Archives

All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘worship’

Looking ahead is a great way to see what’s coming.

In the story of Ratatouille, Remy, the want-to-be Chef, hears the voice of his idol and Master Chef Geastau, speaking in his imagination, “If  you stay focused on what is behind–on what you have lost–you will never be able to see what is ahead, right before you.”
 
I think Advent is partly about that kind of focus.  Allowing ourselves to look to what God is doing ahead of us.  What is nice about Advent is its symmetry.  What God is doing ahead of us, is in keeping and is part of what God had done before–for us–before we came to be.  What has been done in the story of Christ’s coming contains the ingredients and the seeds of what God is drawing us into now.  Indeed, the Christmas of the past, is all about how God is still seeking to bring about the life of Christ in all our lives, in the heart of every human being that will received him. 
The shepherds hear and go to learn and see the signs that will confirm it. “A babe, lying in a manger.”  We too, can hear the good news of Christ’s coming and ourselves receive the signs that this gift has also come to us, not just in the original Christmas, but this year and now as Christmas come among us again.  What a great coming this life of Christ is for us all, people of every time who can hear and learn and receive this magnificent gift.
 
O Come all Ye Faithful, light of light eternal, Come, Lord Jesus, Come.  Happy Advent!
 
Pastor Mitch

December Highlights

Good Sam Happenings

Dec. 2 [Sunday Theme] “Fulfillment of the Promise”

(Congregational Annual Meeting @ 10:30 am in the Sanctuary)

◊ Dec. 5 Wednesday Advent Church Night

4:30 pm Eat and Play Fellowship

                5:30 pm Advent Potluck

                6:30 pm Advent Vespers

                7:00 pm Discuss Together “Lasting Impact” Intro and Chapters 3-4

Dec. 9 [Sunday Theme] “Stir Up Our Hearts”

◊ Dec. 12 Wednesday Advent Church Night (see schedule above)

Dec. 16  [Sunday Theme]Sunday School Christmas Pageant”

◊  Dec. 19 Wednesday Advent Church Night (see schedule above)

Dec. 23  [Sunday Theme] “Faithful Lives Always Give Birth to God’s Activity”

◊Dec. 24 Christmas Eve Services

5:00 pm Family Friendly Christmas Eve Service

8:00 pm Traditional Christmas Eve Service

Dec. 30  [Sunday Theme] “Lessons and Carols for Christmas”

November Highlights

Good Sam Happenings

Nov. 4 [Sunday Theme] “Small is Big” Rev. Phil Hirsch Assistant to the Bishop of the Metro DC Synod

◊ Nov. 4 Consecration Sunday Brunch 10:15 am (RSVP Here)  Theme:  “Giving and Growing in Faith

Nov. 11 [Sunday Theme] “Living in the Hands of God” also Honoring Our Veterans

Nov. 18  [Sunday Theme] “Like a New Day, Dawning”

◊  Nov. 21 Thanksgiving Meal at Good Sam 5:30 pm (potluck) with a short worship service at 7 pm.

Nov. 25  [Sunday Theme] “Knowing vs Understanding:  a Revelation”

◊ Nov. 28  Wednesday Church Night is back this Advent Season

                4:30 pm Eat and Play Fellowship

                5:30 pm Advent Potluck

                6:30 pm Advent Vespers

                7:00 pm Discuss Together “Lasting Impact” Intro and Chapters 1-2

God’s Love is Like a Grandmother’s Love

For some Sundays now, Danata has driven from Baltimore on Sunday morning to visit and pick up her grandsons and bring them to a local church near where the kids live.  Her hope is that her Grandsons could experience the life and hope of a Christian Community.   So, Danata decided she could at least have a little more time with those boys and bring them herself to a church for Worship or Sunday School.

As it turns out, there were a couple of other neighborhood children who were out playing and they were invited to come along to Sunday School and Worship at that nearest local church.  This last Sunday Danata brought two Grandchildren and three neighborhood children into worship at Good Sam, and they stayed for Fellowship time and Sunday School. Here you can see Christy and Lisa getting into the act of being the extended family of Christ to these children and their local neighborhood friends.  On the screen in the background, you can see the words to the song:  “Give A Little Bit of Your Love.”  The image is two hands holding another’s heart.

Danata wonders how this connection, this activity of hope, could happen through the winter months when she can’t get here from Baltimore.  It is an honest question, a prayer really, a hope of faith that someone will love her grandsons into faith just as she is trying.  Finding our neighbors was never more lovely, inspiring and possible than right now at Good Sam.  Thank you for all the ways that you too step forward and love a neighbor, simply because God loves them, just like a Grandma.

I Missed a Fall Focus Sunday

Have you heard people talking about a message during Fall Focus this season and wish you could have heard it?   Now you can.   Click on any of the “Fall Focus”  links (like this one  “Fall Focus” ) and you will have a summary with video links to each of the four Fall Focus messages from this season.  Here is a summary of what we have covered”

Theme:  Finding Our Neighbors

We hope you have enjoyed the playful and creative look at what it means to connect with our neighbors.  As always, we wish you faithful journeying with God. (Micah 6:8)

Pastor Mitch

 

 

Fall Focus 2018: Finding Our Neighbors (Week 4)

“Walking the Journey, Meeting at the Cross”

Scripture Readings: 2 Corinthians 3:1b, 12-18, 2 Corinthians 4:1, 5-9, 15-18, John 2:43-51

We need each other and God has a plan to meet us right there.

We need each other in our overwhelmed moments and in our tired tirades.  We need each other in our parenting challenges and especially in our suffering.  Right in these places, God’s mercy meets us!  How? God touches our lives when other people bring good things into our lives, like welcome, acceptance, healing and forgiveness.  In these moments the Welcome of God is at work.  This is part of the truth and liberation that the activity of finding our neighbors will bring.

Listen to Micheala Shelly as she tells it her way, through her life and struggles.  Notice when and how she finds neighbors who make a difference in her life and in theirs.  Then, notice what she does with this discovery.   I believe her experience is relevant to us as well.

Even when we’re dying, we need each other, we need God’s love and mercy, and we are still God’s gifted people.  What Michaela has discovered is that even in our own struggles we also carry the love and mercy of God with us.  It comes through our lives from others and it comes from us to others through the plan and purposes of God.  Even when we are weak and dying we have the ability to be God’s people, making a difference in the world.  Paul says it this way, ”

For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your Servants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 

15 Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.  (2 Cor. 4:5-9, 15)

That we can have this impact in each others lives is a sign that the living God is working in our lives.  These are signs of God’s Grace.  God’s Grace is about how God will lead us into the persons we will become, and help to shape and care for the lives we touch.  And we take this journey with God and through God’s grace with those who come into our lives and into whose lives we come.  When we act on this hope we become the Grace of God to others as well.  And we learn to let the Grace of God be enough for our lives as well.

How can you be a lighthouse for another? And also receive the gift of how God is working in your life? This is living with Christ and finding our neighbors along the journey of faith.  This is God’s Grace, alive among us.  This is a part of the risen life of Christ among us.  You too can carry this light of the glory of God in the face of Christ, in your life.

Pastor Mitch

Community Unity Concert

Are you interested in learning more about the needs our community and at the same time listen to great music.   If so, join us on Sunday, October 28, 2018, at 3:00 PM for COMMUNITY  featuring The Southern Maryland Community Gospel Choir, directed by our own Music Directer, Sherri Fenwick, amazing community leaders that will talk with us about programs to know about and connect with such as Carver Elementary, St Mary’s Food Bank, WARM, Senior Services and much more. This event is open to ALL who want to hear great music and explore the needs of our community. Refreshments will follow.

Fall Focus 2018: Finding Our Neighbors (Week 3)

“What Will You Live For – Give It Voice”

Scripture Readings: Isaiah 55:6-13 and Mark 5:1-20

Parenting will strip you down, revealing your weaknesses.  It will ask for more than you have at any given moment and ask you to give your life when you feel you have nothing left to give.  If you thought about the literal costs and the personal investment it takes to parent, you might tremble or turn and run from the endeavor.

Parenting is also a crucible in which God remakes you into a vessel capable to pouring out love and mercy while giving gifts that others will need to survive and thrive.  And it leaves room for the loves songs we will live and write with our lives.

Isaiah 55 says God’s Word goes out and doesn’t return until it accomplished its purpose just like the rain falls and does not return to heaven until it has watered the earth, filling the lakes and rivers and giving life to the earth.

Perhaps also, God is busy parenting us, pouring out love and mercy, while giving us gifts that we will need to survive and thrive.

Listen to the struggles of one young woman, looking for life… and wrestling with herself and her father to search out what it means to live and thrive in the world.

There are many ways that the love and gifts of God invite us into the world to discover and to acquire the gifts that are needed in the world…. But living this adventure is a beautiful love song…. A Golden melody to the Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier whose purposes are accomplished and who’s love song continues to resound in the lives and hearts of those who love God.

Fall Focus 2018: Finding Our Nieghbors (Week 2)

Building a Conversation

Scripture Readings:  James 1:19, Philippians 2:3-4, Matthew 6:19-21

  • When people talk, listen completely, most people never listen.   –  Ernest Hemingway
  • “Just as love to God begins with listening to God’s word, so the beginning of love for the person is learning to listen to them.”      –  Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.  –  Bryant H. McGill
  • “Often a person can be helped merely by having someone who will listen to them seriously.”      –  Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • I like to listen.  I have learned a great deal from listening carefully.  Most people never listen.   –  Ernest Hemingway
  • When we listen with curiosity we don’t listen with the intent to reply.  We listen for what’s behind the words.  –  Roy T. Bennett

Sometimes we miss seeing the blessing and benefit we receive in finding our neighbors.  In our first session on Radical Hospitality we explored how being really present and creating space for another is a gift to them and part of the way God creates a graceful space for us to be present with God.  But when we welcome another, often elements of our own faith journey will come into play and we discover that God is giving us what we need as well.  This is the liberation that often comes with our learning to be about Radical Hospitality.

The next step is learning to play with that graceful space we make between us and another.  Here we have the opportunity to learn and practice the art and activity of building a conversation.  We are often very centered on what we want to say instead of learning to listen in order to connect.  Here are 10 things to consider…

Play video.

Filling graceful space between us and another with the activity of listening to understand and to connect is a great way to create meaning and better begin to see our neighbor, beyond what we thought we knew about them.  There is always more to learn and everyone is an expert in something.  Listen in order to discover what the another is gifted in.

You also might read Chapter 16 of “The Whole Brained Child” by Daniel J. Siegel M.D.  He talks about how our brains are hardwired for this kind of connection and our brains are built for this kind of connecting and learning to understand each other.

October Highlights

Good Sam Happenings 

October 7  [Sunday Theme] Fall Focus:  Finding our Neighbors “Building a Conversation”

October 14 [Sunday Theme] Fall Focus:  Finding our Neighbors “What Will You Live For: Giving It Voice”

October 21 [Sunday Theme] Fall Focus:  Finding our Neighbors “What Will “Finding Our Neighbors” mean for Good Sam and You?”

October 28 [Sunday Theme] Reformation Sunday “Faith and CHANGE”

 

 

Page 1 of 1512345»10...Last »