Jan 12-19, 2022
Rev. Tom Willetts
DEVOTION
The Generosity Challenge has begun - and will continue for the next 3 weeks, concluding on Sunday, January 30th with the presentation of our financial faith commitments during worship to support the ministries of Good Shepherd UMC. We will accept the challenge to grow in generosity. THE GENEROSITY CHALLENGE – 28 days of Gratitude, Prayer and Faith will guide our challenge. There are several ways to engage in this challenge. A DEVOTIONAL GUIDE with 28 days of devotions, reflection and daily challenges is available. Small groups meeting at the church and around our community will also be studying THE GENEROSITY CHALLENGE WORKBOOK which provides discussion guidance and a teaching DVD along with daily reflections and challenges. On the four weekends between January 8 thru January 30th, Pastor Tom will be preaching on the four aspects of the GENEROSITY CHALLENGE.

We begin by realizing that we all bear the generous image of God. We are all created in the image of God and God is a generous and loving God. That original image has been covered by our sin. It can be revealed and restored by God’s forgiveness and grace and our faithful discipleship. Whose image do you bear? This is the beginning question?

GRATITUDE should be our fundamental response to God’s generous love and grace. Jesus met ten lepers as he traveled to Jerusalem. They all cried out for healing. Jesus healed them all of leprosy. One showed the life changing power and effect of GRATITUDE for Jesus’ generosity. Let’s read the story from Luke 17: 11-19.

 Jesus Heals Ten Men With Leprosy

11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.

15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.

17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

All ten lepers asked for healing from their disease. Jesus heard them all. Jesus healed them all. They all received the GENEROUS LOVE of God’s grace. They were all happy. They were all excited. Only one returned to Jesus and gave thanks – expressed GRATITUDE for God’s grace and healing. His GRATITUDE led to him also realizing a blessing from Jesus. “19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” He became a faithful disciple of Jesus.

Notice that the Generous Love of Jesus was expressed in the border region between Samaria and Galilee. God’s grace knows no boundaries or limits. Also, notice that Jesus healed all ten lepers, simply because they asked. Jesus didn’t prequalify the lepers to determine who was more or less worthy. Jesus simply responded to their group plea for mercy. Jesus’ healing miracles are always for the glory of God, not because some are more deserving than others. All ten were healed. Nine ran home to share the good news of their healing with their family and friends. I’m sure they celebrated a wonderful homecoming, but only one returned in GRATITUDE to thank Jesus. The GRATEFUL person was a foreigner – not of the same tribe, nation, clan or culture as Jesus. The GRATEFUL person received the blessing of Jesus and realized the full measure of Jesus' GENEROUS love. He became a disciple. He believed. He received. His life was eternally transformed.

There is no doubt of the GENEROUS LOVE OF GOD made known through Jesus. God is showering love upon all people all the time. Few recognize God’s generosity and respond in gratitude. Sadly, most think they earned it or deserved it. That is why Paul can write these words from jail in Rome in a letter to the church of Philippi. Philippians 4:12-13; “12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

God does not make us “super-people” able to leap tall buildings or defeat great foes by God’s love for us. God’s generous love provides us the opportunity to be grateful for all of our lives lived faithfully as a disciple. We see the world as God sees the world and we can be content in any and every situation because we are grateful for God’s generous love always being poured out into our lives.

Spend some time this week reflecting upon God’s generosity realized in your life. When did you experience God’s presence, God’s healing, or God’s guidance? What was your response? Were you grateful? How did you express that gratitude? Did it change your life?

Enjoy the GENEROSITY CHALLENGE.
Blessings, Pastor Tom

Covid 19 UPDATE - JANUARY 11, 2022: As of today, Lee Health has:
- 284 COVID-19 patients isolated in our hospitals (inpatient).
- Of these patients, 9 of them are being treated at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.
- This morning, our hospital census was at 93% of staffed operational bed capacity.
- Yesterday, Lee Health emergency departments saw 1,063 patients. Before the current omicron surge, our emergency departments were averaging about 900 patients per day.
- Yesterday, Lee Convenient Care saw 512 patients, our LCC locations were averaging about 360 patients per day before the omicron surge.
- Lee TeleHealth is currently free and is an easy alternative to avoid longer than normal wait times at urgent care centers. To access Lee Telehealth, download the Lee Health app or visit www.LeeTelehealth.org.
To get a VACCINATION or BOOSTER visit www.LeeHealth.org for information on booster eligibility and to schedule a vaccination.

DO NOT GO TO a Hospital Emergency Department to get a COVID 19 test. Covid 19 testing is available by appointment at area pharmacies, Lee Health Convenient Care locations, Lee Health Department sites, and Century Link Ballpark location.

We are not at the peak of this wave of Covid 19 infections. The peak is projected to occur in three weeks. VACCINATION and getting a BOOSTER is your best protection from serious illness. Break through cases are occurring but the symptoms are far less severe. PLEASE WEAR A MASK if in any public setting. WASH HANDS regularly. Maintain SOCIAL DISTANCING as much as possible. If you are experiencing any “cold symptoms” please isolate from others and carefully monitor your symptom progress. 

WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THE UMC?
What will happen to my church?

Church Wide Meeting
ALL ARE INVITED.

WEDNESDAY, January 19th at 1 PM.

Rev. Jay Therell from the WCA will offer a presentation about the various proposals to be considered in the upcoming GENERAL CONFERENCE of the UMC. All of the proposals will affect the local church. We need to be aware of the issues and the various proposals and how they will affect Good Shepherd Church. We will face some important decisions in the future and we must have an understanding of the issues and options in order to make our best decision.

The internet, Facebook, editorials, and rumors are not reliable sources of information.
Rev. Jay Therell is very well informed as a former U.M.C. leader in the Florida Conference and now as the Executive Director of the Florida Chapter of the WCA.
All are welcome to attend and bring questions to the meeting. There will be no vote or decision. This is an informational meeting only.
The Generosity Challenge

From January 8 – 30 will be presented a Small Group, Personal Study and Preaching Series titled THE GENEROSITY CHALLENGE.

During this time and in various formats we will accept the challenge of growing in our understanding and practice of GENEROSITY as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

“You were born to be generous. You were created in the image of God.”

These abiding truths are made abundantly clear as participants navigate through THE GENEROSITY CHALLENGE. Through this Interactive Workbook, Devotional Guide and Preaching Series we will spend four weeks navigating the concepts of being Grounded in GRATITUDE, Revealed through PRAYER, and SEALED by Faith. This “GPS” leads even the biggest skeptics home to be the generous persons God created them to be.

Small Groups are being formed to engage the workbook and video series. An open group is meeting at the church in the MINISTRY CENTER at 6PM on Wednesdays. The Workbook cost is $11. The Devotional Guide is available in the Worship Center for $5. 
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR AMAZING TREASURES SALE. Sign up in the Narthex to help.


The Big Bake Sale March 4th & 5th!!
The UMW is hosting a bake sale during the Amazing Treasure Sale and we could use some help.

First - we could use as many donations as possible. Please label your item if they contain nuts. If you want to have them prepackaged for sale that would be great but not necessary.
Second - Thursday afternoon help to prep everything for sale
Third - Sign up to sell baked items on Friday or Saturday.

Just email me at either - goodshephardUMW@gmail.com or
last but not least give me a call
802-485-8072.
MEETINGS, DEADLINES, EVENTS & INFORMATION


TWO SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICES
9AM & 10:30AM - SUNDAY SCHOOL AT 9AM.
SATURDAY SERVICES - 4:45PM IN THE SANCTUARY

NOTE: THE OFFICE WILL BE CLOSED
MONDAY, JAN 17TH FOR MLK DAY OBSERVANCE.

  • Thursdays - 9am Handbell Rehearsal - Rm 1 - Worship Center
  • Thursdays - 1pm - Ephesians Bible Study - Conf Room A - Ministry Center
  • Thursdays - 3pm Choir Rehearsal - Chapel
  • Mondays - 9:30am Sewing Group - Room 1 - Worship Center
  • MONDAY, JAN 17TH OFFICE CLOSED
  • Tuesday, Jan 18th at 10am - Caring meeting- Conf B
  • Wed., Jan 19th at 1pm CHURCHWIDE MEETING - with WCA speaker
Pastor Jay Therrell
  • UPCOMING WOMEN'S BIBLE STUDY - Mon., Jan 24th at 1pm in the Chapel
WEEKLY HELPERS NEEDED -
PLEASE Sign up in the Narthex

Saturdays
Greeters/Guides & Psalm Readers
Join the Powerpoint and Sound Booth Team

Sundays
Greeters, Guides, & Psalm Readers for both services
9am and 10:30. Join the Powerpoint and Sound Booth Team

OFFICE ANGELS call the office and volunteer for any dates we have open. 9am-1pm (we do have flexible hours)
SUGGESTIONS FOR QUOTES ON MARQUEE
If you have suggestions for the marquee that are biblical & short., we would like to get the congregations participation. Please send your suggestions to Dr. John Michel.
COMING UP-UMW SOUPER BOWL OF CARING
The collection is the same weekend of the Super Bowl game, which is the second Sunday of February in 2022- FEB 13TH.

Our collection will be given to Harry Chapin Food Bank. More info will be in the February newsletter.
WOMEN'S STUDY GROUP

The next meeting of the Women’s Study Group is Monday, January 24th, at 1PM in the Chapel of the Ministry Center. Pastor Lia will be leading the study of Bearing Witness in the Kin-dom. That Monday we will be doing Module 1—Grounded Being.   
CHURCH OFFICE HOURS Mon– Thurs 9am – 2:00pm CLOSED FRIDAYS
CALENDAR CHANGE
The American Heart Association Certification CPR course has been re-scheduled to March 30th at 10-NOON.
ANSWERS ABOUT TESTING AND COVID - submitted by Judy Greenstreet

What are the differences between the 2 COVID tests?

The two tests, antigen vs P.C.R. tests are reliable but are based upon what they are looking for. Molecular or P.C.R. tests look for the genetic material of the virus. The antigen tests looks for viral protein. The advantage of the latter is that they can be taken at home, are relatively cheap and are faster with results. The molecular or P.C.R. test is more sensitive but takes more time to get results.

Lately, it has been noted that if the antigen test is positive, you can be fairly certain, you have COVID, whereas a negative test may be falsely negative in a small group of people. It is recommended to get a second test a few days later to confirm negativity.

The Molecular test or P.C.R. looks for bits of the genetic bits of the virus and is considered the gold standard of testing. A positive test with this type of test means you are most certainly infected. However, it usually takes one to three days for the results.

If you think you have been exposed to an infected person, the best time to test is probably on day 2 and 3 after exposure, since it takes a few days for the virus to reach detectable levels. If you are experiencing COVID symptoms, get tested right away and isolate as per CDC guidelines, until you test negative.

Be safe, prudent and cautious, remembering that the new variant is 3 times more infectious, and the incubation period is shorter, by a few days.
MEDICARE ADVANTAGE OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD

SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) will host a virtual class on January 19 at 12 NOON to help you to learn more about Medicare Advantage Plan costs and coverage, as well as to provide you the opportunity to change coverage. If you are unhappy with your current plan, you have a single opportunity to switch to a different plan during the first quarter of each year. You can switch to a new plan by March 31 by requesting SHINE counseling, through local volunteers.

These volunteers available Monday to Friday to assist with all matters related to Medicare, including cost-saving programs and reporting Medicare fraud. To request counseling, please call the ELDER HELPLINE at 866-413-5337 to set up an appointment.
We, the UMW, would like to thank the congregation for their support and financial help this past year to help us achieve our success in helping many organizations. We couldn't have done it without you.  Blessings, Donna Michel

UNITED METHODIST WOMEN’S GIVING IN 2021
 
NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL:
 
Pledges and Offerings to SW District for UMW FL Conference - pledge of ............................................................................................................... .$1,275.00
Legacy Fund ............................................................................................. ..$50.00
Gifts to Missions ....................................................................................... $645.63
.............................................................................$1,970.63
  
LOCAL:
 
Harry Chapin Food Bank (Souper Bowl of Caring)   ..............................$1,405.00
Samaritan Health & Wellness                                    ..................................200.00
ACT – Abuse Counseling & Treatment .......................................................200.00
Alliance for Fair Food (Immokalee Farm Workers...................................... 200.00
Blessings in a Backpack (Littleton School a participant) ........................... 200.00
Childrens Advocacy Center.........................................................................200.00 
ECHO                                                        ................................................. 100.00     
Habitat for Humanity ...................................................................................200.00
Harry Chapin Food Bank ............................................................................800.00
Lifeline Family Center                                               ...................................300.00
Salvation Army                                                          ...................................600.00
Valerie’s House                                                          ..................................200.00
Circle of Friends (GSUMC Sewing Circle)                 ..................................200.00
Church Staff                                                               ..................................300.00
GSUMC Office supplies  .............................................................................200.00
                         .............................................          Local Total             $5,305.00
Total of all giving for 2021 ................................................................. $7,275.63

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2022 NEW WORSHIP SCHEDULE ON SUNDAYS
Starting Jan, 2ND, 2022 WE GO TO TWO SERVICES
Sunday Worship at 9am AND Sunday Worship Service 10:30am
Sunday School at 9am
CHECK OUT OUR
WEBPAGE!
www.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 9-2PM