Our mission statement at Church of the Shepherd is “Living in Christ with one another for the sake of God’s mission in Hyde Park and the world.” This works itself out in several ways in our community.
The most obvious is our Sunday morning gathering which takes place at 10:15 a.m. We gather on the third floor of our “house” for a time of worship, prayer, teaching, and fellowship. Our worship intentionally draws from the rich Christian tradition to include choruses and hymns, liturgical readings, and even short times of silence. Our time of prayer embraces confession, thanksgiving, and intercession. And our teaching is founded on a strong commitment to God’s Word as we preach, depending on the time of year, on a particular book of the Bible, around a chosen theme, or through the lectionary.
Our congregation is one that genuinely enjoys being together. So our fellowship after the service often lasts a while, and most weeks a good group of people will head out after that for lunch together, and visitors are always welcome to join us. But we see our Sunday service as just a small part of our life together. Dinners at people’s homes, cookouts and bonfires in the church yard, and get-togethers and game nights around the neighborhood are common throughout the year. Out of these times, our community grows as we share together, laugh together, cry together, and pray together. We come alongside to help each other grow in the foundations of our faith and as we live out God’s Kingdom in this place.
Fellowship and the iron-sharpening-iron nature of community occur in more formal ways as well. We gather during the week for Bible studies and discipleship groups, and one-on-one discipleship is a primary feature of both pastoral and lay ministry.
We are also committed to reaching out and serving our neighborhood and beyond. This includes working with local organizations as much as possible. We have solid relationships with student organizations on the University of Chicago campus, and our church has a long history of supporting InterVarsity groups there. And as part of our heritage in the Christian and Missionary Alliance denomination, we have a strong commitment to missions, as we hold an annual Missions Conference and help equip those who go out from our congregation.
In all of this, our primary goal is to live in Christ, to grow in what he has called us a community to be, and to serve others in whatever way we can.