Dear friends of our Good Shepherd,

It is a new year – a new beginning. As a pastor, the new year begins for me during Advent, the time of waiting for the coming of God before Christmas. Merry Christmas! But there is something renewing about beginning a calendar year. What will 2016 reveal to us?

This is a new day for Good Shepherd. Our Home for All campaign has put us on a more secure footing, and reminded us of our commitment to our mission: to live and share Jesus as a passionate, grassroots Jesus community. Our property team is busy caring for our building and grounds – in fact, we invite volunteers to pitch in as stewards of our church property.

We continue to open our doors to the community, with the Northwest Neighbors, WINGS, Becca’s Closet, and more. We will hold monthly movie nights, showing impactful, conversation-sparking movies for our members and the community. We will have a weekly Theology Pub conversation at the Olympic. We are also renewing a commitment to community organizing, working with other churches and institutions to effect positive change in Rockford. Essentially, community organizing is about building relationships, and it starts locally – so we will want to grow and deepen our congregation’s community as well.

As I write this, we are at the 5th anniversary of my family’s visit to Good Shepherd, before we moved here on February 1, 2011. This is a milestone for us. For me, it is a time to renew my commitment to serve as your pastor in this community. We love Rockford, we love Good Shepherd. We are so thankful to be here in this place, walking with you as we live God’s mission for us.

Living and Sharing Jesus,

Pastor Eric