This Sunday many Christians will hear a little verse from the Gospel of Luke that will scare the daylights out of them.

Actually, go ahead and dare. Otherwise the rest won't make a whole lot of sense.

So, here's the thing about this little passage from Luke (and the ones like it in Matthew and Mark): it's not literal, folks.

Now see, I say something like that (or write something like that), and I get people who retort back with a, "Well, how do you know?"

To which I reply, "The same way I know that Fun House is a play and haiku is a peculiar type of poetry: it's a kind of literature. I know because not all kinds of writing, or speaking, are the same, and this is a particular kind. I know because the scriptures are full of all kinds of writing, and this is one of the kinds."

It's a particular kind called an apocalypse. That word, "apocalypse," doesn't mean "the end of the world," by the way. It literally means, "the unveiling" or "the uncovering."

And apocalypse uncovers a deep truth by masking the language in catastrophic, cosmic symbols. It does so to get you to pay attention. And if you take it literally you are doing the exact opposite of what it's meant to get you to do.

So don't do that. Don't take it literally.  Read more.

This Sunday's Readings
Jeremiah 33:14-16
Psalm 25
1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
Luke 21:25-36

Sunday Morning Education: Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) Reflection
This Sunday, 9:30-10:30 am, Underwood North   Bryan Lester recently returned from a year in Mexico with the YAGM program. He will share stories, lessons learned, and key takeaways from his year, as well as provide time to answer questions about his year of service.

Can You Help a Foster Child, Hurricane Survivor or Adult with Developmental Disabilities This Christmas?
Check out the Magi Tree in the Narthex this Sunday to provide gifts for children in the LFS Foster Care Program, survivors of Hurricane Florence, and our adult friends with developmental disabilities. Wrapped, tagged gifts must be returned by next Sunday, December 9.
Ilene Holmes, a member of Good Shepherd, shared her story of why and how she gave to the Magi Tree. Read it here.

This is the Final Sunday for Mnene Christmas Greetings & Gift Collection
Blank Christmas cards to send greetings to our orphans and friends in Mnene can be picked up and returned in the Narthex. In addition to greetings and gifts, d onations marked "Mnene Postage" can be dropped in the collection plate or Narthex mail slot. 

Stories of Hope, an Advent Devotional written by Pastor Tim and Pastor Marsha, begins today. Each morning during Advent, a devotion will be published on Good Shepherd's blog and Facebook page, encouraging and helping you to be attentive to the gifts that this season of short days and long nights provides. To receive the devotion via email daily, go to the blog and click "Follow" in the bottom right corner.

Mid-Week Advent Vespers begins next Wednesday, December 5, at 7:00 pm. Each Wednesday during Advent, join us for Holden Evening Prayer followed by a time of gathering and refreshments.

View a list of all Advent activities at Good Shepherd here.

Honor the Season with a Poinsettias. Order forms are available in Sunday's bulletin or by contacting the church office. Orders must be placed by Sunday, December 9.

Christmas Coffeehouse Shared Dinner - Friday, December 7, 6:30-8:30 pm - Christmas comes early at Good Shepherd for over 250 guests at our Coffeehouse Shared Dinner. Tables will be set, buffet tables will overflow, and there will be a festive sing-along of favorite Christmas carols. With an event of this magnitude, we need volunteers to provide food, set up, serve during dinner, and more. Learn more and sign up here.

It's not too late to pledge your financial support for Good Shepherd in 2019. Pledge online with Realm  (i nstructions for pledging online can be found  here ) or place your pledge card in the offering plate or mail slot. 

More information about upcoming events is available in  this week's  
Health and Healing for Marie Anctil; Lonnie Adams, friend of the O'Neill family; Janet, sister of Becky Martin; and Dottie Kinsman, sister of Cliff Wilcoxen.

For the Orphans of Mnene Parish , including Charity Hamandishe and Convinience Dube. 

Charity is a sweet, mild-mannered 21 year old young lady.  She was in our GSLC support program for 9 years.  She left school and moved away from her guardian aunt's homestead.  Mnene staff continue to try to learn any updates about Charity.  We will continue to hold her in our prayers.  Her Mail For Mnene partners for those 9 years were Tien and Paul Landstrom.   
Convenience will be 22 next month.  She is a hard working, outgoing, motivated young lady.  She is doing well at Hairdressing classes in Zvishavane Vocational School.  She completed her "attachment" (internship),  finished her final classes, took her exams and is waiting for those results.  She loves singing and dancing.  Her Mail For Mnene partner is the DeGroodt 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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