If you walk into my office you'll notice two things right off the bat.

First, it looks like a child has been in there. And they have. There are toys and tchotchkes all over the shelves. I'm often looking for something to occupy little hands while I try to work.

The second thing you'll probably notice is my (growing) wall of icons. I know, I know, there's a nasty little rumor being spread around Christianity (for at least the last 500 years) that suggests that Lutherans aren't supposed to like icons. That they are idols. We don't pray to saints after all, so why would we keep these pictures of them with little halos around?

Sometimes it feels like Protestants have an allergic reaction to icons. I even hear some people say, "That's too Catholic..."

If we've had a bad experience in churches that displayed icons, I can certainly see the hesitation to have them around. In a similar way, I've had less than stellar experiences in churches with stages and bands, and have a generally negative reaction when I walk into a church and don't see the things I associate with worship: a cross, an altar, a pulpit, paraments, etc.

But let me make the case for icons for a second, especially icons of Mary, because I think there's some value to be found here for Lutherans.
Sunday's Readings
Psalm 34
Luke 1:46-55 

This Sunday, we will celebrate sharing our gifts.  You are invited to bring cookies and recipes to church services to share and remember to help fulfill the school supplies needs for Lutheran Services Carolinas and Families Together.  

We will are welcoming John Jahr our new Music Minister this Sunday!  

This is the last weekend to Order Your T-shirts for Rally/Raleigh Days! On Saturday and Sunday, September 8 and 9, members and friends of Good Shepherd will go out into our community to serve. To signify your participation in this nationwide ELCA day of service, order a t-shirt to wear when you serve. Order online or complete the form available in the narthex.

Sunday, August 12 Morning worship services will feature the children of Good Shepherd performing "o CHICKEN of LITTLE faith." With singing, acting and costumes, this adorable story about having faith in God is sure to be uplifting for all! Worship with communion will be held, as usual, at 5:30 pm.

Summer Sermon Series - Being Christian: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, and Prayer
Sundays, August 19 - September 2  Each Sunday, we will highlight a chapter or two from Rowan William's bookBeing Christian: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, and Prayer. By focusing on each of these four elements of ancient Christianity, we find the foundation for our living faith.

Bluegrass Worship
Sundays, August 19 - September 2   While the order of worship remains the same, the lively music during Bluegrass Worship will have you tapping your toes and maybe even clapping your hands!

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

Health and healing  for Dale Brazil, father of Lila Thome; Dorothy Plucker, mother of Cathy Crane; Dee Buell, mother of Scott Buell; Jordan Fulton, family of Jeff, Zoe and Madison Fulton; and Dorothy Holzworth, mother of Paul Holzworth.

Sympathy  to the  fa mily and friends of June Rodgers, friend of the Neubaum's.

Thanksgiving  for John Jahr's presence as a member of our church staff and as Director of Music Ministry.

For the orphans of Mnene Parish , including Maryjoice Sibanda and Martha Hove.

Maryjoice is 20 and always has a smile on her face.  She attends Midlands State University.  We have not yet learned what her course of study is but were informed that she is doing well.  She visited with our 2017 mission team. She was chosen by her peers to be their representative on the Mnene Orphan Committee.  Her Mail For Mnene partner is the Hoyle family.

Martha is 20 years old.  She was in our support program for 7 years and left school in 2016 to get married.  She returned to Mnene to visit our 2017 mission team.   She has a 2 1/2 year old son and was living with her husband.  We continue to hold her in our prayers.  Her Mail For Mnene partners are Becky and Dick Martin and the Greengrove/Pfefferle families.

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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