O sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his
salvation from day to day. Psalm 96:1-2 (the underlined verbs are our actions)
Dear Friends in Christ,
Since my arrival two years ago to serve as your Lead Pastor, I’ve learned much about the Good Shepherd
culture of adapting worship liturgies from season to season. My faith is strengthened by the freshness that
comes with beginning new seasons of the church year with changed gathering litanies, communion liturgies,
responsive singing, varieties of music, and melodramas (in the past). It is encouraging to experience the
creativity, thoughtfulness and intention given to how we worship together at Good Shepherd Lutheran.
When I arrived, I told you that I would first love you, then I would listen to you, followed by learning from
you, and then begin to lead you. Let me say this: I love you, I love to listen to you, and I am learning every
week from you that I may more effectively lead. This is sometimes a challenging approach, but one that I feel
honors the ministry that is Good Shepherd Lutheran; a faithful ministry which yearns for a faithful future.
So, where does this lead us as we enter 2019? Throughout 2018 your Leadership Council has been busy
with our Visioning process. You will hear more about this at our annual meeting on January 27th , but for now
this is what I see within our visioning: a desire to find ways to deepen our faith and more fully engage our
children, each other, new members, and visitors in faithful practices of worship and following Jesus. This will
include doing more of what we already do well, but we must also stretch ourselves in new ways to embrace
God, one another, and the changing culture around us.
In our council’s questioning and listening, we heard different ways of you saying: “I love God and I love
Good Shepherd, and I want more people to know about this love of God at Good Shepherd and find new ways
to share it.” Our council will share their thoughts and ideas on how we can move forward with this vision later
in January, but as we begin this year allow me to share these leading thoughts about worship:
- Entering 2019, we will worship at 5:30 pm on Saturdays and 9:30 am on Sundays, followed by an Education hour. This is a new commitment to one service on Sunday morning. I pray we hear the Holy Spirit encouraging us to come together in these two larger gatherings to raise our voices to God.
- We will continue to experiment with new worship practices and liturgies, including the conversational components, while keeping our ears open to the experiences of worshipers and responding with appropriate adaptations.
- We will educate ourselves through Adult Education forums on Sundays, January 6th and 13th to deepen our understandings of faithful and changing Christian worship throughout history.
- We have scheduled time to listen and invite conversation after our worship services on Saturday and Sunday, January 19th and January 20th to listen and learn more from each other about how we are engaging in worship with God and one another.
Pastor Carl-Eric and I eagerly enter 2019 to lead worship and minister with you. Until then,
“Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.”
See you in worship,