The Tucker Family - “I love my new church!”
To pledge a gift to Good Shepherd for 2023, go to bit.ly/GSNewLife or stop by the church office to pick up a pledge card.
Join us for the celebration of this year’s stewardship campaign on Sunday, November 20, complete with a celebratory Jazz Mass at the 10:30 am service and Jazzy Good Shepherd Social immediately following!
The McDowell Family -Taking in what feeds you and offering it back
Ashley Williams and Eddy Register on what renews their faith
What is drawing you?
There are so many things I love about Good Shepherd that, quite honestly, I don’t know where to begin. But if I must start somewhere, it would be, of course, with the people. It’s not “just” the people, however. It is the relationships that exist between the people.
The relationships in Good Shepherd that move and inspire me the most are the ones that exist between families. In none of the parishes where I have previously served have I seen as many multi-generational families. Not only do we have lots of two generational family units at Good Shepherd, but there are a good many three generational families in the parish. Until recently, we even had a few four (!) generational families.
As our spiritual home, Good Shepherd’s families also welcome and nurture those who come from places outside of Lookout Mountain and the Chattanooga area. The generations of families who have been baptized, confirmed, married, and buried here have been loved, nurtured, and formed here, and have found sanctuary in this holy place. We are drawn to people and places that love us. It’s no wonder that family members find their way back to Good Shepherd, and why so many people who don’t have family in this community are drawn here.
All this comes from God: the source, strength, power and draw of Good Shepherd. So many of us have received and experienced God’s unconditional and overflowing love here. All the love we share—whether it be with family, friends, or strangers—is given away only because God first shared love with us. We continue to love each other only as we strengthen our love for and relationship with God, the source of love.
Love is understood and shared in and through relationships. For me, I have come to understand love most fully through my relationship with God. On my best days, when I am in a good place, I know and am certain that God loves me without conditions or reservations. And on those days, I can share that love with others. When I am not in a good place, a place of murky darkness and uncertainty, invariably someone—often someone from Good Shepherd—who is certain of God’s love is always there to share the gift of love with me, bringing me back to the light.
Do you give to Good Shepherd? Do you make a financial commitment to this place? If you do, why? If you don’t, why not? I want you to think about your giving, or not giving, in terms of love and relationships. What have you learned of love, or how have you grown in love and life, through your experiences and relationships here at Good Shepherd? As you have grown, how have your relationships with others developed and changed? Has the presence and face of Christ been more apparent in your relationships? How have worship, study, fellowship, and the friendships formed here shown you more of love? How much you are loved? How much love you have to give to others?
Your financial gift to Good Shepherd strengthens this place. More importantly, your giving to Good Shepherd opens you—opens your heart—to the love which flows so freely from here. Giving to Good Shepherd is an expression of love. And like any expression of love we share, we receive love, abundant ever-flowing love, in return.
In a few weeks, you will receive a letter from your fellow parishioners and a pledge card for 2023. Before this arrives, please pray about what life-giving relationships you have formed in this place and what financial gift you would like to give in support of God’s ministries here at Good Shepherd. Your support will contribute to the many wonderful services and programs which nurture you and which will nurture those we have yet to meet.
With much love and gratitude to you all,
Dear Good Shepherd family,
My dad and I are writing to you today about Good Shepherd’s 2023 Stewardship Campaign. We were inspired to be part of this campaign after talking with Father Robert about relationships and how important these are in our parish community. We personally experience the great joy that it is to be part of a multi-generational community of faith that includes children, parents, grandparents, and more.
These relationships – both within our own family and the parish – have sustained us more than we could have imagined during the past few years. Now, as we move forward back in to “normal” routines at school, work, church, and home, we know that it’s going to be just as important to rely on these relationships. This year’s stewardship campaign theme is “New Life,” and that is just what things feel like out in the world: things are “back” to normal, but they are also brand new. We’ve developed new daily rituals and habits, left old ones behind, and questioned on which of our old and new activities we want to spend our precious time. These are great questions we’re asking ourselves, but they can also be daunting ones – and our relationships at Good Shepherd with God, each other, and our fellow parishioners provide us with guidance, love, support, and willing ears for our joys, pain, or questions.
Our financial commitment to Good Shepherd helps to ensure that the worship services, outreach grants and programs, Christian education and programming for all ages, and fellowship opportunities that strengthen us continue and grow. We – all of us together – make it possible every year for Good Shepherd to assist thousands with housing, utility bills, and food; for us to gather in worship, meals, and parish days; for us to learn and grow together in Godly Play, Wednesday Night Youth, Bible studies, and so much more.
You’ll find enclosed a pledge card for 2023 with this letter. We – my dad and I – will be prayerfully considering our own financial gift to Good Shepherd over the next few weeks, and we hope you will, too. You can return your pledge card in the enclosed return envelope by mail, dropping your card in the offering plate at any service, or returning your card to the church office. You can also pledge online at https://bit.ly/GSNewLife or by scanning the QR code at the bottom of this letter.
Thank you for being part of our Good Shepherd family. We’re so grateful to be in community with you here at this special place.
Ashley Williams & Eddy Register