According to Olivia B. Updegrove in the new book
InterGenerate, "Most churches do not have an intentional process for welcoming children and preparing them to engage in worship, and thus children and their families may be set up for failure". When I read this last Thursday, I gave myself a little pat on the back because just two weeks ago, Good Shepherd facilitated an wonderful event that did just that in our "Blessing for Welcoming Children into Worship." The pride I felt quickly became challenged as I read on, "Without important conversations for the entire worshiping community, a child may never feel welcomed as an active participant in Sunday morning worship." This sentence alone gave me the kick-in-the-butt I needed to ramp up my storytelling. We are making so many important and intentional cross-generational tweaks to our already-strong existing ministries, but if these stories are not passionately shared with the uninitiated, the vision of a vibrant cross-generational congregation could end up dead in the water. So, without further ado, here's a story worth sharing!
On Sunday, October 7, Good Shepherd introduced our new "Milestone Blessing" for our two/three-year-olds and families. Between our two Sunday morning worship services, we hosted the "Blessing for Welcoming Children into Worship" which consisted of story time with one of our OWLs (Older, Wiser Lutherans) and a roaming & rhyming blessing through our worship space. Following the Christ candle, our young worshipers journeyed from the narthex to the pews, into the Haven, past the choir loft, pulpit, offering baskets, altar and finally to the baptismal font. With each stop accompanied a short poem about that specific area.
Sit up close to all can see why we gather together as God's family.
Whether you stand or sit or sprawl in your pew,
we need you here so we can see God's image in you!
"We thank you Lord Jesus for the communion table."
When we desire is when we are able to take part in this feast,
with juice and/or bread.
Share in this meal, our souls will be fed.
Do you remember this place? You've been here before.
We've wound up at the beginning at the end of our tour.
Washed and welcomed in these baptismal font waters,
God has made us each God's own sons and daughters.
After the last reading, each child was handed the poems in a laminated picture book attached to a Velcro collar and was instructed to strap in to one of their favorite stuff animal, making it their new worship buddy. Finally, parents dipped their finger in the font, marking the sign of the cross on their child's forehead saying these words printed on the back page of the booklet - "Child of God, may God bless you as we worship and grow in this community together." Amen.
As we explore new ways to welcome our youngest into worship, will you renew your promise to support and pray for the newly baptized in their life in Christ? I am thankful to worship in a community that values children not because they are "cute", but because they are sacred part of Christ's worshipping body.
Thank you for reading. As we grow together, I have a feeling that pretty soon, you'll have your own cross-generational stories to share, too!
Director, Cross+Generational Ministry
This Sunday's Readings
On Eagles Wings
Let's Donate a TON to Support Recent Hurricane Victims
So far this month, Good Shepherd has collected 1,500 pounds of food for the Food Bank of Eastern & Central NC. 500 more pounds to go! Grab a bag outside the Sanctuary Sunday, and bring filled bags back to church by next Sunday.
continues this Sunday at 9:30 am in Fellowship Hall i
n addition to the weekly Sunday Morning Education classes.
Stop by the College Care Packages table in the Narthex
to sign a card and drop off donations for our college care packages. Items needed include individually-wrapped packs of chips, cookies, candy, soup, tea/coffee, hot chocolate, and travel-size toiletries such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, tissues, Q-tips, etc.
Stewardship Seminar: Theological Forum
Today, 12:00-12:30 pm, Underwood West
What is it from Lutheran theology that contributes to why and how we give? Join us for this seminar to find out! Light refreshments will be served.
WOW with Pizza Dinner
Wednesday, October 24, 5:15 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.
It's Halloween at GSLC Coffeehouse - A Favorite Coffeehouse Event!
Friday, October 26, 7:00-8:30 pm in Fellowship Hall Youth and adults are invited to help with set-up, serving, and clean-up for approximately 150 guests at this monthly inclusive event featuring entertainment, refreshments, and fellowship for adults of all abilities. Sign up to serve at http://bit.ly/GSLCCoffeehouse (case sensitive).
Men's Cornhole Tournament sponsored by Rams Men's Ministry - Saturday, October 27, 3:00-6:00 pm, GSLC - All men and boys 12 years old + are invited to an afternoon of cornhole, competition, fun and food! Hot dog dinner will be served. Cash prize will be awarded. $7/person. Register online.
Houston Reflections: Cross Generational SME
Sunday, October 28, 9:30-10:30 am, Fellowship Hall
This past summer, 30 youth and adults from Good Shepherd participated in the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering in Houston, TX. Come and hear stories from their experience. Breakfast snacks will be provided!
Chili Cook-Off Fundraiser - Sunday, October 28, 12:00-1:30 pm, Fellowship Hall - Enter a chili and/or help us judge a winner at this year's Reformation Sunday Chili Cook-Off. Proceeds will support the 2021 ELCA Youth Gathering participants headed to Minneapolis. Sign up and RSVP on Realm or by contacting the church office.
All Saints Day Service
Thursday, November 1, 12:00-12:30 pm
in Memorial Garden Join us for a brief worship service to celebrate the saints that have gone before us.
All Saints Remembrances
We will celebrate the lives of our loved ones who entered the Church Triumphant at an All Saints service on Sunday, November 4. Write the names of your deceased loved ones in the Book of Life located on the table as you enter the Narthex. Please note with an asterisk if they passed away in 2018, and they will be celebrated by name at the service. On All Saints Sunday, you are also invited to place photos of the saints that went before us near the altar.
More information about upcoming events is available in
Health and Healing for
Jim Leng, son of Amelie Leng.
Sympathy to the family and friends of Mike Smith, member of Coffee Grinds band; Brenda Edith Carrier, Shirley Lombardi's aunt; and Roberta Danielson, grandmother of Ben Goldston; friend of Lois Walker.
For the Orphans of Mnene Parish
, including Wiseman Moyo and Nyaradzai Dube.
Nyaradzai will be 18 in a few months. She attends Mnene boarding school, taking Form 4 classes and is doing well in her studies. She especially enjoys her math & science classes. She manages her physical disabilities with the use of crutches & a wheel chair, provided through GSLC support. She has become good friends with Thelma, a classmate, who assists her when needed. Her Mail For Mnene partner is Abigail Beebe.
Wiseman will be 21 next month. He was taking Form 5 classes at Masase boarding school. He left school and is not at home. Efforts to locate him have been unsuccessful. Mr. Mposi will be working to locate him. It is feared that he was enticed to go away from Mnene with the promise of panning for gold. We continue to hold him in our prayers and will report any updates that we receive from the Mnene committee in Zimbabwe. His Mail For Mnene partners are the Whittecar group & a GSLC Christcare group.
Visit the Wittenberg Information Center in the Narthex for photos of this week's orphans and more information on the Mnene Ministry.