In this Week's Update:
Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities
Upcoming Growth Groups, Classes & Sign-ups
A Note from Pastor Corey
Wow! I'm extremely touched and flattered by the hospitality and welcome from you all. Carol, Gavin, and I already feel like part of the St. Luke's family. It has been great getting to know some of you and the reasons why you love this wonderful church. Of course, it has been a challenge to learn and remember names. Yet rest assured, I have about 19 down and only 5,000 plus to go. :) At this point, I have completed a full week here already and I am in awe of the amazing ministry that goes on, not just on campus, but also in the surrounding community and around the world (as if I've learned it all already). Know that I look forward to joining you in ministry and hope that my gifts will be an asset to the congregation and vision.
My time with Neighborhood Ministries (FUMC) provided me with leadership opportunities such as: formulating and maintaining an annual budget, interviewing, hiring, and scheduling Neighborhood Ministries staff members, facilitating staff and Neighborhood council meetings, providing training workshops, as well as other administrative duties. Furthermore, it allowed me to be a part of community changing committees and organizations and to share the love of Christ with many people. I have been extremely blessed to work with and serve families within economically unstable communities and neighborhoods.
Also (since July 1, 2009), I had the privilege of serving St. Mark UMC of Lakeland as their lay-supply pastor. Though at times it felt like a circus act, juggling between St. Mark, First UMC, and a full-time seminary load, I am thankful for the friends and experiences that I gained. Serving as a pastor included helping with weddings, leading funerals, sermon preparation, preaching weekly, district and conference responsibilities, hospital visits, starting an after-school ministry, and simply listening and being available.
Coupled together, these two areas of ministry have taught me quite a bit about being a servant leader. I am able to seek God's vision and help others to realize it as well. In practicing this spiritual discipline I have learned the importance of prayer. While I know that it is impossible to please everyone I realize that ministry has to be relational, not just for the masses but also for the few. Making tough decisions is another one of my leadership skills that I hope to share with those of you serving as ministry facilitators. I realize that there not only needs to be room for new ministries, but also the freedom to let some die or be absorbed by other groups. The concept of team work and valuing the opinion of others will be very important as we press on with our 4D vision. We must recognize our weaknesses and surround ourselves with people that display strengths in those areas. The work ahead of us will require time management and organization as it can be difficult to initiate change. I know first-hand how easy it is for family/home life to get lost or minimized when we try to take on too much by ourselves. This week the words of a close friend brought hope and peace as he told me that, "I don't have to do to be." I had forgotten that God calls me to rest, just as God calls me to work, both of which are God's will for our lives.
During my time at FUMC and St. Mark, I witnessed wonderful, worthwhile, and amazing ministry. It is thanks to those experiences that I am set and ready to give the same effort, energy, and effectiveness here at St. Luke's. Again, I look forward to our time together, growing in grace with you, and sticking to ministry.
This Sunday, we turn another page in The Hero's Handbook to Men in Black. Through the relationship between Agents J and K, you will see why and how you should "Stick by Your Friends." If you want to read ahead, the Scripture will be Proverbs 17:17; 18:19-24.
It was announced at 5:30 worship that, after a great deal of discussion and prayer by the Church Council and clergy leaders, we are discontinuing the 5:30 worship service with July 29th being our last gathering.
In light of our 4D vision and new pastors coming on board we want to ensure we are offering worship that intentionally meets the needs of our current members as well as the needs of our community. We have experimented with the format over the last 18 months but it is both challenging for the leaders and uncomfortable for those attending if we attempt to transform the service while we continue to produce weekly worship. We understand that you may have questions or concerns regarding this announcement and for that reason we are open to speaking with you in person or via phone or email so that St. Luke's can continue to meet your spiritual needs during this time of transition.
We value your input and in the coming weeks you can expect to receive a survey that will help us assess not only which times and worship style that you feel are most fulfilling but also which communication channels you find easily accessible. The survey will also contain pivotal questions about our facilities and your feedback is vital as we determine our campus utilization strategy for the future.
This time of discernment will help us live into our 4D vision and enhance the worship services that we currently offer as we develop new worship experiences. With a vision in place, the strategies to help it come to life now require that we look at everything with "4D glasses." Our 4D vision is NOT just about going into the community but also about maximizing our opportunities to worship, connect and grow as disciples so that we might then go and serve with dignity and reciprocity.
Yours in Faithful Service,
St. Luke's Lay and Clergy Leadership
Please Note: Due to summer schedules all emails, voicemails, and requests for meetings will be returned within 7-10 business days. Contact Pastor Jenn Stiles Williams at 407.876.4991 ext. *221 or email@example.com with questions.