• Rev. Amanda Robertson

Shepherd's Tales February 2021

Vol. 11, Issue 2

Dear People of Good Shepherd,

When I moved to Charlotte from New York City almost ten years ago, I talked about the sky incessantly. So vast, so blue, so beautiful. I marveled at the hawks and owls, more birds of prey than in any other place I have lived. And that first winter I had to ask about the early blooms that suddenly filled the garden beds. Lenten roses. A reminder that growth is possible in all seasons.


On Wednesday, February 17, our Lenten observance begins. We enter a solemn season that prepares us for the great mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection. During the Ash Wednesday liturgy we hear this bidding:

The first Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Lord's passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the Church to prepare for them by a season of penitence and fasting. This season of Lent provided a time in which converts to the faith were prepared for Holy Baptism. It was also a time when those who, because of notorious sins, had been separated from the body of the faithful were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness, and restored to the fellowship of the Church. Thereby, the whole congregation was put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution set forth in the Gospel of our Savior, and of the need which all Christians continually have to renew their repentance and faith.

Lent, a season of penitence and fasting. Lent, a season of preparation for Holy Baptism. Lent, a season of reconciliation. Lent, I would add, a season of growth.


We tend to focus on the penitence, in prayer and posture (kneeling), and the fasting… from Alleluias, meat, and whatever else one is inspired to give up. These practices are important. They remind us of our frailty and our dependence on God’s mercy and grace. But the earliest Lenten practices of instruction in the faith and rituals of pardon and forgiveness are also significant. They all remind us of our growing edge.


In the early church, adult candidates for baptism engaged in a period of training in Christian belief and practice known as the catechumenate. The catechumenate lasted until a person was ready to be baptized--as prayerfully determined by the individual, their clergy and sponsors. Lent would then serve as the final preparation and the candidate (catechumen) was initiated into the Sacraments of the church, both Baptism and Eucharist, at the Easter Vigil.


Lent is still used in many churches for inquirers’ classes for adults and youth contemplating baptism or confirmation. Please let me know if you are in discernment about these rites for yourself or a family member. I would encourage us all to use this season as a dedicated time for our own spiritual study and growth, whether or not we have already celebrated these sacraments.


Imagine for a moment that a young person or adult approaches to ask you to be their sponsor for baptism or confirmation. Are you prepared to say “yes”? Engage in formation for yourself and your relationship with God; engage in formation for the support you can then readily offer to others as they tend to their growing edges.


At every celebration of Holy Baptism, we remember our own as we renew our baptismal covenant. This Lent, I invite us to deepen our understanding of our baptismal promises and identity.

A Deeper Dive into Holy Baptism: Sundays in Lent at 9:15 am via Zoom

Please review the calender for the Zoom meeting link

February 21: The Brooding Spirit

February 28: Remember Your Baptism

March 7: Buried and Branded with Christ

March 14: Becoming Christian

March 21: “Behold, I am making all things new”

With prayer, we grow. With study and reflection, we grow. With self-examination and repentance, we grow.


While the Ash Wednesday bidding speaks of reconciliation for those whose sins are “notorious,” we all stand in need of forgiveness. In addition to the general Confession said in public worship, the Episcopal Church offers a rite of Reconciliation of a Penitent (Book of Common Prayer, pages 446-452). It is a private confession and absolution with a priest.

When asked for whom this rite is intended, the Church traditionally responds “all may, none must, some should.” Some view it as a spiritual check-up or annual exam, others as a chance to unload burdens at significant moments of distress or personal discovery, and some come simply because they are curious. The reasons are as varied as the individuals. God’s grace, however, is constant. Please contact me if you have questions or wish to schedule a time to meet for reconciliation.

Reconciliation can also happen on the communal level. Our Compline services will use different prayers of confession that invite us to ponder the meaning of sin and its presence in our lives; one such prayer has us “repent of the evil that enslaves us, the evil we have done, and the evil done on our behalf.” We have corporate and systemic sins to confess and address, with God’s help.

Finally, I invite you to join me in reading Howard Thurman’s The Growing Edge (quoted below). A schedule of discussions will be announced. Please contact the church if you would like us to secure you a copy of the book for $13.


We know this will be a Lent like none other. May it be memorable for being rooted in the earliest traditions of the Church and helping us to bear fruit for our future. Let us look to the growing edge.

With joy,

Amanda


“All around us worlds are dying and new worlds are being born; all around us life is dying and life is being born. The fruit ripens on the tree, the roots are silently at work in the darkness of the earth against a time when there shall be new lives, fresh blossoms, green fruit. Such is the growing edge! It is the extra breath from the exhausted lung, the one more thing to try when all else has failed, the upward reach of life when weariness closes in upon all endeavor. This is the basis of hope in moments of despair, the incentive to carry on when times are out of joint and men have lost their reason, the source of confidence when worlds crash and dreams whiten into ash. The birth of a child — life’s most dramatic answer to death — this is the growing edge incarnate. Look well to the growing edge!”

—Howard Thurman

SHROVE TO GO


Since we can not have our usual festive Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, we thought it would be fun to have a Shrove To Go event.

Shrove To Go is planned as a “Pick up your Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, take it home, and on Tuesday evening you’ve got dinner done!” The dinners will include: 4 pancakes, 2 pieces of sausage, and 2 strips of bacon. Syrup packet will be included.

We’ve never charged for our Shrove Tuesday event, so we won’t do so this year either. However if you want to make a donation, all donations will go to PATH. A suggested donation is $10 but it is entirely up to you.


Please call the church office by Tuesday, February 9 to place your order.

Meals will be available for pick-up:

Sunday, February 14 at 12 noon

Or

Tuesday, February 16 between 10am-12noon


SERVICES IN FEBRUARY

Sunday, February 7th The Fifth Sunday after The Epiphany,

o 8:30 am in-person spoken service in the Parish Hall. To attend sign up online (links are sent each week) or call the church office.

o 11:00 am with music, register online to attend in the Parish Hall

Sunday, February 14th The Last Sunday after the Epiphany

o 8:30 am in-person spoken service in the Parish Hall. To attend sign up online (links are sent each week) or call the church office.

o 11:00 am with music, register online to attend in the Parish Hall

Wednesday, February 17th Ash Wednesday

o Services at Noon in-person (sign ups needed) and 6:30pm Livestream

Sunday, February 21st The First Sunday in Lent

o 8:30 am in-person spoken service in the Parish Hall. To attend sign up online (links are sent each week) or call the church office.

o 11:00 am with music, register online to attend in the Parish Hall

Sunday, February 28th The Second Sunday in Lent

o 8:30 am in-person spoken service in the Parish Hall. To attend sign up online (links are sent each week) or call the church office.

o 11:00 am with music, register online to attend in the Parish Hall



Live Streamed Compline In Lent: Tuesdays at 8:30 PM

February 23rd, March 2nd, 9th, 16th, and 23rd


Compline is one of the “liturgical hours”, prayed by medieval monks according to the pattern established by St Benedict in the sixth century, and based on the Jewish tradition of “consecrating the day with Prayer.” Beginning with Matins upon waking, it progressed through seven more “offices” before ending with Vespers at eventide, finishing with Compline just before going to bed.


When Cranmer came to compile the Book of Common Prayer in 1549, he combined elements of Vespers and Compline to form our Evensong. As part of the nineteenth century liturgical renewal known as the Oxford Movement, there was a desire to return to the original, very lovely form of prayer called Compline; this has now become very popular throughout the Anglican communion. St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle is filled every Sunday night with young and old who have come to love this service.


After the choir I directed at Harvard had experienced it on tour in England, the students clamored to start it in Memorial Church. It was an immediate success – the only service I ever saw students running to get to! Part of the appeal comes from using the traditional plainsongs for the music, melodies which have been passed down since the Middle Ages, which we will be using in our services this Lent.

Murray Somerville



The Good Shepherd Preservation Society


We have once more cranked up production offering old favorites along with some new items:

Greater Tater casserole with broccoli, ham, mushrooms and cheese, $16

Baked Ziti with marinara sauce, Italian sausage and cheese, $16

Ham, pea and pasta casserole, $16

Shrimp Fried Rice, $16

Chicken Enchiladas, $16

We also offer:

Pumpkin Chili 1 qt. (a best seller from Fit Fresh), $12

Spicy Beef Chili 1 qt., $12

Pulled Pork 1 Lb., $10

We still have some of our regular jams and pickle items:

Pickled okra $6; Chow chow $6; Dilly beans $6;

Orange Marmalade $5; Strawberry jam $5; Peach Jam $5.

Hot Pepper Jelly $5 (Habanero HOT/Jalapeno Medium to mild)

Our system is as before, on the honor system. Get your items and leave money in the wooden box. If you have questions call Jeanne or Libby. Pass the word to your family and friends. Thanks and enjoy!


MAKE SURE THE FREEZER DOOR IS SHUT TIGHTLY!

Birthdays

Jill Neff 2/2, Linda Hicks 2/3, Laney Nyberg 2/4, Meredith Gibson 2/5, Beth Hanson 2/7, Lyle Nyberg 2/10, Debbie Shiflet 2/19, Benjamin Myers Sr. 2/20, Mindy McCrae 2/24, Paul Hanlon 2/24, TJ Robertson 2/25

Anniversaries

Jean & John Comins 2/21/2009, Mary Beth & Joe Tiblier 2/26/1983

If your birthday or anniversary doesn’t appear on this list, please let the office

know as we may not have that information.



Looking Forward

In February the light is lower and the season darker as we enter Lent with Ash Wednesday coming on February 17th.

In March we end Lent with Palm Sunday March 28th and Holy Week begins the last week of March.

In April Easter brings us new hope, new joy, and new life on April 4th.

We pray 2021 bring us all the positive changes we seek in our world and in or lives.

Church of the Good Shepherd

Street Address: 108 East Liberty Street

Mailing Address: PO Box 437, York, SC 29745-0437

Office Phone: (803) 684-4021

Website: www.goodshepherdyork.org

@TheChurchoftheGoodShepherdYork

Office Hours: 9am to Noon Monday through Thursday

The Rev’d Amanda K. Robertson, Rector

Phone for Pastoral Emergencies: 803-627-8750

Email: amanda@goodshepherdyork.org

11 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Tel. (803) 684-4021   *   P.O. Box 437  York, SC 29745   *   barbara@goodshepherdyork.org     

The Church of the Good Shepherd website created by the TLCGroup   *   webadmin@goodshepherdyork.org