Sunday's Gospel reading is Mark 9:38-50, and to follow today's reflection, you'll want to read it first here

He was casting out demons.
He was speaking, publicly...
Powerful words.
Words of prophecy. Challenge.
A call to action.
Words that got to the heart of things.
Words that cut through the noise of life and spoke what was real.
Words that told the truth.
Words that healed.
Words of God.

The disciples missed it.

Instead of listening,
they analyzed credentials.
They questioned credibility.
They said, "you aren't one of us."
They said, "You have no claim on the truth."

Worried about power, position, and authority, the disciples closed their ears to the holy and powerful truth that was in their midst.

But Jesus didn't miss a thing.
Jesus believed the words and saw the deeds and celebrated the demons being gone.

Jesus reminded them that they were stronger together than they were apart, even when they were different. Jesus reminded them that the truth is the truth, whoever speaks it, whatever their credentials, whatever the timeframe or situation.

And Jesus reminded them to take care of the little ones. The ones who are last, lost, least, and left-out. The ones who have been hurt and who are hurting. Don't you dare get in their way, he says. Or, in his actual words, "If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea."

There is power in the truth.
May God gives us the ears to hear it when it is in our midst.
May God help us to say, "I believe you. I honor you. How can I cast out demons with you?"
May God give us hearts open to the voices of "the little ones," so that the Word of God may be among us and shape the world in which we live.

Peace be with you,
PM
Pastor Tim wrote a letter on sexual assault on his personal blog yesterday. You are invited to read it here.             

This Sunday's Readings
Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29
Psalm 19
James 5:13-20
Mark 9:38-50

In addition to the weekly Sunday Morning Education classes, Lutheranism 101 kicks off this Sunday at 9:30 in Fellowship Hall. If you're new to the faith, or if you have been a Lutheran for years but aren't sure what that means, come join us!

Food Drive to benefit the Food Bank serving those affected by Hurricane Florence kicks off this Sunday. Grab a bag in the narthex this Sunday and bring it back filled next Sunday.

Final Day for Mail for Mnene Collection is this Sunday!  Bring your letters of love and concern for the orphans of Mnene parish, Zimbabwe to the  Mail for Mnene table in the narthex.  

Coffeehouse: An Evening of Fun, Food & Music for Adults of All Abilities
Friday, September 28, 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.  Come anytime after 6:00, and stay as long as you want. 

Pride: Durham
Saturday, September 29, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm at Duke East Campus  Gather with people from around the Triangle for fellowship and a parade (early afternoon) at this annual celebration of community, family, pride, and activism. While you are there, stop by Good Shepherd's booth, shared with St. Paul's Lutheran, Durham, and Duke Lutheran Campus Ministry.

Baptismal Seminar
Monday, October 1, 6:00-7:00 pm, Library If you are considering Baptism at Good Shepherd, make plans to attend this baptismal seminar. We will discuss the baptismal rite, the responsibilities, and the marks of baptism that make up this ancient sacrament. For more information, contact Pr. Marsha.

Cub Scout Pack 28 and Scout Troop 28 Open House 
Monday, October 1, 6:30-7:30 pm outside Fellowship Hall    Come learn more about the scouting program and their fun adventures. Come and participate in fire building, kayaking, rocket launching and racing Pinewood Derby cars. Cub Scouts is now open to boys and girls, kindergarten through 5th grade. Scouts is open to boys from 6th grade to 18 years old.

Support GSLC Preschool by Dining Out
Wednesday. October 3, 4:00-8:00 pm, Chipotle, 9504 Strickland Road Make dinner a selfless act by joining us for a fundraiser. Be sure to tell the cashier you're supporting GSL Preschool to make sure that 33% of the proceeds will the donated!

Blessing of the Animals
Sunday, October 7, 5:30 pm Bring your non-aggressive animals to this worship service with communion and a special pet blessing.

Rams Men's Ministry Dinner and Discussion: God & Science
Tuesday, October 9, 6:30 pm, Fellowship Hall  
If you've ever wondered how to reconcile your Christian faith in the light of modern science, this discussion is for you. A BBQ extravaganza will be served. All men are welcome; $7 donation is recommended. Contact rams@gslchurch.org
to RSVP.

Good News, Good Brews: The Bible, the Beach, and Craft Beer
October 12-15 at Kure Beach Faith Center - Ferment your faith as you explore the Bible, enjoy the beach, and sample craft beer. Register here . Registration deadline is Monday, October 1.

More information about upcoming events is available in  this week's  
Health and Healing for Mary O'Neal; Susie, friend of Natalie Macemore; Barbara Stone, friend of Susan Zecchini; Jordon Fulton; Cheryl Johnson; Joe Barry, friend of Kim Beebe and Mark Howerton; Susan and Dan Hauser, friend of Melinda Hawkins; and David Perlowin, family of Randy and Marybeth Neuhaus.

Sympathy to family and friends of Kathy Hartenstine; and to the family and friends of Julia Altemose.

For the Orphans of Mnene Parish, including Prince Mpofu and Princess Mpofu.
 
Prince & Princess are 24 year old twins who were in the GS support program until their homestead burned down in 2009.  This tragedy forced them to find shelter far from Mnene. They returned to the GS program in 2012.  Prince is enrolled at Zvishavane Vo Tech, completed his attachment (internship) and is working to complete his course in Metal Fabrication.  Princess is taking courses in Hotel catering.  Her daughter is staying with an aunt while she takes classes.  Princess is also a 'house girl" for her aunt.  After discussions with Mnene staff & Prince & Princess, plans are being formulated to build a kitchen hut & block house so that Prince & Princess would again have a homestead. Prince's Mail For Mnene partner is the Agather family.  Princess's Mail For Mnene partner is the Greengrove-Pfefferle family.

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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