Do you want offering envelopes?

It’s only Spring but it is time to order offering envelopes for 2023. Changes are coming to giving options and our church management system. In order to reduce waste of God’s resources we need to know who wants to continue using traditional offering envelopes.

Ways to give in the future will include:

  • Traditional offering envelopes
  • Using an envelope that is provided in the pews
  • Electronic transfer from your checking or savings account
  • Online giving with a debit or credit card
  • Giving through our new mobile app that will be coming soon
  • Giving by SMS text messaging

You will always continue to receive a giving statement regardless of your giving method.

You will be hearing more about changes coming with our new church management system that will provide these giving options, improve communication, provide better management of our membership records, and help build our ministries.

If you wish to continue using traditional offering envelopes please complete the form below or fill out one of the cards provided in the church. Fast response is needed so we can place the order for traditional envelopes.

Congregational Meeting & Proposed Constitution Changes

Dear members of the Good Shepherd Family,

This letter is to inform you of our semi-annual congregational meeting on Sunday, May 22nd, immediately following our regular 10AM worship. We will be discussing a couple of constitutional amendments (see attached) and electing new Council members. While I don’t expect the meeting to be overly long, the work we will do is important to the future of our congregation. Please make every effort to be there. If you have any questions, please call the church office and leave a message, or email me directly at: pastorwes@goodshepherdwb.org.

As we emerge in an increasingly post-COVID world, it is more important than ever to resume the “vigorous ministry” to which our mission statement professes. Looking ahead to the summer, we hope to bring back VBS in early August. We’re also looking for opportunities to do shared ministry with other congregations. There is still plenty of work for our congregation to do, and your church leadership is open to new ideas. Please share those ideas with us. Having just celebrated Our Lord’s resurrection together, and being able to share fellowship afterwards at our Easter Brunch, I am convinced more than ever that we can and will remain a blessing to this community and to each other.

As always, your financial support is crucial to our being able to be the Lutheran presence on the corner of South and Main. Your council just approved a new church management program that will make it far easier to give, particularly online. That will be rolling out in the near future.

Still, with all the challenges and opportunities we have before, our greatest asset is each other! If COVID, or some other issues have kept you away from Sunday worship, that’s completely understandable. Come on back though! We miss you! We’re stronger together, and Good Shepherd will continue to be a place where “All are welcome”! I hope to see you soon!

Blessings always,

Pastor Wes Poole †


Proposed Constitution Changes
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Wilkes-Barre, PA

The following are the proposed changes/additions/deletions to the Constitution of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Wilkes-Barre, PA. These proposed changes/additions/deletions were approved by the Congregational Council at its duly scheduled meeting on July 22, 2021. They are being presented as a resolution from the Congregational Council to the congregation of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church for a first vote at its next bi-annual meeting in the month of May, 2022.

Please note that since these are changes/additions/deletions to the actual Constitution of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Wilkes-Barre, PA, the process for adoption is as follows:

  1. Be approved at a legally called Congregational Meeting according to this constitution by a majority vote of those present and voting. (This would be at the May 2022 meeting.)
  2. Be ratified without change at the next annual meeting by a two-thirds majority vote of those present and voting. (This would be at the November 2022 meeting.)
  3. Have the effective date included in the resolution and noted in the constitution.Resolution of Proposed Constitution Changes

Be it resolved that the following changes/additions/deletions to the Constitution of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church be adopted with the effective date of December 1, 2022.

C11.01. e: Revised amendment.

Old: “If the treasurer and financial secretary are not selected from the elected membership of the Congregation Council, the treasurer and financial secretary shall have voice but not vote in the meetings of the Congregation Council.”

New: “If the treasurer and financial secretary are not selected from the elected membership of the Congregation Council, the treasurer and financial secretary shall have both voice and vote in the meetings of the Congregation Council.”

C11.02: Revised amendment.

Old: “The elected officers, as noted in C11.01.d, shall be elected by the Congregation Council by written ballot and shall serve for one year. The term shall begin on June 1 and end on May 31.

New: The following to be added to the above amendment. “Should a lay member of Congregation Council not be elected as president, then the pastor may be elected to that office.”

C12.01.: Revised amendment.

Old: “The voting membership of the Congregation Council shall consist of the pastor(s), the officers of the congregation,….”

New: “The voting membership of the Congregation Council shall consist of the pastor(s), the elected and appointed officers of the congregation…”

C13.09: Revised amendment.

Old: “The pastor(s) of this congregation shall be an ex-officio member of all Standing Committees and/or Ministry Teams of the congregation with the exception of the Mutual Ministry Committee. The president of this congregation shall be an ex-officio member of all Standing Committees and/or Ministry Teams of the congregation, except the NominatingCommittee.”

New: The following to be added to the above amendment. “Should the pastor be elected as the president of this congregation, part one (1) of this amendment would apply.”

Easter Fellowship Brunch

Easter breakfast is back with a twist. We will be having an Easter Brunch following the 10:00am service on Easter Sunday. It’s been a long two years since we have been able to come together in fellowship. Join us as we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord together in fellowship. Food is being provided by the Faith Formation team and Church Council. Just bring your smiles and your appetite.

BE IT RESOLVED…

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 †

Pastors Move to Life Triumphant

Two pastors who served Good Shepherd have passed to life triumphant.

Pastor James Papada passed away Monday, February 7, 2022. Pastor Papada served as Pastor of Good Shepherd in the 1970s. His obituary can be viewed at https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/readingeagle/name/james-papada-obituary?id=32844975

The Rev. Robert F. Sauers passed away February 8, 2021. Pastor Sauers served as a supply pastor for Good Shepherd during a pastoral vacancy. His obituary can be viewed at https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/citizensvoice/name/robert-sauers-obituary?id=32899264

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of Pastors Papada and Sauers.

REMAINING STEADFAST

By Pastor Wes Poole

Isaiah 26:3

Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace—in peace because they trust in you. – NRSV

An old Native American tale recounts the story of a chief who was telling a gathering of young people about the struggle within. “It is like two dogs fighting inside of us,” the chief told them. “There is one good dog who wants to do the right and the other dog always wants to do the wrong. Sometimes the good dog seems stronger and is winning the fight. But sometimes the bad dog is stronger and wrong is winning the fight. “Who is going to win in the end?” a young man asks. The chief answered “The one you feed.”

It’s a familiar story perhaps, but one that continues to be relevant. We have a lot of folks telling us today to be steadfast in doing what is right. Wear your mask, get your vaccinations, maintain proper distancing, the list goes on. More than likely, even the most compliant among us are tired of it all, yet we push through and keep going, hoping that the tide will turn and all will be well again. That hope is not in vain, difficult as it may be to maintain. The prophet Isaiah reminds us above that for the believer, the notion of remaining steadfast in doing good takes on added meaning. In Hebrew, the word that gets translated “steadfast” means “to lean upon”, “to rest upon” or “to lean against”. Of course, Isaiah was speaking of the unshakable and unending source of strength that is our God; God, who is always the true source of steadfast love and support. When we start to find it hard to do or say or act upon what we know to be right. When we need to “feed the good dog”, we have but to open the pages of scripture and ponder upon the great things God has done for us in Jesus Christ. The path of righteousness, as it were, may not always be the easiest one, but because the steadfast love of God is always there for us, we have but to draw from that bottomless well, and find strength for whatever the challenge or the difficulty we face demands. For now, friends, let us all remain steadfast and committed to doing what is right and good; caring for each other and letting all people know of the unending steadfastness of God in caring for His children.

Let us pray…

God of all goodness, keep us steadfast in your Word and in our response to it. Inspire us to re-commit ourselves to taking care of our neighbor, and building one another up in the desire to do good things in your Name. We have but to call on you and we will find peace, and all that we need to face the challenges of this life. We ask these things in the Name of Jesus. Amen.

Be well, we kind, be safe, and stand fast in the Lord!

Blessings always,

Pastor Wes Poole †