Search Results for: ‘Member in mission’

New ELCA Flagship Publication Launched – “Living Lutheran”

Living Lutheran, the new flagship publication of the ELCA, has officially launched. Beginning with its April issue, The Lutheran magazine will be called Living Lutheran and will have an accompanying website, Our new name signifies this church’s living, daring confidence in God’s grace.

Your new Living Lutheran has a bold, modern look and will continue to offer stories, reflections and news that illuminate Christ’s presence in the world.

Visit LivingLutheran today for:

  • Stories and commentary from the 3.7 million members, 9,300 congregations and partner organizations that make up the ELCA
  • An exploration of issues important to Lutherans
  • Resources to help deepen your faith through worship, stewardship, arts, music and more
  • Best practices and ideas for mission and ministry
  • Opportunities to witness our church at work in this country and around the world
  • Monthly reflections from me and others
  • Ideas and resources for parents, grandparents and families who are passing faith on to children and youth
  • Coverage of ELCA religious news and events
  • A free e-digest highlighting the latest and most popular stories, an introductory offer on new print subscriptions and more!

Join the conversation! Visit the new Living Lutheran today.

Consecration Sunday Is Coming!


At Good Samaritan Lutheran Church, we believe that God would like us to approach stewardship from a biblical perspective rather than merely a way to pay our bills. We believe that our financial contributions can be a way to help people grow spiritually in their relationship with God by supporting our church’s mission and ministry with a percentage of their incomes.

Our congregational council has selected the New Consecration Sunday Stewardship Program as a way to learn about the biblical and spiritual principles of generous giving in our stewardship education emphasis this year.

 New Consecration Sunday is based on the biblical philosophy of the need of the giver to give for his or her own spiritual development, rather than on the need of the church to receive. Instead of treating people like members of a social club who should pay dues, we will treat people like followers of Jesus Christ who want to give unselfishly as an act of discipleship. New Consecration Sunday encourages people toward proportionate and systematic giving in response to the question, “What percentage of my income is God calling me to give?”

During morning worship on Consecration Sunday, October 25th, we are asking our attendees and members to make their financial commitments to our church’s outreach, benevolent, and educational ministries in this community and around the world.

Every attendee and member who completes an Estimate of Giving Card does so voluntarily by attending morning worship on Consecration Sunday. We also urge people to attend who are opposed to completing a card. The procedure will be done in such a way that no one should feel personal embarrassment if he or she chooses not to fill out a card.

We will do no home solicitation to ask people to complete cards. During morning worship our guest leader will conduct a brief period of instruction and inspiration, culminating in members making their commitments as a confidential act of worship.

The Consecration Sunday team and congregational council request and encourage your participation in Consecration Sunday events. Since we will make no follow-up visits to ask people to complete their cards, we will make every effort to inform, inspire, and commit everyone to attend Consecration Sunday worship.

Thanks in advance for your enthusiastic participation in Consecration Sunday events.


Wishing you blessings and peace as

we consider what God is calling us to give,

John W. Scheffler

“You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion,
and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
”         2 Corinthians 9:11


A workshop to help congregations connect with new people.

Multiple choice of locations:

9:30 am -12 noon
at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Springfield, VA


9:30 am – 12 noon
at St. Luke Lutheran Church in Silver Spring, MD

What can you do to help your Church grow? God brings the growth, but our hands work the soil and plant the seeds.

This workshop will help to plan your congregation’s outreach strategy. Expect practical, implementable steps that you can take away that make a big impact. Leave with a plan customized for your congregation to connect with new people. The goal of this workshop is for every participant to leave with 2 – 4 actions they can implement in their congregation that will help connect with new people. Seven strategies and 21 big impact actions will be presented, including how to:

  • Make invitations
  • Welcome newcomers
  • Follow-up with guests
  • Help get them connected
  • Facilitate friendships
  • Form disciples
  • Make evangelism a priority


9 a.m. – Gathering
9:30 a.m. – Strategies and actions
10:45 a.m. – Break
11 a.m. – Implementation (small groups)
11:45 a.m. – Readouts
Noon – Adjourn


There is no fee for the workshop but registration is requested. It is designed for pastors, evangelism chairs, committee members and anyone who has responsibilities related to new members and reaching out. The workshop is brought to you by the New & Renewing Missions Table of the Metro D.C. Synod.  Register now.


The Rev. Philip Hirsch, Director of Evangelical Mission in the Metro D.C. Synod. He has led two growing congregations in 25 years of ministry.

– See more at: Growing Church Workshop – Metro DC ELCA

High School Sponsored BBQ Cook-Off was ON all Evening

Our youth group, sponsored a BBQ cook-off event to raise money for the ELCA Gathering in Detroit Michigan.  There are 8 of us attending the pre-gathering mission portion, where we will spend 2 extra days working alongside those in Detroit Michigan.  There will be a total of 17 of us attending the gathering as well.  This BBQ cook-off was our 9th Annual BBQ, our funds raised each year go towards supporting those who are attending the National Gathering.  We had 5  BBQ contestants, 4 judges, a live dessert auction, a silent auction and fabulous fellowship.  The youth sold tickets, ran stations for younger children, sold food, and presented the BBQ to the panel of judges. This project not only assisted in our financial portion of the trip, but allowed the opportunity for our congregational members to get

to know the youth who are attending the gathering a bit better.  During our live dessert auction it was clearly about assisting the youth and having fun, as a Blueberry Buckle dessert, made by a 12 year old youth, raised $35.00.  We had generous hearts at our BBQ, and this will allow our youth to take that spirit of generosity to the gathering and share it with the people of Detroit

From Our Council President

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about our church’s financial situation in light of our individual and collective engagement in GoodBible study with coffee--edited Sam’s mission and purpose as a congregation. Good things are happening throughout our congregation, praise God! Your council continues to look for opportunities to economize and manage within available resources. However, as you may remember from our annual congregational meeting, after much contemplation, the budget we adopted for 2015 anticipated that expenses (even with drastic cuts) would exceed income by about 12%. This presents an opportunity for us to consider our blessings and our responses, and also to engage with our neighbors and invite them to join us on our mission of discipleship.     During the past few weeks, our worship has focused on Jesus’ triumphant entry to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the example he set by washing his disciples’ feet, and his gift to us of his body and blood in the institution of communion. We also have contemplated his sacrifice for our sins on the cross. The good news is that we know and believe the passion story has a happy ending as we experience the joy of Easter.   A wise person said that we can’t “out-give” God. I invite you to ponder that throughout the comings days, and contemplate further who our neighbors are, and how we might individually and collectively walk alongside them as we journey together in faith.

John S.

About Us

Good Sam CommunityOur Community

Good Samaritan (Good Sam) is a community of Christian disciples who find meaning in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.  We take seriously the invitation of Jesus to walk with our neighbors in our journey of faith (Luke 10:25-37).  We are brothers and sisters to Christians throughout the world and are affiliated specifically with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. We worship in the Christian liturgical tradition and we follow the rhythm of a church year that is organized around the life of Jesus from his birth (Advent/Christmas) through his ministry on earth (Epiphany), then to his death and resurrection (Lent/Easter) and finally to his sharing of God’s Spirit with the church (Pentecost).  The Communion meal is central to our worship each Sunday.  In it, we feast upon the gifts of Jesus in bread and wine.  Here we meet our Lord and become united together in his resurrected life among us. Baptism is a sign of God’s promises that accompany us throughout our lives as we journey in faith and service.

We have chosen to locate our congregation in the heart of Lexington Park, right off of Great Mills Road and from here we take seriously the work of serving our neighbors.  We host St Mary’s Caring Soup Kitchen on our campus and our own Our Daily Bread Food Pantry actively serves 150 families week month with groceries and non perishable food.  In this community service we hope to serve any who have need, regardless of religion, race, color, age, sexual identity, national origin, disability or parental status.

At Good Sam, we believe in listening to one another, respecting one another and figuring out together how we can best love God and to love and serve our neighbors.  We don’t believe that we all need to have the same political views.  Here you’ll find democrats, republicans and everything in between.  All are welcome!  We find that, no matter our political beliefs, we discover common ground in loving God and neighbor. We can all support each other on this journey of faith.

We hope you will visit us in person on a Sunday morning.  We’d love the opportunity to walk with you on your journey and to share with you the grace and joy that we have found in the path of discipleship.

Our Pastor

Pastor Mitch Watney

Pastor Mitch Watney
(301) 863-4740

I was ordained in 1990 and, prior to coming to Good Samaritan, served congregations in Oregon and Washington State.

I’m an outdoorsy kind of guy who loves to sail, hike, ski and plan adventures every so often to keep me always looking forward.  My best partner in all of these things is my wife Shannon, who is also a Lutheran Pastor.  Our daughters, Sara Noel and Willa Joy, are our best shared joy.  They are a gift of light, strength and hope – constantly calling from us our best efforts and our best selves.

Life for me has its richest expression in Jesus the Anointed one of God.  For me this is where love and grace find full expression.  It is in Christ that justice and mercy come together and find their fullest expression.  This is why I serve in the church, not because it’s perfect, but because we are always looking to find the life of Jesus in our midst.

Our Music Director

Sherri Fenwick

(301) 863-4740

We are very excited to have Sherri Fenwick join our staff.  She Graduated from St Mary’s College with a Music Ed. 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 who’s lives she has touch 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 love the Lord even more.


Our Director of Mission and Engagement

Kelsey Knobloch

Kelsey Knobloch moved to Maryland in late 2019 with his wife Amanda after spending 6 years in Virginia. A native Texan (and proud of it), Kelsey is the son of a Lutheran pastor and received his degree in English Literature from Texas Lutheran University in 2011. As a lifelong Lutheran, Kelsey has a passion for being the hands and feet of Christ in the community and abroad, and has been a part of mission trips to Mexico and all along the Eastern US coast. He has worked with youth and adults to help them grow in their faith, learn more about Christ and each other, and serve those in need. 

Kelsey enjoys learning new things, trying different food & drinks, and science education. His hobbies include tabletop gaming, mycology, woodworking, lexicography, and comic books.


Our Office Manager / Administrative Assistant

Iman Green Syler


Iman Green Syler lives in Valley Lee, MD with her husband, Greg, and their daughter, Carter.  Born and raised in Charlotte, NC, Iman’s Christian faith deepened through camping and youth ministry. Before coming to Good Samaritan, Iman served as Missioner for Youth & Families for the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, helping resource and develop effective ministries in faith communities throughout southern Maryland, DC, Montgomery, Prince George’s County. She is an active member of The Episcopal Church and worships with her family at St. George’s in Valley Lee. Not only is she excited to join the ministry team at Good Samaritan, Iman looks forward to bringing her skills, joy, and love of Christ to empower and help raise up life-changing ministry.


Wednesday Evening Childcare Staff


Hello my name is Julie Nelson. I am a Texas native, but am living here in Southern Maryland with my husband who is stationed on NAS Pax River. I was fortunate to grow up in a Christian home and learned the value of missionary work from a young age. I love being able to share the love of God with children and help shape them into who they will be in the future. 


Stitching Sisters news — Aug. 2014

shawl_6008c(Written August 9)

Hello Stitching Sisters – Just wanted to pass you the latest news on the Stitching Sisters front. We had a very good turnout at our mid-summer, mid-day knit-crochet gathering on August 4 (Maureen, Ele, Kim, Edna, Emily, and Carol). We discussed various things:

  1. The St. Mary’s County Fair is being held September 18-21 BUT TAKE-IN DAY IS Wednesday, September 17. We will be entering some of our prayer shawls. If you are interested in entering an item, please see Edna. The home arts contest is a PILLOW project this year (needle art, crochet, knitted, applique, etc) with a prize of $15 to the winner, not a purse contest as previously reported.
  2. The crocheted basket class at Michaels is for only one night, September 10, 6:00-8:30 pm at a reduced cost of $18.75. I will be registering Ele and myself this week. Let me know if you are interested. This is a very cute project and we can enter these at the fair too (crocheted novelty item). Check out Michaels’ website for more info including the supply list and a picture. Michaels is also offering many beginner classes in crochet and knitting.
  3. We talked about our fall start-up. And we decided our first date would be September 8 at Edna’s home, 6:30 – 8:30. We all favored the idea of having future meetings in the Disciples’ Den, which we can do on a Tuesday vs. a Monday. Some of us favored a daytime meeting too. We will decide this at our first gathering on the 8th. If you cannot attend, please let Edna know what you prefer — Tuesday daytime or Tuesday night.
  4. Our church home needs a new baptismal banner. But we have to slip that a week to Friday, September 12, 9:00 am to noon. We might need to also schedule another construction date.
  5. Our dear Kim read a thank you note from Carol G. for the prayer shawl she recently received.
  6. We also talked about tithing some of the prayer shawls to a charity (Hospice, Pregnancy Care Center). We will decide this later.
  7. Ele inquired about a bake sale like we did last year (to benefit the youth gathering trip in 2015). It was also suggested that we make easy fleece scarfs for food pantry clients as a mission project. We will also talk about this on Sept. 8.

I mailed a green and yellow granny square prayer shawl (made by Maureen) to Anne R. (a friend of June B., who was a former dedicated member at Good Sam).

We have some money in our treasury. We will discuss this at the first meeting. We need some starter kits with the beginners books. And any other item.

Enjoy these wonderful days of summer.

Your sister in faith, Edna

Report from 2014 Metro D.C. ELCA Synod Assembly

DC Synod logoCatherine and Greg D. had the chance to attend the 2014 Metro D.C. ELCA Synod Assembly as delegates. They got to hear many people speak on the current issues facing the church and heard the prayers being asked for by the assembly. Here is a brief overview of the Synod assembly gathering:


There was a resolution calling upon “the Metropolitan Washington DC Synod to stand in prayerful solidarity with those suffering under current immigration laws” and specifically said the following prayer in English as well as Spanish, Oromo, and Tamil:

“Loving God… bless Latino, Oromo, Tamil speaking and all members of our church and community who suffer fear and isolation under current immigration laws. Provide and inspire leaders and legislators to see your image in every child of God and to enact laws that clearly and fairly treat our immigrant brothers and sisters. Help us to persistently stand with them in Christ as long as it takes for just and fair laws to take root and blossom. Lord in your mercy… Hear our prayer!”

Supporting our fellow churches of:  La Sagrada Familia, Iglesia Luterana San Marcos, La Comunidad de Santa Maria, Oromo Resurrection Evangelical Church, and In Christ Washington Congregation

If you are interested in learning more or participating, please consider looking into pray4reform on their website ( and Facebook group ( as well as Lutheran advocacy as a whole: (

MIF: an alternative to traditional savings MIF graphic

There was a presentation about the Mission Investment Fund which describes itself as:

“A ministry of the ELCA with faith and finance at its core, MIF aspires to be a premier financial services choice for ELCA ministries, partners and church members…Lending to ELCA congregations, synods and related ministries, and providing a vehicle for ELCA congregations, synods, related ministries and individuals to invest in the work of this church.”  (

This presented an interesting alternative to traditional savings that would invest in church projects.

I Love Camp MonthMar-Lu

February was designated as “I Love Camp Month” to highlight the opportunities provided by camp and retreat centers like Mar-Lu-Ridge Camp and Retreat Center ( and Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp & Retreat Center (, whose purpose is to, “provide an intentional Christian communal experience where one meets God in God’s awesome creation.” ( They hold retreats, camps, conferences at their facilities.

Website Review:

The D.C. Synod reviewed and reported on the current status of all church websites in the synod. A brief overview of the results was shared with the assembly. The information given to Good Samaritan will help us develop a better and more useful website for our church community.

ELCA World Relief and DevelopmentMalaria graphic

We learned about some of the ELCA world relief projects. In addition to the Domestic Hunger Grants that gave more than $800,000 in domestic projects, the ELCA World Hunger works in more than 50 countries around the world (look here to see the map:, and the ELCA Malaria Campaign has been preventing death from malaria by providing “mosquito nets, education, testing, medication and more.”

Scavenger Hunt Road Rally, May 18 — Sign up now

Join your fellow Good Sam members and their friends in a friendly competition!!

This hunt is designed to test your creativity and have fun with members of Good Sam. It is a time of fun and fellowship sponsored by the Empty Nesters.

What: This scavenger hunt is a 3 hour excursion sending participants in search of things, places or people and allows them to perform activities as well. The team with the most points at the end of the hunt wins bragging rights for the whole year!

When and Where: Sunday, May 18, 2014 from 10:30 am until about 2:30 pm at Good Sam.

Check-in at the Fellowship Hall at 10:30 after fellowship time. Return no later than 2 pm with your hunt results. Enjoy a sweet treat while we tabulate the results and proclaim the winner.

Who: Everyone. There is no age limit! Get a group together that will fit in your vehicle. We prefer you to have at least four people in your car. If you don’t have a car or don’t want to drive but want to join the fun, just let us know.

Price: The admission fee is a non-perishable food item which will be given to Our Daily Bread food pantry.

What else: Bring a camera, as scoring will be from the photographic evidence. Each picture and activity is worth a certain amount of points. Get creative–bonus points may be awarded for exceptional photos at the judge’s discretion.

You will also need to either pack a picnic lunch or be prepared to buy lunch out with your group. When you sign up be sure to indicate whether you plan to bag or buy as you will randomly be put into teams of two vehicles.

Sound interesting? Contact Jill W. for registration information. For planning purposes for this event we will need you to RSVP. Other questions please see Jill W., Diane H., Ginger L. or Nancy S.

Scavenger Hunt image

Always Being Made New – The Campaign for the ELCA

Please enter the url to a YouTube video.

Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA

Approved by the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly in Pittsburgh, this five-year, nearly $200 million campaign will:

  • Increase this church’s capacity to support congregational renewal and the planting of new congregations
  • Form and support new lay, ordained and global leaders for mission
  • Encourage and form lay youth and young adult leaders
  • Support this church’s disability ministry
  • Bolster our commitment to walk with global companion churches in shared witness
  • Expand our efforts to address poverty and hunger

While the campaign was approved in the 25th anniversary year of the forming of the ELCA, this also is our moment to look toward the next 25 years and boldly respond to the needs of God’s creation with a living, daring confidence in God’s grace. Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA — the first of its size and scope in the history of this church — gives each of us the opportunity to make a transformational impact on the ministries of our church. Together, as 4 million members of the ELCA in nearly 10,000 congregations and 65 synods, we are one church with a call to do God’s work throughout the world.

Through this campaign, we can expand our mission capacity and achieve things on a scale and scope that we could never do alone. Through this campaign, we can do more. Together, we are called to do more, and in responding to this call, we will continue to live out God’s promise of always being made new, and to use our hands — and all that we have been given — to do God’s work. See more at the campaign’s official website.


Campaign Goals

This campaign — which runs from Feb. 1, 2014, through Jan. 31, 2018 — seeks to raise $198 million in support of new and expanded churchwide ministries above and beyond those supported by your regular weekly offerings.


Accompany and equip 1,000 congregations in their renewal efforts through ELCA synods
Goal for Renewing Congregations–
$8 million

Spread the good news far and wide by planting more congregations in the United States and the Caribbean.
Goal for ELCA New Congregations–
$4 million

Expand ministries with people living with disabilities.
Goal for Disability Ministries–
$4 million


Grow the permanent endowment fund so that, for generations to come, hundreds more of the most promising leaders can respond to the call to serve our congregations.
Goal for ELCA Fund for Leaders–$15 million

Engage young people in the life of this church through expanded ministries to youth and young adults.
Goal for Youth and Young Adults–
$4 million

Hunger and Poverty

Support our comprehensive approach in nearly 60 countries and expand support to communities in at least 10 countries, including the United States, as they work to solve challenges that perpetuate hunger and poverty.
Goal for ELCA World Hunger–
$115 million

Meet and exceed our 2011 goal of $15 million by 2015 to help overcome malaria in 13 countries in Africa.
Goal for the ELCA Malaria Campaign–
$15 million (over $10 million already raised)

Global Church

Initiate new evangelism projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Goal for Global Ministries–
$7 million

Equip more than 200 additional women leaders from our global companion churches through increased scholarships and educational opportunities.
Goal for International Leaders-Women–
$4 million

Support our missionaries and give 200 additional young adults the opportunity to participate in a year of global service.
Goal for Missionaries and Young Adults in Global Mission–
$22 million

Total campaign goal: $198 million

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