Scroll Stories: Helen Thompson
Scroll Story: Sunday, November 20
My name is Helen Thompson, and I am excited to sign the scroll because I want to deepen the relationship that I believe a pledge to Good Shepherd symbolizes.
Good Shepherd was founded on the corner of Windsor and Exposition just about the time I was born, and even though we were not members way back then, the presence of this church has always been a strong influence in my life. I have continued to live in Tarrytown (and even, for the past 6 years, in the house I grew up in on Tower Drive), and when I became a member of Good Shepherd ten years ago, its proximity served to make the building and the community easy to incorporate into my every day comings and goings.
I have taken many classes here, and have recently completed the Education for Ministry program: a four-year commitment that went by surprisingly fast and opened my world to faith, knowledge, and love—and some excellent recipes. Because the class met in the evenings, we took turns bringing dinner to share with the group. As a result, the food we made will always remind me of the hospitality (a basis of Christianity) our class enjoyed.
This Sunday’s promise—taken from the baptismal code—is to strive for peace and justice to all people, respecting the dignity of every human being. The guiding scripture is Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, in which he urges us to remember that we were once strangers to the covenants of promise, which is the same as being without hope and without God. Paul wrote the letter while in prison, and it demonstrates that even in adversity Paul is focused not on earthly things but on the spiritual. The letter has many messages, but for us today the idea that we are all citizens of heaven is a reminder of our connectedness.
It is to celebrate that connectedness that inspires me increase my annual pledge to Good Shepherd. It is no accident that the most meaningful relationships and events I’ve had in the past few years have been through the church. In fact, I feel that being in relationship to Good Shepherd and to the parishioners is to live out Christ’s statement: “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
Signing the scroll is a renewal of my relationship both to the church and to the community. Please join me by renewing your commitment to Good Shepherd in 2017 and by placing your names next to mine on the scroll.
We will strive for justice and peace among all people, respecting the dignity of every human being.
The Cornerstone, Ephesians 2:13-22
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling-place for God.