Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thursday Notes

Dear Good Shepherd,

Good Morning. Ice on the ground...7 below zero Fahrenheit... It's a great day to move! The rectory is just about packed up and we will begin moving the daily essentials to the St. Andrew's rectory today, tomorrow, and Saturday. If you would like to help, please feel free to come on by (78 Kendall Avenue) there is more than enough work for everyone.

Morning prayer this week will continue Tuesday through Friday at 8:30am. For this week we're meeting for morning prayer at Joyce Copolla's house. Here is the address and phone number:

106 South Washington St.

Binghamton, NY 13903

Tel: 607.724.0302

Here is a map from mapquest

Please join us.

Morning prayer NEXT WEEK, bible studies and all vestry meetings
Will be held in the rectory at what used to be St. Andrew's Catholic Church. There is a large and good space in that can be use for all of these purposes.

The St. Andrew's rectory is only 1.4 miles from Good Shepherd's previous location. If you are leaving the Good Shepherd parking lot:

1. take a right on Livingston
2. Turn right on Conklin
3. Travel for 1.34 miles (3 minutes)
4. Turn right into the large parking lot at what used to be St. Andrew's Catholic Church. The rectory is directly in front of the church, facing Conklin Avenue.

Here is a mapquest map that will take you from Good Shepherd to St. Andrew's

Here is the address: St. Andrew's Rectory:

356 Conklin Avenue
Binghamton New York

For Worship this Sunday: We will be at Conklin Avenue First Baptist Church.
Here is a map that includes the locations of Good Shepherd, Conklin Avenue Baptist, and St. Andrew's Catholic...

As you will see Conklin Avenue Baptist is right between Good Shepherd and St. Andrew's. Conklin Avenue Baptist is directly accross the Street from Benjamin Franklin elementary school.

From Good Shepherd:
1. take a right on Livingston
2. Turn right on Conklin
3. Drive for .48 miles (one half mile)
4. You will see Conklin Avenue Baptist on your left hand side.
5. just past the church, still on Conklin, you will see the large parking lot...also on your left but accross a residential street from the church.
6. You may park there.
7. The gym is the large building connected to the church right accross the residential street from the will see ushers and signs.

The Phone Numbers: If you have any questions about any of the directions above...please call us at:


Men's Bible Study and Breakfast: Bob Shaller has reserved the back room of Denny's on Vestal Parkway for us this week. We'll meet there at our regular time Friday morning at 6:30am.

Women's Bible Study: will meet on Saturday at the St. Andrew's rectory at the usual time 10:00am.

Pray for God's help: God has been exceedingly gracious and good to us in this first week. We have a place to worship, a place to meet for bible study, meetings, and morning prayer, and my family has a place to live. We are so very thankful. Let us, in response to his grace, model our lives after Christ. Pray every day for Bishop Skip Adams and the diocese of Central New York. Pray every day for God's help and direction and wisdom for us as a body.

The times ahead will be difficult...but as we pass through them, please ask God for:

1. patience, as he shapes us...sometimes through hardship, into the people he wants us to be,
2. a sense of joy and excitment as we contemplate the future he has for us,
3. a sense of gratitude not only for the great blessings he has already provided, but for the trial and testing itself because we know that it will bear fruit in increased trust and reliance upon him.
4. a sense of mission...recognizing that we are being sent out into the world to call more people to the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ

A Note About Items from the Church: Friends, I recognize that many feel that the decision of the court was unjust. I do too. But it was and is a legal decision made by someone who holds legitimate civil authority over us. Compliance with the court's judgment does not require us to break God's command or to do anything against God's law. That means that as believers we are called to give the decision our full obedience.

Paul lived under the laws and governance of the Roman Empire. Rome, during the first century and into the second, was increasingly hostile toward Christians...and unjust. The churches to which Paul wrote his letters often suffered persecution and sometimes had their property confiscated like we have. Nevertheless, here is what Paul wrote to Roman Christians about the civil authorities:

"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment."
Romans 13:1-2

We are under a lot of stress right now. But it is important to remain obedient to the authorities over us. We do so not because they are "fair", but because we love Christ and we recognize that he did the same--remember, Pontius Pilate made the most unjust judgment in human history and yet Christ willingly submitted. Christ, through his obedience, brought glory to his Father. We must do the same.

Among the requirements of our present situation is that all items belonging to the Church of the Good Shepherd, must remain in the building.

This, unfortunately, includes items that were bought and donated to the church in memory of relatives. If you have anything from the church at your home, please return it before Friday when we will give a final accounting to the judge and the diocese. I know it is not fair...I know that...but it is one way we can honor God and show our willingness to give up everything we have for his Son Jesus Christ.

If you have "lent" something to the other words, if you bought an item and then let the church use it for worship or something else, then it still belongs to you and you may take it.

But if you donated money to the church in memory of someone or for some special item, and the church bought it then it belongs to the church and, according to the court order, to the diocese.

I know it is confusing, but that is the law.

In any case, there is no need to worry about the future because everything we lose for Christ, becomes a treasure in heaven and a blessing here on earth. Do not worry about anything. Whenever you feel anxiety or fear, pray. Tell God how you feel, let it all out, and ask him to give you peace and confidence.

The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:5-7)

God is with us. He is "at hand". He will never leave or forsake us. Thank him and praise him this week and be ready to join us for worship on Sunday...inviting your friends and neighbors to come along as well

In Christ,


Anonymous said...

That is one fine letter, Matt. You are a stand-up witness to the love, power and way of life in Jesus. The vitality and energy in the Lord come through loud and clear. I can see your congregation moving up!

God bless you.

David Loving (RoyIII @ Stand Firm)

Anglocat said...

Father Kennedy,

We may not agree on much, as our exchange at my blog underscored, but I would be failing in honesty if I didn't say your reaction to the court's decision has impressed me.

Across the gulf that divides us, I salute you for this.