Meet Our Pastor
Welcome! I am the Reverend John Michael Longworth, OEF, Pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Rutland, VT. I grew up in Windsor, CT near the capital city of Hartford. I am an alumnus of Trinity College in Hartford, CT and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. I live in Rutland City, Vt with my spouse Sara, an artist and handcrafter.
I currently serves the New England Synod as the Dean of the Vermont/New York Conference, and on the Synod Convocation Planning Team.
In 2012, I was called to serve as the Pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and the Little Lambs Early Learning Center. Since then, I have been so excited to play a part in feeding 245,000 neighbors, planting gardens for our school, and working to develop the Cooperative Mission of Faith on Foot.
I am a Professed member in the Order of Ecumenical Franciscans. This community of Christians from a wide variety of denominations has a commitment to the stewardship of creation, personal simplicity, service to the poor and public proclamation of the Gospel.
Baptisms - Take place on Saturdays and Sundays at 5:30pm and 9:30am (respectively). Outside of Emergencies, we do not celebrate Baptisms during Advent (4 weekends prior to Christmas) or Lent (6 weekends prior to Easter). Before scheduling a Baptism, families will need to select at least 1 adult sponsor who is a Baptized Christian. It is expected that the parents, child (and sponsor whenever possible) would meet with the pastor for instruction at least 2 weeks prior to the event. This meeting can be in your home or at the church.
Confession & Forgiveness - Corporate Confession and Forgiveness is celebrated every week during Saturday and Sunday worship. Individuals seeking private pastoral conversation with the Pastor and individual confession and absolution are encouraged to make an appointment. The appointment can be in your home or at the church. A healthy approach to individual confession is that all Christians may, none must, and some should. Don't let your past be a barrier to God's love in the present.
Confirmation - Youth in Grades 6-8 who wish to prepare for Affirming their Baptism are expected to complete the following:
---30 formation lessons to engage with your family and your sponsor
---at least two sessions of Confirmation Camp at Camp Calumet in New Hampshire (scholarships are available),
---Youth Reflection Group on Sunday Mornings at 8:45AM
---involvement in at least one ministry of good Shepherd.
Candidates will be examined individually prior to the celebration of this Rite.
Adults who wish to prepare for Affirming their Baptism should make an appointment with the Pastor to make a plan for study and conversation. You are encouraged to work with a sponsor from the congregation.
Funerals - I will make every effort to speak with immediate family by phone or to visit with them prior to the celebration of a funeral at Good Shepherd. Pre-planning conversations can be held at any time by appointment, having your scripture lessons, hymn selections, and other references on file will be a huge help to family and friends in the event of an unexpected or untimely death.
Holy Communion - is celebrated weekly on Saturdays and Sundays during worship. A pastoral visit to your home, nursing home or hospital is available by appointment. Please note that privacy laws now prevent hospitals and rehabilitation centers from disclosing their patients to non-family members. Be sure to inform the pastor when you are hospitalized. I will make every effort to be with you as quickly as possible.
Baptized Christians who believe that Jesus is present in the Eucharist are welcome to receive Communion.
Children (and Adults) who have never communed before can receive instruction on the Saturday morning after Easter. This includes baking the bread for Communion. First Communion celebration is on Good Shepherd Sunday every year (three weeks after Easter).
Prayer - I keep a journal of prayer requests that are a part of my daily prayers. Requests can be added by phone, email or in person. Individual or small group prayer time is available by appointment.
Weddings - Please contact the pastor 6 months prior to your anticipated wedding date. All couples are expected to meet at least 4 times for preparation, planning and conversation. Holy Communion is only available for weddings that take place in our Sanctuary or on church grounds. Fellowship Hall can be made available for wedding receptions as available. Please contact our secretary for details.