Study Guide | Luke 4.14-21

Hello Good Shepherd Friends,

The study guide based on Luke 4.14-21 (our passage for this Sunday) is here. We will be looking closely at what it means to be disciples who Serve in Love. I am enthused by the way Jesus’ words expand the idea of serving from merely doing nice things to establishing God’s Kingdom and its work of bringing “Shalom” to all people.

On another note, we focused on growing in faith and in knowledge last week. I would like to invite you to take advantage of an opportunity to learn more about the Middle East, about Christians living in Muslim-dominated countries, and about the influence of Islam in the Middle East. Emad Samir, our Scholar-in-Residence is kicking off a 12-week class beginning tomorrow - Thursday, September 19th at 10am in our Sanctuary that focuses on these topics. The class is entitled “The Truth Behind the Headlines” and could not be more relevant to the events we see unfolding in places like Syria, Egypt, and throughout the Middle East.

On still another note: Many have asked about our Season of Discernment and what is happening with that. On July 30th the Session sent a letter to the Clerk of the Presbytery of Los Ranchos requesting our entering into a “Joint Solution Process” and leading to our re-affiliating with another Presbyterian body. The Presbytery has 1) elected 40 people to serve as representatives who would work with those churches wanting to re-affiliate (there are about 10 currently), 2) just identified and hired a new Stated Clerk who began his duties on September 8th, and 3) has postponed training the representatives until the end of September or early October. Once that training is complete we will begin the Joint Solution Process. That may take up to two months depending on how quickly the representatives from our congregation and from the Presbytery can meet and process together.

Our goal is to ensure we re-affiliate with a Presbyterian denomination that is mission-focused, based on the essential tenets of our Reformed Faith, that enables and supports the ministry of Good Shepherd, and that recognizes that our facilities are the property of the local congregation. Please pray that we come out of the Joint Solution Process with a gracious dismissal.

Thanks very much,
Pastor Jim

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