Church kitchens are holy places. You hear more about the sanctuary, maybe, with its candles and organ music and fancy names for everything. The plate is a paten. The cup is a chalice. I just learned a new name for the water-sprinkling thingy this week, and I have a master's degree in this stuff. (It's "aspergillum," by the way, as the acolytes will tell you.)
In the kitchen, on the other hand, a plate is a plate. A cup is a cup. There's a lot of water, but it doesn't get fancy containers or labels. And yet...
The church kitchen is where I learned, even as a toddler, that meal prep can be way more fun than the meal itself.
The church kitchen is where I learned that you should  always  eat dessert first, because life is good, and God created chocolate, after all. This was major good news and grace for a little kid who liked to follow the rules.
And the church kitchen was our unofficial youth group hangout, where we did just as much community building as we did in the youth room. The draw was the stash of stale hot chocolate packets, believe it or not. Plus, there was a back door, so it was possible to escape the notice of adults for a little while between services.
In college, the church gave us a key code so we could study there at all hours, and they told us that we could eat anything we found in the kitchen ... anything! One night, wired from studying and way too much sitting still, we had a terrible and awesome food fight with a big vat of dinner mints. It was so bad that we had to mop the floor. We laughed so hard our stomachs hurt.
The church kitchen is a place community happens. It's the place you might chat about your kid going off to school or a recent loss in the family...the hurricane that just won't quit...maybe, if you're brave, a little politics.
But it's a place where, even if we don't have anything in common, we can come together, united by a common task. And it's one place we live out the grace we receive around the communion table, breaking our community open for a hungry world.
This week, we are in the midst of a major kitchen renovation here at  GSLC, so that we can create even more beautiful and functional space for moments like these. We are getting this holy ground ready for encounters with the God we see in everyone who is hungry and thirsty (and sometimes, that's us).
THANK  YOU to everyone who has helped with this project so far. A special thank you to Jeff McCauslin and the demolition crew of all ages that worked hard last Saturday. We hope the project will be done by Rally/Raleigh day, so stop in and check out the upgrades on your way to worship, or your service project, or one of the food trucks that we be here on 9/10.
And let's all get ready to make more holy memories in this place.
See you Sunday,

This Sunday's Readings
Psalm 32
Romans 12:9-21
Matthew 16:21-28
Bluegrass Worship  This Sunday is the last Sunday for bluegrass worship at both the 8:15 and 9:45 am worship services. 
Summer: The Green Season Bring in flowers from your garden to decorate the Sanctuary each Sunday this summer. Vases will be available in the Narthex.

The church office will be closed on Monday, September 4 in observation of Labor Day.
Get Ready to Sing with the Choir This Fall! Rehearsals begin August 28;  check out the schedule here. Come to rehearsal if you are interested or  contact Clifford Badgley  for more information.
Rally/Raleigh Day - September 10   Let's get to work as a community serving God's people with our hands! With projects at Good Shepherd and out in the community on Sunday (and even some Saturday projects this year), there are opportunities for everyone to serve.
  • We will only have one morning worship service at 9:30 am on this day.
  • Food trucks will be available with lunch to purchase immediately following worship.
  • Learn more about opportunities to serve or go directly to the online sign up.
  • Not available to serve next weekend? Check out the list of items that you can donate to help with Rally/Raleigh Day. (Scroll through the service opportunities to find the donations needed.)

Fall Worship Schedule begins September 17  Worship at 8:15 am, 10:45 am and 5:30 pm; Sunday Morning Faith Formation at 9:30 am. 


BYG Weekend at Camp Agape  All 3rd-5th graders are invited to this fun-filled weekend, October 20-22! More information is available here.


More information about upcoming events is available in this week's  bulletin announcements.

The Summer edition of The Shepherd's Voice newsletter is now available online.

Health and healing  for Martha Sanderson; Heidi, niece of Alex and Judy Plavocos; and Betty Rowe, aunt of Barb Newcomer. 

Thanksgiving  for the youth and adults attending  TEC  (Teens Encounter Christ) this weekend. 

Safekeeping for all those struggling after Hurricane Harvey; Emily Graff's deployment; Megan Hutzenbuhler on mission in Madagascar; Bryan Lester on mission in Mexico; Lt. John Gibson  III ; and Major Anthony Coulter.
For the Orphans of Mnene Parish, including Charity Hamandishe and Convinience Dube.
Charity is a sweet, mild-mannered 20 year old young lady. She left school and is no longer active in our support program. Her guardian aunt does not know where Charity is and is concerned for her health. We continue to pray for Charity's health and safety, and Mnene staff continues to try to learn any updates about her. Her Mail for Mnene partners are Paul and Tien Landstrom
Convinience is a hard working, motivated 20 year old young lady. She is currently doing her "attachment" in Bulawayo for hairdressing. She has struggled in school and dropped out. However, the Hairdressing course at Zvishavane Vocational Technical has given her new confidence. She is a thriving, extroverted, happy, gregarious, playful, vocal person. She loves singing and dancing. Her Mail For Mnene partner is the DeGroodt family.

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