Where in the World is TBJ?

As I sit down to write this update it is just starting to snow in the Raleigh area.

Meanwhile, in Managua, Nicaragua it is 77 degrees Fahrenheit and probably won't rain the whole time I'm there.

But I don't expect that the weather will be the only difference I'll observe in the next ten days.

Many of you have asked why I'll be in Nicaragua, and though the blanket answer I've been giving is that I'll be on an educational trip with a group of pastors from North Carolina, the much longer answer is that we'll be doing some in-depth immersion, seeking to learn from another culture what community can look like.

Since November of 2016 I've been meeting regularly with a group of pastors along the 40 corridor of North Carolina through a program at Wake Forest Divinity School. I applied to this cohort, named "Clergy Making a Place," because I was intrigued by their conviction that clergy could be a voice for change in their specific contexts.

Over the year we've met for two days at a time every other month, a congress dedicated to hearing from experts across the state on issues facing North Carolinians: hunger, education, political underhandedness, economic inequality, and healthcare. The goal of each congress is to gather information, do some community digestion, and dream of ways that the local church can be both incubator and stimulus for change trusting that pastors can "incarnate resurrection" in the places they lead.
This Sunday's Readings
Proverbs 24:3-4
John 1:1-4, 14, 16
Psalm 29
Mark 1:4-11

Birthday Party for All Generations - Sunday, January 7, 9:30-10:30 am in Fellowship Hall  - During the Sunday Morning Education hour, let's celebrate Baptism of Our Lord Sunday with a birthday party for all! All 4th graders through adults are invited. Younger children will enjoy cake during their  Worship & Wonder  class!

Volleyball in the Fellowship Hall - Wednesday, January 10 Youth and adults are invited to join in pickup games anytime from 6:30-8:30 pm. All skill levels are welcome. Bring a friend. Volleyball is great for your body and for your soul!

Preschool Registration Begins Friday, January 12 Good Shepherd Lutheran Preschool provides a nurturing place for 1-5 year old children to learn. Find out more about the preschool and registration at gslchurch.org/preschool.

Interested in getting to know more about Good Shepherd? Sunday, January 14, 9:30 am in Fellowship Hall Join us for Way of the Shepherd, an all-church study where we gather for conversation and a time to get to know each other. Contact the church office for more information. 

Help Us Say Farewell to Clifford Badgley - Sunday, January 14, 12:00 pm in Fellowship Hall Let's get together to say a few kind words, share some food, and send Clifford off with our blessing and best wishes.

Rams Mens' Ministry Dinner and Discussion: Christian Financial Planning - Tuesday, January 16, 6:30 pm in Fellowship Hall  If you've ever wondered how to integrate your faith into your money decisions, this is for you. A $7 donation for catered meal is suggested. Contact rams@gslchurch.org with questions or to RSVP.

2018 Altar Flowers Sign Up If you are interested in signing up for altar flowers in celebration of an event or in memory or honor of a loved one, please sign up on the Wittenberg Information Center or contact the church office. Cost of flowers is $55 and may be shared by two households.

More information about upcoming events is available in  this week's bulletin announcements .
The January edition of The Shepherd's Voice is available online.

Health and healing  for Lyn Nelson; Scotty Blackmon; Audrey; Irene, sister-in-law of Nancy Williams; Diane Hinton, friend of Carla Sadja; and Carl Kjellberg.

Thanksgiving for our new Stephen Ministers being commissioned this Sunday:  Julia Cooper, Ann Curtis, Mary Franck, Nancy Herje, Keri Merritt, Gail Phillips, Paul Phillips, Robert Reid and Meg Stoyle-Corby.

Sympathy to Jayne Rusincovitch and family at the death of her father, Wayne E. Ault; and to Shari Herbst and family at the death of her brother, Arvid Laakso.

For the orphans of Mnene Parish , including Sheunesu Ndlovu Zhou and Aleck Mpofu Moyo.

Aleck is 19 and is taking Form 4 classes at Msume Boarding School. He is encouraged that attending boarding school will make a more positive impact on his educational goals. He visited with our mission team in 2017. The Mnene staff are in discussions to possibly build a two-building homestead for him and his other siblings in our support program. A relative has a parcel of land to donate if these plans materialize. His Mail For Mnene partners are Kathy and John Hrivnak.

Sheunesu is 19 and taking Form 4 classes with Aleck at Msume Boarding School. He is tall and has a deep voice. He enjoys singing in the choir. He engaged easily with our 2017 mission team and has become more confident and outgoing. His Mail For Mnene partners are Chery and Ed Johnson and Jarod Betts and family.

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