Weekly Connections

February 23, 2024

Join us for the second Sunday in Lent as we journey alongside Jesus!


In need of special prayer? Stephen Ministers are available each Sunday during communion for individuals in need of personal prayer.

8:15 a.m.  | Sanctuary
10:45 a.m. | Sanctuary + Livestream
Join us for the second Sunday in Lent as we reflect on God’s promises: the promises of old found in the Old Testament, and the new promises God makes through Jesus Christ. Choir sings at 10:45 a.m.

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

Unfortunately, Eduarda Stein Christ, a sophomore biochemistry major from Brazil attending Texas Lutheran University through the ELCA’s International Women’s Leaders program, will be unable to join us this Sunday. We are rescheduling and will keep you posted!

9:30 a.m.
 | Library + 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.

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.

NEXTGEN (Grades 5-8, 9-12)
No NextGen this week since the Confirmation Class and their leaders will be on retreat at Camp Ebert. Contact Joel Timmons.

We will not meet this week but keep reading How to Talk so Teens will Listen and Listen so Teens will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, and we’ll pick up where we left off. Contact Pr. Lauren.


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

Wednesday, February 28

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

Wednesday, February 28 (through March 20)
Noon + 6:00 p.m.  |  Gym
Wednesdays in Lent provide intentional time with God, making space to hear from Him as we engage over a light meal to sing, share scripture, and consider the gifts of ordinary items that were part of Jesus’s journey to the cross (based on the book Lent in Plain Sight by Jill J. Duffield). Each week is independent of the next, so if you missed this week, please join us next week for “Bread.”

Better Collaboration and Meaningful Relationships
Saturday, March 2
9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  |  Butterfly Center
Come gather for a workshop led by our former Associate Pastor, Pr. Beth Marie Halvorsen.  She and Jane Triplett, an Executive Coach, will help us learn ways to respond rather than react to situations that are surprising or difficult. Please register by this Sunday, February 25, so we can print a workbook for you. The registration link has detailed information about the workshop. Contact Rebecca Guengerich.

Sunday, March 3
9:30 a.m. | Butterfly Center
A Stephen Minister Sponsored Education Hour
How do you respond when you hear someone say….My partner 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
The Mariposa Pickleball Fun(d)Raiser is happening at East Side Paddle Club, a beautiful new facility with indoor courts. You can participate by playing and/or contributing. All proceeds go to bless children in SE Austin with an opportunity to learn and discover in a childcare environment of love. For more information please go to Mariposa’s website or contact Tom Grevlos

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 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.

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

Registration opens for our annual Family Advent Retreat at Camp Chrysalis in Kerrville on Friday, March 1!  For families who may be new to this retreat, we invite you to come!  It’s a weekend retreat in the hill country specifically designed for families with kids of all ages and it’s packed with fun. Each family gets a private room with a full bathroom in the quad cabins. Everyone is encouraged to register right away to ensure we all get in the first weekend in December (it fills up fast!). Beginning March 1, here’s what to do:
-Register at www.crosstrails.org
-Search Family Retreats at Camp Chrysalis
-Register for the Family Advent Festival Retreat(first wknd of Dec)
-Email Darcey at info@crosstrails.org if you need help. 
If you have questions or want to know more about what this retreat entails, feel free to reach out to Melissa Robertson or Pr. Lauren.

Saturday, March 23
10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. | Room 205

Come sew baby-receiving blankets for our LWR baby care kits! We’ll sew-cialize and have refreshments AND Mary McCauley will also demonstrate how to make a baby hooded cape, which is used instead of the hooded sweatshirts. Fabric and thread are provided, please bring your sewing machine! Contact Kathy Gerhardt.

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.


February is Black History Month, and the ELCA is sharing stories of Black Lutherans and ministries across the country.
-African Descent Ministries offers season three of Talks at the Desk, a video series that explores diverse expressions of the church. A new video premieres each Wednesday in February at 7:30 p.m. Central time — and the first three episodes, as well as past seasons, are available to watch.
-On livinglutheran.org find the series Black History Now, featuring interviews with Black Lutherans who reflect on the past, and celebrate that Black history is also happening now.

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 Bill Dawson for help. Thank you for your continued support of our missions and ministries.

We give God thanks for the ministry of Kevin Marlow, our Finance Controller, as he completes his work with us this week and retires on Feb 29.  We wish him the very best in this new phase of life with his wife, Clare, and their children & grandchildren!  Kevin’s dedicated and faithful work has enhanced our ministry of financial stewardship, and he will be missed.  

2024 Summer Trip
Thanks to all who came out and made the Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras Pancake Youth Fundraiser Supper a great success! So far $4000 has been 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.

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.

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

We pray for Rodney Varner, and Judy and Bob Moore.

We pray for family and friends of Shepherd members: Milton Volney, uncle of Debra Wissman; and Claire Zagrodzky, daughter of Vicki Matava.

We pray for Charlie Enochs and family on the death of his father, Jim Enochs, Jan Burnight on the death of her friend, Layne Walls, and Sharon Collins on the death of her cousin, Virginia Cummins. May the hope and promise of resurrection bring comfort and peace to all who mourn.

We pray for our Confirmation students: Isaac Bishop, Jonathan Davies, Sawyer Dertien, Luke Hansen, Alex Nuernberg, Andrew Nuernberg, Lillian Murray, Keaton Robertson, and Owen Wegner and chaperones:  Melissa Robertson and Joel Timmons during their retreat at Ebert Ranch. May their time be filled with joy and laughter, learning and growing in faith and discipleship, and in sacred time together.

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 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.