Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thursday Notes

Dear Good Shepherd,

Happy Thursday, here are your Thursday Notes:

Shepherd's Bowl startup: The first Shepherd's Bowl is slated to start tonight. The sign is up, flyers have been distributed, and food is being prepared. If you are on Team 1, then hopefully, you've already made plans with your teammates and know when to be here and what to do.

One reminder. It took a good year at the old building for the program to get off the ground. It may be the same here. What that means is that if you don't see too many people during the first few months, you should not be discouraged. That's just the way these things work. It takes time for word to spread and time for new life patterns and habits to form. I think we are in an ideal location for a soup kitchen so I've no doubt that ultimately this program will be successful. It will require hard work, commitment, and the willingness to plant a lot of seeds in the first few weeks and months that may not bear fruit for some time. But I am confident that they will bear fruit.

Our aim is to feed hungry people. Whatever good thing we do for the people who come to the Shepherd's Bowl we also do it for Christ. It's important to keep that in mind. Most people we serve are very nice. There have been some in the past who have not been so nice. It really does not matter. Either way, if we remember that we are serving Jesus first and foremost, we'll be able to love both those who are pleasant and those who behave ungraciously. Ask Jesus to help us in this and to give us the grace to love people the way that he does.

Finally, I wanted to mention that if you cannot give your time to the Shepherd's Bowl, any financial contributions for the purchase of food and supplies for the soup kitchen would be greatly appreciated. Just make your check out to Good Shepherd and make a note on the check that you would like the money to be used to help the Shepherd's Bowl. Thank you.

Beginner's Bible Study: We'll be starting Beginner's Bible Study tonight as well. We discontinued the study last Spring because the logistics of holding class in the Conklin Avenue Baptist gym proved to be just too daunting. Now we are at our own place and that means we can start up again. This will be both a study of the nature of the bible: what is it? why do we read it? why do we care what it says? How do we read it? And it will be an actual study of scripture. We'll start off in Acts 1 and go verse by verse through the text so that you can learn while you study. The study will start tonight at 6:30pm after the Shepherd's Bowl and will run until 7:30pm. Hope to see you there!

Parent's Meeting this Sunday
There will be a parents meeting for parents of children in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (ages 3-12) on Sunday September 6th after church. Parents and Catechesis helpers please RSVP to Anne at or call us at 773-4810.

New Sermon Series:
Last Sunday we looked at some of the ways that God has provided for us and protected us and brought us to this new place despite all of the challenges and obstacles that seemed so insurmountable last year. God has put us in this new place for a reason. The church in Thessalonika had also faced and come through some significant threats to its survival when Paul wrote his first letter to them in the early 50's. The trials were so great that while enduring them many in the church felt that Jesus' coming had to be immanent. When Jesus did not return, they had a lot of questions and many were confused. What do we do now? How are we going to be the church in the meantime--while we wait for Jesus to come back and establish his kingdom? 1st Thessalonians is an encouraging letter in many ways and it is also one that calls the Church to move forward and be and do what Christ has called her to be and do. Given the gracious loving provision of God; that he has brought us safely through so many trials, it is important to think about the "why" question. Why has God done this. What does he have for us to do here?

I've always desired to preach straight through a book of the bible. Lectionaries are great but you miss a lot of scripture and you lose a good deal of the continuity and richness of the texts you do read when you skip around from passage to passage. This series will take us through the entirety of Paul's First letter to the Thessalonians. By the end of our time in this letter, I believe God will have matured us as students of the bible and followers of Jesus. I think we'll come away with a firmer grasp of our purpose as a church in general and our specific mission in Binghamton and here at 356 Conklin Avenue. To prepare for this series, please take the time to read through 1st Thessalonians. It is a short book and should not take you more than 30 to 45 minutes depending on how fast you read.

New Sunday School Rooms:
Don Dean is hard at work in the parish hall creating two new classrooms out of the stage area. God has blessed Good Shepherd with a lot of children and we've desperately needed more classroom space. Thank you to the vestry for commissioning and funding the project and thank you to Don Dean for all of your good work.

Thank you to Cookie Finch who organized the Yard Sale to help pay for improvements to the rectory. Anne and I are very grateful to you and to everyone who pitched in to help in any way. Thank you all so very much.

Flower Fund:
Don't forget to look in the pews for a white sheet titled "Flower Fund." If you would like to place flowers on the Altar at any time during the year, this is the time to sign up. You can also contribute for Easter and Christmas memorials at this time as well. The deadline is September 1st because the fiscal year for the Flower Fund is from October 1 to September 30. Please make all checks to Anglican Good Shepherd. Thank you. Cookie

Preparing for Mission Sunday: On Saturday September 12th at 3PM, some of the ladies will be preparing cinnamon buns for Mission Sunday. Please contact Carmen if you would like to help.

Missions Sunday:
Missions Sunday will be held on September 13th, 2009. For those of you who are new to Good Shepherd, Missions Sunday is the day set aside to learn and think about the mission and ministry of Good Shepherd and to step forward to either recommit or volunteer to serve in the ministries, mission, and/or programs of the church that are open to volunteers. One essential part of being a member of a visible body of Christ is using your divinely given gifts, skills and talents to build up your brothers and sisters and the congregation and Church as a whole.

There are lots of things going on at Good Shepherd that you've probably never heard of or about that need your support.

This missions Sunday will be a little bit different than last year's. In the past various ministries, especially those needing volunteer help, set out booths in the parish hall and between services we all sort of milled around and signed up. This year, we'll still have the booths and sign up sheets but given that this takes place between services, during the time usually set aside for Christian ed, we'll use the opportunity to present and discuss the overall mission and purpose of Good Shepherd, the one year mission goals that will, by then, have been set by the vestry, and how the various ministries, programs and missions of the church contribute both to our larger mission and to the specific fall 2009-spring 2010 goals.

In the past we have not been great at following up with those who have volunteered and plugging them into various programs. That's been due to the lack of extra manpower to help with the logistics and my own business. This year we think we have all the kinks ironed out so please don't hesitate to sign up.

I hope you will make a point of joining us for this important occassion and that if you are not presently serving in any way in the church that you will prayerfully consider doing so.

Missions Sunday is held between services on September 13th. There will be homemade sweetrolls and other good things to eat.

Men's Bible Study and Breakfast: I am scheduled to cook tomorrow. We start serving and studying at 6:30am every Friday. All men are welcome and invited.

Altar Guild Meeting: The altar guild is the group of people in the church who set up the altar, take care of vestments, clean and care for the altar hangings and linens, chalices, candles, bowls, and everything else associated with the altar and the material "stuff" we use during worship. The first meeting this year of the altar guild will be at 10:30am on Thursday morning September 24th. If you would like join the altar guild, you are invited to attend this meeting.

Christian Education: Anglican Worship and Sacraments. Our discussion of the Sacrament of Communion is winding down and we should be able to conclude it this Sunday and begin the last section of this series dealing with the theology of worship. What is worship? Why do we do it? There are so many models for worship: liturgical, seeker sensitive, emergent, do we know which model to follow and can or should some of the newer models fit within the Anglican understanding of worship? We'll discuss these questions and more this Sunday.

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.

Podcasts and Videos: Last Week's sermon was entitled: The Foundation of Unity and a New Start. You can listen to the audio and or watch the video by following the link. That sermon represented the conclusion of series on congregational unity based in Ephesians 4:1-3. This Sunday we'll start a new series based on 1st Thessalonians.
We've also recorded last week's baptism of Aydia, Raven and Jaden. You can watch the video here.

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

Youth Update from Ife:
Youth Group will be meeting this Sunday. There are a few exciting changes going in the youth group regarding age group. Some of the changes will be discussed at Anne's meeting after church this Sunday and I will be getting in touch with H.S. parents before Sunday. Despite the changes, we'll be meeting at our usual time this Sunday, JH 1-3p, SH 6-8p. Hope to see you there.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't forget to look in the pews for a white sheet titled "Flower Fund." If you would like to place flowers on the Altar at any time during the year, this is the time to sign up. You can also contribute for Easter and Christmas memorials at this time as well. The deadline is September 1st because the fiscal year for the Flower Fund is from October 1 to September 30. Please make all checks to Anglican Good Shepherd. Thank you. Cookie