Prayer: Holy God, our strength and our redeemer, by your Spirit hold us forever, that through your grace we may worship you and faithfully serve you, follow you and joyfully find you, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
Hello Good Samaritans! Time is quickly approaching when we will once again be host to our homeless brothers and sisters. Our week this year begins on Sunday, March 5th and concludes on Sunday, March 12th. Many of you are familiar with the program but for those of you who are not, W.A.R.M. is an ecumenical ministry in which local churches house and feed the homeless during the cold winter months between November and April. For one week, the guests will stay at the church between the hours of 5:30 pm to 7 am where they will receive dinner, a warm place to sleep, and breakfast. These guests are pre-screened prior to entering the program and are a blessing to get to know.
With our week approaching, there will be several volunteer opportunities that will be posted in the Fellowship Hall. They range from monitor positions, preparing and serving meals, setting up, tearing down, and delivering items to churches. More details on these opportunities to serve will be discussed on January 22nd during Coffee and Conversation hour at 10:00 am. Meanwhile if you want to know more about this ministry or have a specific interest, please feel free to contact Gail Wathen. This ministry requires many volunteers to ensure a successful week. Please pray about how you can be used by God to serve.
Blessings. . .Gail Wathen
Prayer: O God our Father, at the baptism of Jesus you proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit. Make all who are baptized into Christ faithful to their calling to be your daughters and sons, and empower us all with your Spirit, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Members and Friends of Good Sam,
Please note that all Worship and Education Hour activities at Good Sam on January 8th 2017 are continuing as scheduled. Please join us if you can travel safely. Here are the activities we have confirmed for tomorrow:
8:10 am Choir warms up in the Roman’s room
8:45 am Worship Service
9:45 am Fellowship Hour (treats might be light but there will be coffee)
10:00 am Education Hour: Living Wet, Staying Steeped in the Promises of God
11:10 am Worship and Praise Service
Good Sam Community,
We are currently checking with Sunday program and activity leaders to discern the feasibility of conducting services and activities as regularly scheduled tomorrow. Stay tuned for more information.
- If at all possible, we remain OPEN and conduct Worship Services on Sundays. When we cancel Worship Services it is because conditions in the building, parking lot or on the roads present significant challenges to operating practically and safely.
- We will always make closing or altered schedule announcements on a variety of media sources including Facebook, our Website and Good Sam News Blog. We will also send cancellation notices by Email to our ‘Connections @ Good Sam’ email list. If you do NOT see notification in these sources then you can assume we will be having an unaltered schedule. If conditions are tenuous we will communicate that we will be open and describe what activities will happen.
- Cancellation decisions will be made by 6 am Sunday morning for all Worship Services, Sunday School and other activities for that day.
As of 4 pm today (Saturday Jan 7th) the church parking lot is plowed and sidewalks shoveled and de-iced.
Dec. 21, 2016
Good Samaritan Community,
I want to share with you all this great sense of blessing that I see in our community at Good Sam, both as I look at what God has done among us in 2016 and in what seems to be percolating among us for the year ahead.
In 2016 we took another large step forward into our growing sense of mission as a congregation–learning to fulfill our mission motto “Finding our neighbors along the journey of faith.”
We finished up reading “The Story” together in June and I wish you had heard the abundance of comments I received from so many of you about this experience. Again, and again I heard examples of new insights, new levels of conversation among families, great joy at a bright picture of God’s steadfast and long suffering plan to bring about life and salvation for all who will receive Jesus as Lord. We have several books and DVD lessons in our Library for those who might like to review or take this journey of reading the Bible. It is a wonder to see this whole picture of God working in human lives throughout history to bring people to faith. Let us know if you would like to check out these resources.
Not long after we finished “The Story” we launched into three months of exploring “God’s Work, Our Hands.” This was an ambitious effort with six different organized opportunities to reach out and meet people, making a difference in our community. By the time our September 11th Service of celebrating our efforts rolled around many of us were impressed with what had been accomplished by so many. We hope you too were blessed in these efforts. At our December Council meeting we reflected on the variety of ways that the “God’s Work. Our Hands.” efforts have had ongoing and lasting effects in our families and how it continues to connect us to people in our community. Indeed, God is faithful in working among us.
Our average Worship attendance for 2016 looks like it will be about 108. This is an approximate 10% jump from 2015. Also in 2016, we saw life and energy happen in other ways. We baptized 7 new believers. We welcomed 23 new members by Affirmation of Faith. We received 3 new members by Transfer. This means we welcomed a total of 33 new members to our community. I want you also to know that we have also seen a growing list of active participants as well. This means that there are an additional 29 people who are actively involved and connected to this congregation who are living out their faith lives among us. We began the year anticipating a financial shortfall of about $9,000. Yet, if giving continues as it has so far this year, we may finish 2016 with all our bills paid and some resources left to restore what we have borrowed from designated funds to cover operating costs. Stay tuned for these final numbers, and don’t forget to make your final year-end gifts before January 1. We may have great news to share on this front come January.
We have renewed our efforts to build strong faith nourishment for our children through the “Prayer Buddy” program and please watch this year for another effort we have added called “All Congregational Education Events.” They are happening five different times during the year to call the whole congregation together to celebrate our life, our faith and the ministry we share.
Also, stay tuned early in the year for great news about Music Director hiring and goals for 2017. The year ahead is certainly going to be filled with great stories of God’s faithfulness among us.
Peace and joy to you all, Pastor Mitch
Good Sam Happenings
January 1 [Sunday Theme] “God Makes a Way” (One Service at 10 am)
January 8 [Sunday Theme] “Fulfilling All Righteousness”
♦ Epiphany Parade 8:45 am service… dress as royalty and bring non-perishable foods for the hungry.
♦ 10 am All Congregation Education Event “Living Wet: Keeping Ourselves Immersed in the Promises of God.”
January 13, Red Cross Blood Drive 1 pm to 6 pm. Sign up and come in.
January 15 [Sunday Theme] “God Has a Bigger Plan, Come and See”
January 22 [Sunday Theme] “A Light in a Dark Land”
January 29 [Sunday Theme] “To Whom Does the Kingdom of Heaven Belong?”
We are very excited to have Sherri Fenwick join our staff. She graduated from St. Mary’s College with a Music Education degree and has a full career as a music teacher in the St. Mary’s County School system, as well as decades of experience as a church musician in and out of this county. She directs a tri-county Southern Gospel Choir and comes to us with a long list of people whose lives she has touched through music in area churches, schools, choirs and more. She is a gifted organist and is wonderful on any keyboard. Not only does she love music, but she loves the Lord even more.
Sherri begins with us starting on January 2nd and her first choral directing and Worship accompaniment with us will be on January 8th. Please welcome Sherri as you meet her. You might also meet her husband William Fenwick as he comes with her from time to time. He is a long-time member of Mount Zion Methodist Church on Hwy 235.
Prayer: Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come. With your abundant grace and might, free us from the sin that hinders our faith, that eagerly we may receive your promises, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.