Dear St. Lukers,
If you’ve been in Founder’s Hall in the last week, you may have noticed a bit of a change in scenery – literally. Things are kicking into high gear in the next couple of weeks as the finishing touches are put on our upcoming production of Mary Poppins.
I have to tell you, when I catch up with pastor friends around the country, the stories I share of what is happening in my ministry are usually drastically different than my colleagues’ stories. (No one else I know is navigating the intricacies of how to make a nanny fly at their church.)
The amount of hard work that has been put in over these last weeks and months by our staff and volunteers is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. This show is certainly the biggest we have ever taken on at St. Luke’s, and I have been blown away by how we have collectively come alongside one another to bring this story to life.
The number of hours St. Lukers put into every one of our productions is incalculable. The time spent on and off campus, building, painting, rehearsing, planning, reconfiguring, picking up, dropping off, designing, organizing … I cannot imagine what those numbers would look like if we added up all the hours!
It’s the kind of ministry we are uniquely able to do because of our context and the incredible talent within our community … and it’s a LOT of work. And from an outsider’s perspective, we might ask, “What’s it all for?”
The answer to that question is what’s so amazing: it’s almost entirely for the benefit of those who are not yet a part of our congregation.
We do this work for people whose names we do not yet know, for people who do not yet know what it means to be a St. Luker, for people who do not yet know that a church can be a place of affirmation and acceptance, for people who do not yet know what God’s love looks like in their life.
Church, that’s something to celebrate. It’s something to rejoice over – that God has led us into this unique ministry that is focused not on us, but on God’s children in our community who need to know God’s love and that a community like St. Luke’s exists. And again and again, we hear of people who find St. Luke’s because of theatre, of people who rediscover that God loves them and that there is a church that loves them too. That’s what it’s all for!
And that’s what Pastor Jad and I are going to talk about this Sunday. In God’s Park, we seek out who is missing and we rejoice when they are found! Like the shepherd who left the ninety-nine to seek out the one, God calls us to always be seeking, and to rejoice when even one individual has been brought into the fold.
While we all benefit personally from being a part of the St. Luke’s community, God’s call on our community is always to be focused externally. God is always looking for those who are not yet part of the fold, those who do not yet know God’s love, those who are not yet here. And God calls us to do the same – to always be asking, “Who is missing?”
It’s not just through the theatre ministry that we are called to do this work either – we’re called to seek out who is missing everywhere we go, to be agents of inclusion and representations of God’s unconditional love in every area of our lives. I hope you’ll join us Sunday as we wrap up our God’s Park series and talk about new ways we can be ALL IN!