Good Sam News

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“Getting to Know Good Sam” – Aug. 25

If you have been visiting with us recently and would like to make some new connections while getting to know more about our life together at Good Sam, we invite you to our Sunday afternoon “Getting to Know Good Sam” conversation on August 25. From 10:45 am until 12:15 pm, we will gather and share a light meal. Childcare is available.

This event is a chance for current church members to meet and visit together with those who are new to our community. Come one, come all! RSVP to the church office (or using the Connecting form in The Grapevine) so we can prepare for the meal.

NAMI Recovery Support Group

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Gleaning Trip Info & Registration

One major area of food waste in America is in farmers’ fields, where crops that don’t meet top-grade quality are left to rot or be plowed under. Gleaning is the traditional Biblical practice of gathering crops that would otherwise be left in the fields to rot, or be plowed under after harvest. The Gleaning Network coordinates volunteers, growers, and distribution agencies to salvage this food for the needy.

Good Sam is planning a gleaning trip again this fall (October 4-6). Jennifer N. is coordinating the trip – more information about the trip and how to register is available below.

From Jennifer N.:

This year we are going a bit earlier and to a new place (different from the new place we tried to go to last year – that event has been scheduled for November, which I thought was too late). We’re going to Fincastle, Va (near Roanoke) Oct 4-6, 2013.


Who can register?  The trip is open as a chaperoned trip to all youth in 6th – 9th grade. 5th graders who are 10 will be considered. We have included them in the past, but this year I want to make sure the 9th graders (who did not get to go for the past 2 years due to cancellations) get the first chance to go if they want to. High school youth in grades 10-12 are also welcome as volunteers – please speak to me about this if you are interested (we will need chaperones for those under 18). Adults who want to participate are always welcome – as chaperones, volunteers, or as participants with no youth responsibilities. I will, or course, need chaperones for the trip – numbers to be determined once folks sign up. We need to bring one adult for each 5 youth of each gender, and must have at least one committed chaperone for each 10 of each gender.

Online Registration & Payment: If you are committed to attending the gleaning event, please go to and register yourself and/or your child. You will need Good Sam’s log-in and password–please ask Jennifer N. or the church office for this info. You can also make payments on this site if you choose to. If you do pay this way, please forward me a copy of your receipt so I can keep track. Many youth have credits in the gleaning account from last year – if you are planning to use your credit, please send me (Jennifer N.) an email. If you tell me on a Sunday morning, I’m sure I will forget. If you prefer to pay the traditional way (check to Good Sam), please give me the check directly. It’s too hard to reconcile who has paid and who has not when it goes straight into the offering plate. And, of course, if you prefer for me to register you, just let me know.

Scholarships: THERE ARE 4 SCHOLARSHIPS already funded for the youth, and more available; so please don’t let money be the only reason you don’t send your child to this life-changing event.

Required Forms: There are forms that are required by the HOH folks. They can be found at If you don’t have the ability to download these and fill them out, please let me know and I will get you a copy.

Let’s end hunger together!

~ Jennifer N.

Property Closed : Fri. Aug. 9 & Sat. Aug. 10

All parking lots on the church property will be cleaned, sealed and restriped on Friday, August 9 and Saturday, August 10. 

As a result, the church office, Our Daily Bread Food Pantry, and St. Mary’s Caring Soup Kitchen will be closed during their regular hours on those days.

Please move any cars from the property by 6:00 am on Friday. Thanks for your cooperation!

Lutheran Day at Nationals Park – Sept. 15

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Empty Nesters — August 2013

The Empty Nesters will gather at Judy and Rob K.’s home on Sunday, August 4 for a pool party that we won at the Youth BBQ silent auction. If your nest has just emptied or been empty for many years, if you are single or a couple–all are welcome. We will meet at 4 pm at Judy and Rob K.’s home. Please bring your own meat to grill and a dish to share. Iced tea, lemonade, paper products, and condiments will be provided. Feel free to bring beer or wine. Please let either Diane H. or Jill W. know that you are coming or let us know if you have any questions.

The Breath of Community that comes from God

Preparing for Worship at Good Sam on 5-26-13

The one thing that Christians often hear about from those of other faiths is the community 3idea that God is three and that God is one.  We call this the Doctrine of the Trinity.  Perhaps it is a bit of a stretch for us to imagine a unified God with three expressions, but it isn’t so much a stretch for us to hear that God desires community.  We actually learned this from Jesus.

community 1 Even in the telling of Creation, In Gen 1:26-31, God says let us make human kind in our own image, male and female let us make them.  God sees fit to make us with community among ourselves in mind and it is difficult to hear in this that God also desires community with us.  Perhaps this is the purpose of making us in the image of God.

Perhaps in God’s own self there is a sense of community and desire for community.  I imagine that this is really the whole purpose behind creation itself:  God searching for and creating the possibility of Community between us and God.

I say that God is best discovered in community.  Partly that means coming to community 2know God in Jesus and the depths of God revealed to us in Jesus’ work, but also the presence and life of God that comes in “Ruah”(breath, life and spirit).

This Sunday we will gather to explore the life of community that God gives and desires with us.  This is the real meaning of the Trinity.  God comes to us as community and in community for the purpose of creating true communion.

Pastor Mitch

When What God Does Is All That Remains

Preparing for Worship June 2nd, 2013

Genesis 22, I Kings 8:22-23, 41-43 and I Corinthians 3:11-12, 16

Have you been to the Temple Mount?  There Abraham worshiped God, temple_mountdiscovering how God provides.  There Solomon built the first Temple of Worship to Yahweh.  This particular mount has been a significant site for worship of Jebusites and Jews, Muslims, Romans and Christians.  The Jewish Temple there has been built and torn down a couple of times over the millennia.  Some wait for it to be build for the third and final time.  I think it is interesting that of the original Temple built by Solomon (in 957 BCE), all that remains are the large stones that made up the foundation of the western wall.  This is where the Jewish faithful come to pour out their prayers to the Lord.

It seems to me that the faith of Abraham is as strong a foundation and model and witness to faith in God as the Temples built to the Glory of God.  It speaks volumes to us in just a few chapters of Genesis (Gen.12-25).  The stones of the Temple that remain are a witness as well, but the message is not as clear or resilient.  Are they a sign of faith that has failed or a symbol that God is still our foundation when everything else is destroyed?

Perhaps the faith of Abraham, Paul’s words about keeping our foundations in Christ and the stones of the Western Wall are there to remind us to think carefully about what it means to build on a secure foundation.

Pastor Mitch

Community and God

Sermon from Worship at Good Sam on May 26, 2013 (Memorial Day Weekend) Trinity Sunday

based on Romans 5:1–5  and  John 16:12–15

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Taking the Message with Youcross

There are always these two parts to working out our faith lives;  our connection and communion with God (vertical dimension), and our care and work in building community with the giftedness of our faith (horizontal dimension).   Can you see the image of the Cross in this work – vertical plank and the horizontal plank? Each of these needs attention for our faith lives to fully thrive and find full expression.

Finally, focus on the intersection where these two efforts come together.  Ask God guide you to where the community you need may be found, where you may most fully participate in community life.  The truth is God still speaks to community.  In and through communion with God and in connection to the community of faith God works mightily.  Remember Jesus words, “Love God with all your heart, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.  In these are summed up all the Law and Prophets.”

Pastor Mitch

Those Who Are Led By God

Sunday’s Sermon at Good Sam on Pentecost Sunday

(also Confirmation Sunday) 5-19-13

Sermon Based on Acts 2, Romans 8 and John 14

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Taking the Message with You

“The “spirit of adoption” lives in community.  Never does it reside by itself.  It gathers the lost, welcomes the stranger, makes room for more and always leaves an empty chair at the table that can be filled by the next person to enter the room.  Where is that spirit among us?  Look here, look there, can you see it?  Does it dwell within you?  Does it beg or invite you to partake of its goodness and share in its gifts?

Pastor Mitch

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