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THE LUTHERAN CHURCH OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD
the LUTHERAN CHURCH OF THE Good Shepherd A Reconciling in Christ Congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
We gather to worship God as a faith community on Sunday mornings at 9:30am
Sunday Camp faith formation for school-aged children is offered on First and Third Sundays, simultaneously with worship, during the school year.
We welcome ALL people. We look forward to seeing you!
FROM THE PASTOR
LENT at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 26. We will gather before God to remember who we are as well as who God is and what we need to please our creator. The service of Holy Communion and the Imposition of Ashes begins at 7:00 PM. Please plan to be there. It’s a solemn way to begin our forty day’s journey and to be reminded of God’s loving heart for us and for all people.
Every Wednesday in Lent we will gather for a simple supper of soup and bread beginning at 6:30. Following that we will sing Mart Haugen’s Evening Prayer. After that we have choir rehearsals and confirmation classes. Please sign up to help with the supper bringing soup and/or bread.
Sunday, April 5 is Palm Sunday, the day we receive palms to carry into our homes as a sign of welcoming Jesus into our homes. We also read the Passion and death of our Lord from Matthew’s Gospel. Like all the services throughout Lent, we will worship at 9:30 AM.
Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday. Services will be held on Thursday, April 9 at 7:00 PM. This day is Maundy Thursday (the name comes from Jesus giving us a “new commandment” to love one another as he did for his disciples in washing their feet. “Maundy” comes from the Latin word Mandatum, commandment). The altar will be stripped of vestments in preparation for Good Friday.
On April 10 we gather again to observe Good Friday, the day Jesus died. The service will be at 7:00 PM.
Easter Day is April 12, the Resurrection of our Lord. We worship at 9:30 AM as we hear that Jesus is alive and living in his people today.
News from the Congregational Council
Ron Lee, President
LCGS: Plan to finish our mortgage 10 years early, and annual meeting actions.
• Can we finish our mortgage early? Since our mortgage is scheduled to be paid up in 2034, it is exciting to think that maybe, just maybe, that might happen ten years earlier. The illustration on page 2 (below) shows how this might happen, with extra commitments and efforts by us in time, talents, and monetary gifts – all equally important. Actions in the black boxes of the illustration reduce the principal of the mortgage. They have happened in past years, some just in 2019, and are part of LCGS’s overall plan for the next three years, 2020, 2021, and 2022. The LCGS plan is titled “Investing in Our Future”, and I add, through time, talents, and monetary gifts. The boxes in red, holding a yard sale each year and cleaning all or part of the church by us, could result in additional funds reducing the principal. The yard sale was done last year, but no commitment for the future has been made. Both actions have been suggested by members and discussed in the council. Let’s think and talk about what might be possible.
• Mortgage Reduction/Capital Appeal ongoing. As a very important part of our plan discussed above, the Mortgage Reduction/Capital Appeal for three years has started and will continue through Sunday, Feb. 23. Copies of the campaign bulletin are at the church for you to pick up, read, and use for submitting your pledge; the bulletin will also be sent to you. Our goal is $95,000, which will cover yearly mortgage payments (principal and interest) of $30,024 for each of the next three years, 2020, 2021 and 2022. Please prayerfully consider your response.
• Congregation votes to approve LCGS 2020 operation budget. The 2020 budget was developed by the Finance Committee and approved by the Council. Congregational approval happened at our annual meeting on Sunday, January 26. The budget anticipates an operating income of $102,777, operating expenses of $53,344, and payroll expenses of $57,974, totaling $111,318. There is a deficit of -$8,541. Details of the 2020 budget are in the LCGS Annual Report. The Council approved having a mid-year 2020 budget review and correction in July, with the understanding that major corrections will need to be accepted by the congregation.
• Congregation approves the first LCGS background-check policy. The following policy was approved at the annual meeting: All adults (greater than or equal to 18 years of age) who wish to work (volunteer or
as an employee) with children and youth must register, receive and pass a national background check prior to working with the children/youth. The application for background check must be made from the town in which the prospective worker resides with the results sent directly to the church. Additional periodic rechecks
must be made every three years per worker. The details regarding the implementation of this policy
as well as any future safe church policies regarding youth, shall be enforced by the leader of Christian
Education for the church given that the leader will have already undergone a background check
themselves. With this action, LCGS makes its first step in adopting a Safe Church Policy, encouraged for all churches by the New England Synod. Jen Kimber, our leader of Christian Education, will be overseeing implementation of this policy. If you have suggestions or questions, please talk to her.
• Congregation elects members to various posts. Elected council members include Marie Bender Lee and Avis O’Neill for second terms; Gail Eastwood-Stokes, David Nunez, Kathy Vigness Raposa and Annie Senerchia for first terms. New Nomination Committee members are Deb Crary, Jean Vican, Arlene Anderson, and Avis O’Neill. The 2020 Synod Assembly voting members are David Blackwell and Donna Gilton. A big thank you to all of these members willing to contribute their time and talents for these
Investing in Our future
Through Time, Talents and Monetary gifts-2020, 2012, 2022
Sunday Readings in February, 2020 February 2 - Fourth Sunday after Epiphany Micah 6:1-8 – The people of Israel turned faith solely into works done according to traditions. The prophet Micah reminds them that the genuine sacrifice God looks for is to do justice, love kindness, and to walk with humility with God. 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 – The Christian community in Corinth was badly divided among many different groups. Paul’s message comes as reminder that the only thing that matters is Jesus and his cross which is the foundation of our faith; pedigree is foolishness. The world does not understand the cross. It is a reminder of what it means to follow Jesus, something to be seen in the life of his people. Matthew 5:1-12 – The fifth through the seventh chapters of Matthew is the first of Jesus’ teaching section in this gospel. This is the “Sermon on the Mount”. In this opening section Jesus teaches about blessedness or happiness and peace. But as is typical of Jesus, this places of blessedness would not be where most people would even expect to have blessings. This section reveals an important truth: God’s ways are not the world’s ways.
February 9 – Fifth Sunday after Epiphany Isaiah 58:1-12 – God is not impressed with sacrifices and fasts we take on to make ourselves look good. God speaks through the prophet that the fast God delights in is standing up for others, those considered not worth attending to. It is to “loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke.” The authentic life as one of God’s people is seeking justice and respect for the outsider or stranger in need. 1 Corinthians 2:1-16 – Paul reminds the church in Corinth that he came to proclaim the reign of God in down-to-earth language. He then proclaims that the wisdom of God seems foolish to the world, but the truth of this wisdom of humility means that we are open to being guided by and have God’s word as a special gift in our lives. Matthew 5:13-20 – Jesus reveals the truth that his followers are called to be salt and light in the world, to make a difference in the lives of others. This is what the Law and prophets in the Hebrew Scriptures taught. Jesus continues their message and calls his people to do likewise.
February 16 – Sixth Sunday after Epiphany Deuteronomy 30:15-20 – Following the commands of God leads to life and even prosperity. Ignoring God’s ways brings sadness and loss. 1 Corinthians 3:1-9 – Paul reminds the Corinthians that arguing and sewing division in the church are signs of immaturity. Ministry is given by God, not one person or group winning and another losing. All the life of the church community is given by God and leads back to God. Matthew 5:21-37 – Jesus teaches all who want to follow him that forgiveness is a center part of life with him. It’s an important piece of how we live at peace with other people also. While we cannot make forgiveness happen, we can certainly refuse to accept it for others as well as for ourselves.
February 23 – Transfiguration of Our Lord, Last Sunday after Epiphany Exodus 24:12-18 – Just as Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness, so too Moses spent forty days on the mountain top in communion with God. There Moses receives the Ten Commandments to share with God’s people. 2 Peter 1:16-21 – The apostle writes about the revelation of Jesus as God’s Son and then declares that no Scripture is a matter on one’s individual