These are the words of the beautiful hymn recently presented by our choir and never have they been more appropriate than in the past few months. Despite the absence of a pastor, despite the absence of a community coordinator to attend to the office, we have continued to worship and interact successfully. Employees and volunteers alike have stepped forward with exceptional efforts to continue the business of being Christ the Good Shepherd church together. Our music director and choir director have coordinated the readings and hymns with supply pastors to present us with meaningful worship experiences appropriate to the liturgical season complete with bulletins to enable us to participate. Our sacristan has coordinated readers, deacons, and worship supplies so that our services could continue smoothly. Our technical personnel have continued to make it possible for YouTube sessions of our services to be available to those unable to attend in person, as well as making sure our newsletters and email notices are sent out weekly. Our ushers print out the weekly bulletins and welcome all of us to our services each week. Our coffee committee has made sure we have doughnuts each week, without which our worship would be incomplete! Our social action programs like Shelter Cooking, Safe Car Park, and Personal Care Café supplies continue uninterrupted. Our personnel committee and council have been hard at work identifying a bridge pastor and new community coordinator, both of whom will start in October. Our council continues to work on our upcoming congregational meeting so that our nominating committee can be appointed, our lay representatives for the Synod can be identified, and our budget for next year can be presented for consideration. Our Call Committee has been elected and is working diligently to identify a new, permanent pastor who will help us to grow and will grow with us into our future as representatives of Christ. Our beautiful sanctuary will provide worship and praise to God from another congregation as we share our facility with the Iglesia Pentecostés Shalom worshippers on Sunday and Thursday evenings. Our classrooms and great hall continue to provide a welcoming space for groups working toward the betterment of each other. There are so many areas for which we can be grateful. We are blessed.
As the song says, though we are many, we are strong. Though we are many, we worship as one. Let’s all say a prayer of gratitude for the gracious, generous people of Christ the Good Shepherd.
~ Jean Hope, council member
On the Big Island of Hawaii, there was a bridge that I hardly notice when Mike and I would have our yearly visit to the island. It’s barely noticeable because, well, it didn’t look like a bridge. I remember it being just a narrower part of the street, with uneven pavement on the pedestrian’s side, and partly crumbling low railing with paint somewhat peeling off. We would often walk in the morning from our place to downtown Kona, about a mile away, to check out the farmer’s market or grab coffee and malasadas (Portuguese doughnut). I’ve always enjoyed looking around while walking, basking in the nice Hawaii weather, breathing in the breeze with the sweet smell of the ocean, and admiring the different tropical plants and flowers that remind me so much of the ones that we had around our yard when I was growing up. So, I didn’t really pay much attention on the street we’re walking on. I knew enough to be aware of the traffic and other pedestrians that we would often greet with a nod or “good morning” when we pass by each other. In 2020, we didn’t get to visit because of the pandemic. But having vaccinated, and situations starting to ease up, we got to go back again in June of this year, and I was very pleasantly surprised with all the improvements that happened during the time we were not able to go. For me, the most notable change was the addition or improvement of a bridge on the street close to our place. It’s now repaved and smooth, a few feet wider, and with beautiful concrete railings on each side so pedestrians and traffic can now cross more safely. Unlike before, looking at it now, there’s no denying that it is a bridge. With this new and improved bridge, it allows people or vehicles easy passage over the crashing waves of the ocean by providing a route that would otherwise be uneven or impossible.
CGS is now in the process of bringing in a bridge pastor, and I know having a bridge pastor is new to most of us. We’re used to having an interim pastor before our permanent pastor is called, but this shouldn’t stop us in supporting and valuing our bridge pastor any differently. Let us welcome and embrace her with warmth and love that CGS extends to everyone who comes to our church, for this will help us create an easier passage through the times when we’re looking to call our permanent pastor. Remain steadfast, and hold on to the promise that God will never leave or forsake us, and that God will direct and guide us through times of uncertainty.
~ Rey Lambatin, Choir Director
Christ the Good Shepherd
Various editorials, articles, and other items of interest.