Dear St. Lukers,
Thanks to everyone who joined us in our combined worship Sunday morning and our evening Camp Meeting worship. Rev. Sharon Austin centered us on our mission to the people around us, reminding us powerfully God made no mistakes in creating each of us. She kicked off our “Back to Grace School” sermon series where we will spend the next three weeks using the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15 and Paul’s letter to the Ephesians to not only remind us of Wesley’s teaching on grace, but drive home how prevenient, justifying, and sanctifying grace puts us in mission to the world around us.
Each Sunday night there is something special going on to participate in blessings of grace. This Sunday we have two wonderful chances to participate. During each service, we will have a blessing of the school year, and at the 11:00 a.m. service in the SANCTUARY our service will be dedicated to the blessing of administrators, teachers, students and parents. We will bless children’s backpacks or things they will use this year for learning and invite anyone who works in the public and private school system to come forward and receive this blessing. This special service will give each of us an opportunity to pray for our schools and connect us with the grace of God already at work to prepare everyone for a year of grace, knowledge, and growth.
Sunday evening join us for our second “Heart of St. Luke’s” meeting at 5:30 p.m. in the Building C Attic. We will be sharing what we can about the denomination and the work toward a more inclusive church and then you will have the opportunity to share in small groups your thoughts on three different questions. If you have questions about the denomination and work being done you can submit them beforehand by clicking here. Small groups will have a chance to consider how grace, offered through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, shapes a vision of the inclusive church. Do you have a picture of an inclusive church? What is it doing in ministry, who is there, who is being welcomed? Join us Sunday night for rich discussion and looking toward the future.
Pastor Melissa and I invite you to really study the story of the prodigal son. Read all of chapters 14 and 15 from Luke and the book of Ephesians. Consider reading the prodigal son story from different translations and paraphrases of Scripture to hear it in new ways. Consider the steps of Lectio Divina as you read the story contemplatively. For a reminder of this process of study click here. Remember we are at some point or another both of the sons in the story, so spend time focusing on the work of the father in the story. This Sunday, we will focus on Luke 15:11-20 and prevenient grace, the grace that comes before. We will also look at how the story of Mary Poppins and her author connect to these meanings of grace.
Until then, may grace abound for each of us, older and younger siblings alike. May each of us sense the embrace of a truly prodigal God.
Grace and Peace,