Posts in Generosity

Every August, Frances makes me go to Target for back to school shopping. We head to the aisle of school supplies and proceed to find notebooks that are on sale for 25 cents. During the rest of the year such notebooks are more than a dollar but in August, they are cheap.  So, we buy about 400 of them along with many boxes of crayons.  It takes two trips to the register and two trips to the car to get all the supplies.   The supplies aren’t for our kids. They are for our annual Memorial Day Project in which we prepare school kits for children around the globe.



When you have a cart of overflowing notebooks, people notice. Some look at you with suspicion, as if you might be robbing the store. Others look at you with a level of curiosity. Some simply ask you what you’re doing.  One woman and her college age daughter asked me, “are you a teacher?”  I told them I was a Pastor of a Lutheran church in Gaithersburg and the supplies were going to be donated to kids overseas as part of a project we’d be doing. The daughter said, “cool.”  The mom said, “that’s really neat”.  We went in separate lines to pay.  It took me a while to check out because of the volume.  I was talking to the checkout employee when suddenly, the inquisitive woman came up to me and handed me a $10 bill.  “I want to be a part of what you’re doing, so please let me help!”   I thanked her, she smiled, and we went our separate ways. 


The woman’s words have stuck with me— I want to be a part of what you’re doing, so please let me help!” It was a great witness and a reminder to me that people in our world are hungering to be a part of things that are meaningful.  As Christians, that applies to us.  We want to bless others. We want to make a difference.  We want our faith to have lasting impact on the world.  I am very proud of the work we do at Good Shepherd. I’m proud that we have more and more folks who experience our ministry and say with their time, talent, and resources, “I want to be a part of this, so let me help!”  So, as we start the fall, take action.  Be a part of the wave of generous giving at Good Shepherd.  Go to and make a gift today.   

Special Gifts: A Big Success
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I think it’s fair to say that “I’m confident in the people of Good Shepherd.” You rise to the occasion again and again. You have this inner drive to be generous and you are ready to act. In June, we launched a Special Gifts Campaign in which we invited you (the people of Good Shepherd) to help us furnish the newly renovated Shepherd’s Hall as well as some of the Education Wing. Many of you made donations in honor or memory of others. What a wonderful way to celebrate someone’s Christian witness. We’ve been able to move forward and purchase a lot of new items: tables, chairs, A/V system, and some new plants. Other items will soon be ordered. I want to simply say thank you. The total amount raised for the Special Gifts Campaign was $49,147 from 89 households. Amen! Your generosity has provided our spaces with a new, fresh, and inviting look. We will enjoy the use of these spaces for plenty of important ministry for many years to come!  


*Note: We will have a re-dedication of Shepherd’s Hall on Sunday, October 20.*


GSLC Endowment Fund: Special 2019 Fall Grant Announcement

GSLC Endowment Fund: Special 2019 Fall Grant Announcement


The GS Mission Endowment Fund promotes the growth of the church by providing scholarships to seminarians and grants to promote ministries, missions, and activities to support those in need and to spread the good news of Christ into the broader community. This spring we were able to provide three scholarships to seminarians and helped support a feeding program in Haymarket VA that helped children in need.


We are happy to announce we will consider new applications this fall. The special fall application period for grants and scholarships is underway and runs through September 30. Grants will be announced in late October. Applications are available in the church office and online at Questions? See Pastor Dave or other members of the Endowment Committee (Christine Bauer, Kirk Betts, Gary Bowman, Bill Buslee, and Tim Smith). 



As we head into September, I want to say thanks be to God for the ministry of Peter Schmidt!   Peter has been our Director of Music Ministry for a quarter of a century. This September marks his 25th year leading us in song at Good Shepherd.  We will have a time in worship on Sunday, September 29 to say a public thank you for a job well done. My hope and prayer is that Peter is ready to serve another 25 years!


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Peter clearly loves the Lord and loves leading us in worship. I enjoy watching him direct our chancel choir and special ensembles. He leads our contemporary band with such passion and energy. He “pulls out all the stops” for Christmas, Easter, and the festivals of the church year. He is generous with his time and the consummate team player. His encouraging presence is one that lifts me up time and time again.  He is a great “shepherd” for our choirs; continually sending messages of thanks and encouragement for a job well done.


When you think of the strengths of Good Shepherd, I am certain that you will mention our music. And, I’m just as certain that you’ll think of Peter right away! But Peter is very humble.  He continually reminds us that what he does is for the glory of God. And secondly, he reminds us that he is carrying on a great legacy of music that’s always been a part of Good Shepherd.  As we enter September, we remind ourselves how God has blessed us in giving us such a great musician and friend in Peter Schmidt!  Please reach out and share your gratitude this month. 




Thanks to Peter, Jeff, Vicki, our band, and all those who sang as part of special ensembles this summer.   At Good Shepherd, we have special music every Sunday of the year.  Know that your generous support enables us to provide a top-notch staff, dynamic worship, and special music every Sunday of the year! To make an online donation or set up recurring donation to support Good Shepherd, visit

Summer Momentum

Memorial Day is now behind us. We are ready to venture into an exciting summer at Good Shepherd. Like the energizer bunny, our ministry plows ahead in the summer months. We don’t stop.  A few things to point out as we head into summer.


·         Summer Sunday School begins on Sunday, June 16 for all ages.  We give thanks that our congregation has a strong passion for education and connection.

·         A new website will be launched. It will be faster and more mobile friendly

·         Dinners for 8 will provide a nice summer fellowship opportunity for people to connect.  Get signed up with Pastor Kate (

·         Our Evangelism team will host another new member session in July.

·         Council is exploring ways to partner strategically with other congregations to help the ELCA. You’ll hear more about “Anchor Church” as the summer rolls along.

·         Our Building Committee will be working on the next projects beyond the Shepherd’s Hall renovation.

·         Men’s Shelter Ministry will continue.  Please show your support for the outreach this summer.

·         Youth Ministry will have ongoing adventures throughout the summer (Elementary, Middle, and High School).  Our teens will be heading out on two week-long work camps. 

·         We have some golf outings scheduled.

·         Staff will be working on fall plans throughout the summer.

·         Special music will occur at all services throughout the summer, thus reminding us of the depth of our musical talent. 

·         We will celebrate some special milestones this summer including Pastor Ted’s 60th Ordination Anniversary on June 9, Peter Schmidt’s 25 years of service at Good Shepherd (tbd), and the re-dedication of Shepherd’s Hall in August.  



The next three months are very important for us to maintain momentum. We will have many visitors and we give thanks that we will be able to show them a vibrant ministry in action. It’s also very important to keep up the generous and regular support of our ministry. I want to encourage you to set up a reminder to make an intentional gift in June, July, and August and/or schedule a recurring gift online at   Thanks in advance. 



There is a story in the Middle East of a man who came upon an old man planting an olive tree, which takes decades to produce good fruit.  When asked why he is planting a tree that will not benefit him, the old man replies, “Those who came before me planted, and we benefited.  I am planting so that those who come after me shall benefit.”


Amen!   When I hear that story, I hear joy in the voice of the old man.  I hear great satisfaction and confidence as he knows his giving is a blessing.  He certainly trusts and believes that the future will be fruitful.

Your giving to Good Shepherd matters. Your giving blesses us in the present.  Your giving enables us to provide dynamic programming for all ages (youth, fellowship, worship, service, support for outreach, support for the larger church).  At the same time, always remember that your generosity in the present will bear fruit in the decades to come; for people you’ve not yet met, for children not yet born, and for people who’ve not yet met Jesus.  Because of your witness in 2019, the people we are impacting today will be serving and representing Jesus in Gaithersburg and beyond for years and years to come.   

So, as we venture toward March and the season of Lent, be bold in your giving.  My prayer is that as you are bold in your generosity you will experience radical joy. Be confident and know that your support of Good Shepherd will have an impact. At the same time, you will be helping us sow seeds for a vibrant and fruitful ministry for years to come.  


To make a gift online, visit    

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