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.

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 †