Stunning cathedrals and glowing angels...quiet serenity and steady devotion. Purity, clarity, peace. These are the kinds of things that come to mind when I think of the word, "holy."
 
This week, we continue our focus on Rowan Williams' book Being Disciples, and the topic before us is "holiness."
 
Our chapter for the week reminds us that Jesus "made himself holy" by dying on the cross. And that was anything but glowing and serene and quiet. To describe it bluntly, it was an execution on a garbage dump outside the city walls.
 
Williams reminds us that, for Jesus, "being holy is being absolutely involved, not being absolutely separated." Jesus' holiness, which we are to emulate, has to do with diving headfirst into the deep end of the human experience, with all of its suffering and messiness.
 
Living a holy life means diving in. Or as Williams puts it, "a holy person is somebody who is not afraid to be at the tough points in the centre of what it's like to be a human being..."
 
We can do this in so many ways. We can fully show up for our relationships. We can give our all at work and at play. We can bravely face the realities of our world, as hard as it is to look at the news these days. We can dive into our inner work, finding compassion and care for ourselves. We, too, can dive in, trusting that Jesus is already there.
 
We do this individually and as a church. These days, we are revitalizing our outreach efforts, which have been strong throughout our history. Recently, a group of us learned about the good work of Lutheran Services Carolinas with refugees in Raleigh and throughout the Carolinas, and we are discerning ways God is calling us to help. Another group gathered for a "postcard writing party," advocating for sensible measures to decrease gun violence. While the summer is just beginning, we are already planning for Rally/Raleigh Days, when we will jump into our community ready to work and to learn from those we serve.
 
And as we dive in, may we take comfort in our God who dives into our lives and gets involved. This God who loves us more than we can understand is here for us, as we are - not expecting perfection or purity - but helping us move toward a life that is more wonderful for us and for all people, especially the most vulnerable among us.

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Sunday's Readings
Psalm 20
2 Corinthians 3:17-18, 4:6  

Summer Worship Schedule Continues This Sunday - Worship at 8:15 am, 9:45 am and 5:30 pm. Our six-week summer worship series continues, highlighting the fourth chapter from Rowan Williams' short but insightful book, Being Disciples: Essentials for the Christian Life. Read more about this summer's topics and resources.

This Sunday, 7th graders from Good Shepherd who have completed their first year of confirmation instruction and their adult leaders will depart for Camp Agape. Let's show them our love and support by sending letters while they are away at cam p. Send letters by Tuesday, June 19 to: c/o  Camp Agape,  1369 Tyler Dewar Lane,  Fuquay-Varina, NC 277526. Participants: Abe Alford, Caroline DeGroodt, Zoe Fulton, Dayna Hansen, Thomas Kubovcik, Charlotte Kyer, Berkeley Rasmussen, Kayla Williamson, and Kylee Waller. Adult leaders: Andrew Buck and Pastor Marsha.

It's not too late to volunteer with Family Promise at Good Shepherd this month!  From this Sunday, June 17 through June 24 we will be hosting families in transition at our church. Opportunities are available for groups and families to serve, or you can sign up by yourself. Learn more and sign up to serve , password: homeless.

Books and Brew - June 18, 6:30-7:30 pm at Sola Coffee CafĂ©  - Pastor Tim and Pastor Marsha will be hosting another  Books and Brew  to go along with our summer sermon series. Join them to dig into the themes of Being Disciples  by Rowan Williams,  make connections with one another and grow in faith.  

Coffeehouse: An Evening of Fun, Food & Music for Adults of All Abilities -  Friday, June 22, 7:00-8:30 pm in Fellowship Hall   We need 25 adult and youth helpers to set up, help in the kitchen, serve and clean up. Sign up here .

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

Health and Healing  for Cindy Davis and Jonah Phang, nephew of Carol Klaum.

We continue to pray health and healing for Brent Upton as he is in treatment for esophageal cancer. Brent, his wife Catherine, and their daughter Ella have been members of GSLC for a couple of years, and his cancer was diagnosed last month. If you would like to follow his story, help with meals, or reach out to Brent and Catherine, you can do so on CaringBridge.

Prayers for the guests that will be staying with us Family Promise week.  May we be a place of hospitality and comfort.  

For the Orphans of Mnene Parish , including  Patrick Ndlovu and Belinda Mavigire.

Patrick, 22, is no longer active in our GSLC support program.  He struggled with staying in school.  During our 2015 visit, he asked to take a course to become a "driver" but never arrived to take the test.  It is believed that he succumbed to the lure of the gold panning craze which has caused a "wild west" atmosphere in the district outside Mnene.  We continue to hold Patrick in our prayers.
 
Belinda, 21, is a tall young woman with bright eyes that mirror her ever-present smile.  She spent time with our 2017 mission team.  She had been staying with Annie but went back home to be with her Grannie.  She did not do well in her classes and is not sure what she wants to do.  Mnene staff will continue to talk with her about future educational plans.  Her Mail For Mnene partner is Bob and Robin Kirk.
 
Visit the Wittenberg Information Center in the Narthex for photos of this week's orphans and  more information on the Mnene Ministry.

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