Good morning....at least I hope I get this out while it is still morning. This week's update will repeat some information and also provide some new stuff...most notably the Holy Week Schedule. For those of you who do not know what Holy Week is please be sure to read below where it should all be explained fairly clearly. Also, there are some final updates on the legal stuff and a note about the opening of the day care center.
Here's the Update:
An idea (and not mine): "There should be no poor among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you" (Deut 15:4).
That verse from Deuteronomy is both a description of the way things ought to be within the community of God's people, and command...an instruction to use the gifts and blessings that God has given us to take care of our brothers and sisters in need.
The Shepherd's Bowl does a great job of helping the community around us. But there are brothers and sisters who belong to Good Shepherd who have difficulty affording groceries and some of the basic necessities. There are "poor" among us. In Israel, God instructed harvesters to leave the edges of the fields unharvested so that those in need might find food.
How might we apply those instructions today?
One way would be to set up a food pantry at the church stocked by and to be used by members and people who attend Good Shepherd regularly. In a small way this is happening informally already. The Petersons and Nolls regularly donate fresh eggs for the congregation.
I think we should set aside a cabinet or two, maybe one of the two side rooms next to the kitchen, specifically to collect and give away food to people in need. When you have extra food, bring it to church. When you need food, come to church.
If you are interested in helping set this up, please let me know. We'll hammer out the details and get back to you with more information in the coming weeks.
Clam Chowder sale: is coming up on Saturday March 20th. The sale is a fundraiser and the price per container is 8 dollars. As a way of reaching out to those in need and/or as a way to invite people to church, I encourage those of you who are able to do so, to buy more than one container so that we can give some chowder away as gifts from Good Shepherd.
Future Faces Day Care: is scheduled to open this coming Monday, so be aware that there will be cars parked on the opposite side of the parking lot from the church during the day.
Healing Service: This coming Wednesday night at 6pm and every remaining wednesday in Lent. God has, through prayer and the laying on of hands, physically healed people a number of times at Good Shepherd. But healing takes place in many ways. Resentment, depression, anger, addiction, dependence, unforgiveness--are all ways that we sometimes react to pain in our lives. God is more powerful than them all and sometimes he overcomes these sins in our lives by first healing the pain at the heart of them through prayer. The Wednesday services at Good Shepherd will be based on an Anglican liturgy for healing found in the Kenyan prayerbook. If you are looking for physical, spiritual, or emotional healing please plan to come every Wednesday at 6pm.
New Duty Roster plan: we're reorganizing the way we schedule Sunday morning duties, moving to a team system similar to the team system used for scheduling the Shepherd's bowl. Every reader, LEM, acolyte, teller, etc...will be assigned to a team. The teams will rotate by Sunday.
Right now we just about have enough volunteers in each role for six full teams. What that means is that no one will be scheduled to serve more than once a month. Each team will have a team captain and assistant who will be responsible for team cohesion and ensuring that team members show up or get replacements. This should help us both to keep things organized and to integrate and train new volunteers more effectively.
There will be a meeting of team captains this Sunday after Church.
Legal Update: All the paper work has now been filed and all the checks have been written and so, as an official matter, the case is closed. It was over a month ago...but now that fact has been officially recorded in court.
Choir Practice: tonight at 7pm
The Sexual Harassment/Abuse Prevention Training originally scheduled for Saturday March 6th has been cancelled. Instead, beginning on Saturday March 13th thru April--we'll set up the videos and a television set in the church. If you teach Sunday School, serve in the nursery, work on staff, please come to view them at your convenience. The church is open business hours most Saturdays and Tuesdays. It is always open during open office hours Wednesday and Thursday, and in the evenings during the various weekly events. The only days that may be difficult are Friday (after 9pm) and Monday. We'll have a roster next to the video. After you watch, just sign the roster so we'll know you've done it. These videos are required by our insurance and it's just a good idea.
Men's Bible Study and Breakfast: Chris Jones is scheduled to cook, but Don Dean volunteered to cook Eggs Benedict this Friday so I think we'll let him do that. If Chris does not mind, we'll move him to next Friday. We're hopefully going to wrap up the account of David and Bathsheba in 2nd Samuel. Men's Bible Study meets at 6.30am
Women's Bible Study: will meet as usual at 10am on Saturday.
Systematic Theology: will meet at 3:30pm as usual in the parish hall on Saturday. I'll be sending notes from last week out for those who missed last Saturday.
Here is last week's sermon: "Sexual Purity part 2" and below that is the first sex sermon creatively named "Sexual Purity part 1". Both are based on 1st Thessalonians 4:3-8
Here's (Part 1)
This Sunday's sermon: This week we wrap up 1st Thessalonians by studying chapter 5:23-28. It is not at all uncommon for believers to question the authenticity of their faith? Am I really a follower of Jesus? Would a real Christian do or think the things I do and think? These questions tend to come up quite a bit during Lent when we come face to face with our own sin and especially after last week's sermon on the problem lust you might feel utterly discouraged. Don't be. Paul ends his letter to the Thessalonian church with a stunning promise--holy is not just something we are called to be--but it is something God himself promises to make us.
"Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. Brothers, pray for us. Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss. I put you under oath before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers." The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. (1 Thess 5:23-28)
Christian Education: Spiritual Disciplines...this week we'll wrap up the Spiritual Discipline of Study. We'll talk about practices from repetition and memorization to lectio divina. That will end the section on "inward" disciplines. Next week we'll move on to some of the "outward" disciplines beginning with the discipline of "simplicity".
Your Bible Study Toolbox: I saw raised eyebrows last Sunday in class when I brought up the Greek Interlinear...I don't know why :)
Okay, I suppose you can study the bible without one, but having one is very very very helpful for all the reasons discussed:
Here is a pretty cheap Greek Interlinear--the same one I use:
Now--if you buy that you've won half the battle--to go the whole way pick up a Greek Concordance which will enable you to do word studies in the Greek. Here's a good basic starter edition:
Now, I suppose if you don't do that--but I really hope you do--you could use an English concordance and a parallel bible.
A Parallel bible sets a number of different English translations on the same page for comparison. Using a Parallel bible will enable you to see where the translators have differed and what words require further study. It also helps to bring out nuances in the text that may not be apparent if you are just reading one version:
As far as concordances go, the English Standard Version Bible online has a great concordance feature. Just type in a word in the search engine and all the uses of that word in the ESV text will pop up on the screen.
Just click here: http://www.esvstudybible.org/search
Finally, here is a good exhaustive concordance of the NIV
Puppet Show during Children's Chapel: This Sunday Mike and Bill Woollett will present a puppet show on forgiveness in Children's Chapel. This will be a special treat ! All children are invited to come for the fun! (from Carmen)
Holy Week Schedule 2010:
Palm Sunday (Sunday March 28th )
Holy Week is the week Christians remember and celebrate the last week of Jesus’ life. That week began with Jesus’ triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem. By this time, Jesus was famous. Everyone knew him and most people believed that he was the messiah, the coming savior of Israel. So when they heard he was coming they all rushed out waving palm branches and crying “Hosanna in Highest! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” Five days later the very same people who greeted Jesus with shouts of “Hosanna” screamed for his death with cries of “Crucify Him!” Palm Sunday Services at Good Shepherd will be held at 8:00am and 10:30am. They will begin with the blessing of the Palms. Then the blessed palms will be passed out to everyone in the congregation and we’ll process into the church like Jesus’ processed into Jerusalem (except for the donkey). During the service The Passion will be read and narrated.
Tenebrae (Wednesday March 31st)
Tenebrae means “shadows” in Latin. The worship service called “Tenebrae” is an ancient rite of the Church. It is a service of word, light and sound. When you arrive for worship you will see two groups of candles lit on the altar. As readings are read the candles on the altar will be gradually extinguished until the very end of the service when the last candle left lit is removed from the worship space and the whole sanctuary is left in darkness. At that point a loud crash will shatter the silence of the sanctuary. Then, after a moment, the last candle is returned to the sanctuary and the worshippers depart in silence. The gradual darkening of the sanctuary and the crashing noise symbolizes the apparent victory of death, darkness, and chaos over Jesus Christ on the cross. The final candle being removed and returned, symbolizes the truth that through Jesus' death, God gained victory over all the powers of evil. The Light was not overcome. The service of Tenebrae will be held at 7:00pm on Wednesday of Holy Week.
Maundy Thursday (April 1st)
Maundy Thursday communion celebrates the humility of Jesus. Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lord’s and yet on the night before he died, during the Last Supper, he knelt down and one by one washed his disciples' feet. He did this to show his disciples and to show you and me how to serve one another with humility and love, being willing even to stoop to the most menial tasks. There will be a covered dish (pot-luck) supper in the parish hall followed by the Maundy Thursday worship service which will include foot washing. Maundy Thursday is the last chance for communion until the Great Vigil. The service will begin at 7:00pm following the covered dish dinner that begins at 5:30pm
Good Friday: The Passion (April 2nd)
Jesus died on a Friday. At about 3pm on Friday of Holy Week he lifted his eyes up to heaven from the cross and breathed out his last. “It is finished” he said. He was not only referring to his life, but he was also referring to the great battle between God and sin, death, and Satan. On the cross of Jesus Christ, God defeated the powers that corrupt and destroy his creation and his creatures. By and through Jesus’ death on the cross, everyone who believes is forgiven their sins and granted an eternal relationship with God. Good Friday Services will be held at noon and 7pm. At noon we'll say "the Hours" which are prayers that mark the time of day when Jesus hung on the cross. At 7pm, we'll walk the stations of the cross which are prayers through which we remember the passion of Christ and his burial. There will be a sermon at both services.
The Easter Vigil (Saturday April 3rd)
Along with Tenebrae, the Easter Vigil is one of the most ancient services of the Church. It is the most important service of the entire year and it is the first service of Easter. The service begins in total darkness--the lights of the sanctuary are out and not a candle is burning. Then a fire is lit in a firepot the center of the nave and from that flame all the candles in the sanctuary are lit and the hand-candles in the congregation. Then come readings and psalms, said and sung, by singers and by the whole congregation. The sermon follows and then the first Communion of Easter. The Great Vigil begins at 8:00pm in the sanctuary.
Easter Day: (Sunday April 4th)
This is the day Christians celebrate and proclaim the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. There will be flowers and smells and bells. And, possibly, an Easter Egg huntafterwards. Service times are 8:00am and 10:30am Easter Morning.