Pastor Kenny: May 24, 2020
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We have two announcements this week, both of which are covered in the videos below. The first is that we are planning to host our first in-person service on June 7th. That could change, of course, but we’re hard at work on a service that will be both safe and satisfying. The second announcement is that we’ve added two members to our ministry team this week: Kaely Long, who has been serving as our Web & Media Coordinator, and Cheyenne Brown, who will be overseeing our online and outreach children’s ministries this summer.
 

 
Pastor Kenny: May 13, 2020
 

Governor Hogan has announced an easing of some restrictions beginning this Friday. However, we will still be closed Sunday, May 17th and Tuesday, May 19th, and will not have any in-person services. We will be evaluating the situation and sharing a plan with you by Tuesday evening, May 19th, as to what you can expect Sunday May 24th and beyond.

 
Please remain patient and understanding. While the state is anxious to reopen, we want to make sure we remain cautious, wise and careful. The recommendation (no longer a requirement but still a recommendation) is that churches stick to 10-person groups, so we will consider that as well. We will probably begin by scheduling small group meetings rather than full services, but I’ll detail our plan early next week.
 
We also want to make sure we have a safe series of procedures when restarting any in-person services without putting anyone at risk. In-person indoor group gatherings, even with masks and other preventative measures, is not something we want to rush. We want to take our time and make the best decisions possible. Your safety is our primary concern.
 
There will no doubt be congregations that get into heated debates over how and when to reopen. We are not going to be one of those congregations. If you feel we are moving too quickly or too slowly, I highly encourage you to call or email me so we can discuss. I want you to be informed! I also want to make sure we are all behaving in a Christ-like manner towards each other and those in our community.
 
Thank you all for your patience and understanding.
 
 
Pastor Kenny: May 10, 2020
 
As the state develops and implements phased reopening measures this month, we will be paying close attention and keeping you informed as to how the church will be gradually reopening. We will do so safely, carefully, slowly and within state guidelines. And we will do so while communicating plans, timetables and details with all of you in a timely manner.
 
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions or concerns. Things will look very different over the next few months, even when we do begin to meet together again. So please be patient as we evaluate, adjust and sometimes readjust to the many changes occurring during this time.
 
We will also be continuing video services throughout the summer, even if we do begin meeting together again. We want to make sure we continue reaching and ministering to those in quarantine, sheltering at home, or who aren’t quite ready to venture out.
 
Thank you as always for your prayers and, again, patience. We love and miss you all!
 
 
 
Pastor Kenny: April 10, 2020
 
We’ve launched a new Pastors’ Blog that’s updated daily with new messages, devotionals and articles from Pastor McCullough, Pastor Matt, Bella and myself. Be sure to visit, subscribe and find some encouragement in our own struggles and victories through Jesus. You can find the new blog by clicking here.
 
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any needs or questions. Ministry is ongoing, even when our building is temporarily closed due to the current national crisis. We thank you so much for your patience, faithfulness and kindness.
 
 
 
Pastor McCullough: April 2, 2020
 

Dear Faithful Friends,

We are promised healing for our bodies, as well as healing of our land (II Chronicles 7:14).  These promises are tied to our faithful seeking of the Lord, being faithful to obey the Lord and our willingness to serve the Lord. Seeking, obeying and serving the Lord does not stop when we temporarily cannot meet for our services.
 
I encourage you to fellowship with each other via phone, email, text.  In that fellowship, please honor the Lord’s presence.  Pray for each other, pass along encouraging words. Continue to worship through your giving. Can I still be generous while abiding by the guidelines imposed during this corona virus?  Yes!  Now is the time that generosity is most needed. My neighbors, my friends, my family, my church all need to feel my generosity.  Just as my words can help the weakest and most vulnerable.
 
Our faithfulness to give will be a blessing to each of us at The Good Shepherd Ministries.
 

“Since the people began to bring the offerings into the Lord’s house, we have eaten and have plenty left, for the Lord has blessed His people…”

“Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box.  For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” 
 
Obviously, the point of these passages is in the faith of the widow to give what she had, even out of poverty.  This is a beautiful picture of trust in God’s provision, and Christ’s response to this act of faith demonstrates God’s feelings toward our sacrifice and generosity!
 
As you have no doubt heard, the Maryland State and Washington County governments have instructed businesses and churches to cease holding services until further notice. Governor Hogan, though, in his press conference Monday 3/23, reminded church-goers how important it was to continue supporting the local church, who in turn offers community support in numerous ways.
 
Unfortunately, there are no Federal or State protective measure in place as of yet to prevent churches from falling into troubling financial straits.  Bills are still due, a mortgage still needs to be paid, and missions commitments still need to be fulfilled.  The vast majority of these payments are made from the General Fund, which is maintained solely by faithful tithing.
 
In the coming weeks, our hope is that those who are able will continue to give, even though services are cancelled.  The church does not cease to function simply because the doors must be closed.  Tithes and offerings can be mailed safely to the church. All mail remains on hold at the post office until a staff member retrieves it, meaning all mail is secure. The address is:
 

The Good Shepherd Ministries
19763 Longmeadow Road
Hagerstown, MD  21742

 
You can find the latest TGSM updates and cancellations on this webpage. If you have any questions, you can also text or call Pastor Kenny at (301)302-9825, or e-mail him
 

We would like to thank you for your continued prayers, stewardship and faithfulness.  This is a challenging time for all churches, but we place our full trust in God and His plan for our future!

    
 
Sunday Services – June 7th, Details TBA 
Tuesday Bible Study – Cancelled
Activities and Events – Cancelled
Choir Rehearsals – Cancelled
Easter Seals & Small Groups – Cancelled
 
Please stay at home if you:
     – Have a weakened immune system
      – Are showing symptoms like fever, chills,
         cough or other potential COVID-19 signs
      – Have been instructed by your doctor to
         self-quarantine
 
Communication is key!
      – Don’t hesitate to contact us with questions,
         concerns or needs
      – Make sure the church office has up to date
         contact information for you
      – Please understand hospitals and medical
         facilities are tightening restrictions – we
         may not be able to visit as we have in the
         past. Other arrangements may need to be 
         made for visits and prayer.
      – Let us know if you or any loved ones are ill
         so we can pray and support you 
 
Additional questions?
      – Click on the “Contact Us” link above to
          reach us in a variety of ways
      – Contact Pastor Kenny by email or text/call 
         (301)302-9825 anytime, day or night 
 
 
Pastor McCullough: March 23, 2020
 
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”  – II Chronicles 7:14
 
My Dear Church Family,
 
As we are all aware, COVID-19 has become a central topic of discussion and concern for many of us.  It has caused us to think about the things we take for granted and to rethink how we go about the practices of our daily lives.  In the church, this pandemic has caused us to consider new ways to approach what have been longstanding practices and traditions. The concerns regarding the coronavirus are real.  I encourage you to use your own wisdom in determining what would be best for you.  Reach out to those whose wisdom you trust.  Do not be afraid to make changes.  Err on the side of good health practices.  Care for those who are isolated.  Make phone calls to friends and family.  Be concerned, be cautious, be wise and practical in what you do. But we, as a Church, should not be afraid.
 
Let’s together, as a church, approach this in faith.  Let’s take this opportunity to model for our children and our family what a faith-filled response can be.  Stay rational and reasoned and approach this in a spirit of trust.  Know that I am praying for each of you and for our church.  I am praying for our leaders and for those who will make decisions throughout the world.  We need to pray for God’s Holy Spirit to protect and provide for our church and our nation.
 
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made know to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  – Philippians 4:6-7
 
Finding ourselves in the midst of a world-wide pandemic begins to bring these words from scripture into focus, offering us a better understanding of our situation and what we must do. Psalm 121:1 reads,“I will lift mine eyes unto the hills, from whence comes my help.”  
 
This is new to so many of us, but historically, not to God’s people.  There are plenty of examples on what the people in scripture did and what we must do: 
      • First, we must OBEY the decree of our land.  Romans 13:1 says, Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”  It is not the end of the world.  It is a time for followers of Christ to do what He tells us to do.
      • Second, we must PRAY… pray as humble servants of our Lord.  Pray for our land, its leaders, our church, our friends and our families.  Pray a prayer from a humbled heart, asking the Lord’s direction in our prayers.  This must be a time of brokenness for believers. The late Billy Graham once said, “To get our nation on its feet, we must get on our knees.” Prayer must be the first thing we do and it must be continually. If prayer comes last, then so will the solution to the problem!  God does not like being last, nor should He ever be last. 
      • Third, believers must LEAD the way in prayer, calmness and being still, being quiet before the Lord to reflect His presence in our lives.
      • Fourth, we need to WORSHIP daily.  Look, behold His power… His ability to heal our land… to guide our leaders… to restore us to one another.  When I am still before the Lord… when I humble myself before the Lord… then I will be led by the Holy Spirit to pray right and to worship right and then the needs of our brothers and sisters and the crisis all around us will be met through Christ.  He is the light of the world. 
Our prayers are driven by our earthly needs as we ask for heavenly intervention. From the beginning of mankind, man’s needs expressed through prayer has enacted God’s hand in history like nothing else. 
 
God has our attention!  So what does He desire to accomplish through the COVID-19 challenge? Psalm 139:23-24 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”  What do my brothers and sisters’ needs require of me?  What do the needs of my country require of me?  What do the needs of my church require of me?
 
This will eventually be over, and when it is, I want to be a different person.  I want to be a better person.  I want to serve my country, my leaders, my friends and family better.  I want to return to my church and find it filled with better people – people who have been changed through this small test!
 
I resolve to be and do whatever the Lord asks of me.  To be positive about my brothers and sisters.  I will not take them nor my pastors for granted.  I understand how important our church is, especially to help the gospel to be spread to countries where the restriction will never ease up.
 

“Then your light will break out like the dawn, and your recovery will speedily spring forth; and your righteousness will go before you; the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.  Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.” 

If you remove the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness, and if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom will become like midday.  And the Lord will continually guide you and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail. 

Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; you will raise up the age-old foundations… and you will be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of the streets in which to dwell.” – Isaiah 58:8-12

 
Oh Lord, Forgive me.  Please Lord, shine through me.  Let all Christian Churches shine during this time. We are not stuck! We are positioned right where God wants us! So come on, Church! Shine where you are positioned!
     
 
Pastor McCullough: March 16, 2020
 
Dear Friends and Devoted Churchgoers –
 
Now is the time the church must be the church, in every respect. We must help and protect the weak. Show love and patience to those burdened by anxiety and fear. Pray without ceasing. Remain faithful in our stewardship, through the giving of tithes and offerings. Above all, we must bless God and respond to His call as He has blessed us
and responded to our prayers. As II Chronicles 7 teaches, if we humble ourselves and cry out to God in times of great distress, He will heal our land.
 
This is a difficult, uncertain time for many and we must respond to any and all challenges with the same focus on God, His Word, and the saving gospel of Jesus Christ as we always have. Over the coming weeks, we will be:
 
  • Joining the precautionary efforts of our state and local governments
  • Communicating with you on a weekly basis via our website, e-mail and Facebook
  • Making wise, prayerful decisions about what is best for our congregation
  • Continuing to develop and implement means by which we can stream and/or
          broadcast services, sermons, devotionals, etc. online
      
We would like to encourage people of faith and leaders within TGSM to remain calm, prayerful and faithful at all times. COVID-19 is a significant concern for all of us, and we are asking you to carefully follow precautions that have been outlined by health officials. We are continuing to monitor the news each day and are working to follow protocols regarding large gatherings.
 
If you are exhibiting any signs of illness, please contact your doctor and follow his/her instructions. Please continue to visit this page for daily updates about changes, postponements, cancellations or any other news we may share.
 
We thank God for all He is doing in our church, our lives and in our midst, even as a national emergency rages around us. Isaiah 41:10 says, “Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, and I will help you.”
 
Sincerely,
Pastor McCullough