What does the Bible really say about homosexuality? Those of us in the LGBT community get clobbered by our adversaries with quotes from the Bible condemning homosexuality. In particular they love to quote the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. For once and for all we are going to see what the Bible REALLY says about homosexuality, especially the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. How do we interpret this story in light of today's advances in LGBT rights? What did Jesus Christ say about homosexuality?
This Sunday I will preach on "Sodom and Gomorrah". What is this story really about? What is the historical and biblical context of this event? How does the issue of rape figure into this account?
We worship every Sunday at 10:30 AM. Our address is 1021 East Walnut, Pasadena, CA 91106. The invitation is extended to you.
I look forward to seeing you this Sunday.
Rev. Rick Eisenlord, M.Div, Pastor Good Shepherd Church Pasadena
Good Shepherd Church Pasadenais an emerging welcoming congregation for all people, regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation. We believe in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We affirm that God loves and cherishes all His children, and has shown His love through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We invite you to join us, regardless of your religious or denominational background.
An LGBT Church and so much more...
Our mission is to offer hope and inspiration to those who feel discouraged, who have been discriminated against or who are seeking spiritual fulfillment they are not getting elsewhere. We are God's hands and feet in a world desperately searching for hope and guidance. The Good Shepherd knows His flock and loves us fully. You are deeply cherished for who you are, gay, straight, bi-sexual, lesbian or transgendered. The Good Shepherd wants you. We want you! Please join us, won't you?
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This Sunday! A Special Preview of the play "From Slavery To The White House".
SPECIAL PRESENTATION THIS SUNDAY DURING MASS
During Mass this Sunday, there will be a special live performance preview of the play ”From Slavery To The White House” by the Urban Noir Project. This is a tale of the African American experience from slavery to the White House. This production gives you the historical facts of the journey of a people who dare to dream and survive.
HELP US COLLECT SCHOOL SUPPLIES FOR CHILDREN WITH HIV
For the 2nd year in a row Good Shepherd will be donating school supplies to children with HIV. These donations support the Laurel Foundation here in Pasadena. The Laurel Foundation is a registered, non-profit organization founded in 1992 by Margot Andrew-Anderson to fill the urgent need for programmed activities that catered to the physical and emotional needs of children and youth affected by HIV/AIDS. The mission of The Laurel Foundation is to empower children, youth and families affected by HIV/AIDS through educational and support programs in a safe and trusting environment.
We will be collecting all school supplies on SUNDAY AUGUST 7. Items need are:
Pack of #2 Pencils
Pack Colored Markers
Pair of Safety Scissors
Wide Ruled Spiral Bound Notebooks
Pack of Colored Pencils or Crayons
Representatives From The American Cancer Society and City of Hope To Speak At "Cancer Survivor" Luncheon
We are delighted to learn that representatives from the main LA office of the American Cancer Society as well as from City of Hope will speak at our luncheon on August 14.
One of the speakers will be Danella Putna, a 12 year survivor of Sacral Ependymoma, a cancer of the central nervous system. Danella is a volunteer who has been named a Hero of Hope within the American Cancer Society organization, which is made up of survivors and caregivers who have particularly touching stories and experiences to share.
David Rice, who is the Director of Nursing and Patient Care Services Professional Practice and Education at City of Hope will speak on "Coming Out To Cancer: LGBT, Cancer and Cancer Survivorship".
More people are surviving cancer today than ever before thanks to improvements in early detection and treatment, and enhanced supportive care. "Cancer Survivor Sunday" is a day for hope and awareness. On Sunday, August 14 we will have a special Mass celebrating cancer survivors followed by a luncheon. Mark your calendars and save the date! AND PLEASE INVITE FRIENDS AND RELATIVES WHO ARE CANCER SURVIVORS TO COME WITH YOU!
Cancer Survivor Statistics
Number of Cancer Survivors
As of January 2016, it is estimated that there are 15.5 million cancer survivors in the United States. This represents 4.8% of the population. The number of cancer survivors is projected to increase by 31%, to almost 20 million, by 2026, which represents an increase of more than 4 million survivors in 10 years.
Number or Percentage of Cancer Survivors, by Time Since Diagnosis
Over the next decade, the number of people who have lived 5 years or more after their cancer diagnosis is projected to increase approximately 35%, to 14 million.
In 2016, 68% of survivors have survived 5 years or more after diagnosis; 47% have survived 10 years or more; and 20% have survived 20 years or more.
More Details about Cancer Survivors
Sixty-one percent of survivors are currently 65 years of age or older.
Among today's survivors, the most common cancer sites represented include female breast (23%), prostate (21%), colorectal (9%), gynecologic (8%) and melanoma (8%).
Putting A Face On The Tragedy In Orlando...
Pastor Rick's Statement On Orlando LGBT Massacre
As I write this on a Monday afternoon after the terrible massacre in Orlando Florida at a gay nightclub, I am still wrapping my brain around what happened. Even though this tragedy happened over the weekend, the shock and horror of this event has not lessened over time. We, as well as the survivors and authorities, are left to grapple with questions of what happened and why.
The media has made much of the fact that the shooter in Orlando made a 911 call claiming his allegiance to ISIS. However, reports go on to maintain that this connection was minimal at best, The facts of this are that we are dealing with a "lone wolf" who was hell-bent on creating terror. Let me make something perfectly clear. At the very core of this tragedy is the fact that this was an attack on the LGBT community. It was a gay nightclub that was targeted. It was the LGBT community that was gun downed and murdered. Whether that shooter had Islamic ties or not is beside the point. This was murder directed at the LGBT community. This is simply hate in action. And the real tragedy of this is that we are now in a time in this country where the expression of hate has been legitimized by the candidacy and rhetoric of Donald Trump.
In responding to this tragedy Donald Trump called for a tough clampdown on Muslim immigration. He also falsely claimed that the shooter was born outside of the United States though he was born to American parents of Afghan descent in New York. Donald Trump has given the darkest layer of American society a voice and an outlet for hatred and discrimination. We live in a political climate where it is seen as OK to be racist, xenophobic or misogynistic. After all, the reasoning goes, if Donald Trump can say this crap, then it is OK to vent hatred. We are told by Donald and his ilk to be afraid of those who are different from us and to build a wall to keep those out who want to come into this country to share in the freedom that we enjoy. He calls Mexicans rapists and murderers. He wants to prevent people from entering this country based solely on their religion. He has called women fat pigs and worse. He demeans personally anyone who disagrees with him.
We have forgotten the words that are emblazoned at the base of the Statue of Liberty:
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
To make the situation worse, Donald Trump repeatedly attacks the press which he sees as an easy target. In fact he has stated that he wants to loosen libel laws to make it easier to sue the press when they report something Donald doesn't like. We have entered a season of hate and division in this country that is unprecedented.
So what do we do? To begin with we do not let fear and hatred defeat our God given sense of love, grace and mercy. Love is stronger than hate and we need to remember that.We need to stop building walls between us and start building bridges between our different communities. We need to realize that what unites us in this country is far more important than what divides us.
The LGBT Community is no stranger to violence. In a 2011 analysis of FBI hate-crime statistics, the Southern Poverty Law Center found that "LGBT people are more than twice as likely to be the target of a violent hate-crime than Jews or black people," said Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the center. Because the population of LGBT Americans is relatively small, and the number of hate crimes against that group is significant, LGBT individuals face a higher risk than other groups of being the victim of an attack. "They are more than four times as likely as Muslims, and almost 14 times as likely as Latinos," Potok added. Sexual orientation motivated roughly 20 percent of hate crimes in 2013, according to the FBI; the only factor that accounted for more was race.
The bottom line is that we must remain vigilant and not not back down. We are not going to let a threat or someone else's bigotry and hatred stop us from doing what is right.
~ Rev. Rick Eisenlord, M.Div, Pastor Good Shepherd Church Pasadena
Good Shepherd and Pastor Rick Featured In Article in the Daily News...
To view the Daily News article on the internet, CLICK HERE.
Good Shepherd was a big hit at the Long Beach Gay Pride Festival and Parade.
On May 21-22 we told people about Good Shepherd and the love of God... and we got TV coverage to boot!
On May 21-22 was the Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride Festival and Parade - and Good Shepherd was there! We proclaimed as loudly as we could that it is NOT A SIN to be LGBT and Good Shepherd was there to proclaim the message of John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."
We have a story to tell - one of grace and acceptance. It is important for the LGBT community to see a church like Good Shepherd AND ITS PASTOR be present and active in community activities, not just mouthing empty words of welcome. We not only told people about Good Shepherd, we handed out FREE BIBLES, placing the Word of God directly into festival goers hands. We also handed out brochures about Good Shepherd and our programs at the church.
It was an exciting afternoon as Good Shepherd participated in the Long Beach Gay Pride Parade. Thousands lined the parade route.
What makes this even more exciting is that GOOD SHEPHERD WAS FEATURED IN THE CBS CHANNEL 2 AND KCAL CHANNEL 9 TELEVISION REPORTING OF THE PARADE! To see a clip of the TV coverage, click on the video clip below.
The Bible and Homosexuality...
What does the Bible REALLY have to say about homosexuality?
We have been alerted to a great little website that tackles the issue of homosexuality in the Bible. The explanations are clear and concise, and there is even a great little video to watch that really helps. All of this will give you ammunition when you get into that next argument with someone who is trying to clobber you over the head with Bible passages. Show them YOU KNOW YOUR BIBLE! CLICK HERE to check it out! Many thanks to Robert Burnham for the heads-up!
Click on the link below for MapQuest directions...
Can't Make It To Church? No Problem!
If you can't make it to church... church can come to you! We live stream our Mass every Sunday at 10:30AM PDT. Watch the Mass... hear the music... see the service as it happens!
Log into your Twitter account, then go to @GoodShepherdPas.
You will see a link (it may say 'Meerkat') If you do not see the link, hit the refresh button on your browser. Click on the link...and enjoy!
GoodShepherd Internet Project - Reaching OUT To the World!
We are very excited to announce plans to expand our presence on the internet. We are currently working on 6 major areas:
1. Social Media. We now have a presence on:
Tumbler (gd.shep.tekboy.com) and
2. MeetUp. The Good Shepherd Women have their own MeetUp Group happening. The link for that MeetUp Group is: http://www.meetup.com/Women-of-Good-Shepherd-Church-Pasadena/.
3. Live Streaming of the Good Shepherd Worship Service. Coming soon! Every Sunday you will be able to tune into the Good Shepherd Twitter account to watch a live stream of the Good Shepherd Mass.
4. iTunes Podcast.Pastor Rick is now on iTunes with his brand new podcast "My Gay Church". The podcast series will highlight news, interviews and topics affecting the Christian LGBT Community.
Directions: Go to the iTunes store and head to the Podcast section. Click on the search box and enter: My Gay Church. You will then be directed to the podcast by Pastor Rick. BE SURE TO CLICK ON THE SUBSCRIBE BUTTON! Apple will then automatically notify you when new episodes of My Gay Church are available. But you need subscribe! New podcast episodes will be broadcast every Tuesday. Be sure to catch all the fun! AND IT IS FREE!
5. Sermons Online/Good Shepherd Website. People can now go to GoodShepherdPasadena.com, click on the Sermons Online tab, and listen to Pastor Rick’s sermons! There is also information on the website concerning upcoming activities at Good Shepherd.
6. Email Blasts. Our email blasts go out to over 1000 individuals with the latest news and info on our activities.
Click on the icons below to follow Good Shepherd on Facebook (Good Shepherd Church Pasadena) and Twitter (@GoodShepherdPas).