Dear St. Lukers,
This morning I gathered on a St. Luker’s dock and participated in some centering yoga with others from our community. The sun was shining, the breeze was blowing and I found myself breathing a little deeper and smiling a little wider than the days before. My favorite hymn came to mind and I began singing to myself…
Great is thy faithfulness, Oh God my father,
There is NO shadow of turning with thee,
Though CHANGEST NOT,
Thy COMPASSIONS, they FAIL NOT;
As thou hast been, thou FOREVER wilt be
Great is thy faithfulness, Great is thy faithfulness
Morning by Morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed thy hand hath provided;
Great is thy faithfulness Lord unto me.
It’s been a long week in our denomination, with lots of press to tell the world about it. I am so grateful for the ways you as St. Lukers have done good this week. You have flooded our community with love and grace and given people other ways in which to view a church. We had a beautiful service last night of unity and healing, and this morning, as always God gives another day to do things right: to do no harm, do good and stay in love with God.
This week we are going to worship as one body in the Sanctuary, gathering at the open table of communion, where everyone is welcome and where grace and love is available to all who come with open hands and hearts. We will be led in worship by the Sanctuary Choir, the Praise Band, the Youth Choir and the Gospel Choir. Pastors Melissa, Jad, Corey, and I will all be sharing a word about how Jesus ends the Sermon on the Plain and moves right into ministry with a chance to heal a centurion, one of the outsiders and others he stood next to and invited the disciples to serve and love in the verses before. We will be reminded that the only way we do no harm and do good is to stay in love with God and with one another. It will be a beautiful day of worshipping our ever faithful God.
Remember, we have a forty-year history of being Wesleyan in grace, welcoming all, and embodying a community who remembers we worship to go serve in the world. NONE of this changed this week. Just as God’s faithfulness never changes, not even a shadow of God turning from us… St. Luke’s has not changed either. We are still who we were and who we will continue to be. People have asked this week from all walks of life, definition of family, understanding of biblical interpretation and theology: “will there still be room for me?” Yes. There is room for everyone, because the core of who St. Luke’s is not a pastor, or certain people, or the church council, or even the denomination…at the core of who we are is Jesus Christ, Savior and Lord of all. The core of who we are is Christ’s work of gracious, amazing, abundant, never ending, transformative love in death and resurrection. And guess what, we have work to do…because there is a world outside who desperately is longing for THAT gift of LOVE and Jesus who is its author.
See you Sunday, because it’s not St. Luke’s without U!