Chinese New Year is an important Chinese festival celebrated at the turn of the traditional lunar solar Chinese calendar. It is also known as the Spring Festival, the literal translation of the modern Chinese name. Celebrations traditionally run from the evening preceding the first day, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first calendar month. The first day of the New Year falls on the new moon between 21 January and 20 February. In 2016, the Chinese New Year is Monday, February 8th, starting seven days of celebration.
The Chinese New Year festival is centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions. Traditionally, the festival was a time to honor deities as well as ancestors. Chinese New Year is celebrated in countries and territories with significant Chinese populations, including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mauritius, and the Philippines.
The Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese and has had influence on the lunar new year celebrations of its geographic neighbors. Within China, regional customs and traditions concerning the celebration of the Chinese New Year vary widely. Often, the evening preceding Chinese New Year's Day is an occasion for Chinese families to gather for the annual reunion dinner. It is also traditional for every family to thoroughly cleanse the house, in order to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for good incoming luck. Windows and doors will be decorated with red color paper-cuts and couplets with popular themes of "good fortune" or "happiness", "wealth", and "longevity". Other activities include lighting firecrackers and giving money in red paper envelopes.
Monday, February 8 is Chinese New Year. It is the Year of the Monkey. Symbolic monkey meanings are often concerned with animated entertainment, and monkeys are depicted as mischievous figures in myth, legend and lore. In reality, this is true when we observe their behavior. No wonder attentive philosophers and scholars attributed playfulness and chicanery to the monkey. It's important to note however, their goofing off isn't random. Monkeys are particular about who they play with. If the monkey is your totem, you've got a penchant for practical jokes and good-hearted trickery.
In their social habitats, monkeys display amazing depths of compassion, understanding, and bonding. Grooming is a major activity for monkeys and they will spend ample time cleaning each others' fur and skin. It's a way to get close to family members, it's also a form of protection - an expression of caring. This is great imagery for family and support. If the monkey comes swinging into your awareness, it might be a sign for grooming your loved ones. Perhaps not in a physical sense, but certainly watching out for your loved ones, offering demonstrable signs of encouragement to them, and letting your peeps know you love them and are there to give your support.
The Transforming Power of Jesus Christ
The readings from Holy Scripture for this Sunday talk about transformation. The Apostle Paul writes about being transformed into the likeness of Jesus. Then we have the Transfiguration of our Lord as recorded in the Gospel of Luke. Paired with that reading is the parable of Jesus healing a small boy.
What is our response to Jesus Christ? Are we ready and willing to be transformed by His power? Or are we content with the rut we find ourselves in, and are just too tired to climb out? ARE YOU READY TO LET GOD HEAL YOUR LIFE AND TRANSFORM IT INTO SOMETHING WONDERFUL? if you are ready, then this Sunday is for you!
Please worship with us this Sunday as Pastor Rick preaches on "The Transforming Power of Jesus Christ". We have coffee, doughnuts and juice before Mass and light refreshments afterwards.
Good Shepherd Church Pasadena is 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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Showing Love in the Face of Sorrow
Three clients of the non-profit organization Villa Esperanza have passed away, and they have asked Good Shepherd to hold a Memorial Service for the staff and clients. Villa Esperanza provides critical care services for children and young adults with developmental challenges. For the last several years Good Shepherd has provided Christmas stockings and Easter baskets with all sorts of wonderful goodies for the clients of Villa.
It's now time to do something important for Villa!
Pastor Rick will be conducting the service. WE NEED VOLUNTEERS FOR A CHOIR FOR THIS EVENT! The clients of Villa are so special. They ask for very little. WE ARE GOING TO HELP THEM!!! OK!!!! Whether you can sing or not I WANT VOLUNTEERS!!!! This is NOT about YOU!
IT IS ABOUT THEM AND WHAT WE CAN DO FOR THEM!
If you are interested in being part of this very special choir for some very special people, contact Good Shepherd's Director of Music Curtis Castro at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are scheduling rehearsals very soon, so contact him NOW if you are interested! The date for the Memorial Service: Tuesday February 23 at 10:30am on the campus of Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1757 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena CA.
God will bless you for this! Thank you. Pastor Rick.
Pastor Rick needs your help this Saturday!
This Saturday we will finish distributing 1000 door-hangers to the neighbors in and around where the church is located. We are almost done and have just a little more to do. We want to invite our neighbors to come and worship with us. WE NEED YOUR HELP!
Please meet at the church at 11:30am this Saturday, February 6. Let's show our neighbors what a great thing we have going on here at Good Shepherd. This will go fast. PLEASE BE ON TIME! Thank you!
We worship every Sunday morning @ 10:30am
1021 East Walnut Street, Pasadena CA 91106
Saturday February 6 - 10:30am-11:30am - Confirmation Class Saturday February 13 - 10:30am-11:30am - Confirmation Class Saturday February 13 @ 7:00pm - Sweetheart Bingo Fund Raiser Sunday February 14 - Valentine's Day Celebration Saturday February 20 - 10:30am-11:30am - Confirmation Class Saturday February 27 - 10:30am-11:30am - Confirmation Class
Saturday March 5 - 10:30am-11:30am - Confirmation Class Saturday March 12 - 10:30am-11:30am - Confirmation Class Sunday March 13 after Mass - stuff Easter Baskets for Villa Esparanza Monday March 14 @ 11am - take Easter Baskets to Villa Saturday March 19 - 10:30am-11:30am - Confirmation Class Rehearsal
Sunday March 20 - 10:30am - Palm Sunday
Friday March 25 - 7:00pm - Good Friday Service - Stations of the Cross
Sunday March 27 - Pancake Breakfast 8:30am - 10:00am.
Sunday March 27 - 10:30am - Easter Mass and Confirmation
What Is Lent? Why Do We Celebrate It?
This year Lent begins on Wednesday February 10 and ends on Easter Eve Saturday March 26.
Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. This year Lent began on Wednesday February 10 and will conclude on Easter Sunday March 27. Lent comes from the Anglo Saxon word lencten, which means "spring." The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry.
Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. In the early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of themselves for others.
Sundays in Lent are not counted in the forty days because each Sunday represents a "mini-Easter" and the reverent spirit of Lent is tempered with joyful anticipation of the Resurrection.
At Jesus' baptism the sky split open, the Spirit of God, which looked like a dove, descended and landed on Jesus, and a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, My Beloved, with whom I am pleased." Afterward, as told in Matthew 4:1-11, Jesus was sent into the wilderness by the Spirit. Where he fasted and prayed for 40 days. During his time there he was tempted by Satan and found clarity and strength to resist temptation.
Why was Jesus in the wilderness for 40 days?
Maybe Jesus needed some time with God to sort through the major changes happening in his life. Maybe needed to get away from family, friends and the familiar routine in order to see God (and himself) more clearly. Perhaps he wantedÊ some intentional time with God as he searched for direction and answers like you. Like Jesus, we may need to take some serious time to pray and listen for God.
Why "DO" Lent? How do I start?
Are you searching for something more? Tired of running in circles, but not really living life with direction, purpose or passion? It's pretty easy to get caught up in the drama of classes, relationships, family, and work. Our lives are filled with distractions that take us away from living a life with Christ. We try to fill the emptiness inside us with mindless TV, meaningless chatter, stimulants, alcohol, too many activities or other irrelevant stuff. We run away from life and from God.
Lent is a great time to "repent" -- to return to God and re-focus our lives to be more in line with Jesus.It's a 40 day trial run in changing your lifestyle and letting God change your heart. You might try one of these practices for Lent:
Some people have been known to go without food for days. But that's not the only way to fast. You can fast by cutting out some of the things in your life that distract you from God. Some Christians use the whole 40 days to fast from candy, tv, soft drinks, cigarettes or meat as a way to purify their bodies and lives. You might skip one meal a day and use that time to pray instead. Or you can give up some activity like worry or reality tv to spend time outside enjoying GodÕs creation. What do you need to let go of or "fast" from in order to focus on God? What clutters your calendar and life? How can you simplify your life in terms of what you eat, wear or do?
SERVICE: Some Christians take something on for Christ. You can collect food for the needy, volunteer once a week to tutor children, or work for reform and justice in your community. You can commit to help a different stranger, co-worker or friend everyday of Lent. Serving others is one way we serve God.
PRAYER: Christians also use Lent as a time of intentional prayer. You can pray while you walk, create music or art as a prayer to God, or savor a time of quiet listening. All can be ways of becoming more in tune with God.
Christians from many different traditions celebrate Lent. How will you use the time to grow closer to God?
Top Ten List: THINGS YOU CAN TRY FOR THE LENTEN SEASON
10. Try an electronic fast. Give up TV, Guitar Hero, texting, tweeting, e-mail and all things electronic for one day every week. (or everyday of Lent!) Use the time to read & pray.
9. Start a prayer rhythm. Say a prayer every time you brush your teeth, hear an ambulance, or check your e-mail. Before you text someone, pray for them.
8. Read one chapter in the Bible each day. (Matthew's a good book to start with. Psalms, too.)
7. Forgive someone who doesn't deserve it (maybe even yourself.)
6. Give up soft drinks, fast food, tea or coffee. Give the money you save to help folks in Haiti or others in crisis.
5. Create a daily quiet time. Spend 30 minutes a day in silence and prayer.
4. Cultivate a life of gratitude. Write someone a thank you letter each week and be aware of how many people have helped you along the way.
3. Be kind to someone each day.
2. Pray for others you see as you walk to and from classes or drive to and from work.
1. Volunteer one hour or more each week with a local shelter, tutoring program, nursing home, prison ministry or a Habitat for Humanity project.
Credit. Many thanks to Rev. Penny Ford for the Lenten information above. Rev. Ford is the pastor of a small UMC church in Carrollton, Alabama. She loves playing trains and going for walks with her 3 year old son, Jamieson.
This year Lent begins on Wednesday February 10 and ends on Easter Eve Saturday March 26.
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!
We now accept PayPal for online donations!
Contribute to the programs and mission of Good Shepherd Church Pasadena by using PayPal. Just click on the DONATE tab above. Thank you and God Bless!
For our new home we are going to need to purchase chairs, desks, tables and furnishings. You can help! May God Bless you for your donation!
A Free Gift For Your Online Donation!
For those who donate $25 or more to Good Shepherd on our website using the PayPal button, they will receive a free copy of the book "Life Without Limits" by Nick Vujicic. This is the amazing and inspiring story of a 27 year old young man born without limbs who did not let his disability hold him back. In his book he shares his experiences in dealing with adversity and obstacles with faith, hope, love and courage. This is a must-read for all those facing the trials of life!
Your generous financial contribution goes to the following programs:
World AIDS Day Celebration on Dec. 1
School supplies for children with HIV/AIDS
Men's Support/Social Group
Women's Support/Social Group
Easter Baskets to children who are physically and mentally challenged
Stuffed Christmas Stockings to physically and mentally challenged children
Outreach to LGBT high school students and GSA's
Annual Celebrating ALL Families Luncheon
LGBT Scholarships for continuing education
Good Shepherd Choir
Your contributions enable us to be the hands and feet of God to the LGBT Community. Thank you for whatever you can give. It is deeply appreciated. Thank You!
Listen to Pastor Rick's Sermons Online!
After a brief break, we have started posting Pastor's sermons on line again. This is a great way to hear the sermon again, or hear it for the first time if you missed Mass. Just click on the "Sermons Online" tab above. Or you can just CLICK HERE. We hope the sermons inspire you and give you hope!
We worship every Sunday at 10:30am at 1021 East Walnut St., Pasadena, CA 91106.
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).