Category: Education

June 4, 2017

“Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Mark 10:14

During the Children’s Message or Fellowship Time most Sundays, children are given a treasure chest with a lock and a colored tie on it. Someone in the congregation has the key on a matching colored bracelet. When the child finds the person with their matching colored key, they exchange names, maybe a fun fact for the day and the child then opens their chest and keeps the treasure. The chest with its lock is then returned to Pastor Chris.

Why do we do this?

  • It provides an opportunity for adults to get to know and interact with the children that are part of our congregation or with children that are visiting
  • Adults can model hospitality and demonstrate an active interest in the future generation of the church and help fulfill their promises made when children are baptized
  • Children practice social skills in meeting others and become more familiar with the sea of faces in the congregation
  • Relationships form
  • Most often the treasure somehow reinforces the Children’s Message
  • Adults are “key” to unlocking the mystery of grace for children
  • Children experience grace – free gifts of love – in the smiles and friendly comments of the people they meet, as well as in the treasure
  • People of all ages discover that each person is a treasure to be appreciated

Pastor Chris approaches folks randomly before the service asking if they would like to be a key bearer for the day. Feel free to approach her. It’s ok to build familiarity with any child, if you volunteer regularly and feel free to follow-up and remind the child of your name other Sundays. Pastor Chris would also appreciate a volunteer to distribute keys.

“Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me. Mark. 9:37

March 19, 2017

When is the last time the two of you did something to enrich and revitalize your marriage? Make 2017 the year you spend a weekend making your marriage a more intimate, loving, Christian union.

Lutheran Marriage Encounter Weekends

Running from Friday 8 p.m. to Sunday until 3 p.m., these weekends have been enriching marriages for over 40 years! To nights lodging, 5 meals and all supplies are included for a $100 registration fee.

2017 Northeast Weekends

March 24-26 at Toftrees Golf Resort Conference Center – a peaceful resort nestled in 1500 wooded acres in State College, PA. FULL – waiting list available.

April 28-30 in Lancaster, PA at the all newly-renovated Heritage Hotel Lancaster –  home of the unique tree-house-inspired restaurant, “Loxley’.” FULL – waiting list available.

September 15-17 at Spruce Lake Retreat Center, Canadensis, PA – a new hotel-style facility on Spruce Lake in the heart of the Pocono Mountains – an hour north of Allentown, PA.

October 6-8 at the Black Swan Inn in Lee, MA. – a hidden gem overlooking Laurel Lake and nestled in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains – an hour north of Hartford, CT.

Check it out at or contact Fred & Julie Schamber at 724-325-3166 or by e-mail


March 5, 2017

Wednesdays 9:30-11:00 a.m.

From……Written in the form of letters, The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis is an amusing and insightful correspondence between a senior devil, Screwtape, and his obstreperous and incompetent nephew, Wormwood, a “young fiend.” All of the letters are from Screwtape to Wormwood, and the subject of the correspondence is a human being, newly converted to Christianity, whom Screwtape refers to as “the patient.” Throughout the correspondence, Screwtape tries to help Wormwood tempt the patient away from Heaven and into Hell. He encourages his nephew’s successes, suggests various and devious ways to enter the man’s thoughts and influence him, and berates Wormwood for his failures as the man begins attending church, goes through various ups and downs of faith, falls in love with a Christian girl, and is called to service in the War. All in all, the letters and “Screwtape Proposes a Toast,” the last chapter of the book, are a witty and cautionary commentary on the state of the modern human soul.

It’s Not Too Late to Join Us – All are Welcome!

Obtain his book and come and explore its content with helpful study guides, a biblical lens and lively conversation. In a season of temptations, this study is just the thing to strengthen your faith.


February 5, 2017

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!

October 7, 2016 No comments exist

On Reformation Sunday, we will be blending traditional with contemporary reforms in our worship at 10:00 a.m. We will also formally acknowledge members who have joined our church in recent years and have been part of its re-forming.

To celebrate the Reformation further, a showing of the movie Luther will be shown after the worship service from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. A spaghetti lunch (a fun acknowledgement of the Diet of Worms) will be served with an opportunity for seconds and dessert during the movie break.

Come enjoy food, fellowship and learn (or refresh your memory) about how Martin Luther’s defiant actions changed the world.

September 26, 2016 No comments exist

Simsbury Public Library

725 Hopmeadow Street

Sundays from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.

September 11 – Susan Campbell – “Fundamentalist Christianity Explained”

October 23 – Barry Kosmin – “The Changing Religious Profile of the United States

November 20 – Rabbi Debra Cantor – “Partners in Creation: Using the Arts as a Bridge Between Faith Communities”

December 11 – Imam Sami Aziz & Vjosa Qerimi – “Islam 101, ISIS, and Interfaith Peace Efforts: a brief overview”

Read more on the Simsbury Library website. Reserve a seat at 860-658-7663 x2200.

Free and open to all.



September 20, 2016 No comments exist

Bible Study Offered in the Morning and Evening

Come and explore the book the-rapture-exposedof Revelation and learn about worship practices, discipleship, and blessings. Dispel any trepidations you might have about the book’s imagery and metaphors. Using a Lutheran lens, learn to critique those who use this book to describe the world’s end. We’ll view the Left Behind move and have a guided discussion to help us understand this provocative book and hear from biblical scholars to aid our exploration.

The Rapture Exposed: The Message of hope in the Book of Revelation by Barbara R. Rossing will be of use to those who wish to read more about this intriguing subject. The book will be referenced but is not required reading. This course is geared for both beginner and avid bible study students.

Two sessions are being offered: Wednesday, 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. and Thursday, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Come join us and invite a friend!



September 7, 2016 No comments exist

Mark the Date: September 26 at 7:00 p.m.

From the Bishop’s Office:

As we enter this election season, people are once again asking questions about the role of religion in public life.  What can and can’t churches do or say in the political arena?  What does the first amendment say, and how did it get included?  Is there a balance in living our faith and being patriotic?  We will explore these and many of your questions with Attorney Thomas Cunniff.  Tom is the Associate legal counsel for the ELCA, where he advises congregations, bishops and other leaders on legal matters and churches.

Great educational opportunity for youth

This could be a good event for confirmation classes, adult forum discussion prep as well as middle or high school youth wanting to explore this topic for a class.

The log in for this webinar is

Or join us at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, 7 Wescott Road, Simsbury, CT 06070

June 22, 2016 1 comment

This Sunday we will wish Jo-Ann & Bob Kenny a happy retirement as they worship with us at our regular 9:00 a.m. service.

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SInce 1996, Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church has been home to Tails-U-Win-Too! Jo-Ann and Bob have taught many dogs over the last two decades. Join us this Sunday as we celebrate their retirement!