Member In Mission John Scheffler
by. Kelly Thurber
John Scheffler was one of the very first people who talked with me and connected with me when we first visited Good Sam. I seemed to see him everywhere! As I started to get more involved at church his name popped up as the point of contact or as a good person to talk to about their experience over and over again. How much can one person be involved in? Turns out when you retire and choose a path of “Professional Volunteer” you can be involved in quite a lot. It’s not about how much he can do though, it’s about a calling and openness to give small amounts of his time that make a big impact.
John moved to the area in 1997 with the Navy, bringing his wife Cyndi and their two girls Carol & Amy, who are now grown and married. Having been baptized and raised in the Lutheran Church and even attending Lutheran elementary and high schools, each duty station they sought a Lutheran Church. So when they moved to Pax, John pulled out the best 90’s technology for finding a church – the phone book! He found Good Samaritan and was given the rather cryptic instructions of where to find it in Millison Plaza: “in the basement under the restaurant, next to the art studio” (ok, so it was really under a bar & beside a tattoo parlor). Read More.
After his retirement from the Navy in 2005, he spent the next 9 years as a contractor. Following the passing of his wife Cyndi in 2013, he began looking for an alternate career, and in 2014 he left his job and chose to become a professional volunteer serving his community. John and his family were first introduced to Hospice as his wife spent her last weeks there. This experience led John to a passion for health care advocacy and eventually landed him on the St. Mary’s Hospice Board. Every week he spends a couple hours in the office helping with admin tasks. He also helps with their annual events such as the Run & Fun Walk fundraiser, Festival of Trees, and Camp Sunrise for kids who have experienced losses . His very first volunteer experience was helping with this camp in 2014, and he subsequently has had the privilege of presenting veteran’s honor certificates and occasionally serving specific Hospice patients.
From Choir to Men’s Word & Prayer Bible Study to Finance Team – John has been active at Good Sam in these quiet roles for decades, but he is also instrumental in several other programs in the church and community as well. Although he doesn’t remember exactly how he initially became involved with the Saint Mary’s Caring Soup Kitchen, over time he answered more requests to volunteer and is now the lead volunteer for Good Sam’s monthly 3rd Saturday breakfast at the soup kitchen – planning the meal and coordinating volunteers in cooking and serving . He is always happy to welcome new volunteers who have an interest in checking it out. Those three hours on one Saturday each month feed dozens of men, women and children.
If you don’t have a middle schooler, you may not know that John is also the co-lead for Confirmation with Jennifer Normyle. Each week John uses his gifts to connect with and guide our kids through confirmation topics! But John’s love of working with youth also extends to his participation in the reading tutoring program at Carver Elementary (a partnership started by Gennifer Koebke 3 years ago with the Title 1 school that serves Good Sam’s neighborhood). He continues to go for one hour every Thursday morning to work with students on their reading and gets to share in the joy of reaching their goals as their skills and confidence improve. After traveling to Guatemala last fall, he enjoyed using his very rudimentary Spanish to talk with a student in both Spanish and English.
Thank you John for your servant heart and cheerful spirit and for sharing your personal journey into mission.
Sermon: “From Palm to Passion”
Prayer: Everlasting God, in your endless love for the human race you sent our Lord Jesus Christ to take on our nature and to suffer death on the cross. In your mercy enable us to share in his obedience to your will and in the glorious victory of his resurrection, 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.
Our Daily Bread Food Pantry was blessed recently in receiving over $2700 worth of food donated by the group of Patuxent Dental, Dr. Khanna in Hollywood, Dr. Schneider Orthodontics in California, and Bollywood Masalain California. This donation is providing a huge augmentation to our weekly food supply and is greatly appreciated. We appreciate all who partner with Our Daily Bread Food Pantry at Good Samaritan Lutheran Church.
For some time now, we have had a screen to help us in worship. We project songs and lyrics, we put up images that help us imagine the message, and we play videos that illustrate a sermon point or play a YouTube song that helps us appreciate the words. It was an adjustment. But it also helps us look up, see each other and it even helps us sing and think about the words we sing.
Imagine now, how a monitor or screen in each entryway and in the fellowship hall might help us announce the activities for the day, give directions in our building, play videos or slide shows that illustrate our ministry, our life together and our mission and purpose at Good Sam. Soon we hope to have a 40 inch TV / monitor inside our hallway near each outside entrance. They will help give directions inside the building, play announcement slides and on occasion show pictures and slides of our ministry together. Certainly we will have a learning curve about how to use them helpfully rather than simply add clutter, but there is great potential in this opportunity.
In the Fellowship hall we plan to have a 50 inch TV / monitor above he whiteboard. We imagine using this to play visual announcements, but we will also be able to play movies, videos, play PowerPoint shows and more. It will be as versatile audio visual addition to our fellowship hall events and activities whenever such a tool is helpful.
In the coming weeks watch for these monitors in our building and help us learn what opportunities for using this new tool will help express our life together and add to our gatherings. Certainly, we might overdo it on occasion; we hope you will tell us about these times as well.
Hello Good Sam Members and Attenders!
This Sunday, April 7th, council will be holding it’s first quarterly information session immediately after church. Prior to fellowship, we will take 10 minutes to update you on things that council is working on, building happenings, and budget. There will be an opportunity for questions and further discussion during coffee and conversation should you chose to dive deeper. For our Sunday School teachers, there will be an opportunity for discussion between 11:30 and Noon.
This is an attempt to keep communications open throughout the year; therefore, if you can, please plan to stay in your seats for just 10 minutes after service and join council during Coffee and Conversations.
We are continually looking for ways to communicate that are helpful and meaningful for you as we journey together in this place. Please let us know if this is a good way to accomplish that goal. Your feedback is important.
President of Council
Sermon: “Applying the Art of Love and Mercy”
Prayer: God of compassion, you welcome the wayward, and you embrace us all with your mercy. By our baptism clothe us with garments of your grace, and feed us at the table of your love, 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.
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.
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.
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)