Monthly Archive for: ‘January, 2015’

(Ring…, Ring…, Ring…, …) Leave a Message at the Beep!


…from Worship at Good Sam on January 25, 2015
First Reading: Jonah 3:1–5, 10 (Click to go directly to the NRSV Bible Text) The book of Jonah is a comedy starring a reluctant prophet who is given a one-sentence message: Nineveh will be destroyed in forty days. Much to Jonah’s dismay, the people of Nineveh repent. The point of the story is to get the reader to wrestle with the question “On whom should God have mercy?” 

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 7:29–31 Paul does not disapprove of marriage or other human social institutions. He does, however, want Christians to live in the present in fervent anticipation of God’s future, which even now has dawned through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Gospel: Mark 1:14–20 Before Jesus calls his first disciples, he proclaims a message that becomes known as “the gospel” or good news from God. God is ready to rule our lives. Those who realize this will respond with repentance and faith.

Did you ever play the game Telephone? How crazy it is to pass a message and hope that it will get to others with the same content. Perhaps that is why being called by God is something we must find and hear for ourselves. It must be our own sense or hearing of God’s call. Yet other people can be helpful in clarifying our sense of call, because we too can sometimes hear what we want to hear (or should I say, not hear what we do not want to hear). But in the end, it is we who must hear and answer our own sense of being called.

Sermon title this Sunday   “(Ring… Ring… Ring…) Leave a Message at the Beep!”

Truth and the Ambiguity of Living

gslclogo…from Worship at Good Sam on January 18, 2015

First Reading: 1 Samuel 3:1-20 (Click to go directly to the NRSV Bible Text) At a time when visions are rare and unexpected, the Lord comes to Icon3Epipha2BProjecSamuel and calls him to speak the divine word. Though just a boy, Samuel responds to God obediently, as Eli the priest has taught him to respond. This marks the beginning of Samuel’s prophetic ministry.

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 6:12–20 Paul is helping the Corinthians understand that God has claimed the entirety of their lives through the death of Christ. Hence Christian relationships and conduct, including areas of human sexuality, are to reflect the reality that we belong to Christ and that the Holy Spirit lives within us.

Gospel: John 1:43–51 In John’s gospel, Jesus’ ministry begins with the call of disciples, who then bring others to Jesus. Philip’s friend Nathanael moves from skepticism to faith when he accepts the invitation to “Come and see.”

Pilate said to Jesus, “‘What is truth?’ With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, ‘I find no basis for a charge against him.’” (John 18:38)    There is a lot of rhetoric about truth these days. There are those who will say that truth is objective and knowable, that it is rational. Others will say that truth is personal and how each of us bestows value. Perhaps there is no objective truth that resides in the hands and hearts of humanity for we all shape the world we see through our own skewed perceptions. But perhaps from God’s point of view there is truth that is more objective. If there is any hope of humanity gaining or gleaning this reality, it will be because God makes it known. It will be found by those willing to receive it and not by those who wish to take the hill first and define it. This is the curious calamity in humanity’s search for truth.

Message for the day:     “Truth and the Ambiguity of Living” 

Water, Promise, Presence – Immerse Yourself



…from Worship at Good Sam on January 11th, “Baptism of Our Lord.”

First Reading: Genesis 1:1–5 (Click to go directly to the NRSV Bible Text)
Out of chaos, God brings order. Out of the primeval darkness, God brings light. This familiar story was good news for the Israelites, who experienced much chaos in their history. It remains good news for any person living in the chaos and darkness of despair. God created and continues to create new life.
Second Reading: Acts 19:1–7 In Ephesus, Paul encounters people who had received John’s baptism of repentance but had never heard of the Holy Spirit or of baptism in the name of Jesus. After Paul baptized them, the Holy Spirit came upon them and empowered them with gifts of the Spirit.

Gospel: Mark 1:4–11 Mark’s gospel reports the story of Jesus’ baptism with some irony: the one on whom the Spirit descends is himself the one who will baptize others with the Holy Spirit.   

Water is an integral part of baptism. It helps shape the experience, much like being trapped by the Red Sea IconBaptOurLord01Projwas a critical part of the experience of the Israelites leaving Egypt. But the sea itself has no power or particular nature that makes the miracle of crossing the sea on dry ground happen. What makes this miracle effective is God’s presence and intention to bring God’s people out of Egypt. So it is with the waters of baptism. It is not the holiness or amount of the water, or impressiveness of the dunking. The power and effectiveness of this sacrament has always been in the presence and purpose of God. Discovering the gift of these promises is a lifelong journey where the miracles of baptism are discovered. Thanks to God.

“Water, Promise, Presence – Immerse Yourself”

New Mocha Morning Bible Study – Wednesday mornings

Bible study with coffee--editedThe New Mocha Morning Bible Study has begun! We are meeting at Martha R.’s house on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month at 9:30 am. Our next meeting is February 4 when we’ll begin studying the book of Ruth using Premium Roast with Ruth by Sandra Glahn. If you are interested in joining us, please contact Martha.

–Martha R.

VBS Planning Meeting — January 30


Friday, January 30 at 6:30 pm, there will be a VBS gathering meeting at Panera Bread. This is a meeting of the minds to see who we have, what we need, and bounce ideas around for this year’s VBS. We’d love to have you!! No prior experience necessary.

Emily S.

“Coffee and Conversation” about WARM – January 25

Join us Sunday, January 25 at 10:30 am for some “coffee and conversation” about the WARM ministry. This is an opportunity to find out more about the ministry and the various opportunities to serve during Good Sam’s host week of February 15-22. We will have a conversation about the different volunteer positions and what they entail. (Click to read more about the WARM ministry.)

Even if you are not available to serve during the week, support is needed in other areas such as prayer, food and toiletry donations, and help with set-up and laundry. Please consider staying after church and finding out more about serving our homeless brothers and sisters. God calls us to serve the poor and homeless (Leviticus 25:35-36, Isaiah 58:7, Luke 14:13-14).

–Gail W.

Seeking Updates for Church Directory

As the church office prepares to update the Good Sam directory, we ask that you submit any changes to your contact information that have happened since October. This includes:

  • home address
  • any phone numbers for you and for others in your household
  • any email addresses for you and for others in your household

You can write any information on a yellow Welcome card and put it in the offering plate, leave a note in the office, or email the office ( Thank you! Once the directory is fully updated, it will be sent via email.


2014 End-of-Year Financial Statements Available for Pickup

giving_5407c2014 financial statements are available in the church entryway. Please pick yours up (to save postage costs) and review for accuracy. Should you have any questions or issues, please contact me at

–Rich S.

Good Sam’s Week to Host WARM – February 15-22

The WARM season began in November and our week to host will be here before you know it! WARM (Wrapping Arms aRound Many) is a ministry involving dozens of churches in the area. Churches host or assist a host site in housing the homeless in our community who have nowhere to go during the cold winter nights. Guests arrive at the host site around 5:30 pm, where they are provided a hot meal, a cot for the evening, and some time to freshen up, play games, read, etc. In the morning they are provided with breakfast prior to leaving for the day at 7 am.

Not only do we need volunteers to serve as monitors, we also need donations of food items and personal supplies. There will be a complete list of volunteer opportunities as well as suggested donation items listed on a bulletin board in the fellowship hall. If you would like more information on how to participate, look for the WARM bulletin board in the Fellowship Hall. Questions can be directed to Gail W., Good Sam’s WARM Coordinator.

For more information about WARM, please visit its Facebook page and see these news pieces from prior years:

CareNet Pregnancy Center Annual Benefit Dinner — March 26

CareNet Pregnancy Center of Southern Maryland announces their Annual Benefit Dinner with Dr. Marc Newman of Speaker for Life. All are invited to the event on Thursday, March 26, 2015, 6:30 pm at the Hollywood Firehouse Social Hall.


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