Dear St. Lukers,
What an exciting week at St. Luke’s! As I am writing this in my office, I hear more than 100 voices coming from the Rotunda who have gathered for the National Circles Leadership Conference. These are Circles Allies, Leaders, and Partners from more than 25 states who are working together to inspire and equip families and communities to thrive and resolve poverty. In March, we will celebrate our 10th year as a Circles site in West Orange. This ministry has impacted 120 adults and 100 children who have reached various milestones from completing immersive training to graduation in 18 months, which has positively impacted them and given them the space to impact our community. The life transformation that has happened with these Leaders, Allies, and our congregation through Circles has been incredible.
This work began with our first strategic 4D Vision devoted to community transformation in one location: East Winter Garden. With our new 24 & More Vision, you said you wanted to not only deepen our commitment to lifting families out of poverty through food and housing stability but also lift our voices in advocacy for children and families in our community.
The support of children, youth, and families is one of the pillars of our 24 & More strategic vision. We know the fastest growing demographic in our community are singles and starter families. There is such a need for daily support for families, whether that’s parent resource classes, helping families learn about their faith, supporting our schools and creating safe and brave spaces to teach St. Luke’s core values of acceptance, community, and service, or providing more opportunities for working families. St. Luke’s has always been a place to fill in the gaps of arts or advocacy and standing in the gaps of public education with volunteers or supplemental ministries. So, what’s next? How do we continue to live into the commandment to love God and love others and hand that to the next generations? How do we move into neighborhoods to support families in raising those generations?
Join us Sunday in worship as we explore the implications of the Shema found in Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and consider how to build ministries to support families. Listen to this week’s episode of “Your Week with St. Luke’s” from Pastor Melissa and consider the possibilities of new doorposts we can attach this command to in our church and community so all generations might know how to love but also serve God.
One of those doorposts of living out God’s love to families is through our Fall Family Fun Night next week on October 25, and you can be a part of it! There will be games, bounce houses, and fun for children and youth of all ages. If you or your small group, ministry area, or friends would like to volunteer this is a great opportunity to show our community families who St. Luke’s is through your welcoming spirit. Please reach out to Liz Vasquez for ways to get involved!
As a vision follow-up, we will be hosting a “town hall” meeting on Tuesday, October 24 at 6:30 p.m. in Founder’s Hall for anyone interested in considering how we might form a Supplemental School for children, youth, and even adults in our community. If you are a parent, an educator, or are just interested in what could be the next steps in supporting education, we invite you to come give us your thoughts and expertise.
And lastly, don’t forget that on November 19 we will have a Church-Wide Celebration Service at 9:30 a.m. in the Sanctuary followed by a community brunch. We will celebrate the potential ripples we will help God create through this new vision as one congregation fully committed to 24 & More of what God has in store for us.
It’s an exciting time in the life of St. Luke’s, but our vision can’t come to life and the ripples won’t extend in reach without U! See you Sunday as we come together for a powerful morning of worship.