Dear St. Lukers,
First off, a huge thanks to our amazing clergy and worship team for stepping up for me on Sunday. I had some kind of virus that really took me out of commission, so I am grateful for Jad stepping in at the last moment to preach. Our worship team stepped up to the plate as well making some adjustments and filling in to make sure you had a powerful Sunday of worship. I’m grateful to our team and all they have been doing to make this Lent so meaningful. Holy Week will not disappoint as they have powerful music, theater and art planned for worship and our prayer labyrinth which will begin on Palm Sunday! (click here for dates/times for all Holy Week services and offerings)
Speaking of which, Palm Sunday is close at hand which means it’s almost time for EasterFest!
If you were here the Saturday before Halloween you know that our Trunks, Treats and More Community event was beyond a huge success. We had a couple thousand visitors here on our campus, being welcome and greeted by 100’s of St. Lukers. We have been publicizing EasterFest in the community for more than a month, so we know we will again have an amazing turn out. If you, your group, or your family can help out, click here to find out more information. Our goal is to have at least 5 St. Lukers interact with every community neighbor who attends the event, inviting them back to Holy Week and helping them find a way to connect with St. Luke’s.
So St. Luke’s – this is an all hands on deck opportunity to show our community neighbors our core values of hospitality, acceptance, community, discipleship AND service. We still need about 100 volunteers to serve food, attend to games, decorate a car for Bunny Hop Lane, or to help our children in their Hope Marketplace. Our children’s ministry has been busy creating the cutest Easter gifts for people to buy to help them raise money for our next Zoe working group in Rwanda. (Click here for the children’s commercial they created) We also will have a massive Resurrection Egg hunt where each child will have the opportunity to learn the gospel story and the meaning of Easter. What a great way to spend Palm Sunday!
This Sunday in worship we will hear Jesus words from John 12:20-33, “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” Bearing fruit in the gospel of John is an important metaphor for Jesus. Our lives are meant to bear fruit, abundant fruit as we are told in John 15. Some would ask why we would spend time and resources during the busiest week of the year, with a community event. But Jesus reminds us that love wins in the world when we who are his followers bear the abundant fruit with our lives, our ministries and our church. Events like this let us live out those core values based in Christ’s never ending, sacrificial, love. In a world where it is easy to give up on sacrificial love, moments like this help God’s love come to life in someone. Inevitably I always have a new person say to me at one of these events, “It’s free? Why would you all do this?” Because it’s all about God’s love, a free gift, no strings attached is always my response.
Join us as we bear fruit on Palm Sunday, not just for ourselves, but for the Kingdom of God to be revealed in the neighborhood of Apopka-Vineland and Conroy Windermere. Why? Because we know God’s love wins!
See you Sunday,
P.S. There will be no Wednesday night programming or dinner on March 21 due to Orange County Public School Spring Break. Programs will resume on Wednesday, March 28. Visit st.lukes.org/wednesday to sign up for future dinners, and to view the complete class schedule.