Sept 29-Oct 6, 2021

Rev. Tom Willetts
DEVOTIONAL
Have you ever asked, “Where is God?” It is an easy question to ask in our media saturated culture. Every newscast is filled with news of terrible, horrible events in life. Without fail a reporter or bystander interviewed will say something like, “I don’t understand how this could have happened. Sometimes I wonder if God notices.” Everyone wonders if God notices. Let’s read part of this week’s scripture lesson.

Mark 10:13-16

13 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

“People were bringing little children to Jesus…” We must all bring people to Jesus. These are not disciples bringing people to Jesus – these are just regular people bringing other people to Jesus. Sadly, the disciples rebuked them. Perhaps because “the people” were bothering them or interfering with their “disciple time” with Jesus. Maybe the children were noisy or just not important enough to the disciples. Jesus was indignant at the disciples rebuke. Whatever the reason we must realize that all people need other people to bring them to Jesus. We must not rebuke them or get in the way.

Jesus says, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Verse 15 is key to notice. Everyone is to receive the kingdom of God “like a little child.” We are not to be childish in our discipleship, but rather to receive the kingdom of God like a little child. Henri J.M. Nouwen offers a wonderful insight into our seeking of God.

I am beginning now to see how radically the character of my spiritual journey will change when I no longer think of God as hiding out and making it as difficult as possible for me to find [God], but instead, as the one who is looking for me while I am doing the hiding.

From The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri J.M. Nouwen

While horrible news seems around us, we must remember that the GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ surrounds us and will lift us up. We must be people who bring people to Jesus. Jesus doesn’t prefer anyone over anyone else for any reason or age or understanding. The kingdom of God belongs to those who seek and recognize their need and come to Jesus to receive his blessing. Receiving the kingdom of God like a little child is to fully embrace and trust Jesus. Jesus invites children of all ages to come to him and be received into his arms and to be blessed. A blessing from God is to draw closer to God and know God’s presence in our lives.
Where is God? Waiting to receive us into his loving arms and bless us.

Blessings, Pastor Tom
CLICK ON THE VIDEO LINKS
TO SEE THE BUILDING FROM THE GROUND UP AND THE INTERIOR.
Our God is an Awesome God!
Remembrance and Reflection
MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO PRAYED, SACRIFICED, HELPED AND CONTRIBUTED in any way.
 
Study Committee, Fund Raising, Building Committee, Trustees, Finance, Construction Management Team, Staff, Volunteers.

Vicky Carnevale, Rich Symes, Gary Olson, Bob Wood, Alan Trent, Sandy Boykin, Ann Ekas, Jan Miller, Nancy Quarandillo, Audrey Martin, Stephen Duncan, Kim Wood, Marlene DeGraaf, Bill Hampton, Chuck Twa, Bill Boden, Shirley Scarpella, Sue Symes, Charlie Hayse, Wayne Peterson, Sid Dobson, Alice Green, Ruth Ann Lutgen, Terry Smith, Jackie Hinrichs – Project Manager, Dick Clark Assistant Construction Team Manager, Bart DeGraaf – Building Committee Chair & Construction Team Manager, Marcy Clark, Jim Bobe, Sandy Milbach-Viets, Carolyn Dobson, Louise Meehan, Kay Twa, Bonnie Peterson, Arlene Berger, Bruce Johnson, Edie Huggins, Helen Foster, Leonard Stern, Alan Holt, Barb Yeatermeyer, Shannon Arnold Tran, Christy Koller.

Prayer: Barbara White, Barb Patton, Judy Stephenson, Sharon Gable, Margel Smith, Flora Gooding, Miriam Norris.
 
Construction – Stevens Construction Management – Mark Stevens, President. Architect – Southview Studios - Joleen Darragh, BSSW – Ron Weaver. Building Construction Manager - Alan Bennett and Site Superintendent – Gary Tipton.
 
Advisors & Mentors  Michael Vilardo – Transforming Christian Ministries, Mark Becker - President FUM Foundation, Andy Craske – Vice President of Loans and Investments, Rev. David McIntyre, Rev. Thom Shafer, Rev Ron Digenaro and My Covenant Pastors. Rev Lia Icaza Willetts – daughters Rev. Tiffania Icaza Willetts, and Isabel Willetts.
CHURCH OFFICE HOURS 
Mon– Thurs 9am – 2:00pm - CLOSED FRIDAYS
THANK YOU PASTOR TOM AND PASTOR LIA FOR ALL YOU DO!
There will be a card box in the Narthex during the month of October for notes, cards etc. of appreciation.
God has given us wonderful, loving Pastors.
COVID 19 UPDATE from Lee Health Facebook Page

COVID-19 UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 27, 2021:

As of today, Lee Health has:

- 197 COVID-19 patients isolated in our hospitals (inpatient).

- Of these patients, 6 of them are children being treated at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

- Since Friday, we’ve had 48 new COVID-19 hospital admissions and 61 COVID-19 discharges.

- 60% of our ventilators and 15% of our ICU rooms are available for use. We have 40 COVID-19 patients on ventilators and 56 in the intensive care unit.

- This morning, census was at 82% of staffed operational bed capacity.

- Since the start of the pandemic, 1,147 patients have lost their lives inside our hospitals to COVID-19, including 3 yesterday.

OTHER UPDATES:

A message from Lee Health President & CEO Dr. Larry Antonucci:

“Starting today Lee Health is pleased to announce that we are resuming elective surgeries that require an overnight hospital stay. We paused these surgeries on Aug. 4 for the safety of our community and to help preserve resources as we treated hundreds of patients for COVID-19. While the pandemic is still threatening our community, COVID-19 hospitalizations have reached a level where we can safely restart elective procedures. I thank all of our patients for their understanding as their non-life-threatening surgeries were temporarily delayed. The best thing our community can do to help prevent further COVID-19 surges is to get vaccinated today.

Lee Health offers COVID-19 vaccines for anyone 12 and older at its Community Vaccination Clinic, located inside Gulf Coast Medical Center. It’s open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. and there is no cost for the vaccine.”

It appears we have passed through the worst part of our FOURTH Covid Wave of infections. High rates of infection continue among the unvaccinated, but the broad threat seems to be fading. We will remain vigilant as we want to protect and care for everyone who comes to Good Shepherd. The Church Leadership Team has affirmed that everyone is to please wear a mask when at the church, observe social distancing guidance and wash hands. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and others.
OCTOBER

BIRTHDAY

&

ANNIVERSARIES
Oct 2 Paul Chapman
Oct 3 Chris Wiegand
Oct 4 Ray Bartholomew, Arlett Christensen, Gene Noll, Ted Wood
Oct 8 Kenneth Ferris
Oct 9 Carol Wheeler
Oct 12 Shirley Streul
Oct 13 Cathy Conley
Oct 15 Joseph Wheeler
Oct 17 David Balka, Coleen Curry, Bonnie Dreier
Oct 18 Ryan Kelsey,
Oct 19 Barbara Giragosian
Oct 23 Wayne Sheeley
Oct 24 Martha Bartholomew, Carol Sheeley
Oct 25 Patsy Kirchhoff
Oct 26 Judy Greenstreet
Oct 27 Shirley Morrow
Oct 28 Eugene Greuling
Oct 29 Sue Nagle

ANNIVERSARIES
Oct 1 Eldon and Elnora Good (60)
Oct 2 Jon and Pat Anthony (65)
Oct 6 Tom and Pat Warren (39)
Oct 13 Jim and Patty Jo Bobe (37)
Oct 21 Kevin and Cathy Conley (16)
Oct 23 Jim and Jackie Hinrichs (22)
Oct 24 Lew and Peg Ackley (39)
Oct 25 Ed and Pat McQuiston (52)
UPCOMING EVENTS

Thur., Sept 30 Handbell Practice - Rm 1

Sat., Oct 2 & Sun Oct 3 Communion
11-2pm Cuba Event-Christ Venice UMC

Mon, Oct 4th LUNCH OUT - 11:30am Smokin Pit - everyone invited.


WE DO NEED MORE WORKERS TO HELP SORT BOXES

please sign up in the Narthex
and let us know what days of
the week you are available to
do sorting.
BLESS YOU ALL.

SharRon Thompson
WORSHIP SCHEDULE
Saturday 4:45 PM - CHAPEL
Sunday 10:00 AM - SANCTUARY
Online - Sunday Morning. YouTube is the easiest platform for our upload. If you don’t find the posting on Facebook, check out YouTube.

Find us at: Facebook.com/goodshepherdumc.org.
OR on YouTube: Good Shepherd UMC NFM. PLEASE press SUBSCRIBE (at no cost or obligation to you) then please share our posts to others we will become easier for others to find.
COMMUNITY SMALL GROUPS

“THINK LIKE JESUS, What Do I Believe and Why Does It Matter?” by Randy Frazee

Every participant will need to get a copy of the 8 session study book and the leader will use a DVD to inform and guide the discussions.

There are clipboards in the Narthex to sign up to be a Leader/Host
or join a community group. LEADERS: you may pick up your Leaders Book/DVD at the Ministry Center during office hours.
HANDBELL PLAYERS NEEDED! We plan to start rehearsing again on THURSDAYS at 9am in the handbell room in the Worship Center. If interested, please contact Shannon at shannon.arnold717@gmail.com

CHOIR REHEARSALS WILL RESUME WHEN COVID NUMBERS DECREASE.
ANNUAL CHARGE CONFERENCE BY ZOOM ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 17TH AT 3PM -

PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDARS...
If you would like to receive the ZOOM LINK to attend - please sign up with your name and email address on the clipboards in the Narthex and Chapel entryways.

ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP AUDIT LETTERS
Every year each Methodist Church does a membership audit and the results are presented at the Annual Charge Conferences. This year letters were sent for the second year in a row to:

Arlett Christensen (who has moved - and we received no response to letter for two years.)

Joe & Meg Valentino - letters were sent but no response to letters for two years.

Unless we hear from them their names will be presented at this year's Charge Conference.
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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 9-2PM