Friday Fanfare 8/1/19

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DREAMING:  A SPECIAL EDITION OF FRIDAY FANFARE” 

Dear Good Shepherd Parish Family-

This edition of “Friday Fanfare” is a bit special.

Instead of simply presenting what’s happening in our parish family, or introduce some unique event or opportunity, today I want to offer an invitation to Dream and to Give to the life of your parish family Good Shepherd Anglican Church.

After the “Dreaming” presentation, I will drop in a ‘plug’ for an Inventory (B)  and for a  series of presentations on the Sundays of August which relate to the “Dreaming” (C).

  (A)  A Season for Dreaming and for Giving

When was the last time you gave yourself permission to dream about the future of our parish?

One of God’s prophets once proclaimed: “Without a vision, the People perish”.

I’d like to share a dream…a vision if you will… about the future for Good Shepherd Anglican Church.

I dream of a parish that is so committed to Jesus Christ and His Love that it just won’t die a peaceable death.  In the face of shrinking to the size of a mission (not self-supportive; dependent on the Diocese), this parish wakes up to say instead, ‘I am going to give until this parish thrives!  Give of my time and effort, give of my spiritual and natural gifts, give of my precious finances, even!’  This parish I’m dreaming of sees Giving as a hilarious opportunity to see God move…not Giving as a heavy burden of guilt.  What I see is a bright future, a vibrant community of Christians seeking to learn new tricks…even by us “old dogs”!  Christians learning how to tell the story of Christ (“TELET, anyone?”) and welcome the stranger with kindness and Good News.

What’s your dream?  What’s your vision?

Your Vestry will be circulating a “Basic Church Profile Inventory”, which will give each member of our parish an opportunity to begin this envisioning work by looking at Who we now are, and leaning forward to consider, “what more…what else” might we want to do…to BE?  I’m asking you to go the extra mile and fill out this inventory and return all but the cover page to the Vestry member who gives it to you, or drop it off at the Church next time you stop in.  (Your responses are anonymous.) Let’s think together, pray together, dream together for the future of Good Shepherd.  We know that Jesus Christ is the Lord of the Church.  We know that the Church is His blood-bought Bride.  So:  What is the Dream that Christ Jesus is giving to us for our future life?

The first sermon I ever gave at GSAC began this way, “the only lasting value in my ministry together with you will be those things that are soaked in prayer”.

Therefore:  Let us Pray for our Future Life together.  Let us Dream…and Let us GIVE.

Fr. Stuart Smith

(B)  A CHURCH PROFILE TO BEGIN OUR DREAMING PROCESS

CHURCH PROFILE INVENTORY

As we look toward the future of Good Shepherd, this moment provides an important opportunity for us all to share together in assessing who we are and where we see ourselves going.  Please take a few thoughtful moments to fill out the survey that will be handed to you, starting this Sunday.  A member of the vestry should contact you about the importance of this project.  Your responses are anonymous.  Just remove the cover page and return pages 2-15 that are stapled together in the basket at the back of the Church or the basket in Parish Hall before August 17th

(C)  SPECIAL AUGUST SUNDAYS:  4 WAYS TO RESPOND TO OUR MISSION

During the Christian Formation time (after refreshments), GSAC will be blessed with presentations from 4 representatives of outreach missions.  Each of them is a  ministry  to which our Parish sends monthly financial contributions.  As we envision our future, we want to be aware of and responsive to the needs of these excellent missions.

Here they are, Sunday-by-Sunday:

August 4thMrs. Kim Erwin will speak about the mission and ministry of Brazos Pregnancy Center.

August 11thMrs. Janet Craig will bring with her a young person involved in the Camp Crucis Equestrian Program to describe that vital diocesan Ministry.

August 18thFr. Robert Gresser and his family will give us a report on their challenging and exciting mission to the Diocese of Northern Malawi.

August 25thMrs. Brenda King and her husband will share with us the exciting reading mentoring program known as “BEAM”  (“Baccus Elementary Adult Mentors”), a ministry in which 8-10 members of our parish have participated over the past 5 years.

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As you can see, we have much to do over the next month.  Our diocese will be consecrating a New Bishop in September.  Our parish is embarking on a season of reflection, planning and…yes…Dreaming together.  I can’t wait to see what God (and you, the members of GSAC) have in store for the year(s) to come!

Love in Christ,

Fr. Stuart Smith