Thursday, April 30, 2020

Update from Good Shepherd (April 30, 2020)

Greetings!


WORSHIP DURING COVID-19
Services will be broadcast on Facebook Live, Sundays at 10:00 AM.  
Share our services and invite friends to tune in.

GOOD SHEPHERD ON YOUTUBE
         Services are posted on YouTube, usually in a few hours after the service.  When you go to YouTube, do a search for "Good Shepherd Novi" and they should pop up.  (The service for April 26 is here: https://youtu.be/31HqeWOBiZE.)
         Bulletins for services can be downloaded from here (scroll down): 

ADULT BIBLE CLASS
Our Adult Bible Class meets via Zoom on Wednesdays at 7:00 PM. Our series is “Bible Symbols.”  Class materials are emailed out on Tuesdays.  In order to make sure you receive the study guides and to get the password for the Zoom sessions, you will need to register for this class.  Even if you will attend only occasionally, please register.  A recording for last night's class (April 29) may be forthcoming soon.
If you happen to have the book, God's Imagery, you can refer to that for each class period.  The chapters that correspond to each session are below.  NOTE It is not necessary to have the book for the class.

The remaining schedule for this class is as follows:
May 6 Symbols of the Savior (Chapter 6)
May 13         The People of the Lord (Chapter 7)
May 20         Apocalyptic Literature (Chapter 8)
May 27         Types of Christ (Chapter 18)


CONCERNING THE CORONAVIRUS
        General thoughts regrading the Church, its services, and pastoral care during a health scare such as the coronoavirus, I refer you to some thoughts I had written earlier.  You can find them at my blog here, under the title, "A Pastoral Concern: The Church Militant, Pastoral Care, and the Coronavirus."
        Regarding worship, particularly home devotions and prayer during this time of quarantine, you can refer to this letter which offers encouragement, advice, and resources for worship at home.  
        Home Devotions: A link to provide materials for home devotions and prayers is here.

CONCERNING PASTORAL CARE
        Online Worship:  Besides Facebook Live and YouTube, you can find the pastor's sermons archived on this blog.  You can use the search bar to find a particular date, day of the Church Year, or Scripture reference.
        Person-to-person care: Pastor Schroeder will be in his office to offer private devotions, Holy Absolution, and Holy Communion to members in small groups or to individuals.  You may come in without appointment at these times: Mondays and Thursdays, 8:00 AM - Noon and 6:00 - 9:00 PM.  You may also set up an appointment at any time.  Visits by appointment can be done either at church or at your home.
        In case you contract COVID-19:  Please contact Pastor Schroeder.  He will alert the congregation so that your fellow members may pray for you, and he will keep everyone informed of your condition.  If possible, Pastor Schroeder will visit you during your quarantine.  At the very least, he will keep in contact with you and provide devotional materials.  If you want to ask for intercessions for loved ones, we will certainly remember them in our prayers, too.  If your loved one has no pastor, ask if they would like Pastor Schroeder to visit them.  

PRIVATE COMMUNION DURING HOLY WEEK
Private Communion is available by appointment at any time.
Private Communion is available during Pastor Schroeder's office hours:
Mondays           8:00 AM – Noon; 6:00 - 9:00 PM
Thursdays     8:00 AM – Noon; 6:00 - 9:00 PM
To limit the risk of contracting COVID-19 as much as possible, please review the protocol we will follow when you come in.  You can see it here.

OFFERINGS
While we may not be meeting for worship, we do have financial obligations to meet.  You may either mail your offering into Good Shepherd, or you can set up your offering to be transferred electronically from your bank.  If you are interested in the automatic transfer of funds for your offering, please contact the church at welsnovi@aol.com .

INTERCESSIONS 
Intercessions that are requested prior to the bulletin’s printing will be included in the bulletin.  Requests may be made prior to the service as well.
>  Thanksgiving for Rawland Storm who has completed his treatments for cancer
   >  Supplication during the COVID-19 pandemic

In our prayers....
While we offer up prayers for specific requests in our services, petitions and intercessions can be offered up throughout the week for continued concerns.  Please continue to remember these in your prayers:
>  Jan Papson, who continues to suffer from the effects of cancer at home

OFFICE HOURS
Office hours at Good Shepherd have adjusted during the COVID-19 quarantine.  Pastor Schroeder will be in the office Mondays and Thursdays, 8:00 AM - Noon and again 6:00-9:00 PM.  Lisa is doing most of her work from home.

DO YOU LIKE US?
Look for Good Shepherd on Facebook.  Then “LIKE” us for updates and other postings.  Be sure to share posts with friends.

SHARE THIS POST!
We desire as many as possible to rejoice in the Gospel which we proclaim and confess.  Share the information from our weekly email blast, links to our web page, and even to the pastor's blog to let others know that we have a space in our congregation for them!

God bless you.


In Christ,
Pastor Schroeder
==============================
SUNDAY SCHOOL -- suspended until further notice
ADULT BIBLE CLASS -- Wednesdays at 7:00 PM (via Zoom: registration is necessary)

DIVINE SERVICES -- Sundays at 10:00 AM
 (Facebook Live only)

GOOD SHEPHERD’S WEBSITE

Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church
41415 W. Nine Mile Road
Novi, Michigan  48375-4306
+   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +

Sunday, April 26, 2020

YouTube -- 3rd Sunday of Easter (April 26, 2020)

Here is the service from the 3rd Sunday of Easter.


Sermon -- 3rd Sunday of Easter Day (April 26, 2020)

1 PETER 1:13-21

THE RISEN SAVIOR RAISES OUR FOCUS.

M: Alleluia!  Christ is risen!
C: He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!

In the name + of Jesus.

      You will have nothing but problems if you do not have the right focus.  A major league baseball player who is not focused on the pitch will fail to get hits.  He will end up being cut.  A worker who is distracted by solitaire on his computer will not be productive.  He may not advance in his company.  A boy on a date who is distracted by other girls in the restaurant will probably be getting dumped pretty quickly.  If you do not keep the right focus, you will suffer consequences.
     It is all the more serious when it comes to God's word.  If you do not keep a proper focus on God's word, you will be deceived and may even hold to a false faith.  In the worst case, the consequences are eternal.  But even in the short term, there are nothing but problems.  Consider the two disciples who were referred to in our gospel lesson.  They had high hopes regarding Jesus.  They spoke about “Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him.  But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel.” (Luke 24:19-21)  Were they wrong?  It depends on what they expected Jesus to do.  What was their focus?  More miracles?  An earthly kingdom?  If so, they were not focused on what Jesus had taught them.  So when Jesus was crucified, they lost all hope.  And when reports were going around about Jesus' resurrection, they were confused.  If you do not keep the right focus, you will suffer consequences.  For these disciples, the consequences were sorrow, confusion, and despair.  Jesus rebuked them because they had lost their focus.  Then he opened the Scriptures to them to restore it.  The risen Savior raises our focus.
     St. Peter does the same in his epistle.  He reminds you what you have been rescued from and wants you focused on what you have been set apart for.  He wrote, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, 'You shall be holy, for I am holy.'” (1 Peter 1:14-16)  While some of the people Peter wrote to could have been criminals or morally despicable, this is not really an appeal just to behave themselves better.  He certainly urges godly behavior when he wrote, “You shall be holy,” (1 Peter 1:16) but Peter wants us to focus on more than just good behavior.  He wrote, “Do not be conformed to the passion of your former ignorance.” (1 Peter 1:14)  This ignorance comes from not knowing the grace of God, the word of the Lord, or his purpose for you.  If you are not properly focused on these things, you subject yourself to confusion, deception, despair, and possibly even damnation.
     For example, many people believe that God just wants us to be happy.  It sounds like what a loving God would want, and—even better!—it is what I want too.  If you believe this, you have lost your focus.  Nowhere in the Bible does it say that God just wants you to be happy.  To believe this is to hold God to a promise he did not make.  Additionally, what would it take for you to “just be happy”?  The Lions win the Super Bowl?  More money?  Extra-marital affairs?  The death of a few people such as a co-worker, a politician, or ISIS?  God does not promise to fulfill our selfish desires.  Or perhaps what would make you happy sounds more noble—world peace, a solution to poverty and hunger, or the end of cancer and bullying.  Even you desire noble things, they still boil down to this: “I want the world to run the way I think it should.” 
     Ultimately, this is a condemnation of God.  You judge God has a failure because you are not happy.  This is why Christians become atheists; they refuse to acknowledge a God who does not perform the way they think he should.  They want a God who will just make them happy, and they can never find one.
     The risen Savior raises your focus.  Jesus did not promise that you would “just be happy,” but that you would be saved.  St. Peter also focuses you there: “Conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” (1 Peter 1:17-19)  You have been delivered from the ignorance of thinking that, despite your limited wisdom and puny power, you are greater than God.  You have been ransomed from a life that is focused on having your own way and being annoyed by others who stand in your way.  Such a life results in bitterness, disappointment, and damnation.  But you have been ransomed from that. 
     The risen Savior raises your focus.  Jesus has purchased and won you for himself with his holy, precious blood.  He has bought you for himself—not because he benefits from having you in his kingdom, but because it benefits you.  It brings the Lord joy to save you and bless you.  Now he has set you apart for a life that benefits others—to use your skills and abilities, interests and income for the good of your family, your friends, and your fellowman. 
     St. Peter wrote, “Conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile...” (1 Peter 1:17)  We live in fear—but only of ourselves; for we know that we are weak and easily distracted from the word that saves.  God knows how easy it is for us to focus on what makes us happy for the moment.  But the risen Savior raises your focus.  He not only has redeemed you to be a saint who will receive glory in heaven, he has not only set you apart to be a godly person who is productive and has purpose, but he also delivers you from ignorance about who he is, what he does, and why he does it.  While the risen Savior does not explain everything to you, he tells you what you need to know so that you can focus on that for comfort, for encouragement, and for confidence.  It is not for you to worry about how God rules the here and now, but it is for you to know that whatever he does serves your eternal good.
     The risen Savior raises your focus.  He reveals to you that you have been in his plans from eternity.  St. Peter writes that Jesus Christ “was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God...” (1 Peter 1:20-21)  From eternity, God had you in mind—not just to put you on earth for a while, but to have you marked from eternity to be his for eternity.  Before the foundations of the earth were laid, God the Son was set apart to become a man to save mankind.  And God did not leave this plan a secret.  As soon as a Savior was needed, he revealed it to sinners.  God continued make his mercy known through the salvation which would be accomplished by Jesus.  This message continues to be proclaimed to you so that you will not be ignorant of God's love.
     The risen Savior raises your focus.  Far too many people guess or hope or assume that God will just take people to heaven.  They don't know why.  At best, they live in doubt.  At worst, they are terrified of the future.  They are trusting in assumptions and wishes.  But you are no longer ignorant.  God has revealed his word in the Bible.  He focuses you on promises that are written down so you can read them, learn them, and take them to heart.  You know you are saved because you have God's promise on it.  Those promises were guaranteed by Jesus who lived the holy life credited to you, who died the cursed death suffered on your behalf, and who rose form the dead to show you God's approval of Jesus' redemption of you.  And that promise was sealed upon you when you were baptized into his name.  The Lord gives you his word in Scripture so that you know what to trust and will not be deceived by promises which are based on emotion rather than revelation. 
     The disciples who were walking to Emmaus did not find comfort or assurance until Jesus opened the Scriptures to them.  Only when they were focused on what God had clearly said did they find joy in God's salvation; for then they trusted that Jesus had done exactly what was promised.  This is what saved them.  This what saves you, too.  And it is why Jesus wants you focused on it.  The risen Savior raises your focus so that you will find comfort and joy in the here and now and glory and peace forevermore. 

In the name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen. 

Today's Earworm: This Time I'm in it for Love by Player

I have no idea why this is stuck in my head, but at least I am not annoyed by it.

This Time I'm in it for Love was recorded by Player in 1977.  Enjoy.


Thursday, April 23, 2020

Update from Good Shepherd (April 23, 2020)

Greetings!


WORSHIP DURING COVID-19
Services will be broadcast on Facebook Live, Sundays at 10:00 AM.  
Share our services and invite friends to tune in.

GOOD SHEPHERD ON YOUTUBE
         Services are posted on YouTube, usually in a few hours after the service.  When you go to YouTube, do a search for "Good Shepherd Novi" and they should pop up.  (The service for April 19 did not work out.)
         Bulletins for services can be downloaded from here (scroll down): 

ADULT BIBLE CLASS
We will be resuming our series entitled, “Bible Symbols” on Wednesdays at 7:00 PM.  This class will be done on the website Zoom, and there will be sheets emailed to you in advance.  In order to make sure you receive the study guides and to get the password for the Zoom sessions, you will need to register for this class.  Even if you will attend only occasionally, please register.  The recording for last night's class did not work out.  Perhaps next week?
If you happen to have the book, God's Imagery, you can refer to that for each class period.  The chapters that correspond to each session are below.  NOTE It is not necessary to have the book for the class.
The class schedule will be as follows:
April 29         The Symbolism of numbers (Chapter 5)
May 6 Symbols of the Savior (Chapter 6)
May 13         The People of the Lord (Chapter 7)
May 20         Apocalyptic Literature (Chapter 8)
May 27         Types of Christ (Chapter 18)


CONCERNING THE CORONAVIRUS
        General thoughts regrading the Church, its services, and pastoral care during a health scare such as the coronoavirus, I refer you to some thoughts I had written earlier.  You can find them at my blog here, under the title, "A Pastoral Concern: The Church Militant, Pastoral Care, and the Coronavirus."
        Regarding worship, particularly home devotions and prayer during this time of quarantine, you can refer to this letter which offers encouragement, advice, and resources for worship at home.  
        Home Devotions: A link to provide materials for home devotions and prayers is here.

CONCERNING PASTORAL CARE
        Online Worship:  Besides Facebook Live and YouTube, you can find the pastor's sermons archived on this blog.  You can use the search bar to find a particular date, day of the Church Year, or Scripture reference.
        Person-to-person care: Pastor Schroeder will be in his office to offer private devotions, Holy Absolution, and Holy Communion to members in small groups or to individuals.  You may come in without appointment at these times: Mondays and Thursdays, 8:00 AM - Noon and 6:00 - 9:00 PM.  You may also set up an appointment at any time.  Visits by appointment can be done either at church or at your home.
        In case you contract COVID-19:  Please contact Pastor Schroeder.  He will alert the congregation so that your fellow members may pray for you, and he will keep everyone informed of your condition.  If possible, Pastor Schroeder will visit you during your quarantine.  At the very least, he will keep in contact with you and provide devotional materials.  If you want to ask for intercessions for loved ones, we will certainly remember them in our prayers, too.  If your loved one has no pastor, ask if they would like Pastor Schroeder to visit them.  

PRIVATE COMMUNION DURING HOLY WEEK
Private Communion is available by appointment at any time.
Private Communion is available during Pastor Schroeder's office hours:
Mondays           8:00 AM – Noon; 6:00 - 9:00 PM
Thursdays     8:00 AM – Noon; 6:00 - 9:00 PM
To limit the risk of contracting COVID-19 as much as possible, please review the protocol we will follow when you come in.  You can see it here.

OFFERINGS
While we may not be meeting for worship, we do have financial obligations to meet.  You may either mail your offering into Good Shepherd, or you can set up your offering to be transferred electronically from your bank.  If you are interested in the automatic transfer of funds for your offering, please contact the church at welsnovi@aol.com .

INTERCESSIONS 
Intercessions that are requested prior to the bulletin’s printing will be included in the bulletin.  Requests may be made prior to the service as well.
>  For the family of Jerome Spaude, father of Cathy Mowers, who was called to eternal rest (4/19)
   >  Thanksgiving for Troy & Jennifer Schmidli, daughter of Brad & Georgene Kinsman, who have adopted a baby boy, Gordon Bradford Schmidli
   >  Supplication during the COVID-19 pandemic

In our prayers....
While we offer up prayers for specific requests in our services, petitions and intercessions can be offered up throughout the week for continued concerns.  Please continue to remember these in your prayers:
>  For Rawland Storm who continues treatment for cancer
>  Jan Papson, who continues to suffer from the effects of cancer at home
>  For Nicole, Joshua, and Noah Taylor who mourn the loss of Nicole's ex-husband and Joshua's & Noah's father, Mark Taylor

OFFICE HOURS
Office hours at Good Shepherd have adjusted during the COVID-19 quarantine.  Pastor Schroeder will be in the office Mondays and Thursdays, 8:00 AM - Noon and again 6:00-9:00 PM.  Lisa is doing most of her work from home.

DO YOU LIKE US?
Look for Good Shepherd on Facebook.  Then “LIKE” us for updates and other postings.  Be sure to share posts with friends.

SHARE THIS POST!
We desire as many as possible to rejoice in the Gospel which we proclaim and confess.  Share the information from our weekly email blast, links to our web page, and even to the pastor's blog to let others know that we have a space in our congregation for them!

God bless you.


In Christ,
Pastor Schroeder
==============================
SUNDAY SCHOOL -- suspended until further notice
ADULT BIBLE CLASS -- Wednesdays at 7:00 PM (via Zoom: registration is necessary)

DIVINE SERVICES -- Sundays at 10:00 AM
 (Facebook Live only)

GOOD SHEPHERD’S WEBSITE

Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church
41415 W. Nine Mile Road
Novi, Michigan  48375-4306
+   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Sermon -- 2nd Sunday of Easter (April 19, 2020)

1 PETER 1:3-9

OUR LIVING LORD GRANTS
A CERTAIN SALVATION.

M: Alleluia!  Christ is risen!
C: He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!

In the name + of Jesus.

      St. Peter wrote his first epistle “to those who are elect exiles of the dispersion.” (1 Peter 1:1)  These were Christians who were scattered around the Roman Empire.  They were also enduring persecution for the Christian faith.  Currently, what we are enduring is inconvenient and annoying.  Depending upon your situation, it might even rise to the level of hardship, but it is not persecution.  If everyone is supposed to stay at home, it is not targeted at Christians.  But Peter's initial audience was most certainly suffering for the faith.  No doubt, some were wondering if it was worth it.
     When you are constantly having to deal with problems or uncertainty, that is what consumes your mind.  It drains your energy.  You are absorbed by your present situation. The persecuted Christians in Peter's day were wondering: “How long do we have to put up with this?  Will we be imprisoned, or will we have to flee from home?  What does our future look like?”  While our current situation is not nearly as intense, we ask similar questions.  “When we will get back to our work places?  How long will we have to wear masks?  When can I finally get a hair cut?  What will our future look like?”  St. Peter points you to a future without question marks.  We don't know what next week holds, but we do know what eternity holds.  Our living Lord grants us a certain salvation.
     St. Peter keeps us mindful of what is remains certain when our world is not.  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you...” (1 Peter 1:3-4)  Your inheritance is unfading; it will not lose value.  Your inheritance is undefiled; it will not become ruined or tainted.    Your inheritance is imperishable; it cannot die and will never come to an end.  It is unlike any treasure or any promise that is made in this world.  Yet, we tend to put our hopes and our efforts in this world.  And then we are frustrated when it results in disappointment.
     There is nothing in this world that is imperishable.  If you go to museums, you will find artifacts that are thousands of years old.  The empires they came from have been reduced to history books, and the artifacts from them must be kept under glass so that they are not reduced to dust.  All of the world's glory eventually fades away.  This is what the Lord says: “All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.  The grass withers, and the flower fades.” (Isaiah 40:6-7)  That is not limited only to empires and kingdoms, but it also applies to individuals.  The beauty of mankind gives way to wrinkles, aching joints, and poor eyesight.  No matter how much power, fame, or wealth a man has, everyone is finally equalized by the cemetery. 
     It is bad enough that our world has been defiled with pollution, pestilence, and war, but it is worse that the heart of every human being has been defiled by sin.  Some will argue that people are basically good and will cite reports about acts of kindness to strangers.  They are not reported because they are normal; they are reported because we are surprised by them.  We have to be told, “A little kindness goes a long way,” because we don't have time for that.  We have to take care of our own interests, our pride, and our possessions.  Our hearts are devoted to ourselves above all, even above God.  We have become our own gods, for we love and trust what benefits our stomachs, our wallets, our egos, and whatever will gratify us in the next few moments.  Repent.  For everything our defiled hearts crave will perish.  And whatever is perishing will never satisfy you.  You will only perish with it.
     St. Peter was writing to a church which was enduring persecution.  It was a time of great uncertainty.  Currently, you and I are enduring the shelter-in-place orders which are supposed to keep us safe.  It is also a time of great uncertainty.  But these hardships can serve for your benefit.  Therefore, St. Peter says, “Now for a little while … you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:6-7)  So that we will not be entangled or engrossed in the things which do not save, our Lord is pleased to take them away from us.  He shows us how untrustworthy are the things we trust in.  We give them a value that they don't deserve.  Our Lord is reminding us that we don't need them, and he is purifying our faith by taking them from us. 
     Jesus does not want us to live with uncertainty or the kind of hope that needs you to cross your fingers for luck.  Christ has won your salvation for you.  It is not a hollow promise or even an iffy promise.  We live with those all the time.  Will the stay at home order end with April?  Will it go into May?  Will it come back in the Fall?  We don't know, and we are frustrated by this.  We want to know things will get better.  We do this because living in a state of pessimism and defeat is a soul-crushing way to live.  No one wants to live with such a dark cloud hanging over his head.  If this is how we feel when we are going through a pandemic which will eventually run its course, how much worse it would be to stare eternity in the face and to have to rely on what is, at best, iffy.
     The living Lord grants a certain salvation.  If you want to be certain that you will live in heavenly glory, then you must be holy.  Jesus grants you the certainty.  He is the one man who lived in perfect obedience to God's Commandments.  But Jesus delivers the credit of his perfect obedience to your account.  Since Jesus has clothed you in his righteousness, it is certain that you will stand in God's presence and dwell in his kingdom.  If you want to be certain that life does not end at a grave, then there ought to be proof of life after death.  Jesus is the one man who has overcome the grave.  And since Jesus is God, he assures you that his victory over the death is not for him alone, but for all who are marked in his name through baptism.  You can be certain of your resurrection from the dead to life everlasting. 
     The living Lord grants a certain salvation.  Jesus has cleansed you from everything which defiles you by bathing you in his holy, precious blood.  By your baptism, you have been crucified with Jesus.  Your sin was taken up by Jesus and removed from you.  He has not only won the full pardon for all your sin, he has also changed your heart and mind so that it is no longer controlled by sin.  He shows you and convinces you that he alone supplies you with blessings that satisfy and endure.  If you desire comfort and assurance, then make sure you are listening to Jesus far more than politicians, doctors, and reporters.
     Our living Lord gives us a certain salvation.  The inheritance you will receive is not kept on earth where all things will pass away.  This world offers no certainty, other than everything will pass away.  Jesus gives you a better certainty.  He gives you an inheritance which is kept in heaven so that it remains untouched by sin.  That is why your hope remains secure; for, it cannot be destroyed by anything—whether persecution or pandemic.  You have been “born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3-5)
     Your situation may not look pretty right now.  Times might be hard.  Frustrations and inconvenience may linger.  Questions go unanswered, or are not answered to your satisfaction.  But Jesus assures you of a future without question marks.  The glory that you crave will come.  You have a hope that lives because Jesus lives.  He gives you the kingdom.  And he does not leave you waiting; for the kingdom already comes to you now.  Whenever God's word is preached—in the church, online, or in home devotions, God's kingdom comes to you.  This is how God delivers to you his salvation, his forgiveness, and his peace.  These are not defiled by problems.  Their value does not fade in tough times or dark days.  And they cannot perish.  For Jesus lives.  Our living Lord grants us a certain salvation.

In the name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen. 

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Update from Good Shepherd (April 16, 2020)

Greetings!


WORSHIP DURING COVID-19
Services will be broadcast on Facebook Live, Sundays at 10:00 AM.  
Share our services and invite friends to tune in.

GOOD SHEPHERD ON YOUTUBE
         Services are posted on YouTube, usually in a few hours after the service.  When you go to YouTube, do a search for "Good Shepherd Novi" and they should pop up.
         The link for Easter Sunday (April 12) is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fyh2ujx3wuI&t=375s
         Bulletins for services can be downloaded from here (scroll down): 

ADULT BIBLE CLASS
We will be resuming our series entitled, “Bible Symbols” on Wednesdays at 7:00 PM.
While the Bible is written in clear language, it sometimes uses symbolism to reveal God's word to us.  Such symbolism, while it can be confusing, also serves to illustrate God's mercy and salvation to us.  In order to gain a deeper understanding of God's mercy and salvation, it serves us well to be familiar with the Bible's symbolism and word pictures.
If you happen to have the book, God's Imagery, you can refer to that for each class period.  The chapters that correspond to each session are below.  NOTE It is not necessary to have the book for the class.
This class will be done on the website Zoom, and there will be sheets emailed to you in advance.  In order to make sure you receive the study guides and to get the password for the Zoom sessions, you will need to register for this class.  Even if you will attend only occasionally, please register.  The recording for last night's class did not work out.  Perhaps next week?
The class schedule will be as follows:
April 22         Fall OT Festivals: Fulfillment of Christ's work (Chapter 4)
April 29         The Symbolism of numbers (Chapter 5)
May 6 Symbols of the Savior (Chapter 6)
May 13         The People of the Lord (Chapter 7)
May 20         Apocalyptic Literature (Chapter 8)
May 27         Types of Christ (Chapter 18)


CONCERNING THE CORONAVIRUS
        General thoughts regrading the Church, its services, and pastoral care during a health scare such as the coronoavirus, I refer you to some thoughts I had written earlier.  You can find them at my blog here, under the title, "A Pastoral Concern: The Church Militant, Pastoral Care, and the Coronavirus."
        Regarding worship, particularly home devotions and prayer during this time of quarantine, you can refer to this letter which offers encouragement, advice, and resources for worship at home.  
        Home Devotions: A link to provide materials for home devotions and prayers is here.

CONCERNING PASTORAL CARE
        Online Worship:  Besides Facebook Live and YouTube, you can find the pastor's sermons archived on this blog.  You can use the search bar to find a particular date, day of the Church Year, or Scripture reference.
        Person-to-person care: Pastor Schroeder will be in his office to offer private devotions, Holy Absolution, and Holy Communion to members in small groups or to individuals.  You may come in without appointment at these times: Mondays and Thursdays, 8:00 AM - Noon and 6:00 - 9:00 PM.  You may also set up an appointment at any time.  Visits by appointment can be done either at church or at your home.
        In case you contract COVID-19:  Please contact Pastor Schroeder.  He will alert the congregation so that your fellow members may pray for you, and he will keep everyone informed of your condition.  If possible, Pastor Schroeder will visit you during your quarantine.  At the very least, he will keep in contact with you and provide devotional materials.  If you want to ask for intercessions for loved ones, we will certainly remember them in our prayers, too.  If your loved one has no pastor, ask if they would like Pastor Schroeder to visit them.  

PRIVATE COMMUNION DURING HOLY WEEK
Private Communion is available by appointment at any time.
Private Communion is available during Pastor Schroeder's office hours:
Mondays           8:00 AM – Noon; 6:00 - 9:00 PM
Thursdays     8:00 AM – Noon; 6:00 - 9:00 PM
To limit the risk of contracting COVID-19 as much as possible, please review the protocol we will follow when you come in.  You can see it here.

OFFERINGS
While we may not be meeting for worship, we do have financial obligations to meet.  You may either mail your offering into Good Shepherd, or you can set up your offering to be transferred electronically from your bank.  If you are interested in the automatic transfer of funds for your offering, please contact the church at welsnovi@aol.com .

INTERCESSIONS 
Intercessions that are requested prior to the bulletin’s printing will be included in the bulletin.  Requests may be made prior to the service as well.
>  For Nicole, Joshua, and Noah Taylor who mourn the loss of Nicole's ex-husband and Joshua's & Noah's father, Mark Taylor
   >  Supplication during the COVID-19 pandemic

In our prayers....
While we offer up prayers for specific requests in our services, petitions and intercessions can be offered up throughout the week for continued concerns.  Please continue to remember these in your prayers:
>  For Rawland Storm who continues treatment for cancer
>  Jan Papson, who continues to suffer from the effects of cancer at home

OFFICE HOURS
Office hours at Good Shepherd have adjusted during the COVID-19 quarantine.  Pastor Schroeder will be in the office Mondays and Thursdays, 8:00 AM - Noon and again 6:00-9:00 PM.  Lisa is doing most of her work from home.

DO YOU LIKE US?
Look for Good Shepherd on Facebook.  Then “LIKE” us for updates and other postings.  Be sure to share posts with friends.

SHARE THIS POST!
We desire as many as possible to rejoice in the Gospel which we proclaim and confess.  Share the information from our weekly email blast, links to our web page, and even to the pastor's blog to let others know that we have a space in our congregation for them!

God bless you.


In Christ,
Pastor Schroeder
==============================
SUNDAY SCHOOL -- suspended until further notice
ADULT BIBLE CLASS -- Wednesdays at 7:00 PM (via Zoom: registration is necessary)

DIVINE SERVICES -- Sundays at 10:00 AM
 (Facebook Live only)

GOOD SHEPHERD’S WEBSITE

Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church
41415 W. Nine Mile Road
Novi, Michigan  48375-4306
+   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   +

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Adult Bible Class -- "Bible Symbols"

We will be resuming our series entitled, “Bible Symbols” on Wednesdays at 7:00 PM.

EDIT:  While a companion book is mentioned, it is not necessary for the class.  You will have no problems following along if you don't have the book!

While the Bible is written in clear language, it sometimes uses symbolism to reveal God's word to us.  Such symbolism, while it can be confusing, also serves to illustrate God's mercy and salvation to us.  In order to gain a deeper understanding of God's mercy and salvation, it serves us well to be familiar with the Bible's symbolism and word pictures.

This class will be done on the website Zoom, and there will be sheets emailed to you in advance.  In order to make sure you receive the study guides and to get the password for the Zoom sessions, you will need to register for this class at welsnovi@aol.com .  If you do not register, you will not receive the meeting ID# or the password needed to join the class on Zoom.  Even if you will attend only occasionally, please register.  I am also hoping to record these sessions so that they will be available on demand.

If you happen to have the book, God's Imagery, you can refer to that for each class period.  The chapters that correspond to each session are below.  Although it is not crucial to have for the class, reading the chapter which corresponds to the upcoming class may foster more discussion for the class.  You can order your own copy ($17.99 plus s/h) through Northwestern Publishing House at https://online.nph.net/gods-imagery.html

The class schedule will be as follows:
April 15         Spring OT Festivals: Symbols of Christ's first coming (Chapter 3)
April 22         Fall OT Festivals: Fulfillment of Christ's work (Chapter 4)
April 29         The Symbolism of numbers (Chapter 5)
May 6 Symbols of the Savior (Chapter 6)
May 13         The People of the Lord (Chapter 7)
May 20         Apocalyptic Literature (Chapter 8)
May 27         Types of Christ (Chapter 18)