Over the summer Dianne and I were faced with an unexpected search for an automobile. We had hoped that our Jetta would last quite a while longer. The Jetta was on a different schedule. When it comes to car people, we are not among them beyond the point of being highly dependent upon them to get us where we need to be next. But even we know the superficial rituals of shopping for a car. We had surfed the internet to focus our search and narrow the field. So, with the girls entertained at a birthday party, off we went. We were ready to “kick a few tires”, do some test-drives and “look under the hood.”
Everybody knows how to shop for a car; even us. But, how do you shop for a church? How do you find what you are looking for? How do you come to trust a congregation enough to enter into a commitment of membership? How do you know what a church has to offer and if that what is offered will nurture your spiritual needs? How do you figure out if St. Luke’s UCC is right for you?
You might start where a lot of folks are starting who are looking for a church that fits their needs. You can check out the internet; check out church websites. Now, our website provides a lot of information and gives you a literal picture of what St. Luke’s is about. From our mission and welcome statements to pictures of our activities and even videos of our worship service, you can get a pretty good idea of what St. Luke’s offers. But St. Luke’s is a church and as such is more than can be captured on a website.
So, people have dropped by to “kick a few tires.” They have attended services to get a feel for the Spirit of our church beyond what is pictured on the website. Some have enjoyed the test-drive and are comfortable with the feel of our worship and fellowship. Some have become regulars and are faithful in support and participation. We are blessed by everyone whose presence suggests they are comfortable and nurtured by what they are finding at St. Luke’s and welcome all who come by to “kick a few tires” and take a test-drive.
Some shoppers may need a bit more detail and information before becoming comfortable with a commitment to membership. They may need to “look under the hood.” Realizing such information may be sought and helpful, there will be a session on October 15th we are calling “St. Luke’s 101.” It is open to anyone and everyone regardless of how many test-drives you have taken with us who might be helped by the opportunity to know more about our congregation. The session will provide more of the story of who we are, what we are doing, how we are doing it and where you might fit into our shared life together. While the session will include information on how to unite with our congregation as a member, there is no obligation to join the church by attending “St. Luke’s 101.” Anyone who is not a member or those who are members and are looking for ways to participate more fully in the life and ministry of our congregation is encouraged to attend. Lunch will be served, so it will be helpful to know you are planning to join us for this opportunity to “take a look under the hood.”
Then, as a follow-up, on Sunday, November 12th, there will be a “Member Reception Sunday” in which those who are ready for the commitment of church membership will be received into the congregation as members.
After looking around with the help of a knowledgeable guide Dianne and I made our selection based upon our needs—and budget. While we would like to have not been faced with the purchase at this particular time, we knew it was time. There were places we had to go and we needed a dependable means of getting there. With each trip we have taken, our satisfaction has validated our choice. We all need a nurturing, faithful congregation to support us on our life’s journeys. We hope St. Luke’s can provide you with just that! Here’s to the open road, shared together, led by the Holy Spirit!