Newsletters

The Weekly View - September 10, 2021

Click here for the full NEWSLETTER

In This Issue
  • Weekly Message from Rev. Joanne Whitt
  • Weekly Facebook Video
  • Announcements & Upcoming Events
  • Outreach Opportunities
message from rev.  whitt


Dear St. Luke family,


This coming Sunday is Homecoming Sunday, a festive celebration of the beginning of fall and a new church program year.  We’re welcoming the choir back to the sanctuary and we’re starting a new sequence of traditional worship music alternating Sundays with alternative music.  We’re looking ahead to a stewardship campaign, a gala fundraiser dinner, the election of new deacons, an officers’ retreat, and exciting progress reports from the pastor nominating committee.  We’ll observe Reformation Sunday and All Saints’ Sunday, remembering those resting in God’s care beyond this earthly life.  We’ll celebrate God’s generosity with Thanksgiving, and once again we’ll look forward to God’s coming in the season of Advent.  We’ll celebrate Christmas Eve in the sanctuary, offering our service of candlelight and carols to our friends and neighbors as we have for many years.      
 
When we planned Homecoming a couple of months ago, we were assuming the restrictions of the pandemic would be behind us and we’d be back in the sanctuary after Labor Day without masks.  But then the Delta variant intervened.  Nevertheless, with so much to celebrate, we’re proceeding with Homecoming with our masks in place.  We’ll hear festive music from the choir and from Erich Miller on steel drums.  We’ll celebrate the amazing burrito ministry of church member Michael Baranowski, Kitchen Manager for the Marin Street Chaplaincy.  We’ll celebrate September birthdays and anniversaries, and together we’ll lift up a prayer reminding our school kids that God is with them, even at school.
 
Our Scripture passage from Mark’s gospel this Sunday invites us to think about where the focus of our congregational life and activity is found.  Of course we seek spiritual nourishment for the faithful, but a congregation’s mission cannot end there, within our own church.  Like Jesus himself, his disciples are continually called to a larger vision of mission — one that aims to embrace the outsider, the stranger, even the enemy.  After all, we do know, we really do, just how deeply God loves the whole world – and that is exactly what the whole world needs to hear.
 
Because it’s the second Sunday of the month, we’ll worship only in the sanctuary, with no Zoom or online worship this week.  Our sanctuary is big enough for a good crowd to worship socially distant, and we’ll keep the doors open for increased ventilation.  We’ll all wear masks, including worship leaders except when we are speaking.  We’ll pass the peace observing people’s need for safe distance. 
 
Please join us at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday in the sanctuary for our festive Homecoming Service.  Don’t forget to “like” St. Luke on Facebook, where you can keep up with announcements and see our weekly midweek video.

Grace and peace,
Joanne Whitt
Interim Pastor

Posted by Joanne Whitt with

The Weekly View - September 3, 2021

Click here for the full NEWSLETTER

In This Issue
  • Weekly Message from Rev. Joanne Whitt
  • Weekly Facebook Video
  • Announcements & Upcoming Events
  • Outreach Opportunities
message from rev.  whitt

Dear St. Luke family,

The Sunday before Labor Day is the day set aside to remind us that every Christian is called to service to God, to be part of God’s drama, as one writer puts it, even if we seem only to have a bit part and haven’t read the whole script.  God needs every single one of us.  The word we use to describe this calling is “vocation,” which comes from the Latin for voice or calling, and this Sunday is Christian Vocation Sunday. 
 
Vocation isn’t limited to paid work or even volunteer work.  How we use our time, our resources, our special talents – all these are part of our vocational response to God’s call.  As the apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans, “For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.  We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us…”  So, whatever our situation, whatever our gifts, whatever our role or task, we who are part of the body of Christ are to respond accordingly.  That isn’t always easy at work, especially when our culture so often values the bottom line above all else.  But our calling as Christians is to go beyond the question of, “Is it profitable?” and even “Is it legal?”  An article by Christian ethicists includes these questions we might ask ourselves when faced with an ethical dilemma in the workplace: 

  • Will my actions show love to the others involved in the situation?
  • What answer does my own conscience tell me will bring me inner peace, even though it may also be painful?
  • What faith example will I provide to my co-workers and my family by the decision I make? 

This Sunday, we’ll hear from three of you, three members of our community, describing how they work out their Christian discipleship in the workplace or as volunteers.  It might inspire you to consider: What is your calling?  On the one hand, Howard Thurman wrote, “Don’t ask what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”  On the other hand, Frederick Buechner wrote, “The kind of work God usually calls you to is the kind of work (a) that you need most to do and (b) that the world most needs to have done.  If you really get a kick out of your work, you’ve presumably met requirement (a), but if your work is writing cigarette ads, the chances are you’ve missed requirement (b).  On the other hand, if your work is being a doctor in a leper colony, you have probably met requirement (b), but if most of the time you’re bored and depressed by it, the chances are you have not only bypassed (a) but probably aren’t helping your patients much either. … Neither the hair shirt nor the soft berth will do.  The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”  
 
Join us Sunday as we explore vocation and calling.  We’ll be in the sanctuary and on Zoom at 10:00 a.m.  Don’t forget that a week from Sunday, September 12, is the second Sunday of the month and so there will be no online worship.  It’s also Homecoming Sunday, a very festive day of music and celebration – it will be worth putting on a mask and showing up in person! 

Grace and peace,
Joanne Whitt
Interim Pastor

Posted by Joanne Whitt with

The Weekly View - August 27, 2021

Click here for the full NEWSLETTER

In This Issue
  • Weekly Message from Rev. Joanne Whitt
  • Weekly Facebook Video
  • This Sunday's Guest Minister, Rev. Dr. Douglas Olds
  • Announcements & Upcoming Events
  • Outreach Opportunities
message from rev.  whitt


Dear St. Luke family,

What’s the most serious problem facing our world today?  I happen to believe it’s climate change.  Don’t get me wrong; the world has plenty of other problems: the pandemic, poverty, hunger, racism, divisive politics, the refugee crisis, wildfire, militarism … and more.  But these problems pale in comparison to climate change, and of course in some cases, are being made worse by it.  For me, climate change is a theological issue; in fact, it’s a theological crisis.  I ran across an editorial underscoring that faith support for action in the face of climate change is crucial:
 
“[Faith groups] give the climate debate a moral tone and energize worshippers to make individual choices out of respect for the earth, not out of political fidelity.  Nearly all the world’s religions espouse doctrines that affirm the sanctity of the planet and admonish adherents to act accordingly.  Religions give humanity to the victims of drought and flooding, treating them not as numbers on a spreadsheet but as humans with divine worth.” [1]
 
This coming Sunday while I’m on vacation, the Rev. Dr. Douglas Olds will be our guest preacher.  Doug has spent years studying faith and the environment, and specifically, faith and climate change.  His sermon from Isaiah 25:1-10 is entitled, “Quieting the Roaring Heat.”   
 
What can we do to help protect God’s good creation so that it might continue to sustain life?  Doug might have some ideas.  As Chef Anne Marie Bonneau put it, “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly.  We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”  Individually, it can seem as though our efforts are a spit in the bucket.  But together and with God’s help, we can move mountains.  In particular, we can make our voices heard by those in power: “The earth is the Lord’s, and all that is in it.  The world, and those who live in it” (Psalm 24:1).
 
I’ll be gone Sunday through Tuesday, and back in the office on Wednesday.  Don’t forget to invite friends and family to the October 2 gala fundraiser dinner, and have a lovely weekend!

Grace and peace,
Joanne Whitt
Interim Pastor

 

[1] Deseret News Editorial Board, “In our opinion: Faith groups can be the moral compass on climate change,” Deseret News, August 15, 2019, available at in-our-opinion-faith-groups-can-be-the-moral-compass-on-climate-change.
Posted by Joanne Whitt with

12345678910 ... 5758