Dear St. Lukers,
What an awesome weekend! Thousands of our neighbors experienced your hospitality and generosity during our Trunk, Treats, & More event! What an outstanding event filled with something for all ages, laughter, joy and memories!
Thank you to everyone who served, donated candy for the event and food for the food drive, and made this such a wonderful community outreach opportunity. And a special congratulations to Bob Horner, winner of “Best Trunk!”
This past Sunday in worship, 27 people joined the church as our newest partners in membership. We are so excited to welcome this new group of St. Lukers into our church family (many whom have been worshipping, growing, and serving St. Luke’s for years)!
I write this from Atlanta where Scooter, Pastor Corey, and I have been attending the Leading Edge event, a gathering of United Methodist churches with more than 1,000 worshipers, under the leadership of Adam Hamilton from Church of the Resurrection. It’s been two days of learning about multi-site churches, stewardship, breaking the numbers barriers, denominational future, and hearing from the legendary NFL player and college football coach, Bill Curry.
Mr. Curry shared about things you learn in the huddle, lessons from his time on the football field and on the sidelines. He is a great storyteller but one of the points that struck me most was when he shared about the five ethical values the Global Ethics institute has found to be common worldwide: honesty, fairness, responsibility, respect, and compassion. Curry said, when these five are present, a sixth value surfaces: trust. I thought it was interesting how, no matter the economics or cultural differences, these are the values people long to see come to life in the world around them. They are also the values that come to life when we live according to the greatest commandment: loving God with all our heart, soul, strength, mind and loving our neighbors as ourselves.
These values are the byproduct of lives and hearts who ask these final seven questions from John Wesley. As we deepen our relationship with God and the relationship with ourselves, we finally begin to look at the upward and inward focus and that changes the way we relate to others. The final seven questions regarding our relationship with others ask:
- Do I thank God I am not like others?
- Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I am? In other words, am I a hypocrite?
- Do I confidentially pass on to others what was told to me in confidence?
- Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy or distrustful?
- Am I honest in all my actions and words or do I exaggerate?
- Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold resentment toward or disregard?
- When did I last speak to someone about my faith?
Once again, Wesley accomplishes his goal in writing these 21 questions in order to “strip away pretense and expose the motives of the heart.” These questions make us deal with what is really going on in our heart when it comes to other people and how we relate. Join Pastor Melissa and I in worship on Sunday as we explore these questions and Romans 12: 3-18 as Paul shares what the offering of a holy and sacrificial life looks like when one is not conformed to this world but transformed by the renewing of his/her mind. If you haven’t purchased a book yet, it’s not too late. Books are available for purchase at the display case near the Rotunda in Building C.
Grace and peace,