Neighborhood Shepherd Ministry

At the conclusion of a recent worship service at Palm was the dismissal: “Go in peace; love your neighbor.” As a Christian family at Palm Lutheran church, the question might well be asked, “How can we be neighbors to each other as people of this congregation?” What does it mean for us to live as a community in Christ? Pastor Rabbe has been working with the Parish Visitation Committee for several months to respond to this question. I shared with the committee that, at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Hershey, we developed a ministry we called the Neighborhood Shepherd Ministry. The overall purpose was to provide an opportunity for the members to support each other in love, in friendship and in our faith, and to become better acquainted with each other within our church family and stay connected as a community of faith. In other words, the purpose was to enable us to be neighbors to one another.

With council approval, the committee proceeded to pursue a similar ministry at Palm. We have identified 17 “geographic neighborhoods” representing our membership. We hope to have individuals or families who are willing to be “neighborhood shepherds” for a particular geographic area. Their role is to provide leadership in accomplishing the purpose stated above. It should be noted that this leadership does not involve attending regular meetings. Several people have already expressed an interest in being a shepherd of their “congregation neighborhood.” If you haven’t already expressed an interest in being a shepherd and might consider the possibility, let me know by Sunday, September 10, Rally Day. An informational meeting is scheduled for Sunday, September 17, following worship. At this time, a list of guidelines or suggested activities for shepherds will be provided. A light lunch will also be served. In the near future, shepherds will be contacting members in their “neighborhoods.”

“Love your neighbor.”

Win Devonshire