2016-17 Stewardship: Share-Grow-Serve!

Dear Members and Friends of Good Shepherd,

“Good Shepherd seeks to be a caring Christian community where we share God’s grace, grow our faith and serve others.”  You may recognize these words as the mission statement for Good Shepherd.  This statement precedes my ministry here, but I think it is a great proclamation for us to live into and strive towards.  The action words, Share! Grow! Serve! are powerful, and challenge us to live and love as followers of Jesus.

On the weekend of April 16/17 we are going to begin a three-week journey where we will consider our mission statement, and our commitment to Share! Grow! Serve! as a community of faith.  During these three weeks we will talk about worship and prayer, community and caring, outreach and discipleship.  We will also talk about geometry. Wait. What?  Geometry?  Well, sort of.  We are going to talk about triangles and how that simple shape can function as a tool for us to grow as disciples.  Curious?  I hope so!  It will all be explained during our three-week journey. 

I invite you to pledge your commitment, indicating your intended financial support of our ministry together for our next fiscal year, which begins on September 1.  Please pledge your commitment no later than April 30/May 1.   We will take time in worship to pray over and celebrate your faithful support of the work God is calling us to do as we Share! Grow! Serve!  If you prefer to make your commitment online please see box at upper right and look for "2016-17 Estimate of Giving Online Form". 

We are entering an exciting time at Good Shepherd.  The Opportunity Team recently concluded their work and made six significant recommendations to the Church Council regarding our future mission and vision for ministry.  The information gathered from the congregational survey influenced and helped to shape the recommendations. The Council enthusiastically and unanimously accepted and endorsed all six of them.  I want to highlight for you here the first three recommendations that the Council will begin working on immediately, more information will follow regarding the whole report from the Opportunity Team:

Pastoral staff:  Appoint a call committee to begin the search for a new Pastor to join the Pastoral team at Good Shepherd.   The new Pastor will most likely be a relatively recent seminary graduate and male.  The hope is to have the new Pastor in place by the fall of 2016. 

• Edge House Campus Ministry
: Enlist a team of people consisting of members of Good Shepherd, and Edge House Students (current and former), to work on sharpening the goals and vision for our Campus Ministry.  This new team will work closely with Pastor Alice and Pastor Heidi.  

It has been about 7 years since Good Shepherd obtained and began funding the ministry at the Edge House, and now seems like a good time to step back and dream about how to make our campus ministry even stronger as we move into the future.  We hope that a newly focused vision will inspire additional partner churches to join with us to offer financial and prayer support for the Edge House ministry.

• Hope House:  Good Shepherd has owned the Hope House for 12 years.  In that time 5 families have resided there, and we rejoice in the opportunity the Hope House offered them.  As the Brewer family prepares to move out of the Hope House, the council is considering whether owning an aging house with significant maintenance expenses is the most effective and efficient way Good Shepherd can make a significant impact on issues of homelessness and transitional housing in our community. The Council will be inviting the congregation to join in the conversation about the future of the Hope House in just a few weeks. 

All of the recommendations that the Opportunity Team has made to Council invite us into deeper conversation and discernment about how we live as disciples of Jesus as we Share! Grow! Serve!, and take bold steps into the future God is planning for us.

I hope that you will be able to join us in this three-week journey.  Last year we had over 200 households use the commitment card to let us know their intentions for financially supporting our mission.  If you were among those households, THANK YOU!  We pray that we can count on your faithful support again.  If you have not filled out a commitment card in the past, I hope that you will consider taking that step in your support of our work together as we Share! Grow! Serve!

Peace,

Pastor Heidi Johns
Senior Pastor & Director of Administration & Outreach

Fundraising

Good Shepherd does 10-15 extra fundraisers most every year to help support special outreach programs or to meet needs of the church not covered in the regular budget. If any of them strike your interest, we welcome your support. 

But please feel free to say “no” to any of them and not feel guilty about it. You are a generous people! Your help is appreciated! Yet, we do not expect you to support every special effort we undertake. Consider Paul’s words: “Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).