Dear Church Family and Friends,

Every once in a while, we have the privilege of knowing that we have witnessed or, better yet, participated in something truly great.  October 31, 2019 was one of those days.  Church of the Shepherd was privileged to host a historic gathering of the four pan-Methodist denominations (AME, CME, AME Zion, and United Methodist) in Missouri, their Bishops, district superintendents, and pastors.  They met to begin building relationships and discover how they might share in ministry with one another and break down barriers and divides.  They began by sharing communion and prayer together.  It was a holy moment.  The day continued with relationships and new friendships forming, a meal shared and plans made to continue the conversations and ways we would gather and work together in the future.

That would have been enough.  But God had something more planned.  We joined hands to close in prayer and Bishop Williams sent us forth.  As he sent us forth, he and the entire group prayed God’s blessings, protection and thanksgiving over Church of the Shepherd.  If there was ever a moment when I might say I felt the earth shake with God’s presence, this was it.  I wanted you to know church, that we are not alone in making disciples, we are not alone in praying for God’s Spirit to come here, and we are not alone in our worship.  There is more.

Like all things great, if it simply stops with that one great moment, it produces a few “oohs” and “ahs.”  Those moments that become truly great move beyond a feeling and transform us and inspire us to action- actions that continue to not only transform us, but transform culture.

Right now we have been asking, “what If?”  What if we were to dedicate ourselves to walking across the room or street or crossing a river, and began to build relationships with people that are different?  What if our times of worship were not the most segregated hours of the day?  What if we became more focused on the kingdom of God forming in our midst?

October 31, 2019 was a day the kingdom of God came near, and it has left me different and wondering what God is asking of me.  It was a good day that I pray will lead to more days of transformation.


Ministry Celebrations & Opportunities

I want to give a huge shout out to staff and volunteers who came together to host the gathering on the 31st.  Your hospitality, conversations, and servanthood were amazing.  Thank you!

Don’t forget our Annual State of the Church Gathering – November 3 at 3:00 PM.  We are looking forward to gathering as a church family to celebrate what God has been doing in our midst in this past year and how God is leading us into our future together.  District Superintendent, Rev. Linda Harris, will be on hand to celebrate with us.  Please make plans to attend.

November marks our countdown for Unexpected Christmas.  Sign ups begin this week for those wanting to make gifts for some of our neighbors at Brookdale, Villages of St. Peters, and our Silver Stars.  If you want to be part of the fun, sign up in the lobby before or following each of our worship services.

Save the Date for the weekend of November 16 & 17!  We officially kick off our Unexpected Christmas outreach that weekend during worship.  Holding with tradition, during worship we will have an opportunity to select a tag for how we might bless someone this Christmas with a warm coat or blanket, a gift for a teacher, a gift for a child who’s parent is incarcerated, a gift for a neighbor at Frontier, a gift for a youth in need, a food box, or one of the other ministry outreach opportunities that are available.  Plan to come and join us!


This Weekend in Worship

We conclude our series this weekend of What If.  It has been great to focus our minds on the possibility of What If rather than the fears of What If.  I know the struggle is real to choose one over the other.  This week, we will focus on what happens when we do.  It is going to be a great time of worship together.  I look forward to seeing you this weekend and sharing in worship with you.

Pastor Jon