Weekly Connections

February 16, 2024

Join us in slowing down and walking with intention through the season of Lent.


8:15 a.m.  | Sanctuary
10:45 a.m. | Sanctuary + Livestream
This Sunday we will install the Church Council and commission the Call Committee during worship, Pr. Tim Anderson updates us on the ministries of Austin City Lutherans, and Bells and Choir will perform at the late service.

In need of special prayer? Stephen Ministers are available each week to pray with individuals during communion.

9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. | Gym
Come each Sunday morning and enjoy a hot breakfast!

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, February 18
9:30 a.m. | Butterfly Center

Pr. Tim Anderson, Director of Austin City Lutherans (ACL), keeps us abreast of ministry updates. He will focus on the food pantry and move-in ministry recipients and their affordability issues. Come learn how you can participate. Breakfast provided.

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
Meet upstairs!  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.

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. We’ll dive into Chapter 1 this week, but join us even if you haven’t read the chapter! Contact Pr. Lauren.


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

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.


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

Tonight, February 16
6:00 p.m. | Gym

We’ll have a pickleball tournament in the Gym.   We’ll gather at 6:00pm and determine teams and figure out how to play and we’ll go from there!  Come for any or all of the fun time. Contact Megan Getman.

Tomorrow, 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.

Monday, February 19
Bread for All Food Pantry

You know all that food your family gathered for Souperbowl of Caring? Take this Monday when the kids are out of school and show them where it went! Whether you arrive early and stock the shelves, or come later to help roll the food out, it’s a wonderful chance to see this impactful ministry in action. You do not need to stay for the whole shift. Go to Feb. 19 on the website calendar for all the info you need, or email Weldon Allison. with questions!

Wednesday, February 21

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

Wednesday, February 21
Noon + 6:00 p.m.  |  Gym
Beginning this week we will meet each Wednesday over a light meal (lunch or supper depending on the time), and 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.)

Sunday, February 25
Noon | Room 205

Shepherd of the Hills Care Team and Stephen Ministers invite you to lunch to meet and share with others who are experiencing grief or loss. Contact Rebecca Guengerich.

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.” Learn more and register now to save $$$ with our Early Bird discount. Only 60 tickets are available, friends are welcome! Contact Rebecca Guengerich.


2024 Summer Trip
Thanks to all who came out and made the Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras Pancake Youth Fundraiser Supper a great success! Close to $3500 was raised to help send 19 of our youth to the ELCA National Youth Gathering in New Orleans this summer. If you didn’t get a chance to come please consider participating by grabbing and filling one of the envelopes off the wall in the Gathering Space, or give online to the Youth Fund.
Contact Joel Timmons.

Benefitting Bread for All
Talk about manna from heaven! We doubled our Souperbowl of Caring goal in 2024 by asking for 2200 lbs of non-perishable food because the number of people being served every Monday by Bread for All Food has sadly doubled since last year. ShepHills and our community showed up in force, bringing in 3705 lbs of food, 2558 diapers, and 74 boxes of wipes, plus monetary donations. We asked Butterfly Preschool, Jazzercise, Troop 31, HEB Westlake, Trader Joe’s Westlake, and Twin Liquors Westlake to join us, and join us they did. Thanks to all for your unending generosity!

Jeanne Grevlos, Director of Butterfly Christian Preschool
It started with chapel…for each grade level, I set out two houses. With one, we emptied a grocery bag and counted 10 items! With the other home, the grocery bag was empty…NO FOOD. There was no food in that house. In each class, I asked how could we help the house with NO FOOD, find food. They knew! Share. Move some food over from one house to the next. And we did… continue reading


Next Sunday, February 28
Breakfast Hour + 10:45 Worship
Join us next Sunday to warmly welcome Eduarda Stein Christ, a sophomore biochemistry major from Brazil, who is attending Texas Lutheran University through the ELCA’s International Women’s Leaders program. Eduarda will be sharing her experiences and offering a unique perspective on global leadership development within the church community. Join her at the breakfast table or come to the 10:45 worship to learn, connect, and extend our hospitality to this special guest.

Glena Pfennig, TLU graduate and ShepHills liaison, writes:
As part of the ELCA International Leadership Development Program, IWL seeks to enhance
the capacity of the global church for mission and ministry. According to the website, the
program provides financial support and long-term academic training for established emerging
leaders in global companion churches and institutions.
The scholarship selection process is driven by the ELCA’s global companion churches, who
assess their current situations and goals to determine areas most in need of new, highly trained
leadership. The companion church selects and endorses candidates to receive scholarships.
Through her church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Confession in Brazil, Eduarda was
able to work with her companion church in Texas to obtain scholarships and funding to enroll at TLU. She has even created her own newsletter detailing her experiences as a TLU Bulldog
including her time in the chemistry lab and attending her first football game!

This Sunday, February 18, the Church Council and the Call Committee will be commissioned at both services. We are blessed by their work!

Last weekend the Church Council met for an overnight retreat and spent time planning, visioning, and dreaming for our future. What a team God has graced us with! Wondering what our goals as a church are? These are your people to ask. (pictured above, l-r) Joel Timmons, Beth Turman, Tamara Allen, Bill Dawson, Pr. Lauren Dow Wegner, Michael Watt, Bob Cannon, June Spann, John Robertson, Megan Hansen, Ted Powell, and Denise Seidel. 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.

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.

Sunday, March 3
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. | Room 205

Help Mariposa reach the ambitious goal of $80,000! Your participation and contributions will directly fund scholarships for children at Mariposa Family Learning Center, a ministry of Austin City Lutherans. Here’s all the information you need to sign up to play and/or donate. Contact Tom Grevlos, Mariposa Interim Director of Advancement.

Thursday, March 14
9:30 a.m. | Meet at Church to drive to Canyon Lake

Join Pr. Lauren and members of the Developing Missions Team for a tour of the New Life Center, a ministry of our ministry partner Upbring. This is an opportunity to witness the incredible work being done for young girls who have overcome immense challenges. Following the tour, we’ll share lunch, fostering discussions surrounding our involvement with this vital ministry. If you would like to join us, please email Dabney by March 1.

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

We pray for Bob Moore and Rodney Varner.

We pray for family and friends of Shepherd members:  Milton Volney, uncle of Debra Wissman; Wally Holmquist, brother of Mary Macauley; Pauline Krc, friend of Terrie Thomas.

We pray for Jan Burnight on the death of her friend, Layne Walls. May the hope and promise of resurrection bring comfort and peace to all who mourn.

God of peace, we pray for all victims of gun violence, especially those in Kansas City this week.  Draw near to those who suffer.  Give leaders wisdom and guidance.  Help us be instruments of peace.

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 of 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.