Responding to God's Call
Good Shepherd Cedar Hill has been responding to God's call to become more accessible and relevant to reach their community for Christ. During the past few months, the parish has installed a Hearing Loop system for the hearing impaired making the church completely accessible for those who have a hard time hearing. With this system, people with T-Coil technology in their hearing aids can "dial into" a noise and background-free signal to hear the sermons, readings, and the service from the priest's microphone. This has enhanced the worship experience of many of our own parishioners as well as offering a church service to the hearing impaired. For those who do not have T-Coil hearing aids, we also have four transmitters with ear buds.
"This is a first and important step in a multi-step enhancement of our ministries here at Good Shepherd," said Father Marc Dobson. "Many of our elderly have communicated that they often don't come because they can't hear. We have removed that obstacle! Early responses are very positive."
Good Shepherd also recently renovated their outbuilding for youth ministry. "It had become the dumping station for all the church junk," Dobson said. "We have completely renovated it to become our new Youth Center. Now our youth have their own space to meet, watch videos, and hang out in fellowship. We now have about eight to 10 young people coming out on Sunday nights for youth group." The group has named itself, S.A.L.T., which stands for Students Aspiring to Light and Truth. They meet Sunday nights at 6:30 to 8 p.m., September through May.
Good Shepherd also recognized that the initial appearance of the church can have lasting impressions upon visitors. Dobson said, "Our sprinkler systems have not worked for over eight to 10 years leaving our flower beds in constant disarray. My wife Elizabeth and I have continuously cleaned them out over the past four years. The vestry saw the work that was being put-in and responded to our challenge to keep those beds looking good by reinstalling a new sprinkler system. Once installed, the beds will be maintained to look their best."
Finally, Dobson is excited about a new initiative. "We are looking to completely renovate our fellowship hall putting in a stage, sound and lighting, to make our space multi-functional. Instead of just being used for a church lunch or dinner, it will become a meeting space, alternative worship space, drama center, concert center and a place for outside guests and teachers to come and speak." Dobson said he envisions having concerts, contemporary worship services, outside guest speakers, and diocesan meetings taking place in the Fellowship Hall. "We have already had plans drawn up for the first steps in seeing this vision come to fruition. We are called to do all we can for the sake of the gospel and that is my charge to my vestry and they have responded. I am excited to see all that God will do in the days ahead."