Faith Journey Rebooted

Our Faith Journey program is going through significant changes to provide more faith building activities for all ages.

The new program will take place the first Sunday of each month beginning with worship at 9:30am. Worship will lead into firsthand formation activities that include interactive learning for children and youth along with Bible study for adults. Following faith formation activities all with gather for a fellowship lunch.

Our inaugural program will take place October 3rd with intergenerational activities centered on the Reformation.

Everyone is welcome to join us as we journey together toward a deeper understanding of our faith.

Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost

Readings — 

  • Jeremiah 11:18-20
  • Psalm 54
  • James 3:13–4:3, 7-8a
  • Mark 9:30-37

Click here to learn more about our continuing ministries and how you can provide support.

Portions from Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2021 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. By permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #23415. 

Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-732189.

Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Readings — 

  • Isaiah 50:4-9a
  • Psalm 116:1-9
  • James 3:1-12
  • Mark 8:27-38

Click here to learn more about our continuing ministries and how you can provide support.

Portions from Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2021 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. By permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #23415. 

Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-732189.

FINDING POWER IN THE ORDINARY

ByPastor Wes Poole

Psalm 121

A Song of Ascents.

I lift up my eyes to the hills— from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore. – NRSV

September 1st…the beginning of another year! I’m sitting here at home, waiting on a plumber and listening to the rather relentless rain. Summer and vacation are pretty much over! And you know…that’s OK with me. It’s funny…the liturgical year begins with the First Sunday of Advent, and the calendar year with January 1st, but for me, the year always begins with September. The kids all go back to school, Christian Ed cranks up again at long last, the schedule starts to fill up, and HALLELUJAH, one can see an end to the oppressive heat!!! Fall is always my favorite time of year!

With the “New Year”, comes a series of new opportunities for ministry.  We have some exciting things lined up for the Fall;  some old, some new, and all in need of faithful folks like yourselves pitching in to help make them successful.  I’m particularly excited about our new Faith Formation direction. The final details are still being firmed up, but we’ll have an official unveiling at our September 12th Rally Day and Congregational Renewal Picnic.  I hope to see everyone there…it’s going to be awesome!  

Still,”this is a devotion, pastor…not a newsletter article…what gives?!” Indeed. Yet, that’s where my thoughts are today. There is a deep, profound spirituality in the ordinary routines of life. We’ve come through so much in the last 18 months or so. We’re not out of the woods yet to be sure, but the fact that we can gather together for worship and spiritual growth is a blessing made all the sweeter by its actually being possible.

An ancient Chinese legend tells of a group of elderly, cultured gentlemen who met often to exchange wisdom and drink tea. Each host tried to find the finest and most costly varieties, to create exotic blends that would arouse the admiration of his guests. When the most venerable and respected of the group entertained, he served his tea with unprecedented ceremony, measuring the leaves from a golden box. The assembled epicures praised this exquisite tea. The host smiled and said, “The tea you have found so delightful is the same tea our peasants drink. I hope it will be a reminder to all that the good things in life are not necessarily the rarest or the most costly.

Point taken. As the psalmist reminds us, The Lord is indeed our keeper, our shade at our right hand, and through all that life has in store for us; the highs, the lows, and the regular ole routines of life! Learning to appreciate the power of the ordinary can deepen our relationship with God and neighbor.

This is a time of renewal and revitalization.  Between now and Christmas there will be good things happening at GSLC. Come out and make yourselves an active part of Good Shepherd’s ministries.  With your help, and with the Holy Spirit continually inspiring us all to serve faithfully, our ministries will be meaningful…and the Good News of Jesus Christ will continue to be proclaimed in this community and beyond.

May the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit bless our church family as we walk the path of faith together.

Be well, be kind, and be safe…and if you haven’t yet, and are able…go get the shot!

Blessings always,

Pastor Wes †

Psalm 121

A Song of Ascents.

I lift up my eyes to the hills— from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore. – NRSV

September 1st…the beginning of another year! I’m sitting here at home, waiting on a plumber and listening to the rather relentless rain. Summer and vacation are pretty much over! And you know…that’s OK with me. It’s funny…the liturgical year begins with the First Sunday of Advent, and the calendar year with January 1st, but for me, the year always begins with September. The kids all go back to school, Christian Ed cranks up again at long last, the schedule starts to fill up, and HALLELUJAH, one can see an end to the oppressive heat!!! Fall is always my favorite time of year!

With the “New Year”, comes a series of new opportunities for ministry.  We have some exciting things lined up for the Fall;  some old, some new, and all in need of faithful folks like yourselves pitching in to help make them successful.  I’m particularly excited about our new Faith Formation direction. The final details are still being firmed up, but we’ll have an official unveiling at our September 12th Rally Day and Congregational Renewal Picnic.  I hope to see everyone there…it’s going to be awesome!  

Still,”this is a devotion, pastor…not a newsletter article…what gives?!” Indeed. Yet, that’s where my thoughts are today. There is a deep, profound spirituality in the ordinary routines of life. We’ve come through so much in the last 18 months or so. We’re not out of the woods yet to be sure, but the fact that we can gather together for worship and spiritual growth is a blessing made all the sweeter by its actually being possible.

An ancient Chinese legend tells of a group of elderly, cultured gentlemen who met often to exchange wisdom and drink tea. Each host tried to find the finest and most costly varieties, to create exotic blends that would arouse the admiration of his guests. When the most venerable and respected of the group entertained, he served his tea with unprecedented ceremony, measuring the leaves from a golden box. The assembled epicures praised this exquisite tea. The host smiled and said, “The tea you have found so delightful is the same tea our peasants drink. I hope it will be a reminder to all that the good things in life are not necessarily the rarest or the most costly.

Point taken. As the psalmist reminds us, The Lord is indeed our keeper, our shade at our right hand, and through all that life has in store for us; the highs, the lows, and the regular ole routines of life! Learning to appreciate the power of the ordinary can deepen our relationship with God and neighbor.

This is a time of renewal and revitalization.  Between now and Christmas there will be good things happening at GSLC. Come out and make yourselves an active part of Good Shepherd’s ministries.  With your help, and with the Holy Spirit continually inspiring us all to serve faithfully, our ministries will be meaningful…and the Good News of Jesus Christ will continue to be proclaimed in this community and beyond.

May the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit bless our church family as we walk the path of faith together.

Be well, be kind, and be safe…and if you haven’t yet, and are able…go get the shot!

Blessings always,

Pastor Wes †

Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Worship on September 5, 2021

Readings — 

  • Isaiah 35:4-7a
  • Psalm 146
  • James 2:1-17
  • Mark 7:24-37

Click here to learn more about our continuing ministries and how you can provide support.

Click here to learn more about our continuing ministries and how you can provide support.

Portions from Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2021 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. By permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #23415. 

Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-732189.

Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost

l;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’’

Readings — 

  • Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9
  • Psalm 15
  • James 1:17-27
  • Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

Click here to learn more about our continuing ministries and how you can provide support.

Portions from Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2021 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. By permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #23415. 

Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-732189.

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Worship on August 22, 2021

Readings — 

  • Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18
  • Psalm 34:15-22
  • Ephesians 6:10-20
  • John 6:56-69

Click here to learn more about our continuing ministries and how you can provide support.

Portions from Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2021 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. By permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #23415. 

Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-732189.

Renewal Celebration

Everyone is invited to Good Shepherd’s

Renewal Celebration
Rally Day and Picnic

Come celebrate as we renew the torch of our ministries after quarantining.

We will have a special 9:30am service at the church and then picnic at Kirby Park (pavilion 3) from 11am to 5pm on September 12th.
There will be food, fellowship, and games for all ages.

Faith vs Certainty

By Pastor Jim Parks, CLP

Scripture Reading: 1 John 5:1-5 (CEV) “If we believe that Jesus is truly Christ, we are God’s children. Everyone who loves the Father will also love his children.  If we love and obey God, we know that we will love his children.  We show our love for God by obeying his commandments, and they are not hard to follow.

Every child of God can defeat the world, and our faith is what gives us this victory.  No one can defeat the world without having faith in Jesus as the Son of God.”

Are you certain about your faith? If you have answered that question with a “Heck, yes!”, then perhaps you may not want to read any further. You see, I am generally wary of people who seem too certain in their faith. Some have even said that if I had more faith, I would be certain. But, certainty of my faith has never really been my experience. My faith has been more a journey of questions, searching, and wrestling than one of absolute answers

That is not to say that I have no belief system. Does God exist? Is Jesus Christ the Son of God? Does God love us? Does God work through us? I could say “Yes” to all those and more.

My wariness is with another kind of certainty. And that is the kind of certainty that establishes moral superiority, labels and exclusions. The certainty that “we” are right and that “they” are wrong. I believe that statements and thinking that reflect “’we’ are good and ‘they’ are bad” is what often threatens to divide the Church and separate us from each other.

I sometimes wonder if certainty, rather than doubt, might be the opposite of faith. Christ doesn’t ask us to be certain. He calls us to be faithful, to be trusting. When I am certain, I have placed myself “at the center of my universe and others revolve around me.” In other words, I become the focus. Trust, however, asks me to look beyond myself. It allows relationships. Trust places God at the center.

Faith is alive, dynamic, and growing. Faith opens us to possibilities beyond what we can presently see and understand. Certainty is more narrow. It naturally defines how we can think and act. It establishes limitations and restrictions on God, each other, and ourselves. Certainty creates boundaries. We all need boundaries to survive. But we must also recognize that the same wall that protects “us” from “them” can easily become the wall that imprisons us.

I know and understand that it is often much easier and less risky to be certain than it is to be faithful and trusting. Trust is hard work. It is more than simply believing. It is an action. Trust does not mean that we do not think for ourselves, that we do not get involved, or that we just sit back and let happen whatever will happen. Que sera, sera. Trust means that we must wrestle with the difficult questions. But we do so with possibilities, risk, and openness—with the possibility that our own opinion could be wrong, with the risk that we might be changed, and with openness to God’s ever-present love and grace for “us” and for “them.”

My hope and prayer is that I will be more faithful than certain, that I will not fear new truths, that I will not settle for half-truths, and that I will not presume to have all the truth. That’s faith, not certainty.

Prayer: O God, I don’t just want to be certain that you love me. I want to believe it. I don’t just want to be certain that all are your children and that there is no “we” and “they”. I want to believe it. I don’t just want to be certain that Jesus is working in and through me. I want to believe it. O God, strengthen my faith and help me to work on my trust level. Through Jesus the Christ. Amen.

Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost

Worship on August 15, 2021

Readings — 

  • Isaiah 61:7-11
  • Psalm 34:1-9
  • Galatians 4:4-7
  • John 6:51-58

Click here to learn more about our continuing ministries and how you can provide support.

Portions from Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2021 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. By permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #23415. 

Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-732189.