Weekly Connections

August 12, 2022

Come gather and celebrate, it is time for the Blessing of the Backpacks!


Sunday Worship – Blessing of the Backpacks + Special Musical Guests

8:15 a.m.  Worship |  Sanctuary
10:45 a.m.  Worship |  Sanctuary + Livestream

Invited musical guest Katie Marie will fill the Sanctuary with song-filled praise during Blessing of the Backpacks – our favorite way to begin the school year by surrounding students, teachers, and educational support staff with blessings! Tell your neighbors, invite your friends, and be sure to join us this Sunday!

Katie Marie is an award-winning songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. She has been performing, writing, and recording music for over 25 years and has toured extensively across the UK, US, and Europe. Katie has worked with many well-known artists including Ruthie Foster, Jimmy LaFave, Martin Barre (Jethro Tull), Phil Gould (Level42), and in October will be going on tour with Sophie B.Hawkins. Her original songs have been used in TV shows featured on CBS, BBC, ITV, Nickelodeon, and others.

Special Back to School Breakfast with Jeff Arnett of Eanes ISD

9:30 a.m.  – 10:15 a.m. |  Activity Center
Come meet Eanes ISD’s new superintendent, Jeff Arnett, who will share a few words of encouragement about the upcoming school year during the breakfast hour!

Sunday Adult Bible Study 

9:30 a.m. |  Library + Zoom
We continue our study of the Minor Prophets! Contact Ruby Cadenhead for more information.

Digital Ministry Show + Tell

Immediately Following Late Service | Sanctuary

Ever wonder what those buttons do? All ages are invited to an interactive behind-the-scenes tour of our newest ministry. Learn how we make in-person and live stream worship the best it can be! We’ll even let you push some of those buttons…

Grillin’ + Chillin’

6:30 p.m. | Activity Center
Dinner and games for grades 5-12. Our second to the last meeting before summer ends! Contact Youth Director Joel Timmons.

Family Room (New!)

Our parents feel it is important for their children to worship with them and so do we! We now have a Family Room located in the far corner of the library for nursing mothers, sleepy babies, or anyone who needs a different space. In the Family Room parents and children can participate in worship via Livestream on the TV (late service only), communion cups are provided, and soft toys, tactile books, and other items will help keep little ones occupied.


Don’t forget to check the calendars on Realm or the website for a complete list of events.


9:00 a.m. SATURDAYS + 5:30 p.m. TUESDAYS
Activity Center
The competition may be heating up, but the Activity Center is staying cool! All ages are invited to play. Contact Pr. Tom.

Parents of Addicted Loved Ones (PALS)

7:00 p.m. | Library + Zoom
Do you have a loved one struggling with addiction? The PALS support group offers hope through education and an opportunity to share and learn from others facing the same challenges. Contact Rebecca Guengerich with questions. For more information about this group and others in the surrounding Austin area and other cities, visit the website, www.palgroup.org

Firm Believer Yoga

5:30 p.m. |  Room 203 + Zoom
Restore your body and soul with yoga. Contact Richard Arndt.


9:00 a.m. |  Room 205
Sewing quilts for Lutheran World Relief. Let us teach you what we know, no experience necessary! Contact Sandy Nielsen.

Men’s Breakfast

Contact Weldon Allison.

Bishop Sue Briner

NEXT SUNDAY, AUGUST 21 | 9:30 a.m. Activity Center
Come meet Bishop Sue Briner during the breakfast hour and learn how the Southwestern Texas Synod connects us, why our support is important, and the impact it is making in Texas. If you are interested in receiving the Synod newsletter, email info@swtsynod.org.


Annual Meeting Part 1 + Lunch

12:00 p.m. |  Activity Center
Wait, is your brain telling you not to come? If so, here are three big reasons why all those who are Confirmed and Members should come vote.

  1. A church budget and the numbers on its pages define the priorities of Shepherd of the Hills
  2. We are given an opportunity to celebrate what God has done through us this past year… and, what God will do!
  3. Like the gift of exercising our citizenship at the ballot box, attending and voting is an act of responsible church membership

Finance Forum

7:00 p.m. |  Webinar on Zoom
Join us for an overview of the budget prior to ratification at the upcoming Annual Meeting. Q+A will follow the presentation. Get the link to Webinar here, in Weekly Connections, or in Realm Events. Questions? Email Bill Dawson.


Lifetime Learning Classes

A wide variety of classes with The Lifetime Learning Institute of Austin will be at Shepherd this fall. Registration is open to the public and begins on August 17.
Mondays | 10:00 a.m. – Noon
     Los muralistas mexicanos y el muralismo en los Estados Unidos (Mexican Muralists and Muralism in the US) taught in Spanish by Catherine Wall
Tuesdays | 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.     History of the Renaissance & Reformation with John Dahmus (who taught at the church last semester)
Fridays | 10:00 a.m. – Noon     Plants of the Austin Area with Valerie Bugh 

Upbring Healing Hearts Gala Postponed

Upbring is changing the planned date for their September Healing Hearts fundraising event to a later time (date to be announced soon).  Watch for updates coming soon! If you have questions, please feel free to contact Lenora Doerfler at 512-202-5228


Our staff continues to work faithfully in ministry together!  Sandy Gaskin has returned to her part-time position as Congregational Nurse, and we look forward to the personalized care that she brings.  Sandy’s work focuses on physical health and well-being as it intersects with our faith.  She will be present in the office as well as out in the community.  You can reach her at sandy@shephills.org.

We previously announced that Joel Timmons would be leaving our staff this month, as he begins his chaplaincy residency at Ascension Seton Hospital.  However, since we do not yet have the Director of Faith Formation position filled, and since Joel is gifted and willing to continue serving our youth, Joel will stay on in a very part-time role through December 2022.  We are grateful for the continuity this brings to our NextGen and High School youth!  You can reach Joel at joel@shephills.org.

Please continue to pray for our search for a Director of Faith Formation, and for our staff as a whole as we plan and implement exciting ministry for this fall!


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.

Let’s Finish Strong!

Let’s get ready for fall ministry by keeping up the momentum and finishing ShepHill’s fiscal year (which ends August 31) stronger than ever!

  • Giving statements were mailed this week, please make sure to review them. 
  • If you haven’t given against your pledge for this year, please prayerfully consider doing so before August 31. 
  • If you are a regular giver, maybe add an extra amount for August? 
  • Haven’t given yet to ShepHills? It’s easier than ever before by going online to www.shephills.org/give or you can mail a check to the church postmarked by August 31.   
  • Don’t forget there are many ways to give… cash, stock, donations from donor-advised funds,  Qualified Charitable Distributions, business donations, and more!  Contact Kevin Marlow for more info or call the church.

Lutheran Disaster Response

If you would like to help our brothers and sisters in Christ affected by flooding throughout the central U.S. go to Lutheran Disaster Response or give through Realm by selecting the Lutheran Disaster Response Fund.

Pledges, Gifts, and Donations

Keeping current with your pledged or regular giving over the summer 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!

Bread for All (BFA) Food Pantry
BFA is now serving upwards of 100 families every Monday due to the current crisis of inflation and rising rents. The pantry is in need of dried pinto beans 1lb, canned pinto beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, spaghetti, and baby wipes. Please check for expiration dates before giving items. Contact Weldon Allison. Donation Bins are out every Saturday + Sunday, and on weekdays by ringing the office bell.


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 Sandy Nielsen, Rodney Varner, Marie Fortune, and Owen Wegner

We pray for all who mourn the death of Barbara “Tommi” Femrite, sister-in-law of Diane Peterson

We pray for all who mourn the death of Larry Loomel, brother-in-law of Diane Peterson

We pray for the ELCA Church-wide Assembly in Columbus, Ohio. May the Holy Spirit guide and direct the Assembly to find ways to best serve you in this world. May we dare to be the Church you have in mind.

We pray for all encountering natural disasters, including wildfires, drought, and flooding.

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.