Verse of the Month
As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
Psalm 103:12 (ESV)
Fears about COVID-19
During times of fear, it is important that we join together as a Christian community to support each other. The CDC does not advise abandoning worship, fellowship, or other ministry activities, at this time, but the situation may change. As events unfold, we will monitor federal, state, and local health department recommendations. By actively keeping up to date, and communicating key recommendations during worship services and gatherings, we will deal with COVID-19 effectively. Good communication will provide peace, pacify worry, and offer hope.
We need to all take proper precautions to protect ourselves and those around us – wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your face and cough into your elbow. There are antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer available for your use at the back of the sanctuary near the main doors. If you are sick, please stay home – you can check out our live-stream of the 1030am service on Facebook!
In the event that the authorities determine that we are to refrain from gathering in large groups, and so we will be unable to gather for worship, we will still be able to gather as a community. Our primary communication will be through our member mailing list. If you have not yet subscribed to this list, sign up at https://www.gs4nj.org/whats-happening/enewsletter/
Communion and COVID-19
Lutherans believe that the Body and Blood of Christ are “truly and substantially present in, with and under the forms” of consecrated bread and wine (i.e. the “elements”). It is a reminder of Christ’s sacrifice for us, an anchor for our faith. The word “communion” is defined as an act of sharing, or holding in common.
As you know, during Communion, we offer wine in both the common Cup as well as individual cups. Members of the Altar Guild carefully prepare the elements for Communion. Before preparing any communion cups, hands are washed with soap and hot water. The individual cups are placed into the trays by hand, carefully avoiding touching the inside of the cup. The wine or juice is carefully poured into the cups without touching the cup lips. Each tray is then covered. The chalices are washed with soap and hot water and dried before being placed on the altar as well as between services.
You may have noticed that prior to joining Pastor on the altar, the Deacons and Communion Assistants was their hands with individual alcohol-based hand wipes in the back of the sanctuary. When serving the common Cup, Pastor and Deacons take care to not touch the lip of the cup and assistants hold the cup trays by the edges, not touching the individual cups.
Bottom line, if you are uncomfortable taking communion, then refrain from doing so.
Easter and Holy Week
Join us for during Holy Week for Worship. Below you will find the times and listings for services.
- Palm Sunday, April 5, 9am & 10:30am
- Maundy Thursday, April 9, 7pm
- Holy Week 24 Hour Prayer Vigil, April 9, 8pm
- Good Friday, April 10, 7pm
- Easter Egg Hunt, April 11, 9am & 10:45am
- Easter Sunday, April 12, 9am & 10:30am
Good Shepherd’s Easter Egg Hunt is scheduled for April 11. We are in need of volunteers to help serve this event. If you would be interested in serving as a volunteer, please email the church office at email@example.com. Registration for the Easter Egg Hunt is now available. Also, please note that we will not be accepting donations of candy this year.
Holy Week Prayer Vigil
Good Shepherd will host a prayer vigil from the end of the Maundy Thursday worship service until the beginning of the Good Friday service. We want to invite you to take a two-hour shift in the Good Shepherd sanctuary to help us lift up prayers around the clock for our church, our community, our nation, and the world. Sign-ups for this vigil will begin on March 15.
Videokey Night Was a Great Success
Our next Community Haiti Meal Packing Event is set for Saturday, June 6. It is still several months away, but the planning and fundraising has begun.
Thank You to all who came out and supported our first Fundraiser for our Haiti Meal Packing event. The night was cold and damp outside, but we were warm and having a great time inside. We raised over $1600 for our Meal packing event. We may do this again in the Spring, so keep your eyes open for more information.
On Tuesday, March 10 at 6:30 pm we will be doing a mailing to all our participants from previous events. We need some help putting this mailing together. All are welcome to come and join us for this effort. Many hands make for short work.
Men’s Bible Study
Deacon Jeff Campbell hosts a Men’s Bible study on Saturday mornings at 8 am. Bible Study is on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month. However our next gathering will be a fellowship gathering
Women’s Bible Study
Women’s Bible Study is hosted on Monday nights at 7pm. The topic of the study is Great Women of the Bible. It is led by Randi Rutan and Sonya Hansen.
Listen & Watch Sermons Online
All of our Sunday morning messages are available to watch or to listen online. We also stream live on Facebook every Sunday morning. Join us at 10:45 on Sunday morning on Facebook to watch.
Spring Work Day
Join us on Saturday, May 2nd for Spring Work Day. There are all kinds of things that need to get done in and around the church. Rain Date is May 9th.
The Confirmation Class is working on making blankets for Project Linus. We are in need of 60 x 60 inches blanket material to make these blankets. There will be a box on the stage to leave the material. If you cannot get material, monetary donations are welcome and appreciated as well.
Thank you to everyone who donated blood. We received 29 units during the blood drive! Thank you for giving this gift of life. It is desperately needed. We pray for all who will receive these donations. We pray for their healing from their injuries or diseases.
Refurbishments, Improvements, and Upgrades
You may have noticed that our building seems to be transforming! Since we decided last summer that we would be staying in our facility, we are investing in completing a number of projects to improve the safety and aesthetics of our building. Since last summer:
- All the classrooms and hallways of GS Child Care Center were painted.
- Exterior benches were cleaned and repaired.
- Hallways and doors in the church building have been painted and a new drop ceiling is in the process of being installed.
- The Altar Guild room was painted and a new floor was installed.
- The Youth Room was painted and new flooring was installed.
- LED bulbs have replaced the old fluorescent bulbs.
- “Panic bars” have been installed to the front (red) doors in the Narthex and the back “kitchen” door and new weather stripping were installed.
- Plants and bushes have been added to our flower beds and new rock has been placed
A committed group of volunteers and members of our Building and Grounds Committee have done most of this work, saving us the costs associated with hiring contractors, helping to stretch our meager funds available. Please consider volunteering to help with some of the ongoing work.
As you know, GSCC has experienced a real renaissance and is at capacity enrolled for the 2019-2020 school year, including a full kindergarten! Marianne K and her team are to be congratulated on their success! With this resurgence, GSCC is able to help us to cover our ongoing expenses. Unfortunately, congregation members’ tithes are not meeting our routine expenses. Our monthly income is more than $2500 less than what we need and obviously hamper our ability to save for larger projects and potential major expenses.
The boiler we use to heat the buildings is more than 25 years old and we have been warned that it could cease to function at any time. The estimated cost for its replacement is $35,000. There are several other major projects that need to be done, but for which we have insufficient funds. These include:
- Replace church signage on the Route 9 frontage road. Estimated cost $20,000.
- Renovate the sanctuary: remove the pews, replace the carpet, and create a “sound station”. Estimated cost $35,000
- Resurface the parking lot and improve drainage. Estimated cost $100,000
Each of us receives so much from being part of this Congregation! Please prayerfully consider your commitment to Good Shepherd in terms of your time and treasure.
Thriven Action Teams
Thrivent Action Teams – with spring approaching and various projects, many of our Thrivent members have access to $250 Action Team Credit Cards. Apply online as a member or see Tony Puricelli for help.
Lunch & Learn Retirement
Lunch & Learn: Retirement, Investing, ROTH vs 401K / IRA, Taxes – Lunch & Learn for Millennials (ages 24-45). Hosted by Cindi Crane of Thrivent at Zion Lutheran on March 15 in Clark, NJ 12:00PM.
Vacation Bible School 2020
VBS will be July 20 – 24 from 6 – 8 pm each night. We need volunteers to make this a success. If you are interested in volunteering to help with this, email the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good Shepherd Turns 60
The first weekend in October marks the 60th Anniversary of Good Shepherd’s first worship service. We will be hosting a special celebration that weekend, but we are looking to put together a party planning committee for the event. If you would like to help plan the celebration, please email the church office at email@example.com.
Shopping with Scrip
Get your Gift cards from SCRIP! Stores that are available weekly are Wawa, Dunkin Donuts, Panera, Acme, ShopRite and more, there are also some Amazon Gift cards. Be sure to stop at the kitchen counter and see what is new. Order forms are available for 1000’s of other cards that are available on the website. Families can now pay for gift cards with credit cards online or you can link to your bank account. Credit card types that are accepted are Visa and Mastercard. Credit card payments are only available to families who can pay online. Good Shepherd’s code F67D7L9421914. Good Shepherd’s code F67D7L9421914.
Shopping with Amazon
Did you know that when you shop on Amazon that a portion of your purchase can be donated to Good Shepherd? Instead of typing www.amazon.com in your browser, just type smile.amazon.com and chose the cause of your choice.
- March 10 — Meal Packing Envelope Prep Night 6:30 pm
- March 14 –– AA Anniversary Brunch
- March 15 — Thrivent Workshop
- April 9 — Maundy Thursday Service 7 pm
- April 10 — Good Friday Service 7 pm
- April 11 – Easter Egg Hunt
- April 12 — Easter Sunday
- May 2 — Spring Work Day (Rain Date May 9)
- May 3 — First Communion Sunday
- May 17 — Confirmation Sunday
See all our events on our church calendar at gs4nj.org/calendar