Friday, January 2, 2009

Good Shepherd Update Friday January 2, 2009

Dear Good Shepherd,

Happy New Year! I hope you have enjoyed the season and I pray you had some time off. After all this feasting, we are stuffed with food, stepping over Christmas toys, and feeling about ready for a good lenten fast.

There is lots to read in this week's Update. I've been taking time off pretty much all week, so there is no article this week, but I hope to get one out by the next Update.

Enjoy the weekend. See you Sunday.

Here's the Update:

The Kris Kindle Gift Exchange:
will take place on Epiphany Sunday.
I, personally, still have no idea who exactly Kris Kindle is/was, but apparently he has/had something to do with exchanging gifts. And this is good since Epiphany, which we celebrate this coming Sunday is the day we celebrate the magi or wise-men bringing gifts to the new born Jesus. So please remember to bring a small gift for the person who's name you picked out of the basket a month ago and who, hopefully, you have been praying for all this time. And, finally, you get to reveal your name on the gift card.

Pot Luck Lunch: Along with the gift exchange, there will be a pot-luck lunch after the 10:30am service so please remember to bring something nice to share.

De-greening the Church: We'll need the extra nourishment from the potluck because we'll also be taking down all the Christmas decorations from the church. It's not nearly as fun as putting them up, but we do need your help, so please do give us a hand.

I'll bet there may be some out there who do not know what "Epiphany" is or who have never celebrated it in a church before. The word "Epiphany" means "to reveal" or "to make known". During Epiphany the church spends time celebrating the great news that God has revealed himself to the world through his Son Jesus Christ. To the magi he sent a star, to Israel he sent John the Baptist, to the rest of the world he sent his apostles to proclaim or "make known" the God's revelation of his son and his saving purpose for the world. If you would like to know more about Epiphany, some basic information can be found here.

Good-bye to good friends (for now): Chris Jones and Jason Delancy were home for the Christmas season this year. It was great to see them again and to reconnect. Please pray for both of them as Chris heads back to England for another six months and Jason heads back to North Carolina where he is earning a graduate degree in business.

Last Week's Sermon: If you missed last week's sermon, "The Christmas Spirit" you can read the text here and listen below:

Monday, December 29, 2008

Download "The Christmas Spirit" in MP3 format

Podcasting classes: I've recorded the last two classes on my ipod, but the files are too big to upload to the website. I have to find a way to reduce them. When I do, I'll put them right up. Sorry for the tech problems.

Financial Statements (from Cookie Finch): I will have all year-end financial statements ready to hand to you on Sunday January 4 and January 11. You will need these for your income taxes. Please check with me to obtain your statement. Thank you, Cookie

Letter from a Parishioner: Terri Beam wrote a letter in the Binghamton Press and Sun this week. In case you missed it, I've reproduced it below:

Here is the letter:

The little white Anglican church at Livingston Street and Conklin Avenue is a very special place. For me and many more people it is a home and an extended family. Others, such as the Episcopal Diocese of New York, claim ownership since we are no longer Episcopal, but remain Anglican. Recently the Episcopal Church attempted to evict the Anglican faithful.

I love to look out my window and see this church. It fills me with love, hope and a sense of comfort. This church has come to be a place of healing because of the amazingly human pastors (Matt and Anne, a married couple with young children), who draw us to this church. They care for so many folds in this special place.

Many people count on this church for a hot dinner on Thursday evening or some soft and comforting words from the pastors or elders.

Please help us prevent the Episcopal Church from taking our church home.

Terri Tex Beam

Youth Update from Micah:
I'm back in town after taking a break last week and I've got some big news. Ask me if you haven't heard yet. In the meantime, Youth Group is back on normal schedule this week. Since we didn't get to do the white elephant gift exchange last time, please bring your gifts this next meeting (both Junior and Senior High). Junior High will be meeting Monday, 6-8; Senior High on Sunday, 6-8.

Women's Bible Study: Next Saturday the Women's Bible Study will start a new study of the Book of Isaiah. If you are a woman (young or older) and looking for a bible study to join, this is a good opportunity to get into a study at the very start of a book. The study, led by Anne, meets at 10:00am every Saturday morning in the parish hall.

Christian Education; Christ and Culture:
We'll finish our discussion of Existentialism this Sunday and move into the next idea that has shaped our culture, "humanism". This has been a great series so far. If you are interested in more, please check out RC Sproul's website. He presented the original lecture series on which we are basing this portion of the class.

Don't forget to invite your friends to church...

Good News for the Week:
During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel—and God knew. (Exodus 2:23-25)

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