OnLine Enews - Sept 13-20, 2023
Rev. Tom Willetts
Saturday Worship 4:45pm - CHAPEL
Sunday Worship 10:00am - SANCTUARY


Wednesday, Sept 13th at 1pm - Alzheimer's Caregivers Support Group - Conf B
Thursday, Sept 14th at 9am - Laundry Love
Thursday, Sept 14th at 10am - Grief Share - Conf B
Sat & Sun - Sept 16 & 17 - MEMBERSHIP WEEKEND
Monday, Sept 18th at 11:30am - LUNCH OUT at Smoke'n Pit
Monday, Sept 18th at 1pm - Finance meeting - Conf B
Monday, Sept 18th at 3pm - Trustees meeting - Conf B
Tuesday, Sept 19th at 10am - Caring Meeting - Conf B
Tuesday, Sept 19th at 1pm - Leadership meeting - Conf B
Wednesday, Sept 20th in Sanctuary - LIFELINE SCREENING
Thursday, Sept 21st at 10am Grief Share - Conf B
Friday, Sept 22nd 10am Alzheimers Caregiver Support Group

Opening Prayer

O God, whose grace and mercy flow like an endless river from your great being, help me now to place myself in the path your rushing love and limitless compassion, that I may find my spirit renewed. AMEN


Last week Jesus transitioned from FAITH to FORGIVENESS as his major theme. Peter asks the obvious question. “Lord. How many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” (21). I’m sure Peter thought he was being super-righteous in offering to forgive seven times. After all the previous standard was one for one – “eye for and eye, tooth for a tooth.” (Exodus 21:24). How much forgiveness is required? 22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

Let’s read the scripture.

Matthew 18:21-35 NIV

The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”

22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’

30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.

32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”


As forgiven disciples of Jesus Christ our forgiveness of others is beyond any count.
The forgiveness we have received from God is our life. As our lives are redeemed and
forgiven we must forgive. That is beyond 7 times or 77 times 7. To count is to measure or
limit. The consequence of forgiven disciples not offering forgiveness and instead seeking revenge is a tortured life. To limit forgiveness is to torture ourselves as we look forward to revenge. That is what happens to the ungrateful servant when he is judged by the King the second time.

Forgiven disciples are to live with gratitude for our new life and follow Jesus' calling in our
lives. That is our hope and calling.

Bishop N.T. Wright offers this commentary on forgiveness.

Forgiveness is more like the air in our lungs. There’s only room for you to inhale the next lungful when you’ve just breathed out the previous one. If you insist on withholding it, refusing to give someone else the kiss of life they may desperately need, you won’t be able to take any more in yourself, and you will suffocate very quickly. … The key thing, …. is not that one should therefore swallow all resentment and ‘forgive and forget’ as though nothing happened. The key thing is that one should never, ever give up making forgiveness and reconciliation one’s goal.
Matthew for Everyone, Part 2 by N.T. Wright, Westminister John Knox Pess, Louisville KY. 2004. Pg. 39.


The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. – 2 Corinthians 13:14

Pastor Tom
The next Membership Weekend

Sept 16th and Sept 17th

Let Audrey Martin 239-731-5824 know you would like to join or indicate it on your Yellow Let's Connect Cards.
Volunteers always welcomed - let us know what you are interested in doing on your YELLOW LET'S CONNECT CARD.
P.A.W.S. (Pets Are Walking Saints.)

We are visiting a new nursing facility on Sept. 20th at 10am.
It is Bayside Senior Living at 3501 Hancock Bridge Parkway., NFM.

We have some of our Church family residing there. Our fur babies are anxiously waiting.

Laundry Love for the month of August
served 71 individuals.

We serve 2 days a month
the 2nd Thursday and the 4th Tues.

Volunteers are still needed so come down to the Pondella Laundromat to help us out.
JOIN US - Online - Sunday Morning on Facebook & YouTube.
Find us at:
OR on YouTube: Good Shepherd UMC NFM.

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please call us at 239/543-2686.
Good Shepherd United Methodist Church | 239/543-2686
2951 Trail Dairy Circle, North Fort Myers, FL 33917