Weekly Connections

December 30, 2022

Begin your new year in worship. COME and JOIN US on Sunday at 8:15 and 10:45 a.m. for “A Day Full of Grace”.


8:15 | Sanctuary
10:45 a.m. | Sanctuary + Livestream
Sunday’s special worship celebrates the 250th anniversary of the beloved hymn, “Amazing Grace.” Come give thanks for Jesus coming into this world, filling it with grace and truth! Enjoy this special video prayer for your New Year!

9:15 a.m. | Activity Center
Food for Fellowship invites all for breakfast every Sunday.

9:45 a.m.
| Library + Zoom
Great discussions of the Good Book. Contact Ruby Cadenhead for more information.


Sundays, January 8 – February 19
I Saw the Light
Epiphany is about the revelation of Christ in the world–the “A-ha!” moments when truth dawns on us.  Join us for worship that uplifts the Light of the World that shines brightly in our lives!


Check the calendars on Realm or the website for a complete list of events including Pickleball, PALS, Yoga, and more!

Resumes next Sunday, January 8
9:45 a.m
. | Family Ministry Center
Look for your postcard in the mail this week with dates and activities through March!

Resumes next Sunday, January 8
*6:30 p.m. | Activity Center

*Note the new time! Bible study and games for grades 5-12. Contact Joel Timmons, Student Ministry Coordinator.

Resumes next Wednesday, January 11
7:30 a.m. | Early Riser’s Study on Zoom
10:00 a.m. | Late Riser’s Study in the Library + Zoom

Two times, same great study! Both are Pastor-led. Contact Pr. Lauren or Pr. Tom with questions.

Next Wednesday, January 11
1:00 p.m. | Rm 205

Creative and crafty? Come introduce yourself and help us tie quilt tops for Lutheran World Relief. No experience is needed! Contact Ruth Felger.


If you purchased a poinsettia(s) take it with you after church and enjoy it at home!

Pre-purchased copies of “Signs and Wonders” for Ignite group members are now available outside the Sanctuary doors for the next three Sundays. A $10 donation per book is requested.

Registration Deadline February 1, 2023
Walk where Jesus walked and experience the great adventure of faith on this fantastic Holy Land trip, hosted by Pr. Tom and Jeanne on November 8-17, 2023. Friends and family are welcome! Find brochures in the Gathering Space or contact Pr. Tom.



*Please remember all transactions must be placed on or before December 31. Here is a reminder about the different ways to give with consideration of your end-of-year tax and financial planning:

Donations via US Credit Card, PayPal or other merchant processors must be made by midnight on December 31 in your time zone (statement must be stamped with a 2022 date) to be eligible for a 2022 tax deduction;

Check envelopes must be postmarked by December 31, 2022 to be eligible for a 2022 tax deduction;

Wires or electronic funds transfers must be sent by December 30, 2022 in order to be eligible for a US 2022 tax deduction (December 30 is the last banking day);

Gifts of Appreciated Stock – Must be transferred out by your broker no later than December 31, 2022.  The option of giving of qualified appreciated stock held for over 1 year is becoming more popular. Shepherd maintains a brokerage account where it is very easy to transfer the appreciated stock as a gift. This is beneficial to both Shepherd and the giver as the giver may be able to deduct the appreciated value of the stock and avoid capital gains tax on the gain of the stock.

Gifts from Required Minimum Distributions – For those in a situation that requires minimum distributions from a retirement account (called required minimum distribution or RMD), there is an option called “Qualified Charitable Distribution” or QCD. Individuals turning 72 and those that turned 70 ½ in 2019 should verify they are making the proper RMD and consider the QCD as a possible way of avoiding paying tax on the RMD. The QCD must come directly from the retirement account custodian. If you are giving to Shepherd (or other qualified charities) and taking a RMD directly, please consider the QCD as this could potentially save you in additional taxes.

Donor Advised Fund (DAF) Giving – If you participate with gifts to a DAF, please consider including Shepherd of the Hills as a designee of your DAF gifts. If you are interested in setting up a DAF that may have significant tax benefits, the ELCA Foundation may be a viable option for you. More information about DAF and setting it up is available here. – (www.elca.org/Resources/ELCA-Foundation)

Charitable Remainder Trust – If you have set up a CRT, please consider adding Shepherd of the Hills as a beneficiary of the trust. The CRT is a good option if you want an immediate charitable deduction, but also have a need for an income stream to yourself or another person. It is also a good option if you want to establish one by will to provide for heirs, with the remainder going to charities of your choosing. Please consult your financial adviser regarding setting up a CRT or adding Shepherd of the Hills as a beneficiary.

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 does not constitute legal, financial or tax advice.


Giving is an expression of joy and gratitude for the bounty of God’s goodness! There are so many ways to give-both financially and through serving.

Gathering Space
Bread for All is requesting canned fruit, sugar, and oil this week. Thanks for keeping their shelves and our neighbors’ stomachs full!

If you have not yet done so, prayerfully consider making a gift in support of our Mission and Ministry Fund and/or Facilities and Campus Care Fund for 2023. Use a printed pledge card found in the hymnal holders in the Sanctuary, or make a pledge online. Thank you for helping us do God’s work in the world!

Keeping current with your pledged or regular giving has never been easier because you can do it all online!

Please consider a gift to the Beyond Capital Fund Appeal as part of your finance and tax planning.  The more we collect early, the less we pay later!  Learn more about Beyond here.

Serving is a great way to give back and get to know others in our community. 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!

This Sunday’s Altar Flowers are given by Rob and Lynn Spillar in celebration of the wedding of Kane and Garrett!

If you would like to give Altar Flowers, find more information and sign up by clicking here.


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

Would you like someone to pray alongside you during troubling times? Contact a Stephen Minister who can travel with you on life’s sometimes bumpy road.

We pray for Rodney Varner and Callie Ray Bell.

We pray for family and friends of Shepherd members: Adryana Aldeen, Director of Advancement at Mariposa; and Marie Lindstrom, sister of Linda Fiandaca. 

We pray in thanksgiving for the birth of Aden Darin Ray, son of Sarah & Jon Ray, brother of Noah, grandson of Charlie and Laura Hills, and nephew of Rachel Hills.

We pray in celebration of the marriage of Kane Spillar and Garrett Biggs this weekend. May God’s love surround them in their life together, so that they may continually grow in the gifts of joy, partnership, and loving commitment through all the years to come.

Special blessings and Godspeed to Joel Timmons, our Student Ministry Coordinator on his journey to the Holy Land.

We pray for the people of Ukraine caught in the middle of war and violence. Our hearts break when women and children are displaced and families torn apart by the evil actions of others. May you break open hearts so that swords may be beat into plowshares, spears into pruning hooks.

We pray for our global ministry partners: Rev. Karen Castillo in Guatemala; Iglesia Luterana Augustina Virgen del Rosario, Aurora 8 de Octubre, Guatemala. We pray for Malcolm and Joy Henderson and the ministry of CHARIS in Haiti. 

We pray for our local ministries: Mariposa Family Learning Center, Bread For All, and Upbring Ministries.

We pray for our faith community, that we may be a church without walls and live out loud…faithfully!

*Prayers for family and friends are listed for 2 weeks, unless we are notified otherwise.