Online Option to Worship Only
Good Shepherd is going back to worshiping online until further notice. We will continue to offer online worship on Sundays and our parking lot Holy Communion on the first and third Sundays from Noon – 1:00 pm.
Please use the following links below to connect online to the Sunday Church Service:
GSLC now has the bulletin on our website. It’s set to go live on our website under the “Worship” and the “More” menu tabs at 10:00 am on Sunday mornings. We hope this makes the worship service more meaningful to you now that you will be able to follow along.
Online Events Information
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church will be doing a Streaming Devotional with Pr. Jamie Vannoy every Wednesday at Noon. We will also be including Read Aloud Stories with Don Bennett every weekday, Monday – Friday, at 2:30 pm. Please come, connect, and enjoy.
Please use the following links below to connect:
Offerings for last week:
Blue Christmas Service
This year for our Blue Christmas service we will be joining together with other churches and other pastors in the area. On Thursday, December 17 at 7:00 pm you will be able to participate from your home. Mark your calendars for next Thursday, December 17 at 7:00 pm. Join us via Zoom. Please contact the church office for the link to join in the Blue Christmas Service.
Christmas Eve Service
Good Shepherd will be having our annual Christmas Eve service, but it will look a little different this year. We will have only one service on Thursday, December 24 at a time to be determined and it will be all online.The service will be taped ahead of time and will not be live. Even though our Christmas Eve service is going to be done differently, we hope you can still come and celebrate with us Jesus’ Birth on Christmas Eve.
Please use the following links below to connect to the online Thursday Church Service:
This year GSLC is again doing an Adopt-a-Family. If you’d like to help someone out, this is a great opportunity.
Good Shepherd Members – My school resource officer gave me a family in need of help this Christmas. She is a single working mother with a 3 year old daughter and a 4 year old son. They need food, clothes, and age level books, toys, or games. If you are able to help, I encourage you to shop online to have items delivered to your door or purchase gift cards. The sizes for the children are as follows; size 4/5 (small) for the boy and size 5T (extra small) for the girl. When you receive them, please wrap them or I would be happy to wrap them for you.
Marty and I will be in the church parking lot on Saturday, December 12 from 9:00 am – 10:00 am and Friday, December 18 from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm to collect your gifts or gift cards directly from your trunk to keep everyone safe. Please indicate if the gift is for the girl (Jade) or the boy (Jordan) when you wrap them. Please call me if you have any questions, Mary Pierce (937) 657-6899. If you can’t be at church at one of those times and would like to donate, please drop off your donation to our house, 3574 Strathmoor Dr. Kettering. Thanks, Mary Pierce
GSLC Staff Christmas Gifts
As we enter the season of Advent and prepare to celebrate the birth of our savior, it is appropriate to recognize the staff and show our appreciation for their dedication and service through a Christmas Gift. Please prayerfully consider making a contribution for our wonderful staff. A copy of this letter will also be coming in the mail for your convenience. Also, please consider taking a moment to personally encourage our six staff members verbally or with a short positive note:
· Jamie Vannoy – Senior Pastor
· Don Bennett – Director of Youth & Family
· Alisha Minamyer – Office Assistant
· Mark Shoemaker – Music Director
· Rich Kellstrom – Custodian
There are three ways you can contribute toward a Christmas Gift: You may use the return envelope to mail it to the Church, you can use the new Tithe.ly app, or you may use the return envelope to drop off at the office during business hours. The target date for contribution collections is by Sunday, December 20 to allow time to prepare the gifts for our staff. Thank you for your continued generosity and have a blessed Advent season! Martin Pierce, Congregational Council President
Advent Midweek Services
On Wednesdays from December 2, December 9, December 16, and December 23 there will be Advent Midweek Services at 7:00 pm via GSLC Facebook and Youtube channels.
Please use the following links below:
To help us all feel connected while we are worshiping from home during Advent, GSLC thought it would be fun for us to do our own Advent Wreaths. You can use any candles you have around the house; it doesn’t matter if they match. And if you are lucky enough to have an Advent Wreath then by all means use it!! I used 4 tea light candles and one larger candle. They weren’t the right colors, but it made me feel like I was included and part of the service by doing the Advent Wreath. When they light the candles in church that will be your opportunity to light your candle at home.
Please take a photo of your wreath and email it to Don Bennett at email@example.com. He will create a photo gallery on our website of the photos that get sent in as another way for us to feel connected. Many Blessings to you all during this Joyous Season, Michele Weyhrauch, Worship Commissioner.
Please click the link to view our gallery of wreath photos: https://goodshepherdkettering.com/good-shepherd-advent-wreaths/
Annual Poinsettia Project
It is that time of the year for Good Shepherd’s Poinsettia Project. As per tradition, members of Good Shepherd may donate money which helps purchase poinsettias used to decorate the altar for Christmas. When enough money has been raised, any additional monies are donated to designated charities. This year, ELCA Good Gifts will be the recipient. ELCA Good Gifts support the sustainable development programs of ELCA World Hunger. Information about Good Gifts can be found at http://www.ELCA.org/goodgifts. You may contribute to the Poinsettia Project by sending a check directly to church, with Poinsettia Project written on subject line of the check. All forms need to be submitted to the office by Sunday, December 13.
After Christmas services are over, would you like to have a poinsettia delivered to your home? Please let the church know and we can make it happen! Thanks for supporting this important outreach mission. Please see the link below to get the Poinsettia Order Form: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1piy39i3I8Dt1UjoLJB5DfRJ2kBa92rSR/view?usp=sharing
Food Pantry News
Our December 7, Good Shepherd delivery of 425 food items to the Greenmont-Oak Park-Ascension Neighbor to Neighbor Food Pantry was greatly appreciated. Many thanks to the Good Shepherd members and our generous neighbors for continuing donations each month. With Congress and the President currently unable to reach an agreement on economic assistance for pandemic victims our donations now are more important than ever. As you are doing your grocery shopping, please remember the food pantry recipients for these life-sustaining gifts. If you prefer, you can send a check, (payable to Good Shepherd and marked for food pantry) to the office. You can drop off food or checks during the week by ringing the fellowship hall entry bell and placing items in the donation box immediately inside the door.
Need a Treasurer
Denise Wilson resigned from being Treasurer after serving faithful and we are in need of a Treasurer. Please pray that we fill this crucial position on the Council will be filled quickly. If you are interested in knowing more information about the position feel free to call the Church Office and ask to speak to Pr. Jamie.
Our Audio Visual team has been working hard getting our live streaming capabilities up and running. They are now in need of folks to train. If you are willing to help and love being able to volunteer you are the ones we want. The more volunteers we have the less times you have to do it per month. We will be streaming one service a week and it will be a rotating schedule. Don has assured me it is not difficult, you just have to be able to pay attention!! Please, if you are on the fence about this come and see what it is all about. In other words, no obligation, try before you “buy” in. Any questions contact Don Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the church at 9237-298-0136. ~ Michele Weyhrauch, Worship Commissioner
ADVENT. Advent is a time to prepare our hearts and minds for the coming of the Christ Child. Come join us as we hear and study God’s Word together.
Our ADULT Lifelong Learning Classes are ONLINE! Everyone is welcome! Please contact the church office for the links below to join in the conversations. Many holiday traditions have to be set aside for the health and safety of our community. Take this opportunity to “zoom” in and discover the quality adult education we have at GSLC. Our Bible studies are open to ALL near and far. If you haven’t checked any of these out, please consider this invitation. Begin your ADVENT with us!
Our YOUTH classes (Kindergarten – 6th grade) are online. The WHIRL curriculum is based on the weekly lectionary for the church year that allows our students to connect what they learn in class with what they hear in worship. Karin Linch and Sandy Rosholt are the teachers for our youth classes.
CATECHISM is being offered online this year. Catechism is for our 6th, 7th, and 8th graders in preparation for confirmation, affirming the baptismal promises. If you have an interest in our studies of the Bible, Luther’s Small Catechism, and Lutheran heritage, please contact the church office for more information. Pastor Jamie and Don Bennett teach our catechism classes.
DECEMBER WELCA ADVENT DEVOTIONAL
The practices are a wonderful way to supplement your Advent devotions. These are good for the whole family!
The December Devotional offers a series of practices that may bless the uncertainty of this advent season. As you light each candle on your Advent wreath to ponder God’s presence in these tumultuous times, try these rituals for the season. Read the Scripture. Pray about the ritual. Ask the Holy Spirit to bless your practice as you try to grow each of these familiar practices. Consider keeping an Advent Journal of your experiences. We will gather to hear God’s Word and share our rituals on Tuesday, December 22.
Rituals for ADVENT 2020
Sunday, December 6 -12
PEACE, the Bethlehem candle
Moving – Luke 1:39 ~ What movements, however large or small, can help you glorify God?
Sunday, December 13-19
JOY, the Shepherds’ candle
Singing – Luke 1:46-55 ~ What Advent hymns and holiday songs bless your faith and trust in our Almighty God?
Sunday, December 20-24
LOVE – the Angels’ candle
Connecting – Luke 1:26-58 ~ Who are the people who bless your soul with love and laughter even when you haven’t been in touch for years?
TOPIC: Advent Rituals for Uncertain Times
WHEN: Tuesday, December 22 at 10:00 a.m. OR 7:30 p.m.
The same material will be offered in the daytime and again in the evening to allow more women to participate.
LEADER: Pam Bauser
WHERE: Online from the wherever you have internet access
HOW: from your home via ZOOM
Singing, writing, moving, connecting: Advent rituals for uncertain times is the December Bible study in GATHER for Faith and Action, the monthly magazine of the Women of the ELCA. If you have the magazine, the study is on pages 20-25. IF you do not have the magazine and want a copy, please contact Pam Bauser (937-299-5186).
SATURDAY MORNING BREAKFAST BIBLE STUDY DISCUSSION for ALL
This study will meet EVERY Saturday through December.
Topic: Lectionary for Sunday worship
Facilitator: Roger Bauser
Time: 9:00 am – 10:00 am
Place: comfort of your home – connect online!
Join Zoom Meeting Saturdays at 9:00 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. Use the Zoom meeting link to join the conversation. Everyone (ALL ages and genders) is welcome! No prior experience is needed. Each week the study relates to the Scripture lessons for Sunday’s worship. Drop by and learn what’s behind the message on Sunday. If you experience any difficulty connecting, please contact Roger at email@example.com or call 937-299-5186.
SUNDAY MORNING ADULT BIBLE STUDY
Topic: ACTS of the Apostles: a Biblical study on The Book of ACTS!
Facilitator: Roger Bauser
Time: 9:00 am – 10:00 am
Place: Comfort of your home – connect online!
Bring your coffee. Have your Bible handy. COME BE RENEWED by the power of the Holy Spirit! COME LISTEN to God speak to each of us through the Book of ACTS. This week read and ponder Acts chapters 12-13.Hear more of God’s providence as King Herod brings persecution to James and Peter before Barnabas and Saul set out on the first missionary journey. If you experience any difficulty connecting, please contact Roger at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 937-299-5186.
THURSDAY MORNING BIBLE STUDY for Men
This study will meet every Thursday including Christmas Eve and New Years Eve.
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 is ONLINE on Thursday mornings at 9:00 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. Use the following link to join the conversation. If you experience any difficulty, please contact Roger at email@example.com or call 937-299-5186.
In 2018, we received $15.95 in donations from AmazonSmile. In 2019 we received $19.64. Would you like to help go over those amounts for 2020? It’s easy to do. Go to our website for Youth Donations, https://goodshepherdkettering.com/youth-donations/, scroll down and you will see a little graphic labeled amazonsmile. Click on that and follow the directions. Once you’ve done that, instead of going to amazon.com to make an online purchase, go to smile.amazon.com and for every purchase you make, we will get 0.5% of that price donated to us. It’s still Amazon, with all the features of the normal site, we just get a small cut. Over time those 0.5% donations add up. Please consider supporting us in this way. The proceeds go to help with youth events. If you have any questions, please contact Don Bennett.
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!
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:
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:
1. Via smartphone using the Tithe.ly app (download via the App Store or Google Play)
2. Online at https://tithe.ly/give?c=329631
3. 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:
1. Ability to give from anywhere including other countries – you only need an internet connection via smartphone or computer.
2. Ability to give 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
3. Ability to choose from a variety of options where your gift goes.
4. 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.
Christmas Message from Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton
We Are Never Alone
Precisely in our distress, in our dislocation, the Lord shows up. Emmanuel—God with us—makes his home in the very places we find foreign or isolating.
The room was spare and dimly lit. We sat on folding chairs in a circle—young Honduran women and some of us from the ELCA. We had come to Honduras to observe the work of AMMPARO (Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities). This is the ELCA’s strategy to help youth who have been forced to flee their home countries because of violence, abuse, extortion by gangs and extreme poverty. Amparo is the Spanish word for shelter or refuge.
In this case, AMMPARO partnered with the Lutheran World Federation and the Mennonites to resettle returned migrants—those who had tried to seek asylum in the United States but had failed or had been denied and deported back to Honduras.
One by one they told us their stories of fear and desperation. Not a one undertook the long and dangerous trek north on a whim. They told us about the abuse they had suffered, about family members who had been killed by gangs, about the inability to make a living because of the extortion by organized crime. They talked about the bitter sadness of leaving home and family, and the uncertainty of the future.
I remember one young woman in particular. She was pregnant when she tried to migrate to the United States. She had the baby somewhere along the way. She was far from home, mostly alone and desperately wanted her mother to be with her. None of this is what she had hoped for when she was growing up. Circumstances beyond her control had forced her into this new and strange existence. She and her baby were now back in Honduras—but not at home. Home was too dangerous.
Remember last Christmas? Remember all of the preparations, the travel to be with family? Remember the holy beauty of the Christmas Eve liturgy and receiving Christ’s grace and forgiveness at his table? The shopping and Christmas caroling? The in-person gatherings? All that has changed. The pandemic hasn’t forced us from our homes but into our homes, sheltering in place, isolated. Not together, but physically distanced. Not gathered with family and friends, but forced apart because of the threat of infection. Forced by circumstances beyond our control into this strange existence. Oh, there will be Christmas carols piped into grocery stores and other essential services, but they will be painful reminders of how life used to be.
We are reminded of the experience of the exiles in Babylon: “By the rivers of Babylon—there we sat down and there we wept when we remembered Zion. On the willows there we hung up our harps. For there our captives asked us for songs, and our tormentors asked for mirth, saying, ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion!’ How could we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land” (Psalm 137)?
I told the young Honduran woman about another young woman who was forced to leave home because of a government decree. She, too, was pregnant and made a long and difficult journey. She, too, was far from home and without her mother when the baby came. She had to find shelter wherever she could. This wasn’t what she had hoped for when she was growing up. Circumstances beyond her control had forced her into this new existence. That young woman was Mary and the child was Jesus. Precisely in our distress, in our dislocation, the Lord shows up. Emmanuel—God with us—makes his home in the very places we find foreign or isolating. The young Honduran woman, and all of us, can find hope because of the birth of Mary’s child. There is no God-forsaken place and we are never alone—not in hospital rooms, or sheltering in place, or Zoom calls or on dangerous roads.
Many of us will not be physically home for Christmas, but we are truly home in Christ.