Thoughts on ‘The Good Shepherd’

When Jesus calls himself the “Good Shepherd,” he is contrasting himself with all those previous leaders who had been poor and incomplete shepherds, no better than hired hands really. By contrast, Jesus identifies himself as the good shepherd, the one truly ready to “lay down his life” for the good of the sheep. Of course, that is what Jesus eventually did upon the cross, and it was that act of laying down his life for the sheep, all God’s people; which are, after all, all people from every time and every place – that created the new community, the new flock, that we call the church.

In this new flock, we are all both shepherd and sheep – called of God to care for each other and for the world. We are invited today to reflect upon the sacrificial death our good shepherd died for us. We have an opportunity to open ourselves up to the transforming power of the gift of new life, letting our lives be changed by the Risen Christ living in us and in this community. We are called to continue the work of the good shepherd, caring for one another, loving each other, dying a little for each other, opening doors and tearing down barriers, bringing everyone into the sheepfold, into God’s beloved flock.

- Rev Dr Delmer Chilton – The Lectionary Lab

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Stepping On Program

West Epping UC, in conjunction with NSW Health, are hosting a Stepping On program for 7 weeks. It commences  Tuesday 12 May at 10am at West Epping Uniting Church, Cnr Carlingford Rd & Orchard St Epping.

The program is an interactive and free community program for seniors to build knowledge, strength and confidence to remain in dependent at home. Bookings are essential, details are on the noticeboard.

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The Jesus Shop

One of the members of Windsor UC has set up ‘The Jesus Shop’ in Parramatta and sells a range of goods from jewellery to posters to clothes to CD’s that have ‘Jesus’ on them.

You can visit Robyn’s Facebook page – ‘The Jesus Shop’ or visit the shop at Shop 3, 181 Church St, (along the railway line on the other side of St John’s Cathedral – along from the hobby shop).

Phone is 0429 601 349.

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Easter Community Organising Workshops

Parramatta-Nepean Presbytery and Uniting Mission & Education are sponsoring a series of workshops and events looking at ways of Growing Effective Congregations in the New Missional Context. The guest speaker is Rev Terry Moe, a Lutheran pastor and community organizer from USA. He is running a series of workshops including two at Northmead Uniting Church on Saturdays 9 and 16 May.

The workshop will consider ‘Tools for Congregational and Emerging leaders to help navigate the new missional context’, and includes case studies from local leaders using Adaptive and Transformational Leadership with community organising.

More details are on the noticeboard or on their website, www.courageous.org.au.

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Pastoral Care Workshop

Uniting Mission & Education are running a Pastoral Care workshop at the Centre for Ministry at North Parramatta on Wednesday 8th April, from 9.30am – 4.30pm. The workshop will look at pastoral care techniques using the Pastoral Partner model. It will explore relationships, how to engage in a meaningful conversation, dealing with loss and grief, as well as the joy of growing new friendships. It is ideal for all people and congregations seeking to grow healthy and lasting relationships.

To register online visit http://ume.nsw.uca.org.au/w ednesday-workshops or contact Bronwyn Murphy on 8838 8920.

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