For some time now, we have had a screen to help us in worship. We project songs and lyrics, we put up images that help us imagine the message, and we play videos that illustrate a sermon point or play a YouTube song that helps us appreciate the words. It was an adjustment. But it also helps us look up, see each other and it even helps us sing and think about the words we sing.
Imagine now, how a monitor or screen in each entryway and in the fellowship hall might help us announce the activities for the day, give directions in our building, play videos or slide shows that illustrate our ministry, our life together and our mission and purpose at Good Sam. Soon we hope to have a 40 inch TV / monitor inside our hallway near each outside entrance. They will help give directions inside the building, play announcement slides and on occasion show pictures and slides of our ministry together. Certainly we will have a learning curve about how to use them helpfully rather than simply add clutter, but there is great potential in this opportunity.
In the Fellowship hall we plan to have a 50 inch TV / monitor above he whiteboard. We imagine using this to play visual announcements, but we will also be able to play movies, videos, play PowerPoint shows and more. It will be as versatile audio visual addition to our fellowship hall events and activities whenever such a tool is helpful.
In the coming weeks watch for these monitors in our building and help us learn what opportunities for using this new tool will help express our life together and add to our gatherings. Certainly, we might overdo it on occasion; we hope you will tell us about these times as well.
Hello Good Sam Members and Attenders!
This Sunday, April 7th, council will be holding it’s first quarterly information session immediately after church. Prior to fellowship, we will take 10 minutes to update you on things that council is working on, building happenings, and budget. There will be an opportunity for questions and further discussion during coffee and conversation should you chose to dive deeper. For our Sunday School teachers, there will be an opportunity for discussion between 11:30 and Noon.
This is an attempt to keep communications open throughout the year; therefore, if you can, please plan to stay in your seats for just 10 minutes after service and join council during Coffee and Conversations.
We are continually looking for ways to communicate that are helpful and meaningful for you as we journey together in this place. Please let us know if this is a good way to accomplish that goal. Your feedback is important.
President of Council
Sherri plays for our Worship Services and her gifts are music and children. Recently Sherri has begun working with Eat, Play and Learn Fellowship to bring the kids together to sing. We heard the Angelic Voices sing their first musical offering in Worship on February 17th. What a joy to see and feel the excitement of our children singing for the fun of it.
Meanwhile, we have been talking about the current Worship Keyboard that is breaking and beginning to malfunction more and more regularly. While we have been praying about this need we have also been thinking about the Chancel Choir’s need to see Sherri as she accompanies and directs them during Worship, as well as a need for a keyboard that is portable for use throughout our building. So here is the vision to support music in Worship and other music programming.
We would like to replace our aging Worship Keyboard with a new Yamaha or Roland Digital Grand Piano ($6,500). It will have all of the versatility of our current Worship keyboard including internal speakers and the ability to plug into the sound system for additional amplification. We are also recommending a Korg KROSS 88 – Key Black Keyboard Production Station that is portable and has a stand that can be easily moved throughout the building. It can plug into an Amp / Pre-Amp or plug into the sound system as desired. This will allow musical practice anywhere in our building and support Choral Singing from down front for concerts, choir anthems and more. Here is the cost to accomplish this vision. Can you help us finish that plan? We are almost half way there already.
- Yamaha or Roland Digital Grand Piano $6,500
- Korg KROSS 88 – Key Black Keyboard Production Station $1,150
Total cost for this effort $7,650
Dollars raised so far ( $3,100)
The Old Testament tells of a ritual in which persons in great sorrow sat in ashes or poured them on their head. Since early medieval times, ashes were distributed on the fortieth day before Easter as a sign of individual and communal penitence, and at the Synod of Benevento in 1091, the ritual was recommended for all Western Christians. The twin emphases of the day are sin and death: in sorrow for sin, we join with ancient peoples to put ashes on our head; and in honesty about death, we remember that, like Adam, we are made of dust and will return to dust. Acknowledging our sin and death readies the assembly for its annual baptismal journey to the resurrection.
Critics of Christianity often point out that Christians are hypocrites. Christians publicly espouse a certain set of rules for living—including care for creation, serving God and neighbors in need, and loving our enemies—and, just as publicly, fail to live up to those rules every day and in every way.
Paul, goes to great length to remind us that we, in our human nature, are death warmed over and this can lead to nothing but dust and death. Then we become ready to learn that in this dust is precisely where God meets us and gives us life and salvation in his Son. So the life of Adam (our flesh) is destined for death, but also our Life in Christ, will bring us to a new life with God that is more like the life Jesus lives with God, (I Cor. 15:35-56; 2 Cor. 3-4; Galatians 2:14-21)
In today’s gospel we hear about fasting cheerfully and praying in secret. And yet, as we leave the church building we bear a public and very noticeable sign of faith right on our foreheads. We know we are dust and the glory that we seek is not our own glory, but the gift that comes from God in the life of Jesus Christ. We see these two realities present in the ash of the cross and the death of Jesus on the cross and there we proclaim that we seek the life that God gives in resurrection and new life, like the life of the Risen Christ. Lent begins with a bold, visible, unmistakable reminder of who we are: simultaneously mortal dust and baptized children of God. We are simultaneously saint and sinner. At the same moment that we are ash and dust we also earnestly seek the Risen Life of Christ among us.
Join us for a journey of faith through Lent we are calling, “Lenten Journeying.” Click HERE to see the ideas we have shared to help you think about Lenten activities you might like to try.
Good Sam Happenings
March 3 [Sunday Theme] “Reflecting the Glory of God: Moses, Jesus and Us.”
Join us for your Lenten Journey in Faith
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.
Good Sam Happenings
Epiphany is discovery—not just an “a-ha” moment, but also the persistent dawning and awakening of something new in our awareness. On Epiphany, the star guides the magi to the child born King of the Jews, but there they discover the working of God in new and unexpected ways. The light of God is coming to all people. We to are guided to discover the living presence of God working in our lives.
One of the main ways we see God active in our lives is through the gifts that the Spirit of God gives. When these gifts arise in our lives we have a better view of what God is doing. Their light reveals God’s presence and care. These gifts are the fruit of the Spirit that Paul talks about in Galatians 5:22-23. They are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
On this Epiphany Sunday, we invite you to talk about how the “gifts” of the Spirit (the star you selected last year) played out in your life over this past year or where you saw God’s plan work in your life. We also invite you to select a “spiritual gift” star as an invitation to focus on that gift in the coming year and learn how this gift might impact your life? Perhaps this is God drawing us into his wonderful light and preparing us to carry that light wherever we go.
“Last Epiphany Sunday, I drew ‘Love’ from the basket of stars. For some time now I have been reflecting on the gift of love in my life. Mostly, that has come with Shannon, Sara and Willa. I am learning that love is a choice and that love is day in and day out a work of faithfulness. Yes, love is a feeling but it is so much more. God really is working in our lives through these kinds of gifts that come from God’s activity, from us to others and from others into our lives.”