Weekly Connections

February 2, 2024

Celebrate your new life in Christ this Sunday at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, ELCA.


8:15 a.m.  | Sanctuary
10:45 a.m. | Sanctuary + Livestream
We’re excited to host special guests from Troop 31 at 10:45am on this last Sunday in Epiphany. Pastor Herb Palmer will be our guest preacher, the Choir will sing and Bells will ring at 8:15am, and Zae Apollo Johnson, son of Lacee Taylor Fortune and Hayward Johnson Jr., will be baptized at the late service in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!

8:15 + 10:45 a.m. Worship
For Transfiguration Sunday we welcome Aaron Lack and the Vibetet as they bring the sound of jazz to worship. This special musical treat is a perfect way to savor the last Sunday before the season of Lent begins.

9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. | Gym
In honor of Scout Sunday, come enjoy a hot breakfast of pancakes and bacon cooked by ShepHills’ BSA Troop #31. In addition to KP duty, the Troop will also showcase their scouting skills with live demonstrations and displays in the Gym during breakfast.

9:30 a.m.
 | Room 205 + Zoom
The Bible is a book that never grows old. This week we’ll discuss more of 2 Samuel. Contact Ruby Cadenhead.

SUNDAY’sCOOL (Toddlers thru Grade 4)
9:40 a.m. | Family Ministry Center
Kids learn about Jesus and his unconditional love through stories, activities, and song. Contact Megan Getman.

NEXTGEN (Grades 5-8, 9-12)
6:00 p.m. | Gym

Come grow your uniquely Lutheran faith through laughter, Bible discussions, and goofy games. Contact Joel Timmons.

Every Sunday
5:00 p.m. | Room 204
This fantastic group of people will gladly teach you to crochet the prayer shawls given at Baptisms and to those in need of comfort and prayer. Already know how? That works too! Contact Sharon Collins.

6:00 p.m. | Room 205

For the season of Lent, the NextGen Parent Group will engage in a book study of How to Talk so Teens will Listen and Listen so Teens will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. A reading schedule will be sent out soon, but join us even if you haven’t read the chapters! Contact Pr. Lauren.


Throughout the season of Lent, we will reflect on God’s promises: the promises of old found in the Old Testament, and the new promises God makes through Jesus Christ. To quickly find the information below when you are on the go, visit ShepHills.org/Lent.

Tuesday, February 13
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. |  Gym
Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras…whatever you call it…if you love pancakes, butter, and sticky fingers, this is your day! The youth and their helpers will be cooking up pancakes galore, sides to go with them, and the perfect opportunity to gather as a faith community. While you’re here, support the youth’s trip to the ELCA National Youth Gathering in New Orleans by grabbing an envelope from the Fundraising Wall and filling it with cash to help buy a tank of gas or a meal. Don’t panic, we take checks and credit cards and you can even give online. 😊
Can’t stay for dinner? Drop by and we’ll prepare a to-go box for you to take home to the family. Or fill out an order form ahead of time, and we’ll have it ready to go when you get here. Contact Joel Timmons.

Wednesday, February 14
6:30 a.m., Noon, + 7:00 p.m. |  Sanctuary
7:00 p.m.  |   Livestream
Come reconnect with the rich traditions of our faith on Ash Wednesday with this poignant worship marking the beginning of Lent. The ashes we receive on our foreheads symbolize our earthly mortality, as we are reminded of, and humbled by, the knowledge that it is through Christ that we are given eternal life.

Wednesdays, Feb 21 – Mar 20
Noon + 6:00 p.m.  |  Gym
Each week, over a light meal (lunch or supper depending on the time), we will engage in small group conversation about the ways we see God through everyday things. Guided discussion will help us consider the gifts of ordinary items that were part of Jesus’s journey to the cross: dust, bread, coins, shoes, and oil.  (Based on the book Lent in Plain Sight by Jill J. Duffield.)

As an ELCA church, we are called to do God’s work in local communities and the world by pursuing justice, peace, and human dignity for and with all people. Our special Lent offering is designated to the Lutheran ministries of ELCA World Hunger and Global Refuge (previously Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services). ELCA World Hunger supports sustainable solutions that get at the root causes of hunger and poverty. Global Refuge is the largest faith-based national nonprofit exclusively dedicated to helping restore a sense of home to immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees. You may contribute to this special offering anytime during Lent using the dedicated Lent/Easter Fund.

Lent offerings are collected on Ash Wednesday, Lent Wednesdays, Holy Week, and Easter.

Let Lifted Up in Love guide your journey through Lent with insights, reflections, and prayers inspired by Henri Nouwen’s teachings. Pick one up next Sunday in the Gathering Space.


Find more events like yoga, PALS, and pickleball, along with in-depth descriptions, on the website calendar at ShepHills.org/Events.

Sunday, Jan 21 – Sunday, Feb 11

Gathering Space
Let’s get giving! We have 355 lbs towards our goal of 2,200 lbs and we need your help! It’s the Souperbowl of Caring event benefitting Bread for All Food Pantry by gathering nonperishable food and diapers by February 11. Invite others to help by taking an extra bag and asking a friend, neighbor, or co-worker to join in supporting our neighbors in Southeast Austin. Click here if you would like to give financially.

Wednesday, February 6

7:30 a.m. | Zoom
10:00 a.m. | Room 205 + Zoom
Great reading, great discussion, TWO TIMES. Contact Pr. Lauren.

Saturday, February 10
9:00 a.m. | Room 205
Wednesday, February 14
1:00 p.m. | Room 205

Making quilts for Lutheran World Relief. You only need to know how to tie a knot. We will teach you the rest! We love sharing our passion for quilting with beginners. Join us!

Tuesday, February 13

6:00 – 7:30 p.m. | Gym
Learn about this event in the Lenten Season section above!

Wednesday, February 14
6:30 a.m. , Noon + 7:00 p.m. |  Sanctuary
7:00 p.m.  |   Livestream
Learn about this event in the Lenten Season section above!

Thursday, February 15
1:00 p.m. | Room 205 + Zoom

Shepherd of the Hills is offering a group providing support for all caregivers for people with short and long-term illnesses. If you care for someone in person or from a distance (child, spouse, parent, friend), we welcome you to join us. Click here for more information or contact Rebecca Guengerich.

Saturday, February 17
9:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. | Lakeway Church, Lakeway, TX

Just Sisters invites the women of Shepherd of the Hills for meaningful conversation about the racial injustices experienced by our Black brothers here in Austin: Black Men We See You: A Conversation Among Sisters. Join us as we bring women together in a compassionate dialogue that results in a changed culture of unity, love, and justice. Read more and register for this free event.

Sunday, February 18
9:30 a.m. | Gym

Interested in learning about our community of faith? Come join us during the breakfast hour for casual conversation as we get to know each other and answer questions you may have about life at Shephills Lutheran. Look for our table, we’ll have a sign! Please contact Ministry Coordinator Amanda Forsberg, or just come have a seat at our table.

Sunday, March 3
9:30 a.m. | Butterfly Center
A Stephen Minister Sponsored Education Hour

What Do You Say When….
What do you say when you hear someone say….My parent just died. I have cancer. I am
going through a divorce. My child is addicted. I have been laid off.
We all encounter those times at work, in the grocery store, or at sports events when we want to
offer the right words, yet we don’t know what to say.
Deb Darnell, a trained Stephen Leader, uses her training to offer comfort in situations such as
these. Often it isn’t what you say, but how well you listen. Join Deb to learn these simple tools,
used by Stephen Ministers, to offer healing and hope to those in despair.

Sunday, March 3
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. | East Side Paddle Club

Whether you’re a pickleball pro or just looking for a fun way to support a great cause, this tournament promises to be a day full of energy, community spirit, and friendly competition. Only 55 spots, so register today!

Saturday, April 13
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. | The Plant at Kyle, TX

If you have been unable to get away for a retreat for the entire weekend in the past, THIS IS
YOUR YEAR! We will gather for a one-day dive into “Roots of Grace: Our Connections to God’s Earth.” We will encounter the Divine through inspirational lessons with PL, play and creation with Amanda Land Palmer, and a guided nature tour with The Plant’s caretaker Martha Pinto. Registration coming soon!

Monday, July 22 – Friday, July 26
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. |
Register Today!
Camp Chrysalis staff will be bringing an action-packed week of games, crafts, special daily activities, sing-a-longs, Bible studies, and a dedicated giant water slide day. Invite your friends! The cost is $150 for the week, but if this is a barrier, please contact Megan Getman

Pick up this brochure summarizing our highlights in mission and ministry in 2023 and what we look forward to in 2024. Find it in the Gathering Space or online.

Read about the joyful moments and achievements of the past few months at Mariposa Family Learning Center, a ministry of Austin City Lutherans.

Your Church Council elected officers for 2024 at their January meeting.  We look forward to an exciting and fruitful year of ministry ahead with our gifted Council members and officer team: Chair – Michael Watt, Vice Chair –  Megan Hansen, Secretary- Ted Powell, Council members – Tamara Allen, Bob Cannon, John Robertson, Denise Seidel, June Spann, and Beth Turman.

The Church Council also approved the Call Committee for our next Associate Pastor.  We are grateful for this incredible team who will engage in intensive and faithful discernment in the coming months: Janice Benzel, Kristina Bishop, Bob Cannon, Kathy Gerhardt, Seth Hansen, Bob Haugen, Josh Norem, Pastor Lauren.

In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich. ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Giving online is a great way to stay current with your pledge or set up a recurring gift. Questions? Contact Finance Controller Kevin Marlow for help. Thank you for your continued support of our missions and ministries.

Don’t forget to check and make sure your online recurring giving is current with correct account info and recurring giving amounts add up to reflect your 2024 pledges and gifts. Here are the steps:

  • Log in to Realm,
  • Select “Connect”
  • Select “Giving”
  • On the far right, click “Manage Payment Methods”.  Make sure the account info is up to date (i.e. cards not expired)
  • Click on scheduled giving and make sure the amount matches the period of your recurring gift (weekly, monthly, etc.)and adds up to your pledge/gift.

Need help?  Contact Kevin Marlow – 512-327-3370, email kmarlow@shephills.org

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!

Special Donation Requests

In addition to regular items, Bread for All is requesting donations of peanut butter, cereal, oatmeal, sturdy paper bags with handles, and thick plastic bags (like the red or green ones from HEB). Contact Weldon Allison.

ShepHills donated 14,179 lbs of food in 2023 to BFA! Your plentiful donations of non-perishable food and diapers are needed this year more than ever. Last Monday, Bread for All served 144 families-more than double the number of families served in January of last year.

If you have a heart for service and a valid driver’s license, we invite you to be a part of our Meals on Wheels family! Drivers are needed for Wednesdays, once a month for one hour. To sign up or learn more, please contact Weldon Allison.

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

We pray for Rodney Varner, Bob and Judy Moore, and Courtney and Lars Hjaltman and family.

God of new life, we give thanks for the birth of Clifford Brougham Bevens, son of Allie Timmons-Bevens and Jack Bevens, nephew of Joel Timmons. We pray for Clifford to grow in faith, hope, and love throughout his life.

We pray in celebration for the baptism of Zae Apollo Johnson, son of Lacee Taylor Fortune and Hayward Johnson Jr., grandson of Rex and Sheila Fortune, great-grandson of Marie Fortune.

We pray for Bob Moore on the death of his cousin, Tim Aynesworth; and Diane Peterson and family on the death of her brother-in-law. Marlin Torgerson. Give peace and comfort to all who grieve, and may the promise of resurrection be our hope.

God of Unity, we thank you for the many different people and perspectives that fill your world and our lives each day.  We pray that our church may continue to live out and share the welcoming love of Jesus for all people.  As the root of conflict is so often misunderstanding and judgment of others, may we be instruments of your peace as you open our minds and hearts to see every person as your beloved.

Holy God, as war continues in the Holy Land, we lift to you prayers for peace and resolution. Draw near to the victims, and inspire leaders to seek your will and your guidance. 

Almighty God, you inspire and equip us to serve your people, both here in our community and around the world.  We thank you for our mission partners Austin City Lutherans and the ministries of Mariposa Family Learning Center and Bread for All.  We thank you for our partnership with Upbring Ministries. We are grateful to serve your people alongside Lutheran World Relief, Global Refuge, ELCA World Hunger, and other ministries across the world. We pray for our sister congregation in Aurora 8 de Octubre, Guatemala, and the ministry of ILAG.  We pray for the mission of Charis in Haiti.  We thank you for our Butterfly Christian Preschool and the many young minds and hearts that are formed in faith here.  May we be your hands and feet!

Would you like someone to pray alongside you during troubling times? Contact Rebecca Guengerich to find (or learn more about) a Stephen Minister who can travel with you on life’s sometimes bumpy road.

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