March 6th is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. In Lent we begin again our journey to the Cross of Christ and the purposes God has for us in the world. We begin by remembering the cleaning power of the Cross and wear the sign of the cross on our foreheads in ash to remind ourselves and others that God’s way is a Holy Way, for Jesus and for us. Our Ash Wednesday Worship is at 7 pm.
Midweek Lenten Series: “Making Change”
Change is a constant in our lives. Some changes come in gradual transitions, as when daytime shifts toward twilight or winter turns to spring. Others happen in the blink of an eye, separating time into “before” and “after”. We choose to undergo some changes after carefully considering our options, while others are forced upon us.
In the weeks, days, and hours before Jesus’ crucifixion, the disciples also experienced change: a change of venue as the gates of Jerusalem approached; a change of plans as their long-awaited. Messiah was arrested and tried; a change of circumstance as the crowds shouted “Crucify!”
Change is hard. We long for the expected and familiar, but all too often find ourselves in the midst of uncertainty and the unknown. We cannot predict how things will turn out. But where is God when change comes upon us?
Paul reminds us that God works in all things for Good for those who love God. (Romans 8:27-28). Jesus prayers, “Never the less, Thy will be done.” (Matthew 26:39). The Apostle Paul wants to go to Asia Minor but his way keeps being blocked… and then he has a vision of a man from Macedonia calling, come, come and help us. (Acts 16:6-9)
How shall we regard change in our lives and how shall we apply our faith to the change we experience? We invite you to come and journey these questions this Season of Lent during Mid-Week Vespers on Wednesday Evenings at Good Sam.
March 13 Change of Season Ecclesiastes 3:1-8; Luke 13:18-21
March 20 Change of Habit Galatians 5:16-25; Luke 6:46-49
March 27 Change of Circumstances 1 Thessalonians 5:12-24; Luke 12:22-34
April 3 Change of Heart Ezekiel 36:22-28; Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
April 10 Change of Plans Isaiah 52:13-15; Mark 10:32-34
Wednesday Evening Schedule During Lent
5:00 pm Eat, Play and Learn Fellowship
5:30 pm Soup and Bread Fellowship (pot luck)
6:00 pm Angelic Voice Children’s Choir practice (Sanctuary; 15 min.)
6:30 pm Vespers (Evening Worship)
7:00 pm Class “Finding your S.H.A.P.E.” What’s SHAPE?
SHAPE stands for Spiritual Gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experience. Although there are many paths to discovering your best place of service, the online SHAPE assessment is one way to learn more about the role you can play in God’s grand story! Want more information about shape before you start? To review the FAQ’s click here.
A few weeks ago Nancy Shoemaker came to our Wednesday Church Night for an Acolyte Training. For some, it was a refresher, for others it was something to aspire to in the future, but they all enjoyed practicing and learning about roles in church for children. We also talked about church etiquette like when & how it might be best to slip out to the bathroom. It sometimes happens that we are in need of a last minute acolyte or crucifer. This past week, one little boy who attended the training overheard Pastor telling the usher we still needed a crucifer and he jumped up and said “Can I do it?” Being only 5 years old, and wearing one of the smallest white robes we have, he nervously, but proudly carried the cross down the isle and placed it by the altar. Later he assisted with communion, and though he needed a little reminder of what to say, he performed his duty with joy. This is not the first time that our lay leaders and worship helpers have empowered and guided a newcomer or child to jump in and serve. Our policy may be that we like for crucifers to be 1st grade and up and acolytes 4th grade and up, but our culture is that we value a willing spirit and a giving heart and want to care for members of all ages because even the youngest members matter. Thank you Nancy for taking the time to guide our children and make moments like this happen.
These are the things we do on Wednesday nights! Not only are we continuing our fellowship of families’ time playing and eating together, we have added Children’s Choir practice and a new youth activities to the fun. Join us at 5:00 pm to play and set up, 5:30 pm for potluck dinner, 6:00 pm for Choir Practice, and 6:30 pm for Life Lessons and Bible Play. We wrap up our time together with prayer requests for the week.
Want to come check it out? Here are our upcoming featured activities:
Jan 30 – Yoga with Gail Wathen
Feb 6 – Our Daily Bread Food Pantry with Rich Slavik
Feb 13 – Making of Blessing Bags for WARM
Feb 20 – Delivering of WARM Bags – Pizza & Game Night
Feb 27 – Basics of Photography with Chuck Latyak
Mar 6 – Lent & Ash Wednesday for Kids with Pastor Mitch
To be added to our weekly email sign up – please contact Kathy Marbach at firstname.lastname@example.org
While RSVPs help us plan – we are always happy to have people drop in and join us!
We are excited to announce that we have begun the process of putting together a fabulous new Good Sam Photo Directory! Pictures will be taken at the church by Lifetouch beginning September 27th through October 1st. Everyone who has a picture taken will receive a church directory along with a FREE 8 X 10 portrait. Yes, FREE!! We want to make this a complete representation of our church family…you do not need be a “member” to participate. The more the merrier! This will be a great tool to help everyone match names with faces. We sincerely hope that everyone will set up a time to get their picture taken.
You can begin scheduling your appointment now directly with Lifetouch by clicking HERE. Just follow the directions on the site, no need for initial “log in” information to register for your time. There will also be a sign-up table set up in the Fellowship Hall beginning the first Sunday in August. Please reach out to Anne Harvey-Diggs with any questions: email@example.com.
May 31 was a full day for Fellowship of Families. After sponsoring the Playground Blessing and BBQ event, they all gathered at Leonard Hall for a Skating Free-for-all. Skating is an event where verbs abound. There was; laughing and smiling, slipping and falling, hand holdings and mutual support. Old and young, able and learning, beginners and those more advanced all enjoyed the round and round of it all. Most of us remembered to go counter-clockwise. We skated until the final minute of our time and took a group shot of those who were present as the fun concluded. It was a full day for the kids, parents and grandparents alike.
On May 31, as Strawberry Sunday Fellowship time was winding down, the blessing of our new playground was just warming up. Pastor Mitch brought a short reminder about how many hands and hearts have a role making dreams like our playground become real. The prayer and blessing asked that the children who play in this space and parents who gather to shepherd the fun would all find joy and a chance to connect with one another and the presence of God that works especially well where our lives interact.Many people had a hand in making this project happen. Thanks to the planning team, the construction hands and the gifts that made this possible. Funds for this project were collected over the last two plus years from summer rummage sales and from the dissolution of our Preschool as well as from many individuals also contributed to this effort including monies given in memory of Cyndi Scheffler. Thank you to all who had a hand, a heart and a role in making this vision happen. Special thanks to Fellowship of Families along with TJ and Cocoa M. for sponsoring the BBQ event that accompanied this playground blessing. Also, take a look at the Thank You Wall in the Fellowship Hall where our children have taken time to post their thank you pictures for this great playground gift.