Dear St. Lukers,
Happy Veterans Day to all of our military veterans and their families. Today is a day where we honor your calling and the sacrifice you and your families have offered to our nation. Thank you for your service and dedication. Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee had designated our veterans as one of the groups we wanted to highlight and celebrate throughout the year, just as we have done with Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Pride Month, and Hispanic Heritage Month throughout 2021.
This coming Sunday, November 14, you are invited to join us in the Sanctuary at 4:30 p.m. for a special Veterans Day Service. We will have special music from our Sanctuary Choir, have a moment to honor veterans and their families from each of the armed forces, see interviews with some special veterans in our congregation, and hear from Rev. Dr. Mark Becker, Clergy and President of the UM Florida Foundation and a veteran who served in the U.S. Navy as an Officer on a nuclear submarine.You can read more about Mark and his work at the Florida UM Foundation by clicking here.
A special offering will be collected during the service to benefit the nonprofit Soldiers’ Angels. This is a national organization with a chapter in Orlando, and their mission is to provide aid, comfort, and resources to the military, veterans, and their families. Soldiers’ Angels provides a variety of services such as food distribution, financial assistance, assistance with medical care, and family support. Because the organization’s focus is soldiers and their families, they are uniquely positioned to address the unique and complex needs of veterans.
St. Luke’s was connected with Soldiers’ Angels through a St. Luker who is a veteran and one of our Military Ministry leaders. 100% of the special offering collected during the service will support Soldiers’ Angels and their program. If you are unable to attend but would like to make a donation, you can click here to give throughout this week.
One of the privileges of being part of such a diverse church is the opportunity we have as St. Lukers to not only LEARN God’s story together with incredible academics and preachers, but LIVE God’s story in a richly diverse community. This is the second way God weaves Our Stories together, as we come together in small groups, Life Together groups of all ages, and practice the story of God we have learned. Talking about the same Scripture we have learned together, listening to how God and the Holy Spirit reveal the story through other people’s lives and experiences, stretches our understanding of God. When we intentionally LIVE God’s story in a small community weekly, it helps us grow deeper with one another, but also deeper with God as we seek God at work in other people’s life experiences.
This Sunday in worship, we will focus on how the early church devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and life together as community. Acts 2:42-47 is the story of how the rhythm of Learn, Live, Love, and Lead began long before us. Read the story and listen to our “Your Week with St. Luke’s” podcast as Dr. Moore dives deeper into the Scriptures’ meaning, and then continue to listen as I interview Pastor Jeremy, Caryn Royer, and Beth Whitten, who reflect on the power of what happens when we live God’s story together in community. Are you a part of a small group devoted to studying Scripture together? Want to get connected and talk about what you learn? This is the week to consider finding out how! Contact Liz Vasquez, St. Luke’s Director of Adult Discipleship and Evangelism, to get started.
Thank you again to all of our veterans and families, and for your service. We hope you will join us on Sunday for the Veterans Day Service, and also invite friends who have served or are serving in the armed forces to join us as well.
Grace and peace,