News



Annual Charge Conference

posted Dec 21, 2017, 8:26 AM by Pam Etheridge

Shepherd of the Valley's Annual Charge Conference is on Wednesday, January 3. The Staff/Parish Relations Committee will meet at 6P. The Charge Conference (open to all) will begin at 7P. This is a great way to find our where we've been this past year and where we're heading in 2018. Come join us!

Advent and Christmas Services

posted Apr 12, 2017, 8:47 AM by Pam Etheridge   [ updated Dec 21, 2017, 8:23 AM ]

The holidays have you stressed out, missing loved ones or just feeling blue? On Thursday, December 21st we will be having our Blue Christmas Worship Service at 7P. 

Join us for the Fourth Sunday of Advent (December 24th) at 9:30A for our Children's Pageant. Later on in the evening we will be celebrating the birth of Jesus with two services - a Family Service at 7P and a Candles, Carols, and Communion Service at 11. Still in the spirit on Christmas Day? Come join Pastor Katherine at our traditional "Worship in Our PJs" at 9:30 in the morning.

Confirmation and New Member Classes now forming

posted Feb 11, 2016, 8:59 AM by Pam Etheridge   [ updated Mar 1, 2016, 6:10 AM ]

Confirmation class for those in 6th grade and above (as well as any adult who has one yet been confirmed) will begin on Sunday, February 21st. 

The New Member class will meet on April 3rd and 17th and participate in the retreat on either april 9th or 10th. If you have been worshiping with us for a while and would like to become a member, please see PK for more information about the New Member class.

The Trap of Keeping Christ in Christmas

posted Nov 30, 2015, 7:40 AM by Pam Etheridge

As we head into the Christmas season I want to offer a cautionary tale. There is a very seductive trap that too many people fall into during Advent. I call it the “Oh Poor Jesus” trap. It starts with the “Keep Christ in Christmas” memes on social media, which are not a problem in and of themselves. It then moves on to battles about Christmas trees and Nativity scenes in government spaces and arguments about whether cashiers should wish us “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas” As of today people are complaining that Starbucks holiday cup doesn’t have Christmas symbols on it. People get themselves all wound up and indignant, as if using inclusive language which invites people of different faith traditions to be included in the holiday season, somehow victimizes Jesus.

 

Do you remember the 2013 Christmas tree drama with Gov. Chaffee? He had the audacity to call the tree in the State House a “holiday tree” in an effort to be inclusive and to maintain the principle of separation of church and state on which this country was founded. This triggered a huge backlash with Christians screaming that he didn’t call it a Christmas tree. That story made the primetime news, cable news and several of the major papers. Some Rhode Island representatives actually took valuable law making time to introduce a bill insisting that the tree be called a Christmas tree.

 

In my opinion this kind of keeping Christ in Christmas is exactly the opposite of what Jesus would want from those of us who follow him. It is too easy to allow our false sense of victimization to distract us from the places where Christ is really needed. While news anchors are reporting on the Christmas tree battles, they are not talking about the reality that 51% of children in this, the wealthiest country in the world, qualify for free or reduced school lunches. In 2013, the same year when a single Christmas tree in our tiny state was taking up so much space in major national news sources, 33,636 people died from gun violence. And while Christians are in an uproar about the Starbucks cup, according to the Department of Defense, we have 89,931 military men and women in harm’s way in the Middle East.  I suspect that Jesus would prefer us to use our indignant energy to be figuring out how we are going to solve these and so many other important issues.

 

Let’s not fall into the “Oh Poor Jesus” trap. As we head into the holiday season let’s resist the media's attempt to say that we, the followers of Jesus Christ, are somehow victims. Because the reality is we are not persecuted. We belong to the most powerful religious tradition in our country. If we want to protect Christ lets reflect his love for all the world to see. This is how we remember the reason for the season folks, not acting like whiney toddlers who don't want to share our holiday season. Rather we keep Christ in Christmas by doing what Christ did, feeding the hungry, binding the broken, freeing the oppressed and loving the unlovable.

 

Merry Christmas!

PK

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

posted Sep 28, 2015, 6:15 AM by Pam Etheridge   [ updated Sep 28, 2015, 6:16 AM ]

The Wednesday Evening Study Group will meet at 7P each week, beginning on September 30th. We will be exploring Living the Questions, an open-minded alternative study where participants can interact with one another in exploring what's next for Christianity. Everyone is welcome no matter where you are on your spiritual journey. All are welcome to join us.

United Methodist Women

posted Sep 3, 2014, 6:07 AM by Pam Etheridge   [ updated Dec 3, 2014, 5:59 AM ]

The United Methodist Women will be meeting on the third Monday of the month at 6:30P. All women are welcome to join us for this great group of fun and fellowship. 

Sunday School Is Underway!

posted Aug 27, 2014, 7:59 AM by Pam Etheridge   [ updated Dec 3, 2014, 6:52 AM ]

Sunday School classes are for children in Pre-K through Middle School.All children are welcome to join us. 

You can access the registration form and mail it in to Shepherd of the Valley UMC, 604 Seven Mile Road, Hope, RI 02831.

Our Food Pantry

posted Jul 30, 2014, 8:24 AM by Pam Etheridge

As demand continues to grow, the Shepherd of the Valley Food Pantry needs to be replenished. Of special need are kid snacks, pasta, spaghetti sauce, macaroni and cheese, canned fruits, cereal, tuna fish and soups. We are also able to accept donations of bread and frozen pastas and vegetables. Many of our clients have dietary issues, so an assortment of gluten-free, low sodium, and low fat items are helpful. This important ministry serves our neighbors from Scituate, West Warwick, Johnston and Coventry. Food donations can be dropped off during office hours or at Sunday worship services.
 
If you need assistance with food, please contact the Church Office at 821-8217 Tuesdays or Wednesdays from 9A to noon.

The Knitting Ministry

posted Sep 27, 2012, 8:50 AM by Pam Etheridge   [ updated May 12, 2014, 7:01 AM ]

The Knitting Ministry meets on the first Tuesday of each month at one in the afternoon. (You may always work from home if that is easier for you.) We would love to have you join us, beginner or experienced. Besides knitting our traditional prayer shawls and sweaters, we knit hats for chemo patients who have lost their hair during treatments. All of these projects are a wonderful way to spread God's love through the work of our hands. If you have any questions, please see Tara Anderson or Sue Kizlinski.

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