Weekly Connections

May 19, 2023

Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. John 17:11


8:15 a.m. | Sanctuary
10:45 a.m. | Sanctuary + Livestream
Sunday is Graduation Sunday. Come be a part of the community that will bless and empower our High School seniors for the next chapter of their life journey. Scroll to the end of this post to see the list of college, high school, and preschool graduates you submitted to us.

9:15 a.m.| Activity Center
Food for Fellowship serves breakfast every Sunday beginning at 9:15 and ending at 10:15 a.m. 

9:30 a.m.
 | Library + Zoom
Great discussions of the Good Book. Contact Ruby Cadenhead for more information.


Next Sunday, May 28
8:15 a.m. | Sanctuary and 10:45 a.m. | Sanctuary + Livestream

Come be lit by the fire of the Holy Spirit. Wear yellow, red, and/or orange (fire colors!) as we celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit onto the Apostles who then went forth to being the church.

June 4
WORSHIP @ 8:15 Sanctuary | 10:45 Sanctuary + Livestream

Come for the start of a new Message Series “You Are My Witness.”
Q+A WITH PR. LAUREN @ 9:30 a.m. | Activity Center
Shepherd of the Hills has an exciting future ahead!  Join Pastor Lauren for a conversational Q+A about her vision, hopes, and dreams for where God is calling us, as we prepare for her leadership as Senior Pastor.  Don’t forget to save the date for our important congregational vote to call Pastor Lauren as Senior Pastor on Sunday, August 27.
ANNIVERSARY PICNIC @ Noon | Courtyard (Activity Center if it rains, which it won’t)
We’ll be throwing some burgers and dogs on the grill in celebration of 46 years together as a vibrant community of faith. Great food, friends, and music by local artist Sophia Johnson await you in the Courtyard.


Small changes at small scales can lead to significant results!
Thanks to the 84 participants from ShepHills and Butterfly Preschool for their gifts large and small.

Make a one-time gift before June 18.
We will match your gifts dollar-for-dollar, doubling your impact. Gifts can be made online, through Zelle (use controller@shephills.org), or by cash or check. You can also give stock, IRA transfers, and donor-advised funds. Contact Kevin Marlow, Finance Controller.

We have raised 85% of our $250,000 goal. Double that with our match and we will have $500,000 to significantly reduce our debt.


We hope not! We have lots planned for this summer, please keep an eye on your mail for more information the last week of May, and then join us when you’re in town.


Check the calendars on Realm or the website for a complete list of events including Yoga, Pickleball, Choir and Bells, PALS, and Bread for All.

Saturday, May 20
8:00 a.m. | Activity Center

Start your day off with food, fellowship, and a side of stimulating conversation. Who knows, you may even learn something new before your second cup of coffee! Contact Weldon Allison.

Saturday, May 20
9:00 a.m. | Courtyard

Smear on some sunscreen and bring some tools. We will be mulching, trimming, repairing irrigation, and removing and replacing some small dead trees before summer’s onslaught of heat. BSA Troop 31 will join us. Breakfast tacos provided! Contact Dave Wegner.

7:30 a.m. | on Zoom

10:00 a.m. | Library + Zoom
Pastor-led studies of the Good Book. Contact Pr. Lauren or Pr. Tom

Beginning Next Sunday, May 28
9:45 a.m. | Room 204

Looking for a summer book recommendation rich in imagery, storytelling, complex characters, AND a group to talk about it with? Join Megan Getman next Sunday for an overview of her plan to read the New Testament cover to cover 3 chapters at a time, gathering on Sundays for casual conversation about what we noticed in the scripture.  Not here every Sunday?  That’s ok!  Come when you can, we’ll miss your perspective when you are away. Contact Megan Getman.  

Tuesday, May 30
5:15 a.m. | Family Life Center of First United Methodist Church, 1300 Lavaca

We really need you this last Tuesday in May. It is a holiday weekend and the UT college students that make up the bulk of the volunteers are on break, so we desperately need volunteers to help feed the homeless. In addition to the serving line, there are a variety of behind-the-scenes jobs to choose from. Click here, and then scroll down to May 30 for sign-up slots and descriptions. Contact Norma Smith.


Tuesday, June 30
Register by next Friday, May 26
There are an estimated 32.9 million refugees worldwide, and the US has only resettled 18,000 of them this year, well below the current administration’s goal of 125, 000. Join LIRS in bringing awareness and commit to attend one 60-minute virtual advocacy training session in the weeks preceding World Refugee Day, as well as participate in up to three in-person or virtual 30-minute meetings with your legislators. Read more and register here. Contact Amelia Dal Pra, Refugee Advocacy Officer, adalpra@lirs.org.


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!

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!

Mariposa Family Learning Center, a ministry of Austin City Lutherans, is fundraising for scholarships, programming, and continued expansion. “May Flowers” is your chance to double your impact by giving a gift in May that will be matched.
Donate Via Mail:
Mariposa Family Learning Center
403 Vargas Rd, Austin, TX 78741
(512) 551-9877
Donate Via Web:


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

We pray for Rodney Varner and Deb Pollock Darnell.

We pray for family and friends of Shepherd members: Krista Bowers, niece of Herb and Kathy Palmer; Kathy Reese, sister of Tom Hudnall; Ellis Thompsen, Butterfly alumna.

God of Transitions, in your word we hear “For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” We celebrate this season of graduations and pray for all who are experiencing new beginnings in their lives. May all graduates know that your Holy Spirit walks alongside them on the journey of faith and life.

We pray for communities impacted by mass shootings, especially in Allen, Texas. Walk alongside all the families grieving the loss of loved ones. Give courage to leaders to respond in life-giving ways, and may we all be mindful of Jesus’ call to be peacemakers.

Merciful and Loving God, as war and violence rage 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 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!

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.

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


Shepherd of the Hills Graduating Seniors
Calvin Auby, Caroline Cullinane, Matthew DeVaney, Gore Dogale, Walt Gomes, Jamie Nichols, Sophie Nutter, Drew Paulson, Elliott Stein, Sienna Szczesny, Christian Ulloa, Axel Wissman.

Shepherd of the Hills Graduating Family Members
Ken and Elnora McDonald’s granddaughter, Gretchen Birzer, a graduate of Hillsdale College MI with a BA in English, will be teaching 3rd grade in Columbus, Ohio in the fall.

Anita Knight’s granddaughter Ellie Anita Lack (Butterfly Alumna), a graduate of Elon University, NC with a degree in International Business & Spanish, will be taking a job in Chicago. Her granddaughter Grace Catherine Lack, a graduate of St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, is enrolled in the honors program at the University of SC.

Janice and Ronny Pinckard’s granddaughter Jayne Kernodle, a graduate of the University of Hartford with a Master’s Degree in Prosthetics and Orthotics.

Jeri Porter’s granddaughter Tatum Fischer David, a graduate of the Colorado School of Mines with a BS in Engineering (majoring in materials), has taken a job with Texas Instruments this fall and will be living in Dallas.

Vicki Matava’s son Will Zagrodzky, a graduate of Colorado College with a B.S. in Biochemistry.

Beth and John Turman’s son Matthew Turman, a graduate of Texas State.

Clay and Suzanne Johnson’s daughter Caroline Johnson, a graduate of Clemson with a Bio-Engineering degree with honors! She will go to Duke in the fall for graduate school to get a Master’s in Bio-Engineering.

Kevin and Sara Burden-McClure’s son Ian McClure, a graduate of Emerson College in Boston with a B.A. in Visual & Media Arts (Film emphasis).

Sara and Charlie Enochs’s son Charlie M. Enochs, a graduate of Trinity University with a B.S. in Marketing.

Kevin Clark’s son Dakota Clark, a graduate of Austin Tennis Academy College Prep with plans to attend Texas A&M in the fall!

Ruth and Tom Felger’s grandson Shane Lockhoof, a Master’s from Rochester Institute of Technology.

Ron and Charlyn Bacon’s grandson Joe Sockwell (Butterfly Alumni), a graduate of Westlake High School.

Steve and Karen Freche’s daughter Lauren Freche, a graduate of University of Texas with a BS in Public Relations. She will work in Austin for a company called Reflex.

Butterfly Christian Preschool Graduates
Gogo Abbott, Branch Adams, Julia Byrne, Alejandro Centeno, Connie Clark, Cecilia Cossey, Violet Friesch, William Iannacone, Kate Jacobs, Nate Jones, Brecken McCord, Abigail Paton, Chance Reese, Louie Shepperd, Vivian Ajouz, Hannah Bednar, Sam Boudreau, Ford Cannata, Caroline Crawley, Pearl DeHoff, Noah Fisher, Athena Hung, Bandon Peterson, Witten Shoberg, Brooke Siddons, Avra Tujios, Rose Walker, David Wilson.