Monday was the third day of our Fruits of the Spirit Scavenger Hunt and we searched for Kindness. It was another day of travel – about 4 hours by bus from Rothenburg to Wittenberg, but Wittenberg will be home for the Festival. So now we can unpack our bags and only hop on a bus for day trips. We had a great time exploring Martin Luther’s town. Check out Facebook to see where we found kindness and share your experiences with us too!!
Yesterday the fruit of the spirit we searched for was patience. As is often the case in travel – things didn’t go perfectly smoothly. There was a lot of traffic on the way to the Philadelphia airport. Our flight was delayed and when we finally pushed back and thought we were on our way, the weather had caused problems and we learned it would be a while (13 planes ahead of us) until we took off. We landed in Frankfurt 2 hours late to wait even longer because the tram was not available to pick us up. Our group – youth and adults alike – showed great patience and smiled through the difficulties and enjoyed beautiful Rothenburg. We are all just very grateful to have this opportunity to be together and celebrate the Reformation.
You can join in on the fun and post your findings of the fruits of the spirit on our Facebook page.
Our youth began their journey to the Luther 500 Festival in Wittenberg, Germany yesterday. Each day we will share our experience through a Fruits of the Spirit Scavenger Hunt. Even with the travel, traffic and delays, we were able to find examples of generosity. We will post our findings on our Facebook page and we invite you to look for generosity in your day and comment with your findings on our Facebook page.
Generosity – Our high school youth will learn about the Reformation where it happened. They will pray in the church where Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses. This is only possible because of the generosity of our congregation and everyone who supported our fundraisers.
Tomorrow 20 youth and adults will begin their journey to Germany to commemorate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. Please pray for their travels to be safe and their faith inspired. We will post each day and we welcome you join us in our Fruits of the Spirit scavenger hunt. So check in daily to see which fruit we searched for. Feel free to post your Scavenger hunt findings on our website or Facebook Page.
Good Shepherd will begin participating as a host church for the Religious Coalition’s Emergency Family Shelter on July 22, with our first shelter week being July 22 – 28.
Training for Emergency Family Shelter volunteers from Good Shepherd will be held on Thursday, July 13 from 7-8 p.m. at the church for all volunteers who have completed and returned their applications by June 25. The Religious Coalition will complete all background checks of adults 18 years and older, to include parents of youth who wish to participate.
The biggest need will be for two to three volunteers to help move equipment and cots into the Community Room at 8:30 a.m. on July 22.
Each evening, two – three volunteers will welcome families, and offer snacks and water/juice. Volunteers may offer to read to the children, play board games with the families, or otherwise interact with the families as a loving Christian community. The evening hours are 6 – 10 p.m. Volunteers can also provide packaged or home-made snacks and beverages.
Paid staff is responsible for supervising the residents during their stay in our church “home.” This three-year-old program for homeless families with children provides shelter and supportive services, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Additional shelter dates are September 16-22 and December 9 – 15, 2017.
Who are these families? Ordinary moms, dads and kids who for one reason or another have fallen on hard times and need a hand up. To volunteer, contact Peg Marose at [email protected] or 301-639-3099.
Reformation 500 Trees
During this year of celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation 500 trees are being planted in Wittenburg, Germany. Good Shepherd members participated in the dedication of one of the trees when we were in Germany in May.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has donated 500 trees to the Delaware-Maryland Synod to be planted throughout the Synod. Kris Kennedy attended a program and tree planting instruction at Mar-Lu Ridge in April and received our trees—5 Eastern Redbuds and 2 Oak trees. These trees have been planted on the Good Shepherd campus.
We will be dedicating the trees as part of our Reformation 500 celebration. Details to follow.
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (1415 West 7th Street, Frederick) is hosting a Day of Prayer for Christian Unity on Wednesday, January 25th from 6AM to 9PM. The sanctuary will be open for prayer during the entire period, with a host present in the narthex to monitor those coming in and out. Prayer guides and Bibles will also be available. There will be members of Good Shepherd in the sanctuary praying throughout the day and you are welcome to join us for five minutes, thirty minutes or more. This “Day of Prayer” is a part of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity – an annual celebration sponsored by both the World Council of Churches and the Roman Catholic Church. We wish to extend a special invitation to our ecumenical brothers and sisters in Christ to join us as we lift up Jesus’ prayer for his disciples that “they may be one so that the world may believe” (see John 17.21).
The theme of this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is Reconciliation – The Love of Christ Compels Us with the 2 Corinthians 5:14-20 as the biblical text. Each year ecumenical partners in a particular region are invited to produce the resources for the Week of Prayer. In light of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 the Council of Churches in Germany which includes Protestant, Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches was asked to do this work for 2017. As the Reformation has been a controversial event for inter-church relations the materials have two accents: a celebration of God’s love and grace reflecting the main concern of the churches marked by Martin Luther’s Reformation and also a recognition of the pain and deep divisions which have afflicted the Church as a result of the Reformation.
Ultimately it was Pope Francis 2013 Apostolic Exhortation “The Joy of the Gospel” which provided the theme for this year, when it used the quote from 2 Corinthians 5:14 “The Love of Christ Compels Us.” Much difficult work and dialogue has happened in the 50 years leading up to this Reformation anniversary year. But thanks be to God, after centuries of mutual condemnations and vilifications, in 2017 Lutheran and Roman Catholic Christians will for the first time commemorate together the beginning of the Reformation. The “love of Christ compels us” all to pray for Christian unity and take steps towards true reconciliation.
For any questions or concerns please feel free to contact Good Shepherd (301-663-3344) or Pastor Mark Huffman ([email protected]).