Happy Thursday, well looks like it will be another short Thursday Notes today...not that there aren't lots of things going on.
We had a great visit with Bishop Murdoch last Sunday. It was good to see, tangibly, that we are not alone--that the Anglican world is wide and broad and that we remain connected to it. He taught class, preached a powerful sermon (you can listen too it here) celebrated communion and Confirmed seven of our brothers and sisters.
Congratulations Confirmands: Charles, Ife, Matt, Doug, John, Christina, and Micah. Welcome to the Anglican Communion. Don't worry, we'll hold you to your promises ; )
The Last Court Hearing: I wrote the following to the congregation Tuesday:
The last phase of the lawsuit that the Diocese of filed against us will be heard this coming Friday at 11am at the Broome County Courthouse (same location as the first time)
This time, the Diocese is seeking to take the endowment a parishioner left to us in his will. The argument of the diocese is that we "no longer exist" as a church since we left the Episcopal Church.
You are all invited to come to show that, indeed, we do exist. The vestry will be there and so will I.
At the same time, I am fully aware--and we should all be aware--that God has and will take care of us no matter what happens to this endowment...
The endowment is not vital to the life of Good Shepherd.
Only Christ is vital to the life of Good Shepherd and he is with us wherever we go.
I am not the least bit worried about the outcome of this hearing. It would be a great blessing to win and it would be a great blessing to lose. Either way, God will be glorified and show himself to be good and faithful.
Men's Breakfast and Bible Study: George Zavos is scheduled to cook. We'll move into chapter 2 of first Samuel.
The Vestry voted: and we are now a member church of the Missionary District of New England. Bishop Murdoch is our bishop.
Thursday Night bible Study will meet tonight at 6:30pm in the Conklin Avenue gym after the Shepherd's Bowl
Baptism: Matthias Boeker will be baptized on Palm Sunday...which, incidentally, is only 3 weeks from now on April 5th. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ and have yet to be baptized, please see Anne or me. Christ calls all his followers to be baptized as a public sign and declaration of your faith and in order to initiate you visibly into the visible Body of Christ, his church.
The Shack: If you are thinking about reading or have read The Shack, be sure to listen to this interview first.
Women's Bible Study: There will be Women's Bible Study this Sunday at 10am in the parish hall.
Acolytes: Now that things are sort of settling down, we really really need to have an acolyte practice to figure out how to move around on the altar area. The first practice will be Saturday the 29th of March at 11:00am. Please mark your calendars but I'll call you to be sure. If you are interested in being an acolyte please contact anne at firstname.lastname@example.org
John Piper on the Recession: If you did not get a chance to watch this sermon this week, try to...it's very good.
Christian Theology: At Good Shepherd we spend a lot of time delving into the depths of God's Word at bible study, in class and in the sermons...but in order to really process what we read in scripture and hear in sermons, it is important to have an established framework in your mind...a grounded understanding of Christianity from the very beginning--the nature and character of God--to the end, eschatology and the final consummation of God's purposes on earth.
To meet that need, a need felt not only at Good Shepherd, but throughout the city, I am planning to teach offer a "Systematic Theology" class that will meet Saturday afternoons beginning after easter. This class will include reading assignments and discussion that require you to work and study hard--to think hard and discuss openly ideas and concepts that can be very challenging. The class will be something to commit to. But I believe the commitment will pay off in a deepened relationship with Jesus Christ, a deepened love for his Word, and an increasingly transformed mind.
You will hear more about this class in the coming weeks, but think about it, pray about it, tell people about it and I pray that you will sign up when the opportunity comes.