Welcome to the Shepherd’s Heart.
This is the first of a new weekly communication that will be published on our website and our Prayer and Action Guide. It’s a space for me stay in touch with you, share my heart, reflections, and vision for the future, as well as keep you apprised of important initiatives.
First, let me begin by saying how thrilled I am to be your pastor. Last weekend felt like we were truly home. We felt welcome, known, and loved. This has always been who you are, Good Shepherd, and I am grateful that the same heartbeat of this precious church is still what I have always remembered it to be.
Last Sunday, my boys felt so very loved and welcomed. As you can imagine, transitions can be overwhelming enough for children, but it can be even more overwhelming when you are a pastor’s kid and you are the spotlight.
Years ago, when I was on staff here at Good Shepherd, I kissed Caleb (4 years old at the time) goodbye and said, “I’m going to work now.” He said, “You don’t work there, you play with your friends there.” What he observed then is true today – this is a place that embodies friendship, community, and family. Thank you, Good Shepherd.
You might be wondering, “What will Pastor Tara Beth be up to?” Briefly, I would like to share three major priorities:
Building trust takes time. It is my prayer that Good Shepherd can continue to be a place where meaningful relationships are made, and that must begin with me. I am looking forward to visiting with you, breaking bread with you, sharing coffee with you, and building friendships. You might see me pop in to your various ministry gatherings – I’m just there to celebrate you and build a relationship. This relationship building will also happen through intentional communication throughout the week as well as in the pulpit.
Listening and Learning
Even though I have been on staff here before, this is in many ways a very different church today than in 2013. I have a lot of listening and learning to do. I will be spending my time meeting individually with staff, learning their roles, and visiting ministries. I will also be spending time visiting various groups within the church. I want to learn from you and learn about your hopes for the future. With that, there will be no major changes within the first 90-100 days. Sure, you might see new things or tweaks here and there, but my posture will be one of listening.
In the coming months, I will be preaching every Sunday up until Pentecost. You will be able to hear from me in all services, though in some spaces you may find me on video (with the exception of Easter). This rhythm will be for a short season, and beginning this Summer we will reimplement the gifted preaching and teaching team with myself as the primary teacher. For Sundays, March 26th and April 2nd, I will be preaching LIVE in the 9:00 a.m. Traditional Service and then LIVE in the 10:29 a.m. Contemporary Service. For the other services, I will be on video.
For Easter, you will hear from myself and Pastor Glen. On Saturday, I will be preaching at the 5:00 p.m. Saturday Service, and on Sunday, I will be preaching at the 7:30 a.m. Easter Sunrise Service, the 9:00 a.m. Traditional Service, and the 10:29 a.m. Contemporary Service. Pastor Glen will be preaching at the 9:01 a.m. Contemporary Service and the 10:30 a.m. Traditional Service.
Dear ones, you matter. We matter. Our future matters. I am hopeful for the work God has for us, and I am so eager and thrilled to be on mission with you. Thank you for being the church I have always remembered you to be. Thank you for welcoming and loving my family.
From my heart,
Pastor Tara Beth LeachAll Updates