It is hard to believe that it’s been two and a half years since I came to St. Luke’s! And, just for the record… I’m still “Lovin’ It!” I mean, what’s not to love?
People continue to step up and step in whenever and wherever there is a need. When it came time for Vacation Bible School a team assembled and was ready to go. Jamie and Sarah planned a full day, packed with learning and fun for the kids. Jessica and Courtney led the crafts time, including the manufacturing of our very own Oobleck. Mike and Gabe led the games. Marita and I read Dr. Seuss stories that illuminated little minds. Thanks to Nanette and the CE Board for another successful faith-development opportunity for the kids!
Karen and Jodie literally brought Horton the Elephant to life in the second Summer Fun Series session. Jodie’s narration and Karen’s impersonations captured the kid’s attention while they learned that “a person is person, no matter how small,” and how God is “faithful 100%” in caring for us.
When it looked like our general fund deficit was going to challenge our work and ministry as a congregation, the council responded by asking, “What can we do?” They were the first to step up with extra contributions to the general fund. Following their lead, many in the congregation did the same. When all was said and done, we ended the year with a deficit of $4,600, with giving to the general fund for the year finishing about $250 below last year’s receipts. Beyond the fact that we overcame much of the gap in our budget, the whole experience has led us each to take a close look at our level of support for the general fund; to assess our level of giving; to consider the possibility of increasing our support of the general fund; and what we might do to end up in a more favorable place next year. This is the kind of positive outlook and engaged support that fosters spiritual vitality of a congregation as well as joy in our own faith development.
Another challenge that has brought out the best in our congregation has been Boyd’s departure as Music Director. To be sure, we have been saddened by his leaving, but our members have risen to the challenge. Patti, Karen, Marita, Sarah, Meghan, and Gabe have been meeting as a committee to work on discerning where the congregation is and where we would like to head in regard to our music. Jim and Mike are new to our congregation but are also contributing to the efforts to meet the challenge that is before us. The response and engagement by the members of the congregation to the survey has been most helpful. Then there is Carol, whose talent has kept us all singing in the past few weeks. Commitment and engagement is once again meeting the challenge and overcoming it.
Writing this article is one of the final things that was on my to-do-list before leaving for the Youth Mission Trip with the St. Luke’s Tin Caps. The kids are focused and excited about the opportunity that awaits them. Heather, Jodie and John and I will be spending the week on a true immersion mission experience in a rural community that is in the grips of poverty. It will be my first youth mission trip in thirty years and I look forward to leading the youth in what I expect to be a transformative faith experience.
So, being part of a St. Luke’s is truly a joy! We are a congregation that is engaged and “faithful 100%!” Our members continue to look at every challenge and find ways to rise to the occasion by working together side by side, following the guidance of the Holy Spirit. What’s not to love?