Category: Heritage

March 19, 2017

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.

October 19, 2016 No comments exist

On Sunday, Dennis Gruell spoke to us about having “No Reservations.” It was the theme at the New England ELCA Synod Assembly 2016. According to Bishop Jim Hazelwood, “There are no reservations in the kingdom of God.” To do God’s work, we need to share abundantly with “No Reservations.” This our theme, too, at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church for our 2016 Stewardship campaign.



This Word Cloud was created by the congregation by answering the questions about how we viewed our church. To continue “God’s Work Our Hands,” the tag line of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, we share abundantly with “No Reservations.”

All are welcome to participate in the campaign  – no reservations required!

10/16        Faith Commitment appeal begins with introduction from Dennis Gruell

10/30        Faith Commitment Packets are available

11/06        Celebration of our fellowship and work together during coffee hour after worship

11/13        Commitment Sunday – Faith Commitments offered during worship service

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!



July 30, 2016 No comments exist

Well, not exactly…..


The new cranberry (or in Swedish congregation’s “lingonberry”) colored hymnals are available for purchase at $25 each (cost plus shipping.)

Lutheran Hymnal

Order forms are available in pew racks and can be returned with checks made payable to SHELC (memo- hymnals) or cash. These forms also allow you to order personal hymnals for home and book plates in memory/honor of a loved one to the glory of God. Returned forms can be placed in the Offering Box or sent to the Church Office. Thank you for enhancing our worship opportunities as we endeavor to sing together with the ELCA.

March 28, 2016 No comments exist

by Susan Gest

as Published in the February Edition of the Granby Drummer

They’ve gone from a capital “T” to a small “t” or more symbolically, a cross.  Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Simsbury, completed an addition in September after almost two years of planning. The new Gathering Space was dedicated on Nov. 8 and fittingly transforms the church into the shape of a cross and provides a transition from everyday life.


“It looks like it was always part of the church” commented George Forler, a longtime member. That’s because the design by local architect, Lorri DiBattisto, of DiBattisto & Associates of East Granby, has experience working with churches. SHELC Building - Oct 2015The project started over two years ago when church members identified the need to replace the 50 year-old skylights that spanned the sanctuary roofline.  As they found out from interviewing many local contractors, this would be no small task.  Rob Proulx from Proulx Building & Remodeling LLC of Stafford Springs, however, was up for the challenge and was selected for the job. “Why not replace the old windows and doors at the front of the church, too, and add a few feet of space?” asked Dennis Gruell Co-Chair of the Facilities Improvement Committee.

Of course, the purpose for adding the new space had to be connected in some way to our mission. “When we looked to the history of the architecture of the church, we saw it. An entry room, or narthex, is used to transition from everyday life to the sanctuary and to emphasize service to the community” explained Kat Smith, Council President.

Funding was the next step, once the congregation approved the overall concept. The (re)Building to Foster Community capital campaign netted nearly half the funds required for the construction phase.  A loan refinancing made up the other half, which made it possible to keep the current monthly mortgage payments unchanged.  Additionally, monies that had been bequeathed a few years earlier provided the resources for the Interior Design Committee to fill the new space.

“We focused on functionality, so we didn’t just end up with more building to maintain,” explained Jack Vanderbilt Co-Chair of the Facilities Improvement Committee. The new construction includes an ADA compliant automatic door and ramps so that everyone has easy access to worship.

Weekly Sunday Services are at 9 a.m. All are invited to see the new Gathering Space and join in worship.

March 19, 2016 No comments exist

Celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation in Germany


The date has been set for a July 3rd departure with a return on July 14th, 2017.

Land price per passenger based on a twin accommodation is $2,630.00 plus optional travel insurance cost. Basic insurance and airfare per person through Globus is $209 and $1,972 respectively.

Save 10% by booking before November 30, 2016

For more information contact Lisa Martin,