NEEDED: Egg Bakes, Food/Beverage donations and Workers for Saturday, Feb. 10th Pancake and Egg Breakfast. Sign up in Gathering Area at church, leave a message on church phone (715-879-5115) or contact Pastor Mary ( or Rita Lee (715-874-6310)


As you may know, Lent is 40 days long (NOT including the Sundays during the season). You may also know that 40 is a popular number within our faith's history. In fact, according to an article at, the number 40 is mentioned 146 times in the Bible. The site noted that generally 40 (days/years) symbolizes a period of testing, trial or probation, but the reference of 40 years can be used to represent a generation of humankind. In her 2017 bustedhalo blog entry entitled, "Why is Lent 40 days long", Neela Kale notes that in Jewish and Christian tradition, the number 40 has symbolic meaning. I may be more than a literal measurement, but generally representing a long time and a period of preparation or testing. In other words, when 40 days or 40 years have passed, the appropriate period or the "right amount of time" has been completed in preparation for the working of God's grace.

This is also a great explanation of why the season of Lent precedes Easter- because Easter is all about celebrating the completion of the working of God's grace. The 40 days of Lent give us time to turn inward to see both our need for God's grace, as well to recognize how God is ever present in our world. Then, after the 'right amount of time' has passed, 40 days, we celebrate Easter:
* How Jesus has completed the work God the Father had given him,
* And how through his death and resurrection - Jesus Christ now breaks into the world in new ways - extending the working of God's grace in new ways.

In order to personally experience this 'breaking in of God's grace', we are given the gift of these 40 days (begins February 14th, Ash Wednesday) of Lent. So I find myself wondering: how are YOU going to use this 40 days of Lent? Do you have plans to do something different during this season:
* To deepen your Christian faith?
* Better see God in the world?
* Slow down enough to spend time with God, family, or friends
* Slow down enough to better understand yourself?

Personally, I cherish the extra time we have together through Midweek Lenten Soup Suppers (6pm) and Wednesday Worship Services (7pm). There is something sacred about this combination of feeding our bodies and souls together - that offers this unique time of oneness we share in Lent. There is more information below about these midweek gatherings (themes, sign-up for soups, singing, prayer stations, Lent in a Bag).


Here are a few ideas on how we as individuals, families and a congregations can intentionally make these 40 days a bit different from the rest of the year.

Lent in a Bag This is a way you can create time within your home to practice prayer and reflection time with family members. Simple elements will be used to reflect on the individuals, events and messages relevant to Lent and our faith. Prayer Stations will be set up throughout the sanctuary, so you can use them to prayerfully reflect on our relationship with God, one another, the world and our role as disciples. They will be available before and after worship on Sundays and Wednesdays.

Midweek Lenten Soup Suppers (6pm)/Worship(7pm) Ash Wednesday Service will be 2/14/17 and then the following five weeks we'll be using the Holden Evening Prayer Service (7pm) It all begins on February 14th, ASH WEDNESDAY. Supper will be at 6pm, Worship with imposition of ashes will be at 7pm. SIGN UP if you'd like to help provide part of the Soup Supper, AND if you'd like to join our Midweek

The theme for our Midweek worship is LIVING OUR BAPTISM...Five gifts of discipleship Each week we will hear part of the Apostle Paul's message to the Christian church of Philippi, to help us better understand what it means to be disciples (followers) of our Savior Jesus Christ. Handouts for this theme will be available in the Gathering Area for those who want to consider these themes at home.

Senior Midweek Event Wednesday, March 28th 11amSenior Coffee/Conversation Gathering; Noon Senior Lunch; 1pm Senior Worship

Maundy Thursday Worship 7pm at Shepherd of the Hill

Annual Cross Walk 8am, Good Friday, March 30th Pastor Allen will begin the walk at the old Marshfield Clinic with prayer, and move down the road stopping for prayer along the way. We will end up back at Trinity United Methodist church for a hymn.

Good Friday Services 3pm Joint Worship at Trinity UMC and 7pm Worship at Shepherd of the Hill

Need to form 2-person offering deposit teams (not immediate family members) to bring worship offerings to the bank. Teams would sign up month at a time, or work with a second team to split a month. Please contact either: Sarah Larson, Melisa Topper or Pastor Mary if you are interested.

Would you like to share your gift of music during worship? Please let our musicians (Michelle Young or Jennifer Kinblom) or Keith Lee or Pastor Tom Bryan know if you'd like to play a musical piece or sing a special song before or during worship. This could be solos, duets, etc...children, youth, adults or families!

Plenty of opportunities to assist in worship. Sign-up sheets are in the Gathering Area for Lectors, Ushers, Communion Assistants and Acolytes. See clipboards located on one of the smaller tables in the Gathering Area.


CONFIRMATION Classes will be held in February 7th with our regular schedule, after that we will switch our schedule for the Season of Lent, as described in the parent-student letter you received at the beginning of the school year. During Lent we will NOT be meeting for our regular class time, but instead students are to attend the mid-week worship services at 7pm beginning with ourFebruary 14th, Ash Wednesday service. The following five Wednesdays we will be using the Holden Evening Prayer Service of Light. ALL are invited to come and enjoy the Soup Suppers that take place each Wednesday at 6pm.


March 17th, 9-430 at UW-EC Davies Center
This is an annual event that brings together 400-500 fellow Christians who gather to learn from experts and congregations who are doing God's ministry in their communities. You will be equipped with new ideas, inspiration, resources and materials you can take back to our church. The cost is only $20, which includes a whole day of sessions, lunch and more. Anyone 25 or younger gets in FREE!!!


Like last year, your 2018 giving envelopes/Simply Giving forms have two options: General Fund (to pay our budgeted expenses) and Benevolence Fund (to give beyond the ELCA/NW Synod, Lutheran Social Services and Luther Park...all budgeted items)

You can also now use the GIVE+ online financial giving option, found only on our church website (

AND...then there is giving that comes to us from:
* Thrivent Choice (if you are a Thrivent member)
* Smile Amazon (where a percentage of your purchases through the Smile Amazon website, are donated to the church) Just go to Smile to find our church and designate the church as to where the Smile Amazon Foundation will donate a percentage of your purchase. Can you combine shopping and giving to the church?

Now you can? by shopping at Amazon Smile (

1)You can use the following link:
2) From there, sign on to your Amazon account
3) Do a search for Shepherd of the Hill Lutheran Church. [You'll need to go to page 3 of church listings to find us in Elk Mound, WI...Yes, there really are that many churches.]
4) Then press SELECT...that's all there is to it!
5) The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. The purchase price is the amount paid for the item minus any rebates and excluding shipping & handling, gift-wrapping fees, taxes, or service charges. From time to time, they may offer special, limited time promotions that increase the donation amount on one or more products or services or provide for additional donations to charitable organizations. Special terms and restrictions may apply. Please see the relevant promotion for complete details.

We sincerely thank you for choosing to select Shepherd of the Hill Lutheran Church for your Amazon Smile donations. Who knows what kind of donations we could see from this? How exciting!!


See our website ( ) look for GIVING on the left of Home page. A growing number of us don't carry checkbooks and/or pay most of our bills online. Online giving is an option available for us to joyfully and intentionally make financial offerings to God's work here at Shepherd of the Hill. GIVE+ Now you can set up and manage your own online giving account for your offerings to our church. You can STILL go through Barb Vadnais our Financial Secretary to make adjustments or join Simply Giving. GIVE+ INSTRUCTIONS>
* Go to our church website at
* Click on the GIVING tab on the left
* From there you can create a "Give +" account (email account and an 8 character sure to keep track of your password)
* You will get an email from Vanco to 'verify' your email address
* Once you've done that, go back to the church website, log in to Give+.and get started
* "Select Fund" (currently General Operating is the only option)
* "Select Frequency" you want to donate (one-time, weekly, etc.)
* Identify the giving "Amount" (no .00 required at the end of the dollar amount)
* Click "Next" at bottom of that screen, to select a start date and add information about source of payment (At this time it is only from a checking or savings account)

Once you've completed the setup, be sure to go to the top left of the screen to see the drop down menu...and LOGOFF. What you'll also see on this drop down menu, are option you have for seeing your giving history, adjusting your source of payment and more!

Please let one of your staff or council members know if you'd like to see other "Funds" available to donate to, and/or if you'd like an option to give via Credit or Debit. (There is an additional cost for these options, and giver is given the option to help cover those costs.)

You can still fill out the hard copy paper Simply Giving form for electronic giving and pass that on to Barb Vadnais, our Financial Secretary. What Thrivent's Give+ does, is allow you to have more control over your giving. All online giving users are welcome to place an "I'm giving electronically" laminated card in the offering basket. These are located by the Communion Cards in the Gathering Area.

YOUTH GROUP 2017-2018 Plans

Calling all 6th-12th Graders who are interested in being part of our Youth Group. Here is a beginning list of events scheduled for the coming year.
Weekly Conversations Sundays, 9am 7th-12th graders join the adults for faith discussions
Mar. 2nd-3rd Recharge at Luther Park
March work on Easter Sunrise Service
Sun., Apr. 1st 6:30 Sunrise Easter Service
July 2018 Proposed Mission Trip week for Middle School & High School (*location/date TBD, additional fundraising required for those participating for this event...but not that much!)
Aug. 6th-9th Vacation Bible School, help make it a success
Aug. 16th 4-7 Ice Cream Social Fundraiser
Youth...we'd like to get some youth members to join the Youth Ministry Team for the school year. Just let someone on the team know how you'd like to help. Adults and can help in big and small ways...maybe just help plan or chaperone one event. YOUTH MINISTRY TEAM: Pastor Mary, Trish Langer, Renee Simpson, Jennifer Kinblom, Holly Sweeney, Keith Lee and Cara Dempski.
COUNCIL MEMBERS: Offices/Committees
Rita Lee - President
Jim Vespers - Vice President
Barb Vadnais - Secretary
Sarah Larson - Treasurer
Keith Lee - Property
Tricia Diercks - Youth
Heidi Schiszik - Education
Betty Heltne - Outreach/Social Concerns
Ken Millermon - Stewardship
Keith Lee - Worship
Sandy Barth - Evangelism
Pastor Mary Eide
Terry Stamm - Church Janitor
Melisa Topper - Church Secretary/Bookkeeper


Get the word out...Tuesday FP will be open from 4-6pm instead of 10am-Noon. To help with the transition, we will be having the FP open BOTH times on Tuesday's during the month of June. Friday's we will still be open from 10-Noon.

See Calendar for further announcements

Last updated: February 2nd, 2018