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Pastor's Note | Sunday, February 16th

We live in very interesting times. I just read about the effort by scientists and engineers to develop a "Quantum Computer" capable of performing trillions of computations per second but more significantly performing multiple numbers of these trillions of calculations at the same time. One catch, it has to operate at 453 degrees below zero. This won't be sitting on my desk anytime soon.

Technology is changing, the climate is changing, American culture is changing, and we find ourselves trying to make sense of it all. One thing that comes with change is anxiety that stems from the uncertainty of what change means and how it might impact us.

In the context of our being in the midst of seeking to change denominations (from the PC(USA) to ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians) we also experience anxiety and uncertainty. The Joint Discernment Team is progressing in their work to reach a Joint Solution for dismissal from the PC(USA). I appreciate their work - it is gracious, it is seeking to honor our Lord Jesus, and it is being conducted in a way that expresses the nature of Christian love.

With the prospect of making this change there are questions being raised about what this change will mean for Good Shepherd. I appreciate the continuing invitation from our Congregational Representation Team to join them after the services in the main office with those questions. Curtis, Paul, and I are available to talk with you about any and all concerns. We want to hear from you and allow you to voice any concerns you may have. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

I would like to address one concern that has been raised. It is the concern that Good Shepherd's re-affiliation with ECO will create an unwelcoming environment. That is the exact opposite of what will happen. We will be an even more welcoming congregation for two reasons. One is that ECO has a clear vision for helping people come to know and trust in Jesus. ECO churches will continually be reminded of the priority on welcoming all people unconditionally and introducing them to the love of Jesus Christ. Second, ECO's governance allows people to be active in the church, be entitled to pastoral care, and all engage as full participants. There is a second status known as Covenant Ministry Partners. In other words, even the governance of ECO supports a more welcoming culture in the church.

Let me ask you to continue to pray as we move toward re-affiliation. For me this change comes with some deep personal heartache. It is not a joyous thing to separate from friends and colleagues in the PC(USA) whom I have learned to appreciate and love deeply. This change comes with a personal toll of grief. On the other hand it offers the joyful prospect of being part of a body that better supports our efforts to make disciples of Jesus Christ who connect with God, grow in faith, and serve in love. Our friends and neighbors, in fact, our communities will be truly blessed as we are faithful to this call.

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