Dear St. Lukers,
What a fantastic first weekend of our TwELF Days of Christmas drive-thru experience. Thank you to everyone who created, built, put lights out, and volunteered as elves, carolers, and our Nativity scene to help share the true PRESENCE of Jesus’ love to more than 1,100 cars full of people.
We have one more weekend of this special event, so don’t miss out! A few more volunteers are still needed, too. Click the button below to reserve your free tickets and view volunteer opportunities:
This week, the prophet Isaiah’s messages of promise, comfort, and healing come to life through Mary in the annunciation found in Luke 1:26-38. In worship we will hear Mary singing her Magnificat in gratitude for the opportunity to carry and mother the gift of God’s presence in the world. Read Luke 2:46-52 as we recognize how much we need a little presence this season.
We have an opportunity to express our gratitude like Mary through an extra Advent Offering to help St. Luke’s end the 2020 budget year strong. This week, you are invited to start bringing back your Advent Offering gift boxes, or make your celebration Offering online as your PRESENT to GOD in gratitude for the PRESENCE of Jesus. Our CDC preschool children have already kicked off this special Offering by bringing back their Advent Offering gift boxes filled with coins they collected, for a total of $280. Some of our finance team members were so moved that they began matching the amount to continue the efforts of the littlest St. Lukers. Want to be a part of helping them learn how giving to God makes things grow? Click here to match their gift!
Finally, let’s talk about 2021 and start considering your New Year’s resolutions now…especially the resolutions to go deeper with God and your life as a disciple. 2020 has taught us the importance of being grounded in faith and putting faith into action to bring God’s Kingdom on earth, as it is in heaven. The staff took a great deal of time to envision what kind of community of faith we should be on the other side of 2020, and the number one thing was to be even more intentionally focused on discipleship and worship as a body of Christ.
In 2021, we will “Live the Story: God’s, mine, yours, and ours.” We will focus on helping every St. Luker find their place in God’s story, connect with one another in the story of love, and learn to reveal God’s story to the world. To help, we will offer a new rhythm of four actions for ministry, so each St. Luker can deepen their discipleship in 2021: LEARN, ENGAGE, LISTEN, ECHO.
- Learn the Story through a new church-wide Bible study on Wednesdays (or watch on-demand as a part of your personal study time before Sunday). This will be a deep dive into the text exegetically and theologically taught by Dr. Bill Barnes and one additional pastor. Children, youth, and adult ministry leaders will participate as a part of their personal study time to prepare them to lead their small groups.
- Engage the Story through worship. Using the same Scripture, we will practically apply it to your story and the story of humanity to understand the text in daily life. We will eventually change the worship times and possibly move to two styles of worship (online and on–campus) in the coming months.
- Listen to the Story with others. New Life Together groups will continue, and all groups will have study guides and discussion questions designed for each age group using the same Scripture from LEARN and ENGAGE as a way to listen to one another and hear one another’s stories and life experiences in community. If you are not already part of a Life Together or small group, click here to join new groups starting in January.
- Echo the Story in Service and Witness – each sermon series will feature a mission opportunity for service, highlighting ways you can change our community and invite others to be a part of God’s story.
The goal is to offer intentional, focused discipleship and worship to grow us as a congregation and spill out into the world as we serve and witness to others. It will take discipline, and shifting priorities, but it will also be the foundation of growing individually, as families and disciples of all ages, and moving our church toward God’s mission and purpose for our church.
We kick off this new movement beginning Wednesday, January 6 and Sunday, January 10 with our first 2021 theme: DIG IN and LIVE the Story. For six weeks we will do a complete overview of the entire Bible so you can LEARN, ENGAGE, LISTEN, and ECHO God’s Story, mine, yours, and ours. Until then, let’s make our way toward the manger and start this story of love together.
Grace and peace,