Open your heart and home to a Lutheran exchange student from Germany for the coming 2015-2016 school year!
Sharing the life of an American host family and going to school contributes to a better world understanding and is an unforgettable experience for both the student and the host family. American students benefit from meeting foreign students.
Volunteer host families (with or without children) as well as single people are needed to provide food, a bed and a loving home for the coming school year, one or two semesters, starting in August. EMF students have medical insurance, spending money for their personal expenses and expect to share their host family’s daily life including household responsibilities. They speak English, are well-screened and eager to experience life in America. Their stay here is sponsored and supervised by EMF (Educational Merit Foundation), a non-profit, educational exchange program. It is not too late to apply. For more information on EMF students, please call Marie-Claude Dijoud now at 1-800-467-8363 or visit our web site at www.emfusa.org
Thank you very much for your help! These students are anxious to learn that a home has been found for them. Your contribution to this cause is most appreciated. Please help us make their dream come true!
Marie-Claude Dijoud, Program Director
In my early days as a pastor I would try to get all my office work done during my office hours. It became a challenge almost immediately because I couldn’t seem to sit and focus on my writing or reading when the phone would ring or someone would stop by and want to visit. I couldn’t figure out how to get my office work done in the allotted time with all the interruptions! Then one day it occurred to me that all those interruptions were my job! The busyness of the other stuff was clearly not more important than the person right in front of me. I simply had to learn to keep first things first in my work.
Learning to have time for our neighbors is a similar challenge. It is so easy to miss the opportune encounter that passes in front of us if we think it’s not our job, not important, not what we are about – simply an interruption. Mission Focus for me is learning to see each encounter, every person who passes before me as a potential place where God would invite me to be alive, present, and actively listening and caring.
No, I can’t engage every passerby or every situation before me. Yet, learning to carry a mindfulness of each as it occurs living the question, “Is God inviting me to engage here?” really is a critical step in being mission focused. Good Sam, part of being Good Samaritans in our everyday lives is noticing the strangers to are alongside the paths we travel. Won’t you join me in practicing this mindfulness and active neighboring we call “Mission Focus?”
Do you have a purpose to your life of faith? Perhaps you have a sense of how God uses you to accomplish God’s work in the world around you? At Good Samaritan we have a mission and finding our mission will certainly invite us to imagine where we might discover God’s working in our lives and in our lives with others. Let’s begin with a picture, an image that can speak to us about God working among us?
Imagine if you will the cross of Jesus. We sometimes say that the vertical beam is God reaching down into our lives to connect, renew and enliven us. We say the horizontal beam then, is our reaching out to others with the hope; reconciliation and friendship of God, as we try to love our neighbors as Jesus love them. The Cross of Jesus is not simply about his death and resurrection, but also about our new life and hope in Christ.
Imagine with me that our faith lives are a journey on which we are seeking to discover the presence and activity of God. This road we travel is a journey of discovery. So we are always looking for those moments along the way when we can see the cross clearly. One of the discoveries of the early church was that God provided encounter after encounter with people where God’s activity was discovered. Often these encounters were with people no one expected to shire forth with God’s working; Philip met the Ethiopian, Paul and Silas met Lydia, Peter met Cornelius. This is the reason I like to say, “Jesus is best discovered in Community.”
In the image above you can see the road before you. It is leading toward the Cross of Jesus. Also along the way, you will intersect with other roads; have contact with others on a journey of faith. Curiously, it is in those intersections that the Cross appears and the work of God becomes visible in our lives and experiences.
Notice that the Cross in this image is on a gold background. The brightness of the sun and the resilience of the Kingdom of God shine here on the horizon. They draw us toward the work that God will do in our lives and in the connections we have with others. Notice the fields on the left and right of the road we travel. Purple is the color of Lenten color in which we focus on our walking in faith toward Easter. Green is the Season of Epiphany and of the Sundays after Pentecost, in which we think about the manifestation of God among us. These are the seasons of growth and seasons in which we emphasize our journey in discovering God and seeking to learn from the teachings of Jesus.
As we talk about, illustrate, imagine and point toward our mission together in the coming weeks and months, we hope this image might begin to invite, encourage, awaken and spur us on toward those intersections in our lives where our encounters with others become a place where God’s activity is visible among us. Where do you see God working in your life? Where is God making use of you in the lives of others? These intersections will certainly be along your journey to the cross.
Join us each Sunday in April as we explore these images and experiences as we focus on our mission, purpose and journeys of faith together.
Mental Health First Aid USA Retreat
Mental Health First Aid USA teaches participants the risk factors and warning signs of a variety of mental health challenges, including anxiety, depression, psychosis, AD/HD, exposure to trauma and substance abuse disorder. Participants do not learn to diagnose, nor how to provide any therapy or counseling; rather, participants learn a core five-step action plan to support a person developing signs and symptoms of mental illness or in an emotional crisis.
Mental Health First Aid USA has been successfully offered to a variety of audiences, including hospital staff, employers, business leaders, faith communities, law enforcement, educators, and the general public. Upon successful completion of this program, participants will receive certification in Mental Health First Aid. Trainers are certified trainers of Mental Health First Aid USA and represent local organizations: Walden and On Our Own of St. Mary’s. For more information about this program, please contact Laura Webb, Recovery Support Services Director, Walden Sierra at 301-997-1300 x 804 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
**CHANGE OF LOCATION (effective Fri. 3/13)
Because of a major marathon in D.C. Saturday, the location of the Rev. Mark Brown’s talk has been moved.
Humanitarian Assistance and Prospects for Peace in the Holy Land
Saturday March 14 at 10 a.m. (Coffee and cookies will be served.)
St. Luke Lutheran Church at 9100 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring, MD 20910
(Plenty of parking; walking distance from Silver Spring Metro Stop on Red Line.)
Rev. Mark Brown is the Lutheran World Federation Regional Representative in Jerusalem. On Saturday, March 14 at 10 am, Rev. Brown will speak about Augusta Victoria Hospital and other LWF Humanitarian services, East Jerusalem and the peace process.
Location: Lutheran Church of the Reformation on Capitol Hill (212 East Capitol Street NE, Washington, DC 20003)
More information available in the flyer below:
One of Good Sam’s college students, Kelly N., invites you to partner with her when she travels in a few weeks:
“Beginning March 23, 2015 I will be going to a service trip in the Dominican Republic through my university, Virginia Tech. This week-long engineering based service trip will focus on constructing a health clinic. My group will work alongside Solid Rock International, a Christian non-profit organization focusing on the well-being of people in the Dominican Republic. Any prayers and support would be greatly appreciated as I prepare for this journey! I will also be collecting school supplies to take with me for kids in the Dominican Republic, if you would like to contribute. Thank you!”
Kelly will also make a short presentation during worship on March 8. Come and hear about her trip!
With the Lenten season upon us, many folks prefer to eat seafood on Fridays as a Lenten tradition or sacrifice. “Our Daily Bread” Food Pantry would like to focus on collecting cans/pouches of tuna as a way of supporting our neighbors in their Lenten journey. Additionally, the usual donated items needed include peanut butter & jelly, canned meats, canned fruit, pasta sauce, and cereals. Your continued support is greatly appreciated.