This Sunday, September 12th has been designated as “Homecoming Sunday”. A luncheon will be served in the Church Courtyard immediately after the 10:00AM service (Raindate: Sunday, September 19th). Our theme this year is “HOPE & GRATITUDE”. In addition to lunch, a couple of special surprises are being planned. We hope you will attend; and rejoice that we can gather together as a congregation in the spirit of fellowship and celebrate our youth as they return to Sunday School for the first time in 18 months.
A “Free-Will” offering will be taken-proceeds to go to the Episcopal Relief & Development fund to support relief efforts in Haiti & provide for Afghanistan refugees here in NJ. If you would like to help, please contact Beth Portocalis, Diane Wall, Brad & Jackie Davies, Lori Bathurst, Deb Prieto or Cheryl Burness.
Click on link below to register. There are 150 total “slots” available.
|After consulting with the Sr. Warden, I have decided to suspend in-person worship at Good Shepherd (effective immediately). The infection rate in Gloucester City is now 33.4 per 100K (next to Cape May county-which has a 52.5 rate- Gloucester City has the highest infection rate in the state of NJ). |
#1. There will be no Saturday evening service this evening
#2. The pulpit exchange with Fr. Todd Foster will be rescheduled
#3. Tomorrow’s service will be broadcast on the YouTube channel
#4. We will not resume in-person worship until the infection rate is below 25 per 100K (which is in harmony with what the Diocesan protocols recommend).
We were hoping to avoid the suspension of in-person worship, but I am convinced that the most prudent thing (in the face of the threat of the Delta variant and a dangerous rise in the infection rate in our county) is to do precisely that. Thanks for your understanding and for your prayers.
We have great news! In-person Sunday School will resume at the Church of the Good Shepherd on Sunday, September 12th (Homecoming Sunday).
Three classes will be offered: pre-K thru 1st grade; 2nd grade thru 7th grade; and 8th grade thru 12th grade.
All students and teachers will be required to wear masks (regardless of vaccination status), and recommended social distancing protocols will be in place.
If you would like your child to participate this year, please complete the Student Registration form link below.
Student Registration Form
Adults interested in volunteering to teach or serve as aides should complete the Teacher Registration form at the link below as well. Previous teaching experience is not required. If this is your first time teaching or assisting with Sunday School, don’t worry! We will provide guidance along the way!
Any questions regarding the Sunday School program may be directed to Jaclyn and Brad Davies at email@example.com. We are so excited to see all of our Sunday School families again, and cannot wait for the new program year to begin! We hope that you will join us!!
–for Jaclyn Davies
What a year we have all had! The second half of 2020 and the first half of 2021 has been such a unique experience for so many people, especially students and educators, who had to learn how to navigate the virtual learning environment. Although the Church of the Good Shepherd had to close its doors for awhile and, as a result, suspend the in-person Sunday School program, we were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to offer Sunday School programming for our Church families virtually during the Lenten Season of 2021.
During this five-week online program, the children attended live virtual sessions, and learned many valuable lessons about God’s love for all of us. Both teachers and students alike benefited from the lively discussions and fun activities.
During the Week #1 session, we discussed the topics of kindness and forgiveness. Our Pre-K through 1st grade group learned about the story of “The Kind Man”, based on Luke 10:25-37, and discussed various ways they can show kindness to others. The older children learned the story of “The Unmerciful Servant”, based on Matthew 18:21-35, and discussed the importance of forgiving others.
In Week #2, the children learned that God loves us unconditionally. We discussed some of the parables that Jesus used to teach about this unconditional love that God has for us, as well as continuing last week’s discussions about forgiveness. The children shared their thoughts about how God’s love is different than people’s love, why it’s important to love and forgive others because God loves us, and ways in which we can all follow Jesus’ example to love others.
For the Week #3 session, the children learned about the importance of giving. They heard a bible story about a poor widow who gave everything she had as an offering to her church, and how even though her offering was very small, Jesus considered it to be far greater than the rich people who gave only the extra money they had left over after buying everything they wanted. Jesus taught that when we give, we worship and honor God. The children discussed how giving an offering is one way to thank God and show that we love him. We talked about the many wonderful ways our church uses the offerings our church community provides to share the good news about Jesus’ love. Finally, the children learned that God wants us to be cheerful givers. We shouldn’t give because we feel we have to. Rather, we should give because we love God and want to worship him! God has given us everything we have, and giving back to the church is a way to say thank you for all that God has given us.
In Week #4, This week in Sunday school, we talked about a very important verse in the Bible: John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” The children listened to a bible story about how Jesus was welcomed by the people. Then, the children discussed how exciting parades can be, and how they would feel if they saw Jesus riding down their street. We also talked about what it means to be a Christian. The children learned that a Christian is someone who admits our sin, believes in Jesus, and confesses that Jesus is our Savior. They also learned that Christians should obey God’s commands, follow his plan, and tell others about Jesus. Finally, we discussed the Good News that God loves us and he planned from the beginning to send Jesus. He knew that people would disobey him and sin. Sin separates us from God, but God sent his perfect son Jesus here to die for our sins because he loves us. The children discussed how it makes them feel to know that God loves us all that much.
For our final lesson during Week #5, we learned about the importance of Easter, and how it is a time to remember how Jesus died on the cross and came back to life. We encouraged the children to take time to thank God and celebrate that Jesus is alive. We also discussed various ways that we can all celebrate the Good News of Jesus’ resurrection with all of our family, friends and neighbors.
The program culminated with a fun Easter Egg Hunt held on the Church grounds. Although we made sure to follow recommended social distancing and masking protocols, all of the families who attended had a wonderful time!
We are so thankful to the families who participated in this program! It was a true blessing to be able to share the Lenten Season with our Sunday School community, despite the difficult situation created by the pandemic. We look forward to returning to Church in the fall for in-person classes and family-friendly activities!
Based on the strong recommendation of the Reentering, Reopening, Reimagining (RRR) Task Force of the Diocese of New Jersey and in response to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s July 27th recommendations, we will be requiring all worshipers and visitors to the Church, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a face mask which covers the nose and mouth. This policy will remain in effect until community infection rates in Gloucester County improve. No one is happy about this decision, but we believe it is the most prudent thing we can do in the face of the increasing threat of the Delta variant of the Covid 19 virus as well as the marked increase in break-thru infections of the vaccinated. As a Church, it is incumbent upon us to follow Jesus’ teachings in protecting the most vulnerable in our community (especially our un-vaccinated children). Your co-operation and compliance with this change in our “in-person” worship protocols will be greatly appreciated.
Sent by David Snyder
Respectfully Submitted: Claude Coulson
Since many of you have only visited the church in person recently, I would like to bring everyone up to date on many of the improvements and items that still need improving.
- In the kitchen the old wooden island was removed and a new island was installed.
- The lower classrooms had the windows replaced and a concrete pathway was installed to help with water removal.
- Many of you have seen the beautiful transformation of the Altar window. Notice the amount of detail that was never seen before. Many of the other windows were in need of repair and should be completed soon.
- A new AV system was installed that will allow us the ability to have a virtual experience that brings church to our homes that will be like being there. Think about the days when the weather prohibits us from attending or when we are out of town on business or vacation. Weddings and funerals can now be viewed from anywhere allowing friends and family to attend without traveling. Volunteers are needed to run the system.
Although there have been many improvements, there is still a need for many more. These include repainting the classrooms, main church doors need repair and paint, roofing needs repair to prevent leaks coming into the chapel and near the organ. A new fire alarm is needed to prevent false alarms and protect God’s Church.
The property committee can’t do these repairs on their own, they need the help of all parishioners. The costs of these repairs and improvements are high and while we realize we have all have a difficult year and a half, without being in church, we don’t see what’s needed. I would invite you to speak to anyone on the property committee if you have any questions or recommendations.
New schedules are being prepared as part of Good Shepherd’s reopening plan. Please check back for updates. We apologize for the temporary inconvenience.