Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thursday Notes

Dear Good Shepherd,

Good Morning and Happy Thursday

Shepherd's Bowl: Good Shepherd's soup kitchen, the Shepherd's Bowl, had a great turnout last week and we hope that it will continue this week. Team 3 is scehduled for tonight. If you are a new volunteer to the Shepherd's Bowl, please be sure to check the team list that is in the parish hall this Sunday to know when you are serving--and it is a good idea to take one Thursday before you are scheduled to serve and observe how the Shepherd's Bowl works. There is a system for prepping, serving and cleaning that every team member should know.

Worship Committee and Search for a new Music Director: As most of you know we are in the middle of an interim period at Good Shepherd. Micah Towery, our former music director, got married about a month ago and moved to Vancouver. We formed a committee to think through the worship of the church and to search for a new music director. The committee members are:

Chris Peterson
Samantha Kubic
Colleen Kenny-Kuk
Joyce Coppola
Carrie Moorehead
Matt Tuttle
Anne is the chair

The committee is made up of people from very different backgrounds to reflect the diversity of Good Shepherd: traditionalist former Episcopalians, evangelicals, brand new Anglicans, musicians, college students, Xers, boomers and seniors--people who tend to favor contemporary worship and those for whom contemporary worship is the mark of the beast. We have all sorts and they are all on the committee which should make the meetings interesting.

We hope to call a music director who not only possesses musical skill and ability, but who has a vision for the music ministry at Good Shepherd. And we ask for your prayers during this search.

If all goes well, we could hire within the next two months. Until then the music at Good Shepherd will be a mixture of piano, organ, guitar and flute. Colleen, Jane, Chris and Joyce (Anne's mom) will serve together and/or alternately leading worship while we wait and pray for God to raise up a music minister. Thank you for your patience and your prayers during this time.

Beginner's Bible Study: Beginner's Bible Study is on for tonight as well. We've had some great discussions about the nature and authority of scripture and tonight we'll dive into an actual study of the Gospel of John. If you are a new student of scripture this study is perfect for new Christians or believers who have not been very

A Shift in Focus for the Anglican Church Women:
In the past, the ACW has organized fundraisers for the church. These fundraisers were vital to the financial health and wellbeing of the church. But over the years as God has blessed us and we have grown, the focus on fundraising has become less important. Now the ACW has decided that the time is right to shift focus from fundraising toward raising money for mission and for those in need. As the first step in this shift, the proceeds from biggest upcoming project, the Christmas Bake sale, which traditionally supported the general fund of Good Shepherd, will now be used to help a small Anglican congregation in a Nairobi slum pay rent, provide lunch and rubber boots (to protect from open sewage) for the children who attend school there.

As part of this new focus, the ACW also plans to invite all the women of the church to lunch on Saturday, November 15th to discuss future plans and projects. More details will be coming soon.

Sermon series on 1st Thessalonians:  This week we'll move on to 1:2-6. Last Sunday we spent time talking about the ethnic and cultural makeup of the Thessalonian church and the ways that Paul presented the same gospel to different people without compromising the essentials. We also discussed the relationship between Grace and Peace. Believers in Jesus Christ have peace with God because God graciously moved in our hearts to bring us from spiritual death to spiritual life...and having, by grace, committed our lives to Jesus Christ we now have peace with the Father through faith in Jesus Christ.

Grace is a vital concept to grasp. Without it we fall to pride on the one hand--believing in our own righteousness--or hopelessness on the other--despairing over our sinfulness. But if we understand that the Christian life is begun, carried out, and brought to fruition by the grace of God both pride and despair are defeated.

This Sunday we'll talk about the "work" produced by faith, the "labor" originating in love, and the endurance that comes through our hope in Jesus Christ (see 1 Thess 1:2-6). In preparation for the sermon, you might consider the ways that we can reverse that order--making faith a work, giving labor in exchange for love, and the sort of "endurance" that sees the Kingdom of Jesus Christ as something to be gained by long suffering effort.

Here is the video of last Sunday's sermon in case you missed it. The audio is really bad so I did not post it.:


Questions and Answers about tithing: During the class on the nature of the church we said that the three marks of the church are 1. full and truthful proclamation of God's Word 2. celebration of the sacraments in accord with the institution of Christ and 3. Discipline (order). The only way to fulfill that 3rd mark is to have some kind of common commitment and covenant to live out the Christian life. I mentioned in my talk for Missions and Ministry Sunday that there are four commitments that members of Good Shepherd make. These commitments are, we believe, grounded in scripture and intended to point us toward our common calling as followers of Jesus Christ. Members are: 1. Believers in Jesus Christ who have publicly proclaimed their faith through confirmation (if baptised as a baby) or Baptism (if baptized as a young person or adult) 2. faithful in worship (unless sick or on vacation) 3. Serving the body (using their gifts for some ministry or mission in the church) and 4. tithing or working toward a tithe.

The last point, #4, has worried some people who come from churches where the pastors or elders actually ask for financial statements. 1. Don't worry. We don't and we never will ask or care about how much you make. The  reason we included tithing or working toward a tithe in the list of membership commitments is because we believe scripture does call Christians to take that step. We also believe that this is something that is between you and God--not you God and the church. Again, we'll never ask for anything more than your word. 2. I do not know, do not want to know, and do not ask how much people give to the church. Please don't tell me. The treasurer and financial secretary know because they work out the finances and send out tax forms but no one else does.  3. Whether you tithe or are working toward a tithe, we love you and you are welcome. Some have asked whether they can volunteer time and talent without being members. Of course, please do. Again, we love you and thank you for all you do.

Question and Answers 2: Why do Anglicans worship with Written Prayers?


New Sunday School Rooms: Thank you to Don Dean for his great work on the new Sunday School rooms in the parish hall.

A Note from Kellie: Hi, there! If you’ve added someone to Good Shepherd’s prayer list in recent months and that person’s situation has since been resolved (thanks be to God for all answered prayers!), please let me know so that I can remove the person’s name. Alternately, if you know someone who’s not on the list whom you’d like to see join it, let me know so that I can add him/her. You can e-mail me at kellie.n.french at gmail dot com or just call the church office. Thank you!

Men's Bible Study and Breakfast: Tom and Brian are scheduled to cook. We'll be in 1st Samuel 20. Breakfast is served at 6:30am and the study starts at the same time. All men are welcome. 

Christian Education: Anglican Worship and Sacraments. We started the last part of our series on Anglican worship two Sundays ago with a discussion of the nature of worship in general. We said that worship is giving the self over to God--becoming a living sacrifice. That is played out during a service worship through what we say, the posture of the body, what we sing, and what is in our hearts. We also agreed that the goal of worship is not to produce a feeling or sense of God's presence. God is present when the body gathers whether we sense his presence or not. The sense or feeling of his presence and power is a by-product of worship not the center. We also discussed some of things that go on: prayer, readings, sermon, communion, offerings, peace, confession, thanksgiving. This Sunday we'll continue that discussion and have time for a preview of our next series which will be announced.

Systematic Theology: The first class will be Saturday October 9th.

Acolyte Practice: The next acolyte practice will be held after the 10:30am service on Sunday September 27th.

Womens Bible Study: There will be women's bible study this Saturday. All women are welcome and invited

Youth Group Update from Ife:
Senior High Sunday 6-7:30p
Junior High  Monday 6:30-8:00p
Last week was the first change in the schedule but most of you showed up and were enthusiastic about the new groups. That's great! Let's do the same this week and don't forget to bring your friends.

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