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Giving and Growing in Faith   

“Where your Treasure is, there your heart will be as well…”     (Lk 12:32-34)

Yes, it is October and as usual this fall we will be doing our Stewardship program called Consecration Sunday.  It is also true that in the fall, we begin planning for the next calendar year and what you give to ministry at Good Sam will certainly have great impact on what we can accomplish next year.

But it is not true to say that our Stewardship program is about getting you to give to what we want to accomplish next year!  There is a very different focus, connection and emphasis in our Stewardship programs here at Good Sam.   My purpose here is to remind or tell you about this different focus here at Good Sam.

In worship, we sometimes remind you that, giving can be an act of Worship.  We hope you have had a chance to think about the giving you do at Good Sam and you are also in the process of learning how to make your giving, a worshipful experience.

Giving is learned.  And learning to give is also a part of our spiritual journeying.  Why is this so?  I think about it this way:  When we give, we have the opportunity to connect how we give with learning to set ourselves aside, to practice letting go, seeking to discover what God is doing with us, as opposed to what we would do with ourselves.

Jesus invites us to love God with all our Mind, strength and will and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:34-40).  It is pretty hard to do this if we continually focus mostly on ourselves and what we want.  Learning to place ourselves in God’s hands is an essential activity in the journey of faith.  Learning to celebrate God’s activity in our lives and respond to that Grace with Thanksgiving is also an essential movement in the journey of faith.

At Good Sam, each fall, we invite you to pick up your own progress and growth in these movements of faith and decide with God what steps you might take to grow in giving, letting go and trusting God will your whole life, and then turn to God with Thanksgiving.

When you start receiving information about this year’s Stewardship program at–called “Giving and Growing in Faith”–we hope you will stop to reflect on your own need or interest to grow in faith and invest yourself in this essential movement of growing in faith.  As always, we will make good and faithful use of everything you share with us to support life and ministry at Good Sam and our work in the community of St. Mary’s County and beyond.

Peace and Faithful journeying,

Pastor Mitch

Holiday Helping Hands at G.W. Carver Elementary 2016

On Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, George Washington Carver Elementary will open its door to invited families who need help for the upcoming holiday season.  The selected families will be able to choose from new toys and household items (which we will wrap before they go home), as well as gently used items. Set up for the event is Dec. 2nd from 3:00 – 6:00 pm and family shopping is Saturday, Dec. 3rd from 9:00 am – Noon.

This is where we need your help!  Starting November 1, 2016, G.W. Carver Elementary will be accepting new and used items for our families.  Many new items that are needed are board games, puzzles, toys, blankets for the homes, etc.  In addition, any gently used items (household items, toys, coats, etc.) is also needed.  This is a great time to clean out your attics and basements and donate what you can.  In addition, non-perishable food items are also accepted to help these families in need.

We are also looking for helpers on each day.  On Friday, we will be setting up and sorting all of the items starting at 3 pm.  On Saturday starting at 8:30 am, we need people who would like to help the families “shop,” as well as wrap the new items the families select.

If you are interested in donating and/or helping with this event, please contact Lisa McCoy (Parent Liaison at G.W. Carver Elementary) at lrmccoy@smcps.org or 301-863-4076 ext. 44125.

Summer Stewards

I was asked the other day about easy ways to make a regular gift to the ministry of Good Sam.  It was a fun conversation to have because there are so many ways.  A number of us have set up recurring gifts through the Good Sam Online Giving Site (click on this link to look at it).  You can give a one-time gift there or pay a registration fee like for VBS at this site too.   This is easier than I thought it would be.  You can use a credit card or make an electronic funds transfer (this option saves the church a little extra in service fees).  Part of what is nice about this process is that you can make a gift this way anytime from any place you have online access.

I also mentioned Bill Pay (a service from your bank) and Simply Giving.  You can get a Simply Giving Contribution Form at church or from Rich Slavik our Financial Secretary.  Here is his email – financialsecretary@goodsamlutheran.com.

My family really cares about our life together at church. Now with automatic giving we don’t struggle to keep our giving up when we don’t make it to church or are away on vacation or travel. I don’t know why it took us so long to make our regular gift to church through Online Giving.  It is so easy to set a regular amount that is automatically sent each month on the same day. It has really helped us feel more faithful about our giving to church. It has also helped us go a little beyond our usual giving. When a special event we wish to support comes along we feel more confident in our giving and we feel we can make a difference. Feeling able to make a difference really is an encouragement to our faith and faithfulness. We invite you to think about joining us in giving your regular offering to church through online giving, but don’t forget about Bill Pay or Simply Giving if you like these methods better.

It’s your faithful giving that helps ministry, outreach, pastoral care and community service happen at Good Sam.  Thanks for all you do through worship, service and giving through Good Sam.  We are making a difference.

–Pastor Mitch

Christmas Events & Christmas Dinner at The Mission

The Mission at 21015 Great Mills Road, Lexington Park, MD is a faith-based organization dedicated to helping those in the community in need. This week leading up to Christmas, The Mission is having a week filled with Christmas events and Christmas dinner. There are few, if any other places that we know of in St Mary’s County that offer a free meal on Christmas Day to those people who have no place else to go.
The Mission is in need of a few items for their Christmas Dinner and still have a few spots open for volunteers from 3:00 – 6:00 pm to help with food service and clean up.
Needed items:
10 lbs butter                                            Salads
5 lbs oranges                                           Pies
1 gallon whole milk                                Desserts
15 quarts chicken broth                        Cookies
5 lbs sweet onions                                  Cooked corn (fresh or frozen)
Dinner rolls
Anyone wishing to help volunteer or provide supplies, please contact Brenda Myers at 760-902-8648. 
Christmas Week Events: 
Dec 18th – Christmas wrapping and pizza party
Beginning at 5 pm–wrapping party for the community Christmas party on Dec 19th. 70 children are signed up and have been invited to the Christmas Party to learn the true meaning of Christmas and receive gifts to be opened on Christmas Day.
Dec 19th –  Christmas Party
The party is from 12 – 5 pm for the 70 kids invited.  They are still looking for a Santa, Mrs. Claus and elves with their own costumes for that day.  Additionally, last year the kids had a great time doing simple crafts, activities and riding around the block in a fire engine. If you can help out in any way or have suggestions to make this a memorable party for the children as they learn the true meaning of Christmas, please contact Brenda Myers.  A donation of finger foods and desserts for the kids to enjoy would be greatly appreciated.  
Dec 19th – 24th – Christmas Turkey Dinner Distribution with Mike’s Bikes
Dec 24th – Preliminary Set Up for Christmas Day Dinner
Final night of Mike’s Bikes Turkey Dinner distribution.
Dec 25th – Christmas Day Dinner for everyone!!  
Serving 12 noon until 5:00 pm; then cleaning up of The Mission and putting it back together
21015 Great Mills Road
Lexington Park, MD 20653
Join us for great food & fellowship!!
Everyone is welcome!!
In God’s love, 
Brenda Myers
The Mission

A Christmas Giving Opportunity with Mike’s Bikes Food Drive

Can you imagine NOT having Christmas dinner this year?
For over 1500 families in St. Mary’s Country this is a reality.

You can change this and make a huge difference!  With a donation of only $20.00, we will supply a local family in need with:

  • A 10-pound turkey,
  • 10 pounds of potatoes
  • and canned goods for a traditional Christmas dinner.
We need cash, food, and helpers!
To make a donation or to volunteer, please call 301-863-7887.
Or send a check to: Mike’s Food Fund
21310C Great Mills Road
Lexington Park, Md 20653
Merry Christmas!
Mike
(from Mike’s Bikes – Great Mills Road)

Fall/Winter Mission Focus:  ‘Tis the Season for Giving

The Good Samaritan family has the opportunity to help kids and families in need this fall and winter at one of St. Mary’s County Schools. We are  partnering with George Washington Carver Elementary School and invite you to join in our mission focus in several ways:
laundry-suppliesCollection of Household Goods Drive at Good Sam:  We are collecting cleaning supplies and general household necessities such as (but not limited to):  laundry soap, shampoo, body wash/soap, lotions, toothpaste, etc.  There is a clear bin outside the office marked “Carver Elementary” to collect these items. Start bringing those items anytime–we’ll be collecting through Nov. 30th.
coat drive photo for web
Carver Coat Drive at Good Sam:  Along with the collection of other goods, we are also looking for coats! If you have ‘gently used’ winter coats you no longer need, or if you’d like to purchase a new  winter coat for a child or adult, we’re looking for all sizes, adult and child, male and female, boy and girl…you get the picture. There is a clear bin outside the office marked “Carver Elementary” to collect these items. Start bringing them in anytime–we’ll be collecting through Nov. 30th.

 

Collection of New and “Gently Used” Household Items at Carver Elementary: At the School site, they are also collecting new and “gently used”  household goods such as blankets, sheets, pillows, kitchen supplies, non-perishable food items and other items such as: board games, puzzles, bins, toys, dolls, and so on. It’s a great time to sort through the toy box with your kids and let them help select items to donate, or go through the purging process in your home and select items that could be used in another’s home. Your “no longer needed” items could be someone else’s treasures.  We cannot collect all of these items at the Church, but request that you contact the Parent Liaison: Lisa McCoy at lrmccoy@smcps.org or 301-863-4076 ext.1030 to set up a drop off time. They will be taking these goods until Nov. 30th.

Carver Elementary Needs Your Help with Their Holiday Helping Hands Event!!
After all the goods are collected and delivered to the School, Carver’s “Holiday Helping Hands” Event Planners need help sorting and organizing the items. On Friday, Dec. 4th from 3:00-6:00 pm, then the day of the event, Dec. 5th, from 8:30 am – Noon, additional assistance is needed to help families select items, have toys wrapped, help load cars and all the “behind the scene” things that make the event go smoothly.
Here’s how it rolls out: The day before the event, helpers are needed to sort items and display. During the event, selected families will be invited to choose from new/gently used toys, which will be wrapped before they go home, ‘gently used’ household items and household sundries. They’ll need guides/assistants to help families make selections, gift wrappers, load lifters/transport to cars, and many cheerful, helpful folks to help throughout the day and people to help clean up afterwards. We have sign up sheets in the Fellowship Hall for you to volunteer.  Please consider taking advantage of an opportunity to do God’s work and connect with our neighbors.

Reserve Oct. 25th for Consecration Sunday’s Special Worship and Celebration

Generous_Consecration_Sunday

On October 25th, we’re celebrating Consecration Sunday with one special service at 11:00 am followed by a celebratory  luncheon at 12 noon. This will be our only worship service for this day. Please come and join in this special worship experience and meet our guest speaker, Reverend Dave Sonnenberg, from Good Shepherd Lutheran in Gaithersburg MD.

Pastor Dave is the Senior Pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran where he has served since 2001.  He chaired the Stewardship and Mission Table for our synod from 2009-2014 and has a passion for helping the church grow in generosity.  His optimistic and hopeful leadership has enabled Good Shepherd to keep focused on reaching out in an ever changing world. For the last 2 years, his congregation has been in a supportive and creative partnership with Epiphany Lutheran in Burtonsville, Maryland.  He is married to Frances Foltz (who works as the Christian Ed Director at Good Shepherd) and they have 3 children;   Rachel (19), Becca (17), and Drew (15).   Rachel is a Sophomore at St. Mary’s and is on the swim team.  Pastor Dave ventures down to all of her meets so he has become very familiar with St. Mary’s County!  He is an engaging speaker and we are excited to have him with us on Consecration Sunday.  A full bio is at-  www.goserve.net/pastordave.

Please plan on worshiping with us on this day and sharing in our Celebration Luncheon with the whole congregation. This will be a catered meal, and we hope everyone will be there.  Soon you’ll receive a Reservation Card for this special Sunday’s worship and festive meal. It will be very important that we hear from you, so please complete your card when received.  We are looking forward to a day filled with worship, fellowship and thanksgiving for the generous gifts God has provided us–so that we may share them with others.

Consecration Sunday Is Coming!

Generous_Consecration_Sunday

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

Planning/Funding for New HVAC System in Disciples Den

A Giving Opportunity
Over the last several years, the Air Conditioning/Heating/Ventilation (HVAC) system in the Disciples Den has been failing–with maintenance costs getting more and more expense with time.  We are unsure of how much life the old system has in it and in taking a proactive approach, will begin planning funding for a new unit. At the July Council meeting, a vote was approved to create a restricted account in the budget for funds to replace the HVAC system in the Disciples Den building.  If you feel so inclined to help fund the new HVAC unit, you may submit checks to Good Samaritan Lutheran Church–being sure to add “Disciples Den HVAC” in the memo line or make an on-line donation with the same designation. Your gifts are tax deductible and any assistance you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

What’s The Good Sam Fund?

community_1[1]Each year Good Sam helps people in challenging circumstances with financial help toward a crisis they face.  We help people facing eviction notices, people who are facing electric shut-off notices (even in hot weather) and people who need oil for winter heat.  We help people in all kinds of circumstances.  We help people who are accessing the local network of help and who are working with a Social Worker at DHS.  All of the help we are able to give comes through your gifts made through our church designated fund call the Good Sam Fund.  We have a few members who support this ministry regularly.  But we want you all to know about this work and this opportunity to help others.  Most years we support 20 to 30 people ($50 to $75 at a time) with more than $2,000 of resources that you (the members of Good Sam) have given for this purpose.  Thank you for your support of the Good Sam Fund and this ministry to our neighbors.  Don’t forget this opportunity when you wish to make an extra mile gift this year.

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