Shepherd's Tales April 2021
Dear People of Good Shepherd,
“Your life is the lung through which your loyalties breathe.”
Howard Thurman, the Growing Edge p. 99
Inhale. Exhale. This Lent we have seen a noticeable increase in activity on the church grounds. The vaccine has allowed people to return to worship and engage in study, care for our grounds, and community outreach. Now, we breathe a little more easily and our loyalties, our commitments, come to life.
Wellbeing of our Community
The ongoing effort to help our neighbors register for the vaccine has been very much appreciated. Listen for the church bells on Tuesday afternoons (2-6pm); they ring out with joy and thanksgiving when an appointment is secured!
You will also read about the Easter dinner boxes on our News & Notes page.
Health and Safety of our Parish
The Vestry has authorized the purchase of two automated external defibrillators (AEDs), one for the church and one for the Parish House, as well as first aid kits, and CPR/AED training by Lt. Dale Edwards of the York Police.
Celebrating our History
Good Shepherd will make a memorial contribution in honor of the late Fr. Tom Hudson and his wife Nadja to Trinity Episcopal Church, Abbeville, SC for its historical restoration. Fr. Hudson was Rector of Good Shepherd for 18 years and later served Trinity Abbeville until his retirement. The Vestry has agreed to match up to $1,000 of parishioners’ donations to this cause received before April 30, 2021.
Additionally, John Skardon--the genealogy reference librarian at the York County Library in Rock Hill--has recently scanned many of our records for the library’s reference collection and will give us digital copies. We are obtaining a fireproof file cabinet to house the originals, all of which will remain on site.
Supporting our Children’s Faith Formation
We will resume taking a collection for the Camp Fund on the first Sunday of the month (including this Sunday, Easter). The funds support camp scholarships at Camp Gravatt, the Diocesan Episcopal Camp and Conference Center, and other programs.
We are arranging a designated Godly Play space. While it might be some time before we can invite children to gather on Sunday mornings, we are exploring ways to make the space and these wonderful materials available to our families with young children. Be on the lookout for improvements to our playground area as well.
I highlight these examples but they are only part of the inspired (literally, “God-breathed”) ministry that we share. What other commitments have you witnessed being given breath in recent weeks at Good Shepherd?
Inhale. Exhale. May our life together encourage our breath, our loyalties, to deepen.
The Vestry met in February for a retreat and spent the day in conversation about the vision, mission and goals that would guide our work. We offer the statements below and welcome your feedback and ideas. Describe Good Shepherd as it is, and as you would like it to be and to become. How, with God’s help, do we get there?
Vision: To strengthen our identity as followers of the Good Shepherd and our visibility in the community as we involve more people, especially children and families, in our mission and ministries.
Mission: We seek to communicate, in word and deed, the Love of the Good Shepherd to all our members and the communities we inhabit. Our ministries of worship, Bible Study and spiritual formation help us -- at every age and stage of faith -- to grow in our understanding of God’s love. We also meet God in the world, beyond our church walls, as we strive to serve and learn from our neighbors, strangers, and those whose experiences differ from ours and with whom we may not agree. All are loved by the Good Shepherd.