Weekly Connections

February 9, 2024

It’s Transfiguration Sunday, come celebrate the revelation of God in Jesus Christ.


8:15 a.m.  | Sanctuary
10:45 a.m. | Sanctuary + Livestream
For Transfiguration Sunday we welcome Aaron Lack and the Vibetet as they bring the sound of jazz to both worships. This special musical treat is a perfect way to savor the last Sunday before the season of Lent begins. At 10:45 the children will bury the Alleluias for Lent and Kid’s Choir will sing. Joel Timmons preaches, and Pr. Adam Varner presides.

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.

Ends this Sunday
Sunday is the last chance to bring non-perishable food for our Souperbowl of Caring event benefitting Bread for All Food Pantry! It’s not too late to invite others to help by 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.

9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. | Gym
Come each Sunday morning and enjoy a hot breakfast with your faith family.

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 in Room 201 for Music with Kevin as we practice singing Alleluia for 10:45 a.m. worship. After Music with Kevin, we’ll gather to explore Lent and wonder about Jesus experiencing life with a human body.  You can pick up a Lenten devotional too!   Contact Megan Getman.

NEXTGEN (Grades 5-8, 9-12)
No NextGen this week! Contact Joel Timmons.

No NextGen Parents this week! Contact Pr. Lauren.


Throughout the season of Lent, we will reflect on God’s promises: the promises of old found in the Old Testament, and the new promises God makes through Jesus Christ. To quickly find the information below when you are on the go, visit ShepHills.org/Lent.

Tuesday, February 13
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. |  Gym
Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras…whatever you call it…if you love pancakes, butter, and sticky fingers, 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. While you’re here, support the youth’s trip to the ELCA National Youth Gathering in New Orleans by grabbing an envelope from the Fundraising Wall and filling it with cash to help buy a tank of gas or a meal. 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. Contact Joel Timmons.

Wednesday, February 14
6:30 a.m., Noon, + 7:00 p.m. |  Sanctuary
7:00 p.m.  |   Livestream
Come reconnect with the rich traditions of our faith on Ash Wednesday with this poignant worship marking the beginning of Lent. The ashes we receive on our foreheads symbolize our earthly mortality, as we are reminded of, and humbled by, the knowledge that it is through Christ that we are given eternal life. If you will be watching on live stream, prepare a small bowl of oil ahead of time to make the mark of the cross.

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.

Saturday, February 10
9:00 a.m. | Butterfly Center

It’s gonna be rainy and dreary and if you have kids from birth to kindergarten, this is where you want to be. Come let those kiddos play (we’ll have indoor slides and toys galore!) and get to know other parents who have kids the same age as yours. We’ll have coffee, snacks, and space for the kids to play while the adults chat and supervise. Contact Megan Getman.

Saturday, February 10
9:00 a.m. | Room 205
Wednesday, February 14
1:00 p.m. | Room 205

Making quilts for Lutheran World Relief. You only need to know how to tie a knot. We will teach you the rest! We love sharing our passion for quilting with beginners. Join us!

Tuesday, February 13

6:00 – 7:30 p.m. | Gym
Learn about this event in the Lenten Season section above!

Wednesday, February 14
6:30 a.m. , Noon + 7:00 p.m. |  Sanctuary
7:00 p.m.  |   Livestream
Learn about this event in the Lenten Season section above!

No Bible Study this week. Please join us for an Ash Wednesday Service. Service times are listed above. Contact Pr. Lauren.

Thursday, February 15
The Church Office will be closed for a Staff Retreat where we’ll connect to think creatively and collectively about what we do!

Thursday, February 15
1:00 p.m. | Room 205 + Zoom

Shepherd of the Hills is offering a group providing support for all caregivers for people with short and long-term illnesses. If you care for someone in person or from a distance (child, spouse, parent, friend), we welcome you to join us. Click here for more information or contact Rebecca Guengerich.

Friday, 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.

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.

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.


Church of Hope Devotional
Black History Month celebrates the achievements and contributions Black Americans have made and continue to make in the world. This short devotional reading and reflection is a beautiful opportunity for reflection and consideration of Black History Month.

Saturday, February 10
Noon – 2:30 p.m. | at “The G.I.F.T.” | 2200 Justin Lane, Austin, TX 78757

Come for tacos and coffee as National Wildlife Federation’s Dr. Rebeca Quiñonez-Piñón presents “Sacred Grounds.” This no-cost workshop is tailor-made for congregations looking to enrich their campuses. There will be a relaxed, one-hour lecture + Q&A, fellowship-think, and a walk of the 4-acre campus “G.I.F.T.”, a community space for nature. Additional information can be found here. This event is sponsored by Chris Searles of Biointegrity and the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection.

Sunday, February 11
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Room 205

Texas Impact, an organization the ELCA is involved with, is sponsoring a webinar exploring the intersection of faith and issues of reproductive justice. This webinar features Rev. Dr. Rebecca Todd Peters, Professor of Religious Studies and Founding Director of the Poverty and Social Justice Program at Elon University, and will focus largely on the Christian perspective. Come watch with a group or watch from home by registering here. Contact Anita Knight.

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.

Next 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 spent 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.

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.

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; Layne Walls, friend of Jan Burnight.

We pray for Diane Peterson on the death of her brother-in-law, Marlin Torgerson. 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 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.