December 1, 2023
Come as we welcome Christ in our midst and the Holy Spirit’s presence in our hearts as we gather.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 3
8:15 a.m. | Sanctuary
10:45 a.m. | Sanctuary + Livestream
Come hear the ancient stories of Scripture reminding us that the hope, peace, joy, and love of Jesus have always been part of God’s plan for us. Livestream worshippers are invited to join us in lighting the Advent candle of Hope with an Advent wreath or candles of your own at home.
Purchase a poinsettia for $12 and help us decorate the Sanctuary for Christmas! There will also be envelopes available on Sunday if you prefer to use cash or check. If purchasing online, please email Amanda and indicate who you will make your donation in “honor or memory of” so we can include their names in our Christmas Eve publications.
9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. | Activity Center
Don’t go around hungry, come fill your body and soul with food and conversation.
UPCOMING CONGREGATIONAL TRIPS – INFORMATION SESSIONS
9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. | Gathering Space and Activity Center
Pete and Amanda Forsberg have informational flyers about two great upcoming trips-Ireland (May 21-31) and a Rhine River Cruise (October 24-November 2, 2024). Pete will be in the Activity Center, and Amanda will be in the Gathering Space, and both will answer ANY questions you might have about the two upcoming trips! Contact Amanda Forsberg.
We will not meet this week since many families are on the Advent Retreat at Camp Chrysalis! See you next week. Contact Megan Getman.
12:00 p.m. | Room 205
Gather for a luncheon to meet and share with others experiencing grief or loss. Contact Rebecca Guengerich.
6:00 p.m. | Activity Center
Grades 5-8 and 9-12, come grow your faith in extraordinary ways! Contact Joel Timmons.
NEXTGEN PARENTS GROUP
6:00 p.m. | Solomon’s Porch
Stick around for a time of prayer, study, and community. Contact Pr. Lauren.
NEXT SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10
AARON LACK AND THE VIBETET
8:15 + 10:45 a.m.
Be infused by the spirit as Aaron Lack and the Vibetet bring their jazzy vibe to worship!
8:15 + 10:45 a.m. + Breakfast Hour
Holly Raymond and Katie Evans from Upbring share impactful stories in worship about their work with the at-risk young adults of New Life and BeReal. There will also be time to chat with them at breakfast to learn more about these two ministries we’ll support with our special Christmas offering this year.
FOURTH SUNDAY IN ADVENT
Sunday, Dec. 24 | One Worship @ 10:45AM
The Fourth Sunday in December is both Advent AND Christmas Eve! Join us for Advent in the morning with cinnamon buns, hot chocolate, and coffee at 9:45-10:30 a.m. and one worship at 10:45 a.m. Then come back for Christmas Eve worship in the evening (see times below).
CHRISTMAS EVE WORSHIP (more detail at ShepHills.org/Christmas)
Sunday, Dec. 24
All services feature candlelight and Holy Communion.
4:00 p.m. Courtyard – Perfect for families. Come early for cocoa.
6:00 p.m. Sanctuary + Livestream – Bells, choir, strings and brass.
8:00 p.m. Sanctuary – Traditional liturgy with strings and harpist.
ADVENT MID-WEEK WORSHIP
Begins this Wednesday, Dec. 6 (additional dates include Dec. 13 + 20)
7:00 p.m. | Butterfly Center
This short midweek worship centered on the Holden Evening Prayer provides time to slow down during this frenetic season and yearn for the hope of Jesus’ birth. Join us.
ADVENT MEDITATIVE EXPERIENCE
Daily | Memorial Garden
Alana Oehler of the Prayer Team has created an outdoor Advent experience from Christmas Gifts that Won’t Break – an Advent Study for Adults (James W. Moore. Abingdon Press, 2010). Come on your own or with others to reflect, explore scripture, and embrace the gifts of hope, peace, joy, and love with this self-guided meditation in the Memorial Garden.
CHRISTMAS PHOTO OP
Sundays in December
Gathering Space Christmas Tree
Capture your holiday spirit by snapping a picture at our Festive Christmas photo spot in the Gathering Space, then post and tag us on social by typing @shephillsaustin (Facebook) or @shephillsatx (Instagram) in your comment!
FAMILY FUN NIGHT
Friday, December 8
6:00 p.m. | Activity Center
Put on those ugly sweaters and join us for some festive fun!
PANCAKE BREAKFAST BENEFITTING MARIPOSA
9:00-10:30 a.m. | December 9, 2023 | Triumphant Love Lutheran
Head over and eat your fill of yummy pancakes to benefit Mariposa Family Learning Center. Pancakes are free, and updates on Mariposa and programming will be provided. For more information, to volunteer, and/or donate, contact Jan Richards at 512-791-4235.
Saturday, December 9
9:00 a.m. | Rm 205
Tying quilts for Lutheran World Relief, everyone can help! Contact Linda Fiandacca.
TEXAS LUTHERAN UNIVERSITY VESPERS SERVICE
Sunday, December 10
4:00 p.m. | St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, 606 W 15th St, Austin, TX 78701
This annual tradition, performed by TLU Choir, will include works of Baroque composers Dietrich Buxtehude and J.S. Bach through composers of our time, including works by Eric Whitacre, Rosephanye Powell, Susan LaBarr, and Bob Chilcott, among others. Read more about the service here.
GUATEMALA TRIP RESCHEDULED
New Dates: June 15 – 22, 2024
Check your calendars and join us for a focused, intentional time to be with the Guatemalan people and discern how we can assist the Lutheran Church of Guatemala (ILAG) in its mission of providing the necessary tools that help spiritual and material development in vulnerable communities. For more details, contact Joel Timmons.
SPREAD THE WORD!
This is the easiest Christmas invite you’ll ever make! Please take a few minutes and click the links below (it’s all super easy!) and help raise our public profile in the digital domain for those searching online for a place to worship on Christmas.
REVIEW US ON GOOGLE
It’s quick and easy. Click here, rate us with stars (5 is the best!), and take a moment to write a simple sentence. If you include “Christmas,” “Christmas Eve,” or “Christmas Eve Services” it’s even better! Your review helps build trust and visibility for those searching online.
RSVP TO OUR CHRISTMAS FACEBOOK EVENT
Check out our Facebook Event for Christmas Eve Services, and RSVP! Every click and comment helps boost our event, meaning more people outside our walls will see it! While you are there, make sure to like our page.
VISIT OUR CHRISTMAS WEBPAGE
Take a peek at our Christmas webpage! Every click moves us further up the Google search for “Christmas services near me.” Plan your Christmas Eve while you’re there!
If you have questions, email Dabney Gomes and she’ll be happy to help you!
#GIVINGTUESDAY FOR GUATEMALA EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND
This year ShepHills participated in the global act of generosity called Giving Tuesday by building awareness and support for our friends in Guatemala in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Pilar. Thanks to our generous congregation we raised $6,515 to purchase corn and corn seed for the vulnerable rural communities supported by ILAG.
THANKSGIVING FOOD DRIVE
In November Bread for All served 508 families/2501 individuals. Your donations of 1711 lbs of non-perishable food, including the Thanksgiving Food Drive, were greatly needed. Thank you for your loving support of our neighbors in need.
WAYS TO GIVE
“Gratitude flows from the recognition that who we are and what we have are gifts to be received and shared.”—Henri Nouwen
END OF THE YEAR GIVING
End of the year giving is upon us! Learn about the different ways to give when considering your end-of-year tax and financial planning, including marketable securities and non-cash assets.
- Check envelopes must be postmarked prior to December 31, 2023 to be eligible for a 2023 tax deduction. Please remember that December 31 is a Sunday.
- Wires or electronic funds transfers must be sent by December 29, 2023 to be eligible for a US 2023 tax deduction (December 29 is the last banking day).
For assistance in arranging gifts to Shepherd of the Hills, please contact Kevin Marlow, Finance Controller – email – email@example.com or call the office – 512-327-3370. Please consult your financial and tax professionals for further information and any financial or tax advice. The above opportunities are only to suggest some possible alternatives and do not constitute legal, financial, or tax advice.
PLEDGES, GIFTS, AND DONATIONS
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.
In need of prayer? Please contact a pastor to be put on the prayer list.
We pray for Rodney Varner and Tamara Allen.
We give thanks for the saints who have gone before us in faith and now rest in eternal life, especially Mike Schrader, son of Inez Schrader. As we commend Mike to your love, we pray for comfort for Inez and her family as we trust together in the promise of resurrection life.
We give you thanks for the 11 families who attended the Advent Family Retreat at Camp Chrysalis this weekend: Davies family, Dertien family, Eckermann family, Grotrian family, Hansen family, Hartmann family, Murray family, Robertson family, Smith family, Wegner family, and Megan Getman, our children’s minister. Grant them safe travel as they return home today. We pray that their time together was full of rest, rejuvenation, and growth in faith.
God of Peace, as wars continue on the battlefield, in the halls of our government, in the online bullying and lying, equip us with the power of your Spirit to stand for those without power or position, and give us the courage to stand for what You stand for.
Holy God, as war has once again broken out in the Holy Land, we lift to you prayers for peace and resolution to this age-old conflict among your people. 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. Continue to keep us connected in mission and ministry with Austin City Lutherans and the ministries of Mariposa and Bread for All; with our fellow congregation in Guatemala alongside the ministry of ILAG; with the ministry of Charis in Haiti; and with all the places and people you call us to serve. 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.