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Preview: Lessons for Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018

Download Lent1.pdf (656KB)

“Everything Happens for a Reason (and other Lies I’ve Loved)” by Kate Bowler

Dear Friends 

I have always thought that asking questions of your faith, about how it is alive in you was the point of the Lenten Season.  I just haven’t figured out how eating fish on Friday or giving up watermelon for the season would really have much of an impact of whether I loved or trusted God.  I wonder how my faith can be real enough to help me parent meaningfully and love my neighbor in a way that is pleasing to God and helps me grow as a person.  I am always looking for tools that will help me further or deepen my learning to love God with all my heart and mind and strength.  I don’t think it is surprising that I found a conversation partner in a Divinity School Professor (assistant professor).  It doesn’t surprise me that she is bright, witty and shares from the heart easily.  But I am deeply grateful that she is a parent of a two (now three) year old and that she can write and speak from places of great joy and deep pain in her life.  I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that this thirtysomething writer is facing the ravages of stage IV cancer treatment.  But what does surprise me is that Kate Bowler can write, speak, blog and engage some of the toughest veneers that our cultures has to offer and invite us into a deeper, honest and unvarnished beauty that loving God can fill us with while we yet live in this challenging world.

So this Lenten Season, I invite you to walk this journey with me and with Kate Bowler as we read together her book about facing life, faith and the way the world is through her book “Everything Happens for a Reason: and Other Lies I have Loved.”  So, Here is my challenge to you for Lent.

1)  Get the book (Here, if that helps).

2) Join us in class.  We’ll meet at Good Sam, right after Vespers (6:30 pm) for the five Wednesdays in Lent at 7:00 pm beginning February 21.

3) Check out Kate’s blog, you might actually enjoy her writing style.

4) And finally, bring your faith with you and be ready to further your journey of inviting God to walk with you through this challenging world as it is.

I am so excited to walk this walk with you.  Here is a great motto for living in faith:  Hard times are best endured together.


February Highlights

Good Sam Happenings

February 4 [Sunday Theme] “As You Wish”

◊ February 7  Wednesday Church Night continues

February 11  [Sunday Theme] “The Glory of God in the Face of Christ”

             Check out Kate Bowler’s new book “Everything Happens for a Reason: and other Lies I’ve loved”

◊ February 14th  Ash Wednesday Service   7 pm  (No classes this week)

February 18  [Sunday Theme] “Lenten Journeying”  and the Baptism of Spencer Allen Dafler

◊ February 21   Wednesday Church Night

     5:30 pm Soup and Bread Supper (all welcome)

     6:30 pm Lenten Vespers (Joyous Light)

     7:00 pm  Classes Begin

          1) “Everything Happens for a Reason, and other Lies I’ve loved” with Pastor Mitch

          2) “Luther: Renegade and Prophet” with Pastor Carlsen

February 25  [Sunday Theme] “Faith Must Remake Us”

◊  February 28   Wednesday Church Night

     5:30 pm Soup and Bread Supper (all welcome)

     6:30 pm Lenten Vespers (Joyous Light)

     7:00 pm  Classes Begin

          1) “Everything Happens for a Reason, and other Lies I’ve loved” with Pastor Mitch

          2) “Luther: Renegade and Prophet” with Pastor Carlsen

Preview: Lessons for Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018

Download Feb-11-2018.pdf (3.18MB)

Download Feb-11-2018-page-2.pdf (2.76MB)

Early Publication Of Sunday Lessons Can Add to Lenten Journey

Sisters and Brothers,
The Season of Lent will soon be among us (Feb 14).  Many of us are familiar and used to the activity of giving something up for Lent. We call it Lenten Denial. I commend you to the activities you know and trust that feed your souls in this time of Journeying to the Cross, but may I also invite you into another opportunity during this season?  What would it be like to read and ponder the lessons for each Sunday a few days before we gather for Worship and a few days after those lessons have been the center of our gathering in Worship?  Wouldn’t this be a great way to add to our experience of God walking with us though Lent and into Easter?To aid you in this effort, we are publishing the lessons for each Sunday on our website Wednesday of each week.  You can also connect to them through this email newsletter, “Connections @ Good Sam.”  You will also be able to find them in a separate printed document as you walk into Worship on Sunday or when you come to Wednesday Night Vespers.

The publication of the lessons for each Sunday will include an “Introduction to the Day of Worship,” the “Prayer of the Day” for that Sunday and an “Introduction to each Lesson and it’s context.”  Now you can take the lessons with you to worship and take them with you from worship.  You can prepare your mind and heart to hear the Word on Sunday and reflect upon the Word after you have experienced it among the community gathered.

Here is a link to the first compilation of Sunday Lessons for this Sunday on Transfiguration of Our Lord, February 11. Join us on Ash Wednesday Feb. 14 and for the First Sunday of Lent on February 18. Don’t for get that Lenten Vespers begin on February 21 with Soup and bread at 5:30 P.M. and Lenten Vespers at 6:30 P.M. each Wednesday in Lent (Feb. 21-March 21).

  –Pastor Mitch

January Highlights

Good Sam Happenings

December 31 [Sunday Theme] “Manger Signs”

January 3 No Wednesday Church Night this week!

January 7  [Sunday Theme] “Heralds of Life and Vessels of God’s Working”

January 10  Wednesday Church Night returns

            Vespers @ 6:30 pm (with JRP)

            Classes begin at 7 pm (Join us for “The Shack” Jan 10-31)

January 14  [Sunday Theme] “What Draws You To Christ?”

January 17  Wednesday Church Night

            Vespers @ 6:30 pm (with JRP)

            Classes begin at 7 pm (Join us for “The Shack” Jan 10-31)

January 21  [Sunday Theme] “The Spirit of “I Am All In””

January 24  Wednesday Church Night

            Vespers @ 6:30 pm (with JRP)

            Classes begin at 7 pm (Join us for “The Shack” Jan 10-31)

January 28  [Sunday Theme] “As You Wish”

 January 31  Wednesday Church Night

            Vespers @ 6:30 pm (with JRP)

            Classes begin at 7 pm (Join us for “The Shack” Jan 10-31)

Good Sam Opens Office Manager Position

Good Sam has a opening for a part-time Office Manager/ Administrative Assistant for the church office. We’ll be collecting resumes until January 19, 2018 or until the position is filled. The following is the complete job description for the part-time job.

Job Title:  Office Manager /Administrative Assistant


16 hours weekly, normally 8:30 to 12:30 M-Th; $12+/hr. commensurate with experience and ability

 Job Summary

This position involves a variety of duties to support Good Samaritan Lutheran Church and the Pastor. Includes providing a physical presence in the front office during office hours, serving as receptionist, screening/directing phone calls, producing printed materials, assisting/leading volunteers, performing some bookkeeping duties, managing database, updating communication outlets and maintaining supplies. This person must maintain a clean, hospitable and well-organized work environment.  This position is important to the overall operation of the office and church ministries.


  • Directly works under the supervision of the Pastor.
  • Indirectly works with all members of the staff/volunteers and key leaders.


  • Ability to operate office machines (computer, copier, telephone system, etc.)
  • Proficient computer skills (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Internet, Word Press and Mail Chimp experience helpful, but will train)
  • Database management (Power Church); but will train
  • QuickBooks (basic experience helpful – will train)
  • Internet experience and social media experience
  • Multitask with ease
  • Ability to organize and prioritize assignments
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Superior written and oral communication skills
  • Telephone etiquette
  • Church experience preferred
  • Ability to maintain Confidentiality

 Areas of Responsibility

  • Office machines, supplies and processes
  • Database and Membership Information
  • Communication (including:  Calendar maintenance and Building Use processes; Coordinate News Feed among Website, Connections @ Good Sam and The Grapevine and other publications like Events and Activities Brochure; Update Webpage, Social Media posts and other advertising)
  • Light Bookkeeping (including: Pay bills, Log deposits, Prepare reports)
  • Worship and Music (including: Produce Sunday Bulletins [normally seasonally]; Report Hymn usage and attention to copyright requirements; Maintain Planning Center for Worship Services; Coordinate PowerPoint development for Worship; Update and maintain the Volunteers for Worship process)
  • Other duties and project as assigned

Salary Benefits

This is a part-time position. Hourly wage will be determined based on education and experience. Hours per week are 16– M-Th, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm, with occasional need for some extra hours per week.  Office closed Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, July 4, Labor Day, Memorial Day, MLK Day, Veteran’s Day. Since this is a part time position, there is no paid vacation or sick leave.

There is a probationary period of 6 months.  If you feel you need to leave within that time period or we feel that you are not the right fit for the position you may leave or be asked to leave with no questions asked. At the end of the period you will be reviewed and eligible for a raise.

To Apply

Resume, cover letters and inquiries can be directed to

Good Samaritan Lutheran Church

20850 Langley Rd

Lexington Park, MD 20653

Phone: 301-863-4740

December Highlights

Good Sam Happenings

December 3  [Sunday Theme] “Signs of the Coming Son”

December 6  Wednesday Church Night turns to Advent

            Advent Suppers 5:30 pm

            Vespers @ 6:30 pm (Holden Vespers)

            Classes begin at 7 pm

December 10  [Sunday Theme] “Preparing the Way”

December 13  Wednesday Church Night

            Advent Suppers 5:30 pm

            Vespers @ 6:30 pm (Holden Vespers)

            Classes begin at 7 pm

December 17  [Sunday Theme] “All Congregation Christmas Pageant”

December 20  Wednesday Church Night

            Advent Suppers 5:30 pm

            Vespers @ 6:30 pm (Holden Vespers)

            Classes begin at 7 pm

December 24  [Sunday Theme] “Making Room for a Birth, a Baby and New Life”



5 pm Service for families and fun.

8 pm Traditional Candlelight Service 


December 27 ◊ (No Wednesday Church Night activities) Christmas Holidays

December 31 [Sunday Theme] “Manger Signs” (Lessons and Carols for Christmas)


November Hightlights

Good Sam Happenings

November 1 ◊ Wednesday Church Night [worship theme] “The Peace of God’

November 5 [Sunday Theme] “All Saints Sunday”

November 8 ◊ Wednesday Church Night [worship theme] “Forgiveness (God’s Activity)”

November 12 [Sunday Theme] “Conclusion of Fall Focus: Pray for and Nurture”

November 12 ◊ Good Samaritan Annual Meeting 10:30 am in the Sanctuary with: (Election of New Council Members, Budget for 2018, reports on 2017 and preview of 2018 ministry efforts).  All Members are requested to attend.

November 15 Wednesday Church Night [worship theme] “Forgiving Others”

November 19 [Sunday Theme] “23rd Sunday after Pentecost”

November 22 ◊ (No Wednesday Church Night activities) Thanksgiving Eve

November 23 ◊ Thanksgiving Day

November 26 [Sunday Theme] “Christ the King”

November 29 Wednesday Church Night [worship theme] “Forgiving Myself”


Wednesday Church Night turns to Advent beginning on Dec. 6

            Advent Suppers 5:30 pm

            Vespers @ 6:30 pm (Holden Vespers)

            Classes begin at 7 pm


Empty Nester Group Plan Wine Tasting Nov. 3

Join the Empty Nesters for a Wine Tasting on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017

Sip artisan wines amongst friends, and discover your new favorite sparkling, white, and red varietals. Join us for a tour of fine regional wines at the Kowalik’s home! Our guide, Andrea Daniels of WineShop at Home, will bring the vineyards to us, pairing artisan wines with light appetizers as she walks us through each tasting.  We look forward to a fun, refreshing evening with our friends and to start some early Christmas shopping. Please RSVP to Diane Hay as soon as possible so we can reserve a glass for you. The first pour will be at 7:15 P.M.—you’ll want to arrive on time and be ready to taste every last drop!

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