St. Luke's United Methodist Church

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4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Road
Orlando, FL 32819
407.876.4991

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A Note from Pastor Jenn-July 16, 2020

Posted on July 16, 2020 at 9:28 am in .

Dear St. Lukers,

Sacred. A word that sets something apart as holy, special, set apart. We generally use it in religious terms as something set a part for the worship of God. A sacred time, a sacred act, sacred space. Last year as we traveled through “God’s Neighborhood” the intent was to help blur the lines of sacred and secular, reminding us God’s Kingdom is all around us. The sacred is all around us, if we will have eyes to see.

We have all been missing things, places and moments in our lives which have historically been defined as sacred. Worship spaces where moments of tears, joy, celebration, and grief have been honored. Choirs and praise teams leading a congregation in songs of praise and adoration. Kneeling at the altar elbow to elbow with our family of faith. We long for those moments again, and missing those moments of hundreds of us gathering leaves us all aching a bit.

This week I looked at a dry erase board in my office and finally had to find the nerve to clean it off. The words of preparations and plans for shutting down were written from March 8th from a meeting where the leadership staff gathered for strategy. I looked at the words and plans and realized I had thought those plans were just for a few weeks, a month or two at the most. I had no idea I would be writing on July 16 with cases in Florida rising. I thought by now, we would be back in full swing.

As Scooter came in with some super marker remover and helped me wipe those words away, I felt a little defeated. I miss you. I miss seeing your faces, hearing your voices, even commenting on my clothes!! (well….maybe not that as much) I miss the funny memes you show me before worship, or the ways you stop me as I walk down the aisle to let me know you are there. I miss all of those informal sacred moments that make us community. But at midnight, as I was writing this, and I can tell you…I heard it, a very clear message deep within…“create new moments, bless new sacred space, reveal me and find new ways to be my church.”

So that’s what we are going to do. This Sunday we are going to bless and call out the sacred wherever you may be worshipping with us. We are going to bless houses, tech devices, masks, you name it we are going to bless it. Each of our worship team is going to be a part of worship leadership this week along with some of you sharing your sacred spaces, conversations and habits.

Then at noon on Sunday, we invite families to join us for a kickoff to our Free Virtual Vacation Bible School (and church-wide book study) with a church drive through in the circle drive. Pick up your family VBS packet and receive a blessing of your family by your pastors. Watch a fun video with instructions from Coach Chris and Miss Janet by clicking below. Sunday evening begins family VBS where we will all learn how to Bridge the Gap!

Each Sunday evening will kick off a week-long study and devotionals using the book Reckless Love by Rev. Tom Berlin as we learn how to become Bridge Builders. We have bridges to build within our community, gaps to fill over the divides and chasms of differences and we can do that as we learn to BE LOVE in action. You can purchase the book by clicking here and many classes will begin to study together the week of July 28. You won’t want to miss this special sermon series as we will have the author, beloved St. Luke’s pastors and other guests sharing with us each week.

We will also be kicking off “Coffee and Conversation” calls with small groups led by myself and leaders of St. Luke’s. We will host these calls in various ways asking specific questions we will share in the coming week. The hope is just to connect and listen in sacred conversations as we move forward together toward the fall.

Sacred – there are so many more ways to define and experience the word than we realize. Here’s to a season of seeing the sacred all around us.

Grace and peace –

Jenn.

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