Dear St. Lukers,
Sunday was a wonderful day as we reclaimed committing ourselves to living as examples for children and youth, and dedicating our new spaces for these ministries. I want to thank Doug and Carolyn Dannen, who four or so years ago felt the pull from God to take up the mantle of our COMMIT Completion Chairs. They have put in countless hours on design, management, and finances to help bring our COMMIT Campaign to a close. Doug and Tom Runnels asked after Founder’s Hall was finished to continue the momentum to complete the Youth Center. We are grateful for their hard work and the team who continued to make Sunday possible: Jose Jordan, Kelly Smith, Kim Pettit, Joe Woods, Ken Simback, and a dedicated group of staff members and donors. Moments like Sunday are the realization and manifestation of us living into our purpose of Building the Kingdom by Building Disciples. These committed St. Lukers, along with your generosity in giving to the COMMIT Campaign, helped us launch into new possibility of ministries with these spaces. Thank you on behalf of myself and your church.
“Come, follow me, Jesus said, and I will send you out to fish for people” – Matthew 4:19
This is our Scripture for Sunday worship, which corresponds to the Reaching Beyond Pillar: a Vision for Extending Beyond the Campus. Obviously, Jesus knew using the metaphor “fishing for people” would tell the disciples two things: first, following Him was not simply about their personal edification as disciples, there was going to be a goal, meaning, and purpose behind all He would teach them; second, Jesus in this statement lets them know from the very beginning they will be asked to leave their comfortable waters. They knew up front they would be given a task (“and“ is the important clue here…come follow me AND). They also knew there was no way to catch people from their boat in the water. They would have to leave the comfortable space they knew and go into a new place for Jesus.
It seems odd to dedicate new spaces of ministry on campus and then cast a vision of leaving the campus. When the COMMIT Campaign began, the goal was to optimize our spaces ON campus in order to build relationships in the community and inviting people BACK to the campus. But fishing doesn’t work in a fish tank. Fishing happens when you are willing to push out into the deeper waters and cast your net. Your dreaming in 2017 about who Christ is calling us to meet and heal pushes out into deeper waters to cast the net of God’s love and grace. Come Sunday and listen to God’s invitation to be built into disciples (“Come, follow me…”) who Build the Kingdom of God (“and I will send you out to fish for people.”)
You never know what’s goings to happen in worship right now. Melissa completely rocked the sequin cat ears in every service. Who knows what might happen next. See you Sunday…
Grace and peace –