December 8, 2023
Come as we light the second Advent candle for Peace.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10
8:15 a.m. | Sanctuary
10:45 a.m. | Sanctuary + Livestream
Be infused by the spirit as Aaron Lack and the Vibetet bring their jazzy vibe to worship and Holly Raymond and Katie Evans from Upbring share impactful stories about their work with the at-risk young adults of New Life and BeReal. Livestream worshippers are invited to join us in lighting the Advent candle of Peace with an Advent wreath or candles of your own at home.
9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. | Activity Center
Please give a warm welcome to Holly Raymond and Katie Evans from Upbring who will be at breakfast to tell you all about HOW and WHO our Christmas offering will help! Meanwhile, get a head start and give to our special Christmas Offering today.
9:40 a.m. | Sanctuary
Come practice for the telling of the Nativity Story this week and next. All are welcome to participate even if you can’t make one of the practice times. Contact Megan Getman.
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.
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.
HIGHLIGHTS FOR NEXT SUNDAY!
CHILDREN’S NATIVITY STORY
Sunday, December 17
Immediately following 10:45 a.m. | Sanctuary
Stay in your seats following the Commissioning and prepare for cuteness overload as the children reenact the nativity story through song.
CLASSICAL MUSIC WITH ANDREI ZIMBALIST
Sunday, Dec. 17 (Reserve a seat!)
6:00 p.m. | Doors open at 5:30 p.m. | Sanctuary
We’ve been blessed by the amazing talents of Andrei Zimbalist in Sunday worship, and now we have a chance to enjoy his music outside of worship. Join us as he and his talented young students perform a diverse selection of pieces by Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, and Bartok, illustrating different periods and styles within classical music.
ADVENT MEDITATIVE EXPERIENCE
Daily | Memorial Garden
Here’s another option for slowing down. 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 by scanning the onsite QR for this self-guided meditation in the Memorial Garden.
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.
YOGA AT A NEW TIME
Tuesdays, beginning December 12
3:30 p.m. | Zoom
Advent is the perfect time to embrace the spirit of peace through yoga. Join certified instructor Richard Arndt at a new time to unwind, breathe deeply, and find solace in gentle movements. Join us on Zoom if you can’t make it here, and bring a mat if you have one. Appropriate for all ages and levels. Contact Richard Arndt.
ADVENT MID-WEEK WORSHIP
Wednesday, Dec. 13 (additional dates include Dec. 13 + 20)
7:00 p.m. | Butterfly Center
Amid the hustle and bustle of the season, join us for a moment of peace and reflection. Our midweek worship, centered on the timeless beauty of the Holden Evening Prayer, offers something we all need – an opportunity to pause, breathe, and recenter ourselves. This week we discuss Isaiah 40:1-11. Our Mid-Week offering is designated to the New Life Center and BeReal programs of Upbring.
UPCOMING CONGREGATIONAL TRIPS
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.
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.
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! PLEASE! 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!
POST A CHRISTMAS PHOTO
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!
If you have questions, email Dabney Gomes and she’ll be happy to help you!
FAITH IN ACTION
TRANSFORMING LIVES IN GHANA
Megan Devaney, a senior at Austin College, found her calling in public health through eye-opening youth trips with ShepHills in San Francisco and Guatemala. Her 2023 January term trip to Ghana led her to the Foundation of Orthopedics and Complex Spine (FOCOS), an orthopedic hospital outside Accra, Ghana’s capital. FOCOS, a non-profit institution, provides critical care to those suffering from severe scoliosis across Africa, primarily children and young adults. Despite limited resources, FOCOS ensures top-notch treatment and support for its patients.
Megan’s class of 14 has taken a noble initiative to sponsor Gerald, an 11-year-old from Ghana, battling severe scoliosis that affects his breathing and mobility. The class has gathered $4,000 so far to cover Gerald’s surgery expenses totaling $20,000. For more information on the inspiring work of FOCOS and to contribute, please visit FOCOS’s website: FOCOS Hospital or access the FOCOS Pitch Book here. Thank you for being part of Megan’s impactful calling.
CHRISTMAS GIVING TREES
Once again our Christmas Giving Tree Outreach has been a huge success! A special Thank You to all of the wonderful members of ShepHills for being so generous in supporting three great UpBring agencies. Through your benevolence, gifts were provided for 33 girls at New Life Center, 30 Upbring Foster Children; and in addition to loads of hygiene items, 29 gifts for BeREAL young people. That is an amazing blessing that you have given to those in need! Thanks also to the Captains for each charity, Kathy Gerhardt, Mary Allison, and Karen Stern. — Linda Roesle
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 – firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
O God, our communities continue to be rocked by gun violence and fear, and we pray for your people here in Austin and San Antonio who were victims this week. We pray that those who are suffering from mental health challenges and isolation may receive the help and support they need for healing. We pray that violence may cease.
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 true inclusion of all people, and that the welcoming love of Jesus may always be our message. 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 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. We thank you for our mission partners of Austin City Lutherans and the ministries of Mariposa and Bread for All. We thank you for the ministries of Upbring that care for at-risk children and young adults. 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.