To pray is to sit in silence and listen, to close our eyes and seek light and awareness with senses we do know know we have. Prayer is to welcome God and discern the way forward. Join us for House of Prayer @ Good Sam, Wednesdays at 6 pm. (beginning Sept 25th)
Sermon: “A New Relationship With Everything We Have”
Prayer: Direct us, O Lord God, in all our doings with your continual help, that in all our works, begun, continued, and ended in you, we may glorify your holy name; and finally, by your mercy, bring us to everlasting life, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
The sermon begins after the reading from Luke’s Gospel. (Audio rec. begins @ 1:06 in)
You might know the name of our food pantry (see above). You probably know we have a pantry from which we serve neighbors and friends in our community. You might even know that last month we served over 500 people with a bag of groceries (28 of those were new or first time visitors to our pantry). In reality, this means that we share over 40,000 lbs. of food annually.
You probably have no idea where all that food comes from. Ninety percent of that food comes from the Southern Maryland Food Back in Waldorf, MD (SMFB). That means that almost every week we send volunteers 50 minutes away to pick up 800 to 1,500 lbs. of food, load it into vehicles and return to load it onto our pantry shelves. If you haven’t been to the pantry you might be surprised by the hectic nature of food day at SMFB. Each pantry loads what food they want from what is available and it is weighed and checked out (we get billed for the food we take at 18 cents a pound).
You might have noticed from the local news sources that there is a new Food Bank being developed here in Lexington Park. It is called “Feed St Mary’s” (FSM). Check out the Feed St Mary’s newsletter called “Dinner Bell.” It’s posted in our entryway on the Kiosk. Good Sam is a participant in the organizing activities of this new local food back. FSM exists to stock local St Mary’s County pantries.
They begin operations on October 1st and are located in the U-Haul building (Old McKay’s Grocery) along Great Miles Road.
Food from FSM will be coming from the Maryland Food Network (MFN) in Baltimore, MD and will come at a slightly less cost than the food we have been purchasing from SMFB. In addition to not having to drive two hours to get and return with food, we will also be able to order the foods we wish to have in our pantry directly from MFN.
The Our Daily Bread Food Pantry is a strong source of food security for many of our neighbors and thanks to FSM we stand to be even stronger in the months to come. We want to also say a special thank you to our pantry volunteers who faithfully see that we have food and serve our guests who come for food on Wednesday and Friday of each week: Tim Faust, Aloysius Bowman, Kevin King, Andie St Marie, Deb Younkins, Rich Slavik, Jeff Carlsen, Bobbie Anderson and Jay Johnson. Rich says, “There is room for you too, want to meet our community and help them toward food security? We have a spot for you.” Talk with Rich Slavik.
Sermon: “Wisdom, In An Age Information”
Prayer: O God, you resist those who are proud and give grace to those who are humble. Give us the humility of your Son, that we may embody the generosity of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
The sermon begins after the reading from Luke’s Gospel.
Have you ever gone somewhere and felt out of place, confused, or just downright unwelcomed? I know I have. There have even been churches I visited where I felt completely underwhelmed by their welcoming presence and attitude. Here at Good Sam, I think we do a pretty good job at making our visitors feel at ease. The only thing is that we are not as consistent as we could be. It would be wonderful if there were a team who were intentional about welcoming all who enter. What would this look like? Here are some thoughts I have: Our welcome greeter would have a smile on their face, make eye contact, offer a bulletin, and take the initiative to greet each person. If they are new, show them where the childcare room is and introduce them to the caregiver. Point them in the direction of restrooms, let them know of the Sensory Room that is available. Basically, just give the new attendee an overview of the facility that may be useful for them. Perhaps you have other ideas to share based on your experiences. Let’s add it to the list. First impressions are important and this is such a significant activity.
As a welcome/greeter, you would have the opportunity to express God’s love and help set the tone for the upcoming worship service. You see, greeting people is more than just a handshake and a smile. It’s connecting with someone in a meaningful way that could truly change their day and possibly their life. Won’t you consider being part of the team? There is a sign-up sheet on the information table in the fellowship hall or you can sign up ONLINE. Let us truly be a place where ALL are welcomed!
Gail Wathen, Council President
Save the date! Good Sam will be joining members of Saint Nicholas and Peace Lutheran churches for a Our Work God’s Hands day of service at Farming for Hunger on Saturday, Sept 7 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. All are welcome! We will likely help harvest vegetables. Children can help and if harvesting is too strenuous for you, there are usually opportunities for packing produce in the shade.
We will meet at the farm, which is located at 6980 Serenity Farm Rd, Hughesville, Maryland 20637. Dress for the weather. This is a good time to wear your God’s Work Our Hands t-shirt! If you have them, bring gardening gloves, shovels, trowels and sunscreen/hats & water. They have tools that we can use but sometimes not enough if we have a large number of people attend.
If you are unfamiliar with the great work of Farming for Hunger, you can visit their web site at http://www.farming4hunger.
If you can attend or have questions, please contact our Mission & Outreach Coordinator Kelly Thurber at email@example.com or 205-541-0744
Sermon: “Do You Have the Ability to Set People Free?”
Prayer: O God, mighty and immortal, you know that as fragile creatures surrounded by great dangers, we cannot by ourselves stand upright. Give us strength of mind and body, so that even when we suffer because of human sin, we may rise victorious through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
The sermon begins after the reading from Luke’s Gospel.
Good Sam Happenings in September
*August 29 St. Mary’s Caring Back To School Blast @ 5:30pm
September 1 [Sunday Theme] “Wisdom, In An Age Of Information”
*September 7 Farming 4 Hunger – God’s Work Our Hands Day Service – Serenity Farms- 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
* Fall Service Time Starts September 8, 2019 at 9:00 am
September 8 [Sunday Theme] “A New Relationship With Everything We Have…”
*September 8 Rally Day – Sunday School introductions and Church Picnic
September 15 [Sunday Theme] “Mission group to Puerto Rico Stories”
September 22 [Sunday Theme] “Serving God Persistently In The Small And Weighty Things”
* September 25 House of Prayer – begins @ 7 pm “a place to pray, a place to breathe” Read more…
* September 27 Movie Night at Good Sam, 6 pm to 8 pm. Game room open too.
September 29 [Sunday Theme] “The Named And Unnamed Before God”
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Diane and I had the privilege of serving for two weeks in Puerto Rico as part of a rebuilding team after Hurricane Maria. We were part of a group led by Pastor Mark Palmer that consisted of people from our DC synod and the Baltimore Maryland synod ranging in age from 14 to 70. While most people came for one week, we were lucky enough to attended for two and be able to welcome the larger group from Good Sam when they came on the second week.
The state of the island is a mix bag two years after the hurricanes. People’s homes seemed to be four distinct categories. Those with resources had their homes, neighborhoods and infrastructure repaired and back to normal. Those that had the means to fill out the correct forms and the knowledge of where to ask for help have their homes livable (windows and roofs restored). These neighborhoods also had basic infrastructure, but the roads were still damaged and the electricity unreliable. The third category would be those that were unable to repair their damaged homes and have not returned to them. This was most prominent in the neighborhoods that we worked in and by a casual estimate looks to be about a quarter of the homes. The fourth group is where we were trying to help through the auspices of Puerto Rico Lutheran Social Services. For the most part the people we served did not have the resources to fend for themselves, lacked family that could help, or didn’t know where to begin to get help within the bureaucracy that is needed in a response of this magnitude. The three houses my team worked on included a husband and wife team who were dealing with kidney failure and dementia, an older man that was blind and very hard of hearing and another coming off of treatment for cancer. We were lucky enough to form relationships with these homeowners and our counterparts in LSS (Lutheran Social Services). In many cases it was difficult to speak to one another due to the language barrier (despite being part of the United States, Spanish is the predominant language spoken on the island), but small acts of kindness on their part made us feel welcome and befriended. One homeowner brought us bananas from their tree in the backyard, another shared soda or the most notable for me, the sister in law of the blind man gathered us in a circle before we left home at project completion and said a long prayer for us in Spanish.
While building houses and relationships with our Puerto Rican hosts was the predominant goal of our trip, we were also able to build relationship bridges with the synod and with the participants of this effort. The group from Good Sam, although being one of the larger contingents, was constantly working and socializing outside of ourselves. Some were group leads, some were drivers and others led some of the nightly devotionals. It was good to see our little church become so involved with bettering our relationships with those outside our community.
We, along with all the other volunteers stayed at Campamento Luterano Eduardo Roig, which used to be used as a Lutheran summer camp before the hurricanes. Everyone slept in bunk house arrangements in either 16, 8 or 4 person rooms. We were fed breakfast and most dinners at camp and the food made me feel like I was back at boy scout camp. The shared showers had a propensity to cut out to a trickle the minute you got shampoo on your head. The work was difficult, almost always dirty and by the end of the day we were all pretty tired. It was a great experience. It turned out not to be an experience to endure or survive but one in which you could learn a sense of compassion in which respect and honor must be key components. We learned that even through their struggle, the people that we met were warm and welcoming and enjoyed life.