February 15th

Day 2

1st Thursday of Lent

How / Why did you decide to participate at Good Shepherd?

I moved to the area in September 2016 and pretty quickly started searching for a church home. I visited several Episcopalian and Lutheran churches through early 2017. Some of the churches were very beautiful and historic, some were very welcoming (others not so much), but none felt like home. The congregation I left in Reno, NV was a very small church and I had been there for 20+ years. My first visit to GSLC was a little overwhelming, it was a much larger church than I was used too but it felt familiar as well (service similar and sanctuary, even the lights, looked like the church I grew up in). I looked around a bit after the service at the bulletin boards and posters about the church’s philosophy and all the events going on. I was happy to see a lot of children around and a very active church. On my second visit, my daughter accompanied me. Minutes before church was about to begin, I asked Pastor Jeff where Dana could go to Sunday School.  Pastor immediately grabbed Verle. Although Verle was headed into the sanctuary to join his wife, he took the time to escort us upstairs, introduce us to Celeste, show us the classrooms and then invited me to join him and his wife Darlene for service. I’m not sure that I have ever had that type of personalized service before at any church.

We quickly decided that we had found our church home, I could just feel it! I joined because I felt welcome and accepted. We have stayed because those feelings have only gotten stronger in the months since we joined. Many people asked my name, where I was from, how I liked GSLC and seemed genuinely interested in my responses. As I continue to get involved with events, opportunities to serve and Mid-Week adult study I have met many wonderful people and the feeling of welcoming and acceptance is reinforced. When it seems that so many other churches are experiencing declines in membership and attendance, I look at Good Shepherd and I see a community that is thriving. I feel truly blessed to be a part of this loving and giving congregation.

Dear Lord, We give thanks for open hearts and open minds and for people willing to serve those in need. We give thanks for the Good Shepherd community, those who support us in good times and bad. Help us to care for our neighbors, those we know and those we don’t, as your Son taught us. We anticipate springtime and the re-birth of the world around us. Help us to continue to grow in our faith through thoughts, words, and actions. We ask all this in His name. Amen.

Lisa Sottolano

Make a list about what would make it difficult to live simply. Put a coin in your bank, for each item.