North Parking Lot Construction Underway!

Construction has now begun on the North Parking project. We got a later start than anticipated, waiting for the necessary governmental approvals and delayed by wet weather. There will be some inconveniences during the construction period, most notably to building entry, traffic flow and parking, but our contractor has committed to minimizing those as much as possible. Most affected will be the north entrance to the building and traffic/parking on the north side of the building. For several weeks early in the project, as grading takes place on the north hillside, parking will also be restricted in a number of additional areas to facilitate movement of the many dump trucks hauling dirt. Please drive carefully and watch for changing directions regarding building entry, traffic flow and parking. Thanks!

The Facilities Management and Planning Committee
Good Shepherd Connect

Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have
commanded you.” The fruit of faithfulness to this mission Jesus has given us is growth. To see people connecting to God is incredible, but as a church grows there is there is a significant hurdle that every congregation hits as it expands: personal connection.
Good Shepherd is no longer a small church, and has not been for quite some time. Over the years of growth, we have found new tools to help us stay connected, whether through name tags, small group ministry, and even newsletters. We now find ourselves once again hitting that connection-growth hurdle. We have heard your deep desire to continue that experience of welcome, belonging, and community that makes Good Shepherd so representative of God’s love. It is time to add another tool to our toolkit to help enable us to maintain this sense of belonging even as the Spirit continues to grow ministry here. This tool is "Good Shepherd Connect."
Good Shepherd Connect is our new church management software and mobile app. A team has been working diligently for many months, implementing a new system to enable our ministry to thrive, with one guiding aim: to harness technology to increase connectedness at Good Shepherd. Technology is never a replacement for personal interaction. But we can use technology to communicate and plan more efficiently, freeing up more time and energy for personal connection.
GSConnect will allow any group that meets (bible studies, small groups, fellowship groups, etc.) to record participation from a mobile device. Why does this matter? This feature allows us to get a better picture of involvement in groups and ministry. We can also identify individuals and groups who are not being reached to help craft future outreach efforts.
GSC has the ability to alert staff if a member stops attending worship or groups for a few weeks. Why does this matter? We always hope that someone will notice this and reach out, but as we grow, we realize this doesn’t always happen. This enables us to reach out with care and concern when a sister or brother is struggling.
GSC will allow members to access their own member record, update their contact info or photo, and see their giving records. Why does this matter? While your staff is glad to do this for you, if members are updating their own information we will see a dramatic increase in good communication and efficiency in staff time, freeing up more time and energy for ministry and personal connection.
GSC will be an amazing tool for lay leaders who coordinate groups or volunteers. Volunteer calendars, quick group email, and communication is all centralized in the same place. Why does this matter? We want everyone at Good Shepherd to use their gifts to do ministry and grow spiritually. The more we can assist those leading others, the more effective their leadership can be!
GSC also has a mobile app that will be a centralized place for communication (in addition to all the existing avenues for communication at GSLC). Newsletters, event sign ups, online giving, sermons, volunteer sign ups, group attendance and more will all be accessible in the mobile app. Why does this matter? The new reality is that Sunday morning is no longer sacred in the wider culture. Work, sports, and many other activities now demand our Sunday morning schedule which means that even when we are deeply committed to GSLC, we may not always
be here for worship. The mobile app allows people to remain connected through the sermons, the news, the community, even if they are in England for work, St. Peter for soccer, or away at college. YOU still matter to Good Shepherd, and you are still a part of this church even when you cannot physically be here.
God’s desire for the Church is for people to connect with one another in deep, personal, and authentic ways. We hope and pray this new tool will enable us to continue to thrive as we live out the mission God has given us to follow Christ, grow in faith, and share God’s love.
Remember. Re: New. Return

This time of year is filled with messages of newness. We can get caught up in the excitement of new things in this season of gift-giving. We hear it and see it all around us. Just the other day I heard an advertisement for an Xbox that said, “Just in time for the holidays. Get a new Xbox for $100 off!” Phew! Close call, we almost missed this opportunity to get a NEW thing at a discounted price! As New Year’s day approaches there is always a sense of creating new resolutions, new practices or setting new goals to accomplish. We live in a fast-paced, throw-away society that seems to have a penchant for anything new.

As people seeking to follow Christ, we have a slightly different relationship with newness. Certainly there are places where we value the new when God is doing a new thing in our midst. In Jesus’ ministry there were times when he said things like this:

 “No one tears a piece from a new garment and sews it on an old garment; otherwise the new will be torn, and the piece from the new will not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.” – Luke 5:36-38

In Acts 10 Peter has a vision from God, where God declares a new way of relating to those who had previously been considered ‘unclean’, the gentiles, which led to explosive growth and radical inclusion for the Church and the kingdom of God.

Yet for Christians, anything new that God does is always embedded in the context of remembering. Over and over throughout the scriptures there is a call to remember, to return to what God has done in the past. We remember who God is and what God is done. Without this context we cannot fully understand what God is working now.

I will call to mind the deeds of the LORD;
I will remember your wonders of old. – Psalm 71:11
Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God
brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; - Deut. 5:15

As we enter into a new year, rather than seeking new resolutions, new tasks, and new goals, I would suggest we consider a different word: Renew.
Instead of a new plan, perhaps I need to renew my plan to get into nature more for prayer and re-creation. Instead of new activities and schedules to keep, I need a return to more intentional time with my family. Instead of new, wildly unattainable goals, I need to renew those spiritual practices of that have lapsed, remembering the wisdom of those before me to spend time each day in God’s word and prayer. Perhaps I can renew and return to a serving my neighbor.

In this season where the pace has quickened, and everything around us seems swept up in the new, as people of faith may our focus be a bit different.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew and right spirit within me. - Psalm 51:10

Pastor Josh
Connect This Year!

I am so excited about our momentum heading into this new year! As we launch Good Shepherd Connect, each of us has a renewed opportunity to ensure that we are fully registered at Good Shepherd with your current information and photo, as well as to reestablish your interest in distinct areas. Please keep in mind that if you do not see an area that sparks your interest, that you can contact me or the Pastors to share an idea you may have for yet another service, activity or support function. Of course, if technology just isn’t for you, good old fashion phone calling works too. I have been testing Good Shepherd Connect and can report that it was super easy to change my data, update my photo and to see my giving information. This new feature will make involvement easier. We will also aim to better track what is happening throughout all activities. 

This year we will see more exciting results of the Capital Campaign with expanded parking and an updated sanctuary. I know it’s hard to get excited about roofs and HVAC units, but our facility will be ready for the good work of church with these improvements complete. As we work through the Reconciled in Christ process, consider an international mission trip, support a Feed My Starving Children community pack to further expand the life saving work of meals for children and continue to develop our generosity for stewardship, we are blessed to Follow Christ, Grow in Faith and Share God’s Love in this special place.

So, even if you’re not keen to share your “Downward Dog” (a yoga pose) at church, or are not excited about particular initiatives, I encourage you to connect where you can thrive. Our church has many offerings for involvement. Please consider making this place, your church. Consider connecting at a deeper level and reap the rewards of relationships with great people who share a common desire to worship God in all that we do. 

A "Wink" from the Welcome Ministry Team
by: Elliott Haugen

Happy New Year!   That wish for 2019 may have been linked to your “Merry Christmas” greetings during the past month, but there is another expression that is also appropriately tied to the celebration of Jesus’ birth – “Thank you.” The start of the new year is a great time to reflect on and be thankful for the blessings of faith, families, and friends.  Therefore, on behalf of the Welcome Team – Thank You .   We and Good Shepherd appreciate you for being you, for sharing God’s love, for being so caring and supportive, and for helping all of us to grow in and experience the true meaning of Jesus Christ.
January is also a time for resolutions, but I will leave that up to your own imagination and goals. However, let me suggest a prayer for 2019 that the Welcome Team uses during its monthly meetings and is a meaningful way to start the new year: 

Dear Lord: Your church is composed of people like me. I help make it what it is. 
It will be friendly, if I am. Guests will feel welcome, if I welcome them.
Its pews will be filled, if I help fill them. It will do great work, if I work.
It will make generous gifts to many causes, if I am a generous giver.
It will bring other people into its worship and fellowship, if I invite and bring them.
It will be a church where people grow in faith and serve you, if I am open to such growth and service.
With your help Lord, let us dedicate ourselves to the task of being all the things you want your church to be.   Amen.

(Note: A “wink” is a brief form of communications that implies a hello or friendly greeting. Watch for future Winks with thoughts and information about Good Shepherd’s welcoming ministry.)
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