Community at heart of church

Published 5:10 pm Monday, March 15, 2010

“We want to be an active member in our community,” said the Rev. Father Guido A. Gonzalez Jr., rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd, a charismatic Episcopal church, in Chelsea. “The (Celebrate Chelsea) event gave us an opportunity to offer our services to the people of Chelsea.”

The church had 12 people, including four young children, helping with the booth.

“Chelsea is a family orientated community and so we wanted to have a family friendly booth,” Gonzalez said.

Presently, the church is observing, with millions of other Christians around the world, the 40-day season of Lent.

During this time, they are having special services at the church each Wednesday night.

Gonzalez explained, “Lent is a time of spiritual introspection, of taking stock of where we are in our relationship with the Lord.

Services are orientated toward inner reflection, prayer and asking God to examine our hearts and cleanse us of any unclean things,” she said citing Psalm 51 as the basis for this belief.

During the week leading up to Easter Sunday, the church will be celebrating Holy Week with several special services, beginning at 7 p.m.

“Holy Week is a time where we remember the period leading up to the Lord’s crucifixion and resurrection,” Gonzalez said. “It begins with Palm Sunday on March 28, where the triumphal entry of the Lord is recalled.”

The “Last Supper” is emphasized at a Maundy Thursday service, which will include “foot washing, following the example of Christ,” he said. “The next day is Good Friday, where we remember the crucifixion and the significance of the cross for our salvation.”

On Easter morning, the church will celebrate “the Feast of the Resurrection.”

Although all churches do not observe the Lenten season and Holy Week the way The Church of the Good Shepherd observes them, most will likely have some kind of special observance on Easter Sunday — the day set aside to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection.

The Church of the Good Shepherd meets at 201 Day Spring Drive, in Greely Chapel on the campus of the King’s Ranch in Chelsea.

Gonzalez may be reached at 602-9194, or by email at

Shelba Nivens can be reached by e-mail at