As a congregation, one foundational partnership we have is with the Metro DC Synod and the 98 congregations that comprise that body. This last weekend in Leesburg VA we met and adopted a 1.7 million dollar spending plan heard from other partnering organizations like Gettysburg Seminary and Lutheran World Federation. We also passed a number of resolutions/Memorials to express our collective thoughts, perspectives and calls to action. You are invited to check out the Video Summary of Metro DC Assembly.
One notable resolution that came out of the assembly was one on racism and the events in Charleston on June 17, 2015. Perhaps you know that nine persons from the Emanuel AME Congregation meeting in bible study were killed by a visitor to their group. This visitor was a young white man who is believed to be a member of an ELCA congregation. These events are shocking and difficult to take in. We had other connections to this gathering as the pastor of the congregation graduated from an ELCA Seminary. Please take a moment to read the resolution that came from our assembly and perhaps hear Pastor Mitch’s sermon from the Sunday that followed. We also invite our Council and members to reflect of the effects and signs of racism around and among us as well.
- Link to Resolution from Assembly called “Racism and the Events in Charleston”
- Link to Pastor’s Message from June 21 returning from Assembly.
- Link to all the Assembly Resolutions from the Metro DC Assembly
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about our church’s financial situation in light of our individual and collective engagement in Good 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.
Thanks to all who made extra efforts to help us finish fiscal year 2014 with a few hundred dollars to spare. We appreciate your responsiveness. January has also had challenges of its own. We usually have a deficit in January because we have annual bills and first quarter bills that we often don’t have cash reserves to pay.
Council and Finance are working together to decide which bills can be deferred until we can turn this around. Your faithful giving really does make a difference in the day to day management of life and ministry here at Good Sam.
–John S., Council President
Please save time to join us for a specially called Congregational Meeting on January 11 at 10:30 am. Because we didn’t have a quorum to conduct business at our Annual Meeting in November, we need you at this meeting so we can elect Council members and pass a spending plan for 2015. Please plan to join us.
Because we did not have the required number (one-third of the membership roster) present to achieve a quorum on November 23, we were not able to accomplish the scheduled business, including voting for the slate of nominees and adopting a budget/spending plan for 2015. Following discussion at the regularly scheduled Council meeting on December 8, we will publish a date for a special congregational meeting to accomplish these activities. Members will be notified of the date of this meeting by all available electronic and print media (including postal mail). Thanks in advance for your participation in this critical part of Good Sam’s family routine.
–John S., Council President
Your Congregational Council will host a Good Samaritan Family Meeting on Sunday, November 16 at 10:30 am in the Fellowship Hall. This informational meeting will provide updates on Good Samaritan’s ministry activities thus far in 2014. Our Annual Congregational Meeting will be held on November 23 at 10:30 am. The Annual Meeting will include election of Council members, Nominating Committee members, representatives to the annual Synod assembly, and approval of our Congregation’s 2015 operating budget. Please plan to attend these meetings… Your support is greatly appreciated!
–John S., Council President
We will be installing our 2014 Council members on Sunday, March 30:
John S., President Tim P., Vice President
Colleen C., Secretary Walt G., Treasurer
Torie B., Youth Rep. Mary D., Member-at-Large
Drew H., Member-at-Large Nancy S., Member-at-Large
Thanks to those who participated in the Family Meeting opportunities on March 2. As discussed at those meetings, our Good Samaritan mission statement and our congregation’s ministry goals for 2014 are:
We invite you to take some time to reflect on our mission statement and goals, in order to consider places where you might be engaged in them, working alongside your fellow Good Samaritans. Please feel free to share your thoughts about these goals and ways which you personally may choose to be involved in our congregation’s mission and faith journey, or thoughts you may have to connect with people within and outside our Good Samaritan family. Use the “Leave a Comment or Ask a Question Here” dialog box here on the By the Way, email to firstname.lastname@example.org, speak to a council member in person, or any other way you would like to make your thoughts known, but please join the conversation… THANK YOU!
— John S., Council President
On Sunday, March 2, your Congregational Council will host a Family Meeting to share information about the ministry goals we have adopted for this year, and also bring you up-to-date on our financial situation. Family Meetings are opportunities to engage in dialog and learn more about what is happening in the life of our congregation. As in the past, one Family Meeting opportunity will be during our Adult Forum time from 10:30 to 11:30.
Since many of you are involved in teaching or assisting with Sunday School classes during that hour, we would like to offer an additional chance to engage in dialog beginning at 8:00 am (recognizing that’s an early start). We will also publish notes from the discussions for those who may not be able to attend either opportunity in person. Please join the conversation!
– John S., Council President