Weekly Connections

January 26, 2024

The light of Epiphany still shines and the future is bright! Come celebrate the installation of Pr. Lauren Dow Wegner with one worship at 10:45 a.m. and a BBQ lunch following.


This Sunday’s flower arrangements are given by the Church Council in celebration of Pastor Lauren’s installation as Senior Pastor, and by J.D. and Laurie Wegner in honor of Pastor Lauren’s installation.

Sunday, January 28
One Worship (no breakfast) | 10:45 a.m. | Sanctuary + Livestream | Lunch following
EVERYONE is joyously invited to the installation of Pastor Lauren Dow Wegner as Senior Pastor. PL will preach and Bishop Sue Briner of the Southwestern Texas Synod will preside and lead the installation rite, and guest musicians will abound during this special worship . A celebratory lunch of BBQ and sides will follow in the Gym. Please note:  Breakfast will not be served on this Sunday!

9:30 a.m.
 | Room 205 + Zoom
The Bible is a book that never grows old! We meet this week to discuss 2 Samuel Chapters 6 and 7. Contact Ruby Cadenhead.

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.

Every Sunday
5:00 p.m. | Room 204
This fantastic group of people will gladly teach you to crochet the prayer shawls given at Baptisms and to those in need of comfort and prayer. Already know how? That works too! Contact Sharon Collins.

6:00 p.m. | Room 205

Find community with others walking the walk of parenting teens. Stick around for a time of prayer, study, and community with other NextGen parents. Contact Pr. Lauren.


Both our Church Council and Call Committee will be installed and commissioned during worship on Sunday, February 18.  Please hold both groups in prayer as they represent our congregation in ministry!

Your Church Council elected officers for 2024 at their January meeting.  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.


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

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, January 21 – Sunday, February 11

Gathering Space
It’s the Souperbowl of Caring event benefitting Bread for All Food Pantry! Let’s double down and DOUBLE OUR DONATIONS by gathering 2,200 lbs of nonperishable food and diapers by February 11. Invite others to help by taking an extra bag and asking a friend, neighbor, or co-worker to join in supporting our neighbors in Southeast Austin. Click here if you would like to give financially.

Wednesday, January 31

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

Sunday, February 4

9:15 a.m. Breakfast + 10:45 a.m. Worship
We’re excited to host special guests from Troop 31. Join the kids as they showcase their scouting skills with live demonstrations and displays during the breakfast in the Gym. Later, catch them speaking in worship and extending warm greetings at the doors.

Sunday, February 11

8:15 + 10:45 a.m. Worship
We welcome Aaron Lack and the Vibetet as they accompany us with the sound of jazz in worship. This special musical treat is a perfect way to savor the last Sunday before the season of Lent begins.

Tuesday, February 13

6:00 – 7:30 p.m. | Gym
Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras…whatever you call it, if you love breakfast for dinner, this is your day! The youth and their helpers will be cooking up pancakes galore, sides to go with them, and the perfect opportunity to gather as a faith community. Other reasons to come? You won’t have to cook dinner, you can enjoy the company of friends, AND you can support the National Youth Gathering Trip by grabbing an envelope from the Fundraising Wall and filling it with cash to help buy a tank of gas, food, or a meal in NOLA. Don’t panic, we take checks and credit cards and you can even give online. 😊
Can’t stay for dinner? Drop by and we’ll prepare a to-go box for you to take home to the family. Or fill out an order form ahead of time, and we’ll have it ready to go when you get here.

Saturday, 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.

Saturday, March 2
5:00 p.m. | Courtyard Marriot Hotel, New Braunfels, TX

Cross Trails believes no one should miss out on a camp experience because of the cost! Funds raised will go towards financial aid camperships. Click here to learn more about the event, buy tickets to attend in person, participate if attending online, and view a list of auction items.

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.” We will encounter the Divine through inspirational lessons with PL, play and creation with Amanda Land Palmer, and a guided nature tour with The Plant’s caretaker Martha Pinto. Registration coming soon!

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

Needed: Someone to empower a young woman transitioning from foster care, guiding her towards financial literacy and a brighter future. This person (in the Upbring BeREAL program) has reached out to us in search of help in the following areas: banking skills, weekly/monthly spending plan, credit card debt reduction, and help establishing goals for life/work/and future education. Please contact Kathy Gerhart for more information.

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.

Don’t forget to check and make sure your online recurring giving is current with correct account info and recurring giving amounts add up to reflect your 2024 pledges and gifts. Here are the steps:

  • Log in to Realm,
  • Select “Connect”
  • Select “Giving”
  • On the far right, click “Manage Payment Methods”.  Make sure the account info is up to date (i.e. cards not expired)
  • Click on scheduled giving and make sure the amount matches the period of your recurring gift (weekly, monthly, etc.)and adds up to your pledge/gift.

Need help?  Contact Kevin Marlow – 512-327-3370, email kmarlow@shephills.org

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!

ShepHills donated 14,179 lbs of food in 2023 to BFA! Your plentiful donations of non-perishable food and diapers are needed this year more than ever. Last Monday, Bread for All served 144 families-more than double the number of families served in January of last year.

If you have a heart for service and a valid driver’s license, we invite you to be a part of our Meals on Wheels family! Drivers are needed for Wednesdays, once a month for one hour. To sign up or learn more, please contact Weldon Allison.

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

We pray for Bob and Judy Moore, Rodney Varner, Dale Petersen, and Betty Lueders.

God of New Life, we give thanks for the birth of Remy Martin Ahumada, son of Ian and Holly Ahumada, grandson of Nader and Debra Ayoub. We give thanks for the birth of Clifford Brougham Bevens, son of Allie Timmons-Bevens and Jack Bevens, nephew of Joel Timmons. We pray for Remy and Clifford to grow in faith, hope, and love throughout their life.

We pray for Earl Bishop on the death of his grandfather, Joel Alderson and Amy Bishop, on the death of her aunt Marilyn Fehlis. We pray for Madeline Hartmann and family on the death of Dorthy Ramsey. We pray for Bob Moore on the death of his cousin, Tim Aynesworth. Give peace and comfort to all who grieve, and may the promise of resurrection be our hope.

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, Bread for All, and Upbring Ministries.  We thank you for our sister congregation in Aurora 8 de Octubre, Guatemala, and the ministry of ILAG.  We thank you 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.