Mayors Month of Concern drive helps local food bank

September 17, 2013

The Mayors Month of Concern Food Drive for the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank continues until Oct. 12.

The food bank finds itself in dire need after the summer months left its shelves bare.

“Usually, the summer months are our lowest time for donations,” said Cori Walters, Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank executive director. “It’s not common that we run out of mac and cheese.”

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Serving up an extra helping of homes

April 9, 2013

Benefit dinner will help church build homes in Mexico

Every summer for the past 13 years, volunteers from Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church have traveled to Tecate, Mexico, to help build family homes.

Teens, college students and adults spend about a week working beneath the hot summer sun, to make progress on a home that will make a world of difference for a family in need.

Photos Contributed Above, the Arce-Roman family stands in front of their current home in Tecate, Mexico. Volunteers from Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church will help build the family a new home this summer. At left, Volunteers from Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church stand in front of a home they built in Tecate, Mexico, in 2011.

Photos Contributed
Volunteers from Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church stand in front of a home they built in Tecate, Mexico, in 2011.

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Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church ministry is journey for pastor

December 11, 2012

Pastor Debbie Boyce (middle) is ordained by Bishop William Chris Boerger of the Northwest Washington Synod and installed as a new pastor at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church. Beverly Piro (left), assisting minister for the ordination, looks on. By Mike Nordal

For many years, Debbie Boyce felt her spiritual life was giving her a nudge. After raising five children, she embarked upon a new journey — going back to school, starting out as an undergrad.

Fast-forward nine years. Boyce, 53, graduated from seminary school last summer and became the new pastor of Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Issaquah.

A Montana native, Boyce lives in Kent. She said church members have made her transition from student to pastor an easy one. Not only is she the first pastor to be ordained at the church, but she is the first female to hold the role — and both traits are embraced by church members.

“I’ve felt really welcomed, just a wide-open welcome door,” she said. “Lots of warm hospitality, lots of eager energy to welcome me.

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Church members rise to challenge of building homes in Mexico

September 11, 2012

Volunteers from Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, in Issaquah, staple tar paper and chicken wire to the exterior wall of a new home before applying stucco during their mission to Tecate, Mexico, in July. Contributed

Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church members recently returned from a weeklong mission in Tecate, Mexico, where 14 volunteers began building a house.

This is the 12th year of the mission and Karen Stillwell has been involved since the beginning. In those years, the Issaquah church has helped with more than 15 homes in the community. Stillwell said the town has gone from all-dirt roads to almost all of them being paved and has expanded tremendously.

“We detect a huge community spirit there now,” church member Jeff Matson said.

The mission started as a youth group opportunity for high school-aged students but this year only five young people participated.

“The adults get such a kick out of it. They really enjoy it,” Matson said.

For families to qualify for a house, they must be living in the community and wanting to stay there. One parent must have a job and the tenants must have bought the property. The family this year wasn’t sure who exactly would be moving into the new house.

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Youth musicians host free handbell concert

March 22, 2011

Imagine taking the keys off of a piano and transforming them into bells. The ring of one would sound like a C note, and the jangle of another would emit an E. Shaking three together would sound like the carillon of a chord.

A youth handbell choir plays its instruments in the 2010 annual handbell conference. This year’s conference is at Pine Lake Covenant Church. Contributed

Hear those sounds when young handbell musicians from across the Pacific Northwest convene at Pine Lake Covenant Church for a conference and concert. The public is invited to a free show at the end of the conference, March 26.

Although handbell groups include all types of musicians, many of the groups at the conference will be from churches. One of them, Issaquah’s Our Savior Lutheran Church, started its handbell group, Memorial Bells, after the death of one of its congregants in 1981.

“It got started by an unfortunate loss in the family,” church and handbell director Alice Lewis said. “They gave an amount that purchased part of the bells that we have now.”

Ringing bells is hard, but rewarding work.

“For the most part, they are hand held and rung with a variety of different techniques,” Lewis said. “You learn how to manipulate them in different ways.”

Emily Waltzer, a seventh-grade student at Maywood Middle School and a member of Memorial Bells, said she is looking forward to the conference, where she will learn new ways to improve her handbell performance.

“I’ve always liked instruments,” she said. “I like the sound of the bells and the techniques of the bells and the ways you play them.”

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Donate men’s winter clothing at Issaquah churches

February 1, 2011

Start spring cleaning early — and help the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank at the same time.

Issaquah churches collect men’s clothing for the food pantry throughout February. Any overflow donations benefit Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission.

The local food pantry needs men’s winter coats, casual pants and jeans in larger sizes, hats and gloves in adult sizes, rain ponchos, shirts and sweaters, plus new underwear in sizes 38 and larger, and new warm socks.

Participants can drop off the clothing in marked bins in front of the following Issaquah churches:

  • Issaquah Christian Church, 10328 Issaquah-Hobart Road S.E.
  • Foothills Baptist Church, 10120 Issaquah-Hobart Road S.E.
  • Community Church of Issaquah, 205 Mountain Park Blvd.
  • Mountain Creek Christian Fellowship, 165 Front St. N.
  • Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, 24850 S.E. Issaquah-Fall City Road

Donate men’s winter clothing at Issaquah churches

January 27, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. Jan. 27, 2011

Start spring cleaning early — and help the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank at the same time.

Issaquah churches start collecting men’s clothing for the food pantry throughout February. Any overflow donations benefit Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission.

The local food pantry needs men’s winter coats, casual pants and jeans in larger sizes, hats and gloves in adult sizes, rain ponchos, shirts and sweaters, plus new underwear in sizes 38 and larger, and new warm socks.

Read more

Shepherd of the Hills welcomes new pastor

July 20, 2010

The Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church has a new pastor after a year and a half of searching. The Rev. Drahus Oslik is a young and enthusiastic man, excited to bring his passion for ministry to Issaquah.

The Rev. Drahus Oslik is taking over as head pastor at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church. ‘I'm absolutely excited to be here,’ he said. By Paige Collins

His goals for the new ministry are to use the congregation’s energy to its fullest, to use his previous experience to bring new ideas and to encourage members to reach out to the community.

Oslik’s first service at Shepherd of the Hills was June 27 and he said he came away from it amazed by the energy of the congregation.

“I couldn’t have wished for a better first morning,” he said.

The church had been without an official pastor since November 2008. The process of finding the right one included the formation of a call committee, determination of the congregation’s priorities and multiple interviews with possible candidates, said Don Benson, a call committee member.

The church’s priorities as determined by the committee were preaching and teaching, the formation of youth ministries and community outreach, Benson said. Read more

Shepherd of the Hills church welcomes pastor Sunday

June 26, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. June 26, 2010

Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church will welcome a new pastor to its community on Sunday at 10 a.m.

The public is welcome to come and meet him and celebrate.

The church has spent the past 19 months searching for a pastor and hired Drahus Oslik, of Slovakia.

Shepherd of the Hills is at 24850 S.E. Issaquah-Fall City Road. Call 391-8431.