Pastor’s Annual Report for 2022
Pastor’s Report for 2022
What a joy to celebrate 50 years of ministry in 2022! Truly, we are here for GOOD. Much has changed over the past 50 years, but as a congregation we continue to live out our core values, as we strive to share the Good News of Jesus Christ and to be force for good in Howard and Suamico and beyond.
SERVE: We strive to support our worldwide community in faith and service because Jesus teaches us to love our neighbor.
This September, as a part of our 50th Anniversary celebration, Good Shepherd hosted a Neighborhood Fest in conjunction with “God’s Work, Our Hands” Sunday. Under the leadership of Sue Larson, our 50th Anniversary Task Force coordinated a day of fellowship and service, alongside Cub Scout Pack 4107 and BSA Troop 1107. We engaged in service projects to support Lutheran World Relief, Days for Girls, the Giving Tree, Operation Christmas Child, and Project Linus.
As a congregation we continue our relationship with the Ecumenical Partnership for Housing and care for the Matthew House, with Tarra Gallagher serving on the EPH board on behalf of Good Shepherd. We coordinate the annual back-to-school event for the Giving Tree, providing much-needed school supplies to over 400 families in our community. Tammy Rusch continues to lead Good Shepherd in its partnership with the Feed My Starving Children: Green Bay Mobile Pack.
SHARE: We are called by Jesus to share the Good News so that others may know the transforming power of God’s grace.
At the annual meeting in January 2022, the congregation of Good Shepherd voted to invest in livestreaming equipment for the sanctuary. The equipment was installed this fall, and we are now livestreaming our 8:00 am worship on a weekly basis. This past March, Robert Schwandt was hired as Good Shepherd’s Administrative Assistant. Robert has been a faithful addition to our staff, and he has been especially helpful in developing online worship materials.
I am thankful for the continuing ministry of Tom Felton and Blake Felton, who have given generously of their time to ensure the quality of our livestream worship. I am also thankful for our weekly livestream volunteers, and their willingness to serve so that those beyond our walls can worship with us online.
SUPPORT: Together we seek to love and support each other in our joys and sorrows through prayer and service.
This year we were able to return to many of our fellowship opportunities, on Sunday morning and beyond. It was a joy to see the return of the Christmas Bake Sale, which raised $500 in support of the Giving Tree. Cindy Gentz continues to lead our Fellowship Team, as she also faithfully stewards our Power of Prayer ministry.
WORSHIP: Because God is forgiving and loving, we are called together to worship joyfully.
During the season of Lent this year, our Sunday morning and midweek evening worship focused on the theme of “Cultivating & Letting Go.” Both as a congregation and individuals, we are called to consider what needs to be pruned back, so that new growth can flourish. During Holy Week, the congregation was invited to “Journey to the Cross” through a series of prayer stations, centered on the last week of Jesus’ earthly life. This summer we hosted a four-week sermon series on “Sabbath Rest,” and our need to rest and to re-connect with God and with one another. I pray that both series afforded the congregation opportunities to lean into God’s grace and to consider God’s priorities for us as a community and as individuals.
The 50th Anniversary Task Force also prepared a special worship service on October 30, 2022, with Bishop Anne Edison-Albright preaching. It was a joy to uplift the ministry of our charter members and former pastors for their faithful service, and the celebration continued with a meal at the Rock Garden.
GROW: As God’s children, we engage in life-long learning of God’s story so we can grow in faith and be rooted in Jesus.
This fall saw a full return to Sunday school and confirmation. I am so thankful for our Christian Education and Youth Team and their leadership. Our Sunday school is fully staffed this year, allowing Hallie Langenhorst to focus on her role as Sunday school superintendent and to restart our “Littlest Lambs” ministry with families of 0–3-year-olds.
Even without a Youth Director on staff, our confirmation ministry is blessed with faithful small group leaders who weekly learn with and support our students. Given the lack of interest in the Youth Director position, our Executive Committee is recommending moving from a Youth Director position to a Confirmation Ministry Coordinator in 2023. This new position would be more limited in scope and require fewer hours.
O give thanks to the Lord, for God is good,
for God’s steadfast love endures forever. –Psalm 136:1
We have reason to give thanks. God continues to guide and bless our ministry together, and I cannot wait for the promised future that God has in store for Good Shepherd in 2023. Truly, we are here for GOOD!