. Pre-purchased copies of “Signs and Wonders” for Ignite group members are now available outside the Sanctuary doors for the next three Sundays. A $10 donation per book is requested.

The Church office will be closed Monday, January 16 in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and Thursday, January 19 for an all-day staff retreat.


Dear Shepherd of the Hills,

I want to extend a heartfelt thank you for so generously blessing the children at Upbring this past Christmas season. You all were able to provide gift cards to 25 BeREAL young adults; bless 20 children in foster care with Christmas gifts; and provide gifts and Christmas goodies for our young women at New Life Children’s Center. Thank you for providing these children with extra special blessings this Christmas!

As Christians, we are called to defend and care for the oppressed, the fatherless, and the widow (Isaiah 1:17). Thank you for using your gifts, talents, and resources, to show love, care, and kindness to the children at Upbring. You all are the hands and feet of Jesus.

I pray that you all had a blessed Christmas season! On behalf of everyone at Upbring, along with the children and families we serve, thank you for being so incredibly generous.

God’s blessing,
Katie Evans, Manager of Church and Community Relations for Upbring


Giving is an expression of joy and gratitude for the bounty of God’s goodness! There are so many ways to give-both financially and through serving.

In 2022, Bread for All Food Pantry served a record number of 14,875 Austinites experiencing food insecurity. Please help care for our neighbors by bringing non-perishable food items and diapers to the collection bins located in the Gathering Space on Sundays and in the courtyard on Saturdays from 9-11am. Special needs this week are dried pinto beans, canned pinto and black beans, peanut butter, brown paper bags, and diapers.

It’s not too late! Begin your new year by responding in gratefulness. Please prayerfully consider giving in support of our Mission and Ministry Fund and/or Facilities and Campus Care Fund for 2023 if you have not yet done so. Use a printed pledge card found in the hymnal holders in the Sanctuary, or make a pledge online. Thank you for helping us do God’s work in the world!

Keeping current with your pledged or regular giving has never been easier because you can do it all online!

Please consider a gift to the Beyond Capital Fund Appeal as part of your finance and tax planning.  The more we collect early, the less we pay later!  Learn more about Beyond here.

Serving is a great way to give back and get to know others in our community. Whether you are interested in serving locally, being part of a global mission, or volunteering to help in a variety of ways on Sundays, we have a place for you!


In need of prayer? Please contact a pastor to be put on the prayer list.

Would you like someone to pray alongside you during troubling times? Contact a Stephen Minister who can travel with you on life’s sometimes bumpy road.

We pray for Rodney Varner and Callie Ray Bell.

We pray for family and friends of Shepherd members: Adryana Aldeen, Director of Advancement at Mariposa; Jim Enochs, father of Charlie Enochs; and Jim Butler, father of Katie Eckermann.

We pray for Rebecca Guengerich on the death of her cousin, Jim Nestingen.  Surround all who mourn with the peace and promise of resurrection.

We pray for John Turman on the death of his uncle, Cliff Gustafson. Surround all who mourn with the peace and promise of resurrection.

We pray for the people of Ukraine caught in the middle of war and violence. Our hearts break when women and children are displaced and families torn apart by the evil actions of others. May you break open hearts so that swords may be beat into plowshares, spears into pruning hooks.

We pray for our global ministry partners: Rev. Karen Castillo in Guatemala; Iglesia Luterana Augustina Virgen del Rosario, Aurora 8 de Octubre, Guatemala. We pray for Malcolm and Joy Henderson and the ministry of CHARIS in Haiti. 

We pray for our local ministries: Mariposa Family Learning Center, Bread For All, and Upbring Ministries.

We pray for our faith community, that we may be a church without walls and live out loud…faithfully!

*Prayers for family and friends are listed for 2 weeks, unless we are notified otherwise.