We Proclaim our Faith without Hesitation

March 19, 2017

Holy Cow! Future Visioning Events

To continue on the journey of Strategic Planning and getting a read on the Overall Health and Vitality of our congregation, we have scheduled the following events:

History Event – Sunday, April 2 – 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

This is a fun event where the congregation explores the life and faith journey of their worshipping community. Discussion will include, “highs” and “lows” and how challenges were overcome. The event is not a chronicle, it is an opportunity to hear the personal stories and perspectives of current members and to connect the congregation’s ministry and mission with world and community events. Themes and patterns revealed during this event will be carried forward into later discussions.

Unpacking Your Purpose – Sunday, April 30 – 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

We will gather to “unpack” what our current Purpose Statement means to our ministries today; what it may mean in the future, and we’ll discuss how our Guiding Principles are utilized in decision making. Data collected using the Church Assessment Tool is introduced to help the congregation discern why or not the current mission/purpose statement is or is not working well.

Healthy Communication and Conflict Management Workshop – Wednesday, May 17 – 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

This workshop will help members identify unhealthy communication practices and become active listeners and learn strategies to transform conflict into safe and meaningful interactions.

Asset – Mapping and Connecting the Dots – Wednesday, June 7 – 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Volunteers will be gathering community listening data through surveys and interviews while engaged in the visioning process. That information will be collected and quantified over the course of the next few months. Once that listening phase is complete, the congregation gather to connect assets, resources and the priorities of the congregation with the issues, challenges, assets, resources, and needs of the community. The data from the CAT Vital Signs report is used to narrow down specific areas of focus. This is the final phase of the visioning process where he congregation will create 3-5 short and long-term goals based on the purpose statement and guiding principles and what they have heard during the community listening phase.

Articulating Strategic Directions for Mission – Summer/Fall 2017

Sub-teams will form around each of the goals to formulate specific action plans and time-lines using the SMART Goals Workbook. A final draft of the congregation’s vision and strategic directions for mission will be presented to the congregation and council for final discussion and implementation sometime in late summer/early fall.

March 5, 2017

2nd Annual – MY BEST FRIEND’S 5k ROAD RACE – May 13

To Support Veterans Base Camp

Shepherd of the Hills Evangelical Lutheran Church of Simsbury (SHELC) will be holding its 2nd annual 5k run/walk on Saturday, May 13, 2017 and welcomes members of the community to participate.

My Best Friend’s 5k Road Race begins at 10:00 a.m. at the church located at 7 Westcott Road in Simsbury.  In addition to the 5k course there will be a 1.5 mile course for walkers, kids and strollers.

The event will also feature music, food, a Veterans Base Camp information booth and products from its online store and other surprises. Proceeds from the race will benefit the Veterans Base Camp Community Training Center, Chaplin CT.

Founded in 2013, by area businessmen and veterans, Darrell Chaloult and Bruce Maneeley, the Veterans Base Camp is a 501c3 charitable non-profit organization dedicated to providing wellness programs, educational resources, job training, tech skills and business opportunities for Veterans and first responders.  First responders include EMT personnel, combat nurses, medics, firefighters, police and their families and supporters.


Located on an expanse of gently rolling hills along a winding road, the camp is a welcoming combination of old homestead and summer camp. The 1921 red frame house offers an abundance of comfortable spaces for conversation and relaxing.  The main dining area is warmed by a large stone fireplace and looks out onto a view of the grounds, a fishing pond and the woods beyond. There are plans to set up hiking trails in the spring. Spacious, rustic cabins circle the rambling main house for additional residential space.

The partners collaborate with volunteers and private, government and community organizations to offer assistance to veterans who wish to gain competitive career skills and employment opportunities in fields such as agriculture, food services, renewable energy, fiber optics, IT, and other essential skills. Bi-weekly meetings are held to establish relationships among the veterans and plan opportunities, access and secure benefits necessary to achieve their wellness and economic goals. All are welcome and encouraged to attend these meetings  – see calendar on their website or their Facebook page.

Veterans Base Camp is also in the process of developing a series menu of Wellness Retreats for veterans, first responders, and supporters in the form of a day or weekend event.  Activities such as yoga, hiking, massage therapy, and team building activities will be offered.

One of the most important founding principles of the Veterans Base Camp is for the veterans to be self-sufficient.  Ultimately it is veterans helping veterans; as they had one another’s back while serving, they will continue to have each other’s back in civilian life.  Their special bond of experience, loyalty and duty will persevere.

Important Dates

Sunday, April 2, Darrell and other volunteers from VBC will attend the 10 a.m. service and 11 a.m. coffee hour at Shepherd of the Hills Church to discuss Veterans Base Camp and his plans for the future.  The local community is encourage to join  – all are welcome!

Saturday, April 8, there will be a Wellness Day at the Camp in Chaplin for Veterans, First Responders and families.  To register for this event, please contact the Veterans Base Camp by phone (860) 477 1333 or email info@veteransbasecamp.org

Registration is currently open for the 5k run and 1.5-mile walk

To register, please go to RunSignUp.com.

Register by April 30 to receive a free tri-blend t-shirt.

For more information about Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church (SHELC) visit www.shelc.org.

Or call (860) 658 0583


March 5, 2017

Bible Study – The Screwtape Letters

March 5, 2017

Lenten Midweek Church Dinner Service

Wednesday evenings during Lent 6:15 – 7:30 p.m.

What is a Church Dinner Service?

It’s worship and learning as and a meal all inclusive held in the Fellowship Hall. The event follows the Lutheran 4-fold order of worship with a twist: Gathering, Meal (soup/bread), Word (theme exploration), and Sending.

What is the Learning Theme?

Economic Justice and Faith is the theme. The connection between faith, worship and justice was central for Martin Luther. His concern for the poor and his sharp rebuke of economic injustice helps us today see the many way our faith calls us to strive for justice in our world.

In this 500th year since the Reformation, Luther’s call for economic justice is more pressing than ever. Each week, along with congregations throughout the ELCA, we’ll explore themes related to economic justice and faith. The message is geared toward everyone – youth through adult.

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”

If you can bring a crock of soup, please pick a week and sign-up on the kiosk in the Gathering Space.

February 5, 2017

How can we Surprise Jesus?

The Centurion

In Pastor’s sermon, she takes us to Luke 7:1-10.  She paraphrases the story….A leader of soldiers asked Jesus to heal one of his men that worked for him, and Jesus said sure and started to go to the leader’s house, but the leader said, “Oh you don’t have to go to my house. You can just say the words “be healed” and I know he will be.” The leader believed so much in Jesus’ power to heal even without meeting the person.  Jesus was surprised at the man’s faith and was very happy, and of course, He healed the leader’s friend.

When people do things to help others without being told or without being pushed into doing it, Jesus is probably surprised. Are there ways you could surprise Him?

Pastor asks the children to write it down

Write down a way you could help others even if you don’t think you can, or in a way that you’ve never done before, but you know with Jesus’ help you could. Then crumple up the paper and throw it into the crowd behind you. That’ll surprise them too and we’ll read them later.

Even the adults joined in…

In the meantime, you adults have a blank piece of paper in your bulletins. During the sermon, try to think of a way you could surprise Jesus by doing something, that might even surprise yourself. Something Jesus never would expect you to do that would show how much faith you have in Him. Something you’ve never done before or something you know He could help you to do if you put your heart and mind to it. Then crunch the paper up and fire it back at the kids’ pew or into the aisle where they can collect them – and we’ll read them at the end of the sermon. You don’t have to sign them. It’s a faith exercise. How might you demonstrate your faith that would be surprising?

What was written on those crumbled pieces of paper?

  • Help the elderly
  • Go on a mission trip to help others
  • Talk to a stranger about my faith
  • Visit John in the nursing home
  • Buy a van to help with food packaging
  • Pray for other’s healing when they are sick
  • Be on time
  • Tutor someone who needs help, but can’t afford to pay for it
  • Truly forgive someone I feel has wronged me
  • Go to another country to do mission work
  • Take time to visit a sick or lonely person
  • Go to church every week
  • Take a more active role in helping and advocating for the disadvantaged
  • Sing in the choir
  • Stop complaining
  • Bring cookies!
  • Help others

The bottom line….

Jesus continues to surprise people with what He can do and to whom He’s willing to do it. We are taught that to be Jesus-ey and to follow Him truly, is to help and serve with people we know and don’t know. We are to serve people like us and who are different than us– religious-wise, nationality-wise, economically, gender-wise, or age-wise. This is a major takeaway from this lesson. There are no boundaries between people in Jesus’ eyes…. And like our centering song (Give me your eyes) emphasized…we need to see people the way Jesus does – up close and personal!