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Awesome Coffee and Conversation this past Sunday!

There were many who participated in our discussion on mental health this past Sunday.  It was exciting to hear the experiences and begin to explore the possibilities as we address this issue in both our Good  Sam and extended communities. We all agreed that mental health and wellness can look very different. Everything from mild depression and burn-out to conditions that would benefit from medical intervention.  There is a plethora of illness that fall within the mental health criteria.

One of the suggestions from our discussion was to further explore specific symptoms and how they manifest. For example; anxiety, bipolar, depression, manic depression, and so on. This is an important topic.  In order to properly serve those who are having difficulty we must first recognize the signs. This will be the topic of our next coffee and conversation on Sunday, May 19th.  I encourage anyone who has experience with these or other conditions to please join us and offer your expertise.  

As we dive into this topic further, I’d like to begin to formulate an action plan using some of the ideas presented in our discussion. These suggestions included:  Stephen Ministers, Support Groups, Small Groups, Special Prayer Time, Getting People Connected and Printed Resources.  Some of these could be initiated quickly while others will take more time and training.  If there are some of you willing to take on one of these efforts and begin to coordinate, we could have something in place by the fall.  It really does take a village. If we all work together, we truly can walk with each other and ALL of our neighbors in a meaningful way.

Council President Gail Wathen

Sunday’s Sermon, May 12, 2019

…from Worship at Good Sam on May 12, 2019

Lessons: Acts 9:36-43, Psalm 23, Revelation 7:9-17, John 10:22-30

Sermon: “A Message From Pastor Craig Endicott”

Prayer: O God of peace, you brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great shepherd of the sheep. By the blood of your eternal covenant, make us complete in everything good that we may do your will, and work among us all that is well-pleasing in your sight, 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 John’s Gospel.

Member in Mission: Karol Carlsen

Karol’s Senior project is a painting in three parts. Each panel of the tri-panel painting is a 5 x 7 foot standalone painting and when they are joined together that complete a fuller expression of the experience she is reading to replicate, imagine and share.

Often artists will create their paintings from photos to help them remember the images, detail and connections to create a collage of the experience. For this project Karol’s method was to skip using photos and try to capture the experience, the mood, the feeling of the setting, rather than copy the photographed environment. This way she is painting from her emotions and her memory of the feelings rather than anything she has particularly observed. Her effort is to convey a synthesis of the experiences and moods she invites people to step into. Karol is heading to Graduate School in July to Maine College of Art’s, Masters in the Art of Teaching Program.

Karol grew up at Good Sam and in the last three years Karol has been our Lead Staff Member in charge of Nursery Care. She has provided a caring, engaging, welcoming and learning environment where she has often used her art experience to invite the nursery children to express themselves. We look forward to celebrating her work among us on June 30, 2019 following the worship service.

Do you have a Graduate in your household? Let the office (office@goodsam.community) know and share some of the details around their accomplishments and plans for the future. We hope to publish a Graduates list in early June.

Pastor Mitch on respite from May 8th – June 8th, 2019

Greetings Good Sam!

I pray this letter finds you all in good health and enjoying the new life that is bursting forth in spring. As we look around in amazement and wonder at the beauty that is a result of a long winter’s rest, it reminds us that we too need rest in order to shine our brightest. It is for this reason that Pastor Mitch and the Mutual Ministry Team have decided it would be a good time for our pastor to take some respite and care for himself. After ten years of faithful service, pastor has been feeling the need to rest, re-charge and do some continuing education work, so that he may continue to give us his best. The Mutual Ministry Team agreed and have made arrangements for supply pastors who will serve from May 12th through June 2nd. Please welcome Pastor Craig Endicott and Pastor Eva Steege who will be filling in one or more of the next few Sundays. Pastor Mitch will return on Sunday, June 9th (Pentecost/Confirmation Sunday). During his absence, all will continue to function as usual. Iman Syler will be in the office Monday through Thursday each week from 9am – Noon. She and I will be in communication daily and anything that would normally go through Pastor Mitch will be addressed by us. If there is a need for pastoral care outside of normal church office hours, I am available to take calls.

While pastor takes this time to do some self-care, I will be organizing our coffee and conversations on Sunday mornings. Since the month of May is Mental Health Awareness month, it seems appropriate that we begin to discuss opportunities and resources in caring for mental health among our friends, family and congregation. Mental health can involve everything from recognizing the need for self-care to understanding specific challenges that come up in our community. How do we respond? What signs can we be alert to? Is there a way to care for these individuals? Is there a way to care for ourselves? When is intervention needed? As we look at these questions and dive into the topic, I invite you to bring your questions, experiences, concerns, and whatever else this topic brings forth in you. Perhaps we can begin to shape a ministry opportunity here at Good Sam.

Thank you all for your continued support in ministry at Good Sam. We truly have a unique family who faithfully serve each other and our community. It is a blessing to be among you. As our pastor takes this brief period of respite, let us all join and lift him in prayer that he may find the rest and renewal he needs to continue as a faithful servant of God among us.

Peace and Blessings,
Gail Wathen
Council President
Cell: 240-298-0041

Sunday’s Sermon, May 5, 2019

…from Worship at Good Sam on May 5, 2019

Lessons: Acts 9:1-6, Psalm 30, Revelation 5:11-14, John 21: 1-19

Sermon: “Easter Conversion: New Life Means Choices”

Prayer: Eternal and all-merciful God, with all the angels and all the saints we laud your majesty and might. By the resurrection of your Son, show yourself to us and inspire us to follow 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 John’s Gospel.

Springtime is here!

Spring is a busy time at Good Sam.  Please seek out those who are faithfully working to shape our ministry together and thank them!

The Empty Nesters gathered to have their fellowship activity and at the same time work on the beds in our parking lot.  They cleaned out the beds in front of the SS rooms, and two island beds in the parking lot. One of them in group was heard to saying:  It really is restoring to get your hand in the soil and work along with others in the process.

Eat and Play Fellowship met to rake, edged and cleaned up around the playground area.  It looks the best it has for a couple of years now. Anyone have a good idea how to deal with the pea gravel that spills out onto the sidewalk.  We need a better entry / exit in and out of the playground to hold the Pea Gravel inside the fenced area?

John Jewell did a major mowing right before Easter.  Thanks John for helping us keep things looking good here even while you are still recovering for health challenges.

Fred Benton mowed the Lawn this week.  You might not know but Fred likes to come around almost every week and look for things that need attention on our property.  He recently noticed that our drainage pond near St. Mary’s Caring is in need of erosion repair. Without this kind of attention to detail we would never be able to keep us with all our property needs.  Thanks Fred.

Cameron Willy asked to do his Eagle Project by cleaning out the drainage retention ponds.  His team cleaned out the two ponds on the Great Mills side of our Parking Lot. They did a great job and that is hard and messy work.  We still need to clear out the pond the Disciples Den side of our parking lot; hopefully we can gather a team to take care of that this November.

Thanks to the Fellowship Teams who have consistently provide great food and treats during fellowship time and hosted a great Easter Sunday Brunch.  They have been busy for some time now with extra activities like our Wednesday Soup Suppers we held during March and April for Lent. Of course don’t forget the New Member reception this last Sunday as well.  Thanks to you all, Good Sam Fellowship teams for your faithful work (they are led by Ginger Latyak, Sue Venendaal and Edna Allen) .

Our Sunday School Teachers are nearing the end of another great year of teaching our children.  Thanks to Mary Dickinson who is organized and untiringly leads this important ministry. Don’t Miss Teacher Appreciation Sunday on June 2nd during Worship.

June will be Congratulate our Graduated Month.  We would like to publish a list of those Graduating from schools and programs of any kind and as our High School Graduates are in Worship in June we would like to invite them forward to hear about their HS careers and what plans await them this fall. If you have a family member graduating this season, please let the office know; office@goodsam.community .

Pastor Mitch Watney

May Highlights

Good Sam Happenings in May

* May 4 Mother Daughter Tea

May 5 [Sunday Theme] “Easter Conversion: New Life Means New Choices”

May 12 [Sunday Theme] “My Own Know Me”

* May 13 @ Sweet Frog 4-9, support our Puerto Rico Mission Trip

May 19 [Sunday Theme]  “A Message from Rev. Eva Steege” (Year-end SS celebration)

May 26 [Sunday Theme“Have You Had An Advocate?  It’s Cool!”  (No SS)

(Summer Schedule begins today (5/26) and Worship Starts at 9:30 am)

Easter Sunday’s Sermon, April 21, 2019

…from Worship at Good Sam on April 21, 2019, Easter Sunday

Lessons: Acts 10:34-43, Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24, 1 Corinthians 15:19-26, Luke 24:1-12

Sermon: “As Passover Finishes, Easter Begins”

Prayer: O God, you gave your only Son to suffer death on the cross for our redemption, and by his glorious resurrection you delivered us from the power of death. Make us die every day to sin, that we may live with him forever in the joy of the resurrection, through your Son, Jesus Christ our 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.

Member in Mission: John Scheffler

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.

Palm Sunday’s Sermon, April 19, 2019

…from Worship at Good Sam on April 14, 2019, Palm Sunday

Lessons: Isaiah 50:4-9a, Psalm 31:9-16, Philippians 2:5-11, Luke 23:1-49

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.

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