Here's what's happening at . . . .

Worship & Education
CHRISTMAS WORSHIP
On Christmas Eve at 5:00 p.m., we will gather to celebrate the birth of Christ. The service will include special music, holy communion, and candle lighting. Please join us! 

On  December 29 , we will celebrate with one service of lessons and carols at 10:30 a.m. 
CLASSES THIS SUNDAY  
Sunday School classes begin at 9:10 a.m. Child care is available for children five and younger in the nursery.
 
Elementary School Children
The class will begin with music in the choir room and then go to Room 3 of the Education Wing for a Bible lesson using the Godly Play approach.  

Confirmation Class
The class is currently on break, and will resume in January. 

Intersections Class
The class will use material from Living Well through Advent 2019: Practicing Peace with All Your Heart, Soul, Strength, and Mind. All confirmed high school youth and adults are welcome to attend.
ORNAMENTS SHARE THE STORY OF JESUS
Here is an article from Living Lutheran magazine about the decorations some congregations, including Good Shepherd, use on their Christmas trees each year. 


In the spirit of  Christmas,  many congregations decorate evergreen trees for their sanctuaries. Often these trees are covered in white and gold ornaments in the shapes of religious symbols and ancient Greek letters, such as the  ichthus , or fish, the symbol for Christianity. These handmade ornaments are called Chrismons, short for Christ monograms.
At Good Shepherd
CALL PROCESS UPDATE
Council has met with the call committee's primary candidate, Pastor Ken Albright, and has unanimously agreed to extend the call. Pastor Ken will meet with the congregation on Sunday, January 5, after each service.  Council has called a special congregational meeting to be held on Sunday, January 12, when members of our congregation can decide, via written ballot, whether or not to extend the call to Pastor Ken.

Pastor Ken has worked in ministry for 25 years in four congregations. His wife is Charlotte and they have two adult daughters who live in NC.  More detailed information about Pastor Ken will be mailed to members and friends of Good Shepherd by the end of this week. 
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED TO WORK WITH OUR CHILDREN

The schedule for 2020 is being made and more helpers are needed to work with our children. Specifically, we need nursery care workers (for children five and younger during the Sunday School hour and during the 10:30 a.m. worship service), and story tellers and door people for the elementary children's Sunday school class (the story teller uses the Godly Play approach to tell a Bible story and the door person supports the children in their learning during the class). 

If you can help with any of these opportunities to serve at Good Shepherd, please contact the church office ( lcgs@comporium.net or 883-3680). Thank you!
CHRISTMAS COOKIE SUNDAY

Christmas Cookie Sunday is December 22 following  both worship services. Bring some cookies to share! 
WELCA EPIPHANY PARTY
The Women of the ELCA will enjoy an Epiphany party in the home of Barbara Meyer on Tuesday, January 7, at 12:00 p.m.  Barbara will provide the meat and drinks. Guests are asked to bring a side dish to share.  Sandra Ostermeier will be offering a devotional and there will be a collection of unwrapped men's clothing to be donated to Living Waters Lutheran Church in Cherokee. All women and their spouses are welcome!  Please contact Barbara Meyer (blmeyer@comporium.net) with any questions.
OUTREACH MINISTRY COORDINATOR REPORT TO COUNCIL
December, 2019
Community Involvement
I attended the Reentry Initiative meeting on November 26, a newly formed group that aims to coordinate needed services and support for those who are released from jail or prison, with the goal of reducing recidivism. The group is a coordinated effort of Transylvania, Henderson and Polk Counties.
 
I attended the CARE Coalition healthcare workgroup meeting on December 2. Currently, the group is focused on supporting those affected by chronic pain issues, and advocates for safe storage and disposal of medications.
 
I co-led a journaling and discussion small group session at Sharing House on November 26, and at Good Shepherd on December 10. At the request of group members, the class will continue into 2020.
 
I attended the Getting Ahead graduation and luncheon on December 11. Eight members graduated from Sharing House's most recent Getting Ahead class.
 
World and Community Committee
Along with several others from Good Shepherd, I attended the mission partner meeting at Living Waters Lutheran Church on November 13.
 
Robert McKeown and I attended a two-day training in Asheville on trauma/stress and resiliency skills on December 3 and 4. Robert and I will work with other Reimagining Health Collaborative (RHC) team members to determine how best to share this useful information with our congregation.
 
I met with Good Shepherd member Mark Merritt on December 6, to begin discussion of the suicide curriculum for churches we would like to co-present at Good Shepherd in the new year. 
 
RHC team members are working with a suicide awareness and prevention expert and others to try to bring a comprehensive suicide intervention training (ASIST - Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) to our community this spring.
 
Candidacy Process and Education Plans
I will attend a week-long diaconal formation event in Minnesota in early January, which is a requirement of my candidacy process through the NC Synod.
 
Respectfully submitted,
Kimberly Dunbar,  Outreach Ministry Coordinator
December 13, 2019
COMING SOON AT GOOD SHEPHERD . . .

Sunday, December 22
  8:00 a.m.  Worship Service (Sanctuary)   
  9:00 a.m.  Coffee Hour (Fellowship Hall)
  9:10 a.m.  Sunday School Classes (Education Wing)
10:30 a.m.  Worship Service ( Sanctuary)
11:30 a.m.  Coffee Hour (Fellowship Hall)

Membership & Evangelism
SERVING THIS SUNDAY

Interim Pastor................................................................................Rev. Dr. Richard Graf
Minister of Music ..................................................................................... David Gresham
Organist ......................................................................................................Vance Reese
Outreach Ministry Coordinator..............................................................Kimberly Dunbar
Assisting Minister ..................................................................Jody Schuld / Bill Johnson 
Readers.......................................................................Sandy Ostermeier / Lorel Durlak
Ushers ....................Debbie & Paul Cooper  /  Don Agnew & Don Rumph, Victor Emaus
Acolytes ............................................................................Jody Schuld / Sophie Dunbar
Greeters ......................Susan & Mike Becker  / Patricia & Hal Galloway, Jack Gresham
Child Care during Sunday School............................................................Zia McConnell
Elementary Sunday School Teacher.......................................................Heather Merritt
Elementary Sunday School Door Person.................................................................TBD
Child Care during Worship ....................................................................Kimberly Dunbar
Altar Care & Communion Bread ..................................Kate Reinke & Sheila Swancara
Tellers ...................................................................................Tom Reinke & Lorel Durlak
Doorkeeper of the Day .................................................................................Lorel Durlak
Coffee Hour...........................................................................Christmas Cookie Sunday                                                                                                                        
World & Community
BAKED SWEET POTATOES NEEDED
Thank you to everyone who has signed up to provide baked sweet potatoes for the 21st Annual Community Christmas Dinner that will be held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church on 
December 25. A few more pans need sponsors. If you can help, please
 sign up on the bulletin board. The pans and recipe are available in the Fellowship Hall. Thank you!!
GOOD SHEPHERD'S GIVING TREE
Through our giving tree, you can s
ponsor a gift to benefit these programs: Sharing House's Christmas Blessings and ELCA Good Gifts. Stop by the tree to find out more and sponsor an ornament., or contact Kimberly Dunbar (883-3680 or kimberlylcgs@comporium.net). Please turn in donations for Sharing House by December 22. Donations for ELCA's Good Gifts will be collected through the end of the year. 
WORSHIP AT LIVING WATERS
On December 1, eight people from Good Shepherd traveled to Cherokee, NC to worship with the congregation of Living Waters Lutheran Church. Bill and Laurie Johnson, Jackie Jenkins, Ellen Dozier, Isa and Victor Emaus, Rich Handschin and Janice Leibe reflected on their time with the people of Living Waters and want to share their thoughts with all of you. This is the third part of a four-week series. 

Sunday School class at Living Waters
The people at Living Waters do stuff differently than us, they are not just a church. They are also a food pantry. The songs are in their native language. They cleanse your spirit with dry herbs that they use for people to breath in and for Advent and the 4 weeks of Advent they have 4 candles and each week of Advent they light a candle.

Everybody looked happy. They seemed like a church family. I enjoyed listening to them speak their language. It was cool to see how they did church. I didn't know that they cleansed themselves before church.  It was cool that they had Sunday School during church. I'm used to having it before. They were all very nice.

I enjoyed seeing people I had met before and being greeted with a hug. It felt like I belonged there. Surely God's Spirit is in that place as they go about the work of Jesus "in word and in deed."
In Our Community
MEDICATION SAFETY
Using a lockbox for your medications might be something to consider when friends and family are visiting during the holidays. The CARE Coalition of Transylvania County is giving lockboxes away. Simply call 884-1750 to arrange to pick one up from the Community Services Building at 106 E. Morgan Street in Brevard. You can also purchase one for about $11 at Walmart.  Additionally, if you have medications that you no longer need, you can drop them off year-round at the Transylvania County Sheriff's Office at 153 Public Safety Way in Brevard. 
JOIN THE JOURNEY TO MONTGOMERY
St. John's Lutheran Church in Salisbury is planning a Civil Rights tour of Montgomery and Selma in March 2020, and you're invited! The tour includes the Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, as well as Freedom Rides Museum, the Rosa Parks Museum, and the Civil Rights Memorial Center and more. Join this journey of history and learning.


ELCA, NC Synod, & LWF News
MIDNIGHT STILLNESS
In her December column for  Living Lutheran , ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reflects on the mystery of the season: the expectation and longing of Advent and the true gifts of Christmas - "the helpless baby in a wooden manger, a broken man on a cross." 

LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS
LWF CHRISTMAS MESSAGE 2019
"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it." (John 1:5) Dear friends. I greet you with the Words of Scripture in John 1:5, saying, "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it." Once again, as we celebrate Christmas, we greet each other with the words "Merry Christmas". Yet we also know that life is not at all merry for many families, communities and countries around the world. For many, this time may be marked by hate, anger and suspicion. There are many whose lives may be filled with disappointment, deep sorrow and loneliness. Amid such suffering and gloom, the gospel offers us the hope of "... light in the darkness..."


The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd
(828) 883-3680     lcgs@comporium.net     lutheranchurchbrevardnc.com
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