Weekly Connections

January 13, 2023

Join us Sunday, and every day, as we walk in Christ’s light and live out the truth of grace, mercy, and love.


8:15 | Sanctuary
10:45 a.m. | Sanctuary + Livestream
“Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29
Our Epiphany Message Series I Saw the Light! continues this Sunday. How blessed we are to be drawn to the light of God!

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. | Family Ministry Area

Calling all toddlers thru 4 grade, we are back upstairs and ready to go! Contact Megan Getman with questions.

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!

*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!

Beginning this week!

Take a peek at what Ignite! is up to by watching these short trailers, and if you like what you see, fill in the form beneath the video clips, and let’s find you a group! Contact Pr. Tom

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

Start the year off right by investing in your friendships! Pr. Tom will lead a conversation on the impact of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on our nation’s history. Contact Weldon Allison.

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.

Monday, January 16
A great way to celebrate Dr. King is through a day of service. Here are some ideas to help plan your day, or go serve at Bread for All!

Wednesday, January 18
7:30 a.m. | Early Riser’s Study on Zoom
10:00 a.m. | Late Riser’s Study in the Library + Zoom

Gather with others to dive into Scripture! Both are Pastor-led. Contact Pr. Lauren or 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.

Thursday, January 19

7:00 p.m. | Zoom
Bring yourselves, bring your friends, and bring your family on a trip to the Holy Land. We will answer all your questions at this meeting about the trip hosted by Pr. Tom and Jeanne on November 8-17, 2023. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to walk where Jesus walked and experience the great adventure of faith. The registration deadline is February 1, 2023. Contact Pr. Tom.


7:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 24 | Sanctuary + Zoom Webinar
9:30 a.m. Sunday, January 29 | Sanctuary + Zoom Webinar

We knew the time would come, but it is hard to believe 10 years have passed so quickly. We are extremely grateful for the leadership and love Pr. Tom has shared with us. If you have not received the recent communications regarding Pr. Tom’s planned transition at the end of 2023 and Church Council Leadership’s proposal to move forward with a plan of succession to call Pr. Lauren as Lead Pastor, please take a moment to read this letter. Then join us at a Q+A session to discuss goals, processes, and timelines. Bring your questions, your participation is important!

Friday Evening, January 27

Pastor Tim Anderson, Director of Austin City Lutherans, invites you to participate in the “Point in Time” count on Friday evening, January 27. The PIT event tabulates a count of unhoused persons in Austin and Travis County, an important marker as agencies and non-profits work together to reduce homelessness in our community. Contact Pastor Tim at tca.blueocotillo@gmail.com for more info or to sign up to volunteer. Thanks!


Tuesday, January 31
5:15am | FUMC Family Life Center, 1300 Lavaca St.

Calling all early risers! Shepherd of the Hills continues to volunteer at Feed My People on the fifth Tuesday of the month, join us! Here’s a link to the sign-up with all the information. Feel free to contact Weldon Allison if you have any questions.

Sunday, February 5
9:30 a.m. | Butterfly Center Fellowship Hall

Whitney Myers, founder of Sacred Stories, personal historian, and member at St. Martin’s Lutheran Church will share the importance of telling our sacred stories, for the sake of healing and hope. Together we will explore different narrative practices that promote personal growth and the strengthening of relationships. Old, young, in between-we all have stories worth sharing. Join us for this special time. Learn more about Whitney and her work on her website.


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. Read more about Megan and her position here.

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.

Our Christmas Eve offering of $17,904.88 will go to support our ministry partner Upbring. 100% of your generosity goes to Upbring’s New Life Center in Canyon Lake and BeReal Program in Austin/San Marcos. Thank you for being a community that cares for God’s children!

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. It’s easy to make a pledge online or ask the front office for a pledge card. 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. We currently have 148 households participating.  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!

Come help out at Austin City Lutherans’ Bread for All Food Pantry, serving the community of Montopolis. New volunteer shifts have been added, and there is no need to sign up ahead of time. Shifts are every Monday from Noon-3:00pm, 3:00-4:30pm, and 4:30-6:45pm. Learn more about what happens at each shift here.

You can also help by donating non-perishable food. 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 items 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.


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, Callie Ray Bell and Jane Tackett.

We pray for family and friends of Shepherd members: Adryana Aldeen, Director of Advancement at Mariposa; Jim Enochs, father of Charlie Enochs; Jim Butler, father of Katie Eckermann; Marie Lindstrom, sister of Linda Fiandaca; Laura Ashford, friend of Dabney Gomes.

We pray for Laura Hills on the death of her aunt, Millie Strand Kramer.  Surround all who mourn with the peace and promise of resurrection.

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 those attending the Mother Daughter Retreat at Camp Lutherhill next weekend:   Kristina and Lila Bishop and Joyce Flachmeier; Christine Stern-Calvo and Alicia Calvo; Katie and Sophie Eckermann and Meg Butler; Kristen, Lillian, and Evelyn Murray; Melissa, Keaton, and Natalie Robertson; Pastor Lauren and Caroline Wegner; Sonya, Ellie, and Adalie Wilson.  May their relationships be strengthened, and may the love of God be felt in the beauty of nature, community, and time set apart to be together.

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, and 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.


Catch up on what you might have missed by reading last week’s Weekly Connections by clicking here.