New Year…New Vision

Keith Walters - Chairman, Stewardship Committee

I want to take this medium to thank members of the Stewardship Committee and the Church community at large for the successes of the past year.  The success of our Witness Talks, Visitors’ Sundays, Stewardship Fair but most of all the hope that our efforts to improve Stewardship among our congregants took us closer to our main goal of making our community a Stewardship Parish.

The year 2011 has come to a close and as we look back I’m sure there was positive accomplishments and areas for improvement. We have discovered that Stewardship in many ways is not just a program with a beginning and an end, we now see it as a journey which we’re all on together as followers of Christ and this is the reason we  continue to mobilize others to share their gifts and to encourage all members of Good Shepherd to join at least one Ministry.

One of the great errors people make is to think it’s all about financial matters.

The message is much more spiritual than financial. It’s all about an attitude of gratitude – to focus on what you have rather than don’t have … to use various God-given gifts not because you feel obligated, but because of gratitude for what you have.

As we enter the New Year I ask that we all re-commit ourselves. Do your own self-searching; see where you need to improve. “Am I mixing-up my wants and my needs which could be holding me back from sharing my gifts with the Community.”

The Pastoral Letter on Stewardship calls us to be “mature disciples who make a conscious decision to follow Jesus no matter what the cost.” One hallmark of mature disciples is coming to the realization that we can never have it all or do it all. We need to create a plan for what we do want to have and accomplish. But before we can create that plan, we need to do some discernment about what God would like us to have and accomplish.  We need to be always mindful of the fact that while Society says “you collect and gather, stewardship says you share.”

“It all comes down to Jesus’ call to love one another … which in the end is based on service to others.”

I look forward to your continued support in the coming year as we institute new programmes and policies as we continue improving our Stewardship.

Have A Blessed New Year!

Keith A. Walters
Stewardship Chair

Pastor’s Message

Fr. Adam Oleszczuk, SVD

My friends,

Certainly, many of you would agree with me that this past year our parish family of Good Shepherd Church has shown a tremendous growth in many aspects of our “church life”. All around us, good things happen at our Church. I see this in all Ministries and groups. I see this in the way we take care of one another and the way we claim the responsibility for this church and its environment.

I believe this is the result of the hard work of many committed, accountable, creative and action oriented parishioners who have made stewardship the way of their lives. I salute their ability and imagination to envision what this parish can be if we all live the life of good and faithful Christian stewards.

I would like to take this opportunity to invite all of you to be involved in at least one ministry at our church. Let us work together and find new ways in which the parish can grow spiritually, strengthen ministries, and increase its outreach.

It is my prayer that the inspiration found in this newsletter will bring countless blessings to all at the Good Shepherd Church.

Sincerely in Christ,

Fr. Adam Oleszczuk, SVD

Stewardship…Sharing our Time, Talent & Treasure

Keith Walters - Chairman, Stewardship Committee

We must continue to give God thanks for the effort of our members who continue to display their Stewardship commitment by sharing their gifts with the community. I must single out our “Communications Chair”, Mrs. Joy Chambers who is currently designing a News Blog for the Stewardship Committee. This means that using modern technology we will soon be able to communicate with the wider community bringing news, views, and gather feedback on our activities.

The Stewardship ministry is focused on promoting Christian stewardship of the gifts that God has entrusted to us.  The various Ministries at Good Shepherd have been contributing significantly to the growth of Stewardship in the parish. Our Choir has grown by leaps and bounds. The Women’s League, our largest ministry, continues to display great enthusiasm in their work. Week after week, our Hospitality Ministry continues to provide refreshment for Parishioners after mass at their own expense. The tireless efforts of the RCIA and Sunday school groups provide continuous Religious Education for the young and old in our parish. Groups like the Ushers, Liturgical and Altar servers continue to serve the community efficiently at our masses. There are many other groups and individuals, some working behind the scenes, that tirelessly contribute to improving religious life in the Good Shepherd parish by the way of our stewardship.

It’s also encouraging to see the improvement in our collection over the past months, as parishioners have been fairly consistent in their contributions towards meeting the financial goals of our community.

We will continue to seek with the Holy Spirit’s help to accept the Church’s invitation to develop and use our personal gifts of time, talent and resources to integrate the practice of stewardship throughout the parish.

I’m grateful to all members of the parish who have supported this Ministry, and by extension the Parish, and I look forward to your continued support.

God Bless You.

Keith A. Walters

Stewardship Chair

The Unsung Disciples…

Stewardship in Action

In each print edition of our newsletter, we will be featuring a group from the church and the work they are doing to strengthen the body of Christ.  This month, the spotlight will be on the group of women who clean and decorate the church.

We don’t often think about this group of people when we’re in church on a Sunday morning, but isn’t it wonderful to absorb the word of God in clean and aesthetically pleasing surrounding?  The team of  Hope Chambers, Jean Jackson, Leonie McDonald, Rhona Merrick, Genevieve Reid, Pearline Salmon, Sister V and Weglyn Webb  can be found at Good Shepherd on a Saturday morning cleaning the church. They are not compensated, as they see what they do as part of their service to God

Ever notice the beautiful backdrop on the altar that changes with the seasons? Hope Chambers, along with Brenda Francis and Sybil Newman,  does the job of creating and hanging the material that beautifies the altar.  Asked how she fell into the role, she noted that more than three years ago, she started assisting the person who was making them at that time.  After a while, she took over the job and has continued to be a faithful servant ever since. Despite the challenges she faces, as she is still studying, she makes the time on a Saturday evening to make the changes to the backdrop, according to the seasons.

Hope Chambers

Mrs. Shirley Dennis, Ms. Sybil Reeves and Leonie McDonald are some the dedicated Sacristans of this Church.

Genevieve Reid and Rhona Merritt are recently two of the three women behind the preparation of the altar, the communion vessels and all the linen used in the Mass.  In carrying out their functions, they work on Saturdays, and before Mass and are usually seen after the celebration going quietly about their duties.

Genevieve Reid & Rhona Merrick

The call to Stewardship extends even further in this direction. We take for granted the banners that display messages from the Gospel. They hang from the rostrum and we see them, but do we think about the talent and dedication that go into creating them?

They all started with Mr. Lonsdale Waite. This steward has been giving his service of creativity for many years. He discovered his talent at an early age and made his artistic   talent a profession.

Lonsdale Waite

Mrs. Brenda Francis, Church Council president and Chairperson of the Liturgical Committee can often be found on a  Saturday evening with Mr. Everton Street, creating beautiful floral arrangements.

She goes all out to ensure that the          Liturgical season is reflected in the decor of the altar and the Church especially during Advent, Christmas, Easter and other special events.

Wouldn’t you agree that without the people working behind the scenes, our experience at Mass would be less enjoyable?

Mrs. Brenda Francis, Church Council President & Liturgical Committee Chairperson

With that in mind, we extend thanks to our brothers and sisters for all they do to ensure a wonderful Sunday morning experience.