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Be Well, Keep Calm & Pray (while you wash your hands!)

Created by Jason!

With the spread of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) we are in a time of uncertainty unlike anything many of us have ever experienced.  In times like these we seek comfort and good news. And a lot of us find those things in worship. “It is a place we can find solace and reassurance in the midst of our fears.” (ELCA) 

So, how can we gather for worship safely?  Would it surprise you to know that Martin Luther had a plan for that?   In response to the plague of 1527, Luther wrote, “God has created medicines and has provided us with intelligence to guard and take care of the body. … Use medicine; take potions which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor does not need your presence.”   At Good Shepherd we’re following his advice, along with more specific and up-to-date recommendations from the ELCA and the Centers for Disease Control. Our goal is to continue to gather for worship, making some small changes that will help keep us healthy and alleviate some anxiety.

Greeters When you enter Good Shepherd, you are usually greeted with a warm handshake.  For the time being, greeters will be encouraged to greet you without physical contact – a wave, a bow, or just a warm smile.

Passing of the peace When we pass the peace we are recognizing the presence of Christ in each other.  We generally do this with handshakes and hugs. For now, we encourage you to use a non-contact approach.  Sign language, prayer hands and a bow, a salute, jazz hands – whatever feels right for you.

Holy Communion Communion servers are being instructed to wash their hands thoroughly before serving communion, as well as use hand sanitizer.  If you do not feel comfortable receiving communion at this time, you can simply ask for a blessing. Communion servers are also being asked to give blessings without touching.  Hand sanitizer is located in the front pews on either side of the center aisle.  Feel free to help yourself on the way to and from communion.

Offering To reduce the amount of touching and sharing of germs, we will not be passing the offering plates.  You will be able to place your offering in the plates near the doors as you leave the sanctuary. (You can also choose to give electronically through GivePlus – instructions are in the pews.)  We will have a few moments of music and meditation during the time the offering plates are usually passed.

Additional concerns

  • If you’re concerned about our re-usable bulletins, we invite you to use the hymnals.
  • You might notice the stuffed animals have been removed from the sanctuary.  Since it’s very tempting to touch and love them, we’ve gathered them up and they’re spending time in the Nurse’s office.  They’ll be sent out to spread love, not germs, at a later date.
  • The nursery staff will continue to make sure all toys are thoroughly cleaned after use.

How can you help? Bishop Eaton (and the CDC) offer these simple steps:  Wash your hands, stay home when you are sick, wear a mask if you have symptoms, consult your medical provider.  

And last but not least, pray.  Keep those afflicted with COVID-19, as well as those who are vulnerable, and their families and caregivers in your prayers, along with scientists, healthcare workers and leaders.   It might also help to remember these words from Exodus 14:14, “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.”

Here’s an excellent (and funny) instructional video on the use of hand sanitizer. 


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Recovery & Spirituality – A Lenten Study

Lenten Study – Wednesdays, 6:15-7:00 pm – 2/26 – 4/1

Jason Fisher will lead a study focusing on spiritual practices for resurrection during the season of Lent. According to Jason, “Lent is a time of humility and sacrifice, not for the sake of giving something up just to make life hard, but so that we can see how easily we depend on the things that God provides and how quickly we take them for granted. It is a season of greater dependence on God and gratitude for what God provides. This season gives us a chance to dwell with the brokenness of our humanity and in that our theme for the Lenten Studies will focus on Recovery & Spirituality.”

During the Lenten Study, members “will watch videos about people going through 12 step recovery programs while practicing various Christian spiritual practices and how these practices have helped in their healing and wholeness. It is [Jason’s] hope that people will discover they are not alone in their brokenness, and that through trying at least one of the Christian practices regularly God might guide them to greater peace, honesty, and healing.” Jason has also created a daily devotional booklet for Lent with 40 days of prayers and meditation. You can pick up the booklet in the church office or narthex, or download it here.

Jason is Director of Youth & Family Ministry at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and serves as Deacon, calling to Word & Service Ministry. He focuses on teaching and connecting people to opportunities to lead the community in Jesus’ name.


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Celebrating Bold Women

Sunday, February 23, is Bold Women Sunday, “celebrating all Lutheran women who have acted or are acting boldly on their faith in Jesus Christ.”  Members of WELCA and others will lead a special worship service at 9:00 am, and Adult Forum after worship.

“During our event on Sunday, we are having our worship service be led by all women and they will serve as greeters, ushers, communion assistants, fellowship servers, readers, etc. for the service,” Nancy Holm, WELCA member says.   “We are using a special liturgy for that day modeled after a service developed by the National WELCA. More than 30 women are participating in the service in addition to those singing in the choir. Women will provide special music, and our hymns that day are written by or about women.”

“Bold Women Sunday is for our church members to learn about and celebrate bold women from the Bible, women in the early history of the Lutheran Church, and Lutheran women today all over the world who are teaching, preaching, and following God’s call to them. During Adult Forum both women and men will look at examples of bold women during the Reformation and then examine our own strengths and how we can be bold in our actions of caring, advocacy, and teaching.”

Nancy mentions Bold Women’s Day is promoted and celebrated by annually on the fourth Sunday of February.  As the WELCA website states, ‘Some women are bold in their unceasing prayers. Other women are bold in their service to those in need. Still, other women are bold in their advocacy or through their hospitality. Whether we live out our bold story of faith in the workplace, family home or community, our faith compels us to make a difference in the lives of others. It’s all about living out our baptismal call, about being a disciple of Christ’.”

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Join Us for Worship

9am Sunday Mornings

All are welcome!
Nursery available for families with small children

At Good Shepherd we practice open communion. We believe in the real presence of Jesus Christ in the elements of bread and wine. In the gospels we meet Jesus, God’s Son, who ate with sinners and welcomed all. You are welcome at this, the Lord’s Table. Children who commune in their home congregations are welcome to commune at this church. Children who do not receive communion are encouraged to come forward with hands folded to receive a blessing. Children normally receive their first communion after conversation between parents, children and Pastor.