You may know I have struggled with severe depression and anxiety most of my life which comes from a diagnosis of PTSD. Over the past ten years, I have tried to bring more awareness to others about mental health and trauma in our children. As well as elicit understanding, acceptance, and support for individuals in our community and worldwide struggling with mental health issues. I feel that our faith is a powerful tool in supporting mental health. Spiritual beliefs can offer comfort, hope, and resilience to those struggling with mental health issues. These range from scriptural guidance to the simple act of prayer; our faith is solace in difficult times. Understanding mental health issues and their accompanying struggles can be essential for compassionate care, self-awareness, and creating supportive environments. Creating an environment where mental health can be discussed openly and without judgment is crucial in supporting those who are struggling.
I want to confront mental health stigma and lack of knowledge. We must strive to create an environment of understanding and compassion and dispel myths and misconceptions. Many individuals with mental health disorders face societal stigma, leading to discrimination, embarrassment, or shame. Here at CGS, we believe in the power of community and want to ensure that every member feels seen, heard, and supported.
Educating ourselves and others around us can help bring an understanding of the complexities of mental health disorders and foster empathy and effective support. Our community is only as strong as we make it. Let's also strive to build a supportive, inclusive church community where mental health is acknowledged, accepted, and cared for. Please remember that Mental health awareness is more than just understanding - it's about empathy, support, and ensuring that no one has to fight their battles alone. Let's continue to foster a supportive environment in our church community and make mental health a conversation we're not afraid to have. Together, we can make our church a haven of understanding, acceptance, and support for all.
I ask you to pray with me:
God, heal and support all those suffering from mental illness. May they always know they can run to you for comfort and peace. And I pray they will be surrounded by people and communities supporting them in their healing journey. In Jesus's name, Amen.
Blessings and Peace,
From The Complete Guide to Godly Play: Volume 1 by Jerome W. Berryman
You still might be wondering: what are the benefits of Godly Play for the children of our church? Godly Play is a distinctive approach to Christian ministry with children, both innovative and deeply grounded in our spiritual tradition:
- Sophie Jobe
The countdown to the most vibrant shindig of the year is on, and guess who's strutting their stuff? That's right – the amazing crew from Christ the Good Shepard is getting ready to rock the house at the Silicon Valley Pride Parade! On Sunday, August 27th, CGS is bringing the spirit of unity, love, and acceptance to the streets. Don't miss the groove – we're inviting everyone to join the party!
If you haven't heard, CGS is a bunch of big-hearted folks who are all about spreading good vibes, supporting one another, and throwing one heck of a party! We're all about building a community where everyone feels like a superstar, and we're not afraid to shout it from the rooftops. Being a part of the Silicon Valley Pride Parade is like a glittery cherry on top of our acceptance sundae.
Mark your calendars, slap on some glitter, and get those dancing shoes shined up! CGS is all about spreading the joy, and we want YOU to be a part of it. We're not just marching; we're strutting our stuff with style!
**Date and Time:**
Sunday, August 27th
Parade Kickoff: 10:30 AM
Line-up Jam: 10:00 AM
Location: Downtown SJ
How to Get in on the Action:
March with Us: Got a white t-shirt? Good! Bring it to church and we’ll tie-dye it rainbow for you to wear during the parade. Let's turn heads and show off our kaleidoscope of unity and diversity.
Float Fiesta: Before we hit the streets, we're throwing a float-decorating fiesta that's gonna be off the charts! Join us on Saturday, August 26th, at 10 AM at CGS. We’ll work together and create a float that's as unique as CGS.
Why We're Rocking the Pride:
This isn't just any parade; it's a glittery, joyous statement of love, acceptance, and progress. At CGS, we believe in celebrating everyone for exactly who they are. We're all about making sure everyone's voice is heard, no matter who they love or how they identify. Jumping into the Silicon Valley Pride Parade is our way of showing that we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our LGBTQ+ community.
Get ready to party, dance, and celebrate the love that makes our community shine bright. See you at the parade!
For questions contact Jean Jensen or Mike White
CGS will host Safe Car Park guests during the month of September. The program provides a safe place to stay for those who are living in their cars. We are a part of a network of faith communities who work on a monthly rotating schedule. The CGS team leaders; Chelsea Byom, Sarah Janigian, Kevin Visscher, Rachel Visscher, Susan Duran. Pastor Kris and Christina Unzen provide staff support.
We have learned in our previous hosting experiences that the CGS community plays an important part in how we extend welcome and hospitality for this ministry. Volunteers are needed to assist with check-in (evening) and check-out (morning), providing a meal once a week, and staffing the hospitality room on Thursdays. Please use the link to sign-up to work during the month. (Click Here)
We will offer one meal per week to our guests, and have snacks available throughout the month. If you would like to volunteer to prepare a meal, please use the volunteer link.
Donations of restaurant, grocery and gas gift cards are greatly appreciated. Grab and go snacks are gladly accepted. An Amazon wish list has been set up to make it very easy to donate in this way. You can drop off snack donations to the table by the church office. Please mail, leave in the office, or hand deliver to one of the team members gift card donations. Cash donations are gladly accepted and will be used in the program.
If you have any questions or would like to make a donation, please contact any of the team members. If you are interested to become a part of the SafeCarPark@CGS team, please contact Pr. Kris or one of the members of the team.
Sarah Janigian, Chelsea Byom, Kevin Visscher, Rachel Visscher and Susan Duran
CGS Celebrates Pride with “Ordinary People” Art Installation by Peter Moen
Silicon Valley celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride in late August. As part of our Pride celebrations we’re thrilled to share “Ordinary People”, a portraiture art installation by our very own Peter Moen! You can view Peter’s work in the Narthex through the end of August. Watch for more details about our special Pride Worship Service and participation in the Silicon Valley Pride Parade and Festival.
Through portraiture, Ordinary People illustrates that the LGBTQ+ community consists of people. We can be visionary, ironic, boisterous, shy, or just “normal”. Ordinary People is comprised of over fifty portrait paintings. This exhibition is intended to be simple yet conceptually relevant. It is an introduction to LGBTQ+ faces without any attempt to lead an overt narrative. I feel, people are just people and our similarities and differences are what help create a well-rounded society that makes life interesting.
Over the past year I have reached out to the LGBTQ+ community, of which I am a member of, and asked anyone who wanted to show our diversity in age, race, gender, and lifestyle to step forward and allow me to paint their portrait. What you see looking back at you are individuals who respect life, the planet and people and hope that you see them simply as other human beings. For those less familiar with the acronym, the + stands for LGBTQ+ people and allies, which is anyone that supports our community even if you do not identify with the community itself.
About the Artist
Peter Moen likes to use his skills as a portrait painter to make comments on current events by using partially abstract elements in his paintings. His range covers highly realistic paintings to those that possess a stylized aesthetic. Each of his subjects has an emotive quality capturing the true essence of each person. More often than not, Moen is not interested in photo realism and so his paintings result in a more interpretive quality while he inserts a bit of abstraction. He primarily uses oil paint on wood panels, canvas, or other substrates like single-use plastic when commenting on ocean plastic pollution. He also works on large scale commissioned murals and sculptural installations.
Moen grew up during the ‘60s in South San Jose, California. He went to U.C. Berkeley and became an engineer for a rocket company. In 2006, he took a drawing class where he discovered he could actually draw well. That initiated his academic art pursuit where he first received an Associate of Science degree at San Jose City College in Fine Arts and a Master of Fine Art Degree in Pictorial Arts at San Jose State University. Since then, he has been widely exhibiting in the Bay Area and throughout the United States.
Your CGS council will be gathering together for a time of fellowship, conversation, and dreaming this coming Sunday, June 25th from 11:30am – 2:30pm. Feel free to reach out to any council member after Sunday to hear about what we discussed. Thank you to all of our council members who are spending this additional time to imagine the future of our ministry together!
Ever wonder why we call ourselves Lutherans? Want to know what distinguishes our beliefs from other Christians? Curious why we seem to have so many potlucks? If you have these or any other questions about our shared heritage, join Pr. Kris for Lutheranism 101: an adult education opportunity for five Wednesdays from 6:30-8:00pm beginning on June 28th. We will explore Lutheran history, theology, and practice, from the Reformation in the 16th century, to our current beliefs and practices in the ELCA. People of any level of knowledge and experience of Lutheranism are welcome to attend. In fact, you don’t even need to consider yourself a Lutheran—as you’ll learn, Martin Luther didn’t himself! We’ll meet in the fireside room the last Wednesday in June, and every Wednesday in July.
An interfaith group of faith-based organizations is forming in the South Bay to help build relationships, cross divides, and organize community support for the most vulnerable in the Bay Area. The group is the Silicon Valley Sponsoring Committee and it is a collection of congregations committed to community organizing rooted in the model of the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF)—the largest and oldest network of faith-based organizations in the US. This local South Bay chapter is holding an assembly to launch its organization on Sunday, June 25th, from 3-5pm at St. Lucy’s Catholic Church in Campbell (2350 S. Winchester).
Pr. Kris worked with a well-established IAF organization during his time in Boston (the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization) and has seen firsthand the incredible work that such a group of united congregations can do for its community. For an example of the kind of work that these organizations do, take a look at this CBS News report from last year, detailing some of the work that the East Brooklyn IAF organization has been undertaking for decades to increase home ownership and build generational wealth in poor communities.
We’ve been invited to get to know these neighbors at the launch of this organization, and to be a part of building what could become a transformational coalition in this community. Please consider joining Pr. Kris and other members of CGS to learn more about the organization, what they’re planning on doing for our community, and consider if there are ways that we might get involved as a congregation. Carpools are available if you’d like a ride to St. Lucy’s. Come build connections with other people of faith in the South Bay!
Does someone you love have a birthday coming up? Has God done a great work in your life? Is there a loved one you would like to remember? Consider providing altar flowers to celebrate the occasion, honor or remember a special person, or give glory to God.
Here’s how it works:
Thank you to everyone that participated in our Cross Display in the Narthex/Lobby area. What started as a participatory project for lent, got extended due to the positive feedback of members and visitors. Thank you to those that brought a cross from home to include in our display. How wonderful to see the wide variety of crosses we treasure in our homes and lives. The display of crosses will be removed at the end of the month. If you brought a cross to share, please pick-up after worship this Sunday, June 25.
Christ the Good Shepherd
Various editorials, articles, and other items of interest.