Eclesiastés 11:9. Alégrate, joven, en tu juventud, y tome placer tu corazón en los días de tu adolescencia; y anda en los caminos de tu corazón y en la vista de tus ojos; pero sabe, que sobre todas estas cosas te juzgará Dios.
This Pentecost, a we are starting a new ministry of getting to know and caring for our community. We are praying for you Haverhill. We are sending out our members in ones and groups to walk the streets of Haverhill offering prayers for every home and business we pass. We are a moderately small church so we don’t expect to cover the whole city this summer, but we will be out – walking, praying, greeting and learning more about our community.
If you have any special prayer requests or would like your street or neighborhood covered soon, please drop us a line – commenting here, on facebook or give the church a call.
If you would like to help with the prayer walk, here are the basic directions for everyone. Take your time strolling down the street. You may stop and pray at each house or pray as you go. Though you needn’t stop, don’t just rush through the street to get it accomplished. Likewise, if there are some that can manage by car, but cannot walk, pull over every few homes and take the time to pray. Please don’t race through neighborhoods and mark them as covered. We have reflection sheets to share general observations or revelations from you walk and prayer. Please fill out one sheet for each walk. Do not include specific addresses or names on these reflection sheets without permission from the families. We do have cards to hand out or place by doors if you are willing to indicate that we have prayed through the neighborhood. Prayer walkers are encouraged, but not required to use these cards.
Please pray for health, provision, protection from violence, peace, experiences of Christ’s love or whatever the Spirit leads you to have in prayer. Prayer can be out loud or silent, with open eyes or closed (please don’t walk with your eyes closed!). If you speak to folk, give them a card, ask if they have prayer requests and/or observations about their town. Listen, listen, love love. Don’t feel you need to evangelize in any particular way. Just listen, love and share only what the Spirit leads. Feel free to invite them to church whoever they are. You can even invite them to walk and pray with you. Be open to the blessings God has for you in this ministry.
Join us for all the joy, solemnity and celebration of Holy Week
Palm Sunday April 13 10:30am
Tenebrae April 17 7pm
Good Friday April 18 7pm
Easter Sunday April 20 10:30am
All are welcome to all services. Read on to hear more about our Holy Week services.
Palm Sunday celebrates the story of Jesus being welcomed in to Jerusalem as the anointed King. The people cry out for deliverance and for a King who will make them great. But is Jesus who they think he is? Jesus ends up demonstrating power, leadership and love that shakes his followers to the core. Prepare for the joy and the surprise Jesus has for you.
The Tenebrae service is a service of increasing darkness that recounts the story of Jesus approaching his death on the cross. This is a solemn service with a few hymns mixed into a story in an ever darkening world. The altar is stripped and our hearts are laid bare. There is no preaching, but just allowing the Word of God speak into the quiet night.
Good Friday remembers the day that Christ is killed on the cross. What’s so good about that? you might ask. Come and see. This is a time to shed our sin, our shame, our baggage in preparation for new life to come.
Easter is not about bunnies. Easter is the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. Like him, we will die, but like him we will be raised. Not only is there eternal life available in Jesus, that eternal life can break into the this world – on Earth as it is in Heaven. Come taste a bit of Heaven and see that God is good!
We need your dreams and passions and need you to come and share them at the Good Shepherd Visioning Retreat this Saturday at 4pm. We’ll be sharing in a potluck dinner, but please come whether you can bring food or not. The more people come, the better view we will have as to who we are as a church. Our time will be fun, uplifting and productive.
I made it and it didn’t even look as bad as this picture. The conditions weren’t bad by Maine standards, but experienced snow drivers only! If the Spirit leads you to come, we’ll be here!
The Merrimack Valley Concert Band has already decided to postpone their concert until 12/21 at 2pm. Barring another storm, we will be there for worship on the 21st with a Christmas carol sing and great hope for the season.
Above all, even if we are open, consider the risk of coming out in the storm, but consider having a safe and warm devotional space at home. Please feel free to send prayer requests here, on Face Book, the church email group or directly to me. If anyone has need in the storm, give me a call and we’ll see what resources we can muster.
Christmas is a time of many feelings, but very little time to feel them all. Generations of traditions, expectations, stories and baggage fill our minds, our hearts and our schedules with too much to allow us to really pause and process. Meanwhile, one of the biggest expectations is that we should all be happy, filled with joy and celebration. We can play along and sing “Hallelujah” while grumbling “Humbug” inside. For many, the expectations can’t be met and the real feelings are of loss, pain, frustration made worse by the guilt of failing to be part of the season.
There is NO wrong way to feel at Christmas. Our Blue Christmas service allows all the feelings of the season to be expressed honestly in an environment of love and grace. Whether we need to leave shame behind, pray for heavy concerns or reframe memories to bring comfort, there will be opportunities to experience Christmas differently this year or at least carve out a space to find the Christmas you need for an hour.
Come as you are and join us for a time to remember the past and make room for new life. Saturday December 21 at 7pm @ Good Shepherd UMC, Haverhill, MA.
Christmas can be one of the most joyous times of year, but it can also be one of the most painful. Whether Christmas coincides with a terrible event of loss or pain or if the impossibly high expectations for the show of the season, the food and the presents become to much to bear, Christmas can be an exceptionally difficult burden. Our hope in Christmas is the coming of a Savior who will liberate the oppressed and bring healing for the sick. This is a true freedom that lets us engage in the world around us free from the judgment and expectations of the world. This is a freedom that offers space for those areas where we are still seeking healing or peace.
Please join our community of peace for one or more of these great events to help this Christmas be the most joyous, healing and hopeful ever.
All events are free and are open to EVERYONE
** Worship with us Sundays at 10:30am to sing praises, pray for one another and hear the stories of the season.
** Idioma español estudio de la Biblia los sábados 17:00
** 17:00 servicio de adoración en español los domingos
** Christmas from the Backside book study looking at Christmas
from a new angle Mondays at 6:30pm