The Rev. Douglas F. Scharf
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Dear Friends in Christ,
The month of June will begin with two major celebrations in the life of the church. The first is the Feast of Pentecost, which commemorates the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the first disciples and the empowerment of the Spirit that still enlivens the church today. The second celebration is Trinity Sunday, which is set aside to reflect on the mystery of one God in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. By the way, Trinity Sunday is also the most dreaded day of the year for preachers! These two great celebrations provide us an opportunity to contemplate God’s nature and the divine life in which we are called to participate.
However, immediately after these two great celebrations, we enter the seemingly endless season of Pentecost, which is known as “ordinary time.” This is the period between Trinity Sunday and the First Sunday of Advent in December. The liturgical color is green for nearly six months. There are no major festivals. Sunday attendance tends to be lower. This is the time of year when things are supposed to be ordinary. However, I want to challenge you to make this year’s “ordinary time” extraordinary! Over the next few months, explore some ways you can grow in your faith and develop a deeper life of discipleship. Here are a few ideas:
Read a book that will challenge you spiritually. There are so many excellent resources on spirituality and discipleship available that can help you grow in your faith. I am currently reading a short book entitled If I had Lunch with C.S. Lewis, which explores the life and teachings of the great 20th century Oxford theologian. This summer, as you head out to the beach, grab some reading material that will nourish and enliven your faith and connection with God.
Continue the Bible Reading Challenge. For those of you who have been participating in the Bible Reading Challenge during the season of Easter, you have experienced the impact of daily engagement with God’s Word. However, your commitment to daily reading doesn’t have to stop with the conclusion of the Easter season. There are numerous daily Bible reading plans available on the web. Make a commitment to continue this important spiritual discipline.
Be intentional about observing Sabbath. The idea of “keeping the Sabbath” is central to the life and ministry of God’s people; however, we’re actually not very good at it, especially in the 24-hour culture in which we live. So, this summer, I encourage you to be intentional about protecting time for rest and silence. Set aside time to “be still” in God’s abiding presence.
These are just a few practices that we can implement in our lives as a way of cultivating a deeper commitment to the life of discipleship to which we are called. May God bless you and equip you to make this otherwise “ordinary time” extraordinary!
Thanks for an Amazing VBS!
During the first full week of June, the campus of Good Shepherd Church was transformed in the “Maker Fun Factory!” This year’s Vacation Bible School focused on God as our “Maker,” the One who is with us and will love us always. Nearly eighty children gathered each day for this important time of learning and faith formation. A big “thank you” to Sandi O’Malley, our VBS Director, as well as our staff and volunteers who helped to make this year’s VBS such an amazing success! Vacation Bible School provides many exciting and creative ways to reach out to our local community and to partner with the teachers, parents, and students at the Good Shepherd School. We are hoping to continue to grow and expand this important ministry in the years to come! Thank you, everyone…and have a great summer!
A Community of Faith in the Jupiter, Tequesta and Hobe Sound Area
The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd
"We Have A Place For You."
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