They kept streaming in; Micah and Grant, Hannah and Tristan, Elizabeth and Logan…there were 25 of them. Actually, I could name them all. I tried to call their names out as they would steam up to join me on the steps, before the altar, near the cross of Jesus. I love this time. I love these kids. They seem like an important part of the life of Jesus among the people who have gathered. Yes, some of them I baptized – but that wasn’t it. Yes, two of them were my own children – but that wasn’t it. Some of them I have had more contact with than others – but that wasn’t it. What was it? I think it was that you can see that they know this moment is for them – a place and a time they know is center stage, just for them. Their energy and enthusiasm says, “This is fun to gather this way, and we wonder what will happen? Our eyes and hearts and bodies or filled with the energy of it.”
At this moment in worship, my joy is full and it seems that their joy is taking shape. At this moment, what is foreign, strange and far off (words and texts and songs for big people) has now stopped and drawn near to them. The joy of it for me is that I get to be the vessel that holds open that space where Jesus comes to love our children. Often this is a high point in our worship together for me. Many of you tell me your children can be heard saying words that I say from worship or doing gestures that I use in worship. What fun. Come gather for worship and together we will celebrate with our children the joy of the presence of Jesus among us.
Gearing Up for Vacation Bible School (VBS)!
VBS season is right around the corner! It’s time to spread God’s Word through singing, science experiments, crafts, games and delicious snacks. VBS will be July 16-20 from 1:00 – 4:00 P.M. Children age 3 (and potty trained) through rising 6th graders are welcome to be Shipwrecked and Rescued by Jesus. We are looking for teenage and adult volunteers to help make VBS unforgettable. If you would like to volunteer, sign up on the Volunteer Form. If you have questions about VBS please contact Cocoa Maday. Registration forms are available in the church office and online at Good Samaritan VBS Registration.
The Advent season begins November 27th. Celebrate the first Sunday of Advent, November 27th by making an Advent Arrangement for your home. This activity is for all ages and will take place between services at 10:15 am in the Fellowship Hall. Each family will design their own arrangement complete with LED candle to take home and enjoy in the weeks before Christmas. An Advent Devotion booklet will also be provided. Please let Martha R. know by November 20th if you would like to participate so there are enough supplies (firstname.lastname@example.org). Celebrate the days upcoming to Jesus’ birth and the meaning of Advent with a hand-made arrangement to teach and remind us of the beauty of this season.
Please Welcome Karol Carlsen to our Nursery Team as Nursery Staff Lead. Karol is studying Art and Art Education at St. Mary’s College. She and her family are long time members of Good Sam. Karol’s Job in the Nursery is to see that we have Nursery Care all Sunday Morning, while providing a nurturing, safe and educational environment. Karol will be assisted by Nursery Attendants Samantha Kowalik and Sydney Goodrich during 8:45 am Worship. Karol is also available during the Sunday School hour to provide care for our 1-2 year old children so parents can visit, attend classes, go with other children to Sunday School Opening or volunteer in Sunday morning activities. Karol will also provide Nursery Care during our 11:10 service as there is need. Karol is excited about this job, loves working with children and is pleased to work with us to build this important activity on Sunday Mornings here in her home church.
Here’s the run-down:
At 11:00 am:
- Jr. & Sr. High youth will meet with their teachers in the Disciples Den.
- Children 3 years old (& potty-trained) through 6th grade will meet in the Sanctuary. Parents are encouraged to stay as we gather for music and the presentation of a few awards.
- Accompany your child to their classroom for a meet & greet with your child’s teacher
- If your child is under 3 years old, please join us in the Sanctuary for the opening and then meet in the nursery. We are looking to start a nursery program during the Sunday School hour. We will see how we can work together to begin a program.
Parents, please be sure to fill out a Sunday School registration form for each of your children so we know of any allergies and how to contact you in case of an emergency. The forms can be found in the Fellowship Hall on the Sunday School bulletin board or see Mary Dickinson.
After spending many years teaching the Pre-K / Kindergarten class, we are very excited to have Mary serve as our Sunday School Superintendent now. If at any time you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Mary Dickinson at sundaysuper@goodsam.
If you are interested in helping children with their reading skills and making a real difference in their lives and how they feel about reading, consider joining our volunteer reading tutor/mentoring program at G. W. Carver Elementary School.
As part of the “God’s Work. Our Hands” Service Projects, we are looking for people who are interested in helping the children of Carver Elementary School by being a mentor/reader/tutor for this coming school year. All volunteers will need to register with St. Mary’s County Public Schools as a “Volunteer” and go through the required security program checks before participating. This is an easy and quick process using the above link. Once complete (it may take up to 10 days), you’ll receive an email providing you with a Volunteer number. Gennifer Koebke will be providing the targeted reading tutor training.
September Update: The new Carver principal, the Lead Language Arts Teacher and the Title 1 Schools Literacy Lead are all very excited that we will be working with their students in reading. At this time, Carver teachers are conducting intensive one-on-one testing of all of their students and determining reading levels. They will practice reading books selected as “good fit books – fast, fun, and easy” among other testing variables. Soon we will know the number of students that would benefit from this mentor-tutoring program.
Our job will be to act as a reading “cheerleader” for a student who may be reading independently several levels below grade level and may not have support at home for the home reading that is required. Our main job will be to help them feel good about themselves as readers. Our goal is to help them fall in love with books, and at the same time know that they have a mentor in their life that cares about them.
To reach out and serve our neighbors in new ways and with new partners, to gain new insights, to be renewed in faith and to gain fresh strength for serving in all our daily calling’s. Loving, liberated service to others is more than a one-time or even ongoing activity. Being baptized into Christ’s life creates a whole new world of relationships – with God, with others and even with ourselves – that is characterized by loving, liberated service.
Our Goal is to Work with others to remove barriers of exclusion, prejudice and hatred that limit your neighbors’ freedom and full participation in public life… Working for the “Common Good”.
Part #1. Provide 25 SACK’s (for the Homeless) consisting of everyday items of need.
Part #2. Provide 25 PACK’s (For Kids) consisting of supplies needed for going back to school.
Phase #1 – The Discovery
In this phase we will get to know some of the Homeless people by having someone come and give us information as to the needs of the homeless and reasons for their being homeless, we will also learn how we as a community can put Gods Work/Our Hands into action to help those who are down and out and having problems.
Phase #2 – The Gathering
In this Phase we will work as a community to gather all the necessary components needed to put our plan into action. We will develop teams to work on the items needed, by contacting local organizations and businesses to help us meet our goal to help our community.
Phase #3 – The Sending
Phase #4 – The Sharing
In this phase we will come together on September 11 as a congregation to share pictures, stories and insights on how we worked together as Gods People doing God’s work with Our Hands. We will sing praises and share a meal to celebrate Gods Love and how we as a congregation can work together to help our brothers and sisters who are less fortunate.
So now is the Time to Volunteer
- Decide what your Talents are and where you can Volunteer.
- Devote some time in your busy schedule to complete one or more of the tasks.
- Get everyone evolved.(Family, Friends, Neighbors)
- A sheet is posted in the Fellowship hall listing where we need help and what is needed in the way of supplies.
- Sign up for one of the tasks or contact Michael Miller to see how you can serve your community!
Where we need help:
- Volunteer help contacting local business’s to encourage them to participate by donating some of the items needed to complete the bags and packs.(A list of what we need is posted in the fellowship hall.)
- Volunteer help putting together the sacks and packs together once we have acquired the items needed.
- Volunteer Photographer to take a picture history of “Gods Work, Our Hands” project.
- Volunteer help to keep track of the items we received and where we are on our goal.
The main focus of course is service to others, not by just giving but by being involved in our community and coming together as a congregation to help those in our community who need help.
Project Sacks and Packs – Items Needed…. CAN YOU HELP?
Sacks for the Homeless__________________________________________________________________
Tooth Brush, Tooth Paste, Medium Towel, Deodorant, Composition Books, Hand Sanitizer, Energy Bars,
Hand Sanitizer, Kleenex Packets, Sewing Kits, Feminine Hygiene products (10), Candles, Flashlights, Matches,
Zip Lock Bags, Thick Socks, Garbage Bags, Toilet Paper, Band-Aids, Antibacterial Ointment, Combs,
Bottled Water, Travel size soaps, Baby wipes or wet wipes.
Back packs for Kids_____________________________________________________________________
Pens (any Color), #2 Pencils (kindergartners need fat pencils), Pink Erasers, Small pencil sharpener, Glue sticks (No glue Bottles),
Ruler, Student Scissors (5+ style), Pencil pouch, Box of crayons, Composition Books, Colored Pencils, Markers,
2-Pocket Folders, Hi Liters (any Color), Pencil top erasers, Index Cards, Post-it Notes, Back Packs.
Most of these items can be obtained at the Dollar Store or Walmart. There are lists available in the Narthex, where you can circle the items that you wish to supply and then give them to Michael or put in the Office. There is also a Donation box in the Church Office where you can place the needed items. We need 25 each of every item.
Another way you can help is by visiting our Go Fund Me page and share it on your Facebook page. This way our project will reach more people and the whole community can participate in the act of
“Gods Work, Our Hands” Project.
Check out this listing and description of just about everything you could do with your child(ren) through the summer in St. Mary’s County. Parents: Don’t know how to get through the summer with enough activities for the kids? Look at this publication. It will remind you of great ideas and even suggest a few of which you might never have thought. When you click on this link it will download to your desktop or device: Summer Fun With Your Little One. It’s a PDF version.
Also check out this link for St Mary’s County activities.
VBS is Just Around the Corner . . .
Vacation Bible School (VBS) this year will take place during the week of July 18 – 21. In an effort to try an accommodate as many of our families with VBS-aged children as possible, we’re trying something brand new this year–VBS in the afternoon! VBS will be at Good Sam from 1-4pm in the afternoon. We’ll have games, music, snacks, crafts and science with all activities held inside (except for water day) during the heat of the day. Teenage volunteers are needed–and get a bonus–sleeping in!! So, everyone, SAVE THE DATE and join in the fun!
Preparation Begins: Here’s how you can help!
Every year, we use recycled supplies for our daily art projects. We are requesting that our Good Sam families start saving the following items (we’ll have a tote set out to collect items in the near future)
- Gallon Milk Jugs
- Glass Jars (spaghetti, jam, mason, etc.)
- Brown Paper Grocery Bags
- Plastic Cylinder Jars (peanut butter, applesauce, mayonnaise, etc.)
For more information on this year’s VBS, click HERE.
Nursery Hiring Team is extending the job opening search for a shared Nursery Staff Position until Feb 8th. Please apply if you are interested. We are looking to hire Nursery Assistants to share the position for working in our church Nursery on Sunday mornings. This position is to provide safe, secure, nurturing, clean, and responsible care to our children during Sunday 8:45 am Worship. Ministry responsibilities include implementation and potentially planning activities to enhance the social and spiritual growth of the children in our Nursery. Other responsibilities include interacting with the children (and their parents!) and/or directing their play, reading to them, praying for each child, exhibiting Christ-like patience and love, and relating the events of the day to the lesson and theme in words the children can understand. Hours will be 8:30 am to 10 am. Please apply to email@example.com. You can speak with Pastor Mitch, TJ Maday, Christy Schumacher or Colleen Coombs if you have questions.