The Challenge

The Challenge

Our church publishes a monthly newsletter with the news of the church as well as minutes from the council meeting. Please click on the date that would like to read. If you would like to receive The Challenge in the mail please use the contact form to request a copy.

March 2018

Grief can look like many things: like tears or stoic composure, withdrawal or renewed involvement, anger or fear. Grief can look like many things. Grief can be many things, take many shapes. We can and should grieve not only those who have died, but also the community as it was. That is also deserving of grief. All who have died were part of our community. They had a place in it that no one else had, that is irreplaceable and their deaths change our church.

February 2018

I’ve been thinking a lot about Lent as I enter into my first Lenten season as a pastor. Lent is a season of penitence, of reflecting on our sins and mistakes and remembering how deeply they go. Lent is a time of deep acceptance of who you are, including all of the parts you’d rather not think about or face. That’s why we call for Lenten disciplines, as a way to face our humanity and dependence on God and our own sin. Read More

January 2018

We’re coming into January. Whew! It’s the season where we make New Year’s Resolutions, but also the season where we take down our Christmas trees, throw out the last of the wrapping paper, finally figure out where to put the presents we received… Read More

December 2017

Christmas is coming! I’ve been preparing already: stocking up on Christmas CDs and ornaments for my new tree, making plans for the day of and thinking about presents. And I have some thoughts, too, that are still only ideas, about settling into my new apartment and how I could decorate it, Christmas movies I could watch, cookies I could bake… Read More

November 2017 

I had every intention of writing about Thanksgiving, but I find that the words won’t come–and, well, it’s a bit early, isn’t it? And November holds more than Thanksgiving. And I find, too, that I don’t want to write about November at all so much as October: about beginning. Read More

October 2017

“Pastor”‐ is what Lutherans usually call their ordained ministers, especially the one leading their home congregation. The word “pastor” derives from the Latin root meaning “shepherd” ‐ literally one who leads the flock to pasture, checks on their well‐being and promotes their security while the sheep feed. The term “pastor” relates to the Biblical role of the elder more than the role of the evangelist/preacher but is used many times to refer to Jesus and Jesus even calls himself “The Good Shepherd.” Read More

September 2017

You may have heard of the Barber National Institutethey have used our building at times and we have interacted with them at timesplus you may know that Joel Petrusik and some of his fellow Barber residents join us for Sunday worship sometimes. You may have heard that Cheryl Woodall went through some training with the Synod Wellness Program and is using her nursing skills to foster wholeness and wellness @ Good Shepherd. You may have heard that opioid missuse in America is epidemic and that suicide is a leading cause of death for younger Americans, and that the 2 political parties have vastly different ideas on medical care. Read More

July / August 2017

Almost everyone knows the partial quote from one of our founding fathers, Ben Franklin, “… nothing can be said to be certain but death and taxes.” We all know that the one thing every living being shares is that the day will come when life will end- each and every one of us will die. Yet, death is one thing people tend (even more than sex, income, or taxes) to avoid talking about. Read More

June 2017

You could say I have tickets for the Pirates game on Father’s Day. I would say that I have tickets for the Cubs visit to PNC Park in midJune. But Pirates fan or Cubs fan or God fan please, READ ON! I DARE YOU!

May 2017

Do you know anyone named Hope? Hope along with Faith, Grace and other Biblical names used to be common. Now such names are way down on the list of baby names. One list of popular girl’s names had Hope #252 for 2016. Faith was #120 and Grace came in 43rd. But the list of top 100 girl’s names included: Luna, Paisley and Brooklyn. Things do change but I think names say something about what is in people’s hearts and minds. Things change, but the concepts of Christianity speak anew in old and new context. Read More