Thursday, October 22, 2009

Good Shepherd Update Thursday October 22, 2009

Dear Good Shepherd,

Good afternoon and Happy Thursday

The Harvest Dinner: Thank you to everyone who volunteered in any way to help this year's Harvest Dinner fundraiser and thank you especially to Chris Vail for taking leadership of the Dinner this year and organizing everything so effectively.

Systematic Theology  will meet this Saturday for the second class discussion in Systematic Theology. If you missed the first, you are not too far behind, so please join us. Here is the recording of last week's class. This Saturday, we'll continue our discussion of Theism talking about some of the ways that Christians can know and demonstrate that God exists.

Shepherd's Bowl: Team 4 is scheduled to serve tonight at the Shepherd's Bowl.

Acolyte Practice This Sunday: The next acolyte practice is scheduled for This Sunday October 25th after the 10:30am service please mark your calendars and plan to be there. So far you guys are doing incredibly well. Thank you for all of your hard work. It is a making a big difference.

Christmas Acolyting:
Christmas Eve service is one of the more important ones of the year so we pull out all the stops. If you are not going to be out of town and are not going to be in the Christmas Pageant which takes place during the service itself, and you are willing to serve as an acolyte please let me know so that I can fill the spaces. We need five acolytes for Christmas Eve.

Falling Leaves--we plan to rake this Saturday: Thank you to everyone who has volunteered to help with leaves. We're meeting this Saturday, October 24th to rake them up. There is plenty of room to help out, so please sign up if you can. There is a sign up sheet in the parish hall this Sunday.

The Third Yearly Goal: Last week I wrote about our second yearly goal and the week before I wrote about the first. This week's goal, by contrast, is one that we have, thanks be to God, already met (though we had not when we first set our goals)--to reestablish the Shepherd's Bowl.

The Shepherd's Bowl is not only a way for us to help people in the community who need food, it is also one more way that Good Shepherd can make the Kingdom of God is made manifest. Jesus said: "who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves." (Lk 22:27). When we do the things that Jesus did and we do them in his name and for his glory, we are make his kingdom present.

It is not a good idea to draw a firm line between evangelism and social outreach. One should always involve the other. Jesus did not simply feed and heal, he also called the lost to repent and follow him. His purpose was to bear witness to the truth and by his life, death and resurrection to save eternal souls...and yet he did not neglect bodies and the needs of the body.

One way to be sure that we do not focus exclusively on one or the other, evangelism or outreach, is to think of both as part of the same overarching goal of proclaiming the Kingdom of God in everything that we do. Every soul saved and every person fed in the name of Jesus Christ represents an expansion of his ethos, his way, his sovereign and just rule over the created order.

We are infinitely blessed to be called to be a part of his cosmic plan and his ultimate victory over sin, the world, and the Devil. The Shepherd's Bowl is one small but significant act in a much greater affair.

Monday and/or Tuesday?:
If we have not had our newest baby yet by next week, Anne will be induced Monday or Tuesday. Thank you for all of your prayers and support during this pregnancy.

Beginner's Bible Study: Beginner's Bible Study is on for tonight. We should move to John 2 this evening.

Women's Bible Study: Meets every Saturday in the parish hall at 10:00am. They are currently studying the book of Isaiah. All women are welcome.

Sermon this Sunday: The sermon this Sunday will focus on the following text from 1st Thessalonians 2:13-16

13And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe. 14For you, brothers, became imitators of God's churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own countrymen the same things those churches suffered from the Jews, 15who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to all men 16in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last."

Video of Last Sunday's Sermon: Here's the video of last Sunday's Sermon Disciples of Jesus in the Kingdom of God:

Men's Bible Study and Breakfast: Chris Jones is scheduled to cook. We're almost through 1st Samuel. This Thursday we'll move into 24-25. Breakfast is served at 6:30am and the study starts at the same time. All men are welcome.

Leasing the School: Yesterday the final decisions were made at the city level with regard to zoning and the lease agreement with Future Faces Day Care was finalized. They were here yesterday and they will begin moving in any day now. Thanks be to God.

Matt's cell phone: If you have my cell phone number and have been trying to call me on it, you probably have had little success. I don't know what's wrong with it but I am not getting messages and calls are frequently dropped so please call me at my home number if you need me, which is also the church number: 607-773-4810

Christian Education: Science and the Bible/Creation and Evolution.  We'll continue our discussion of Creation and Evolution this Sunday by answering some of the questions that came up last week and beginning a look at "Theistic Evolution"--the idea that God drove the evolutionary process. Is it possible to accept evolutionary theory while maintaining a faithful view of the truthfulness of scripture?

One of my favorite online resources is the Discovery Institute which is the website an organization group of scientists--atheists, agnostics, Christians and Jews--who have rejected Darwinian evolution in favor of a theory called Intelligent Design. You can read some very good articles, listen to recorded debates, and keep up to date with the latest information here:

Be sure to invite your friends and neighbors to church!

No comments: