* GSLC will re-open for worship on July 4-5, 2020. We look forward to seeing you again. *
GSLC has been having some technical problems with getting our eblast sent out as we transition to a new website and email address. If you know of anyone who isn’t getting their eblast, please let the office know.
We will be doing a video of our church service on Sunday at 10:00 am, come and enjoy GSLC’s service while we wait to come together again.
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church is doing a Streaming Devotional with Pr. Jamie Vannoy every Wednesday at Noon. We are also doing Read Aloud Stories with Don Bennett every weekday, Monday – Friday, at 2:30 pm. Please come, connect, and enjoy while we wait to be together again.
Please use the following links below to connect:
Holy Communion will be available from Pr. Jamie after worship on Sunday, June 28th. It will be made available by drive thru.
Let us take a moment to explain:
– You will come in on Kenosha Ave., pull up alongside the sidewalk.
– Then you will be given a communion wafer and juice, packaged together, that you will open and ingest, then you’ll receive a blessing.
– Then you can exit out onto Stroop Rd.
If you are not able to make it to the church and would like to receive Communion at your home, or residence if it’s permitted, then call the office and Pastor will set up a time to come to your home.
– Pr. Jamie will set up a time to come to your home.
– Pr. Jamie will bring Communion to your door. Where you will receive the communion wafer and juice, packaged together, that you will open and ingest; then you’ll receive a blessing.
Same Webpage, New Look
GSLC has a new webpage! The address will be the same www.goodshepherdkettering.com. The content will be different, look different, and work with other electronics besides just computer screens much better. As a non-profit we are able to use this website in ways that we couldn’t before. Please check it out and let the office know of things that you think are missing or aren’t working as they should. Check it out on different devices. The more eyes to look at it the quicker we can get the issues that may arise fixed. Those who have been working on this are really excited at the new look and better functionality.
Offerings for last week: $1,625.00
Email Address Updates
Pr. Jamie Vannoy’s new email address is Jamie.firstname.lastname@example.org. Don Bennett, Director of Youth & Family Ministry’s new email address is email@example.com. Alisha Minamyer, Office Secretary’s new email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use these new addresses for any church related business.
GSLC is looking for volunteers who would be willing to pick up food donations from the Kroger Bakery Department on Dorothy Lane every Monday Morning. If you are interested in volunteering please contact Don Bennett at email@example.com
The Property and Facilities Commissioners, on behalf of the congregation, would like to say thank you to the “Mulch Team” for spreading 55 bags of mulch to spruce up the front of the church and make the flower beds in front of the sanctuary and courtyard look great. Team members were: Chris & Peter Connelly, Jen & Rich Kellstrom and Martin Pierce. Additionally, we want to say thank you to Peter Connelly for his willingness to climb new heights and help complete the sanctuary stained glass window project. Finally, thank you to Roger Bauser and Mike Oldham for their willingness to take on the fast-growing grasslands surrounding the church. You all have made our facilities look great and we all thank you for serving GSLC in these ministries.
Yes, GSLC is truly honored to have a few outstanding volunteers who help with special projects and the weekly lawn mowing and the grass and shrub trimming; however, as we all know … many hands make light work, so we are looking for additional volunteers to share in the effort and spread out the workload. Additionally, for those who want to stay inside, we have inside projects on the “to-do” list that need to be accomplished this summer as well. Note: All of these projects follow approved State of Ohio Social Distancing rules and could help improve your mindfulness. If you are interested in volunteering and serving GSLC in this capacity, please send an email or call the office @ 937-298-0136, Del @ 937-298-8876 or Wayne @ 937-510-4265.
Don’t forget to send in your weekly tithe/offering to the church at 901 East Stroop Rd, Kettering, OH 45429 or go to our online Electronic Giving:
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church is now offering the option of electronic giving for regular offerings and special offerings. Giving is done using the company Tithe.ly which is the only one endorsed by the ELCA. There are three ways to give:
- Via smartphone using the Tithe.ly app (download via the App Store or Google Play)
- Online at https://tithe.ly/give?c=329631
- Via the GSLC Website which has a link to the Tithe.ly website to give directly to GSLC
The process to create an account and give is simple because it is tied to a debit or credit card. There is also a processing fee of less than 3% that you can choose to cover if desired. Benefits of Electronic Giving:
- Ability to give from anywhere including other countries – you only need an internet connection via smartphone or computer.
- Ability to give 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Ability to choose from a variety of options where your gift goes.
- Can give more than one gift at a time with the “Add Gift” option.
Questions: Contact Martin Pierce (937) 287-4021 or Denise Wilson (513) 913-0133.
This Week’s Article
This week’s article is by William Willimon @ Ministry Matters.
I’m not sure why the RCL begins this Sunday’s epistle with verse 1b instead of reading Romans 6:1 as a whole. It’s impossible to jump into Paul’s argument without knowing the questions for which Romans 6 is the answer. Romans 6:1a’s “So what are we going to say?” is a response to some issue that has arisen in the church in Rome.
This “What are we going to say” is clearly subsequent to some things that Paul has said earlier. Paul’s response makes clear two things about our passage: 1) Romans 6:1 depends on what has been said in Romans 5. “So what are we going to say,” is the “So what?” response to something that has gone before. Paul is showing his classical rhetorical training. Paul is mounting a debate in response to somebody’s question, “Should we continue sinning so grace will multiply?” Someone, perhaps someone in the congregation of First Church Rome must have said something like, “Since we are saved by grace, then why don’t we sin even more so that God can be even more gracious. Let sin abound! Let the party begin!”
Paul responds with another type of argument than we expect. In Romans 5, Paul has eloquently argued that God’s grace in Jesus Christ is God’s answer to human sin. Adam’s transgression was great (and transgressions continued among us, Adam’s heirs), but God’s grace in Christ was greater. We are rescued not by our efforts but by God’s grace.
Since grace is God’s predominant response to our sin, then perhaps someone in the Roman congregation is saying, “If our sin evokes God’s grace, let’s keep sinning so God can keep being gracious.” The sheep that was lost and is found by God’s grace decides that it’s fun to get lost so the good shepherd can have the joy of seeking and finding so the sheep wanders again. What’s wrong with that?
Paul responds in two ways to his own, “What are we going to say?” First Paul says flatly, “Absolutely not!” (Romans 6:2a) Then Paul moves to a deep theological response that’s close to saying, “Your question doesn’t make any sense because that’s not who you now are in Christ. You are baptized, and that means that you are dead.”
Paul’s argument may be hard for us to follow because he is arguing from the point of view of a theology of baptism that equates baptism with drowning. In baptism, our old selves are put to death so that our new selves might rise with Christ. We are moved from citizenship in an old, dying order to a fresh, new creation in Christ.
One good thing about Paul’s argument that speaks of Christians as dead and raised people is that it is based upon baptismal practice. All of your listeners this Sunday, or at least the vast majority, have been baptized.
The challenge is that few may have a theology of baptism that’s up to Paul’s argument. We may at our best think of baptism as a kind of symbolic cleansing, a rite that signifies our commitment to Christ and our initiation into his church. At worst, we think of baptism as a cute ritual for babies and their parents.
Paul says that baptism is an ontologically transformative event, not only an appearance but a reality. When we are baptized, we die and are raised from the dead to new, resurrection life. Early Christians signified this by fully immersing the baptized (who, Hippolytus says were baptized in the nude in third century Roman congregations). When they came up out of the water, the newly baptized were dressed in a new robe as a sign of their new life. They were different because of the promises and the action of baptism.
For Paul, baptism is birth into eternal life, a defeat of death (Romans 6:8). More to the point of Paul’s argument in Romans 6, the baptized also share in Christ’s conquest of sin. The baptized are given the power to live holy lives right here and now (vv. 6-7). Baptism defeats the death and sin that we once thought were defeating us.
“You are dead to your old selves, therefore you are dead to sin,” says Paul. “Stop acting as if you were living in the old, dead world where you were slaves to sin. Come on: you are new people. Live like it!”
Stewardship Snippets – June 21, 2020
Matthew 10:39 – “Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.” Sometimes community feels like loss, smells like sorrow, and loudly laments what is no longer. Jesus proclaims a “kingdom” community born of an essential loss to self. That death, in turn, enriches the soil from which the abundant life God desires for all creation will burgeon.
Food Pantry Donations
In these uncertain times, the Greenmont-Oak Park Neighbor to Neighbor Food Pantry serves an even more vital role in the lives of many Kettering area families. As a congregation, we have supported the pantry with our gifts for many years. As you are shopping in the grocery, please remember these families with a few extra purchases. Even though we are not meeting together, food donations may be dropped off at the church during regular business hours. The collection box will be easily accessible just inside the exterior doors to the fellowship hall. Ring the bell. When the doors are unlocked, go inside and place your food in the collection box. If you want to make a monetary donation, make your check payable to Good Shepherd and marked FOOD PANTRY and send it to or drop it off in the office.
GriefShare Ministry GRIEFSHARE IS ONLINE!
This valuable resource is available for ANYONE! View the videos from the comfort of your own home. Then join the discussion via Zoom. Come join us. Invite your friends near and far. Families can view the videos and share in the discussions among themselves and in our group. Please take advantage of this incredible opportunity to be gathered with others on the journey from mourning to joy.
Our Good Shepherd group meets every SUNDAY at 1:00 pm using Zoom.
We are choosing to view the weekly video with folks starting a Noon.
ANY one interested may contact Kathy Seim 937-901-0532 or Pam Bauser 937-602-8385. We will gladly answer questions. We can help you register. We can help you be ready to Zoom with us. We look forward to extending this accessible opportunity to the GSLC family and friends.
Our ADULT Lifelong Learning Classes are ONLINE! Everyone is welcome! Please contact the church office for the links below to join in the conversations. This is a great time to “zoom” in and discover the quality adult education we have at GSLC.
Our YOUTH classes are on vacation until fall.
Questions?? – Please contact Pam Bauser at 937-299-5186.
Topic: We Are CALLED to be GOD’S CHURCH in the World!
Facilitator: Roger Bauser
Time: 9:00 – 10:00 am
Place: comfort of your home – connect online!
Bring your coffee. Have your Bible handy. We have heard GOD’S CALL! Now we will explore putting our CALL into ACTION!
Our topic is based on Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton’s Bible study available on the ELCA website. During the coming weeks we will explore our call to be CHURCH, our call to be LUTHERAN, our call to be TOGETHER, and our call for the SAKE OF THE WORLD!
Sundays at 9:00 am on Zoom.
THURSDAY MORNING BIBLE STUDY for Women
Topic: Finding God Faithful
Facilitator: Paula Bennett
Time: 11:00 am – Noon
Place: Comfort of your home – connect online.
In the midst of hardship, tragedy, and unanswered questions, it’s difficult to glimpse God at work. How do we hold onto our faith during these times? How do we trust God is working all things for our good and His glory? Over 8 sessions, Paula Bennett will lead the study to trace the path of Joseph’s life in the Book of Genesis to observe how God’s sovereignty reigns, even in our darkest moments.
Learn to recognize when God is working during periods of waiting, trust God’s plan when life doesn’t make sense, and rest in the sufficiency of His presence in every circumstance.
His provision is enough. His presence is constant. His purpose is unstoppable.
THURSDAY MORNING BIBLE STUDY for Men
Topic: Lectionary for Sunday worship
Facilitator: Roger Bauser
Time: 9:00 am – 10:00 am
Place: comfort of your home – connect online!
The Men’s breakfast Bible Study continues ONLINE on Thursday mornings at 9 a.m. Bring your own coffee and breakfast along with your BIBLE.
The focus is on the Lectionary Lessons for the upcoming Sunday. Come join the discussion facilitated by Roger Bauser.
To join the conversation, please contact Roger at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 937-299-5186.
SUNDAY MORNING BIBLE STUDY for ALL
9:00 am – 10:00 am every Sunday through June.
ALL are welcome to join this online discussion.
Topic: We are Called
Facilitator: Roger Bauser
Get your Sunday mornings off to a great start. To join the lively group discussion, call or text Pam Bauser at 937-602-8385.
Amazing Grace Day Camp
Due to the unknowns of Covid-19, Lutheran Outdoor Ministries of Ohio (LOMO) have cancelled all camps this summer. This will include Good Shepherd hosting Amazing Grace Day Camp in July this year. It was not an easy decision for LOMO to come to but the safety of all kids involved in any camp was their primary concern. We will look in the Fall at possibly hosting another camp next summer.
Good Shepherd is a member of the Covenant Society for Pastoral Counseling of Miami Valley Hospital. Trained and certified counselors are available to congregational members at any time, whether for a crisis or for ongoing help. This service is confidential, and anonymous if you choose. You do not have to go through the pastor or church to access this service. If you have a need simply call (937) 438-3486, tell the staff you are a member of Good Shepherd, our church is part of the Covenant Society for Pastoral Counseling through Premier. Because Good Shepherd is a member the cost to you is one-half of any non-reimbursed portion (for example, through insurance coverage) of the normal charge. For further information on this service you can call the above numbers, or talk to Pastor Jamie.
GSLC Lutheran Youth Corps (LYC) – Gift Card Program
Did you know there is a way that you can financially support Good Shepherd at no cost to you? Through the LYC, you can order gift cards from a variety of merchants and restaurants at face value and a portion of each purchase is donated to the church to support youth programs and the First Lutheran Breakfasts. Although the percentage donated to the church may seem small, a few percent of our collective purchases can add up to a significant donation to Good Shepherd over time. Order forms are available in the Narthex. Orders placed on the weekend are normally available for pick up the following week, with the exception of some holiday periods and weeks where we do not reach the minimum threshold for placing an order. Please contact Don Bennett if you have any questions. What a great way to be faithful stewards of our resources!
ELCA Disability Ministry God’s work. Our hands. Click here.
NEW Lutheran World Relief Sustainable Development. Lasting Promises click here.
ELCA Global Links Global Links: Praying for our world during COVID-19 click here.
Message from Bishop Elizabeth Eaton:
Witnesses to the transcendent
An amazing thing happened in March. Churches were closed but more people came to church. Millions of us were complying with shelter-in-place and physical distancing recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local officials to stop the spread of the coronavirus. In a matter of days our lives were completely disrupted. The places where we sheltered became our offices, classrooms, day care centers and recreational facilities. Traffic dissipated—I was tempted to leave my house and drive unimpeded up and down the Kennedy Expressway just because it was possible.
Measures to slow the spread of the disease work against in-person gatherings. Coming together for worship wasn’t possible. Maintaining 6 feet of distance between people, refraining from touching and wearing face masks aren’t conducive to corporate worship. I was in a CDC briefing that pointed out that singing was right up there with sneezing and coughing in spreading the virus. Conventional all-together-in-the-building church was out.
So, what did we do? We found new ways of receiving the word and singing praise to God. All across this church, pastors and deacons, musicians and lay leaders created imaginative and fresh ways to worship. Virtual church, recorded church, livestreamed church happened everywhere. In parts of the country without sufficient Wi-Fi, congregations phoned each other, some on landlines. Pastors and deacons kept in contact with the people, and parishioners called each other. Worship resources to be used at home were shared. We might have been physically distanced, but we were not spiritually or socially isolated.
Many congregations and worship sites reported that online attendance was up and, in some cases, exceeded average Sunday in-person participation. People “attended” several services in a day. And we know that many attending online would never walk into one of our churches.
The problem comes when people confuse the sacred space with the Sacred.
Now, before we get too excited about this new evangelism tool, we need to consider factors that may have contributed to increased attendance—no sports, no Starbucks, limited travel, convenience. This won’t last forever. But the restrictions imposed by the pandemic have made it clear that people are searching for hope and meaning and love. The gospel, the good news, the reality of God’s unconditional love “poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Romans 5:5), is the message that people long to hear. It is life for the dying, water for the parched, food for the starving, liberty for the oppressed. God has entrusted this word, this evangelical word, to the church and has commissioned us to tell it.
People wonder what the post-COVID world and the post-COVID church will look like. No one, except God, knows for certain. Our experience with worshiping remotely has taught us at least two things: the word of God expressed in worship, lament and praise is not irrelevant. And people who find our congregations—the building and people—intimidating or off-putting also long to be part of a community that witnesses to the life we have in Jesus.
I am praying for the day when we gather again. I miss going to church. Church, including the buildings, are sacred spaces. Human beings are drawn to places where they have experienced the holy. Congregations—buildings and people—are witnesses to the transcendent.
The problem comes when people confuse the sacred space with the Sacred. We must take care that our congregations don’t become idols. Since we have concrete evidence that people who long to hear about the life, hope and grace that comes to the world through Jesus won’t come into our churches, we need to go to them. We have done this in creative ways and through online worship during the pandemic. Don’t stop. When we are able to return to our sacred spaces, let’s make an honest assessment of the ways that our congregations are witnesses to the transcendent, places where we are nourished for the journey and then sent out to serve. Or have they become barriers to those seeking the love and freedom God has given to all people in Christ?