Dear St. Lukers,
I write to you as hundreds of 4th grade students from 24 Title One schools are in Founder’s Hall competing in the 4th annual Orange County Math Bee. This event and the work of the St. Lukers who dreamed it into being was recognized this year by OCPS with the Orange County Public Schools’ Outstanding Partner in Education award for the 2018-2019 school year. No one on the original dreaming and visioning team of Educational IMPACT 11 years ago would have been able to articulate the scope of this event. It was thought maybe we could IMPACT the local schools through volunteers and support of parents, administrators, children, and teachers with a few schools. There was a hope we were building an infrastructure of ministry which could grow and possibly become county-wide, and with ministry reaching beyond the classroom, but the rest was in God’s hands and the Spirit’s work among St. Luke’s.
Just look at us now! As my dear friend Rev. Terri Steed Pierce from Joy MCC Orlando always says, “Just look what God can do!” The Math Bee, Arts after 5, Robotics, mentoring, a faith based initiative in OCPS county-wide, all because you as St. Lukers were impassioned by this idea, stepped out in faith, and answered the “God Phone” calling you to serve others. So I would add one thing to Terri’s statement…”Just look how much MORE God can do when you pick up the phone and say yes!” (she gave me permission on the tweak!! She’s just that great of a friend!)
This Sunday, Pastor Corey and I are preaching on what it means to be “Called to serve others.” We will learn how to embrace our callings from God. We will base our messages and worship on the calling of Stephen and his team from Acts 6. Our callings and gifts of the spirit, passions and talents are not just for ourselves, but for the work of revealing the Kingdom of God’s love and justice among us. What an incredible privilege we have been given to make such a difference on God’s behalf when we answers these callings! If you think about it, all the great things that happen in this world, all the good news of people doing small and big things to help others…all of that is God choosing to work…through an ordinary person who picked up the phone and said “Okay, I can do that!” Which means all the good in the world you see happening…it’s God choosing to work THROUGH YOU!
Join us on Sunday, and between now and then read Acts 6:1-8. Maybe find some prayer time to listen for the phone to ring, or for a heart poised to answer the call when it does.
Until then, grace and peace,
P.S. I will be sharing my own reflections on my time at UMCNext in Kansas City in a few days. But in the meantime, click here for more information on UMCNext.