Dear St. Lukers,
I am sitting in a room in my home looking out the window on Wednesday evening. There is a pink purple cast to the sky as the sun sets. It’s been days of wondering and waiting and the threat of storm is past us but Dorian has left a wake of devastation in the Bahamas, an island decimated. The video and pictures break your heart and I know each of us have cried out for mercy and grace to fall on our friends, family, and the people of the islands.
United Methodists have already started making connections to determine how we can help. In Florida we have had a covenant with churches in the Bahamas for years and are using those relationships to try and help in any way possible. As we know more about details we will send them on, but until then please give generously through the United Methodist Committee on Relief by clicking here. You can be assured of a few things in giving through UMCOR:
- Methodists are the first in and the last ones out when a disaster happens, making long-term partnerships to help people and communities rebuild.
- 100% of the proceeds will go straight to international disaster response and recovery efforts.
I know you will continue the work of this summer as we seek to be an “all in” church in any way we can.
This “all in” calling we challenged St. Luke’s with this summer has been seen in so much of your generosity and care. Whether through the back to school drive for backpacks, the calling for food, or even your “all in” relationships which are bearing fruit as you bring people to be introduced to St. Luke’s, your spirit is making a difference in changing lives by reaching beyond.
Paul writes about this kind of passion in our scripture for this Sunday. 1 Corinthians 9:19-27 declares the passion and focus of an “all in” Paul, ready to run the race to win it. On Sunday, Pastor Melissa and I will use this scripture to begin a new series on Spiritual Gifts as we move in God’s Neighborhood to God’s Vocational School. Vocational School is where you learn tools of the trades to help you live out practical callings to make a difference in your community. We don’t hold up enough the strength of a vocational education in our culture and we need to see the wealth of training and opportunity they offer students. We are going to spend some time at God’s vocational school to help St. Luke’s fulfill God’s vision for us to Reach Beyond, Build Beloved Community, Grow Young, Navigate Life, and Restore Hope as we Awaken as Disciples who know how to use our spiritual gifts.
You might have taken St. Luke’s Spiritual Gifts Assessment years back, but it’s time for each and every one of us to take the test again. God’s given St. Luke’s a new vision, and each of us is St Luke’s. Which means God has equipped us to fulfill it with new gifts we may have never used before. You can sign up and be a part of a Wednesday class, take your test by clicking here, and then make an appointment to meet with a Kingdom Builder emailing us. At the end of the month we will have a Ministry Fair celebration where you can find the right place for you to serve in your passion, through your wiring, and using the gifts God has given to equip you.
See you Sunday as we head to a new school. Who knows what new vocation God has for you!
Grace and Peace,