Newsletter February 01, 2015 - Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church

IN THIS ISSUE: Observations from the Deck pg. 2 | Love
pg. 5 | More Love pg. 6-7 | February Calendar pg. 12
John 3:16
“For God so
loved the
world, that
he gave his
only Son,
that whoever
believes in
him should
not perish
but have
eternal life.”
Shepherd of the Hills
Rev. Tom Grevlos
Rev. Felix Malpica
Director of Music
Kevin McClure
Financial Officer
Trixi Spinelli
Director of Organization &
Amy Ruedas
Communication & Connections
Ministry Specialist
Karen Flint
Family & Women’s Ministry
Specialist/Interim Preschool
Jeanne Grevlos
Director of Youth Ministries
Jacob Thogmartin
Interim Family Ministry
Jessica Malpica
Campus Superintendent
Fred Schleede
Monthly Connections
Amy Ruedas, Editor and Design
Karen Flint, Copy Editor
Kathy Gerhardt, Copy Editor
3525 Bee Cave Road | Austin, TX.
Vice President:
Financial Officer:
Mark Nogalski
Carole Morgan
Norma Smith
Trixi Spinelli
Adelle Connors
Steve Freche
Tom Lueders
Jerry McDonald
Bobby McQuiston
Ronny Pinckard
Patty Rowley
Steve Schulz
Mark Tate
Tuesday, FEBRUARY 10th at 7 p.m.
Observations from the Deck…by Pastor Tom Grevlos
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.
Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than
the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures,
than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more
important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a
company…a church…a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice
everyday regarding the attitude we embrace for that day. We cannot
change the past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a
certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do
is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced
that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it
is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.” by Charles Swindoll
Sometimes in my day-to-day life I am in need of an attitude adjustment! I would have to believe that
anyone who has raised a child has had a sit-down conversation about that child’s attitude and the
need for an attitude-adjustment. Perhaps a great benefit of ones faithfulness in worship is to receive
an attitude adjustment, moving us from cynicism to hopefulness and joy. Perhaps one of our
spiritual practices should be exercises in attitude adjustment! In doing so, we can “turn that frown
upside down.”
What might that spiritual practice of attitude adjustment look like in our life? The list could get very
long but here are a few practical ideas…four Be-Attitudes:
Be Grateful. What I discover about myself when I am in an “attitude funk” is that I
am choosing to be ungrateful and ungracious. My discontent becomes focused on
what I do not have, rather than the abundance of blessings all around me.
Choosing gratitude as an attitude is a game-changer as I begin to recognize the
grace of God and I find contentment in Him.
Be Joyful. Have you ever noticed the difference in your own attitude when you have
been with people who are joy-full rather than those who suck the joy right out of
life? The great models of faith in my life are those who exude joy no matter what
the circumstance! I learn from them the importance of choosing an attitude of joy
and when doing so, share that joy with others.
Be Prayerful. When we choose to surrender our worries, fears, and resentments to
God as an attitude adjustment, our world has color. When we choose to move
from despair and defeatism we find the scales on our eyes falling away and we see
the presence of God under every rock, in every flower, and in the faces of others.
We are surprised by grace most often in the “insignificant” moments of life.
Be Playful. I believe that Jesus’ call for us to have the “faith of a little child” is not
only a lesson to trust, but an encouraging word for us to be playful. Playfulness
keeps us humble and makes us loveable. In my own life my attitude slips down the
slippery slope when I fail to get adequate exercise or find my life out-of-balance
with work and play.
Beginning with Ash Wednesday on February 18th, we enter the holy season of Lent. This most
misunderstood journey has fostered an attitude of “giving up” or walking around with “sackcloth
and ashes”. Contrary to that notion I believe that Lent is about “renewal” and an “attitude
adjustment”. The word Lent means “springtime!” I invite you to this 40-day journey of worship,
learning, sharing, reflecting, praying…all shaping our attitude where we discover an abundant life in
Christ! What will you choose?
Who Was Jesus?
What did Jesus Do?
Why Jesus Matters?
(Through the lens of the gospel of Mark)
Mark 6:30-56
Feed Them!
Mark 8:27-38
What About You!
Mark 9:1-13
TUESDAYS @11 a.m. with Pastor Tom
“Jesus” Bible Study and Faith Conversations
February 3rd and February 10th
Another opportunity to engage with the texts surrounding the final week
in Christ's life happens on Tuesday mornings at 11:00 a.m. in the
library beginning February 17th. Pastor Norb Firnhaber will lead
reflections from all four Gospels in this study of the Passion of our Lord.
In the spirit of one of our ministry goals - biblical fluency - we hope this
can be a part of our Lenten enrichment. Let us pause to reflect together.
Encourage a friend to share with you!
ANIMATE is back! This wonderful, innovative video/discussion series on the
“Bible” will cover topics on how the Bible was formed, characteristics of the
Old and New Testaments, how we interpret, etc. will be featured. Calling all
parents of youth and parents of children who are not teaching Sunday
School, we would love to have you join us in the Fellowship Center at 9:30
a.m.! Coffee is served. This series will be led by Pastor Tom.
SUNDAYS @9:35 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall
February 17 - Mark 11:1-10
Jesus begins his final week with a celebrative walk to Jerusalem.
February 24 - Matthew 26:17-29
Jesus hosting the Last Supper before he dies - and some of the meaning
around this Meal, the Holy Eucharist.
March 3 - Matthew 26:36-51
Jesus prays and agonizes in the Gethsemane garden.
March 10 - Luke 22:66 - 23:25
Jesus on trial before the civil and religious courts.
March 17 - Luke 23:26-49
The giving over into death - the Crucifixion of our Lord.
March 24 - John 20:1-18
He is risen!! The meaning and hope in the Event of Resurrection.
Meet in the Library. Contact Dee Jackson at [email protected] for more information.
Cleaner Water (without having to carry it): Families at
Shepherd of the Hills and Spirit in the Hills have
committed to funding 49 rainwater collection systems for
families in Guatemala. As soon as we receive everyone’s
contributions we will forward the money to the Iglesia
Luterana Augustina de Guatemala (ILAG) to purchase
rainwater collection tanks for the church and the houses of
each family of La Virgen del Rosario Lutheran Church in
Aurora, Guatemala (to be followed by a purification filter
for in home use).
Family Prayer Partnerships: There was a meeting on
Sunday, January 11th to discuss the history of our
partnership with ILAG, to see pictures of the families and
life in Aurora, and how we have learned to “accompany”
the families of La Virgen del Rosario Lutheran Church.
We want to begin our Prayer Partnership with the
families in Aurora, Guatemala with cards and letters.
They can be a short and simple sharing of our love and
prayers or a favorite scripture. We can provide some
simple Spanish phrases and help with translation. We
proposed writing each quarter, collecting our letters and
forwarding them to ILAG for delivery to the Aurora
representatives at their regular Leadership meetings. We
will provide written guidelines for letters.
If you missed the meeting but wish to be a Prayer Partner with a Guatemalan family,
please contact Don Cadenhead at [email protected] or 512-705-1528.
Know Spanish? We need a few people with a proficiency in Español to
help translate letters from our Brothers and Sisters in Christ in Guatemala.
Please email Don Cadenhead at [email protected] or
contact the church office at 512-327-3370. Gracias!
1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
Question: What is the difference between $104,150 and $173,178?
Answer: Generous and loving people like YOU!
Through your generosity we were able to exceed our 2014 budget
and distribute $173,178 to our benevolent causes. We met 100%
of our commitments and then some! Please see the 2014 Annual
Meeting financial report for the details.
Plans and Programs for 2015
For the 2015 budget, the Outreach Team has selected 15
organizations to receive $42,500 in addition to the ELCA offering of
a minimum of $50,000 and the Refugee Family Assistance Program
of $18,000 for a total budget of $130,000. We will provide
information about each organization monthly in this newsletter, in
the Weekly Connections and email, on the community news
bulletin board and narthex monitor.
Please watch for details and information how you can become
involved with our partners in Christian ministry globally, nationally
and in our own backyard. We would love to see more personal
connections made with the people involved in these organizations.
Our 2015 benevolence gifts will be shared with the Prince of Peace
Lutheran Church’s Bread for All food pantry and their Austin Youth
Leadership and Counseling program, Capital Area Food Bank, Charis
Ministry of Grace in Haiti, Cross Trails Ministry, ELCA Synod of the
Southwest, Feed My People, the La Virgen del Rosario Lutheran
Church in Guatemala , Lutheran Campus Ministry at UT Austin,
Lutheran World Relief, Lutheran Social Services for New Life
Children’s Center in Canyon Lake, TX and their new program, Be
REAL!, Mission Partners (the Lutheran churches in Eagle Pass, TX
and Piedras Negras, Mexico), Spirit in the Hills Lutheran Church,
and Side by Side Kids.
John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also
are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Thank you notes for Christmas gifts from the girls at
Lutheran Social Services New Life Center.
The Souper Bowl of Caring will take place on Sunday, February 1st
and our goal is to gather 1,000 non-perishable food items!
You can find donation areas in the narthex.
For more information email [email protected]
This is a photo of Blake Imhoff our Eagle Scout candidate
who recently completed an extension of the path at the back
of our church property. The path connects with the trail
through the woods. He has reworked the area where the
labyrinth was located and added benches. The path will
eventually continue to the proposed Biblical Garden and
beyond. Thank you BLAKE! Your work is a blessing to us!
Feed My People is a coalition of
Austin area churches that provides
breakfast every Tuesday and
Thursday throughout the year for
homeless and disadvantaged
people. Our congregation is
responsible for months which
have a fifth Tuesday which occurs
about 4-5 times per year. Meals
are served at 1 United Methodist Church Family Center which is
equipped with commercial kitchen/serving capabilities. We fund/
acquire/assist in preparation/and serve approximately 200 hungry
people. As Co-Coordinator with Jordon Scott, we work with
Shepherd of the Hills volunteers to ensure full services in regards
to the breakfast are achieved.
folk who, by dent of bad luck, bad choices or bad circumstance find
themselves homeless. Our society tends to outlaw folks who are
not “ high achievers” by relegating them to the outer fringes and
therefore are out of sight. Just by serving a hearty hot breakfast I
have been able to discern a better understanding of
homelessness.. These folks are not by nature “bad” but are
redeemable humans who are created by God just as I was. The
rewards in this service are the realization that there is kindness,
understanding, forgiveness and power by just stooping so low as
to lift others less fortunate. I would encourage our congregation
to continue this worthwhile program so as to empower ourselves
and our youth to live up to the biblical directive:
Thanks for listening...Dave Fossmeyer
Personally, in working with this program I have gained a better
understanding of the meaning of who “My People” truly are. We,
in the Westlake Hills area, tend to forget about the unfortunate
Next Feed My People Volunteer Opportunity:
March 23rd and 24th. Mark your calendars!
Ephesians 4:2-3
with all humility and gentleness,
with patience, bearing with one
another in love, eager to
maintain the unity of the Spirit
in the bond of peace.
1 John 3:18 Little children, let us not love
in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
Great News! Jessica Malpica will be serving as Interim Family
Ministry Assistant. Please welcome Jessica in her new role!
The Garden (Birth-Pre-K): Meeting in Butterfly Preschool on the First and Third
Sunday of each month!
The Village (Kinder-5th Grade): Continuing with GREAT curriculum and
Don’t forget our “flip-flop!”
We START in our classrooms and END in the Sanctuary for Worship Warmup, presented by our middle or high school age youth!
Lent will be similar to Advent—we’ll gather together for community and
Theme: Practicing the Faith! Stay tuned for more details and great ways to
engage all ages!
Community—Hospitality—Participation—Learning—Prayer—a Faith that Fills
happens over time. But time does pass—more quickly than we think! Please join us!
For more information about Family Ministry, please contact Jeanne Grevlos,
Family & Women’s Ministry Specialist at 512-3370 or [email protected]
Registration is ongoing at Butterfly
Christian Preschool!
Mary Gimenez, Butterfly Administrative
Assistant: [email protected] or
Jeanne Grevlos, Interim Preschool Director:
[email protected]
“Reading Readiness starts
EARLY!” Little ones in our
toddler class immersing
themselves in books!
A snapshot of children in
our two’s classroom…
watching Max, the class
gecko, shed his skin.
Friendship, observation,
community, and God’s world!
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2015; 8:30-11:30 A.M.
It’s the “peak” experience of life. Raising children takes us to new heights as we parent
throughout a young person’s life.
But how does the church accompany you on that climb?
We’re asking for your input, interest, and your time as we find our way forward together!
10:10-10:30 a.m. Break
10:30-11:30 a.m. ASK THE EXPERTS! Dawn Hermann, Child Development Specialist and Owner of Great Beginnings Parent Coaching
and Professional Trainings and Heather Hanson, Synod Youth Ministry Coordinator, Southwestern Texas Synod, ELCA
Guest speaker Dawn Herman will present "Helping Children Deal with Anxiety”
Dawn is the owner of Great Beginnings Parent Coaching and Professional Trainings. She is a child development specialist with 13 years of experience working with children
and families. With a degree in Family & Child Development, she spent nearly 10 years with the Texas Early Intervention program (ECI) and has been developing and leading
child development workshops for parents and professionals for the past several years. She works in-home providing private consultations to parents and in preschool
classrooms helping teachers and directors provide quality care to all children. Dawn lives in Austin with her husband, Jeff ,and her four year old daughter, Holly.
Wouldn't you love to ensure that your child is equipped with the tools necessary to navigate the stress and anxiety that comes with growing up in today's busy, pressurefilled world? Wouldn't it be great to give your child a real 'leg up' in life by ensuring his "emotional intelligence?" Join Dawn as she shares strategies for tackling anxiety and
stress that are research based and grounded in best practices.
How exciting! We’re returning! Going back to Camp
Chrysalis because last year was SO AWESOME!
Wondering what summer camp is about and why
your child should go?
Not sure if your child is ready? Wondering why the camp experience is so powerful, and
works toward developing your child’s sense of self?
In the words of scripture; “Come and See!” You do not need to commit—just get informed and
ask questions. Jacob Thogmartin has been a camp counselor at Chrysalis for YEARS and will
give GREAT insight into what the week involves! Hear the testimonies of children who’ve
*10 spots available for 2nd and 3rd graders!
*10 spots available for 4th and 5th graders!
*20 spots available for Confirmation youth!
**We NEED a deposit check made out to Shepherd of the Hills for $100.00 by February 23rd
to secure a spot! Total cost for camp is $375.00 for the entire week!
***Camperships available through Camp Chrysalis and Shepherd of the Hills.
Contact: Jeanne Grevlos, Family & Women’s Ministry Specialist: [email protected] OR
Jacob Thogmartin, Director of Youth Ministries at [email protected]
Family Ministry Summit- on February 7th…
Come take part of an collaborative visioning and
empowering summit for our Family Ministry. We will all be
taking part in crafting the future of our ministry, as well as
receiving some insights from some speakers on the subject.
This will be a great opportunity to voice your concerns
about the ministry, as well as to be renewed in our mission
to reach out to our young people. Our goals for the summit
are to talk about the future of Family Ministry as well as
equip our Families with the resources they need to fulfill
their goals.
Feast of Love- We are having a Valentines Day Evening of
Dinner and Dancing on February 14th to fundraise for the
National Youth Gathering! There will Food, Fun, Games,
Dancing, and a great opportunity for the congregation to
support our High school ministry and youth attending the
2015 ELCA Youth Gathering in Detroit this summer.
Please RSVP at [email protected]
Confirmation Retreat– April 17-19, 2015
‘The Crossing’ will be going on a retreat to Ebert Ranch Camp in
Harper, TX. This event will be a great opportunity for our kids to
bond with one another and further explore their faith. This event
will be especially important for our 8th graders who will be
confirmed and are now looking into the future. This event is very
important for strengthening relationships that last a lifetime, and
can help our confirmation youth encounter the Lord in a context
that encourages introspection and conversation.
Our Youth will be attending Camp
Chrysalis in Kerrville on June 14th19th. Camp is a time-honored
tradition that builds relationships
between campers that last for years
as young people are called to live out
their faith in a new environment.
Camp helps people of all ages
discover who they are, calls them to
use their gifts to help others, and
provides an environment in which to
feel comfortable sharing their faith.
Check your calendar, and RSVP at
[email protected]!
ELCA National Youth Gathering–
July 12-18, 2015
A group of our high school members are
attending the National Youth Gathering in
Detroit on July 12th-18th . This is going to be
an amazing opportunity for our kids to not
only bond with each other but to also meet
other Lutherans from all over the country and
in their local state communities. There will be
a lively atmosphere of worship, fellowship,
and service, and this event promises to be
memorable and life-changing.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 “Love is patient and kind;
love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or
rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not
irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at
wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love
bears all things, believes all things, hopes all
things, endures all things.”
The Annual Quilting Bee will
be on Saturday, February 14th
from 9 am.– 12 p.m. No skills
needed. All are welcome.
at 8 a.m.
Sunday, February 22
On Sunday, February 22, 2015 we will have a special opportunity to view
products and creations in wood created by the hands of Christian
artisans in and around the Holy Land region. We invite you to visit their
display tables in the narthex and view some of the finest handcrafts
available from the Holy Land.
You can view these beautiful items On-Line @ More details about this visit on our church website.
Host Families needed for
Augustana Band members!
Please contact Karen Flint at
[email protected] as soon
as possible. Thank you!
Employment Opportunity...
Shepherd of the Hills is hiring a PT
Communications Assistant. Check our
church website for the job description.
New Member orientation classes on
Sunday, February 1st at 12:00p.m.,
Sunday, February 8th at 9:30a.m. or
Sunday, February 8th at 12:00p.m.
The sessions will answer the questions,
"Who Are We? What Happens Here? And
Where Are We Going?"
RSVP to [email protected]
Childcare provided upon request.
This will be the second year that Shepherd of the Hills
Confirmation Students will lead the church's CROP Walk
efforts. CROP stands for Communities Responding to
Overcome Poverty. CROP Hunger Walks are community
fund-raising events sponsored by Church World Service
(CWS), an international relief, development, and refugee
resettlement agency. Money raised by CROP Hunger Walks
nationwide is used by CWS to provide food, medical care,
disaster relief, and self-help development for needy people
locally and throughout the world.
March 1st 2015, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Camp Mabry 2200 West 35th Street/ meet at Church
Contact Felix Malpica at [email protected] for more info.