All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘service’

Reading and Kids Make for Good Fun

Carvery Elementary participated in Read Across America the last week of February.   It is amazing how focused and enjoyable 1st and 2nd grade kids can be for “Story Time.” 
We also got to talk about our favorite activities and things we have in common.  I was able to share how fun it was to have my parents read to me and how much I love to read with my daughters.  There are so many ways to bring light and encouragement to life in our community.  What is your favorite way to make a difference in the world around you?

St. Mary’s Caring Soup Kitchen’s “Operation No Starvation – 2018-19”

Operation No Starvation” is a program designed to foster volunteerism and instill a spirit of giving in kids ages 6 to 17.  The program focuses on hunger prevention through fundraising and food drive campaigns for St. Mary’s Caring. The initiative is designed to inspire kids to engage in community service and begin building a volunteer portfolio, while working with a team of their peers to develop leadership skills. Participants are provided with resources they need to put together their own projects, in addition to group campaigns that target specific programs for the soup kitchen. The group meets the 3rd Saturday of each month during the school year. The 2018-19 School Year Kick-Off meeting will be Saturday, October, 20 at 2:00 P.M.  

Check out St. Mary’s Caring website to find out more about Operation No Starvation.  (And, see our very own Sydney & Savannah VanCamp featured on the home page. They participated in this program last year.)

June Highlights

Good Sam Happenings 

** Part Time Job Opening  Mission and Engagement Director (click the link for more info.)  Position closes Aug. 1.**

June 3 [Sunday Theme] “Sabbath and Restoration”

June 10 [Sunday Theme] “Confused About the Will of God?”    

                 ◊ June 10- Getting to Know Good Sam! 10:45 am (after Fellowship) 

June 17 [Sunday Theme] “Sanctuary is Received and Shared”

June 24  [Sunday Theme] “Fear, Faith and God’s Activity”

                ◊ June 30 Good Sam’s Annual Yard Sale 7:00 am – Noon

May Highlights

Good Sam Happenings

        ◊ May 5 Farming 4 Hunger Fundraiser “Seeds of Change” 12:00pm -2:30pm

        ◊ May 5 Mother and Daughter Day Tea 12pm

May 6 [Sunday Theme] “Love and the Spirit of God”   Making New Connections Commitment Sunday

May 13  [Sunday Theme] “Unity and Community with God and within God”   Making New Connections Celebration Sunday 

May 20 [Sunday Theme] “God Has a Plan: It Includes You” – Pentecost Sunday and Confirmation Sunday

May 27 [Sunday Theme] “Family of God”   (Summer Schedule begins today, Worship is at 9:30 am)

Good Sam Sr. Youth Requests Prayers and Support for Mission Trip

During a recent Good Sam Council meeting, Isaiah Mack outlined a request to the council to present his mission trip to Costa Rica this summer to the congregation. With their approval, he’ll present his request for prayers and support with this mission trip this Sunday.  Isaiah will be traveling to Costa Rica in June with other students from his Honors Spanish class at The King’s Christian Academy to assist with home building for a needy family and spreading God’s Word.

With the deadline for funds due April 15th, Isaiah writes about his plans, hopes and request:

“I have an exciting opportunity coming up this summer that I’d like to share with you.  As part of my growing desire to join God in serving people in need all over the world, I will be traveling to Costa Rica with other students from my Honors Spanish class at The King’s Christian Academy for a 1-week service project.  Our team of students and staff will be departing on June 11 and returning June 16.  I am writing this letter to invite your financial partnership with me in this endeavor.

The trip has been planned and designed by The King’s Christian Academy in partnership with Joshua Expeditions, a Christian non-profit organization.  Since 1997, Joshua Expeditions has been providing Christian schools with quality educational travel designed to inspire purpose in the lives of others.  They have designed this trip to provide us with the best experience possible in the 6 days that we will be traveling, allowing us to serve the people of Costa Rica and share with them the love of Jesus Christ.  You can learn more about them by visiting their website at

Our days in Costa Rica will be spent building a home for a needy family.  The family will be presented with their home on our 5th day, then we will help the family move their belongings into their new home.  As we work to meet the physical needs of the local residents, opportunities will open to meet their spiritual needs as we explain that Jesus is the reason we choose to serve them.  It is my hope that God will be expanding our hearts and giving us a broader perspective of His involvement in the whole world.

I am writing to ask for your help in getting to Costa Rica.  To participate in this trip I would love your prayers for my preparation and travels.  I also need to raise money for airfare, room and board, and other travel expenses.  I will need $2,750.00 by April 15th to join the trip. 

Thank you so much for prayerfully considering if this is something you would like to participate in.  May God bless you for your time and support.”

Sincerely,    Isaiah Mack

If you are interested in helping support Isaiah on his journey, contributions can be made to Good Sam with the trip name “Joshua Expeditions” in the memo line. We will send the contributions to them in Isaiah’s name. 

“Everything Happens for a Reason (and other Lies I’ve Loved)” by Kate Bowler

Dear Friends 

I have always thought that asking questions of your faith, about how it is alive in you was the point of the Lenten Season.  I just haven’t figured out how eating fish on Friday or giving up watermelon for the season would really have much of an impact of whether I loved or trusted God.  I wonder how my faith can be real enough to help me parent meaningfully and love my neighbor in a way that is pleasing to God and helps me grow as a person.  I am always looking for tools that will help me further or deepen my learning to love God with all my heart and mind and strength.  I don’t think it is surprising that I found a conversation partner in a Divinity School Professor (assistant professor).  It doesn’t surprise me that she is bright, witty and shares from the heart easily.  But I am deeply grateful that she is a parent of a two (now three) year old and that she can write and speak from places of great joy and deep pain in her life.  I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that this thirtysomething writer is facing the ravages of stage IV cancer treatment.  But what does surprise me is that Kate Bowler can write, speak, blog and engage some of the toughest veneers that our cultures has to offer and invite us into a deeper, honest and unvarnished beauty that loving God can fill us with while we yet live in this challenging world.

So this Lenten Season, I invite you to walk this journey with me and with Kate Bowler as we read together her book about facing life, faith and the way the world is through her book “Everything Happens for a Reason: and Other Lies I have Loved.”  So, Here is my challenge to you for Lent.

1)  Get the book (Here, if that helps).

2) Join us in class.  We’ll meet at Good Sam, right after Vespers (6:30 pm) for the five Wednesdays in Lent at 7:00 pm beginning February 21.

3) Check out Kate’s blog, you might actually enjoy her writing style.

4) And finally, bring your faith with you and be ready to further your journey of inviting God to walk with you through this challenging world as it is.

I am so excited to walk this walk with you.  Here is a great motto for living in faith:  Hard times are best endured together.


February Highlights

Good Sam Happenings

February 4 [Sunday Theme] “As You Wish”

◊ February 7  Wednesday Church Night continues

February 11  [Sunday Theme] “The Glory of God in the Face of Christ”

             Check out Kate Bowler’s new book “Everything Happens for a Reason: and other Lies I’ve loved”

◊ February 14th  Ash Wednesday Service   7 pm  (No classes this week)

February 18  [Sunday Theme] “Lenten Journeying”  and the Baptism of Spencer Allen Dafler

◊ February 21   Wednesday Church Night

     5:30 pm Soup and Bread Supper (all welcome)

     6:30 pm Lenten Vespers (Joyous Light)

     7:00 pm  Classes Begin

          1) “Everything Happens for a Reason, and other Lies I’ve loved” with Pastor Mitch

          2) “Luther: Renegade and Prophet” with Pastor Carlsen

February 25  [Sunday Theme] “Faith Must Remake Us”

◊  February 28   Wednesday Church Night

     5:30 pm Soup and Bread Supper (all welcome)

     6:30 pm Lenten Vespers (Joyous Light)

     7:00 pm  Classes Begin

          1) “Everything Happens for a Reason, and other Lies I’ve loved” with Pastor Mitch

          2) “Luther: Renegade and Prophet” with Pastor Carlsen

Fundraiser Planned to Support Trip to 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering

Taco and Talent Night – November 18, 2017

Join us for an evening of delicious tacos and spectacular talent. On Saturday, November 18, the evening starts at 6:00 P.M. with a delicious taco dinner. Dinner will be followed at 7:00 P.M. with a talent extravaganza. Tickets are available in the Fellowship Hall or the church office–adults $10, children $5. All proceeds go to support the trip to the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering in Houston, TX. And, we are looking for you and your talent! Please sign-up in the Narthex!  Questions? See Diane Glasgow.



Can you Help with Feed the Families this Summer?

Every summer children near Good Sam Go Hungry!

There are a number of families in our area who’s children would normally have their breakfast and lunch at School.  Generally this is about parents who work or struggle to put food on the table.  Our school leaders know who these families are, but school is out.  How does this food gap get covered in the Summer?  Enter St. Mary’s Caring and their program called “Feed The Families.”  They are in the fourth year of this program.  Last year we sent volunteers.  This year the program has been expanded to the 10 most needy families at three of our local Title One Schools.  This is where you can help.    

Good Samaritan has committed to collecting cereal, applesauce and seasoning packets.

Will you join us in donating weekly?  (The collection boxes are by the Office and Sanctuary doors) 

We have set a weekly goal of…

  • 50 boxes of cereal
  • 30 servings of applesauce
  • 15 seasoning packets

 When you go to the grocery store, think about our neighbors and help Feed the Families!

Would you commit to making a difference each week this summer?  We really need your help!

  • Sign up to tell us you will Help!  The sheet is located in the entry near the nursery.

  • gather these items and help as much as you can.

  • bring something with you to church or drop it off at the office during the week.

Thank you for your interest in being a part of St. Mary’s Caring Feed the Families initiative. Feed the Families is a vital program that provides weekly groceries to children enrolled in their school’s Free and Reduced Meal Program, and their families who are at risk of not having enough to eat during summer break. Feed the Families runs from the week of June 19 through Aug. 31.

Email Kelly Thurber with questions:

God’s Work. Our Hands. Making New Connections

“God’s Work.  Our Hands.  – Making New Connections”   is our 2017 emphasis in building new connections through GWOH new and existing efforts in our community.   Good Sam Community, we invite you to go and serve now, in our community.  Go together and wear a “God’s Work. Our Hands” T-Shirt (get a T-Shirt), take a picture of the activity and see what happens as we serve our neighbors together.  (We will be placing a new large order for GWOH T-shirts during the Summer.  Watch for the announcements)


On April 2, 2017, The Good Samaritan Community will gather (10 am) to review the events, activities and connections we developed during our 2016 emphasis and talk about how best to grow or multiply our making new and meaningful connections in the coming year (2017+).   We call this, “God’s Work.  Our Hands.  – Making New Connections”.  Already some ideas are percolating up at Council and some Good Sam Ministry settings.  We hope to hear how God is stirring in you to invite the Good Sam Community to reach out and build relationships with our neighbors as we live out our journeys of faith.

Also, Good Samaritan has been invited by The Metro DC Synod to be a pilot congregation in an effort called “New Connections” in learning to increase activities, events and relationships that build new connections within the life of our congregation.  This effort is part of a Synod-wide effort and Campaign that will kick off in the fall of 2017.  Our part of this effort is to make our own goals, define our own efforts, track our own progress, get some training through Synod resources and seek to support this Synod effort described in the “New Connections” Literature.

Here is a rough timeline of things that will be happening:

 April 2 All Congregation Gathering at Good Sam to brainstorm and support “God’s Work.  Our Hands.  – Making New Connections” planning at Good Sam for 2017 and beyond.

April and May – “New Connections” Campaign begins here at Good Sam with our own local efforts called “God’s Work.  Our Hands.  – Making New Connections”

June 16-17 – At Synod Assembly the “New Connections” Campaign Synod-wide will be unveiled, and each congregation in the Synod will be asked and invited to participate in ways that are right for them.  There will be examples and stories from each of the Pilot Congregations who are leading the way in developing the “New Connections” Program in their settings.  The two pilot congregations are; Christ the Servant in Reston and Good Samaritan in Lexington Park.

July and August – Good Sam will continue to develop our “God’s Work.  Our Hands.  – Making New Connections” efforts, putting them into action as each activity or event is ready.

September – Synod Congregations will begin making their own “New Connections” plans.

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