The services on Wednesday are scheduled at 12 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and will include the Imposition of Ashes with Holy Communion at both times.
Lent services will then continue each Wednesday through March 20, with times also at noon and 7:30 p.m.
Senior Pastor Paul W. Baumgartner will lead the services. A Woodstock resident, he has been senior pastor of Good Shepherd for nine years.
It seems becoming a Lutheran minister was unavoidable for Baumgartner.
“I am a lifelong Lutheran,” he notes. “I was born into a Lutheran family. My father was a Lutheran pastor, and I spent a great deal of my life in church.”
Baumgartner entered seminary in 1977 and was ordained in 1981 after obtaining a master of divinity from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, in Columbia, S.C.
He then received his doctor of ministry degree from The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia in 2001.
At an early age, Baumgartner established a spiritual connection with God and His people.
“I found nourishment and joy in that relationship,” he said.
But Baumgartner also says that it was a choice he made himself to be a Lutheran. In fact, he had made plans in college to pursue a career in advertising design.
“But I continued to feel the most meaning in my life through work in the church,” he recalls. “I began to look more closely at what I thought was a call from God.”
With more than 1,000 members, Good Shepherd continues its important presence as a religious meeting place for the Woodstock community.
“Our congregation is very mission-oriented,” the pastor said. “We’re very intentional in having a mission statement, priorities, and overall direction for the actions and activities of the church.”
Baumgartner stresses this importance of organization and vision as he looks to the church’s future.
“Our plans are to serve together, with the pastors and the council and the members of the congregation,” he says. “We hope to be very open to what it is that God calls us to do as we move into the future.”
The church is located at 1208 Rosecreek Drive, at the intersection of Eagle Drive, in the Towne Lake section of Woodstock.
Traditional worship services are held on Sundays at 8 a.m. and at 11 a.m.
A praise service is also conducted each Sunday at 9:30 a.m. Holy Communion is at all services.
In addition to devoting their time and talents, congregation members are expected to support the church by making financial donations.