OnLine Enews Jan 18-25, 2023
Rev. Tom Willetts
WORSHIP TIMES
Saturday Worship 4:45pm - Sanctuary
Sunday Worship 9am & 10:30am- Sanctuary

THURSDAYS at 1pm - Mysteries of the Bible Study - Conf A
THURSDAYS at 9am - Handbell Rehearsal - Room 1
THURSDAYS at 3pm - Choir Rehearsals in the Chapel
This weekend Jan 21 & 22 envelopes available for Children's Home offering - we will collect your offering on Jan 28 & 29th.
WOMEN'S STUDY - Mon., Jan 23rd - 1-3PM -"WHO CAN WE BE TOGETHER" -Chapel, Pastor Lia will be leading.
Friday, Jan 27th - 10am Alzheimer's Caregivers support grp - Conf B
DEVOTIONAL

Let’s read this weeks scripture lesson.

Matthew 4:12-23 NIV

Jesus Begins to Preach

12 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. 

13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— 

14 to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:

15 “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan,
            Galilee of the Gentiles—
16 the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”

17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

Jesus Calls His First Disciples

18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.

21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Jesus Heals the Sick

23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.

This reflection was written by Bishop Reuben P Job and was taken from A Guide to Prayer for All Who Seek God. Upper Room Books, Nashville, TN. 2003 Pg 81-82.

There was a light drizzle in the air as I walked along a darkening road, hands in my pockets, head down, thinking of a task I was to do and quite oblivious to the world around me. Suddenly a voice called my name. My head came up, I looked around, and there spotted a friend who was driving by and had stopped his car to greet me. We were several thousand miles from my home and a hundred miles from his. I suspect much of my life has been like that, preoccupied with personal issues and oblivious to the voice of God calling to me every day and in every circumstance.

The Bible and saints who have gone before us give ample evidence of God’s consistent call to each of us. The Bible and the saints who have traveled this road before us also make clear the universal nature of God’s call to all humankind. No one is left out, exempted, or overlooked. All are of equal worth and all are called. While we may think of certain vocations as callings, God appears to consider all of life as our calling, and that includes every honorable vocation.

Regularly practicing disciplines of the holy life puts us in a position to hear God’s call clearly. Those disciplines include prayer, fasting, community and personal worship, acts of mercy and compassion, and faithful living.

Hearing is an important step in saying yes to God’s call. But once we hear, we must still decide whether we will go where invited or sent. In other words, hearing may be the easy part of saying yes to God’s call. Once we have heard and counted the cost the most difficult task remains. However, with deep faith in the living God who calls us, the only reasonable response is to say yes. For in our best moments, we know God will ask, only us, to say yes to an invitation that is right and good for us. Listen closely, think deeply, pray fervently, and you will be led to the to the right answer to God’s invitational call. In my experience the right answer is always yes. The good news is that even when I was unable to give the right answer, God has been patient and given me opportunity to grow in faith until I was able to say yes and to claim another part of my inheritance as a child of God.

17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

This is the message of the Gospel spoken to us by Jesus. Draw near and enter into the Kingdom of God by hearing Jesus’ call. Hearing is the first step and the continuing essential step because we are invited to walk in a new Kingdom – God’s kingdom. Have FAITH that the same Jesus who called us continues to walk at our side each and every step of the way of our lives. The right answer is always YES when Jesus calls us to follow him.

Blessings
Pastor Tom
Stewardship and Discipleship

What Is Stewardship?

In biblical terms, Charles Bugg defines stewardship in the Holman Bible Dictionary as "Utilizing and managing all resources God provides for the glory of God and the betterment of His creation." Christian Stewardship regards the obligation of Christians in managing and utilizing intelligently the gifts that God has given. The Christian steward is not only responsible for the financial blessings provided by God but also the spiritual gifts that are given through the Holy Spirit. God wants human beings to be His stewards in the work of creation, redemption, and sanctification.

God has given us everything in creation. Everything already belongs to God. We all get to use what God has provided. How we use God’s gifts is our decision. Disciples of Jesus follow Jesus’ teaching in stewardship. In 1 Peter 4:10-11 we can read,

10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Stewardship involves far more than money. As disciples we should use whatever gift we have received to serve others. Disciples use their gifts to SERVE others. This reflects our love for God and for others. In our world, money makes a clear statement of our values, priorities, and our faithful discipleship. The Good Shepherd Church exists within the world and must function in a world that uses money. In the coming weeks we are going to be asking all members and attenders to offer a pledge of financial support as an act of stewardship and discipleship. We are good stewards of our money in the operations of our church and as members we all bear the responsibility to support the ministry of Good Shepherd.

Please return the enclosed / attached pledge card to the church on or before Sunday, FEBRUARY 5, 2023. With your commitments we be able to move forward in ministry together in the most responsible and effective way.
JOIN THE NEW SMALL GROUP COMMUNITY STUDY


ORDER YOUR BOOK NOW
(it has 12 chapters)
If you are new and want to
join a small community group, please let us know on your YELLOW LET'S CONNECT CARD - or call the office
at 239-543-2686
COMING UP
 
The United Women in Faith’s (new name for the United Methodist Women) Souper Bowl of Caring collection at church, will be the same weekend as the Super Bowl game on February 12th. The Collection will be given to the Harry Chapin Food Bank in Fort Myers. There will be more information in the February newsletter.  
UWF WEEKEND IS SCHEDULED - FEBRUARY 11TH & 12TH
TRASH AND TREASURE SALE
Fri, MARCH 10th & Sat, MARCH 11th

Our annual Trash & Treasure Sale will be here before we know it.

We are accepting donations for our Trash & Treasure sale to be held March 10th & 11th. Please bring items to the church on TUESDAYS after 10am. Bring them around the back of the church and leave them by the container. We will be sorting so please sign up to help.

Items can also be brought anytime (leave stuff at the West Entrance) or by calling the church office to let us know you will be dropping things off. We do have a couple of people with trucks so we can pick up items but if possible bring them to us. We are accepting most items but if you have a question, call the church office at 239-543-2686 between 9am - 3pm Mon thru Thurs. or call Louise Meehan 239-220-0864
WOULD YOU LIKE TO JOIN THE CHURCH?

Please contact Audrey Martin at EMAIL: audreymartin5499@gmail.com, or write it on your yellow LET'S CONNECT CARD or call the office at 239-543-2686.
We will have our next MEMBERSHIP WEEKEND
Feb 18 & 19, 2023.
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Find us at: Facebook.com/goodshepherdumc.org.
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Good Shepherd United Methodist Church | 239/543-2686
2951 Trail Dairy Circle, North Fort Myers, FL 33917 goodshepherdumc.org
OFFICE HOURS MON-THUR 9-3PM