Monthly Archive for: ‘March, 2018’

Come Read “When Helping Hurts” with us

Join us after Sunday Worship throughout the month of May for Coffee and Conversation time as we will be discussing the book called “When Helping Hurts.”  This conversation time will include a short 15 minute video and time to talk about the material.  There will be copies of the book available for purchase in class, but you can come for the discussion without the book if you like.  Join us for this process of thinking carefully about how we care for our neighbors and what’s in it for us.

When Helping Hurts is a paradigm-forming
contemporary classic on the subject of poverty alleviation and ministry to those
in need. Emphasizing the poverty of both heart and society, this book exposes the
need that every person has and how it can be filled. The reader is brought to understand
that poverty is much more than simply a lack of financial or material resources
and that it takes much more than donations and handouts to solve the problem of

While this book exposes past and current development efforts that
churches have engaged in which unintentionally undermine the people they’re trying
to help, its central point is to provide proven strategies that challenge Christians
to help the poor empower themselves. Focusing on both North American and Majority
World contexts, When Helping Hurts catalyzes the idea that sustainable change
for people living in poverty comes not from the outside-in, but from the inside-out.

April Highlights

Good Sam Happenings

           ◊ March 29   Maundy Thursday Service 7 pm

           ◊ March 30  Good Friday Service 7 pm

April 1 [Sunday Theme] “Easter is Always a Surprise”

            Join us for Easter Sunday Brunch @ 10:10 am

April 8  [Sunday Theme] “Life in Christ is a Community Activity”

Making New Connections Campaign Kick-off (⇐ click here to learn more)

April 15  [Sunday Theme] “Peace, Presence, Repentance and Restoration”

April 22  [Sunday Theme] “A Message from Pastor Carlsen”

April 29  [Sunday Theme] “The Fruitfulness of Being In Christ”

Preview: Lessons for Sunday, April 1, 2018

Download Easter-Day-Lesson-4.1.18.pdf (183KB)


Tragedy in our Community and Resources

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”  II Corinthians 1: 3-4

“Family and Friends of Good Sam,

We always think tragedy won’t hit close to home, until it does.  There is always a great urge to ask “why,” to search out the cause and to assign blame. There is a time and a place for each of those responses, but right now I invite you to take stock of the gifts and resources; love, care and community support that we must have.

 The apostle Paul reminds us, one primary purpose we have from Christ is to comfort others with the same care we have received from God.  For this moment is a poignant time for love and mercy.  Please note the resources below for topics and ideas that may assist you in difficult conversations with family and youth. I am also available to visit with you one-on-one or with your family.”

–Pastor Mitch  


Resource links for times of tragedy can be found here.

Good Sam Sr. Youth Requests Prayers and Support for Mission Trip

During a recent Good Sam Council meeting, Isaiah Mack outlined a request to the council to present his mission trip to Costa Rica this summer to the congregation. With their approval, he’ll present his request for prayers and support with this mission trip this Sunday.  Isaiah will be traveling to Costa Rica in June with other students from his Honors Spanish class at The King’s Christian Academy to assist with home building for a needy family and spreading God’s Word.

With the deadline for funds due April 15th, Isaiah writes about his plans, hopes and request:

“I have an exciting opportunity coming up this summer that I’d like to share with you.  As part of my growing desire to join God in serving people in need all over the world, I will be traveling to Costa Rica with other students from my Honors Spanish class at The King’s Christian Academy for a 1-week service project.  Our team of students and staff will be departing on June 11 and returning June 16.  I am writing this letter to invite your financial partnership with me in this endeavor.

The trip has been planned and designed by The King’s Christian Academy in partnership with Joshua Expeditions, a Christian non-profit organization.  Since 1997, Joshua Expeditions has been providing Christian schools with quality educational travel designed to inspire purpose in the lives of others.  They have designed this trip to provide us with the best experience possible in the 6 days that we will be traveling, allowing us to serve the people of Costa Rica and share with them the love of Jesus Christ.  You can learn more about them by visiting their website at

Our days in Costa Rica will be spent building a home for a needy family.  The family will be presented with their home on our 5th day, then we will help the family move their belongings into their new home.  As we work to meet the physical needs of the local residents, opportunities will open to meet their spiritual needs as we explain that Jesus is the reason we choose to serve them.  It is my hope that God will be expanding our hearts and giving us a broader perspective of His involvement in the whole world.

I am writing to ask for your help in getting to Costa Rica.  To participate in this trip I would love your prayers for my preparation and travels.  I also need to raise money for airfare, room and board, and other travel expenses.  I will need $2,750.00 by April 15th to join the trip. 

Thank you so much for prayerfully considering if this is something you would like to participate in.  May God bless you for your time and support.”

Sincerely,    Isaiah Mack

If you are interested in helping support Isaiah on his journey, contributions can be made to Good Sam with the trip name “Joshua Expeditions” in the memo line. We will send the contributions to them in Isaiah’s name. 

Community Prayer Service – March 20, 2018

In response to the violence and tragedy at Great Mills High School today, March 20, 2018, a community Prayer Service is being held at Church of the Ascension (21641 Great Mills Rd, Lexington Park, MD 20653). The service begins at 6:00pm, this evening, March 20th and a number of local clergy will participate. All are welcome!

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” II Corinthians 1:3-4

Preview: Lessons for Sunday, March 18, 2018

Download Lent-5.pdf (506KB)

Dinner Theater Fundraiser for Youth Attending ELCA Youth Gathering a HUGE Success!

On Saturday evening, Feb. 24 the S.S. Gigantic set sail in our church Fellowship Hall and what a great fellowship event it was!! The Empty Nester Group had fun collaborating with the Sr. High Youth and their families and ended up with a great  dinner, theater show and a very successful fundraiser.  The evening’s events–including dinner, the theater show S.S. Gigantic, and basket raffle–the groups raised $2364 to help send our Sr. Youth to Houston for the Triannual ELCA Youth Gathering this summer. This was just one of several fundraising events to help defer costs involved to send 19 of our youth and adults to the Gathering June 27-July 1, 2018.

There are many to thank starting with Thrivent who offset our costs with $500, as well as, many individuals who gave their time, talent and funds to support the event. So, thank you, thank you, thank you to so many people that made this event so successful.  Thanks to Martha and her great cast for a wonderful play…it was a lot of fun.  Thank you to our musicians, to the ticket staff, to Chuck for taking pictures, to Laurie and Ron for taking care of the bar, to all of our servers, to Mary, Steve, and Nancy for taking care of the kitchen….serving up the food and washing all the dishes.  Thank you to Jennifer for the Playbill, to Ginger and Chris for the yummy dessert, to Judy for putting the raffle baskets together as well as all those that contributed, to John M. for microphones and also videotaping, to Dennis for handling the finances, to Ginger for the costumes, to Diane for decorations and to Pastor Mitch for taking care of the prayer as well as some other coordination that needed to happen.  Thank you to all who stayed and helped clean up and put the church back in order and for all that may not be mentioned because everyone’s efforts were truly appreciated. We could not have set sail and accomplished such a wonderful evening without everyone pitching in.  View the play, S.S. Gigantic with the Good Sam Players, in it’s entirety.

We wish the youth a wonderful and faith-filled trip to Houston.


Preview: Lessons for Sunday, March 11, 2018

Download Lent-4.pdf (528KB)

Please welcome our new Office Manager / Administrative Assistant Iman Green Syler

We are very pleased to welcome Iman Syler (pronounced “Imman” as in”Immanuel”) to the Staff of Good Sam.  She will manage our Office, lead our Office Volunteers and work with Pastor Mitch on ministry program efforts.  Her first day will be March 6th.  She will normally be in the office during our office hours.  Please stop by and introduce yourself.

Iman Green Syler lives in Valley Lee, MD with her husband, Greg, and their daughter, Carter.  Born and raised in Charlotte, NC, Iman’s Christian faith deepened through camping and youth ministry. Before coming to Good Samaritan, Iman served as Missioner for Youth & Families for the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, helping resource and develop effective ministries in faith communities throughout southern Maryland, DC, Montgomery, Prince George’s County. She is an active member of The Episcopal Church and worships with her family at St. George’s in Valley Lee. Not only is she excited to join the ministry team at Good Samaritan, Iman looks forward to bringing her skills, joy, and love of Christ to empower and help raise up life-changing ministry.