Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
 
This age-old question has been on the minds of some of our congregation's children this week as they've spent the last five days preparing for their Summerfest musical, "O Chicken of Little Faith." Though I have my theories, this week has caused me to reflect on another, perhaps not-as-old question, more popular in ministry circles:  Which comes first, believing or belonging?
 
Should you have to believe what a faith community believes before darkening the door, or is it OK to enter not knowing quite where you stand? Is a desire for the love, grace, accountability (or whatever it is you're looking for) a church can offer enough, or do you need to come with a set of compatible beliefs as well? Believe, then belong or belong, then believe?
 
At Summerfest, belonging comes first. All children are welcome to explore and share their gifts of singing, acting, and production in an environment that is warm and encouraging. The Gospel is presented to them not just in the content of the musical, but in how they encounter one another throughout the week. And whether they confidently believe the message by the end of the week or remain "chickens of little faith," God will use them to further God's kingdom.
 
We hope you'll make it out to the Summerfest musical this Sunday, 8:15 am or 9:45 am. The children, teens and adults never cease to amaze me, and this year... is no eggception.

Blessings,
Andrew Buck

It's Summerfest Sunday! Morning worship services will feature the children of Good Shepherd performing "o CHICKEN of LITTLE faith." Worship with communion will be held, as usual, at 5:30 pm.

Sign up to serve on Rally/Raleigh Days - September 8 & 9. 
On Rally/Raleigh Days, we celebrate who we are as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America - one church, freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor - with ELCA churches throughout the country. Sign up online to serve at Good Shepherd or in the community. Not able to serve on Rally/Raleigh Days? Check out the item donations needed for Rally/Raleigh Days on the signup.

Fraud Watch Brunch & Learn (sponsored by Older Wiser Lutherans) -  Saturday, August 18, 10:00-11:30 am in Fellowship Hall   
If you are 55+, join us for a presentation of materials produced by AARP with the purpose of preventing fraud against older Americans. RSVP required. Contact  Kris Allsbury  to RSVP.

Young Adults' Dinner Social - 
Saturday, August 18, 5:00 pm in Fellowship Hall  
20-30 somethings, join other young adults for dinner and an opportunity to get to know each other better. Main dishes will be provided, please bring a side or dessert to share!  Families and children are welcome!

Books and Brew - Mondays, August 20 & 27  
Pastor Tim and Pastor Marsha will be hosting Books and Brew to go along with our final summer sermon series. We'll meet at Sola Coffee Café, 6:30-7:30 pm. Grab a brew of your choice (coffee or spirits) and join us to dig deeply into Being Christian: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, Prayer by Rowan Williams, our final sermon series book of the summer. A limited number of books are available in the church office for $10 each.

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

Health and healing  for  Mike DeRusha, cousin of Mary Franck; Pat Mawby and Bill Billingsley, friends of Barb Newcomer; and Dianna Mayle, friend of Carla Sadja.

Thanksgiving  for the children, youth and adults participating in Summerfest this week.

For the orphans of Mnene Parish , including Rosemary Mpofu and Freeman Moyo.

Rosemary is 23, recently completed her "attachment" (internship) in hairdressing and has returned to Zvishavane Vocational School to complete her studies. After an 8-year pen pal relationship with her GSLC "adoptive" family, Rosemary and Katy Peachey finally met when Katy went to Zimbabwe with our 2017 mission team. Her Mail For Mnene partners are the Peachey & Fusaro families.

Freeman is a quiet, friendly 17 year old young man. He is studying to take his "O" level exams and attends Mnene Boarding School. During school breaks (1 month long) he lives with his grannie who is very poor. He is the middle child of five siblings who have received support through our GSLC support program. His Mail For Mnene partner is the O'Neill 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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