St. Luke's United Methodist Church


4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Road
Orlando, FL 32819
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Weekly Update – July 31, 2014

Posted on August 3, 2014 at 2:45 am in .
This week’s psalm is very short and to the point – it’s all about unity among God’s people. “Look at how good and pleasing it is when families live together as one!”

As I look at the news and watch the warring happening in Gaza and around the globe, or our own debate about issues in our country, and I feel like it is easy to see how bad it is when we don’t live together as one. Unity is a word that sounds so beautiful, but so difficult to attain. Whether it’s the struggle of unity within a family, neighborhood, group, church or on a larger scale within the world – the call for Unity from the Psalmist sounds more like a dream and less like reality.

But then there are those glimpses. Those God moment glimpses you have that give you hope and show you how beautiful unity within the people of God truly is – how breathtaking it can be. I’ve had a couple of those glimpses this week. One happened during a rehearsal for our summer production of Big Fish (tickets are on sale now and will be on sale Sunday!) I was leaving rehearsal after offering a devotional based on Romans 12 and one of the cast members asked to speak to me. We went down the hall and he introduced himself, offering a brief explanation of his background and how he came to find us. Then he looked me in the eye, and said “I just had to thank you for what your church is all about.” He explained that he felt welcomed and accepted and wants to begin attending church here. He mentioned it was some of the things I have shared through devotionals along the way, but it’s also because of the incredible people from St. Luke’s who have embrace our new friends in the cast, and the camaraderie and community being built along the way.

Our core values of acceptance, hospitality, community, discipleship and service, are not just aspirational.  You actually bring them to life with the ways you welcome people through your invitations to St. Luke’s. You bring them to life when you greet one another on Sunday mornings and in the hallways and rotunda. You make our core values come to life when you have the courage to join a study or a cluster group, or when you use your gifts to serve with each other. In those moments, you offer yourself to this work God is doing among us to build community and unite us as a family for the work of Building the Kingdom. YOU are St. Luke’s – and each time you reach out to welcome another, serve another, or grow side by side with another,  you make our values come to life and extend the gift of Christ’s love and grace. And if I haven’t said it in a while – that is a truly beautiful gift, and it’s changing people’s lives. So thank you for those moments when you live in unity among us – because you become a witness to God, and to St. Luke’s.

By the way, if that first paragraph about unity in the family strikes a chord, we invite you to come see Big Fish. This show which is acceptable for all ages, is all about finding unity within the family – learning to accept one another and the power we have in life to be heroes in our journey. Following the show we will also have a sermon series based on the family scrapbook of Genesis entitled “Relationslips.” The focus will be about families and relationships and the difficult work of unity and reconciliation. It’s a great time to invite someone to join you!

Grace and peace,


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