Online Worship & Holy Communion
With the Covid_19 numbers continuing to rise in Montgomery County, at the recommendation of Gov. DeWine & Bishop Suzanne Dillahunt, we will be moving back to online worship and meetings only beginning this weekend. Until we are out of a level 3, and the counties numbers continue to stay down we will remain doing everything online again. A few important things to note: We will continue to offer Holy Communion twice a month and that will be on the 2nd & 4th Sundays (August 23) from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm. Hope to see you there.
Online Worship Information
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church will continue doing a video of our church service. Online worship will be available on Sunday at 10:30 am. Come and enjoy GSLC’s service online.
Please use the following links below to connect to the Sunday Church Service:
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
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.
This Week’s Article
This week’s article is by William Willimon @ Ministry Matters.
This is the moving climax of a long and drawn out story. Joseph’s brothers, who had sold him into slavery several chapters ago, have just finished a rousing speech. As the chapter opens, Joseph is unable to keep the secret any longer. He reveals to his brothers that he is the one they beat and abused. Their actions set off a long set of plot twists that eventually led to Joseph being Pharaoh’s deputy.
It is a touching scene, bringing the narrative full circle. The brothers find themselves the recipients of Joseph’s mercy, even as they showed none. Through a convoluted twist of fate, they are actually receiving much needed help from him. The land is in the midst of a long famine, and Joseph has the power to give them food. Joseph, in fact, does much more, inviting them to live nearby so that he can support them.
Where once they were bitterly jealous of Joseph, now they are grateful. Where they once abused him, he hugs them and shows mercy. Joseph does not seem to have any malice towards them, even after they did not recognize him. “Don’t be angry with yourselves,” he tells them, “God sent me before you to make sure you’d survive” (v. 5-7).
There is a strong element of justice in this story that cannot be ignored. Joseph began his saga by telling his brothers that they would one day bow before him. The brothers mocked him, beat him, and even considered killing him. They would never bow before their brother—doing so would mean that they lose their status and pride.
In spite of all that, Joseph not only survived, but actually fulfilled his own prophecy. Here, his brothers stand before him. Joseph is more powerful than they had ever imagined, and yet it is a power that benefits them. Rather than usurp their family, Joseph has saved them.
While Joseph is quick to not cast blame upon his brothers, eliminating the possibility of a grudge, he is also quick to give credit. It was not their actions that sent Joseph to Egypt, he informs them, but the hand of God that wanted them to survive, too.
The line sets up an interesting few questions. If it was God who brought Joseph to Egypt, does that automatically pardon the brothers for their terrible misdeeds? And, does this story prove that everything really does happen for a reason, that God has some sort of master plan?
Joseph’s statement points in a different direction. First, he reminds his brothers (and the readers) that while they are forgiven, they receive no credit for Joseph’s fortunate fate. What Joseph explicitly does not do is to thank his brothers. He absolves them of their sins, but he does not spin them into a positive action. As it turns out, beating up your brother and selling him into slavery is wrong, no matter what the outcome of the story.
Second, Joseph’s answer does indicate that God has a plan. This is not a secret to anyone who reads Scripture, where God’s plan of redemption for the world is spelled out over and over again. What Joseph avoids saying, though, is that everything happens for a reason. At the outset of the story, Joseph knew that God had a plan for him—the ending is no surprise. What Joseph seems to say in this passage, instead, is that God’s plan came to pass in spite of the sin and pain that sought to interrupt it.
As it turns out, God is more powerful than our sins, able to overcome them and redeem them so that God’s plan is able to come to pass. But, they are decidedly not a part of God’s plan. God gets what God wants, despite our interference along the way. We should never be so bold as to claim that our actions were part of the plan, or that our sins were necessary evils along the way. Rather, they were just something that God redeemed while healing the world.
Stewardship Snippets – August 16, 2020
“It is not what goes into the mouth that defies a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles.” – Matthew 15:11. As we steward the church into a new future, let’s remember Jesus’ words to the disciples. It’s not so much about razor-edge adherence to law and strictures, but rather how one lives the life of faith. An authentic and faithful witness is needed for these difficult and shifting times.
Water Pipe Fixed
The water pipe has been fixed at the church so the building is back open for limited use (by staff, to record worship, etc.) Montgomery County is still under a Level 3 Covid19 level so we are still not open for regular use for members or outside groups at this time. We are continuing to monitor the situation and will keep you advised.
When we put in the sound system a few years ago, we had mentioned the possibility of expanding the system to be able to record videos with it as well. This pandemic has let us know how much people appreciate our worship services online. So with that feedback and the potential of live streaming funerals, weddings, confirmations, and other services that loved ones might not be able to attend in person throughout the year the Council put the AV Team on the task of coming up with a way to live stream events in the sanctuary. So we are looking to invest $6,500 in cameras and software to allow us to live stream events, and we will be upgrading our internet speed to allow us to live stream also but that will be reflected in the Ministry Plan presented at the Annual Meeting. The Memorial Committee has already committed $2,800 toward the project, and we are asking you to consider contributing to this project. We are going to initially pay for this project from the Heritage Fund, and then reimburse the Heritage Fund from your contributions and the Memorial Committee. If you would like to contribute to this project feel free to put a check or cash in an envelope and mark the envelope “Live Streaming Fund” so we will track it.. We are hopeful to have this project up and running by Christmas, what a beautiful time of year to help people feel closer to their church than that special time of year.
First Lutheran Breakfast Donations
For many years, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (GSLC) has provided a hot breakfast meal to the needy in Downtown Dayton, twice monthly at First Lutheran Church. I am extremely grateful for the support our church members have had of this important ministry. Covid-19 has required our church to alter the way we provide meals to First Lutheran guests.
As a result of Covid-19, the meals have changed to “grab and go ” format, which requires several items (for example, hard-boiled eggs, sausage links and bagels/rolls), to be individually placed in ziplock sandwich bags. Currently, GSLC provides 70 pre-packaged meals at each breakfast; therefore, we are using 200+ ziplock sandwich bags with each meal! The cost to prepare these meals is approximately $250 each month.
How can you help? I kindly ask for sandwich- size ziplock bag donations. Please drop off, anytime at church or contact me directly. I will be happy to come to your home and pick up. Monetary donations are also welcomed anytime and be sent directly to church.
Jeremiah’s Letter on August 16
The mission of Jeremiah’s Letter is to bring congregations together from the greater Dayton community so that together they can enhance the daily lives of individuals and families of the inner-city who find themselves in need. To help support the works of Jeremiah’s Letter, Good Shepherd will be collecting bath and bedroom linens, personal hygiene products, canned foods and cleaning/laundry supplies. Thank you to all who generously support this ministry!
Food Pantry Donations
Thank you to all of our Food Pantry Donors. On August 3 we delivered 205 much appreciated food items.
If you are planning to come to church for drive-thru communion this week, please remember the needs of the food pantry.This will be a convenient time to drop off non-perishable food to help meet the needs of many hungry families in our area. Your food donations are more important than ever during this trying time of covid-19 restrictions. If you prefer, you can drop off cash or a check payable to Good Shepherd. Someone will be at church to assist you with your donation.
In these uncertain times, the Greenmont-Oak Park Church / Ascension Parish “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. Watch your local supermarket for specials to stretch your dollars even further.
Even though we are not meeting together, food donations may also be dropped off at the church during regular business hours.
The collection box is 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 are not going to the grocery regularly and 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. The food pantry staff will use your monetary gifts wisely to purchase needed food items.
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 are not going to the grocery regularly and 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. The food pantry staff will use your monetary gifts wisely.
GSLC continues to offer an active GriefShare support community. If you or someone you know is interested, please be in touch with Pastor Jamie or call Pam Bauser (937-602-8385) or Kathy Seim (936-901-0532). We are glad to discuss the benefits of GriefShare. GriefShare is a faith based ministry that combines group discussion, video input from experts and others who know the grief journey, and individual study in the resource book. This ministry is available to all who have experienced the loss of a loved one at any time.
GriefShare’s – LOSS OF A SPOUSE
Saturday, August 29, 2020
10:00 am – Noon
This session will be online to provide for the health and safety of all participants. Join Zoom Meeting.
GriefShare’s – SURVIVING THE HOLIDAYS
Saturday, October 24, 2020
10:00 am – Noon
Currently we plan to gather in person for this special Surviving the Holidays session. Located in the Fellowship Hall (to allow easier social distancing).
GriefShare – Mourning to Joy (13 weeks)
Sunday, September 13 – Sunday, December 6 from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Plans for in person sessions this fall are pending the safety and welfare of all participants. Watch for more information. Located in the Fellowship Hall/Lounge (depending on size of group)
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. While GSLC is opening for worship, our Bible studies and Sunday morning studies are remaining online. If you haven’t checked any of these out, please consider joining the conversations.
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 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 9:00 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 937-299-5186.
***NEW DISCUSSION FORMAT***
Come explore ideas on Wednesday evenings
Topic: Does racism exist in the Church?
Facilitator: Becky Cook
Time: 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Wednesdays – August 19, 26, September 2
Place: Comfort of your own home.
Read the Southern Ohio Synod Statement on Racism:
Synod Council Statement On RacialJustice 2020
What are your thoughts? What does this statement mean for us? How do we respond to the sin of white supremacy? Our country has been engaged and enraged by the death of George Floyd and the events that have followed. How does our faith speak to the hurt and anger expressed? Come listen, learn, and discuss our faith and our place speaking God’s love in a broken world.
Join Zoom Discussion on Racism on Wednesdays at 7 p.m.
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 web site, goodshepherdkettering.com, and on the front page on the right side 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.
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 commemorates 500th anniversary of Luther’s The Freedom of a Christian
CHICAGO (Aug. 5, 2020) — This year marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s treatise The Freedom of a Christian. To observe this milestone, the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), invites the church to read, study and reflect on this Lutheran witness of the Christian faith.
In his work, Luther spoke of how God liberates us in Christ to live generously and courageously in service of our neighbor’s liberation, confident that God’s mercy will free us all.
“Christian[s] … do not live in themselves but in Christ and their neighbor, or else they are not Christian,” Luther wrote. “They live in Christ through faith and in the neighbor through love. Through faith they are caught up beyond themselves into God; likewise through love they fall down beneath themselves into the neighbor — remaining nevertheless always in God and God’s love.”
To commemorate the anniversary, the ELCA has developed a study guide and other resources, available at elca500.org, to deepen readers’ engagement with the 500-year-old text. As a partner in this project, Fortress Press has generously made available a complimentary download of the treatise, available through 2020.
In her introduction to the study guide, Eaton writes, “In this treatise, Luther describes a ‘happy exchange’ wherein Christ sets us free by taking upon himself humankind’s sin, pain and judgment, and in return giving us his liberating life. … We are empowered in turn to use our freedom to serve our neighbors, whoever they may be. This message remains timely when voices that marginalize certain people, or preach contempt, hatred and violence, dominate our public discourse. How do we hear and trust this word from God today, and continue to serve God’s life-giving work?”
Luther’s purpose in writing The Freedom of a Christian was to present the core of his teaching about the Bible and the Christian faith to Pope Leo X. With an impending split between Luther and the official church, the treatise was a last attempt at reconciliation to prevent the fracturing of the church.
“The Freedom of a Christian is such a beautiful, deep and simple exposition of the Christian faith that it is no surprise that, 500 years after Martin Luther first wrote it, we are still learning from it,” said the Rev. Dr. Carmelo Santos, director for ELCA theological diversity and engagement. Santos led the development of the ELCA’s initiative. “I pray that this study guide and case studies representing a wide diversity of perspectives will help many to rediscover the awesome freedom that we have in Christ and the joy of using that freedom to serve our neighbors. We also hope that people will feel inspired to contribute their own reflections inspired by The Freedom of a Christian.”
“Today, as in Luther’s day, our faithful response to the uncertainty and death-dealing forces in our world is to proclaim that which is sure and life-giving for all,” Eaton writes in her introduction. “Freed in Christ, we resist the temptation to turn inward in despair by turning outward in love and service to the world. Siblings in Christ, rejoice! We are no longer captive, but free.”
The Freedom of a Christian treatise, study guide, case studies and information about submitting contributions are available at elca500.org.