Dear St. Lukers,
Two exciting things are happening this week at St. Luke’s.
First, our dear friend, Rev Dr. Gary Mason, will be our guest preacher in all of our services this Sunday. Gary has been a long term partner with St. Luke’s for more than a decade with our relationship with East Belfast Mission. Gary founded Rethinking Conflict a few years back after spending thirty years of local church ministry focused on peace and reconciliation work in the Northern Ireland peace process. Gary now travels the globe, speaking, training and leading leaders from the religious, nonprofit and government sectors on the work of bridge building, reconciliation, and teaching on racism and sectarianism. Gary and Bill have worked on leading dialogue tours to deepen our understanding of theology, history and sociology to learn lessons about conflict, transformation, and peace building within various contexts and communities.
I have been a part of a cohort of Florida UM preachers who spent the last year working under the training of Gary and Bill to reflect on the peace process in Northern Ireland and how it helps us understand issues of civil rights here in our context. I look forward to the word Gary will share with us in all our services, as he is one of the most prophetic and convicting preachers I have heard. He always challenges us with the heart of the gospel and the truth of the world we live in. I pray you will come join us for worship and welcome our dear friend Gary as he leads us this Sunday.
“Peter and the Starcatcher” also opens this week. This cast is made up of familiar St. Luke’s faces as well as some new friends from our talented Central Florida Community. The talent is incredible and the work St. Luke’s volunteers have put into our set and lighting will blow you away. This again, is not your average church show!
I first saw this Tony Award winning show on tour a couple of years ago. It’s a very different kind of play in that we watch a troupe of actors playing multiple parts create a beloved story before us using one set and minimal props. Peter tells the back story of beloved characters such as Peter pan, Hook, tinkerbell, crocodiles and even mermaids. (Although they will be the hairiest mermaids you will ever see!) But the story is about finding your identity, purpose and what it means to begin to not only trust someone, but truly depend on others. Corey, Jad, and I have had the privilege of spending time with this incredibly talented cast over the last two weeks sharing devotions at the beginning of rehearsals. In our devotions we have connected our core values as well as what it means to be named, find a place of belonging, and know you are part of a community. It is also a reminder of the importance in believing – in others, in yourself and allowing faith to give you wings. Sounds very similar to the idea of allowing Love to win and living as real and resurrected people, doesn’t it? We hope you will come and invite some friends to this beautiful and funny show for all ages. Tickets are available at st.lukes.org/starcatcher.
There’s always something happening at St. Luke’s and remember, it’s not St. Luke’s without U!
Grace and Peace,