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A Welcome Message

Welcome to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, where our doors are wide open to people from all backgrounds.

We want to be a place of blessing. If you are just beginning to wonder about Christianity, this is a safe place to ask questions and explore possibilities. If you have been journeying with Christ for some time, this is a place to grow deeper in your walk as a disciple. If you have wandered here and there or up and down in your spiritual journey, this is a place to speculate, marvel, seek and find.

And, whether you live out your faith primarily through study, meditation, emotional experience or social activism, you can find others at Good Shepherd who share your spiritual temperament. This is a place of open doors, open minds, open hearts, open hands.

Life-giving Teachings

Here are a few snippets of teachings that we find life-giving. We recognize that faith is an ongoing journey, and we do not demand adherence to a particular understanding of creed, respecting each person's integrity in their relationship with God and each person's unfolding journey of spiritual growth.

About Being Lutheran

As Christians with roots in the Lutheran tradition, we are Christian first and Lutheran second. Lutherans have a lot of freedom - in how to structure themselves into a church (for example, bishops or no bishops), how to put together a worship service, what kind of music to use. Over time, as is true of any church, certain ways of doing things become the expected procedures. But we are always free to make modifications in how we deliver the good news of what God is doing in Jesus Christ. The what stays constant.

Typically, Lutherans are known to be people who embrace a "both and" approach. For example, each Christian is both saint and sinner (both completely forgiven and still in daily need of God's grace), we hear God's word to us as both law and gospel (both an accusation of where we fall short and a word of unconditional gift of love and blessing).

About God

We know God as Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier (as Father, Son and Holy Spirit). We teach that out of nothing God created the world and all that is in it and continues in ongoing creation. Faith and science do not need to be in conflict - the faithful proclamation of the who and what of creation and the scientific postulation of the how of creation ask and answer different questions.

In Jesus Christ the human being, God was fully present. Through Christ, God accomplished the salvation of the world and is still working out that salvation.

The Holy Spirit is the ongoing presence of God in the world, bringing courage, strength, comfort and inspiration; empowering faithful community; giving gifts of faith, hope, love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control and other gifts, bringing together people who would never imagine themselves as sisters and brothers.

About the Bible

The Bible is a book of many books - including pre-history, history, poetry, letters, visions and accounts of Jesus' life. We read the Bible as the inspired word of God to us. We teach that the Bible was not dictated by God, but that people were inspired by God to write. In reading, we take into account the historical and cultural considerations and issues of translation. We see that some things are descriptive of the times they were written and show us how God was working through the people and circumstances of that time: how people discerned God's will, what happened in their relationship to God as they followed and wandered and as God remained faithful to God's promises. Some of these historically and culturally conditioned things no longer apply today. We also see that some things are timeless and prescriptive of how we can most fruitfully live our lives in any era. It can get pretty tricky to discern which things are culturally conditioned and which things are timeless truth, so we continue to engage in dialogue with Scripture, tradition, scholarship, and one another. We see that reading the Bible breathes God's presence to us, and provides a dependable rule and guide for life. No person or group reads the Bible without filters of culture, social location, historical situation, personality, or need. This means that we must always approach the Bible with a spirit of humility, conscious of the limits we bring as human interpreters while also seeking to be prayerfully open to the truth of God's guidance.

About Experiencing God

In addition to Bible reading and study, we experience God through prayer, worship, community, and every-day moments.

Art, poetry, music, drama, nature, dreams, walking a labyrinth, silence, retreats, prayer, meditation, worship, dance, sports, laughter, tears, massage, yoga, serving and being served, protesting, friendship, love, forgiveness, generosity, gratitude, life passages and many other experiences can bring us a sense of God's presence.
About faith

Everyone has faith - in something or someone. Faith in God comes to us as a gift. We receive this gift simply by trusting that it is true that God loves us - that God forgives us, welcomes us. Jesus shows us that God is for us. Another word for faith is "trust." Faith is not the opposite of doubt. In fact, doubt can bring us to deeper understanding and deeper trust in God. A tested faith is a strengthened faith. Faith can grow through spiritual practices such as prayer and God-talk conversations with others, through "aha" moments of insight, through suffering, through deep joy, and through experiences of God such as those outlined above.

About Salvation

Salvation is not just about getting to heaven. Salvation is made real to us in this life as a lifting of bondage, brokenness, burden. Just as Jesus as messiah brought the reign of God near by bringing sight to the blind, healing to the lame, cleansing for lepers, hearing to the deaf, new life to the dead, and good news to the poor, so too today salvation is visible in healing, wholeness, blessing, peace, new life and social transformation. As Christians, we see that salvation comes to us through Jesus Christ. We understand that the Christian church has historically presented several Biblical understandings of how Jesus accomplishes reconciliation between God and humans. We also understand that, similar to the experience of falling in love, some people come to a sudden dramatic moment of accepting Jesus, while for others the experience of being a disciple is a gradual awakening. Both paths are equally valid. Also, we welcome people at all stages of clarity, doubt, peace and discontent in their spiritual walk. We proclaim our faith in Jesus as savior, but we do not condemn those who follow other faith traditions and, indeed, are glad to walk hand-in-hand with them.

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Vacation Bible School

Vacation Bible School takes place this week from 5-8pm. There is still time to join the fun. Our theme is Mighty Fortress, connecting to our year-long celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.

Registration costs (per family) are $45 for one child; $85 for two children; $125 for three children; and $165 for four+ children. Just show up at 4:45pm for the registratoin process.Questions can be directed to Deaconess Debbie at christianed@goodshpherdlc.org or 708-848-4741. Read more »

Donate to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

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United Power

United Power is the nation's first and largest newtwork of multi-faith, broad-based citizens' organizations with 7 decades of experience winning tough batles on housing, health care, education, living wages, and immigration rights. Currently they are working on issues of mental health: creating alternatives to pushing the mentally ill into the prison pipeline, Housing in Chicago: reclaiming foreclosed housing on the southside and Gun Violence: working to change manufacturing. 

Sunday Morning Adult Bible Study

Sunday Morning Bible Study will be focusing on the Old Testament prophets this fall. This group has met most Sundays, September through May, since 1994, and is always open to members and visitors of all ages.

The atmosphere is seminar style, with participants seated around a large table. Join us any Sunday at 9:15 a.m., in the library, adjacent to Fellowship Hall. No prerequisites, no homework -- and newcomers are most welcome! Read more »

What to expect

Our friendly community is diverse, lively, informal and filled with children. We are gay, straight, young, old, and multi-ethnic. Our goal is a warm welcome that stays with you long after you leave.

Worship changes frequently with many different kinds of music, from classical to contemporary. We enjoy jazz, blues and gospel worship. The service is liturgical, filled with music, and easy to follow in the bulletin. While the two worship services are very similar, special music generally happens at the later service.

Weekly communion is open to all with a choice of wine and grape juice, bread and gluten free wafers.

About Us

At Good Shepherd, we value diversity. Our mission statement, in its brief form, says it well: Embracing the diversity of God's creation and celebrating our oneness in Christ. We embrace diversity by welcoming all people regardless of race, nationality, marital status, family composition, sexual orientation, gender-identity, socioeconomic status, or physical ability. In embracing diversity we seek to be a bridge of understanding among people, to live in the creative tension of differences, to be a blessing to a community and a world where dialogue, understanding and collaboration among diverse people is needed. Read more »

Sunday School at Good Shepherd

Sunday School classes are offered for children age two through grade 6. The two and three year olds are based in the nursery, exploring the day's story in a simplified, play-based format. PreK through grade 4 engage in our rotation format*. Fifth and sixth graders meet in our conference room for a video-based curriculum designed specifically for their age group. Check out the other pages to find out more about classes and activities offered for seventh and eighth graders (Confirmation) and high schoolers!

Our Sunday School time begins at 9:15am with music and story intro in the Sanctuary. Students then attend their rotation for that week. The education hour wraps up at 10:15 with parents meeting students at their individual classrooms for pick up.   Read more »

2018 ELCA Youth Gathering

Once every three years, Lutheran youth from across the US (and around the world) come together as one large community. For five days, we worship, serve, play, pray, commune, laugh, cry, dance and sing together, 35,000 strong! It is a youth experience unlike any other!

The 2018 Gathering will take place in Houston Texas on June 27-July 1. Students eligible to participate will have completed 8th grade through those that have completed 12th grade in the 2017-2018 school year.

Our first informational meeting will be on Sunday, March 19 at noon. Come for a light lunch and to hear more about this incredible event!

Kidz Express

Kidz Express was founded as part of Good Shepherd's social ministry in 1997 to move forward in faith by providing programs and services for students in Austin. Today Kidz Express is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization; however, it remains closely partnered with Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. While programming for over 60 children takes place each weekday and for the bulk of the summer, volunteers are always needed on Tuesday nights at 6pm to help with tutoring. To volunteer at Kidz Express please talk with Pastor Kathy or go to: www.kidzexpress.org. Read more »

Make a Difference in the Life of a Child

What a privilege it is to share God's story with our young people! Our rotation model of Sunday School means that you prepare your lesson once and then teach it 1-3 weeks to different age groups of children. Materials are provided and team-teaching is encouraged! For more information, please contact Deaconess Debbie. Check out the online sign up here. Thank you!

 

Make a Memorial Donation

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Use this to make a donation to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in memory of someone recently deceased.  You may change the dollar amount of the donation in your cart to any amount you desire.

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What to wear

This is easy. Wear whatever you feel comfortable in. Good Shepherd is an informal church. You can expect to see people wearing jeans (or shorts in the summer) and other casual wear. Festival Sundays, such as Easter and Christmas, you might find people in suits and dresses. Whatever you wear will fit in at Good Shepherd.

Reformation 500 Celebration!

Celebrate the 500th anniversary of the reformation begun by Martin Luther in 1517 with a year-long series of events, special worship services and Christian education opportunities. Look back here often for upcoming activities.

When Martin Luther posted his "Ninety-five Theses" on the church door in Wittenberg in 1517, no one expected the breadth of evangelical reforms in Christian teaching and practice that followed. In every dimension of Christian faith, a renewed trust in God's forgiving mercy replaced a reliance on teachings and practices that, like the sale of indulgences, were vulnerable to abuse and corruption. Read more »

Educational Opportunities on Sunday morning

SUNDAY SCHOOL is for children ages 2 through 6th grade. Ages 2 through 4th grade begin in the sanctuary at 9:15 with music and then breaks into age group classes for rotations that go along with the Bible story of the week. 5th and 6th graders have class in the Youngman Room using the Connect curriculum from Sparkhouse.

MIDDLE SCHOOLERS (7th/8th grade) meet on Sunday mornings as part of the Confirmation program.

TEENS meet on Sundays at 9:15am for our Youth Connections class and monthly for lunch after the 10:30am worship service.

ADULTS:
1. Sunday Morning Bible Study meets in the Library at 9:15am for readings, on-the-spot research, stimulating discussion and good fellowship. No previous Bible-study background required. No homework! Read more »

Titlesort icon Post date File
Confirmation Activity Slips Feb 19 2013
Automatic Donation Form Oct 18 2016
Sunday School Registration Form 2016-17 Sep 7 2016
Reformation 500 Germany Brochure Apr 20 2016
Request Money from the Memorial Endowment Fund Jun 30 2015
Leader App for Children/Youth Programming Sep 6 2013
Child Safety Policy Sep 6 2013
Parent/Student Talk Sheets Feb 25 2013
Parental Consent Form Feb 19 2013
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