Egg-palooza: Kids with Pastor MauFor many years, the GSLC youth (current & alumni) have gathered on Good Friday to decorate eggs for Easter Sunday. The eggs are given to people as they leave worship as a reminder of new life in Christ.

We had a GREAT group of GSLC youth and friends get together on Friday, March 29. We decorated eggs, caught up with each other, and enjoyed some time running around outside on a beautiful day.

This tradition was started years ago by Elizabeth Kaschins and friends and it’s been a fun one to continue each Holy Week.

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Become More Energy Efficient & Save Money!

On July 14th during fellowship hour, Chrisann Zuerner and Evan Neubauer, the Greening Churches interns from Luther College, will be discussing the various ways Good Shepherd has taken steps to become more energy efficient and reduce their impact upon the environment.

Come join the conversation of what Good Shepherd has done, and explore what you too can do at home to become more energy efficient and save money!

Middle Mash Backyard Bash 2013

Parachute GameThe first annual Middle Mash Backyard Bash was a huge success! 25+ middle schoolers from Decorah (and beyond!) and a number of adults gathered in the Good Shepherd “backyard” on Sunday evening to celebrate the start of summer.

The evening started with a fun time of singing and playing silly games with Luther graduate Karsten Snitker. The activities then shifted to a variety of games such as parachute games, beanbag toss, frisbee golf, and soccer.

During this time, kids and adults also enjoyed refreshments consisting of popcorn, apples, doughnuts, s’mores, and lemonade. It was good!

In closing, Karsten led the youth in a fun Middle Mash Backyard Bash rap!

It was a perfect evening.

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Day of Pentecost Celebration

Barbara Berg and Red ParamentsThe Day of Pentecost, a principal festival of the church year occurring fifty days after Easter, celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit to the crowd gathered in Jerusalem. It was celebrated at our services of Holy Communion on Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and 19. Red, symbolic of the fire of the Holy Spirit, is the liturgical color for this festival and visible in the gates of our weavings on the south wall of the sanctuary and new red paraments.

Several symbols of fire and wind were displayed in the sanctuary and outside the church for this celebration. A significant event during the Sunday service was the dedication of a new set of red altar and pulpit paraments, designed and woven by congregation member and professional weaver, Barbara Berg. They are a gift to Good Shepherd from Jane Kemp and Anna (Kemp), Russell, Maggie, and Jack Norris in memory of Don Kemp (1940-2003). The paraments depict the Holy Spirit in wind and flames against a red background; an abstract dove appears on the altar parament; water, woven in shades of blue along the bottom edges of both paraments, represents Baptism. Bouquets of red gladiolas, symbolizing tongues of fire, flanked the altar and pulpit; red ribbons representing tongues of fire replaced the door wreaths; and red and silver pinwheels, ‘planted’ by our Sunday School, lined the entry sidewalks and twirled in the wind.

Prayer Around the Cross

Prayer around the cross.Are you looking for some peace and time for prayer in your busy life? I invite you to attend Prayer around the Cross on the first Thursday evening of each month.

Many in our congregation got a chance to try out Prayer around the Cross during Lent. We are now holding this service on the first Thursday of each month. This is a time of quiet reflection, prayer and simple song. Please join us and invite others from the community who may benefit from this peaceful service.

I first experienced this form of worship at Holden Village during my first visit there in 1995 or so. Holden hosts their “Prayer around the Cross” service every Friday night. For every subsequent visit (5?6? I’ve lost track!) I planned my visit around the Friday night service. When I lived there the fall of 2005, it became a highlight of each week.

During the service we sing simple songs together, reflect on two readings, and then have time to go to the cross as individuals to light a candle and pray. You are welcome to pray as long or as briefly as you like. You can also just stay in your pew the entire service.  The service is based on a style of worship practiced at the community of Taize, an ecumenical monastic order in Taizé, Saône-et-Loire, Burgundy, France.

One of my favorite aspects of Prayer around the Cross is the experience of having others lay their hands on my shoulder as I pray.  I really encourage you to try it. The experience of the light and simple warmth of another person as you pray is truly amazing. It is equally powerful to the person who lays hands on another during their time of prayer.  As a community of Christ, we are called to support one another in prayer. We are offered a powerful gift in the invitation to bring our prayers and lay them down at the cross.

I look forward to welcoming you at an upcoming service. The next Prayer around the Cross service is Thursday, October 3 at 6:30 p.m.

-Amalia Vagts