What was the first song that was ever sung by the people of Good Shepherd? Let me give you some context. In November of 1964, Good Shepherd held its first public worship service at Gaithersburg Junior High School. As folks gathered, Barbara Zanner was playing a Bach prelude. As she finished, the congregation stood up and belted out their first hymn together, “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty.” When I learned that, I smiled. It’s a hymn that tells the story of Good Shepherd, and a hymn I want at my funeral (someday). Here’s Verse 3:
Praise to the Lord, who will prosper your work and defend you;
surely his goodness and mercy shall daily attend you.
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do
if with his love he befriend you.
Ponder anew. Pay attention again. Be open to the possibilities God has in store for you (as an individual and as a community of faith). At Good Shepherd, we are continually “pondering anew” and always asking “God, what’s next?” Because we ask that question on an ongoing basis, we gain insight and directions that help us minister to a needy world. As we enter September, I encourage you to ponder anew what God can do in your life. I challenge you to see this time of year as a new beginning; an opportunity to connect and grow in faith. Jump into a Sunday school class. Sign up for a fellowship event. Come to the Men’s Breakfast or a Women’s Retreat. Worship and engage in conversation each week. Let us grow in friendship and get more connected.
If you haven’t seen it already, please check out the brochure insert that Pr. Kate put together that announces all the small groups for September!