Weekly Connections

February 3, 2023

Come and bask in the warmth of God’s love this Sunday by participating in Sacred Stories with Whitney Myers, Worship, and a Special Congregational Meeting! Keep reading for more information, and start bringing your food for the Souper Bowl of Caring benefiting Bread for All!


8:15 a.m. | Sanctuary
10:45 a.m. | Sanctuary + Livestream
Last Sunday Pr. Tom read from the Beatitudes (here’s an excerpt from his message), illustrating that God’s blessings are already and always within us. This Sunday we continue with Matthew 5:13-20 and God’s wish for us to use those blessings to bring our light to the world!

9:15 a.m. | Activity Center
In need of a hot breakfast? Food for Fellowship will be serving from 9:15 – 10:15 a.m., and will also provide breakfast in the Fellowship Hall for those attending “Telling Our Sacred Stories.” Support this hospitality ministry and give online anytime by selecting the Fellowship Events/Breakfast Fund.

During Advent, several of us shared our stories about faith in short, touching videos. We’ll continue with more in Lent. Why are these stories so important? Come to “Telling Out Sacred Stories” this Sunday and learn more.

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 hosted by the Stephen Ministry Group. Learn more about Whitney and her work on her website.

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, come upstairs for a sensory workout as we learn about Jesus. Contact Megan Getman with questions.

Noon | Sanctuary + Zoom
( Meeting ID: 852 2300 6540 Passcode: 484242)
Please attend this Special Congregational Meeting following the late service. Your participation and vote in affirming the Pastoral Transition Plan are important as we move through the Pastoral Transition Process as a community. Childcare is provided, and those unable to attend in person may join the Zoom (use the link above, or check your email that Sunday) to participate and vote. If you have questions, please contact Nicholas Dertien, Council Chair, or Megan Hansen, Council Vice Chair.

*6:30 p.m. | Activity Center

Bible study and games for grades 5-12. Contact Joel Timmons, Student Ministry Coordinator.

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It’s “SUPER TO FOLLOW JESUS” Sunday at Shepherd of the Hills on February 12th!

  • A Super God who brings young and old together to worship and praise!
  • A Super God who provides super opportunities to learn through Bible Study, Sunday’s Cool, and NextGen!
  • A Super God who inspires generosity in our “Souper Bowl of Caring” befitting Bread for All Food Pantry!
  • A Super God who invites us to a delicious tailgate breakfast between services!
  • A Super God who invites us to live in community and welcome each other with Gather Us In!

Enjoy the Super Bowl game but don’t miss the Main Event on Super Sunday Morning!

Next Sunday, February 12

9:45 a.m. | Activity Center
Interested in learning about our community of faith? Join us for breakfast and conversation as we get to know each other and answer questions you may have about life at Shepherd. Please contact Ministry Coordinator Amanda Forsberg if you plan to join us.

Next Sunday, February 12

9:45 a.m. | Activity Center
Don’t sit on the sidelines, come support your team! This year we’re pitting HEB vs Randalls – two local favorites – which one will win? Start shopping, stock up on non-perishable goods and diapers, and bring them on or before Sunday, February 12. All proceeds go to Austin City Lutheran’s Bread for All Food Pantry. Grab a bag to fill on Sunday, or use your own. Monetary donations may be made here.


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

This Saturday, February 4
1:00 – 3:00 p.m. | Courtyard
Scout Troop 31 will be conducting a campus cleanup due to storm debris. We suffered a lot of tree damage and there is much to do. If you are able, your help would be greatly appreciated. If you have a chainsaw, please bring it!

Tuesday, February 7
7:00 p.m. | Zoom Meeting
One more chance to hear about plans for the upcoming Guatemala Trip (June 22-June 30) and ask us all the questions you have! This is a multi-generational trip (meaning your age doesn’t matter if you’re over 11) to build relationships with our ILAG ministry partners. Contact Joel Timmons.

Wednesday, February 8
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

Wednesday, February 8
1:00 p.m. | Rm 205

Saturday, February 11
9:00 a.m. | Rm 205

Time to get started on those senior quilts! Please come lend a hand- we have quite a few students graduating this year. Contact Linda Fiandaca.

Saturday, February 11
8:00 a.m. |
Activity Center
Good eats, good conversation, good men, and a great way to find your community. Contact Weldon Allison.

Sunday, February 19
Noon | Family Ministry Center, Rm 205

Grief is experienced with any loss, not just the death of a loved one. Grief can be experienced with any life transition such as job or school changes, retirement, breaks in relationships or children leaving home, illness, or family conflict. If you experience feelings of profound loss, distress, anger, depression, guilt, or pain, consider dropping into our group. Please R.S.V. P. to Rebecca Guengerich, Spirituality and Wellness.

6 Days a Week!
Activity Center + Remote Access through Vimeo Live and Recorded

Jazzercise is a combination of aerobic exercise, HIIT cardio, and dance fitness safe and effective for all ages and fitness levels. Try a class today! To receive a Mailchimp summary email each week, or daily text messages reminding us about the times and instructors for each class, contact Barbara Pereira, by email or text/call (512) 806-1412. If you have questions, ask ShepHills member Anita Knight about the program!


“This is My Story, This is My Song” During Lent we will look for the intersections of God’s Story and our story, revealing Jesus in his full humanity. Join us for Sunday Worship and Wednesday Mid-Week as we create space for story-telling focusing on the personal encounters we have had with Jesus on our journeys thus far.

Sunday, February 19
Pick up a devotional and prepare your heart during this important season of reflection. Find them in the Gathering Space.

Tuesday, February 21
6:00-7:30 p.m. | Activity Center

Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras…whatever you call it…if you love pancakes, butter, and sticky fingers, this is your day! Find more info here, you can even put in an order to-go!

ASH WEDNESDAY, February 22
This service, with the Imposition of Ashes, marks the beginning of Lent as we surrender our old life for a new life in Christ. Choose a time that works for you.
6:30 a.m. | Sanctuary
Noon | Sanctuary followed by a soup lunch in the Activity Center
7:00 p.m. | Sanctuary + Livestream begins with a soup dinner at 6:00 p.m. in the Activity Center.

SUNDAY WORSHIP, February 26 – March 26
8:15 a.m. | Sanctuary
10:45 a.m. | Sanctuary + Livestream

Noon | Sanctuary followed by a soup lunch in the Activity Center
7:00 p.m. | Sanctuary + Livestream begins with a soup dinner at 6:30 p.m. in the Activity Center.


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.

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

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!

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!

Every Monday
Noon-3:00 p.m. | Preparation Shift

3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. | Preparation Shift
4:30 p.m.-6:45 p.m. | Distribution Shift
Choose a time and come help Austin City Lutherans’ Bread for All Food Pantry, serving Southeast Austin. No need to sign up ahead of time! This is a perfect activity for families, retirees, or anyone with spare time and a big heart. The pantry operates out of Faith Presbyterian Church, 1314 E. Oltorf. Please contact Weldon Allison with any questions!

You can also donate food! Bring non-perishable items and diapers to the collection bins located in the Gathering Space on Sundays or in the courtyard on Saturdays from 9-11:00 a.m.

Altar Flowers are given by Pete Forsberg in honor of his wife Amanda Forsberg for her birthday.

If you would like to place flowers on the altar in memory of a loved one or in celebration of a special occasion, you can sign up here!


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: Marie Lindstrom, sister of Linda Fiandaca; Linda and Tom Ferris, sister and brother-in-law of Jennifer Arndt; Carmen Nuernberg, mother of Peter Nuernberg; Glenda Rumble, cousin of Terrie Thomas; Sophie Ahumada, granddaughter of Nader and Debra Ayoub.

We give thanks for the birth of Viola Ruth Theard, daughter of Kafuki Dogale-Theard and Aaron Theard, sister of Apollo. We pray blessings on Viola as she grows, and on her whole family as they surround her in love.

God, we lift up to you our Austin area community after the winter storm this week.  For those who have been without power and other necessities, and for the distress this creates, we pray for your peace and strength.  For work crews and emergency responders who have tended to the needs of the community, we give you thanks.  For the tree limbs and branches we have watched fall under the weight of ice, we pray for renewed creation and for swift recovery efforts.  Use us as your salt and light in the world, helping others and sharing your love.

Merciful and Loving God, as war and violence rages in Ukraine and other parts of the world, we pray that leaders of the world will practice peace-making, bringing together people of every tribe and race under the umbrella of your amazing grace.

We pray for the communities recently traumatized by mass shootings. We pray for the end of senseless violence, including the violence of abuse, the violence of words that spread lies and destroy reputations, and the violence of attitudes toward other people who are different than ourselves.

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.