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Monthly Archive for: ‘September, 2019’

October Highlights

Good Sam Happenings in October

 *October 5th – Blessing of the Animals 10:00 am

October 6th [Sunday Theme] “Acting on Our Identity and Doing the Right Thing”

October 13th [Sunday Theme] “Healing and Discovering God”

October 20th [Sunday Theme] “Praying and Wrestling”

 *October 20th – Oktoberfest starting at 11:45 am

October 27th [Sunday Theme] “Freedom and Personal Growth”  Reformation Sunday

October Newsletter “Grapevine”

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Being Community, Better

I want a church where you really belong.  Where you are known and cared about. Where you are challenged, encouraged, listened to and where you grow.  I know church can be like that. I’ve seen it. The best community I have had in my life has centered around Jesus.  There is a real community with other people in knowing and loving Jesus. And yet, the most awkward, painful, exclusionary, combative and upsetting community experiences I have ever had, have been consistently in the church.  Because this is true for me, I have searched long and hard to better understand why being church can fail so miserably and continue to seek to discover what will unlock our ability to truly be “together” in Christ – to belong to one another. 

Have you ever been in search of something that persistently eludes you?  I have so admired Rachel Held Evan’s work at getting clear with herself about what the church’s core gifts and opportunities are to build meaningful, accepting and vibrant community.  In her book, “Searching for Sunday,” you can walk with her through her personal journey and at the same time, explore your own sense of searching for “church” where you feel welcome, at home, yourself and alive to God. Her sense of the gifts and core values of church are a rich theological and very concrete / personal expression of vibrant community.

I invite you to follow her journey through “Searching for Sunday,” so that you too can become even more clear about the opportunities for discovery, renewal, fulfillment and belonging that can be alive to you in church and in the community.  Perhaps we too are searching for new and deeper fruitfulness in our church and interpersonal lives.

Who doesn’t want to have a sense of true belonging?  If we were going to grow or create a deeper sense of true belonging in our congregation, what would we need to know about ourselves and about true belonging?  Brené Brown has powerful answers for those questions in her courageous book, “Braving the Wilderness.”  We would do well to make this book a primer for how to handle conflict, speak for ourselves, keep good boundaries and forge strong ties and keep them strong.  Why don’t they teach us this stuff somewhere so we can be prepared to be community, to be the church and to belong to one another? I think it is ironic that we seek Jesus at church and still manage to fail to learn how to be community together.

“Braving The Wilderness” is consistently the best discussion and guide for dealing with virtually every difficult experience I’ve had in community and society, including the church.  I wish we could all read it and begin to work together at becoming a place (a people) where grace and true belonging thrive.

My friends, my siblings in Christ, my community of hope in Christ, I am very proud of so much that we are and so much that we do together.  I also am hungry for us to deepen our connection and sense of belonging to each other. Both Rachel and Brené’s writings have the potential to nurture each of us along this journey to being available and present to each other.  Pick up a copy. Listen to the audio book. I’ll keep a few hard copies around, too, if you want to borrow one. We are a people in mission and that journey takes us into each other’s lives.  This is how Christ builds the church. One to another.

Pastor Mitch

New York Times best-selling author Rachel Held Evans embarks on a quest to find out what it really means to be part of the Church. Like millions of her millennial peers, Rachel Held Evans didn’t want to go to church anymore. The hypocrisy, the politics, the gargantuan building budgets, the scandals – Church culture seemed so far removed from Jesus. Yet despite her cynicism and misgivings, something kept drawing her back. And so she set out on a journey to understand the Church and to find her place in it.
Centered around seven sacraments, Evans’ quest takes listeners through a liturgical year with stories about baptism, communion, confirmation, confession, marriage, vocation, and death that are funny, heartbreaking, and sharply honest.
A memoir about making do and taking risks, about the messiness of community and the power of grace, searching for Sunday is about overcoming cynicism to find hope and, somewhere in between, Church.
———————————————————
A timely and important new audiobook that challenges everything we think we know about cultivating true belonging in our communities, organizations, and culture, from the number one best-selling author of Rising Strong, Daring Greatly, and The Gifts of Imperfection.
Hello Sunshine book club pick
“True belonging doesn’t require us to change who we are. It requires us to be who we are.” Social scientist Brené Brown, PhD, LMSW, has sparked a global conversation about the experiences that bring meaning to our lives – experiences of courage, vulnerability, love, belonging, shame, and empathy. In Braving the Wilderness, Brown redefines what it means to truly belong in an age of increased polarization. With her trademark mix of research, storytelling, and honesty, Brown will again change the cultural conversation while mapping a clear path to true belonging.
Brown argues that we’re experiencing a spiritual crisis of disconnection, and introduces four practices of true belonging that challenge everything we believe about ourselves and each other. She writes, “True belonging requires us to believe in and belong to ourselves so fully that we can find sacredness both in being a part of something and in standing alone when necessary. But in a culture that’s rife with perfectionism and pleasing, and with the erosion of civility, it’s easy to stay quiet, hide in our ideological bunkers, or fit in rather than show up as our true selves and brave the wilderness of uncertainty and criticism. But true belonging is not something we negotiate or accomplish with others; it’s a daily practice that demands integrity and authenticity. It’s a personal commitment that we carry in our hearts.”
Brown offers us the clarity and courage we need to find our way back to ourselves and to each other. And that path cuts right through the wilderness. Brown writes, “The wilderness is an untamed, unpredictable place of solitude and searching. It is a place as dangerous as it is breathtaking, a place as sought after as it is feared. But it turns out to be the place of true belonging, and it’s the bravest and most sacred place you will ever stand.”
Words for this time in our community, in our Nation and in our hearts.

Sunday’s Sermon, September 29, 2019

…from Worship at Good Sam on September 29, 2019

Lessons: Amos 6:1a, 4-7, Psalm 146, 1Timothy 6:6-19, Luke 16:19-21

Sermon: “The Named And Unnamed Before God.”

Prayer: O God, rich in mercy, you look with compassion on this troubled world. Feed us with your grace, and grant us the treasure that comes only from you, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

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

Sunday’s Sermon, September 22, 2019

…from Worship at Good Sam on September 22, 2019

Lessons: Amos 8:4-7, Psalm 113, 1 Timothy 2:1-7, Luke 16:1-13

Sermon: “Serving God Persistently In The Small And Weighty Things.”

Prayer: God among us, we gather in the name of your Son to learn love for one another. Keep our feet from evil paths. Turn our minds to your wisdom and our hearts to the grace revealed in your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

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

Member In Mission: Terri Doughty

Terri was born in Pax River back when her dad was stationed here with the Navy. They left for a while for other duty stations, but ultimately returned to Pax and call it home now. Her husband Billy’s dad was also Navy, and they bumped into each other canoeing on base as young teenagers and began their friendship. Terri has such an amazing, adventurous spirit and during her junior year of high school she set off to be an exchange student in Chile! By her senior year, she was enrolled in a local college part time and always up for adventure. Terri struck out to attend Shepherd College in West Virginia after graduation. Three days before Billy joined the Army in 1976, the highschool sweethearts married and she returned to St. Mary’s College briefly before following him to a North Carolina duty station where she attended Fayetteville State for 1 year. Always up for a challenge, Terri managed to stay in school AND have 2 kids (Will & Mary) before her husband got unaccompanied orders to Germany and she returned back to Pax to finish up college back at St. Mary’s, getting her Bachelors in History in 1980! This woman was born with determination. More duty stations and 2 more kids later, the entire family set off on orders back to Germany for a 5-year adventure. Terri boarded the flight with Will, age 8, Mary 6, Elizabeth 2, and a new baby, Steven. Her husband left the service in 1990, and Terri, believing everyone should serve their country, took her turn and enlisted in 1991. What was intended to be 1 enlistment became a 13 year passion and career, including a stint near the Iraq border.

Amidst the many moves, Terri was searching for a church home. Both she and her husband were raised in multi faith homes and he was Catholic. While in North Carolina they were searching for a church home and Terri felt led to try this Lutheran church that was welcoming and felt like home. Once in Germany, they again found a home with an Evangelical Lutheran church and Terri learned her first German through the church. Once back in Pax, she heard about a new Lutheran church that was recently founded…. it was Good Samaritan, and she’s been with us ever since! Terri is currently serving on council, but her call to mission and serving reaches far into the community and the world. On top of her military service, Terri has always been involved serving locally with Boy Scouts & Girl Scouts, as well as the VFW. She has found a way to reach into the secular world and bring her loving spirit and light into so many organizations, like the Lexington Park Community Association, helping orchestrate a geocaching trail that brings people from all walks together. 

Never one to slow down after retirement, Terri began a new journey as an Uber driver. Some passengers are quiet and others want to talk; some she meets once and others are regulars. She has found that she can provide a judgment-free, safe place for people to share what’s on their minds and hearts and she has the opportunity to simply listen and support and encourage them on their journey. A few passengers she has also had the opportunity to share her faith with and even invite them to church. It’s exciting because she never knows where the conversations and relationships built will lead. For a few special passengers, she has been an instrument of God to guide their path with ideas and encouragement, helping them solve a personal problem or find employment. Terri is such a beautiful example of listening to God’s call and being a light in the world throughout her life. We are blessed to have you as a part of our community!

Sunday’s Sermon, September 15, 2019- Building Puentes Mission Trip Stories

…from Worship at Good Sam on September 15, 2019

Lessons: Exodus 32:7-14, Psalm 51:1-10, 1 Timothy 1:12-17, Luke 15:1-10

Sermon: “Building Puentes Mission Trip Stories”

Prayer: O God, overflowing with mercy and compassion, you lead back to yourself all those who go astray. Preserve your people in your loving care, that we may reject whatever is contrary to you and may follow all things that sustain our life in your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

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

House of Prayer

Wednesdays – 6 pm at Good Sam.  (For the whole community) beginning Sept. 25, 2019

How can you find God
without prayer?

House of Prayer is a time and a place to pray.  A space in which to breath. Light music and a setting in which to soak ourselves in prayer, meditation, reflection, intercession and listening for God – listening to God.  This half an hour time is lightly guided and free enough to do your own thing.  Communion will be offered.  Prayer themes and stations for exploration will be offered.  Come and explore a time and a place to pray.

Join us for “House of Prayer” – 30 minutes of prayer, meditation, guided devotion, personal reflection and communion.

Prayer as illumination

To pray is to sit in silence and listen, to close our eyes and seek light and awareness with senses we do know know we have. Prayer is to welcome God and discern the way forward. Join us for House of Prayer @ Good Sam, Wednesdays at 6 pm. (beginning Sept 25th)

Sunday’s Sermon, September 8, 2019

…from Worship at Good Sam on September 8, 2019

Lessons: Deuteronomy 30:115-20, Psalm 1, Pilemon 1-21, Luke 14:25-33

Sermon: “A New Relationship With Everything We Have”

Prayer: Direct us, O Lord God, in all our doings with your continual help, that in all our works, begun, continued, and ended in you, we may glorify your holy name; and finally, by your mercy, bring us to everlasting life, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

The sermon begins after the reading from Luke’s Gospel.  (Audio rec. begins @ 1:06 in)

Our Daily Bread Food Pantry Joins Feed St Mary’s

You might know the name of our food pantry (see above).  You probably know we have a pantry from which we serve neighbors and friends in our community.  You might even know that last month we served over 500 people with a bag of groceries (28 of those were new or first time visitors to our pantry).  In reality, this means that we share over 40,000 lbs. of food annually.

You probably have no idea where all that food comes from.   Ninety percent of that food comes from the Southern Maryland Food Back in Waldorf, MD (SMFB).   That means that almost every week we send volunteers 50 minutes away to pick up 800 to 1,500 lbs. of food, load it into vehicles and return to load it onto our pantry shelves.  If you haven’t been to the pantry you might be surprised by the hectic nature of food day at SMFB.  Each pantry loads what food they want from what is available and it is weighed and checked out (we get billed for the food we take at 18 cents a pound).

You might have noticed from the local news sources that there is a new Food Bank being developed here in Lexington Park. It is called “Feed St Mary’s” (FSM).  Check out the Feed St Mary’s newsletter called “Dinner Bell.”  It’s posted in our entryway on the Kiosk.  Good Sam is a participant in the organizing activities of this new local food back.  FSM exists to stock local St Mary’s County pantries.

They begin operations on October 1st and are located in the U-Haul building (Old McKay’s Grocery) along Great Miles Road.

Food from FSM will be coming from the Maryland Food Network (MFN) in Baltimore, MD and will come at a slightly less cost than the food we have been purchasing from SMFB.  In addition to not having to drive two hours to get and return with food, we will also be able to order the foods we wish to have in our pantry directly from MFN.

The Our Daily Bread Food Pantry is a strong source of food security for many of our neighbors and thanks to FSM we stand to be even stronger in the months to come.  We want to also say a special thank you to our pantry volunteers who faithfully see that we have food and serve our guests who come for food on Wednesday and Friday of each week:  Tim Faust, Aloysius Bowman, Kevin King, Andie St Marie, Deb Younkins, Rich Slavik, Jeff Carlsen, Bobbie Anderson and Jay Johnson.  Rich says, “There is room for you too, want to meet our community and help them toward food security?  We have a spot for you.”  Talk with Rich Slavik.

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