On Sunday September 4 we will celebrate Labor Day with patriotic hymns and a pizza party! At the pizza party there will be an informal "ASK THE PASTOR ANYTHING" time.
This is YOUR opportunity to ask Pastor Rick anything that has been bugging you or you have been thinking about. Is there really a God? Why do we go to church? Can't I just worship at home? Is God male or female? Does God really hate gays? What's a sin? What happens when we die? You get the idea... ASK AWAY!
How Fear Separates Us From God...
The great Indian advocate of non-violence, Mahatma Ghandi, once wrote: "The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but, it is fear." Jesus Christ had also recognized how damaging fear can be. In this Sunday's Gospel lesson we read about the disciples of Jesus being caught on open water in the midst of a storm. They were frightened. Then they saw the figure of Jesus Christ approaching them through the storm, walking on water! In the midst of the storm, in the midst of the turmoil and danger, Jesus came to His disciples and said
"It is I; do not be afraid."
In looking at the relationship of God to His people, the prophet Isaiah wrote,
"...fear not, for I am with you,
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand."
Isaiah 41:10 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
Fear separates us from God. This Sunday I will be preaching on how fear affects us and prevents us from being the full person God intends us to be. And remember this: Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic.
We worship every Sunday morning at 10:30 AM. We have coffee, doughnuts and juice for the early birds. I look forward to seeing you this Sunday.
~ Rev. Rick Eisenlord, M.Div, Pastor Good Shepherd Church Pasadena
We Are Good Shepherd....
Good Shepherd Church Pasadenais an emerging welcoming congregation for all people, regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation. We believe in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We affirm that God loves and cherishes all His children, and has shown His love through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We invite you to join us, regardless of your religious or denominational background.
An LGBT Church and so much more...
Our mission is to offer hope and inspiration to those who feel discouraged, who have been discriminated against or who are seeking spiritual fulfillment they are not getting elsewhere. We are God's hands and feet in a world desperately searching for hope and guidance. The Good Shepherd knows His flock and loves us fully. You are deeply cherished for who you are, gay, straight, bi-sexual, lesbian or transgendered. The Good Shepherd wants you. We want you! Please join us, won't you?
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Sunday September 4 - 10:30 AM Mass - Labor Day Celebration - AFTER MASS: ASK THE PASTOR ANYTHING PIZZA PARTY!
Sunday September 11 - 10:30 AM Mass - Remembering 9/11
Sunday September 18 - 10:30 AM Mass - Transgender Celebration Sunday
Sunday September 25 - 10:30 AM Mass
This year the 15th Anniversary of 9/11 falls on a Sunday. Churches across the US have been urged to do something special for that Sunday. Good Shepherd will have a Mass of Remembrance including special prayers and a Moment of Silence honoring those who perished on that day. We will also remember the brave first responders who rushed into danger and who lost their lives. Please mark your calendars and be sure to attend this very special Mass of Remembrance.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18
TRANSGENDER CELEBRATION SUNDAY & LUNCHEON
Good Shepherd is pleased to announce that on Sunday, September 18 we will have Transgender Celebration Sunday. The day will begin with a special Mass for the Transgender and LGBQ community. The Mass will be followed by a wonderful pizza luncheon with a speaker from the Transgender Law Center. The luncheon will conclude with a special screening of the award winning film "From This Day Forward".
"From This Day Forward" is a moving portrayal of an American family coping with one of the most intimate of transformations. When director Sharon Shattuck's father came out as transgender and changed her name to Trisha, Sharon was in the awkward throes of middle school. Her father's transition to female was difficult for her straight-identified mother, Marcia, to accept, but her parents stayed together. As the Shattucks reunite to plan Sharon's wedding, she seeks a deeper understanding of how her parents' marriage survived the radical changes that threatened to tear them apart.
So mark your calendars for an amazing Sunday. ALL are welcome. The luncheon is free. A free-will donation will be gladly accepted.
Putting A Face On The Tragedy In Orlando...
Pastor Rick's Statement On Orlando LGBT Massacre
As I write this on a Monday afternoon after the terrible massacre in Orlando Florida at a gay nightclub, I am still wrapping my brain around what happened. Even though this tragedy happened over the weekend, the shock and horror of this event has not lessened over time. We, as well as the survivors and authorities, are left to grapple with questions of what happened and why.
The media has made much of the fact that the shooter in Orlando made a 911 call claiming his allegiance to ISIS. However, reports go on to maintain that this connection was minimal at best, The facts of this are that we are dealing with a "lone wolf" who was hell-bent on creating terror. Let me make something perfectly clear. At the very core of this tragedy is the fact that this was an attack on the LGBT community. It was a gay nightclub that was targeted. It was the LGBT community that was gun downed and murdered. Whether that shooter had Islamic ties or not is beside the point. This was murder directed at the LGBT community. This is simply hate in action. And the real tragedy of this is that we are now in a time in this country where the expression of hate has been legitimized by the candidacy and rhetoric of Donald Trump.
In responding to this tragedy Donald Trump called for a tough clampdown on Muslim immigration. He also falsely claimed that the shooter was born outside of the United States though he was born to American parents of Afghan descent in New York. Donald Trump has given the darkest layer of American society a voice and an outlet for hatred and discrimination. We live in a political climate where it is seen as OK to be racist, xenophobic or misogynistic. After all, the reasoning goes, if Donald Trump can say this crap, then it is OK to vent hatred. We are told by Donald and his ilk to be afraid of those who are different from us and to build a wall to keep those out who want to come into this country to share in the freedom that we enjoy. He calls Mexicans rapists and murderers. He wants to prevent people from entering this country based solely on their religion. He has called women fat pigs and worse. He demeans personally anyone who disagrees with him.
We have forgotten the words that are emblazoned at the base of the Statue of Liberty:
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
To make the situation worse, Donald Trump repeatedly attacks the press which he sees as an easy target. In fact he has stated that he wants to loosen libel laws to make it easier to sue the press when they report something Donald doesn't like. We have entered a season of hate and division in this country that is unprecedented.
So what do we do? To begin with we do not let fear and hatred defeat our God given sense of love, grace and mercy. Love is stronger than hate and we need to remember that.We need to stop building walls between us and start building bridges between our different communities. We need to realize that what unites us in this country is far more important than what divides us.
The LGBT Community is no stranger to violence. In a 2011 analysis of FBI hate-crime statistics, the Southern Poverty Law Center found that "LGBT people are more than twice as likely to be the target of a violent hate-crime than Jews or black people," said Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the center. Because the population of LGBT Americans is relatively small, and the number of hate crimes against that group is significant, LGBT individuals face a higher risk than other groups of being the victim of an attack. "They are more than four times as likely as Muslims, and almost 14 times as likely as Latinos," Potok added. Sexual orientation motivated roughly 20 percent of hate crimes in 2013, according to the FBI; the only factor that accounted for more was race.
The bottom line is that we must remain vigilant and not not back down. We are not going to let a threat or someone else's bigotry and hatred stop us from doing what is right.
~ Rev. Rick Eisenlord, M.Div, Pastor Good Shepherd Church Pasadena
Good Shepherd and Pastor Rick Featured In Article in the Daily News...
To view the Daily News article on the internet, CLICK HERE.
Good Shepherd was a big hit at the Long Beach Gay Pride Festival and Parade.
On May 21-22 we told people about Good Shepherd and the love of God... and we got TV coverage to boot!
On May 21-22 was the Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride Festival and Parade - and Good Shepherd was there! We proclaimed as loudly as we could that it is NOT A SIN to be LGBT and Good Shepherd was there to proclaim the message of John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."
We have a story to tell - one of grace and acceptance. It is important for the LGBT community to see a church like Good Shepherd AND ITS PASTOR be present and active in community activities, not just mouthing empty words of welcome. We not only told people about Good Shepherd, we handed out FREE BIBLES, placing the Word of God directly into festival goers hands. We also handed out brochures about Good Shepherd and our programs at the church.
It was an exciting afternoon as Good Shepherd participated in the Long Beach Gay Pride Parade. Thousands lined the parade route.
What makes this even more exciting is that GOOD SHEPHERD WAS FEATURED IN THE CBS CHANNEL 2 AND KCAL CHANNEL 9 TELEVISION REPORTING OF THE PARADE! To see a clip of the TV coverage, click on the video clip below.
The Bible and Homosexuality...
What does the Bible REALLY have to say about homosexuality?
We have been alerted to a great little website that tackles the issue of homosexuality in the Bible. The explanations are clear and concise, and there is even a great little video to watch that really helps. All of this will give you ammunition when you get into that next argument with someone who is trying to clobber you over the head with Bible passages. Show them YOU KNOW YOUR BIBLE! CLICK HERE to check it out! Many thanks to Robert Burnham for the heads-up!
Click on the link below for MapQuest directions...
Can't Make It To Church? No Problem!
If you can't make it to church... church can come to you! We live stream our Mass every Sunday at 10:30AM PDT. Watch the Mass... hear the music... see the service as it happens!
Log into your Twitter account, then go to @GoodShepherdPas.
You will see a link (it may say 'Meerkat') If you do not see the link, hit the refresh button on your browser. Click on the link...and enjoy!
GoodShepherd Internet Project - Reaching OUT To the World!
We are very excited to announce plans to expand our presence on the internet. We are currently working on 6 major areas:
1. Social Media. We now have a presence on:
Tumbler (gd.shep.tekboy.com) and
2. MeetUp. The Good Shepherd Women have their own MeetUp Group happening. The link for that MeetUp Group is: http://www.meetup.com/Women-of-Good-Shepherd-Church-Pasadena/.
3. Live Streaming of the Good Shepherd Worship Service. Coming soon! Every Sunday you will be able to tune into the Good Shepherd Twitter account to watch a live stream of the Good Shepherd Mass.
4. iTunes Podcast.Pastor Rick is now on iTunes with his brand new podcast "My Gay Church". The podcast series will highlight news, interviews and topics affecting the Christian LGBT Community.
Directions: Go to the iTunes store and head to the Podcast section. Click on the search box and enter: My Gay Church. You will then be directed to the podcast by Pastor Rick. BE SURE TO CLICK ON THE SUBSCRIBE BUTTON! Apple will then automatically notify you when new episodes of My Gay Church are available. But you need subscribe! New podcast episodes will be broadcast every Tuesday. Be sure to catch all the fun! AND IT IS FREE!
5. Sermons Online/Good Shepherd Website. People can now go to GoodShepherdPasadena.com, click on the Sermons Online tab, and listen to Pastor Rick’s sermons! There is also information on the website concerning upcoming activities at Good Shepherd.
6. Email Blasts. Our email blasts go out to over 1000 individuals with the latest news and info on our activities.
Click on the icons below to follow Good Shepherd on Facebook (Good Shepherd Church Pasadena) and Twitter (@GoodShepherdPas).