Good News from Good Shepherd Church
Envisioning with the Vestry
Dear Good Shepherd Family‑
I am happy to share that the Search Committee has completed the Parish Profile and it has been sent to the diocese for review and advisement. Once it has been approved, we will make it available to all of you. It is a beautiful compilation of Good Shepherd, who we are and where we want to go!
I came away with a smile after reading it, realizing all the things in the report are the very things that brought me here and keep me here! I pray that someone very special will feel the same upon reading it and be drawn to Good Shepherd to serve as our rector.
Please keep our Search Committee members John, Ralph, Brenda, Diana, Maureen and Nancy, in your prayers as they begin the next phase of work.
Spirit of the living God:
Guide us as we journey together in search for a new rector.
Grant us patience to listen and wisdom to understand each other and ourselves.
Equip us with open minds and trustful hearts.
Anchor us in faith, hope and love during this transition and always.
Meet Your Parish Family
I have been a member of Good Shepherd Church since 1989 when I was so warmly welcomed upon requesting to have my daughter baptized.So began my love for this special place.
Since then, I have been received into the Episcopal church and had another daughter and a granddaughter baptized here. Over the years I have met beautiful people that I would otherwise not have met if I had not been involved in various ministries (Sunday school, Altar Guild, Usher, Vestry).
Barbara Hartman Currently I serve on the Vestry as your Sr. Warden. I have been here through three rectors and one long term interim
rector, so I know firsthand that the challenges we face today are only temporary!
Originally from Bergen County, NJ I have lived in Pike County for the past 36 years with my late husband Paul, where we raised our three children Allison, Lindsey and Taylor. I retired in 2021 from my job of 29 years as Administrator of a Cardiology Practice in New Jersey. I enjoy spending time with my girls and being “Sammy” to my three grandchildren Brennan, Lainey and Savannah. I enjoy trips to the ocean, relaxing at the lake, reading, music and being with friends.
Members of Good Shepherd Church,
Thank you very much for your support with your Souper Bowl soup collection! Your generosity to the pantry is very much appreciated.
The number of clients we serve has continued to grow and as a result, our needs keep increasing. For example, we are currently providing an average of 140 cans of soup to our guests every week.
Rising food prices are affecting the pantry as well as our clients, so your support is more important than ever. For families in need, the Pantry remains an even more important source of supplemental groceries. These include providing meat, poultry, eggs, milk, fresh fruit and vegetables. In addition, we provide shelf stable items such as canned tuna fish, soup, pasta sauce, canned fruits and vegetables, dried pasta and rice, bread, and even some toiletries.
It takes a strong, passionate, caring community to provide consistent assistance to our neighbors in need. Your ongoing support keeps us moving forward in our mission to eliminate food insecurity.
Contemplation is an ancient practice meant to bring us closer to God. Cesar Bujosa offers these ‘nuggets’ to help guide us to a deeper understanding of ourselves and our God.
Meister Eckhart comments on
The Most Powerful Prayer
(Meister Eckhart: Selections from His Essential Writings, 2005, Harper Collins.)
“The most powerful prayer, and almost the strongest of all to obtain everything, and the most honorable of all works, is that which proceeds from an empty spirit,
The emptier the spirit, the more is the prayer and work mighty, worthy, profitable, praiseworthy, and perfect. The empty spirit can do everything.” (p.4)
Jesus, too, once said: “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him” (Mark 11:22–23).
An Ash Wednesday Reflection
By Rev. Martha Bonwitt
Every major religion has a day or a period of time set aside for penitence. Perhaps that is because we realize that we are not perfect beings, humans are fallible. There are temptations we give into, desires we long for that are not good for us. We fall short of what our creator hoped we would become.
For Christians this time is called Lent; forty days long based on the time Jesus wandered in the wilderness being tempted, just as we are. He instructed his followers about what temptations we should particularly avoid. Jesus said, “Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them. ..”
But who understands today what practicing piety means? Eugene Peterson translates it this way, "Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don't make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won't be applauding.”
Jesus is talking about three specific spiritual practices: giving to those in need, prayer and fasting. He is concerned with what is in our heart when we do these things. He says our motivation matters. Are we trying to look good for our family, friends and neighbors or are we nurturing our relationship with God by service to his people?
In preparing for this season of Lent I found disturbing number of writers saying that modern-day folks are not interested in keeping Lent any more. It is a season that celebrates things we don't value and encourages attitudes we don't share. Fasting, self examination and self -discipline are not popular any longer.
If numbers are any proof - why is our church not full right now? Why do churches no longer have pancakes suppers to prepare for fasting? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe that God wants us to beat up on ourselves. But I actually think it’s healthy to admit the ways in which we have fallen short of God’s hopes and dreams for us. I believe its quite alright to say: “I’ve blown it; I regret it; I want to try again.”
For those of us who are here - the ones who still care about such, things I would like to make a suggestion. If you haven’t yet settled on a Lenten discipline lets commit to doing something really modern that might actually make a difference in the future for ourselves and others.
Let’s do something for the earth, you know reduce our carbon foot print for at least the next 40 days. Instead of giving up meat or chocolate to make us individually stronger, lets work on the environment for the sake of everyone. There are many resources on line to guide us if we are not sure what to do. Some of them might actually be fun -like candlelight dinners - all of them are helpful
Or if you need something more traditional you could do what a clergy friend of mine and his family do. On Wednesdays and Fridays of Lent they fast -that is, they do not eat at all. Then, they take the money that they saved on groceries and give it to those in need. There is a real challenge to both ourselves and a benefit for the needy around us
Whatever you decide to make your Lenten discipline I invite you to do something worthwhile - something that God will applaud.
Files coming soon.