MISSION / SERVICE / JUSTICE

News from the Mission, Service and Justice Team

The MSJ Team Needs You! If you have a passion for serving those outside of the Good Shepherd in the area of Social Justice, this Committee (we prefer TEAM because that is what we are) is for YOU! Wonder what it is about? Well, then reach out to Carol Christ, or Linda Sielkin, or Jean Ferguson, or Mike Nagle and ask them what all the fun is about!

Predatory Debt Collection Protection Act (PDCPA)

The Southwest Conference of the United Church of Christ is pleased endorse the Predatory Debt Collection Protection Act (PDCPA). The PDCPA is a proposed 2022 Arizona ballot measure that fights predatory debt collection in three key ways: it increases existing exemptions in Arizona law to allow more people struggling with debt to keep their homes, cars, and household goods; it protects workers' wages by limiting the amount that can be garnished by debt collectors, and it helps folks with medical debt by capping the interest rate. Thousands of Arizonans - nearly one in six adults — have a medical bill in collections, and medical debt is a leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States. People should not lose their home, car, or their paycheck simply because they fell behind on the exorbitant cost of medical care. As Christians we believe Scripture call us to live in ways that give our neighbors something to be grateful for. The Predatory Debt Collection Protection Act (PDCPA) will do exactly that. This is why we are passionate about supporting the Predatory Debt Collection Protection Act. Please help end these Predatory Practices by adding your name to the list of Arizonans committed to making this ballot measure law! Tables will be located outside of the sanctuary, on March 20 and 27 where volunteers are assisting you to place your signature to those already collected.

Pizza Night at TGSUCC

It has been a long time since we had Pizza Nights at the Good Shepherd. For those who miss Pizza Nights where you could have fellowship, supper, fun, while learning valuable truth while watching videos about Social Justices like Climate Change, Sexism, Racism, Immigration, LGBTQ+ Issues, and more. The MSJ team is currently unable to facilitate the Pizza Nights, and are looking for volunteers who miss them and are willing to coordinate them. This includes finding appropriate videos and running the projector; procuring, cooking, and serving the pizzas, and cleaning up afterwards. If you want to be a part of that Pizza Team, please contact Mike Nagle (naglemichael@cox.net) or Dennis St. John (dennisstjohn@gmail.com).

One Great Hour of Sharing March 27

One Great Hour of Sharing® is one of four special mission offerings of the United Church of Christ. This Lenten Offering supports the disaster, refugee, and development ministries of the United Church of Christ within Wider Church Ministries. You can place your offering in the collection plates on the 27th or any time between now and immediate following that date; or by sending your check to the church (17750 S. La Cañada Drive, Sahuarita, AZ 85629); or online (https://www.ucc.org/giving/ways-to-give/our-churchs-wider-mission/one-great-hour-of-sharing/)

Earth Day 2022

We recognize Earth Day every year at the Good Shepherd. This year we will do so on April 24. Please join Carol Christ as she presents a forum on plastics and how they negatively impact the environment as well as your health. The forum will take place between the services in the education class rooms.

Keeping Our Community Clean

On Thursday, March 24, please join Jim Armstrong (wfsbplau@hotmail.com) and other volunteers in cleaning up the litter at a local park. This is our opportunity to give back to our community. Please show up for some fun, fellowship and ministry!

Samaritan Snack Packs

The MSJ team is responsible for assembling Snack Packs for migrants traveling through the desert. They are given to migrant families as a small token to provide some nourishment as they make their journeys. If you’re interested in helping us out with this ministry putting together these Snack Packs, contact Mike Nagle (naglemichael@cox.net) to sign up for the next assembly time.


EARTH DAY 2021: Looking Back

Recently we observed Earth Day here at The Good Shepherd. A big part of our observance were five Zoom meetings which were presented on subjects relating to "Restoring the Planet." Each of these  Zoom presentations was led by a knowledgeable member of our Mission, Service and Justice Team.

 

If you missed these opportunities, please click on the link accompanying each description to access the recorded video presentation. Each video is about an hour long. When you click the link, you will be taken to “Jim Armstrong’s Zoom Meeting” and asked for a passcode. Use the passcode with the video you selected.

 

Thank you to our five presenters for their hard work, preparations, and presentations. And thank you to Pastors Randy and Rebecca for a great Earth Day service!

EVERY LAST DROP
Our Mitzi Eilts led a discussion on the timely subject of water and our absolute dependence on it for all life. Mitzi explored the idea that many writers and scientists have promoted for centuries, that humans are in a "relationship" with water, at its most basic and complex levels. Seeing ourselves in a relationship can change our viewpoint of seeing water as just another commodity. After discussing all of the ramifications of our diminishing water supply (due to waste, inefficiency, pollution, climate change, diverting sources, etc.) she challenged us to be intentional to associate water as an ally, friend, family and neighbor, rather than as a foe; a problem to be solved; a limited resource; or as an accoutrement to life (rather than the sustainer of life).

Access Passcode: MSJ#1earth

THE IMPACT OF PLASTIC ON OUR PLANET
Our Carol Christ led a discussion about plastic and its crippling, destructive toll on the planet. If you missed it, not to worry as Carol will be giving her presentation in the autumn at one of our Sunday morning forums. Carol created a beautiful PowerPoint presentation chronicling in detail the impact of plastics on the environment, and showed us ways in which humans can mitigate the effects of plastic. Carol challenged us to commit to attitudes, behaviors and convictions which can prevent more plastic pollution. You can email Carol at ezreaderc@gmail.com for a copy of her presentation.

BEAUTIFYING SAHUARITA
Last but not least, our own Jim Armstrong led a class discussing forming a Good Shepherd Road beautification group here in Sahuarita. Jim contacted the town and found out the details for The Good Shepherd forming a group of hardy souls to help clean up the streets and parks near and around the church campus. Jim will be establishing the work group next September after our snowbirds return and monsoon storms are winding down. Keep your ears to the ground for information on how to join a team and what all is involved.
Access Passcode: MSJ#5earth

CHANGING HOW WE GARDEN and LANDSCAPE to

RESTORE and SUSTAIN OUR DESERT ENVIRONMENT
Our Ellen Cox gave us plenty to think about with her class on what to plant in our Sonoran yards, how to take care of them while saving water, and the benefit of using sustainable and desert hardy plants, trees, and bushes. She suggested really practical and useful ways to keep our gardens and landscaping beautiful while being careful stewards of the world we share. Ellen also will be sharing her presentation later in our autumn forums.

Access Passcode: MSJ#4earth

STAR LIGHT, STAR BRIGHT, I WONDER IF

WE'LL SEE ANY STARS TONIGHT?
Our Steve Little (a professional astronomer himself), led an out-of-this-world instruction about light pollution and its particularly devastating effect on our desert skies and the industry that watches them. Steve shared practical ways that we can protect our skies from ambient light and enhance our own ability to enjoy Arizona's heavenly skies as well as professional astronomers.
Access Passcode: MSJ#3earth