The author of 2 Timothy writes, "All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work." (3:16-17)

This, along with Psalm 23, is actually our scripture verse for this Sunday's gathering.

And it is an oft-quoted verse when the question of whether or not a part of the 66 books of the Biblical canon is helpful comes up, as it does from time to time. Many will pull out this little gem from 2 Timothy, point to it and say, "See! It's all inspired by God and useful for teaching. You can't adjust any of it."

But you know what's funny about this verse?

At the time it was written, the "scriptures" for the ancient church were really just parts of the Hebrew scriptures. 2 Timothy itself wasn't even a part of the scriptures at that time, though it would come to be included.

So, what scriptures did the author mean? The ones used at the time, or the ones that would be added and even written after the writing of this letter?

Another favorite proof-verse for not cutting and pasting when it comes to scripture is the last part of the book of Revelation, chapter 22. When I was in college and coming to the end of my studies, a friend and I were having a heated discussion about Biblical literalism. He was a proponent of the inerrancy of scripture, and I am much more flexible in my view, having adopted the idea that I take scripture seriously but not literally.

He pulled out his Bible and pointed to Revelation 22:18-19, reading triumphantly,

"I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this book."

"And this," he said, "is why you have to take everything in here literally. Nothing can be added or subtracted from this book!" He rested his case.

"Ok," I said, "but you do realize that the writer of Revelation was just talking about the book of Revelation there, right? He wasn't talking about the whole of the Bible...he couldn't have been. At that time there was no such thing."

And his eyes widened as if he had just realized something for the first time...the scriptures had been put into context for him in that moment. "I never thought of that..." he said.
This Sunday's Readings
Psalm 23
2 Timothy 3:16-17

Let's Welcome John Jahr! The installation of Good Shepherd's Director of Music Ministry, John Jahr, will take place at both morning worship services. All are invited to a reception to welcome him after the 9:45 am worship service.

Bluegrass Worship and Summer sermon series - Being Christian: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, Prayer - continue this Sunday.   

Safe Haven Training - 11:15 am in Underwood West  If you are serving with children and/or youth this year and have not attended Safe Haven Training during the last five years, join us for this mandatory training session. Not available this Sunday? A second training will be offered Wednesday, September 12 at 6:00 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.

Books and Brew - Monday, August 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..

Worship on Wednesdays (WOW)
Wednesday, August 29, 5:15-6:00 pm, Fellowship Hall This monthly 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.

Health and healing  for  Eleanor Melcher and Meg Stoyle-Corby.

For the orphans of Mnene Parish , including Tatenda Nyoni and Effort Gumbo.

Tatenda Shiri Nyoni will be 20 next month. He is taking "A" level classes at Msume high school. He will qualify for post secondary education if he successfully completes these classes. He visited our 2017 mission team. His Mail For Mnene partners are the Vitek family & Gerhard Livingston.

Effort is 21. He has a calm, quiet, poised personality. He was taking Form 5 classes but requested to take Driving lessons. Mnene staff secured a position and accommodations & he began classes at Zvishavane Voc. School. He visited with our 2017 mission team. 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.

Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter   View on Instagram