Dear St. Lukers,
You are never going to believe this, but when I was at the community college in Tallahassee I was involved in the Wesley Foundation at FSU. One spring I somehow got roped into a women’s intramural flag football team. Growing up with brothers who were athletes, I had been around my share of football games, but I never thought I would actually have to learn to play. I will say I had more fun that spring then I ever would have imagined. It was my only foray into team sports and I admit, we were pretty aggressive. We even got into the playoffs!
I’m so excited about what Chris Smith, our Director of Family and Recreational Ministries, and our Recreation Ministries team have started with our own inaugural flag football season. In our first season we have more than 105 athletes involved, from ages 4 to 13! On Saturdays, I look forward to all of the posts on social media from parents and grandparents. One of my recent favorite photos is of a team of preschoolers with one little girl, Madelyn P. You go Madelyn (and all of the other athletes participating)! Thanks to the Recreation Leadership Team and all of our volunteer coaches for supporting this new ministry!
I didn’t play sports because I was an arts girl, and back in high school, one group never really mixed with the other. My son, Sam and I talked about the same thing yesterday as he described his middle school where theater kids didn’t always connect with the athletes. We give the excuse it is human nature to divide ourselves into “us” and “them” categories. But we were created for connection, to have hearts of peace that long to be in relationships with others. Seeing one another as glorious as we see ourselves through the resurrection of Christ requires intentionality and a heart of discipline. It’s far too easy to put people in boxes and hold them at bay, then to do the heart work of seeing everyone, especially those different than ourselves, as resurrected children of God.
Sunday, Pastor Jad and I will be continuing in Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth as we look at 2 Corinthians 5:13-17. Paul says “so we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view…This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person.” I can’t wait to share worship with you as we begin to understand Paul’s invitation to see others as glorious as Christ calls us to see ourselves!
Before I sign off, one last thank you to the volunteers who did such a great job helping us host the community the last two weeks at Peter and the Starcatcher, who served and worked at Relay for Life, who helped with the Habitat Build in East Winter Garden, and all who helped with the women’s retreat this weekend. St. Luke’s is such a busy place where we are finding multiple avenues for people to get connected and feel welcomed in the community! Thank you for all you do to be a part of living out our core values of acceptance, hospitality, discipleship, community, and service in real and tangible ways. We couldn’t be St. Luke’s without U!
Grace and peace,