Special Congregation Meeting Postponed

The special congregation meeting scheduled for September 17, 2023 is postponed to October 8, 2023. The meeting on October 8, will take place following the regular 9:00am worship service. The October 8 meeting will be to call The Rev. Patrick W. Poole. (Pastor Wes) to the Yoked parish between Good Shepherd Luther church, Wilkes Barre PA, and Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Kingston PA.

An announcement was made on September 10, 2023 that there would be a resolution instead of a call vote. Good Shepherd’s leadership subsequently reached out to Bishop Christopher deForest to clarify what is required to remain in compliance with both Good Shepherd’s constitution and the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod’s constitution. After review it has been determined that a call vote is required with 2/3 majority from each congregation on the yoked parish.

Members of Good Shepherd are eligible to vote at the meeting provided they have communed and have a contribution of record on or after January 1, 2022.

After the call vote is completed Pastor Wes will then need to resign his current call to accept the call to the yoked parish.

I know this process has been confusing for all. It is the first time the current Synod leadership and Good Shepherd’s leadership have been involved in creating a yoked parish. Bishop deForest has given his sincere apologies for the confusion and I apologize to the people of Good Shepherd. We all look forward to learning from this experience to improve it for others in the future.

Please be sure to join us and vote at this historic meeting.

Yours in Christ,
Daren Bernecker

Congregation President

Pastor Kuritz Visits Good Shepherd

The Rev. Peter Kuritz visited Good Shepherd as one of our 50th anniversary guest pastors on September 10th. Pastor Kuritz served as one of our co-pastors from 2000-2018. He began his message showing a brick from our building that has been serving as a place of worship for over 170 years. He spoke about how the congregation overcame obstacles fulfilling our mission for the past 50 years and highlighted the many ways we serve and share Christ’s love with the community.

50th Anniversary Celebration

After the Agnes Flood devastated the Wyoming Valley in 1972, two Lutheran congregations decided to consolidate and form a new Lutheran presence in downtown Wilkes-Barre. Thanks to faith, hard work, and dedication to our mission and our people, Good Shepherd is now observing our 50th anniversary. Five decades after our founding, we continue to face challenges, but we look forward to writing new chapters in our history. We have held a few events to kick off our anniversary celebration, and we have a number of others coming up in the next few months. We hope that you will make the time to join us in as many of these as possible and help us honor the history and people of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.

50th Anniversary Dinner

October 27th – 6:30pm
Wyoming Hose Co. #3, Wyoming PA

In addition to dinner, we will have some special activities and entertainment to mark our anniversary, including opportunities to honor our history and past members. We will also be inviting our guest pastors to attend. We invite you bring any memorabilia from your personal or family church history (photos, crafts, publications, etc.) to display at the dinner. Cost is $20 per adult And youth 13 years and over, $10 per child 3-12 years. Children 2 and under are free.

Guest Pastor

Two “children of Good Shepherd” – Pastor Wayne Lupole and Pastor Peggy Sue Pfeffer – have already been guest preachers. We have also invited former pastors to guest preach on the following Sundays:

• September 10 – Pastor Peter Kuritz

• October 1 – Pastor Janell Wigen

• October 15 – Pastor George Zacharda

• November 12 – Pastor C. Frank Terhune

Services begin at 9 a.m., and a reception will be held after each service.

50th Anniversary Banner

The Good Shepherd family created banners when it was formed in 1973 and again in 1998 when we turned 25. Each banner includes individual crosses made by members that represent that person’s unique life. We are again offering members the opportunity to create a cross for inclusion on a banner that will symbolize our 50th year.

Anniversary Worship Service

November 5, 2023 – 9:00am

A special 50th anniversary worship service will be held on All Saints Sunday. While we are still planning service details, we anticipate having special music and additions to our liturgy to commemorate our anniversary and the people of Good Shepherd, both past and present. 

Please plan to join us for a reception following the service.

Children Learn to Shine Jesus’ Light

Kids were launched into outer space to learn how to Shine Jesus’ Light during our 2023 Vacation Bible School. Good Shepherd’s sanctuary was transformed to into a Stellar experience with backdrops that included stars, a black hole, and other celestial images. Planets and an astronaut hung in the air while another astronaut was standing next to a lunar lander.

Lessons included a Bible story and Bible point based on the daily Bible verse. Each evening began with Sing and Play Blast Off where kids were introduced to the Bible point of the day with a skit, danced to songs, and prayed. The evening continued with active learning. Bible stories were brought to life in Bible Adventures. In Imagination station they learned through science experiments related to the Bible Point of the day. Kids enjoyed snacks related to each day’s theme. After snacks kids made picture frames, t-shirts, and planets to remember what they learned. Cosmic Closing rounded out each evening with skits, science demonstrations to reinforce learning, dancing to music, and prayer.

Pray for Family of Samantha and Elizabeth

Please pray for the Crich, Heck, and Perkins families as they work through the loss of Samantha Crich and her daughter Elizabeth Perkins. Samantha and Elizabeth were taken in a tragic accident and are now with God.

If you would like help the family with the expenses you may do so through the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. Just mark your donation For the Family of Samantha and Elizabeth and the funds will be forwarded to the family.

Fellowship and Entertainment Enjoyed at Fastnacht

Fastnacht returned on February 21st with more than just delicious food and delicious fastnachts. While enjoying fellowship there was also live entertainment with singing by Gary Phillps, Pastor Wes, and A’ishaa. Of course we couldn’t have fastnacht without the comedy of Christian Ritter. Thank you to our Connection Building Team and all those who provided food for an enjoyable evening together.

50th Anniversary Banner

Good Shepherd is celebrating 50 years of ministry in 2023. As part of of celebration we are creating a banner that celebrates the individuality of our members. Every member is being asked to make a cross to be placed on the banner that represents themselves. This is a project that will be continuing throughout the year with the banner being unveiled at our anniversary dinner in the fall. Please click the Download button below and print the pattern and instructions to create your cross and return it to the church by August 1st. You can also access a paper copy of the banner pattern and instructions at church.

Kids Learn Jesus Leads the Way

Good Shepherd’s Vacation Bible School was a screaming success with kids excited about God. Jesus was our guide through the rainforest as kids learned how He leads us through life. The sanctuary was transformed into a rainforest where they entered through a waterfall to begin their journey. Kids had fun learning with songs, Bible adventures, crafts, games, and snacks.

The first day’s lesson taught kids that God keeps promises through the story of Noah. The second day kids learned how God gives us direction through the Ten Commandments. On day three children found out how Jesus is with us as we fish for people. Day four showed us how Jesus heals us using the story of the lepers. On the last day children learned to share His good news as Jesus overflowed his disciples’ nets.

Watch VBS in action!

New giving options

Good Shepherd has new ways to support our ministries through online giving. You can use credit and debit cards as well as direct debit from you bank account. You can also set up recurring donations so you’ll never have to remember to bring your envelope or mail you donation. Transactions are secure using our new provider Tithely, an ELCA preferred vendor.

To use online giving just click the green Give button on our web site. You can even simply click a box to increase your giving to cover processing costs instead of having to calculate the increase.

Coming soon we’ll also have a mobile app to make giving even easier.


By Pastor Wes Poole

Genesis 1:31a

God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. – NRSV

So how are your New Year’s resolutions going? “Huh?!?” you’re likely thinking. “What in the world are you talking about?! We’re already past Valentine’s Day!! Aren’t times hard enough without your lifting up yet another of our failings?!” Point taken, and if you are still faithfully sticking to your resolution/s, good for you! If though, like many or most of us, you forgot about them two weeks into January, please relax…I am NOT here to beat you up over it! Besides, I’d be the worst kind of hypocrite if I did. I didn’t even bother with resolutions this year. I knew in advance I was not up for the challenge.

I actually started thinking about this a couple of weeks ago when I was in a rehearsal. We were talking about all of the COVID protocols and the need for staying safe when a friend of mine, who is also a doctor, said something that really resonated with me. He told the group that regardless of what else was going on, we must remember to be kind to ourselves. Now you guys know that I’m always reminding us to be kind and be safe, but my friend reminded me that means we are also personally a part of that equation. Jesus showed us once and for all how important it is to love our neighbor and show kindness to others. Yet all the way back in the opening chapters of Genesis, we are reminded that God first looked at us and His entire Creation and declared it “very good”. Attending to our physical and mental health is one way we honor and give thanks for God’s many gifts to us. Every morning, we wake to a new day lived in the assurance of the love and forgiveness of God in Christ Jesus. God doesn’t dwell on our shortcomings. Neither should we. We should face each day with the confidence that God will always be by our side, and with a new opportunity to offer God and neighbor a better version of ourselves.

In just a couple of weeks, the season of Lent will be upon us. Part of that journey will consist of striving to make that better version of ourselves a reality. It’s not always an easy prospect, but we know that Our Lord will walk the path with us. Along the way though, let’s do our best to be kind to each other and ourselves. We will emerge on the other side stronger as a community, and as individuals. Is that a “Lenten resolution”? I guess it is…but I’m OK with that!

Let us pray…

God of Creation, you have looked upon us all and declared that we are your children. Help us when we falter, and teach us to be good to everyone. Jesus showed us the way. Strengthen our resolve to follow the example he gave us, for it is in his name that we pray. Amen.

Be well, be kind, and be safe.

Your partner in Christ,

Pastor Wes Poole †