Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Aberdeen, South Dakota, has an active congregation. Fellowship and connection is an important part of our faith. We are always busy working on ways to grow and develop our relationship with God and others in our community. Take some time to learn about ways you can get involved:
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Good Shepherd is a congregation of the ELCA that has been engaged in ministry in Aberdeen, South Dakota for more than 50 years. We are a congregation that INvites, INspires, and INvests in our community.
We are a mainline Protestant denomination (similar to Methodists and Presbyterians) with more than 4,000,000 members in the United States. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. We believe the Bible is God’s word. We celebrate communion weekly, and each local church is autonomously governed (no one “higher up” tells us what to do – except God!). For more information on the denomination, you can visit elca.org
Our church, founded in 1962, has grown into a healthy and vibrant congregation. We currently have more than 900 active members and regular attendees. Our 8:30 a.m. worship service averages around 100 people; our 10:45 a.m. worship service usually has about 75 in attendance, and our Wednesday 6:20pm worship service usually has about 50 in attendance.
We have three worship services each week. Sunday at 8:30 a.m. worship is traditional with familiar hymns, piano and organ accompaniment, and usually features either an adult choir or bell choir. Our Sunday 10:45 a.m. worship service is led by a praise band and includes more contemporary music. Wednesdays at 6:20 pm our worship service is casual with a mix of music accompanied by piano. During the academic year all three are held in the Sanctuary, during the summer we worship Wednesdays our Chapel. All worship services offer the celebration of communion, and all are welcome to participate.
Children are a special part of our congregation and we value them as full participants in the life of our church. In the Sanctuary we offer a “prayground” – a large low table with child-sized chairs, activity bags, and children’s messages. Church School classes for children (preschool through the 6th grade) begin at 9:45 a.m. Sundays and 5:30 Wednesdays.
Nursery care is provided for both infants and toddlers (to age 3) from 8:30 a.m. until the conclusion of the 10:45 service each week. The nursery is located to the right of the Sanctuary main entrance. We provide a spacious play area with many fun, interactive toys for the children. Care is provided by an experienced volunteers.
We have quite a mixture of people at Good Shepherd. Our congregation truly spans the ages, from newborns to folks in their 90s. You’ll find just about every type of person here – married, single, divorced, widowed – professionals, workers, retired – life-long Aberdonians and those who have just recently moved to Hub City. But even more important than the kind of people who go here is the kind of people who are welcome here – everyone!
Not at all! In fact, many in our congregation come from a church background other than Lutheran. We have many former Catholics, Presbyterians and Methodists. There are also a number of folks who never had a church home until they came to Good Shepherd. We are a “patchwork” church – people with different church backgrounds “woven together” by God’s grace.
No! Dressing up is not a requirement to worship with us at Good Shepherd. Some do wear their “Sunday best” but you’re also likely to see someone in slacks and a casual shirt, or even jeans. We believe the most important part about Sunday morning is showing up, ready to worship God.
At Good Shepherd we strive to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. We greet each other so everyone feels welcomed; we share announcements and church news; we sing and listen to our choir perform beautiful music; we share the congregation’s joys and concerns and lift them to God in prayer; we read the Bible and talk about it through the sermon; we collect an offering to further God’s work; and we take communion weekly.
Yes! We take communion each week as a tangible reminder of God’s gift to us in Jesus Christ. We believe in open communion – that means that anyone who believes in Jesus Christ is welcome to take communion, whether they are a church member or not.
Throughout the year there are a number of opportunities for adults to learn and grow. On Sunday mornings one of our pastors usually offers a class at 9:45 a.m. delving into the Bible or current events. Two different Women’s groups host monthly Bible Studies, and there are two mid-week Men’s Bible Studies. All of these educational opportunities are available in-person or via technology. All of these groups vary in size, format and the age of their members but all are glad to have guests join them.
Good Shepherd is active in a variety of outreach ministries, both here in Aberdeen and around the world. One of the major local outreach activities of is our Food Pantry, through which we provide groceries and personal care items to over 100 households monthly. Quilts are provided to each resident at New Beginnings Center and school kits assist students in Aberdeen who otherwise wouldn’t have school supplies. We support the food programs at the Aberdeen Boys & Girls Club and Salvation Army. We are humbled to partner with Aberdeen Public elementary schools by providing grants to support the each school’s care of their students in need. Regionally we provide child-sized quilts to each Head Start child every year, support financially and with volunteers the ministry of St Dysmas Prison Ministry in Sioux Falls, the work of South Dakota Synod of the ELCA with Native populations and assistance with those new to the United States. We send over 250 quilts a year to those in need around the world, provide health kits to those outside the United States, and support the ELCA’s global initiatives.
We would love to answers any questions that you may have about Good Shepherd. If you didn’t find what you were looking for on our website, please email or call one of our pastors or other staff members. See the Staff page for an email link.
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