Monthly Archive for: ‘October, 2019’

November Highlights

Good Sam Happenings in November

November 3rd  [Sunday Theme] “A Gifted And Giving People”All Saint’s and Consecration Sunday

November 10th  [Sunday Theme] “Alive To God”

November 17th [Sunday Theme] ” Refuge And Sanctuary”

 *November 17th – SoMD Gospel Choir 3-5pm

November 24th [Sunday Theme] “The Lord Is Our Righteusness” 

November Newsletter “Grapevine”

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Carrying The Baton

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely,[a] and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith…   Hebrews 12:1-2  

Sunday November 3rd is All Saints Sunday, and though we will be celebrating Consecration Sunday I wanted to invite you to reflect and remember how we have come to the faith that is in us.

How was faith formed in you?  Do you remember wanting it and wondering about it?  I know those in whom I first saw faith living… oh how I wanted what they had.  Don’t get me wrong… they weren’t perfect people. One had marriage troubles; one was a gangly college student who found her gifts in being an RA in a dorm.  One was so busy being “up and coming” he didn’t have much time to invest in people; still another was an anxious over-achiever. But still… they had thriving faith that you could feel and see – it would open your heart and your imagination about life in Christ.

My road to faith has been a slow and hard won path.  I would not have made it without fallible people like these saints who touched my life with their love and trust of God, their walk with Jesus and their confidence in the love and mercy that are God’s alone.

Whose life and faith have touched your life with the fingerprints of God’s love for us by their faith and confidence in God?  What was it they did that had such an impact on you? How did it happen?

This Sunday, (or any Sunday in November) I invite you to bring their names with you to worship.  Look for the scroll (butcher paper) on the wall in the Sanctuary and write their names as a prayer and as a testament to God’s faithfulness through their lives. 

And one last question:  Can you focus your faith and habits of living with others in a way that can inspire hope and journeying in faith in the lives and hearts of another?  Hold up in prayer those whom you hope to touch in this way. Let it be a beautiful aroma to the Lord! It is a great way to run the race.

 Pastor Mitch

Holiday Helping Hands at George Washington Carver Elementary

2-5 p.m. – Dec. 6, 2019 (set up day)

9 a.m. to Noon – Dec. 7, 2019

(donations accepted starting Nov. 1, 2019 – Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m.)

On Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, George Washington Carver Elementary will open its door to invited families only who need help for the upcoming holiday season.  The selected families will be able to choose from new toys and household items (which we will wrap before they go home), as well as gently used items.

This is where we need your help!  Starting November 1, 2019, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m., G.W. Carver Elementary will be accepting new and used items for our families.  Many new items that are needed are board games, puzzles, toys, basketballs, footballs, soccer balls, baby dolls, blankets for the homes, etc. In addition, any gently used items (household items, toys, coats, clothes, etc.) is also needed.  We are looking for items for infants to adults, both male and female. This is a great time to clean out your attics and basements and donate what you can. In addition, non-perishable food items will also be accepted to help these families in need.

We are also looking for helpers on each day.  On Friday, we will be setting up and sorting all of the items starting at 2 p.m..  On Saturday starting at 8:45 a.m., we need people who would like to help the families “shop,” as well as wrap the new items the families select.  We are also looking for people to help clean up between Noon and 1:30 p.m.

If you are interested in donating and/or helping with this event, please contact Lisa McCoy (Parent Liaison at G.W. Carver Elementary) at or 301-863-4076 ext. 44125.

Member In Mission: Robert Mack

Serendipity can be a sign from God, when your eyes and heart are open. Robert Mack joined the Navy in the 1990’s and first came to the area in the early 2000’s. He met and married his wife, Kanawha, in 2005 and together they have 7 children. At that time, he chose to attend the chapel on base, and after a few years the Navy swept them off to South Carolina and Japan. When the family returned to St. Mary’s County and Robert retired, they were initially looking for a Missouri Synod church but they were visiting all of the Lutheran Churches in the area. A neighbor invited the family over and there sat Pastor Mitch from Good Sam…. Robert knew it was a sign!

Robert and his entire family have been active at Good Sam ever since – participating in events and outreach, as well as serving on council. As an individual, he feels that his roles are to be a loving father, friend and mentor to his own children and the children in our community. At first, Robert resisted being in this role to mentor other kids – he thought he would just be a good example of a man, father and Christian. But God’s call was greater – Robert continued to see that these kids need a role model and guidance. They need someone to see past the anger and judgement and to continue showing them love and support and rules. This is not an easy job and he does it well – and it’s obvious by the respect that he is given because he has earned it.

For the same reason, Robert also enjoys being a troop 413 Scout Master. He gets to guide boys from 6th grade to High School on the path of earning their Eagle and gets a front row seat to see them mature into young men with values. His own son, Isaiah, just got his Eagle last year. Away from church, he landed a job last year as the JROTC instructor at Great Mills High School. Let’s start by breaking the misconception that this program is all about discipline – it’s not! Some kids choose to come, some are referred, and some are assigned by counselors – but however they get to his office, they find a mentor who cares. Whether they are college or career bound or need technical skills, JROTC is there to support them. Robert helps them plan for life after High School – he encourages them to have hopes and dreams. This is what it means to live a life in mission.

Sunday’s Sermon, October 13, 2019

…from Worship at Good Sam on October 13, 2019

Lessons: 2 Kings 5:1,7-15c, Psalm 111, 2 Timothy 2:8-15, Luke 17:11-19

Sermon: “Healing and Discovering God”

Prayer: Almighty and most merciful God, your bountiful goodness fills all creation. Keep us safe from all that may hurt us, that, whole and well in body and spirit, we may with grateful hearts accomplish all that you would have us do, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

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

Mortgage Reduction Invitation

October 7, 2019

Members and Friends of Good Sam,                                                                     

There are so many great things happening at Good Sam these days:  Bible Studies, care and connection with our community, food pantry and meal care, time for prayer in our building, family time with Eat and Play, Empty Nester programs like Oktoberfest, community groups who use our building and love that we are here for them like Pax River Quilters Guild, and much more.  In this message we would like to share with you one challenge to our community life that some of you know about, but likely you have not really thought about. It’s our mortgage.

Here are some quick facts:

  • We spend $8,887 each month to service our mortgage. This year that will cost us $106,647.  
  • Last year income to the General Fund was $313,000.  The mortgage was 34% of that total.
  • Currently, church based and business recommendations are that congregations not go in debt more than 15-20% of their General Fund income.  We are at twice that rate. 
  • While this situation has been true for the last 12+ years of this congregation’s 20+ year history, it has become increasingly burdensome to do effective ministry with this kind of debt load.

All that being said, we want to make you aware of a plan to help reduce this challenge and we invite you to help in any way you can.  Our current mortgage interest rate (%4.625) resets every three years to match current economic trends. Our mortgage will reset again this January.  Usually, making additional principal payments does not have an immediate impact on our current monthly required payment. But because our loan rate resets this January, any principal payments we make between now and Novembers 15th will directly impact not only the principal (amount we owe), but also directly impact the monthly mortgage payment we will have beginning in January for the next three years.

Also, we have recently received a gift that allows us to make a $50,000 payment to our mortgage principal.  This will reduce our annual mortgage payment total next year by almost $6,000. We are so thankful for this gift and are pleased to use it to begin to address this particular challenge to ministry at Good Sam.  

You too can help.  Between now and November 15th any additional gifts we receive toward this mortgage principal payment will reduce our principal amount and directly reduce our mortgage costs for the next three-year cycle of our mortgage.  

We understand we have differing abilities to help financially with this opportunity, but please consider that any amount does help and has a growing impact over the life of this loan.  We believe there are those in our community who have the ability and will consider helping us remain financially viable in the coming years. This means we can save $60,000 or more in Loan Servicing Costs through the life of our mortgage.  (See the spreadsheet below.) 

Council has established a “Mortgage Principal Fund” for this purpose.  Simply label any gift to Good Sam with the memo line “Mortgage Principal.” And we will include it in the November principal payment we are planning.  Thank you for your consideration in making a gift to this effort.

Pastor Mitch and your Good Sam Council

Here is a table that may help you see the possibilities.  If we can raise an additional $50,000 we can save more than $11,000 a year for the life of the loan.

Scenario Loan Amount Interest Rate Payments (Months) Monthly Payment Amount Monthly Savings Annual Savings
Baseline 932027 4.625% 135 8888.15 0 0
50K 882027 4.625% 135 8411.33 476.82 5722
51K 881027 4.625% 135 8401.80 486.35 5836
55K 877027 4.625% 135 8363.65 524.50 6294
75K 857027 4.625% 135 8172.92 715.23 8583
100K 832027 4.625% 135 7934.51 953.64 11444

Sunday’s Sermon, October 6, 2019

…from Worship at Good Sam on October 6, 2019

Lessons: Habakkuk 1:1-4;2:1-4, Psalm 37:1-9, 2 Timothy 1:1-14, Luke 17:5-10

Sermon: “Acting on Our Identity and Doing the Right Thing”

Prayer: Benevolent, merciful God: When we are empty, fill us. When we are weak in faith, strengthen us. When we are cold in love, warm us, that with fervor we may love our neighbors and serve them for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

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

Last Day to Purchase Octoberfest Tickets – Oct. 13

The castle is built, the scavenger hunt is complete, the beer and recipes are chosen all we need is to know you are coming!

October 13 is the last day to purchase tickets for the Octoberfest which will be held on Sunday, October 20 after Sunday School in the Fellowship Hall. A meal of bratwurst and fixings is $15  and a hot dog meal is $5. There is an additional cost if you wish to have a beer, so please bring cash or check. Tickets are on sale in the Fellowship Hall.