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March, 2021
Dear Church Family,
Spring has peeked in the door! I’m sure we have a little more cold and rainy weather, but in the last week or so since I’m writing this we’ve had several sunny days approaching 70 degrees (and one in the mid-70s). It’s a reminder that Spring (and Easter Resurrection) are coming!
We are a couple weeks into our additional Sunday service at 8:30am (LINK to info video)
and I’ve been doubly-pleased at how it’s going: one, to see several new faces in early worship because of the option to ease back in with maximum COVID precautions in place; and two, the great joy at the 11:00 service to sing together for those ready to do that.  I am also thankful that more and more folks are being vaccinated and that cases in NC have dropped so dramatically since December-January.
In March we continue the season of Lent with our Journey to Easter in the Gospel of John. Each week we are looking at a different chapter from John, leading up to the John 20 account of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. Most of these chapters take place between the Last Supper and foot-washing on Thursday night and the crucifixion of Friday morning. They contain some of the last and most compact teaching of Jesus as he shares some final teaching with the disciples.
I’m thrilled to highlight the ongoing articles from our SERVE Team. As an invitation to our own consideration of matters of race from a faith perspective, different GSPC folks are sharing some of their own stories and experiences around race. This month John Wright shares, and I so appreciate the insights of what he has learned out of his own life experiences growing up as well as long-time ministry here in our church neighborhood.
As a reminder, last Fall we re-organized our session (elder board) and church vision around four core areas. If you have interest in learning more or being a part of these ministries, I invite you to connect with the folks listed or let me know!
GROW team
Grow the church deep and wide; Bible studies,
Sunday school, youth/children; outreach & evangelism

Emily Pearce, elder -
Jim Hinton, elder -
SERVE team
Continue key acts of service and mission; learn and grow
in knowledge and faith-informed response to racial injustices

Ann Baker, elder -
Leslie Pack, elder -
Communication, invitation, engagement around giving of
time, treasure, and talents; finance/budget/personnel

Diana Horne, elder -
Jeff Buchmann, elder -
CARE team
Regular contact with and care of members and
regular visitors in partnership with pastor

Brenda Lampson, deacon co-chair -
Robin Blacker, deacon co-chair -
In Christian love,
Lent/Easter 2021
Journey to Easter with the Gospel of John
March 07: Helper (John 16)
March 14: Glory (John 17)
March 21: Failure (John 18)
March 28: King? (John 12,19)
April 04 (EASTER): Lord! (John 20)
April 11: Work (John 21)

January Income and expense were a little under budget, but the net loss finished close to what was budgeted. We are optimistic for 2021 and are prayerful that this year will finish on a hopeful note. We are thankful for your faithful support of Good Shepherd! 

                                  2021          2021
YTD                           Actual
Offering Income:        $15,753     $19,200    
Ministry Expense:       $22,208     $25,530 
                                ($ 6,455)   ($ 6,330)

If you are comfortable with online giving, you can find a link on our website ( Click on the word LINKS across the top of every page and "Online Giving" will be in the menu underneath. Or scroll down on the home page and look for the "GSPC SECURE ONLINE GIVING" button. 

If you would prefer to mail a check to the church, please send it to our secured mailbox shown below.  Thank you for your support and please continue to stay safe. 
Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church
P.O. Box 78175
Charlotte, NC 28271

~Diana Horne and Jeff Buchmann, Steward Team 

MARCH birthdays
07: Bob Simes
11: Marty McKenzie
11: Maggie Slade
12: Adam Mayes
14: Allison Houston
14: Lynne Lynch
15: Robert Austell
18: Andrew Kinken
24: Billy Howell
25: James Doster
27: Melissa Lancaster
28: Cole Terrell
31: Gordon Hayes

The spring is a time we gather together for a work day to do repairs and spruce up the church grounds. This year, our spring work day will be on March 27 from 1:30-4:30pm. We hope you will be able to join us. There will be jobs available for all ages and abilities! Please contact Diana Horne at or 704-578-3173 if you have any questions.

We also still have several projects that are too time consuming for a work day. Listed below are projects that still need to be completed. If one of these may be something that is in your skill set that you could do on your own time, please contact Diana Horne at or 704-578-3173 or John Wright at or 704-542-8702, for more detail. Any supplies needed will be provided for you. Thank you for your help!
  • Add white caulk between sink and wall in the 1st classroom on the right
  • Paint Eric's office
  • Remove caulk from the base tile in the bathrooms near the kitchen and recaulk
  • Repair/rebuild the door for the old brown shed
  • Repair the outside storage door on Norton Hall
  • Seal cracks in the parking lot
  • Weedeat along tree line on Swan's Run

SERVE TEAM stories

By John Wright
I grew up in a small, comfortable middle-class community in upstate NY that even today has the look and
feel of a quaint New England village. In the 50’s, my dad built several duplexes in the village – long before “low income housing” was a thing – and folks appreciated that it was helping our community grow.  Or they did until he rented one unit to a doctor and his wife, a young couple I got to know and like.  They happened to be black, and I remember when Dad said a so-called friend referred to him a “N____ Lover”.  Even as a kid, it made me realize that racism wasn’t just something in a news report from Alabama.
Jump ahead 55 years...
One of the African-American 1st graders I tutored back in 2011 is now a high school junior, and we’ve remained friends over the years. Here are some things I've learned from him and his family over the past decade:
  • Your family – 2 adults and 5 kids – had to live in various motel rooms for over two years because there wasn't money for an apartment’s security deposit.  So you had to pay more per month for a cramped motel room than for a 2-bedroom apartment. 
  • Living in a motel, there aren’t grocery stores nearby and your “kitchen” is a microwave.  So meals generally consist of fast food.  Not just unhealthy, but more expensive than home-cooked meals.
  • Most cheap motels don’t have laundry facilities, so your kids go to school with dirty clothes until a friend can give you a ride to laundromat. 
  • It can take a week or more to arrange for school transportation to/from a motel.  That means your kids fall behind.
  • When you try to navigate ‘the system’ for assistance, you find it's built for someone who can take time from work to be on-hold for 20 minutes, and then be referred to another number and another long hold.  That doesn't work for most low-paying jobs.
  • When you’re scraping by to pay the rent, you sometimes can’t pay for your cell phone.  When you don’t have a cell phone, you can’t call in sick to work or call a friend for a ride.
  • When you don’t show up for work, you can lose your job.  When you don’t have a cell phone or a car, it makes the challenge of finding a new job next to impossible.
  • When you are evicted because the motel management decides to crack down on over-crowded rooms, the “safety net” I assumed was there – wasn’t.  Housing options for a homeless family are minimal, and agencies’ triage rules put a family with 5 kids behind a single mom with a new baby.
  • Couch surfing: That means you’re sleeping on the floor of your sister’s house one night and on a friend’s sofa the next.  And when you try to get help with housing, you're told: “Sorry, we can’t help you because you’re not actually homeless.”
  • The stress of all this can literally drive you to drink.
These things could be true for any poor family, but they are disproportionately true for black families. 
I'm glad to be able to end this on a positive note.  This family’s mom has been sober for over two years and they've all been back together in a nice apartment for over a year.  The kids are doing well in school, including the one who attends the North Carolina School for the Deaf and the oldest who's a junior at UNCC on a full scholarship.  There are probably still bumps in the road ahead, but I think they’re going to make it. 

They’ve had help from a lot from people along the way - including many Good Shepherd members.  Thank you for helping save this "one starfish that got washed up on the shore"!



MISSION opportunity

The Timothy Fund is the account that is used by the deacons to help people pay their bills and expenses. This money is used to help both members of the church, as well as members of the community. Money from this fund is also used to purchase gift cards for grocery stores and gas stations. These gift cards are kept on hand at the church, and are distributed by Pastor Robert as needed.
Back when we were all attending church in person, there was a basket on the table one Sunday each month, and congregation members were encouraged to donate to this fund. Even though most of us are not meeting in person, your deacons are still busy contacting members and helping with bills and other needs.
If you are able, please consider donating to this fund. You can mail a check to the church at the secured mailbox using the address:

Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church
P.O. Box 78175
Charlotte, NC, 28271

Please write “Timothy Fund” on the memo line of your check. If you’re comfortable giving online, you can use the directions found in this newsletter for online giving. Once you’re on the online giving form, you can use the line marked “Deacon’s Timothy Fund” to enter an amount to donate. This line is in the Special Ministries section. Any donation is appreciated, and no amount is too small.
Thank you!

Your Deacon Team,

Heather Austell, Robin Blacker, Lisa Honeycutt,
Emily Houston, Brenda Lampson, Don Stroupe,
Lisa VanderHeide, and Janice Woods

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GSPC Website
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Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church · 3307 Rea Road · Charlotte, NC 28226 · USA

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