- Pastor's Welcome
- Our Faith
- Our Mission
- Our Vision
- Our Members
Thank you for reaching out to our faith community here at Good Shepherd in Pearl River through cyber-space, even as I hope to meet you in person at one of our worship services.
You will find in this website that we are a community of faith with diverse ministries but one Lord, the crucified and risen Jesus Christ. While most of our members come from North Bergen and Rockland counties, we also enjoy the presence of those who travel a greater distance to be part of our faith community.
We are happy to be known for our music, pre-school serving over 350 children, youth programs and our Sunday Church School with classes for each grade. We seek to help meet the needs of people near and far with our program and benevolence ministries.
Join us at worship or contact myself or one of our staff members with email address found under the contacts link. God's peace and blessing be with you.
Pastor John Havrilla
Our Foundation is God’s love given fully to the world in Jesus Christ. The Word and sacraments (Holy Baptism and Holy Communion) are the Means of Grace by which we come to realize how far we have fallen from God’s will (the Law) but how much we have been forgiven by God’s undeserved love (the Gospel). The Bible is the revelation of God for our faith and life.
In Holy Baptism, with the water and the Word, we receive the promise of God’s unconditional forgiveness and are made members of the church which is the body of Christ in the world today. In Holy Communion, with bread and wine and the promise of the Word, we receive the presence of Christ in his body and blood as an assurance of God’s love and our forgiveness. Washed and fed in the Word, we are sent into the world working for what is just and showing mercy to those in need.
Christians are marked with the cross of Christ forever and live with an unfailing assurance that the new life of the risen Christ is ours through faith in him. We believe that the cross of Christ is for the healing of the world and affirm that even this faith is not of our doing but a gift from God.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd is a Christ-centered community of believers called to reach out and welcome all. Our mission is to spread the Word of God, empowered by the gifts we have been given. Our faith, along with the courage to take risks, will enable us to accomplish our mission.
To achieve our mission, we a nurtured by participation in these major areas of church life.
- Worship Through The Word - Through worship God is praised and the people are fed by God's word. It is our responsibility and joy to participate in worship and interact with fellow Christians.
- Witness To Others In Our Daily Lives - Armed with our faith, God has called us to share the Word with our neighbors, near and far.
- Education Through Awareness - God calls us to learn the Word in order to live the Word. The church provides programs of Christian education for all ages, a place to learn and be fed.
- Service Through Action - The church is called to identify and work towards meeting the needs of its own congregation and the broader world. The church motivates its people to meet the needs of a changing world.
- Fellowship Through Care, Joy and Love - Fellowship encourages people with common beliefs to come together to interpret their faith by means of Christian interaction with joy.
Good Shepherd will be a growing community of faith, led by its members, supported by its staff, and acknowledging full dependence on God's guidance for our mission in the community and the world. As a faith-based community, grounded in the Gospel, we are alive with optimism and zeal for the future as we look toward realizing our vision by the year 2020.
Moreover, we will enable all along their journey of spiritual fitness by sharing our collective energy, resources, faith and talents. Avenues will be created that encourage discussions and the free exchange of ideas. We will continue to express our faith through music and embrace technology as a means of communication and worship.
We will be responsible stewards of our environment and our resources. We will renovate and expand our facilities to meet future needs, while still honoring our heritage and history. We are committed to providing a safe, welcome and enriching place for all, one in which we are renewed and living out the wholeness God gives through Jesus Christ.
By God's Grace, we will realize this vision.
Our Focus is threefold: People, Faith and Service. As you come to know the opportunities to personally grow and serve with us, you will find that God’s work among us includes more than 400 children in our preschool all the way to Slovakia and Hungary where we are active in global mission.
Our Members come from Orange and Rockland counties in New York and Bergen County in New Jersey and represent many different religious backgrounds. We have found that “variety is the spice of the Christian life” and enjoy sharing the strengths of our various backgrounds while relying on our common foundation, Jesus Christ.
In 1901 a group of Lutherans formed a congregation, called a pastor and eventually affiliated with the wider Lutheran Church. In 1903 the first sanctuary was built at our present site and a larger sanctuary was built in 1924. We continue to cherish our beautiful church which has been renovated over the years to meet the needs of our faith community. In 1960 the educational building was constructed which now is our center for learning and service. Each week over a thousand people use our facilities for nurturing the faith, worshiping God and serving community and our world.
Season of Praise concerts - Click for details
Christmas at Good Shepherd - Click for details
Renaissance Camerata performance at The Basilica of Saint Patrick's Old Cathedral in Little Italy, NYC
Click for details & photo