News Flash for the Faithful: God is Not a Fence Builder or the Thought Police 

What does it mean to "be a disciple?"

For some of my friends who are marginally faithful (or, perhaps, "faithful on the margins?"), their discontent with the Christian religion stems from the idea that religion is mostly about behavioral control.

And they have good reason to have this impression, of course.

In college I was invited on a retreat sponsored by a Greek InterVarsity chapter where we were told (in harrowing detail, mind you) about the god-forsaken dangers that certain behaviors would have on our souls and our futures. Curbing behavioral impulses, especially when it came to topics like sexuality and chemical consumption, was God's primary desire, and our seemingly singular mission in life, if the leaders of these retreats were to be trusted.

Spoiler alert for all parents who think that religion and church involvement will give their children "good morals" (whatever that means): it won't. You have to do that. We can help, but if you reduce "being faithful" to "being good" you do them no good.

Religion as method of behavioral control will always, always, fail.

Others I know have left the faith because they find it all unbelievable. Or, to be more precise, the faith seems to decree that certain beliefs are to be held, and others to be ditched. That to "be Christian" you can believe these things, and only these things. A scientist friend left the faith long ago because the creation story in Genesis was too big of a pill to swallow, and the Noah story was too much fantasy for her faith.

Well of course it is! These are not accounts of biology but of theology. If we must believe those things literally happened to be considered faithful, well, then count me out...     Read more

Sunday's Readings
Psalm 29
John 1:35-39 

Summer Worship Schedule Begins This Sunday, May 27 - Worship at 8:15 am, 9:45 am and 5:30 pm. Our first six-week summer sermon series kicks off this week, highlighting the first chapter from Rowan Williams' short but insightful book, Being Disciples: Essentials for the Christian Life. Read more about this summer's topics and resources.

The church office will be closed on Monday, May 28 in observance of Memorial Day.

The 3rd Annual Kicknic has been rescheduled to Sunday, June 3 at Baileywick School Park at 2:00 pm.  Join us to play and/or cheer! Bring a dish to share. 

Support your Kicknic Team & Mnene Orphans; Buy Your Hats through June 3 -  Two different colors of hats are on sale for $15 in the Narthex. As in years past, we will unveil the teams' colors at the Kicknic. 

Penny Wars continue through June 3! Bring your pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, bills and checks to the Narthex to support the orphans of Mnene Parish.

Mail for Mnene Collection  Through June 3, drop off your letters of love and support for the orphans of Mnene Parish in the Narthex.  

Beers and Brew begins June 4 - Pastor Tim and Pastor Marsha will be hosting  Books and Brew  to go along with our summer sermon series. We'll be digging deeply into the themes of the books, making connections with one another and growing in faith. We'll meet at Sola Coffee CafĂ©, 6:30-7:30 pm. Grab a brew of your choice (coffee or spirits) and join us to talk about Rowan Williams' books Being Disciples on Mondays, June 4, June 18, and July 2. A limited number of books are available in the church office for $10.

Good Shepherd celebrates 15 years of ministry with Family Promise this year! And, to celebrate, we are inviting you to become one of 15 new volunteers to serve June 17-24 when we will be hosting families 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.

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

Health and Healing  for Ryan Patrick, friend of Valente family; Dorothy Holzworth, mother of Paul Holzworth; Zachary Weig and Mary Eldridge, friends of O'Neill family; Carolyn Goldston, daughter of Rose and Ben Goldston; Brenda Mangum friend of Cathy Strawbridge;  and Nicole Barefoot. 

Thanksgiving for all participants of the Synod Assembly including Rev. Royall and Joyce Yount, Ed and Michele Lee, and Pastor Marsha Anderson. 

Sympathy to family and friends of Frannie Crum, friend of Barb Newcomer.

In Loving Remembrance we honor those who live with scars or have died defending our nation.

For the Orphans of Mnene Parish , including Tsamani (Sam) Singono and Trevor Ndlovu.
Sam, 24, attends Midlands State University, pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Shona, the native language in Zimbabwe.  He is currently on attachment (student teaching) in Mnene village and doing well.  He was chosen by his peers to be their representative on the Mnene Orphan Committee.  His Mail For Mnene partners are the Brimhall family & Grace Ann Chirico.

Trevor is 21, taking Form 5 classes at Mnene Boarding School.  All secondary students are on break during the month of May.  Annie shared that he was not doing well in classes, and she hopes that he will return to school when classes begin again in June. His Mail For Mnene partner is the Cash 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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