Dear St. Lukers,
As you know, I’ve been looking through our history books. It’s because Dr. Ebby Arnold said something in our first lesson about the Gospel of Luke that struck me: “We tell our history to shape our future.” That is the work Luke does throughout his gospel as he tells the story of Jesus and links it both to the Old Testament prophets, and in setting up the story of Acts, shaping readers in the future. In many ways being a church named after this gospel is so much more than the good news found on the surface. It’s about what Jesus offers to the marginalized, the poor, the gentiles, as well as the people of Israel. It’s also about how, like the writer who was always connecting the past to the “present” moment with Jesus, to point us to the future. St. Luke’s has kept the threads of its DNA running through our ministry in ways we may not have realized. We saw that in those early postcards that restated the core values we still claim today. We saw it in the way the strategic vision, written before Pastor Jim Harnish left, was the path that Pastor Bill Barnes built on, which led us to the strategic vision work of missions today.
I was reading through our history books again this week and came across article after article of events offered to the congregation and community around “wholeness.” Whether it was health fairs, speakers about retirement, or fitness, St. Luke’s has always wanted people to be whole and live into their passions. This is exactly why we are hosting an exciting event featuring Marc Middleton, CEO and Founder of Growing Bolder, on Friday, September 23 at 6:30 p.m. in Founder’s Hall. Watch the video below from Pastor Jeremy and one of our hosts for the evening, St. Luker Andrea Batchelor, then make sure you RSVP for this free event (click here)!
Just last week I received a notice from the Florida Conference for those looking to retire in the next 10 years! And I will admit, I didn’t realize that at 51 I would start to receive mail from AARP. But that’s the season many of us in our congregation and certainly in our community find ourselves in, looking to what our next half will be like. Marc Middleton is just the person we need to come inspire us about how to not just see it as growing old, but growing BOLD. Marc has changed the scene on what it means to thrive in an active lifestyle, and has been a forerunner in creating content through his magazine, radio, events, blogs, and podcasts for those over 50. Visit his website (click here) and you will see the draw he has for people of ALL ages to encourage us to live with boldness at any age!
We have just received permission to livestream the event as well, so invite your friends to join us for this special evening, and to see a little taste of St. Luke’s while they are here! After the event there will be desserts and ministries sharing information about how you can get involved at St. Luke’s and feed yourself spiritually, using your gifts and time, and ways to just connect with others.
This Sunday we continue to ReKindle our Wesleyan roots through the power of grace and belonging, which is fundamental in what it means to be Methodist. We will connect this second key value of what it means to #BeUMC with the story of the Good Samaritan from the Gospel of Luke. (Want to know more about the #BeUMC campaign? Click here to see some great resources for small groups, and for a place for you to share your story.)
See you Sunday as the bold and powerful St. Lukers you are!