OnLine Enews - May 18-25, 2022
Rev. Tom Willetts

In this week’s scripture we are still reading of the final night of Jesus with the disciples in the upper room. Love is a continuing theme. Now is added obedience as an expression of love. An expression of our love for Jesus is our obedience to his teaching. We also receive assurance that Jesus will send us an ADVOCATE to remind us of what Jesus has taught us. We will not face the troubles and trials of this world alone. To conclude Jesus reminds us of his ABIDING relationship with God. He is not acting alone or unilaterally. He is acting with God. They are one. By our love of, faith in, and obedience to Jesus we can be one with God as well. “Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (vs. 27).

Let’s read the scripture:

John 14:23-29

23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe.
How can I be more loving as a disciple of Jesus Christ? Loving Jesus is connected to obeying the teaching of Jesus. Loving is far more demanding than satisfying my feelings or the feelings of others. Loving is about obeying Jesus. I found this devotional prayer helpful. It is written by Kenneth G. Phifer.

I Need to be More Loving

Almighty God,
I know so little of what love in its fullness can be.
My love is marred by jealousy,
   scarred by envy,
       limited by selfishness.
I withhold love at the slightest provocation,
and withdraw myself from involvement with others
   for fear of being hurt.

Still, I know something of what love can be like.
I can remember being forgiven generously and freely
   by someone I had wronged.
I can remember being comforted and cared for
   when, bruised and battered, I crept home.
I can remember being made strong
   by the realization that someone cared.
I am grateful for such experiences,
   for they tell me what love is about.
And if the Lord Jesus be right,
   to know what love is like
 is to know what you are like.

If we humans can manifest unselfishness and concern,
is it not because such experiences are of the very
   nature of that which is most important?
For out of the heart of the Lord Jesus
   came the evidences of his love
       for all kinds of people
   and his refusal to give up on any of us.
I am grateful for that love and for that refusal,
   for in him I have hope.
I can even hope
   that I may catch more of his Spirit in my life.
Will you help me to be more outgoing,
   less sensitive to slights,
   and more alert to the feelings of others?
Will you help me to be less quick to judge
   and less righteous in my indignation?
Will you help me to be more open to life
   and to other people?
Will you give me confidence enough to be less
   defensive and less ready to react to rebuffs?
Give me steadiness and firmness
   and true commitment to the life of faith. Amen.

—From A Book of Uncommon Prayer by Kenneth G. Phifer

Excerpted from A Guide to Prayer for All God’s People. ed. by Job and Shawchuck, Upper Room Books Nashville TN. 1990, pg.177-178.

Our human experiences of love are but glimpses of the love of Jesus for each of us. Our love relationships are not the complete expression of love. Our expressions of love are marred by our sin. They are limited because of our fears and doubts. The Love of Jesus is far more satisfying and demanding. We can only grow in the love of Jesus through obedience to his teaching and the continual realization that the Holy Spirit is with us to guide us as our ADVOCATE. This doesn’t mean that we can do no wrong, but that if we are aware of the Holy Spirits presence we can guard from our sinful natures and obey Jesus’ calling to “love one another as I have loved you.” (Jn. 13:34).

Jesus is preparing us for our daily living and reality. We need his help. We need the Holy Spirt. He is telling us this now “so that when it does happen you will believe.” (vs. 29b).

Pastor Tom


  • WEDNESDAYS - 7pm PASTORS BIBLE STUDY - "Acts for Everyone" - let Pastor know your email and he will send you the ZOOM LINK to attend study.
  • THURSDAYS - 1pm - Mysteries of the Bible Study- Teacher, Rev. Barie Fez-Barringten
  • THURSDAYS -3pm - Choir Rehearsal - Chapel
  • Monday, May 23rd - 1pm FINANCE MEETING
  • Tuesday, May 24th - 10am LEADERSHIP MEETING
  • Friday, May 27th - 10am ALZHEIMER'S SUPPORT GROUP

NOTE: Edie Huggins our bookkeeper will be on vacation May 31 -June 12th.
Laundry Love is coming Tuesday, May 24th from 9am - 5pm at the Laundromart on Pondella.


In cooperation with All Soul’s Episcopal Church, the Missions Team of Good Shepherd would like to invite us all to participate in a loving expression of service to our community. On the FOURTH TUESDAY of EACH MONTH volunteers from All Soul’s and Good Shepherd will be at the LAUNDROMART on Pondella from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Laundry Love is a national non-profit organization which has developed partnerships across the U.S. to help people have clean laundry and thereby increased dignity and value in the community. This is the only Laundry Love in Lee County.

The opportunity is to meet, listen and pray with people who are in need of clean clothes and a helping hand. You can join this mission work by donating funds into the MISSION BOX in the NARTHEX of the Sanctuary or by signing up to volunteer for a shift at the Laundry.

It is a safe location and the management of the laundry is onsite and supportive.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Call Dora Dissmeyer at 612-719-6712

There are many new residents in our community. They are from across the U.S. and haven’t experienced a Florida hurricane. In fact, Lee County hasn’t been directly struck by a major hurricane in several years. Hurricane Irma was the last major storm in our area but spared most of western and northern Lee County from major impacts. Hurricane Charley struck as a category 4 in Punta Gorda in 2004. It was only rated as a Tropical Storm in North Fort Myers.


Lee County Government offers a great resource. Here is the Web Link: Hurricane Preparation Guide ( or at Emergency Management ( .

At this website you can find your evacuation zone and many other resources. There will be public shelters opened for people, but they will not have the capacity for everyone. They are not designed to be comfortable, only safe. If you have a special medical need or condition you must preregister with Lee County. With registration you will be contacted and even provided transportation if needed. If you live in a modular home or a mobile home realize that they do not offer the same protection as a block-built home. The church will not be a safe shelter. The road to the property floods badly and the area is not safe.

Electricity will be cut off by LCEC and FPL (even solar panels) in an effort to limit damage before the storm strikes. It will be slowly restored. Water Pumps will not function. Public Utility supplied water will be at low pressure because sewage lift stations will be running on generators with limited capacity. It will be very hot weather after the storm strikes and relief will be hard to find. Please make a plan now and get ready.
Pastor’s Wednesday ZOOM Bible Study @ 7PM Beginning May 4.
Acts by N.T. Wright - For Everyone Bible Study Guides. Purchase the book here:
The guides in this series are designed to help you understand Scripture in fresh ways under the guidance of one of the world’s leading New Testament scholars. Thoughtful questions, prayer suggestions, and useful background and cultural information all guide you or a group more deeply into God’s Word. Discover how you can participate more fully in God’s kingdom.
Please send an email to Pastor Tom at to receive the ZOOM link. I will send the ZOOM link out by Wednesday at noon so it will be easy to find in your messages. Please read the Introduction and answer the questions in Chapter 1 for our first session. We will cover one chapter each week.
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Good Shepherd United Methodist Church | 239/543-2686
2951 Trail Dairy Circle, North Fort Myers, FL 33917