Beloved,

Your pastors are always aware that you all are going through a lot, but this week has been more intense than most. This week, folks in our congregation have dealt with hospitalizations and surgeries, some are grieving and others anticipating grief. Others are dealing with heart-wrenching family situations with dynamics beyond their control. There was the awful shooting at UNCC, and though "our" folks were safe, others were not, and it scared us all in a deep way. Even the awe-inspiring teacher's march on Wednesday reminds us of the daily stresses and strains on so many in our community. 

And so, friends, this is my reminder to all of you that God wants us to take good care of ourselves. We are called to love God and our neighbor the way that we love ourselves. It doesn't have to be selfish. Sometimes, we need to have coffee with that friend we haven't seen in a while. Sometimes, we need the nap that we never actually take. There are days when a long walk in the woods to clear our head will set us up for a more life-giving, productive, fulfilling week ahead. Self care is a part of our holy call to be good stewards of this amazing, but challenging, life God has given us. 

And I hope joining us on Sunday will be a part of that self care. Come at 8:15 or 5:30 to hear the story of the disciples regrouping and looking ahead after going through the roller-coaster of holy week and Easter. Or join us at 10:45 to let the Easter story wash over you again through words and music, as we hear the Cantata that was originally scheduled for Good Friday.

But mostly, whatever life brings you this week, take good care, and peace be with you.

PM

Sunday Readings
Acts 9:1-20
Psalm 30
Revelation  5:11-14
John 21:1-19

"My Song is Love Unknown" - Good Friday Cantata rescheduled for this Sunday at the 10:45 service.  Join Good Shepherd musicians as they retell the story of Christ's teachings, Passion, and Resurrection. Through a series of readings and musical offerings we will journey through Christ's last week on earth, his death, and burial. We will rejoice with the women at the tomb when it is found to be empty.

Final Sunday Morning Education classes for the school year are this Sunday. Remember to say "Thank you!" to your teachers for a great year.

Acolyte Training at 12:00-12:45 pm in the Sanctuary Get ready to be trained on the responsibilities, movements, and all things acolyte! Anyone 6 years and older is welcome, including parents who are interested in serving with their youth. 

Crosswalk Kids Get Together (3 & 4 year Olds ), 3:30-4:30 pm in Fellowship Hall   Register by today (Friday) on Realm for tis fun afternoon of games, snacks, and finding the lost sheep.

Get Ready for Good Shepherd's Annual Kicknic (Picnic + Kickball), Celebrating Our Ministry Together and Supporting the Orphans of Mnene Parish  Bring your pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and dollar bills to support the orphans of Mnene Parish. Put your pennies in the jar of the team you want to win, and all other coins, bills and checks in the other jar! Jars will be in the Narthex through the Kicknic on May 19.  You can also give directly to Mnene Ministry here. Wristbands for the Kicknic are on sale on Sundays ($5 each); all proceeds go to Mnene Outreach Ministry. Team colors (and, therefore, wristband teams) will be revealed at the Kicknic.  This year, we will have four teams, giving everyone more chances to play!

How Can You Help with GSLC's Hurricane Relief Efforts?  School kits are being collected through May 11 ( more info here), and you can give financial support near the mail slot in the Narthex or  online here to help feed the mission trip teams. Every dollar helps! Additionally, registration for the June 23-26 mission trip to help with home repairs and reconstruction following the hurricane in Eastern NC last year is still open. 

Take Some Time to Help Families in Transition through Family Promise   Good Shepherd hosts Family Promise guests in our church May 5 - 12. Opportunities are available for groups, families and individuals to serve. Learn more and sign up to serve at bit.ly/GSLCFamilyPromise (case sensitive), password: homeless.

Young Adults of Good Shepherd - Fellowship Gathering on Tuesday, May 7, 5:30-8:00 pm at Lafayette Village   All those in their 20s and 30s are invited, and children are welcome! We will be in the grassy courtyard area, so drop by at any time. 

WOW with Pizza Dinner - Wednesday, May 8, 5:15 pm in Fellowship Hall Is your family looking for a worship service that allows your young one(s) to move and respond creatively? This worship service is geared towards families with small children, but all are welcome! Join us for pizza at 5:15 pm followed by a family-friendly worship at 5:30-6:00 pm.

More information about upcoming events is available in  this week's bulletin announcements.  
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Meet Some of Our Newest Members
 
Bill & Pamela Flannery:  We are pleased to have Bill & Pamela joining us via Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.  Bill has been an active usher; Pamela has served on the Altar Guild, Faith Formation and Welcome committees.  They were drawn to us as their daughter and her family attend GSLC.

Kathryn Garner:  When you are introducing yourself to Kathryn, here's a fun fact to get the conversation started...she was baptized on Super Bowl Sunday 1986!  Her hobbies include crossfit, Jiu Jitsu, baking & traveling.  Our message that all are accepted to worship here resonated with her. 

Curt (PhD) & Pauline Wolfgang:  The Wolfgangs are joining us from Good Shepherd Lutheran Church...in Gaithersburg, Maryland!  Their interests include supporting homeless shelters & soup kitchens.  Both enjoy spending time with their family as well as running & watching football (Curt) and gardening & simple computer games (Pauline).  Our pastors and sanctuary appealed to them as well as the overall vibe here at GSLC.

Dick & Judy Volpe:  Coming to us from Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Sun City West, Arizona, we are pleased to have the Volpes joining us!  Both are retired Air Force officers and enjoy golf & travel.  They both served as Communion Assistants and Council Members in their former church.  They were drawn to our energy & enthusiasm as well as excellent sermons here at GSLC.
 
Health and Healing  for Silas Grant; Andrew Nunalee; Krista White; Mickey Neubaum; Tim Hobbs, friend of Peggy Ruopp; Matt Ruopp, Peggy's son; Colin Thompson, nephew of Resovsky's; Terry Malitz, brother-in-law of Resovsky's; and Dick Bader, brother of Lois Walker.

Sympathy to John and Suzi Merical and family at the death of their daughter, Paige; Colleen Vitek at the death of her brother, Chuck Kemp; and Jennifer and Aaron Zelek at the death of their daughter, Lydia Alice.

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

Charity is a sweet, mild-mannered 22 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 updates about Charity. We will continue to hold her in our thoughts and prayers.  Her Mail For Mnene partners for 9 years were Tien and Paul Landstrom.

Convenience, 22, is a hard working, outgoing, motivated young lady.  She loves to sing and dance. She earned her Hairdressing diploma from Zvishavane Voc. School.  While she pursues employment, she finds opportunities to use her new hairdressing skills.  She is not currently active in our support program but we continue to hold her in our thoughts and prayers. 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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