Monthly Archive for: ‘March, 2019’

Member in Mission: Rich Slavik

You may recognize Rich Slavik as the guy who hands you a bulletin as you walk into church or passes you an offering plate during service. He’s quietly assumed this role of usher for so long that even he has forgotten how many years its been, but he’s earned the title of lead usher because without fail he shows up and is there to serve. He has been showing up at Good Sam since 1996, back before the tattoo shop, when our congregation met at the Knight’s of Columbus Hall.

Originally from New Jersey, Rich first found himself here in Pax River with the Navy and during his 27 year career he was stationed a total of 4 times. It was on his last tour here that he found Good Sam. After retiring from the navy, he dabbled briefly with civilian contracting on base, but ultimately found his next calling in serving with The Arc Southern Maryland. This organization’s mission is “Creating opportunities for independence and personal success for people with different abilities in inclusive communities.” This job brought him into a support and friendship role with adults with developmental disabilities – Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy and more. Rich spent the next 14 years taking assignments to care for and serve individuals; helping them with their daily routines, taking them shopping, playing pool, or going to movies.  He maintained connections and friendships with these men and women and their families.

All the while Rich continued to attend and serve Good Sam, through transitions and changes of location. He has served on the finance team on and off, and still serves as secretary. He witnessed the birth of the Food Pantry through a youth group challenge to bring in food, watched it grow, helped when he could, and after retirement eventually took over as the lead of Our Daily Bread food pantry. I see Rich in the office every Monday like clockwork as he picks up food from the donation bins and carries it across the parking lot. He is participating in a group trying to bring a Food Bank to St Mary’s County for the benefit of ALL of the local food pantries and soup kitchens, but for now he and others weekly drive to Waldorf to restock what’s needed from the closest area Food Bank. He leads volunteers from our church and community every Wednesday and Friday as they restock shelves and then help hand out food to the 120 patrons who come each week. Rich’s steady and persistent mission to serve others helps sustains the ministries he touches, and we are lucky to have this member in mission as part of our community.

A Vision for Music at Good Sam

Sherri plays for our Worship Services and her gifts are music and children.  Recently Sherri has begun working with Eat, Play and Learn Fellowship to bring the kids together to sing.  We heard the Angelic Voices sing their first musical offering in Worship on February 17th.  What a joy to see and feel the excitement of our children singing for the fun of it. 

Meanwhile, we have been talking about the current Worship Keyboard that is breaking and beginning to malfunction more and more regularly.  While we have been praying about this need we have also been thinking about the Chancel Choir’s need to see Sherri as she accompanies and directs them during Worship, as well as a need for a keyboard that is portable for use throughout our building.  So here is the vision to support music in Worship and other music programming.

We would like to replace our aging Worship Keyboard with a new Yamaha or Roland Digital Grand Piano ($6,500).  It will have all of the versatility of our current Worship keyboard including internal speakers and the ability to plug into the sound system for additional amplification.  We are also recommending a Korg KROSS 88 – Key Black Keyboard Production Station that is portable and has a stand that can be easily moved throughout the building.  It can plug into an Amp / Pre-Amp or plug into the sound system as desired.  This will allow musical practice anywhere in our building and support Choral Singing from down front for concerts, choir anthems and more.  Here is the cost to accomplish this vision. Can you help us finish that plan? We are almost half way there already.


  •  Yamaha or Roland Digital Grand Piano                                $6,500
  • Korg KROSS 88 – Key Black Keyboard Production Station $1,150  

           Total cost for this effort                                                            $7,650

           Dollars raised so far  ( $3,100)

Sunday’s Sermon, March 17, 2019

…from Worship at Good Sam on March 17, 2019

Lessons: Isaiah 55:1-9, Psalm 63:1-8, 1 Corinthians 10:1-13, Luke 13:1-9

Sermon: “Learning the Art of Love and Mercy”

Prayer: Eternal God, your kingdom has broken into our troubled world through the life, death, and resurrection of your Son. Help us to hear your word and obey it, and bring your saving love to fruition in our lives, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

The sermon begins after the reading from Luke’s Gospel.

Caring for God’s Creation at Good Sam

As spring approaches, the flowers begin to bloom, and life seems to awaken we are once again blessed by the beauty of God’s creation. Now is the time we need to begin to prepare for the care of the property around Good Sam.

In order to keep our grounds groomed and welcoming, we are looking for individuals or families that would commit to this effort one or two times throughout the season.

Tasks would include:

  • mowing the lawn
  • pulling a few weeds
  • and just making sure our property is neat and tidy. 

If you can take a day this season, please sign up on the schedule at the information table located in the fellowship hall. All of us pitching in will ensure a welcoming first impression as people enter our property. Let’s be an example of how God’s creation should be treated!

Thank you for considering….Gail Wathen (Council President)

Celebrating Pastor Mitch’s 30 years of Faithful Ministry!

Come and help us celebrate Pastor Mitch as he enters 30 years of faithful ministry!

On March 31st immediately following service we will have a celebration potluck brunch for Pastor Mitch to show our appreciation and gratitude for the life and experience he brings to our church. We have been truly blessed by his presence and his ability to lead our congregation.

The brunch will begin immediately after service. Sunday School for that day will be CANCELLED, so that all can participate and enjoy. Sue Venendaal and the fellowship team are organizing the event.

There will be a sign-up sheet this Sunday, March 17th in the fellowship hall or here. Please let us know if you are attending and/or can bring a dish.

As we celebrate throughout the morning there will be room to share some stories and talk about how Pastor Mitch has impacted you and/or your family.

Join us as we celebrate this milestone with him.

Paige Marino- Campus Christian Community @ University of Mary Washington Fundraiser

Paige Marino (Good Sam Member) is a member of Campus Christian Community at University of Mary Washington. They are fundraising to help meet their goal of budgetary needs for the year. They use monies raised to provide food, subsidize retreats, programs, salaries, building maintenance, and all things CCC. This fundraiser will support the ministry that is done to make connections and community with students that they have.
Check out this video about Campus Christian Community:
Good Sam’s Goal is to raise $500.00 in support of this fundraiser effort for Christian Community, which our church member Paige Marino is apart.
Please join us in supporting her by helping us meet the goal of $500.00. You may make checks payable to Good Samaritan Lutheran Church and in the memo line write Campus Christian Community.

Collecting Donations for Annual Easter Egg Hunt

Good Sam’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt will be held on Palm Sunday, April 14th  during the Sunday School hour for all children up to 4th grade.  We are collecting donations of candy (small, individually-wrapped candy that can fit in a 2” egg) and plastic eggs.   All donations may be left in the church office, marked with “Easter Egg Hunt” on the bag.  We ask that all donations be delivered by Wednesday, April 10th.  If you have any questions, contact Mary Dickinson.

Sunday’s Sermon, March 10, 2019

…from Worship at Good Sam on March 10, 2019

Lessons: Deuteronomy 26:1-11, Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16, Romans 10:8b-13, Luke 4:1-13

Sermon: “Reflecting on the Glory of God: Moses, Jesus and Us.”

Prayer:O Lord God, you led your people through the wilderness and brought them to the promised land. Guide us now, so that, following your Son, we may walk safely through the wilderness of this world toward the life you alone can give, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

The sermon begins after the reading from Luke’s Gospel.

Sunday’s Sermon, March 3, 2019

…from Worship at Good Sam on March 3, 2019

Lessons: Exodus 34:29-35, Psalm 99, 2 Corinthians 3:12–4:2, Luke 9:28-36 [37-43a]

Sermon: “Reflecting on the Glory of God: Moses, Jesus and Us.”

Prayer:  Holy God, mighty and immortal, you are beyond our knowing, yet we see your glory in the face of Jesus Christ. Transform us into the likeness of your Son, who renewed our humanity so that we may share in his divinity, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

The sermon begins after the reading from Luke’s Gospel.

Ash Wednesday

The Old Testament tells of a ritual in which persons in great sorrow sat in ashes or poured them on their head. Since early medieval times, ashes were distributed on the fortieth day before Easter as a sign of individual and communal penitence, and at the Synod of Benevento in 1091, the ritual was recommended for all Western Christians. The twin emphases of the day are sin and death: in sorrow for sin, we join with ancient peoples to put ashes on our head; and in honesty about death, we remember that, like Adam, we are made of dust and will return to dust. Acknowledging our sin and death readies the assembly for its annual baptismal journey to the resurrection.

Critics of Christianity often point out that Christians are hypocrites. Christians publicly espouse a certain set of rules for living—including care for creation, serving God and neighbors in need, and loving our enemies—and, just as publicly, fail to live up to those rules every day and in every way.

Paul, goes to great length to remind us that we, in our human nature, are death warmed over and this can lead to nothing but dust and death.  Then we become ready to learn that in this dust is precisely where God meets us and gives us life and salvation in his Son. So the life of Adam (our flesh) is destined for death, but also our Life in Christ, will bring us to a new life with God that is more like the life Jesus lives with God, (I Cor. 15:35-56; 2 Cor. 3-4; Galatians 2:14-21)

In today’s gospel we hear about fasting cheerfully and praying in secret. And yet, as we leave the church building we bear a public and very noticeable sign of faith right on our foreheads.  We know we are dust and the glory that we seek is not our own glory, but the gift that comes from God in the life of Jesus Christ. We see these two realities present in the ash of the cross and the death of Jesus on the cross and there we proclaim that we seek the life that God gives in resurrection and new life, like the life of the Risen Christ. Lent begins with a bold, visible, unmistakable reminder of who we are: simultaneously mortal dust and baptized children of God. We are simultaneously saint and sinner.  At the same moment that we are ash and dust we also earnestly seek the Risen Life of Christ among us.

  Join us for a journey of faith through Lent we are calling, “Lenten Journeying.”  Click HERE to see the ideas we have shared to help you think about Lenten activities you might like to try.