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Supporting ministry in the congregation, the school, and the community.


Shepherd of the Valley Foundation seeks to establish a culture in which everyone in the congregation considers the witness of their faith in their estate planning, via wills, trusts, or other financial instruments.


The Foundation exists to support the ministries of the congregation and the preschool, and their witness to Christ in the world and in the church at large. The Foundation receives gifts, endows funds, and disburses proceeds in a way that best serves Shepherd ofthe Valley Church and School, now and in the future.

Lou Stewart Youth Fund Scholarship

$500 Award for Students Attending a Lutheran College or University

Are you passionate about your Lutheran faith and seeking higher education at a Lutheran college or university? The Shepherd of the Valley Foundation is proud to offer the Lou Stewart Youth Fund Scholarship, a $500 award dedicated to supporting students like you on your academic journey.

Criteria for Eligibility:

Enrollment Requirement: Applicants must be currently enrolled and/or attending a Lutheran college or university.

Membership Requirement: Either the student or their parent must have been a member of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church for a minimum of two years.

Academic Programs: Students enrolled in either a Bachelor's or Graduate degree program are eligible to apply.

Renewal Policy: This scholarship is not automatically renewable. Students are encouraged to reapply each year, but only one application will be considered per 12-month period.

Non-transferable: The scholarship funds are non-transferable and will be paid directly to the educational institution for the student's tuition and fees. The award is not payable in cash or directly to the student.

Application Requirements:

Personal Statement: Submit a 400-word statement addressing your choice of a Lutheran college or university, what Lutheran higher education means to you, and how your faith and the mission of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church have influenced your decision. Include your career goals and future plans.

Selection Process:

The number of scholarships awarded each year is at the sole discretion of the Shepherd of the Valley Foundation Board.

This scholarship is a wonderful opportunity for students who are dedicated to their Lutheran faith and committed to pursuing higher education. It recognizes the importance of faith-based education and the values upheld by Lutheran institutions. Don’t miss this chance to receive financial support for your educational aspirations while strengthening your connection to your faith and community.

Apply now and take the next step in your academic and spiritual journey with the support of the Shepherd of the Valley Foundation!

SOV Foundation Announces Matching Grant to Sponsor Tiny Homes Project

Pastor Brian Hiortdahl, along with SOV Foundation President Dave Engh, SOV Council President Chip Lee, and Mission Outreach team member Marie Brauer, joined CEO Ken Craft on Friday, May 28 for a tour of the Reseda site, and to present a donation from Shepherd of the Valley of $21,795.00, which will be partially matched by another donor to Hope of the Valley.


Sponsorship for each “Tiny Home” is $3,000 (which covers support services provided by HOV, such as social workers and security), so our total donation (with some matching funds) effectively sponsors more than seven of these life-changing bridge housing units. Thank you for your amazing generosity and for helping people without homes right here in the San Fernando Valley!


Read more about the Tiny Homes development.

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the lives for others.

For many years, a reclining chair sat in a meeting room at Shepherd of the Valley. It had been a favoritechair of Mildred Twedt, former parish worker of the congregation, and had been given to the church at the time of her death. Mildred’s chair when empty, could be seen as a sign of her absence. She was no longer here to faithfully greet, welcome, and serve the congregation and the community. But an empty chair is also a sign of invitation. Who will now fill that chair?


The gifts that are left to the congregation as part of legacy and estate planning are ways to ‘fill the chair’ of ministry at Shepherd of the Valley. Our legacies and planned gifts are reminders to those who come after us of the things we have valued and which we hope will endure. Of course, the true power of the church’s witness is always in the work of the Holy Spirit to bring about faith. But providing the financial means by which the congregation’s witness can be strengthened is an important part of stewardship planning for those who have been life-long stewards of the blessings God has given.


that thrives among others.

There is no one “best way” to make a planned gift. There are several good options from which to choose. The specific circumstances of each donor will help determine which method is best.


Among the most common methods are:


  • Bequests through wills and trusts.These may be set amounts or percentages of an estate.


  • Charitable Gift Annuities. These allow a gift to be made while providing periodic income to the donor. There may be tax advantages to this kind of gift.


  • Charitable Remainder Trusts. These provide an immediate tax benefit and can be gifts of real property. Income is provided to the donor and the gift may bypass capital gain taxes.


  • Donor Advised Funds. This offers a way to make a current gift, perhaps locking in the appreciated value of the gift. Periodically thereafter, the donor continues to direct where the gift is given.


that witnesses to others.
  • Life insurance. Gifts of policies can create an immediate tax deduction, while providing the benefit upon the donor’s death. Insurance can also be used to provide a non-taxable benefit to heirs, while allowing taxable assets to be given away.


  • Retirement plans. Funds can be part of a planned gift in a way that may reduce taxes to heirs while still allowing a gift to be given.

The examples and information provided are for illustrative and educational purposes only and should not be considered tax or legal advice. Please consult with your tax or legal advisor about proceeding with your gift plan. Through Shepherd of the Valley Foundation’s association with the ELCA Foundation, referrals can be made to appropriate advisors.

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