The Newsletter for the Good Samaritan UMC

January 22 Newsletter

Coming Soon:  

Super Bowl Party Feb. 2 at Good Sam

Even without the Niners, we’re still going to enjoy getting together to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 2 at 3:15 (kickoff at 3:30). Bring some food to share and sit back and relax for this slice of Americana. We’ll bring in some activities to spice things up and make it a family event for all ages. Also new this year is a bigger screen with true HD picture courtesy of John Brawn. Looking forward to it! Contact Mark Teagle for more information.

Faith in Action Silicon Valley Rotating Shelter

Annual Celebration Dinner, Sunday, February 9

Please join Faith in Action Silicon Valley Rotating Shelter for their annual celebration dinner on Sunday, February 9th at 6:30 pm. It will be held at Sunnyvale Presbyterian church. This is their opportunity to thank each of you for your support and for you to hear from their guests, alumni and staff about how they are “Empowering Motivated Men”. Dinner is provided by a generous donor. Please RSVP to:

Pastor Dale

Pastor Dale

Words from Pastor Dale

Of the chance to serve, Dr. King once said: “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

And serve, he did. Dr. King was a leader in service to others, to the causes of civil and human rights, and to making the United States a great nation—for all.
The scripture puts it this way: He said, “You’ve observed how godless rulers throw their weight around, how quickly a little power goes to their heads. It’s not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for the many who are held hostage.” (Matthew 20:25-28 The Message (MSG))

To be followers of Jesus Christ is to be a servant, to help our sisters and brothers in need. We are our sister and brother’s keeper. How we care for the least of these and the vulnerable in our community is a sign of faithful service to Jesus Christ and living the way of Jesus.

Many people remember Dr. Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech at the March on Washington in August 1963. But many forget the event was actually titled the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Dr. King knew for people to live with dignity and respect, to be able to care for their families, they needed jobs. People are still in need of jobs today.

Dr. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, TN. He was in Memphis to support the ‘Memphis Sanitation Strike’ that began on February 11, 1968. Citing years of poor treatment, discrimination, dangerous working conditions, and the horrifying recent deaths of Echol Cole and Robert Walker, some 1300 black sanitation workers walked off the job in protest. Echol Cole and Robert Walker had been crushed in a mechanical malfunction on February 1st, 1968; city rules forbade black employees to seek shelter from rain anywhere but in the back of their compressor trucks with the garbage. These workers also sought to join the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 1733. Dr. King was a servant standing with hard working people seeking justice and better working conditions. It cost him his life.

Dr. King was a servant standing with the workers who were making America great but not benefiting from their labor. He spoke out against indignities and injustices. He wanted America to be great. Who would Dr. King be standing with today? Who are we standing with today?  How are we working to make Dr. King’s economic dream a reality?

If we want our communities to be great places to live, to be safe, to be places where neighbors know each other and care about each other, we must stand with one another. It will take each of us being great. As Dr. King says: “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” As the song goes, they will know we are Christians by our love. Let us serve and love one another because God first loved us.

Volunteer for the Service Worship Conference Saturday, March 8

Service Worship, taking any 5th Sunday of the month to do service for the community, is a movement spreading to churches throughout the South Bay. Good Sam is already an important part of this movement. We can learn how to better leverage this opportunity by attending the Service Worship Conference. Learn what other churches are doing, what works and what doesn’t, how to engage with community partners, and much more.

You can register at The keynote speaker will be well-known pastor Francis Chan. There will be many workshops, speakers and an awesome time of worship involving members of our choir and band. We are also committed to volunteering for this event. Contact Mark Teagle for more information.

Acolyte for Sunday Services Needed

We are looking for kids who want to light candles in church on Sunday Morning as an acolyte. Kids will be assigned once a month or so to do this, and it’s a great way for parents to talk with kids about church, worship and involve them!  They can learn more by contacting Michelle Larsen by phone (408-828-2521) or via email (

From Interpreter Magazine, January-February 2014:

A Letter to Martin

Editor’s note: Each year, retired United Methodist Bishop Woodie W. White writes a “birthday letter” to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. about the progress of racial equality in the United States. White, now bishop-in-residence at Emory University in Atlanta, was the first chief executive of the General Commission on Religion and Race.

January 2014

Dear Martin:

I write this year with mixed emotions. I am mostly saddened by the number of public acts of racial bigotry in the United States and a seeming numbing of racial sensitivity and commitment to continue a journey toward equal justice for all. I have been utterly disappointed by political efforts to disenfranchise African-American voters and others by many state legislatures and the lack of outrage by the citizenry in general and the media in particular. Further, Martin, there is the emergence of what author Michelle Alexander calls The New Jim Crow. (I call it the last plantation in America.) Her book reveals the consequences of what she describes as “mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness.” It is a growing national shame, largely ignored!

These and other events mar our landscape of racial progress and promise. They have pushed me from my usual hope and optimism to unusual discouragement.

Then came two deaths. The first was that of Mrs. Evelyn Gibson Lowery, the wife of our dear friend, the Rev. Joseph E. Lowery. Her sudden death caught us all off guard. One moment, she was laughing and making plans to celebrate Joe’s 92nd birthday. The next saw her helpless as the result of a massive stroke from which she would not recover. Her death has left me with a heavy and broken heart.

Mrs. Lowery’s efforts and role in the movement for racial and human rights were too little known as were those of so many women who were and are a part of the struggle for justice and equality. At 88, she was still giving active leadership to SCLC/W.O.M.E.N., the organization begun when she gathered a few women at her home in 1979. It continues to empower women, mentor young girls and sponsor an annual Civil Rights Heritage Pilgrimage to 13 sites in Alabama that were important in the struggle for racial justice in America.

Martin, I have learned that no single death is experienced in isolation of others. Mrs. Lowey’s death reminded me of so many women who gave leadership to our common struggle for justice: your own Coretta and, of course, Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hamer, Daisy Bates and Gloria Richardson. I remember my mentors Ella Baker, Captolia Dent Newbern and Ruby Hurley. Even now, I fight tears.

Then, Martin, came the dreaded announcement of the death of President Nelson Mandela. While his death was not unexpected, in light of his declining health, its finality has stirred the world. Even as I write, the world seems to be mourning. People of different nations, races, ethnicities, even political ideologies mourn his passing and praise his greatness.

Some have called Mr. Mandela a civil rights leader, but such a designation is too limited to describe this elder statesman — this world leader for justice, equality, human rights and common decency. His call for peace and reconciliation after being imprisoned for 27 years by an oppressive, racist government, brought headlines around the world.

Following Mr. Mandela’s release from prison and his eventual election as president of South Africa, the world watched this man of grace and purpose embrace all people, even those responsible for his imprisonment. On the world stage, he became a symbol of diplomacy and stellar leadership.

Some tried to thrust the title of saint on him. He resisted such efforts. It said that once when he was referred to as “saint,” he responded that he was not a saint but a sinner who just keeps trying!

His call for forgiveness of one’s enemies transcended politics and spoke to our common humanity. Of course, Martin, it echoed your own message to our divided nation. Indeed, it is at the heart of Christian faith.

It is my remembering of you, Martin, and of Mrs. Lowery and Nelson Mandela that moves me from a sense of despair and discouragement. I remember three lives worthy of emulation in a common drive for justice and equality. At the core of each is an affirmation of our common humanity, of our Christian belief that we are brothers and sisters, children of a common creator.

Today, as I remember your birthday, Martin, I reflect on our nation as one that has made great strides to bridge its racial divide and become truly one. While we are yet flawed by those among us who hold to racial bigotry and intolerance, they no longer define us as a nation or a people! Instead, we are a people who will keep trying!

Thank you Evelyn, Mandela and Martin for reminding me.

Happy birthday, Martin.

We Shall Overcome.

Woodie W. White

(For more history and background to Bishop White’s annual letters to Martin Luther King, Jr., go to

“ReImagine the Dream” Event a Success!

14Reimag1Thank you to all Good Samaritan members and friends who joined us on Saturday, January 18 for the ReImagine the Dream event. Thank you to all who acted as hosts to guest performers, participants and curiosity seekers and to everyone who contributed time and talent to the event.

A co-worker friend of mine attending with her daughter wrote to me about our church: “Everyone is so friendly there. They sure make a visitor feel welcome. Pastor Dale invited us to come back whenever we’d like.”  I could not spend very much time with my friend so it meant a great deal to me that others were taking time to make them feel at home.14Reimag2

The ReImagine the Dream Festival is a re-invention of the diversity event our church had hosted in the past. We were inspired by a September 11th event hosted by Campbell UMC featuring the Pacific Institute, a Turkish Muslim organization seeking to form relationships with other faith communities in order to foster greater understanding of Islam and Turkish culture and traditions. Our group felt called to revive the diversity celebration and find ways to make it even more interactive and engaging. We felt it was the perfect celebration to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s memory and vision.

14Reimag3We invite all of Good Samaritan to consider how we can host an event that will continue to give honor to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of peace, love, and tolerance. Our group’s growing dream for this event exceeds our abilities to organize and implement all the wonderful things we believe this day could become. Please join us in making next year’s event even more wonderful! Contact Dollie Forney, Mark Teagle or anyone from the Inclusion Small Group if you would like to get involved.


Special Art Exhibit

Ginny Johnson is part of the Elmwood [Prison] Art and Spirit Ministry whose efforts have resulted in an exciting art exhibit being held for a limited time at the Santa Clara County Government Center.  Every piece is hung with an explanation of how the art was created and, more importantly, why.  The art is in the first floor “breezeway” and there is free parking on the San Pedro side of the building in the parking lot.  There is also a video giving just a taste of the inmate art available at

Transformation: The Art Within
Until Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Monday- Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Santa Clara County Government Center
70 W. Hedding St. San Jose.
You are invited to view art created by inmates in the Chaplaincy’s Art and Spirit workshops at Elmwood. The art featured in this collection is exhibited in the first floor lobby “breezeway” of the Santa Clara County Government Center.


Finance Report for 2013

General Fund:        December           YTD  12/31 Balance






Net Income:




 Some reasons to celebrate:

  • We have raised $7,437 for Stephen’s Ministry training. We only need $867 more.
  • 2013 expenses were within budget (96% of total budget).  Thank you to staff and committee chairs for carefully using the resources we have been blessed with.
  • We have received pledges from 58 members to help us plan for 2014.  It’s not too late to submit a pledge.  Cards can be found on the ushers’ table.
  • We have sent $2,000 to the Faith in Action Rotating Shelter so they can continue to provide a temporary home for 15 men.
  • Roy Dunn memorial gifts total $1,955.

Thanks from UMCOR

Thank you for your gift received on 12/11/13 of $329.65 to the General Board of Global Ministries through The Advance, the designated mission giving channel of The United Methodist Church. UMCOR is pleased to share that 100 percent of your contribution will support the missionary community in honor of Paul Jeffrey Advance #09541Z. Thank you for joining UMCOR in God’s mission.

Chinese MinistryLianhai-Fu

Jesus told us: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35, NRSV)

We need more care for each other. In the Mandarin-speaking group, we have assigned everyone to a small Caring Group.  We now have a total of 10 caring groups, with 10-13 people in each group. We also have 2 Mandarin Bible study small groups and 1 Mandarin Sunday school class.  We are trying to give brothers and sisters more chances to show caring for each other and more Bible study time.

Don’t forget upcoming dates–We will celebrate Chinese Spring Festival by getting together in our church on February 1st (Saturday) at 10:30 am to make and eat dumplings. We not only invite all Chinese families and their friends to come to enjoy the activity, but also all families in our Good Samaritan Church and their friends to come to celebrate with us.  We need to know who can come, so we can prepare enough food. Please let Pastor Fu know if you can come.

We have also arranged a Chinese singing and dancing show on Sunday afternoon, February 16, at 1:00 pm to celebrate the Chinese Lantern Festival. Everybody is welcome to enjoy the potluck lunch and the show.

Youth News

I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out – Plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future to hope for. 

Jeremiah 29:11

The alarm rings after the third time you’ve hit snooze. The kids need to be woken up for school; the report you were working on until one o’clock last night for today’s 10 A.M. meeting still needs a conclusion; and if you don’t get up right now everyone will miss breakfast again. As it is, your options have already gone from eggs and toast to toaster strudel, so you drag yourself from bed, throw on a robe, yell down the hall for the kids to get up, and go brave the jungle of last night’s dishes in search of the coffee machine.

It appears it will be another chaotic day of busyness-rushing to get everything done before you crash your head back onto your pillow tonight.

You know what? God didn’t create you because He wanted to be amused by someone struggling through their existence. God created you so that He could share the joy of living and the thrill of accomplishment with you. He created you for a unique purpose that would bring fulfillment to your life and to the lives of your loved ones-as well as bring a blessing to your world.

So how do you plug into that? Perhaps the best way is to set your “To Do” list aside for a moment and pick up God’s “To Be” list. If you are ready to get more out of life, this is a good place to start. Knowing God has a plan and calling for your life-a unique, divine, special, specific purpose-is the first step. As you sip your first cup of coffee this morning and you hear the first pattering of feet down the hallway, close your eyes for a moment and commit to God that if He will reveal His plan for your life, you will rise up to walk in it.

This Week’s “To Be” list

  • Trust God’s plan for your life
  • Count your Blessings
  • Be part of the good things to which God has called you to do

Sunday School Schedule:  Jan 26th – Dollie

Youth Group Dinner Schedule:  January 26th Potluck

Save The Dates . . .

March 22: Life Sized Double Monopoly at Good Sam – In support of the United Methodist Church’s goal to end malaria we will be raising money for No More Malaria. Mark the date on your calendars now!

July 6-12:  Sierra Service Project (SSP)

This summer we will be attending SSP and would love for you to join us.  Accomplishing repair projects is central to what happens at SSP, but there is much more. The staff at SSP provides a creative spiritual program that connects participants with the biblical model of loving our neighbors – so that youth can truly relate the work they are doing to spreading God’s love.

Worship at Good Samaritan UMC

9:00 am:  Worship in English Language

10:30 am:  Christian Education for all ages

11:00 am:  Chinese Worship in Mandarin Language

5:00 pm: ELEVATE Youth Ministry 

Events Calendar


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