Weekly Connections

December 29, 2023

Blessings for the New Year!


8:15 a.m.  | Sanctuary
10:45 a.m. | Sanctuary + Livestream
Come ring in the New Year with blessings. Pick your Star Word for 2023 and get a piece of blessed chalk for chalking your home on Epiphany (Saturday, January 6).

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.

9:30 a.m.
 | Library + Zoom
The Bible is a book that never grows old. Contact Ruby Cadenhead.


Find in-depth descriptions on the website calendar at ShepHills.org/Events.

Friday, December 29 | Closing at Noon
Monday, January 1 | Closed
Tuesday, January 2 | Closed

Sunday, January 7

9:40 a.m. | Sunday’Scool resumes in the Family Ministry Center
6:00 p.m. | NextGen resumes in the Activity Center
6:00 p.m. | NextGen Parents resumes on Solomon’s Porch

Sunday, January 7

12:15 p.m. | Butterfly Center, Flex 1 and Zoom
ShepHills is excited to offer two great journeys in 2024 to holy lands in other parts of the world:
Ireland, May 21-31 A full itinerary of the sights and sounds of this beautiful country will be led by an expert tour guide. We will also share insights into Celtic spirituality. This Christian expression is a down-to-earth spirituality that has been a source of faith in the lives of people for hundreds of years.
Rhine River Cruise, Oct. 24-Nov. 3 The Rhine winds through the heart of Europe with opportunities to explore many places. There is the option for local tours with expert guides. We will get to know a few relatively unknown Medival Mystics and learn from their wisdom as we travel through lands they once walked.
The deadline for committing to either (or both) trips is January 28th. If you have questions please do not hesitate to contact Amanda at Amanda@shephills.org or Tom Grevlos at revgrev86@gmail.com.


What a joy it was to worship together on Christmas Eve! Over 700 people joined us to celebrate the birth of Christ, and just under $12,500 was given to support the Upbring ministries of New Life and BeReal. We extend special thanks to each of you for inviting friends, volunteering to help with worship, sharing your musical talents, and exchanging smiles and hugs aplenty. Thanks be to God for you!


Special thanks to Butterfly Christian Preschool for collecting 2,069 diapers for Bread for All.

Heartbreaking Note: In the first three Mondays of December, Bread for All served 460 families and 2,166 individuals…an all-time high. Please continue bringing weekly donations to the bins int he Gathering Space.


Thank you for giving nearly $12,500 to Upbring Ministries this Christmas Eve!  As 2023 comes to a close, there are still ways to give as God has generously given to us…

Act today! Learn about the different ways to give when considering your end-of-year tax and financial planning, including marketable securities and non-cash assets.

  • POST THOSE CHECKS! 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.
  • TODAY IS THE LAST DAY! 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 – kmarlow@shephills.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.

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!


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

We pray for Rodney Varner, Elin Watkins, and Tom Felger.

We pray for family and friends of Shepherd members: Katy Miller Sliwetzka & Michael Sliwetzka, daughter and son-in-law of Peter and Linda Miller, and Sophie Ahumada, granddaughter of Debra and Nadar Ayoub.

God of Life, we pray for Stacia DeBill and family on the death of her husband, Walter DeBill. Surround all who mourn with the peace and promise of resurrection.

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 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.