Drag Hope Around Like a Ragdoll That You Can't Live Without...Because You Can't
I received a text from a colleague this week that read, "How are you preaching this week?!"
He meant it in terms of mechanics.  Like, literally how, after this week, after these last few months, are we going to preach a good word?  The good word?
Jesus' parable assigned for Sunday is disturbing.  He tells a story that goes from bad, to worse, to unthinkable.  It instantly reminded me of the last few months.
Things were very bad in Charlottesville, and the fall out was terrible.
Things got worse with Harvey and Irma, and then Maria and the devastation in Puerto Rico has been astoundingly horrific.
And then the unthinkable happened: shots in a crowd in Las Vegas. 59 dead, over 400 wounded.
In Jesus' story, the vineyard owner rents out the land to tenants...who then feel like they have power over the land, and the owner.  So when the vineyard owner sends servants to get the harvest, they're beaten, stoned, and killed.  And even when he sends his own flesh and blood at the very end, thinking that surely they'd respect an emissary that looks just like the owner...
They kill him.
"And," Jesus says, "It's kind of like this world, where the people who are supposed to be taking care of everything are just thinking they own everything, and they're letting it all go to pot."
Ok...he doesn't say it  exactly  like that, but that's his gist.

This Sunday's Readings
Isaiah 5:1-7
Psalm 80:7-15
Matthew 21:33-46

Lutheran Questions, Lutheran Answers SME - Sundays, October 8, 15 & 22 at 9:30 am, Fellowship Hall  Each of these sessions led by a pastor will focus on a different Reformation topic. This Sunday, we discuss "Did Luther really call the Pope the anti-Christ?"

Autumn in the Sanctuary   Bring in pumpkins and gourds to decorate the Sanctuary each Sunday. Plastic plates will be available.

Memory Cafe for Adults with Dementia and The Caregivers - Monday, October 9, 4:30-6:00 pm  Contact Ginny Poston  for more information.
Volleyball in Fellowship Hall - Wednesday, October 11, 6:30-8:00 pm   Youth and adults of all skill levels are invited to drop in for pickup games!
Book Study Group - Thursdays, October 12 & 19, 10:00 am, Underwood West  Pastor Tim will facilitate the discussions of  Silence: A Novel  by Shusaku Endo and William Johnston. Contact Jayne, 919-847-5434 with questions.
No need to cook this Thursday, October 12!  Dine out at Chipotle (9504 Strickland Road) from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm to support our preschool. Don't forget to tell the cashier you are with Good Shepherd Lutheran Preschool.
Congregational Meeting with vote to approve updated constitution - Sunday, October 15 at 12:00 pm Detailed information on the proposed changes is available  here .
Endowment grant applications are being accepted through next Sunday, October 15.  More information is available at  gslchurch.org/endowment .
More information about upcoming events is available in this week's  bulletin announcements.

The  October edition of The Shepherd's Voice is available online.

Health and healing for Ricky Boyce; Kathy Mackes; Lonnie Adams III, friend of O'Neill & Vivarelli families; Molly Mahoney; and Carolyn Shankland.

Safekeeping for Ellen and Larry Goode, traveling with the Meredith Alumni Group; Nathan Anderson; Emily Graff; Megan Hutzenbuhler; Bryan Lester; Lt. John Gibson III; and Major Anthony Coulter.

Thanksgiving for this Sunday's baptisms of Addison Clare Bennett, daughter of Doug and Shelley Bennett; and Logan James Gaglione, son of Michael and Grace Gaglione.

For the orphans of Mnene Parish, including Rosemary Mpofu, Freeman Moyo, Chipochashe Mpofu and Likwa Mpofu.

Rosemary, always smiling, is 22 years old. She is presently doing her Attachment for Hairdressing, working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. She had a great distance to walk to her Attachment so, with Mnene staff approval, she moved to a place closer to her work. After being pen pals for 8 years with the Peachey family, Rosemary & Katy Peachey met when Katy & the mission team were in Mnene this summer. Her Mail For Mnene partners are the Peachey family and Kim Fusaro & family.

Freeman is a quiet and friendly 17 year old young man. He is taking Form 3 classes at Mnene Boarding School. He spent time with our 2017 mission team! During school breaks (1 month long), he lives with his grannie who is very poor. Freeman is one of five siblings who are supported through our GSLC Mnene orphan program. His Mail For Mnene partner is the O'Neill family.

Likwa is 18 and doing well in school. He attends Form 4 at Marirazhombe Secondary School. He visited with our 2017 mission team at Victoria Falls. In 2006, Annie found him and two of his siblings searching for food outside the Mnene hospital. Since joining our support program that same year, his health has improved and he is well cared for now by his widowed aunt. His Mail For Mnene partners are Josh Lewis & family and the Rusincovitch family.

Chipo, always smiling, is 24 yeas old. During her nine years in our support program, she gained confidence and was thriving. She left hairdressing classes two years ago and is now living with her aunt. She came to Mnene with her two young daughters to visit our 2017 mission team. She is not currently in our support program but would like to return to complete her studies. We continue to hold her and her daughters in our prayers. Her Mail For Mnene partner is the Sloop family.

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