Dear Members and Friends of Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd,

From mid-June until mid-August, we are hosting the Summer Lunch program for neighborhood children: thank you to all who volunteer with that important ministry. Most of our Youth group – the Youtherans – and many adults volunteered at our West Side Day Camp in July. It was a wonderful week of ministry, with 48 children from the community learning about Jesus with our volunteers, the LOMC staff, and our friends at United Lutheran. The next week, the Youtherans, along with me and Lori Mueller, left for the ELCA Youth Gathering in Detroit. What a transformative experience for us all – a time of worship, learning, and service, along with 30,000 other young Lutherans! You will hear directly about their experiences in the weeks ahead.   The theme of the Youth Gathering was Rise Up Together. Here is the goal of the Youth Gathering: “Ultimately, young people will be encouraged to see themselves as essential witnesses to God’s story in the world as they learn to proclaim the beginning of the good news in and through their lives of discipleship, a discipleship marked by their baptismal promises to:

  • Live among God’s faithful people,
  • Hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s supper,
  • Proclaim the good news of God in Christ through words and deed,
  • Serve all people, following the example of Jesus,
  • Strive for justice and peace in all the earth.”

We are all called to Rise Up Together as followers of Jesus Christ. We are called to live and share Jesus, to meet Jesus in our neighbors and be Jesus to our neighbors as the body of Christ. That is what being church together is all about. This fall, we are embarking on a capital fund campaign with the ELCA’s Stewardship Key Leaders Program. We all know that we have significant building issues to address, starting with the boiler that needs to be replaced before the fall, but in the next few years including the roof, pew covers, AC, etc. We have an opportunity to address these short and long term needs, to make our building more efficient and able to house and empower ministry in our community for decades to come.

The capital fund campaign will begin September 27, and end on All Saints Day, November 1, with the giving of our commitments. This will not be a high pressure campaign, but rather an opportunity to grow in our faith and in our life together, a chance to Rise Up Together and live generous and joyful lives. Together, we can lay a solid foundation for living and sharing Jesus in Rockford for the coming generations.

Living and Sharing Jesus in 2015,

Pastor Eric Lemonholm