I've been wrestling with the Parable of the Wedding Feast this week, and we'll wrestle with it together as it's our Gospel for this Sunday. It's a nice story at first, with everyone being invited to the feast: good and bad, worthy and unworthy. But things take a turn, and quickly. Before we know it, the king sees a man who is not wearing a wedding robe and casts him into the outer darkness, where there is "weeping and gnashing of teeth."


We will unpack this together - don't worry. But as I've wrestled, it seems to me that one message of this complex story is that it's not that we have to "wear the proper robe," or live our lives perfectly, to retain God's love and favor. This demand for proper attire speaks, instead, to God's deep desire for us to respond to God's invitation with all that we are. God invites us, freely, without condition, to a banquet of grace and love and forgiveness and healing and transformation, and full, beautiful life. And God wants us to really SHOW UP. We'll surely miss out if we don't! And not because we've done something wrong and are being punished, but because we miss out when we don't bring our whole selves to the party.

God's free invitation calls us to show up with all of who God created us to be. It calls us to embrace the invitation and live accordingly. It calls us to bold, brave, authentic living.

One example of someone really "showing up" came to me this week via Twitter, believe it or not. Apparently written by a third grader, the following poem has been stunning folks with its insight and confidence.

"The True Feminine"
I am not sugar and spice and everything nice.
I am art.
I am a story.
I am a church bell, gonging out wrongs and rights and normal nights.
I was baby. I am child. I will be mother.
I don't mind being considered beautiful, I do not allow that to be my definition.
I am a rich pie strong with knowledge.
I will not be eaten.

This young author is really showing up to the party. May we all be bold, brave, and authentic enough to do the same.

- Pastor Marsha

This Sunday's Readings
Isaiah 25:1-9
Psalm 23
Philippians 4:1-9
Matthew 22:1-14

Lutheran Questions, Lutheran Answers  SME  - Sundays, October 15 & 22 at 9:30 am, Fellowship
Hall  Each 
of these sessions led by a pastor will focus on a different Reformation topic. This Sunday, we discuss "How can Lutherans believe in grace alone if they also believe in faith alone and scripture alone?"

Congregational Meeting with vote to approve updated constitution - October 15 at 12:00 pm Detailed information on the proposed changes is available  here .

Endowment grant applications are being accepted through next Sunday, October 15.  More information is available at  gslchurch.org/endowment .

Autumn in the Sanctuary   Bring in pumpkins and gourds to decorate the Sanctuary each Sunday. Plastic plates will be available.
Book Study Group - Thursday, October 19, 10:00 am, Underwood West    Pastor Tim will facilitate the discussions of  Silence: A Novel  by Shusaku Endo and William Johnston. Contact Jayne, 919-847-5434 with questions.
Interested in Good Shepherd? Want to Know More About Religion in General? Join us for Way of the Shepherd all-church study - 
October 22, 6:30-7:30 pm. We'll gather in the Fellowship Hall for food and conversation on the topic "Why Bother Being a Part of a Religion at All?" 
Health and healing  for Marge Franck, mother of Bruce Franck; Cheryl, cousin of Mary Franck; Chris, friend of Jenna Lewis; John Davis; Betty Hathcock, aunt of Jeanne VanDivender; Orv Melcher; John Davis; Mickey Neubaum; and Kathy Mackes.

Safekeeping  for Lois Walker and Cliff Wilcoxen, traveling to Germany; Jake Edwardson; Nathan Anderson; Emily Graff; Megan Hutzenbuhler; Bryan Lester; Lt. John Gibson III; and Major Anthony Coulter .

For the orphans of Mnene Parish, including including Simbarashe Dube and Nodias Sigono.

Nodius is 17 and attends Form 3 classes at Musume Boarding School. He has an outgoing personality. He looks up to his four older siblings (all in our support program), several of whom are now in post-secondary education. He joined our mission team at Victoria Falls. His Mail For Mnene partners are the Plavocos and Strawbridge families and Good Shepherd Lutheran Preschool.
Simba is 21, taking Form 4 classes at Mnene High school. He joined our mission team at Victoria Falls. During school breaks (1 month long) he lives with his Grannie, helping to tend to the maize & vegetable garden on their homestead. About 15 years ago, he and his Grannie, along with his two cousins (also in our support program) moved to a two-room home, built with  GSLC support. His Mail For Mnene partner is the Kovac family.

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