Member In Mission: Thanksgiving for the Church Office Volunteers
This month we are very thankful for our Office Volunteers. They help keep the office running by keeping records straight, worship slides updated, bulletins printed, letters folded, articles proofread, and so many countless unseen tasks! The volunteers who give of their time and talents are all such a joy to be around and bring life and energy as they weekly come in to work. We’d like to spotlight the 4 women who are currently regular volunteers: Deb Jones, Kim Bohrer, Sue Venendaal, & Jennifer Lilyquist.
Deb Jones and her husband, Dave, moved to the area in 2000 for her husband’s job. She was born and raised Lutheran, so when they moved here she searched for an ELCA congregation and found Good Sam. They are from Pennsylvania and Deb still travels back often to visit with family. Deb attended services quietly for 11 years before she finally joined the congregation! Shortly after, in 2012, she found herself volunteering in the office and has done so ever since. She faithfully makes sure that the slides are updated for worship services and that the church records are updated, among other things. You might have also seen Deb up front singing with the choir or at a Women’s Bible Study. She is always willing to participate in small group outreach and events and fills in as a sub on altar guild. Back when we had a parking lot food pantry event, she pitched in and has given rides and prepared meals for others in need. Most recently, she has spent time with a neighbor suffering from Alzheimer’s. Thank you, Deb, for your example of what it means to be a Good Samaritan.
Kim Bohrer and her husband, Gerald, are originally from Baltimore and also found their way to the area for a job in 2006. It was a sudden career change for her husband and a blessing for them as a door was opened by God, housing provided, and they were able to turn their home in Baltimore over to their son who was expecting his first child. All the pieces fell into place in God’s perfect timing and they found themselves living off Great Mills Road and Good Sam was literally the closest church. Kim was raised Methodist, but she felt that Good Sam was a close knit community when she visited and she enjoyed coming. When they moved here Kim didn’t know anyone, and while it’s still hard living farther away from her 2 grandkids, she loves connecting with kids and new friends here at Good Sam. In addition to coming every Thursday to help in the office and spot clean the church, she plugged in with Stitching Sisters, co-teaches 3rd/4th grade Sunday School, previously helped in the nursery, and quietly steps in to volunteer with fellowship and other events where she can. Thank you, Kim, for your quiet strength and willing service as a true Good Samaritan away from home.
Sue Venendaal and her late husband, Bon, moved to St. Mary’s County with their family in 1989 when her husband took a lead engineer position at the Calvert gas plant. In 1995, she lost her husband to cancer and began her search for a Lutheran Church and for healing. Sue found our then small congregation and got involved right away. She joined small groups and Bible studies, led fellowship for many years, and participated in the early church governing body of the church. Throughout this time, she taught in special education and retired in 2010 with 22 years of service in this community. At Good Sam she continues to serve on the Altar Guild and as a fellowship lead and attends the Women of Faith Bible Study. You will find her in the church office every Wednesday preparing the worship binders, children’s bulletins and making sure readers have their lessons! In 2007, Sue found her way onto the board of the St. Mary’s Caring Soup Kitchen and is still on the board as Good Sam’s representative. After retirement, she added a new role and started out serving on Thursdays at the soup kitchen, then cooking, and now is Lead for Thursday meals. Thank you, Sue, for letting this congregation come alongside you in your healing process while you continue to be a light and heal others as a Good Samaritan.
Jennifer Lilyquist, her husband, Ian, and their kids, James & Joey, just moved here in January 2019. Originally from Wisconsin, Jen grew up Lutheran, so she is familiar with looking up churches on ELCA.org, which is how they found Good Sam. They rolled into town on Saturday evening and came to service Sunday morning! Ian’s Navy career has taken them to Pensacola; San Antonio; Rota, Spain; Whidbey Island; Hawai’i; Norfolk; Hawai’i again; Newport, RI; North Carolina; and now Pax River. When you move as often as they do, you have to jump right in and meet people. After coming for a while, Jen sat down with Pastor and talked about needs of the church and where she could get involved. Looking for a helpful job she could do from home, proofreading church publications as an extra set of eyes was brought up, and although she had never proofread officially before, she saw the need and jumped in. She is also a part of the Mocha Morning Bible Study group and became the co-teacher for 1st/2nd grade Sunday School. In the community, she is active in her squadron military spouses’ club and donates blood whenever she can. Thank you, Jennifer, for your joyful and full of life attitude – ready to jump in and be a Good Samaritan whenever and wherever you are called.