I Just Love Memorial Day Weekend.

 Those of us lucky enough to get a day off have a nice little pause before diving into a new season. This unofficial start of summer comes with cookouts and pool parties, family gatherings and time in the backyard. My favorite Memorial Days are relaxing and fun and feel like a free gift.

All of this is juxtaposed with all that we are memorializing. This is a time for us to remember those who have died serving our country and to honor their sacrifices.

Esteemed author, Walter Brueggemann, explores this juxtaposition in the context of our faith in his poem, "The Threat upon Us":

Summertime...when the living is easy.

You give us summer and winter,
cold and heat,
seedtime and harvest,
But summer is special -
grills and patios and pools
and baseball.

We take our ease,
even amid terrorism.
The threat is mostly remote...
and scarcely calls us in our privilege to attention.

And then, right in the middle of our easy living,
the bombs burst on the street corner,
on the bus,
on the train.
the smoke, the fire, the shrieking,
the dash of emergency vehicles,
all brought very near, all brought right up
against our easy summer living.

We experience a sinking sense
that the world is not safe,
that our life is not free of threat,
and we wonder where and when next 
will come assault on our well-arranged lives.

We turn to you, partly out of need,
partly out of habit, partly out of trust.

We know you to be Creator, who maintains order,
Redeemer, who loves us more than we love ourselves.

But we are so self-sufficient,
we do not easily turn from our ways to yours.
And so amid our trust in you
comes our fated self-confidence,
our urge to manage,
our wish for self-sufficiency.

So we, unsettled in deep ways,
want to believe more than we do.
But even now we believe enough to know that your
good way does not depend on our trust.
So be our God - yet again -
this time, and
we will be honest in our double-mindedness
as we turn to you in our fear.

I love Brueggeman's line, "we believe enough to know that your good way does not depend on our trust." In the midst of a complicated world, we do our best to live Godly lives, hoping that our world, more and more, will be marked by the peace that surpasses understanding. And in the meantime, we hope that God's "good way" is happening, one way or another. And we give thanks for simple moments of peace and joy in the company of our loved ones.

God's peace be with you,


Sunday Readings
Acts 16:9-15
Psalm 67
 Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5
 John 5:1-9

Summer worship schedule starts this Sunday! Join us for worship at 8:15 am, 9:45 am or 5:30 pm. 

The church office will be closed on Monday, May 27 in observance of Memorial Day.

Introduction to Spiritual Practices - Wednesday, May 29, 6:00 - 8:00 pm in Underwood West  This workshop, led by Rev. Greg Farrand of the Second Breath Center, will explore spiritual practices rooted in the Christian contemplative tradition that can enable us to step off the hamster wheel of busyness and mental chatter to create space for a shift to occur. Free; register online.

Spend an Evening with GSLC Coffeehouse - Friday, May 31, 7:00-8:30 pm   This ministry offers live music, refreshments, and fellowship to adults of all abilities. 25 adult and youth helpers are needed to assist with set-up, serving, and clean-up for approximately 200 guests. A great volunteer activity for families, too!  Contact coffeehouse@gslchurch.org for more information.

Free Camp Day for Rising Kindergartners - 6th Graders - Saturday, June 8, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm  Join us for a ONE DAY camp experience at Good Shepherd. This day is offered FREE by Agape + Kure Beach Ministries and is led entirely by their camp counselors. Music, arts and crafts, games, nature time and Bible discovery time - plus the great love and contagious enthusiasm that the counselors have for sharing the faith - are all included! Register here.   Share this with your friends; you do NOT have to be a member of Good Shepherd to attend!

Thanks to your generosity, over $2,200 was raised to support the orphans of Mnene Parish, Zimbabwe through the Penny Wars and Kicknic! Congratulations to Team Brown for winning both the kickball game and the Penny Wars!

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

Health and Healing  for  Kurt Volkringer; Lily Kate Brooks, granddaughter of Meg Stoyle-Corby; Julienne Taylor Gede, friend of Cara Vivarelli-O'Neill ; Dick Bader, Lois Walker's brother; and Hannah Larson.

Thanksgiving for  Doug Austin participating in Via de Cristo this weekend, and for all who have died in service to our nation. 

Safekeeping for Ed and Colleen Vitek as they relocate to Minnesota.

For the Orphans of Mnene Parish , including Tatenda Chipa and Juliet Moyo.

Tatenda is a confident, congenial young lady who turned 24 this month.  This year she is completing her first year at Great Zimbabwe University.  Her two sisters are also in the GSLC support program. Tatenda's Mail For Mnene partners are the Allsbury and Wedegaertner families.
Juliet  is a friendly 23 year old young lady.  She had been in our support program since 2006 but left in 2014, got married and has 2 small children. She is happily married, living with her husband and in-laws.  They hope to build a homestead for their young family.  Juliet said that she would benefit from learning a skill, but those plans are incomplete at this time.  We continue to hold her in our prayers!  Her Mail For Mnene partner is Kirsten Larson and 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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