21st annual Good Samaritan Awards

On June 2nd, around 200 people gathered in Miami, FL to honor good Samaritans who are making a positive impact in their communities. The event was hosted by the Christ the King Lutheran and was the 21st annual Good Samaritan event put together by Lutheran Services Florida.

DANIEL  FERNANDEZ and JAVIER  FERNANEZ

Bay Shore Lutheran


These two Christian young men glorify God with their life and their service.

They currently serve at Bay Shore as acolytes, cross bearers, and lecterns. They have sung in the Sunday School choir, performed in the Christmas program, and they continue to participate in all youth related activities.

They help their father, Gabriel, with a community basketball camp.  This basketball camp has even gotten visits by Miami Heat players!

Both Daniel and Javier maintain a GPA even higher than a 4.0!  Chess anyone?  They are also chess champions.  They continue to enjoy and participate in High School sports at Columbus High School.

There’s no doubt about it, “the Twins” are fine examples.  They are visible signs of the Holy Spirit working in our youth of today for the future of the Church.

Kim Derr and Dennis Derr

Christ The King Lutheran


Kim and Dennis have something in common. They do not like to boast!  The Serving Commission at Christ The King has decided to do it for them!

  • Dennis was a steady hand on the recent Call Committee for a new Pastor
  • Dennis and Kim bake cookies for the Homeless facility Chapman Partnership
  • As a member of the ELCA, they faithfully participate in the “Gods’ Work. Our Hands” weekend of service. They work on the Habitat for Humanity Faith House one day and come back the next day to play bingo with the Vets at St. Michaels….. all while making homemade brownies and collecting and sharing clothes for the Vets!
  • Both Kim and Dennis serve on the Altar Guild
  • The participate in all the CTK Players plays and skits
  • Kim is Treasurer for the Miami Dade Monroe Conference and Dennis is the past chair.
  • They are a couple that you can count on whenever the need for a volunteer or support is presented!

CHRISTOPHER  GEORGE  SCHUR

Concordia Lutheran


Christopher Schur may only be 22 years old, but he has been one of the most active members at Concordia Lutheran Church for many, many years. He has helped with so many projects and activities at our congregation, it’s almost impossible to count.

He has led technology classes (some call him “Techie”), headed Vacation Bible School games and activities, and operated our sound system and laptop for worship services on Sundays and during the week. He has taught Sunday School, led “Trivia Night” activities, and has set up and taken down more tables and chairs than maybe anyone else in town!  Sometimes he does this as early as 4:00 in the morning!

He is always present at work parties doing yard work, power washing, and other tasks. He organized our shed and built shelves for it. He has visited people’s homes where help was needed with a variety of things such as cleaning and computer technology help.

He has participated in and assisted with several National Youth Gatherings. He helps regularly at our school. So many other things not listed here—and he does them all faithfully and never complains. His mother and father have also been Good Samaritan winners and he certainly follows in their tradition of service!  He is such a blessing to our Concordia family. We love you Christopher!

SUSAN  ROETZ

Grace Lutheran


Which hat does Susan have on now?

Susan has served as our Music and Worship Coordinator for over 8 years and Grace keeps begging her to stay on in this important position.  She has trained acolytes, given children’s sermons, provided altar guild services, ordered and delivered Christmas Poinsettias and Easter Lilies and she has even led the liturgical portion of our service when no pulpit supply was available.

Susan is always ready for more.  This year she became the Coordinator of the Diakonia Program.  This program is two years in length and provides training for Lay members in service ministries of the church.

She is also quick to join the fun of the numerous social events held at Grace.  Whether is it a musical needing a soloist, a banquet needing a cook or server, or a Bingo night needing a caller, she is an enthusiastic member of the team!

Did we mention her “real job”?  She is a Senior Training & Development Officer in Banking.  They are lucky to have such a knowledgeable, trustworthy professional!  So is Grace Lutheran.

Michael  Soltis

Lord of Life


We are honored to have Michael Soltis receive the Good Samaritan Award for Lord of Life Lutheran Church. Michael volunteer as a Liturgical Assistant, an Usher and he serves on the Church Council.  Michael completed the 2 year Diakonia program and graduated on May 19, 2019.  We know he will use what he has learned in this program to minister to those in need.

While his service to Lord of Life is a relatively new direction in his path, his path has always been one of service.  As the oldest sibling in a row house in a coal mining town, Michael has always had a hand in leading and counseling others.  That characteristic intrinsic personality also guided him in his decision to serve his country in the United States Army.  He did so, honorably, for many years.

His compassion and leadership forged his way in life towards becoming a good father.  This family path that was undertaken by he and his wife, Margaret, allowed him to once again serve others through his children.  He spent many hours as a youth sports coach and he ascended to become the President of a local Optimist Club chapter for many years.  This chapter serves many kids and their families in many positive ways.  His selflessness was further demonstrated day in and day out as he cared for his ailing wife, seeing to her every need.  His priority at this time was someone other than himself.  As is customary for him, he would have it no other way.

These are just a few of the many examples of Michael’s character and can only help to show what type of person he is and how his ascension into religion and the Lutheran Church came so easily.  Difficult in study but easy in the character needed to accomplish.  So many types of service over so many years has led him to this well-deserved award.

MYRNA  CANIGLIA

Lord of Life Latino Mission


We proudly select Myrna for the first Lord of Life Latino Mission Good Samaritan Award.

Myrna has been a member of Lord of Life Church for over 15 years, and part of the Latino Mission since 2017. Her educational background is in Clinical Nutrition and Food Safety, which she uses to help people in need of the basic knowledge on the topics, for their own wellbeing.

She dedicated 41 years to working in hospital settings in the active and tender care of patients. Her immediate plans include becoming a volunteer at West Kendall Baptist Hospital and to support the Lord of Life Community Group Assistance Program.

Since Myrna joined the Lord of Life Latino Mission, she has demonstrated strong faith.  She continuously responds generously to the needs of others.  By using her bilingual skills, she has become a leader in assisting with the Mission Development goals.  She assists the Program Director, Vicar Ignacio Estrada, in all activities as needed. She also represents the Latino Mission in the Lord of Life Church Council.

In the spirit of love, Myrna offers her daily service.  She is generous to all with whom she comes in contact. She strives to be kind and she is quick to help fellow members. She lives life to the fullest every day through her positive ways and in her thoughtful deeds.

 

MAYRA  AGUILAR

Mision Luterana Sagrado Corazon


Mayra Aguilar is the first Good Samaritan winner from Mision Luterana Sagrado Corazon! Mayra stays very busy assisting their new pastor, Rev. Moises Carrasquillo, with all the needs of a new mission.

Mayra Aguilar is originally from Cuba. She came to the US at the age of 6 and Miami has always been her home. Mayra has been married to Carlos Aguilar for 17 years and they enjoy traveling to the Keys and the West Coast of Florida. They also like spending time with family and close friends.

Mayra keeps the Mission office running smoothly—she’s the person behind the friendly voice that greets you when you call. She has been with Mision Luterana Sagrado Corazon (Sacred Heart Lutheran Mission) since it began in August of 2018 and has been an integral part of its administration.

She’s not only the Secretary/Bookkeeper at the Mission, but she also makes sure that everything is ready for Sunday morning service.

She has been an integral part of getting the Good Samaritan Banquet ready this year and for many years. Getting our banquet hall set up, or our name tags ready, or our table assignments made or our themed table markers made, she does it all with a smile. That is just Mayra!

Ana Maria Alfonzo

San Pablo Apostol


Ana is a good Samaritan in and outside the church.

In the church she uses her musical ability to glorify God by playing the piano for our services. She is a warm and friendly member.

Outside the church she sends packages to the underprivileged in Cuba and in Peru. She aided in building a house for a needy family in Peru.  It was so appreciated by that family that the owner calls her “daughter” and she calls him “Papa Jose”. She also paid for his grandchildren’s studies.

She provides transportation to a group of ladies for their medical appointments. She took one lady to her dialysis for some time. Upon the death of this lady, her family donated the lady’s car to Ana.  She has provided such needed service to so many.

Eventually Ana donated this gently used car to a niece recently arriving from Cuba with no transportation options.  She gives, she receives, and she gives again.

For the gifts that God has given Ana, for her graciousness in sharing those gifts and for her love for those around, her we proudly nominate Ana as our 2019 San Pablo Good Samaritan.

KATHERINE  “KATIE”  SNYDER

South Miami Lutheran


In just two years of involvement, Katie Snyder has become a leader and integral member of South Miami Lutheran Church.  Katie is a lifelong Lutheran from Portland, Oregon and has been engaged in servant ministries in Central and South America since high school.

She did undergraduate and graduate studies in the engineering field before serving in the Peace Corps in Panama for three years. While serving there, she worked on water distribution, sanitation and hygiene, and AIDS awareness.

Katie became active at South Miami Lutheran after relocating to Miami in 2017 to work for an engineering firm involved in wastewater projects in Florida and Latin America.

She sits on the church council, serves as an assisting minister, and oversees many of the outreach projects of the congregation.  Her work has ranged from sandwich making, to hygiene kit assembly, to the crocheting of cancer caps.

She is a Good Samaritan in the community as well through her membership in Engineers without Borders and her mentorship of University of Miami student teams.

Whether working alongside people in need, organizing compassion ministries, serving at church, or offering her engineering expertise to bring hope and new life to others, Katie is a true gift from God to the community.

South Miami Lutheran Church is thrilled to have such a worthy recipient of the Good Samaritan Award.

NIKYE  JOSEPH

St. John Lutheran


Nikye Joseph has long been a powerhouse among the congregation of St. John Lutheran Church of Miami Shores. However, she has now also become the powerhouse of the Miami-Dade/Monroe ELCA Conference as its Chairperson. It is for her extraordinary work with the Conference that we nominate her.

She has tirelessly made sure that all the ELCA churches in the Conference have the most up-to-date information on upcoming events by her use of email blasts, bulletin inserts and personal visits.

She shares her Sundays by traveling to the various Conference Churches and she listens to their needs.

She has launched numerous new events throughout the year and seems to never run dry of ideas to bring the churches together.

She has been a significant help to Pastor Marc-Charles at St. John, who serves as the Dean of the Conference.

Nikye is a gem which the St. John Congregation is happy to be able to share with the whole Conference, the community and with you tonight!

ANGELICA  “ANGIE”  AGOSTO

St. Paul Lutheran


Angelica Agosto, known as Angie, started attending St Paul Lutheran School when she was in the fourth grade.  Angie has since been a faithful, young servant of the Lord in our church and is always willing to be the acolyte for the day.

While attending college, Angie worked part-time at St Paul’s in the Before and After School Care Program.

She willing shares her many talents of crafting, baking and cooking with all her friends and with the children.

A few weeks ago, Angie graduated from FIU with her Bachelor of Science in Education and looks forward to serving children as a good Christian example and as a special teacher.  Angie always sets a great example for our young adults.

She has a loving smile and her laugh is infectious. It is with love that St. Paul Lutheran nominates Angie as our 2019 Good Samaritan award winner.

God Bless you always Angie!

Beverly Roy

St. Thomas Lutheran Church


Beverly Roy has been a member of St. Thomas Lutheran Church since 2003. Currently she is an usher, lay reader, and she serves on the Altar Guild.   She recently served as the Call Committee secretary and is a member of the Outreach Committee. Prior to joining St. Thomas, Beverly was a VBS teacher for 10 years and assisted with the children’s handbell choir at Cutler Ridge Lutheran Church.

Beverly has participated in many outreach programs and has dedicated her time, talents and treasures to the following: Habitat for Humanity, Lutheran World Relief and the Homeless Assistance Center in Homestead. As the Outreach Committee liaison for the Miami Southridge Senior High, she incorporated a food and toiletry pantry for the homeless students as well as a card ministry.

As the liaison for the Outreach Committee at St. Thomas, she has helped over 250 homeless teens at Miami Southridge Senior High which includes buying gift cards for hot meals, donating non-perishable items and providing especially needed personal toiletry items during the summer months. Recently she directed generous gifts given in her son’s memory to assure that homeless students had tickets to their prom.

Beverly is a 5th grade special needs teacher at Gulfstream Elementary School and is very dedicated to going above and beyond for the sake of the children. Some of her class projects include:

  • Christmas Cards and care packages to troops deployed and to wounded soldiers.
  • Whale and Dolphin Conservation Adoption Project.
  • Food, school supplies, clothing, and senior breakfast sponsorship money for the homeless students at Miami Southridge Senior High.

Beverly’s fingerprints are on all sorts of programs that live out Jesus words “Let the children come to me…”  Here are some:  2015 Alpha Delta Kappa Florida Lambda delegate at the International Convention in Salt Lake City,  Alpha Delta Kappa Altruistic Projects participant, Toys for Tots, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital,  Alzheimer’s Association, Branches, Samaritan’s Purse– Operation Christmas Child, Fundraising for scholarships for women pursuing a degree in education, providing Christmas stockings for homeless students at local schools and for children undergoing chemotherapy at Baptist Hospital, Autism Speaks Walk Volunteer, and  Past PTA board member.  Wow!

LSF Advisory Board:

Mayra Aguilar, Melissa Albury-Fernandez, Keith Berman, Olga Bostick, Emily Gomez, Donna Hennessy, Laurel Marc-Charles, Meredith Mills, Rev. Kit Robison, Rev. Alan Sielk & Tamara Thomas

Sponsors:

Rev. Jean-Pierre & Laurel Marc-Charles
Wine

St. Paul Lutheran Church
Reception

Thrivent Financial, Keith Berman
Financial Sponsorship

Emily Gomez
Good Samaritan Flowers

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