February 19th

Day 5

1st Monday in Lent

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

I am both a “Cradle Lutheran” and “Navy brat”.  Born in Bethesda Naval Hospital and baptized by a Navy Chaplin, I lived in multiple places (including 4 years in Turkey) growing up, finally settling in Connecticut in the sixties after my father finished his 24 years. While our living conditions may have varied (I attended three different schools during my first grade year), we as a family were pretty consistent about finding a church to attend. In Connecticut, Zion Lutheran, Waterbury, became our family church, the eight of us very reliably sitting in the second row every Sunday. My parents were very involved with Zion as teachers and my father occasionally served as a fill in preacher when the regular pastor was unavailable. I was married in that church, our two children were baptized there and two of my siblings still attend it.

Even with this solid church background, Ned and I drifted away from regular church attendance in our early married life, our moving every few years did not help that. In 1990, we moved to Westborough with our young daughters and decided that we were going to make an effort to “settle down” for the duration of their schooling. While I didn’t seem to have suffered from my disjointed early years, we felt it would be better if they didn’t experience that.

Part of this decision was to find ourselves a church home, just as we both had growing up. By random choice, Sarah and I tried out Good Shepherd first, while Ned stayed home with very young KT. The initial plan was to then try the Congregational Church (Ned’s upbringing) the next week. Sarah and I had such a comfortable welcome here that soon Ned and KT came and we never saw any need to try somewhere else.  Of course, it was only later that we learned the fellow who so warmly greeted us was Dave Golden, then president of the council and the very nice woman I sat next to was Pat Bean, wife of the Pastor, maybe not a typical sampling of the congregation.

In our 27+ years here, it has turned out that yes, they were typical of this congregation. While we have thrown ourselves wholeheartedly into life here at Good Shepherd, many others have also and provided a wonderful place for our daughters to grow up.  We have felt so blessed to be part of this community for all these years and hope that it continues this way for many more.

Lord, thank you for the community that is Good Shepherd. Thank you for helping us to be a consistent place for everyone, both young and old to come and learn about you and practice what we learn. Please help us to continue this for years to come. Amen

Celeste Rich

Put a coin in your bank for each blessing you can name.