Shepherd's Promise

Shepherd's Pen News Letter

Vol. One, No. One August 1996

Good News for Ewes

Inside this issue:

A Word from the Pastors

The summer months at Shepherd's Promise have been full and rich with the power and presence of the Lord! We want especially to thank all of you who came to share the celebration of Karen's ordination on July 13. The outpouring of love and support, the glorious music and worship, the sharing of the Word and the personal prayers and greetings made that night a once in a lifetime experience. Some of the guests came from as far away as Cleveland, Ohio, and some drove all the way from Fort Pierce. It truly added to the blessing to share it with such an outstanding group of friends and family.

We celebrate, as well, the addition of Bob to our Elders. Bob and his wife, Donna, have been faithful supporters of the ministry from early in our history, and we are thankful for their willingness to serve God and the people of Shepherd's Promise. Bob has also stepped in to serve as worship leader when Mike and Andrea Taylor have been absent from us, and we sure appreciate that! There are many wonderful gifts among the people, and we praise God when they begin to come forth!

We are looking forward to what God has planned for Shepherd's Promise and for the Mortensen family as the fall draws near. This will be Britt's first year of High School and Kaia's last. Kris will be working hard and continuing to lead the youth ministry. We are praying earnestly about God's direction for our futures as well. New things are being planned for Fall programs, and we will be celebrating our first anniversary as a congregation in October. We have so much to be thankful for and even more to look forward to! What a joy to be a part of the Kingdom.

Shepherd's Promise is working to find the shape and focus that are God's will for this fellowship. We face unique challenges and embrace opportunities that are equally unique. We all have opinions, ideas, talents, and concerns that need to be contributed to the decisions which shape our future. As we work together, the Word of God has a powerful message for us that, if we keep it before us, will bind us together and keep our future in the hands of God: "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." (Colossians 3:12-17)

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Prayer Pager Ministry Successful

God led our youth elder, Kris Mortensen, to begin a ministry using pagers or beepers', as they are often called. The ministry involves using the pagers and a series of printed codes to make instant and anonymous prayer support available 24 hours a day. More personal prayer and ministry is also available as an option. Kris has received as many as ten pages per day and is working on plans to add additional prayer cards aimed at teens in crises. These cards will be distributed in places where teenagers might be encouraged to pick them up and reach out for prayer in a troubling circumstance. The teen pager' portion of the idea came from Pastor Jim Croft of Gold Coast Christian Church, and his support and help has truly been an encouragement to Kris. As this ministry continues, we encourage you to use it. The prayer cards are available to you by merely calling or paging Kris or by leaving a message on the Shepherd's Promise voice mail (561-395-0929), and we will mail one to you or you may pick one up on Saturday nights. Share them with friends. It always helps to have someone agreeing with you in prayer. On some occasions, it's just too hard to do it verbally, and the prayer pager is the perfect solution. Please keep the ministry in your prayers as we all grow in our obedience to the command to "pray without ceasing" (1Thess. 5:17).

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Ministry and Spiritual Care at Shepherd's Promise

Our fellowship has some very unique attributes that change the usual process of offering spiritual care. Since we meet on Saturday evenings, and since we have no formal membership lists, many people who choose to worship with us have their primary church affiliation with another congregation. Many of you want to remain members of your home church and just come and visit with us occasionally. We are greatly blessed by that and encourage you to continue. There are, however, some differences that result from this rather unique structure in the way we must handle the pastoral ministry we offer. Normally, if you or members of your family are ill or need spiritual guidance and support, it is the responsibility and privilege of the pastor or pastors of your church home to offer that care to you. The relationship between a pastor and the members of his or her ministry is a very special and sacred one. Jesus likened himself to a shepherd and beautifully illustrated the responsibilities of that position. He said, "I am the Good Shepherd, I know My sheep and My sheep know Me." (John 10:14) So it is in a pastoral relationship. God intends that it be a covenant relationship to be honored and respected.

It is not a relationship that invites intrusion and out of mutual professional courtesy, pastors do not minister to the members of other flocks unless specifically invited to for a particular purpose. If a family is struggling through trying circumstances and pastors of another congregation come around, it has the feel of using the vulnerability of people for personal gain or purpose, even if that was not your intention. That does not mean, however, that you cannot lend additional support and prayer in all circumstances. As Christians, we have an obligation to pray for all who are in need of God, no matter what part of the family they are primarily affiliated with.

Given the rather informal structure of Shepherd's Promise, we are presently unaware of those among you who consider this your primary place of worship and thus the source of their pastoral care. While we still do not feel called to establish a formal "membership," we do want to be responsible for those God has entrusted to us. Therefore, we ask that you would indicate your preferences to us so that we can respond with integrity when needs arise. Please understand that we will always pray for ALL who worship with us. Our concerns apply primarily when ministry and visitation away from the worship service itself become appropriate. If you would like a pastor to call or visit, please let them know directly.

We solicit your prayers. We encourage your response. We know that views on this may differ significantly, but this is how we feel God is instructing us currently. We may come to a time when we sense a need for a more formal structure of members and non-members and if that occurs, we will act accordingly. In the meantime, we will be blessed to minister to any of you when invited to do so. If you have any questions or concerns in this regard, please feel free to share them with us or any one of our elders.

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AECM Florida Cluster
Pastors and Leaders
to Gather at Shepherd's Promise!

Association of Evangelical Congregations and Ministries
Will hold it's Fall Florida Cluster Meeting
in Boca Raton.
Come and Share Worship and the Word With Us!
The gathering is open to everyone.

Saturday, September 28
10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Continental Breakfast Provided.
(Sorry - No Child Care.)
Call 561-395-0929 to RSVP

Harry and Ruth Fullilove,
Missionaries and Evangelists,
will be guest speakers.

You Will Be Blessed!

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Youth Group News

Shepherd's Promise youth group is underway! After an excellent first meeting in June, the group has begun to meet regularly on Thursday evenings at the church.

They meet for Bible study and fellowship at 7:30 p.m., but be sure to check the schedule. Special activities, concerts and events will be announced. The young people of Shepherd's promise are a force to be reckoned with in the Kingdom. They are doing mighty things for God! Pray for them. Support them. If you are a young person . . .

Join Them!

Upcoming Events for Youth:

August 29, Bible Study, 7:30 p.m.
September 6 and 7: Night of Joy at Disney World!
September 19: Planning/Bible Study
(All events tentative, subject to response. . . .
So respond!)
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Children's ministry

Our ministry to the children of Shepherd's Promise has always been a priority for us, and we have some very capable and committed individuals working hard to provide it. The nature of our fellowship has made it difficult to know how many and what age children we would be serving each week. It is a rather unique challenge to have material and personnel always ready to cover all possible configurations every week. So far the job has been well done, but we want to see the ministry grow and stabilize. There are already individuals who have agreed to help shape this ministry and deal with some of the unique needs of our fellowship. We have people who are willing to teach. What we need now are people with ideas and vision who are willing to help plan, guide and support. If you would be willing to serve in such a way, please call us at (561) 395-0929

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Meet Your Elders

The following men are called to oversee the spiritual life and administration of Shepherd's Promise. They meet at least once a month (2nd Tuesday of each month) for prayer, fellowship, and deliberation over the ongoing life and ministry of our fellowship. Our pastors depend upon their wisdom and leadership and are accountable to them. Please keep them and their families in prayer as they fulfill this responsibility on our behalf. We list their names so that you could pray for them and that you might know they are available to you. They have been called to this ministry by God, fulfilling the qualifications and living out the responsibilities of elders as detailed in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 & Titus 1:6-9.
Tom, David, Bob, Rick, Kris, & Michael.

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First Annual "Wool-Gathering"
in Honor of Our First Anniversary
to be held Saturday, October 19

Mark the date of Saturday, October 19 on your calendar now for the celebration of our first anniversary. Plans are being made for a picnic and worship celebration that will probably begin a little earlier in the day than when we usually meet. In addition to some worship and sharing time together, there will be fun for all. It will be a potluck-type dinner with Shepherd's Promise throwing the burgers and dogs on the grill, and you bringing food to share. INCLUDING the Famous Annual Shepherd's Promise Dessert Contest to be judged by your svelte elders. Let's start planning to make the elders roll their eyes back in their heads with your delicious delectibles. . . . as long as we can keep it all in fun. We're looking at different parks and areas in the city; if you have any suggestions, call the pastors.

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