Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thursday Notes

Dear Good Shepherd,

Happy Thursday, here are your Thursday Notes

Ascension Sunday: This Sunday is the day the church sets aside to celebrate Jesus' bodily Ascension into heaven where he is seated at the right hand of God. Why did Jesus ascend? What does it mean to sit at God's right hand? Where is he now? And what does it mean for us as a church and as individuals that Jesus ascended into heaven? We'll deal with all of those questions and wrap up our resurrection appearances sermon series this Sunday. The feast of the Ascension is one of the four most important in the church year (Christmas, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost). You won't want to miss it.

Pentecost is coming up Next Sunday (the 31st): The Holy Spirit indwelt the church on the feast of Pentecost in Jerusalem 2000 years ago. Since that time, God himself, through the Spirit makes his home in the heart of every believer just as he once made a home in the Tabernacle and the Temple. Pentecost Day is often seen as the birthday of the Church--the day followers of Jesus, through the Spirit's power--finally left the upper room and went out into the world preaching the gospel. Remember to wear red which symbolizes the tongues of fire that came to rest on the apostles as they were indwelled by the Holy Spirit.

Parish Calendar: Don't forget to check the parish calendar every week to see what is happening at Good Shepherd. The duty roster has been integrated with the Calendar through mid June and will completed to mid July sometime today.

Great Sermon on God's Providence: God cares for us and provides for us in ways we do not see and during times we feel abandoned and alone. Dr. RC Sproul gives a great lecture on God's providence in our lives here.

Sermon Podcast: We forgot to record Anne's sermon last Sunday on Jesus' appearance to Thomas, but you can read it here.

Christian education: This week we'll be bridging from a discussion of Christ and Culture in general to specific or particular aspects of the culture that surrounds us. In particular, you may have noticed the growing influence of Islam in the United States. On the south-side, Islam has made great headway, especially in our area. As part of the process of gaining an understanding of our cultural context, we'll begin a short series on Islam--beliefs and practices--beginning this Sunday between services. Please read this brief talk by a Muslim imam in preparation for class. This will give us some understanding of what Muslims believe as we share the gospel of Jesus Christ with them.

Single/Married/family issues...I've sensed the need lately to discuss these things. Maybe its because there are a lot of weddings coming up. Maybe its because we've been focusing so much on the historical resurrection accounts and theology lately. Maybe there are just some things that need sorting out? But in any case, I'm trying to find a way and time to have some single/married/family life courses in the near future. I'll keep you posted.

Acolytes and Acolyte Practices for 2009: Acolytes, lead worship, assist the ministers, and lead processions. Serving as an acolyte is often the first taste of Christian service for young believers. Acolyting introduces young Christians to the concept of God's holiness and the loving reverence with which all believers approach the Lord's throne of grace.

Practically, they are part of the over all task of woship--eucharistic ministers, readers, clergy, choir, its not a one person show, everybody does something to help the banquet go forward.

A banquet is a good illustration for Anglican worship as a whole and helps us to understand the role acolytes play...Jesus provides nourishment to his people through his word, read and preached, and through Communion--word and sacrament together ground and strengthen the church for mission and ministry. Acolytes are like servants at an ancient banquet. The candles light the way to the table...the crucifer's cross, reminding us of the death of Christ that makes our presence at the table possible. The crucifer helps set the Lord's table. The acolytes receive gifts and bring them forward. The bell ringer alerts our attention to the most important moments of the Great Thanksging prayer. The acolytes then show people to the table to recieve and help clean up afterward.

Assisting in worship leadership is a serious and important task. Everything an acolyte does either adds to or detracts from the beauty and reverence of worship and helps or hinders the prayers and worship of the congregation. We hope to train acolytes who love Jesus Christ and who are committed to serving him with excellence.

We are in a new building and this is, likewise, a new beginning for the acolyte program at Good Shepherd. We intend to recommit ourselves to bringing glory and honor to Jesus Christ in everything that we do.

Here is a list of acolyte practices for this coming year. The first one will be Saturday May 30th at 11am.

Every acolyte practice begins at 11am and lasts till 12 noon and lunch is provided (the practice itself lasts for approximately 1 hour. Lunch follows)


1. Saturday May 30th

2. Saturday June 27th

No Practice during July

3. Saturday August 22nd

4. Saturday September 26th

5. Saturday October 24th

6. Saturday November 21st

7. Saturday December 13th

Men's Breakfast and Bible Study: Tom and Brian are scheduled to cook tomorrow morning. All men are welcome to come. Breakfast is served at 6:30am. We're currently studying the book of 1st Samuel.

Women's Bible Study: Correction...there will be no Women's Bible Study this Saturday because of the BBQ.

Thursday Evening Beginners Bible Study...will meet tonight at Conklin Avenue Baptist church at 6:30pm after the Shepherd's Bowl. We're just starting to dig into Acts.

Chicken BBQ: Don't forget that the first chicken BBQ at our new location will be this Saturday 11am-2pm. Please come and invite your friends.

Systematic Theology: ST will meet this coming saturday at 3:30pm as usual. If you missed any of the previous two sessions, you can listen to them here and here. This Saturday we'll begin to discuss the "proofs" or arguments for God's existence and we'll see the way that these arguments help provide a basis for our understanding of some of the crucial attributes of God's existence. Remember to read chapter 11 of Grudem's Systematic Theology.

Canoe Race: Don and Jenna Dean will be in one canoe, Darrell Dean and I will be in another this Memorial Day for the General Clinton Canoe Regatta this Memorial Day. If you are looking for something to do, come to Bainbridge for a great festival with some of the best BBQ I've tasted at the finish line.

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