The newsletter and calendar for Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (ELCA) Rochester • Minnesota
From the Social Ministry Committee HILL FEST 2017
We are excited to invite you to share in this first ever multi–cultural event of food and fellowship on Sept. 23rd beginning at 4:00pm at Good Shepherd Church – HILL FEST 2017. This is a pot–luck picnic, so we welcome you to bring a dish/food entre (your special family or heritage favorite) along with a list of key ingredients (out of concern for allergies and/or personal dietary preferences). This is a new opportunity for the different faith based groups who use the Good Shepherd Church building to gather as one; to meet, to eat, play games, and to socialize. Blessings to everyone! Please join us on the hill for HILL FEST 2017.
SUMMER STORY TIME
Parents and children, please join us on Tuesday, August 15th at 9:30am in the Good Shepherd Church Library for Summer Story Time. We will read stories, sing songs, and play outside, weather permitting.
SHARE YOUR LOVE – THANK YOU!
We extend an enormous thank you for going above and beyond to “Share Your Love” of Good Shepherd. Paul wrote in his letter to the Thessalonians: “Give thanks in all circumstances as this is the will of God through Jesus.” Despite a budget deficit to begin the year, your willingness to “Share Your Love” will help Good Shepherd cover the short fall when we project a continuation of our faithful and strong regular offerings throughout this year. On behalf of the Stewardship Committee, we truly thank you for your generosity and commitment to help Good Shepherd share the love of God that He has graciously given us. Again, thank you for your support, our mission as a Congregation depends on it.
God’s Peace, The Stewardship Committee
50th ANNIVERSARY OPEN HOUSE
Anne and Les Waxon invite you to an open house celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. The open house will be held on Saturday, August 26th from 1–9pm at the Waxon’s home (2536 Parkhill Ln SW). Dress is casual and your presence is our present.
Social Ministry Engagement Options
• Dorothy Day House serving – contact Carol Kivimagi at (292–0244 or 481–4843)
• IHN Overnight host, cooks, driver, coordinator – contact the church office.
• Hill Fest 2017, picnic celebration helpers – contact the church office.
• Salvation Army Bell Ringing – coming this Fall.
• Channel One Day – coming soon.
• Christmas Gift Tree – contact the office.
SAVE THE DATE!
ELCA National Youth Gathering
June 27–July 1, 2018
News and Notes
New Church Financial Report
The GSC Council has decided to provide a monthly year–to–date financial summary for our church. This will allow all of us to track our ministry budget compared to our offerings. Thus far in 2017 these figures look good, especially considering that we passed a deficit (faith) budget in January. We were and are hopeful that, by God’s grace our ministry continues, grows, and makes a difference in the world. Watch for these brief reports in your bulletin on the first Sunday of each month.
Luther Catechism Preaching Series and beyond
Our Summer Series of preaching on the Small Catechism will continue through September 2nd–3rd. On Rally Day, September 9th–10th we will begin a new series for the seven weeks through Reformation Day on October 28th–29th. This series will be based upon a wide variety of Bible stories that continue Jesus statement made in John 8:34–36, “Jesus answered them, Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” We will preach on this freedom given through the Son, the Son sets you free to . . .
Pastor Charlie and Pastor Carl–Eric
IHN Week – August 13–20
Good Shepherd church has heard a calling to re–engage as a host for IHN family over–nights. On Wednesday, July 26th we hosted an IHN training time at which more than 40 people were present to participate. Members of Iglesia Cristo El Rey, the Sikh Society of Rochester, Evangel United Methodist, and People of Hope Lutheran joined us in this renewed effort to serve the homeless. We are very encouraged with this high level of interest. If you would like to join in serving as a helper for this host week, please visit the website: http://signup.com/go/HzMkHeg, or go to our Facebook page to click on this same link and you will be directed to SignUp.Com where you will see a variety of roles and times to serve. If you wish to have us sign you up for a role as a driver, evening host, over–night host, or dinner server please call the church office and we will help you. Thank you for serving.
August Vacations and Pastoral Care
Pastors Charlie and Carl–Eric will be using up some vacation time now before the busy program year begins. One or the other of our pastors will be available during August for worship leadership and pastoral care. Office Administrator, Mike Thilges will be available to help you as well. Please contact the church office for any pastoral care needs.
From the Pastor’s Desk
Dear Friends in Christ,
Since my arrival here at Good Shepherd I’ve been given the opportunity to watch and participate in a wide range of ministry unfolding each week. I believe that congregational leadership needs to begin with careful observation of what is already occurring in the life of the church and then turn to dreaming with the faithful about what else could be.
From early on I’ve been excited to see how GSC welcomes people from different faith backgrounds to come into this building to worship, pray and practice their faith. I continue to be encouraged by the notion that part of our Benevolent mission is to share our building with the community of faithful people in Rochester. Soon, (September 23rd, from 4:00 – 7:00 pm, to be exact) we will do something very new. Our Fellowship/Evangelism and Social Ministry committees have teamed up with Iglesia Cristo El Rey and the Sikh Society (our building partners) to plan a Church partners, multi–cultural, potluck picnic. This is something new growing out of something that already is. It will be called Hill Fest 2017!
I’ve also observed discipleship occurring all around, in and outside GSC. Christian Education at GSC is important to us and it happens in a variety of ways. We support a vibrant Sunday school program, we have a renewing confirmation program, two women’s bible studies, and a men’s coffee fellowship/Bible verse study. Pastor Carl–Eric and I are now discussing plans for additional study/discipleship opportunities to offer this fall and into next year.
When attending a seminar recently, several of us learned of an alarming trend. It is the declining Sunday school and Christian Education participation in mainline churches across the U.S. If we looked carefully at our historical attendance we would likely fit into those same downward trending charts.
Numerous factors were suggested that attribute to this decline. But a few observations seemed more clear–cut. One observation was that Sunday school has not always been a part of Sunday church life. In America, it is a mid to late 20th century concept that aligns with post WWII public school structures. Teaching Bible stories and sharing the Christian faith has historically been done in the home, with parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and neighbors. For a variety of reasons this duty of teaching our own children has been handed over to a few dedicated Sunday school teachers in class rooms segregated from their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and neighbors. The timing of this corresponds too closely to those downward looking trends.
In our society, families spend most of their week days apart from each other, segregated into roles and places. Going to church on Sunday morning is one of few times and places where the entire family comes together to the same place and event. But what do we do when we enter these doors? We separate our families into age designated programs putting aside opportunities to learn from each other as families of differing age groups.
I see GSC doing a great job of bringing a family experience into our worship setting. But what about our Christian Education times? Pastor Carl–Eric, the Christian Ed Team and I are pondering what we might be missing and what we might do to bring back some of that rich learning that occurs with parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and neighbors. Let’s keep our hearts and minds open to what could be next for the sake of a church that is called to continue the faith from one generation to the next.
May God’s peace be with you,