January Newsletter

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  1. 1. God knows allGod knows allGod knows allGod knows all about usabout usabout usabout us even about oureven about oureven about oureven about our weakness and sinweakness and sinweakness and sinweakness and sin and lovingly ex-and lovingly ex-and lovingly ex-and lovingly ex- tends grace andtends grace andtends grace andtends grace and hope to us throughhope to us throughhope to us throughhope to us through Jesus. We will notJesus. We will notJesus. We will notJesus. We will not be abandoned.be abandoned.be abandoned.be abandoned. This loving God sentThis loving God sentThis loving God sentThis loving God sent his Son, Jesus, tohis Son, Jesus, tohis Son, Jesus, tohis Son, Jesus, to connect with us in anconnect with us in anconnect with us in anconnect with us in an intimate way, tointimate way, tointimate way, tointimate way, to ground us in theground us in theground us in theground us in the reality of grace, toreality of grace, toreality of grace, toreality of grace, to support us on oursupport us on oursupport us on oursupport us on our journey to whole-journey to whole-journey to whole-journey to whole- ness, to normalizeness, to normalizeness, to normalizeness, to normalize our feelings ofour feelings ofour feelings ofour feelings of disappointment, anddisappointment, anddisappointment, anddisappointment, and to prepare us forto prepare us forto prepare us forto prepare us for ultimate healing.ultimate healing.ultimate healing.ultimate healing. ityOur Savior is Born! There is a truth here that pertains directly to you and to all of crea- tion as well. The darkness will be overcome! (Isaiah 9:2) Support- Saint Paul reminds us, But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) God knows all about useven about our weakness and sinand lovingly extends grace and hope to us through Jesus. We will not be abandoned. Normalize- Jesus teaches us to understand the world and sin for what they are. God reminds us that our feelings of disappointment and our laments over the brokenness of creation are nor- mal. Jesus himself wept over Jerusalem. (Luke 19:41). The Good news is that God in Christ has the victory and that the power of the resurrec- tion triumphs! Prepare- God empowers us to stand like John the Baptist in the river of life and to prepare the way for the Good news of Jesus Christ. Each time we are fed by God when we share in Holy Communion we remember that Christ died, Christ is risen. Christ will come again! We know that God has a beautiful plan that is un- folding and that we are in that grace-filled plan! Brothers and sisters, we worship and believe in a God who cares deeply about our traumatic inju- ries. This loving God sent his Son, Jesus, to con- nect with us in an intimate way, to ground us in the reality of grace, to support us on our journey to wholeness, to normalize our feelings of disap- pointment, and to prepare us for ultimate heal- ing. Let us come together often this Epiphany season and throughout the year to give thanks to a God who loves us through it all! Faithfully Yours, J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 3J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 3J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 3J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 3 GOOD SHEPHERD LUTHERAN CHURCH & SCHOOLGOOD SHEPHERD LUTHERAN CHURCH & SCHOOLGOOD SHEPHERD LUTHERAN CHURCH & SCHOOLGOOD SHEPHERD LUTHERAN CHURCH & SCHOOL CELEBRATING 60 YEARS IN GODS SERVICECELEBRATING 60 YEARS IN GODS SERVICECELEBRATING 60 YEARS IN GODS SERVICECELEBRATING 60 YEARS IN GODS SERVICE Dear Faithful People of Good Shepherd, Herding cats is a saying that refers to an attempt to control or organize a class of entities which are uncontrollable or chaotic. Gathering family and friends for a Christmas get-together is sometime like that. Many hosts experience ex- haustion and frustration similar to Martha. (Luke 10:40). Those who traverse afar (like the magi) are often road weary and stressed from traffic and tolls. Some expectations are realized, yet many are not. Disappointment in events, people, yourself, and maybe even God often is the source of the after-Christmas blues. Grief becomes raw again as we encounter empty chairs and can no longer pretend that our loved ones are away on a vacation. Often the way we celebrate Emmanuel (God with us) causes us to rub hard against the brokenness of creation. Add all of this to a national tragedy, and it is clear that this holy holiday can be emotionally traumatic indeed. As a Fire Service Chaplain I received training in Comprehensive Acute Traumatic Stress Man- agement through the American Academy of Ex- perts in Traumatic Stress. This training empha- sizes the following steps in helping individuals to survive and thrive during and following a traumatic experience: Connect, Ground, Sup- port, Normalize, and Prepare. While it may be the job of the chaplain, social worker or psy- chologist to work though these steps with vic- tims of traumatic stress following a catastro- phic event like Hurricane Sandy and the Sandy Hook shootings, I believe this framework is helpful in understanding the way in which God ministers to us in our post-Christmas distress as well. Connect- God connects with us in the birth of Christ, when the Word becomes flesh and tents among us. (John 1:14). Our God is with us, shar- ing our hardships and struggles in this same chaotic world. Ground-The true meaning of the birth of Christ was never about having the perfect Christmas goose and glowing fire or even about giving the perfect gift. God is grounding us in a new real-
  2. 2. On Monday, December 10, our Seniors enjoyed their 7th annual pre-Christmas Christmas Dinner Luncheon in the West Cottage. The tables were decorated with Lenox and Spode candlesticks while wonderful home-made delicacies were served on fine Chinette. After a cocktail 1/2 hour of shrimp cocktail, crabcakes, devilled eggs and a variety of cheeses that quickly disappeared, they sat down to dishes of turkey, ham, corn bread souffl, ziti, sweet potatoes and string beans, all created from individual family recipes. Wine and conversations flowed throughout three full tables. And if that wasnt enough to titillate the taste- buds...there were too many tasty deserts to even mention! Children and disabled adults con- nected with the New Life Center will have a merrier Christmas thanks to your response. Our "Christmas Angel" appeal was a huge success which was obvious as the generous contributions of approximately 51 mem- bers of our congregation were sorted and packed to be delivered this week to those families in need. We hope you had the opportunity to participate as the angel tags flew quickly off the wreath! But please remember that there is a need at the New Life Center throughout the year and, the committee will present many other op- portunities for your help. We look forward to exceeding this year's number of 67 recipients in 2013. Sincere thanks to all our participants along with my fellow members of the committee of Social Minis- try. - Submitted by Loretta Ruff Our youth group has been enjoy- ing the holidays along with eve- ryone else. Un- fortunately, due to inclement weather on De- cember 9, we had to postpone our trip to the Rockefeller Center and jazz vespers at St. Peters till the 26th of De- cember. We did take a trip to see the Trans- Siberian Orchestra, however, on December 15th. As always, they put on an amazing show, and we are hoping to make this an annual tradition to go see their uplifting and spiritual Christmas con- cert. Please check our weekly bulletin and on-line calendar for meeting dates and activities in Janu- ary as they become available. - Submitted by Bobby Stainkamp
  3. 3. EVENTS GOALEVENTS GOALEVENTS GOALEVENTS GOAL: Pack 200,000 food packets in order to feed 500 children every day for one year. The food packets consist of rice, soy, dried vegetables and seasoning mix. These meals are nutritionally balanced to prevent malnutrition. You, along with hundreds of other volunteers, will pack the meals that will be sent to Haiti and to other locations locally and in the USA. THE EVENT:THE EVENT:THE EVENT:THE EVENT: This is the third year Long Island Lutheran High School is organizing/hosting this event on our Brookville, NY campus. It is open to all churches, religious denominations, youth groups, community organizations, schools, and busi- nesses, scouting or other groups, family or persons who want to participate. All ages are welcome, however, children under thechildren under thechildren under thechildren under the age of 10 need to be accompanied by a parent.age of 10 need to be accompanied by a parent.age of 10 need to be accompanied by a parent.age of 10 need to be accompanied by a parent. The packing event will take place Thursday, April 11 through Saturday, April 13 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily in the Visscher Gymnasium at Long Island Lutheran High School. There will be day and evening packing sessions available each of the three scheduled days. PARTICIPATION:PARTICIPATION:PARTICIPATION:PARTICIPATION: The funds to purchase the food will come from donations like yours. Every $60 donated entitles one person to take part in a 2-hour packing session. However, dona- tions in any amount are gratefully accepted. Please note that a large percentage of the packaged food will be used to feed chil- dren locally and 100% of all donations are used to purchase meal supplies. A few notes about donationsA few notes about donationsA few notes about donationsA few notes about donations: Making a donation does not obligate you to take part in the meal packing. Donations of all sizes are encouraged and appreciated. Donors can choose to have contributions of $60 or more sponsor other persons who want to pack the food. Donations must be received by February 1, 2013 to ensure delivery of dried food in time for the packing event. All participants and groups must pre-register. Please contact the church office at 516-349-1699 or church@ourshepherd