What a joy, to God be the glory! People came from Canada and Hawaii.
The Anniversary Team and all the ministry teams did an amazing job representing St. Luke’s.
How fun to have a flash mob of current and former members kick off the night with singing.
Robert Benedict, grandson of Charter Members Oscar and Hulda Anderson, walked us through the history of St. Luke’s; a history that continues to be written.
The 100th Anniversary Video funded by the St. Luke’s Foundation encapsulated the 100 years of ministry that was started by just eight families. Currently we have 261 households – imagine what we can do…
The mayor and bishop spoke words of thanks, praise, and hope for our future.
Tawny Homesley and Pastor Mark Halvorson shared staff reflections.
The food on Saturday and Sunday morning was fabulous, as was the serving staff along with the baristas.
And then at Sunday worship…
Two commissioned musical pieces were debuted:
The Bells of Praise, “Illumina – Word of God. Light Our Way.” by Cathy Moklebust with former Bells of Praise Director Tawny speaking the words.
The Festival Choir sung, “Be the Light!” composed and conducted by former Music Leader, John Helgen.
Pastor Bud Eskritt gave the sermon and was surprised by the congregation to be appointed Pastor Emeritus. He said it was one of the most remarkable experiences he has had as a pastor.
Others joined him in their reflections of the day…
“I’m still basking in the afterglow of one of the most memorable and inspirational weekends of my life. Thank you, thank you!” Blessings, Mark Bergherr
“I am still riding a high from this weekend! To spend the weekend with so many people who've had such a profound impact on my life was truly a gift. And you know it was good when you have so few pictures because you were just too busy taking it all in. My cup runneth over.
'We are called out of the darkness. Light had shined bright in the darkness. Jesus said 'I am the light of the world.' Let your light shine before all.' –(John Helgen’s song lyrics)” – Mollee Erickson
“Such an exciting time and event!” – Laurie Blanchard
“Grateful for this community of faith and for all the ways they’ve cared for and loved my family and me” – Jana Cinnamon
“Great to see so many friends and share in the music for worship this morning at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Bloomington as they celebrated 100 years of ministry. Kudos to the singers of St. Luke’s, choir director Bernie Asher, and accompanist Lori Murray in the performances of my newest choral anthem “Be the Light!” which was commissioned by St. Luke’s for today’s celebration. Here’s to the next hundred!” – John Helgen
If you missed any of it, the Saturday Night Program of Celebration and Praise, along with both the 8:30 and 10 AM worship were recorded. You can find them here.
We are also collecting pictures of the weekend. Please share your pictures to our Google Photo Album or send to email@example.com or tag @stlukesbloomington to your online posts. An album will be created on our website with these pictures.
May the weekend not only be a memory…
…let us build off of it into the next 100 years. To God be the glory!!
100th Anniversary Directory
St. Luke's is doing a new picture directory in-house. No photos to buy, no appointments to make!
We'll be taking pictures in the narthex before and after Sunday morning services. With nice weather (finally!) we can also take pictures outside. If you have a picture you already like you can submit it for the directory to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have questions or would like to help, please contact Diane LaFontaine, email@example.com, 952.686.3158.
As Pastor Werger said 55 years ago, it’s a beautiful thing…
…Belonging to the People of God
I don’t suppose there is a greater source of joy and comfort in life that to know you are baptized into Jesus Christ and “belong to the people of God.”
To be perfectly candid, sacrifice, self-denial, and self-giving have been the methods by which Christ has built His church and created the people of God. You and I enjoy the blessings and benefits of our faith simply because others have been willing to pay the price to share the Gospel. Nowhere is this more clearly seen than in the forty-five year history of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church. It was the commitment of life and resources, the faithfulness through many stormy periods of existence and the devoted loyalty of those early pioneers of our community that created a House of Worship, and made it possible for God to have his people in this place.
Now the burden of responsibility rests squarely on our shoulders. At this hour when the needs of God’s people at St. Luke’s are everywhere in evidence, each of us much look within himself to see if there is the love and faith to pay the price of belonging to God’s people.
At this period…as we see Christ’s sacrifice for us and as we reflect on the 45 year history of this congregation, these words of the poet express all our desires and feelings:
“Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were an offering far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine
Demands my soul, my life, my all.”
Pastor Paul Werger, writing to the congregation on its 45th anniversary, on the threshold of the final building phase.
Words that speak to us today as we celebrate 100 years.
I love parties. I especially love parties for Jesus. The two best days to invite people to church is Christmas and Easter. Why? Because both of those days transcend us. It’s an experience. It’s a celebration. Christmas and Easter are still culturally acceptable. I have friends and family who only attend on those holidays.
When we think about inviting someone to church, we’re afraid they might take it wrong – “I think you need Jesus!” The truth is, the number one reason a person starts going to a church is because they were invited. The reason a person continues to attend church is connection - connection with God-Jesus-Spirit, connection with others, and a Connection with purpose.
And there is no better time than today. As was announced last week, “There is an epidemic of loneliness and isolation, an underappreciated public health crisis that has harmed individual and societal health. Our relationships are a source of healing and well-being hiding in plain sight – one that can help us live healthier, more fulfilled, and more productive lives,” said U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy. You can read more here: Impact of loneliness and isolation.
Our mission is that we are welcoming and growing community of faith, busy making Christ known to the world. To be welcoming is to offer invitation. To be growing is to step outside of your comfort zone to offer an invitation. To be community requires connection. To be faithful is to remember that Jesus called us to be his witnesses – as those before us at St. Luke’s were, otherwise we would not have the privilege to be celebrating 100 years. And may the generations that follow have the privilege to celebrate another 100 years.
Our 100th Anniversary is not only about celebrating the past, it’s about sharing the present, and an invitation into the future, so that all might come to know and embrace the acceptance, forgiveness, love and salvation of Jesus Christ who is the same yesterday and today and for ever. (Hebrews 13:*).
To make this easier than ever we created a Facebook Event. Click on here for the link and share it with others.
So I ask again, “Who will you invite?”
100th Anniversary Gift
Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Our mission statement exclaims, “We are a welcoming and growing community of faith busy making Christ known to the world.” As members and participants in this community of faith, we seek to live out this mission every day by living out our core values, expressed by the following acrostic: Simply What Every Christian Should Do. We fulfill our mission and convey our values to others in a variety of explicit and deliberate ways:
As we continue to celebrate our 100th Anniversary as a faith community and prepare to begin our 2nd century of ministry together, the Church Council feels it is important to continue to invest in ourselves to sustain our abilities to live out our mission. Mother Teresa taught, “If we want a love message to be heard, it has got to be sent out. To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.” To that end, we are excited to announce that as part of our 100th Anniversary celebration, we would like to present ourselves with a gift – a gift that will equip us to send out and share the Good News of God’s love, mercy, and grace in and through our Lord Jesus Christ even further than we do today. We believe that the utilization of this gift, and the invitation to all of us to participate in the raising of the resources to acquire this gift, will support the living out of all of our core values in some fashion. More to come on this in future blog posts.
The envisioned gift is the upgrading of our sanctuary sound system, video projection, and video streaming capabilities. Our desire in selecting this gift is to enhance the delivery of high quality and inspiring worship experiences for people worshipping at St. Luke’s, both in-person and on-line. Likely inclusions in this gift are:
More specific information on the elements of the gift, our mission partner gifting plan, and the giving opportunities to support the 100th Anniversary gift and mission partner gifting will be shared in future communications. In the meantime, please be praying about how you might contribute a financial gift toward the acquisition of the gift and/or to the utilization of the gift through sharing your time and talents as a volunteer worship leader, musician/singer, audio or video technician and as a regular participant in worship. If you wish to donate financially toward the gift right away, you can make a donation of cash or by check made out to St. Luke’s Lutheran Church and designate your contribution to the 100th Anniversary gift either on the envelope or in the memo section of the check. You can also go to the following link, press the Simply Giving button at the bottom of the page, find the donation box for the 100th Anniversary Gift, and follow the prompts - www.stlukesbloomington.org/100th-anniversary.html. Thank you in advance for your prayerful consideration of support.
Whether or not it was intentional, our mission statement gets it right, it begins with “We are a welcoming…community.”
Most of us think this begins with our greeters, however a Church’s location, its grounds, building, parking lot, and entrance, all come before a person enters our building.
We are blessed to be a few blocks away from an interstate and on a very busy street. It is easy to get to our church location and our building is very noticeable.
Much thanks to our Yard Care group, parking lot island gardeners. I want to specifically name Marc Dunham, for taking care of our grounds and outside maintenance.
Last, but not least, our entrance is superb. The flags call people to our front door entrance. Another person to thank is Larry Nelson for making the front circle garden so beautiful, he was just here this morning taking care of it.
A way to thank all who help year round is to give a day of your time this coming weekend.
Blue Jeans Weekend – rain or shine
April 29th (9:00am) and 30th (after services)
There is dead foliage to clean up around the irises, daylilies, and other plants. The weeds are already growing (do they ever stop?) and the mulch can be stirred. The Rain Garden needs several of the grasses and plants cut back.
Inside, there are light fixtures with bugs that need to be cleaned out. The walls in the Great Room could stand to be washed, as well as many of the other painted surfaces… What other areas can you identify inside that could use some attention.
If you are able to help outside, please bring the tools you are comfortable using as well as gloves.
If you are able to help clean inside, please bring a scrub bucket, rubber gloves, rags, step stool or small ladder… I’d like to think we all want St. Luke’s to make that good first impression. Especially on our 100th Anniversary. Hope to see you there!
Yes – “A building will never save a soul, and it will never disciple someone.”
However – Facilities have a direct impact on the church’s mission.
Someone visiting a church for the first time that is not cared for will be asking, “If they can’t take care of their building, how will they take care of me?”
A first impression is just that, it will determine whether or not there will be a second one where they can be part of a “… growing faith community, busy making Christ known to the world.”
What We Can Learn from Elijah?
“The gifts the Lord gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13
During the Easter Season we announce the Risen Lord,
Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
Christ is Risen, indeed. Alleluia!
What God has done through Jesus life, death, and resurrection brings eternal healing as we are faithful, trusting, and prayerful. That is what we hear in the life of Elijah the prophet.
What We Can Learn from Elijah?
“Even in the face of adversity and discouragement, Elijah remained faithful. Throughout the Bible, he is held up as an example of godliness and might. Not only is he mentioned later in the Old Testament, but also in all four gospels and two epistles. He even appears at the transfiguration with Jesus, and when Jesus began his ministry, some thought that He was Elijah returned to earth.
The story of Elijah can be a comfort and an encouragement to us. Being a strong person of God does not mean that we will never feel discouraged, but rather, it means looking to God when faced with adversity. Elijah felt alone, and didn’t understand God’s plan, but he still searched God out. In return, he constantly saw God’s power displayed in his weakness: when He brought the widow’s son back from the dead, when He triumphed on Mt. Carmel, and when He rained down fire from heaven upon the king’s men. For his faithfulness, Elijah was one of the few individuals in the Bible to be taken into heaven.” – Basilica in DC, Blog
We are not all called to be a prophet, but our faith does call us to be about the work of God in our time and place. 12To equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” So what are you called to be and do as a follower of Jesus?
Whatever it may be, let us do it in the following Paul’s direction he gave to the Ephesians. We are knit together facing adversity by speaking the truth in love… as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.”
This is our calling as members of St. Luke’s to create a mission post, so we and others can share the Good News of Jesus Christ with a world that so desperately needs it.
14We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. 15But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16from whom the whole body, joined and knitted together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.” – Ephesians 4:14-16
Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
Christ is Risen, indeed. Alleluia!
We are called to serve and we can serve by giving--
In advance of our 100th Anniversary Celebration, St Luke’s will be hosting a Blood Drive on Tuesday, May 2, 2023 from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm in Fellowship Hall
to sign up online for an appointment, visit redcrossblood.org
Or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
to sign up for an appointment or for further information,
contact Larry Nelson 612-599-5240 firstname.lastname@example.org
Leviticus 17:11 The life of the flesh is in the blood
The history of blood transfusions is an interesting study of myths, traditions and science. The idea of transferring blood to a sick person to restore their health is quite old and was present in ancient myths, including those of Odysseus and Medea.
Ancient peoples were certain of the importance of blood but they knew none of its biology. Blood was hidden, visible only in a wound or during childbirth or menstruation. Some ancient Greeks considered blood to the be the same as the soul or spirit. Observant Jews and Muslims followed dietary laws that forbid the consumption of blood and special preparation of meat was required. These measures also had added health benefits helping to prevent the spoilage of meat. As Christians we connect blood with spiritual life through communion.
Today we know red blood cells carry life giving oxygen to the cells of our body and white blood cells defend us from invasion by foreign pathogens. Platelets help form clots that can prevent bleeding. Blood is constantly being produced by stem cells in our bone marrow. Our network of veins, arteries, and capillaries is about 60 thousand miles long. Blood plasma is a combination of salt and water similar in concentration to water in the sea.
The possibility of successful blood transfusions required significant scientific advances. In 1628 British physician William Harvey discovered the circulation of blood, exploring the relationship between arteries, veins and capillaries. In 1658 microscopist Jan Swammerdam observed and described red blood cells. Soon afterward people became interested in the possibility of blood transfusions.
The first recorded successful blood transfusion was performed in England in 1665 by Physician Richard Lower keeping a dog alive by transfusing blood from another dog. In 1667 successful transfusions were reported from sheep to humans but successive efforts were not successful.
It wasn’t until 1818 that the first successful human to human blood transfusion was performed by British obstetrician James Blundell to a patient for the treatment of postpartum hemorrhage. The blood donor was the husband of the donor. It was fortuitous that this choice was successful (he might have been a universal donor). Successive transfusions were not as successful, however, since not all blood from donors was compatible to the patient.
In 1901, Austrian physician Karl Landsteiner discovered the first human blood groups. Soon after all four blood groups were identified and the interactions between them determined whether a transfusion would be safe. in 1907 Ludwig Hekoen proposed that blood transfusion would be more successful if the blood of the donor and patient were cross matched to exclude incompatible mixtures. This was followed shortly by the first blood transfusion using blood typing and cross matching. It was soon discovered that blood group O is a universal donor. In 1916 the first blood transfusion was performed with stored and refrigerated blood. Another significant discovery occurred in 1937 when the Rh factor explained blood incompatibilities between certain mothers and fetuses, at that time a leading cause of stillbirths.
Today blood can be stored and separated into red cells, platelets and plasma. Plasma can be further processed to treat many health conditions including hepatitis, chickenpox, protein deficiency and hemophilia. Truly, blood donation is the gift of life!
Blood Drive Coordinator
March 28th, 2023
Spring is finally here! And so is pot-hole season. How many of you have suffered the indignity of a flat tire, bent rim or even a cut fuel line due to a bad pot hole? Sadly I can say that I have had all three of those scenarios occur during one pot hole season or another. Fortunately, I had the money and the means to fix the problems. Not everyone is that lucky.
Our April Mission focus is The Lift Garage. Located at 2401 East Lake Street in Minneapolis, The Lift Garage was founded by Cathy Heying, a social worker who saw through her work and life experience how important car repair was for people who were underserved. Clients told her repeatedly, “I can’t afford to get my car fixed, and I am going to lose my job.” Without the ability to pay rent, they could easily find themselves living on the streets. The stories were different, but everything depended on car repair. She felt somebody should do something about it, so she returned to school and in 2010 she received her two-year associate degree in auto technology at Dunwoody College of Technology.
In April 2013, with one rented bay, The Lift Garage opened in Minneapolis, a nonprofit car repair shop that offers low-cost automobile repairs and advice to those in need ($26K or less for household of 2). Initially staffed by volunteers, The Lift Garage now employs 12 people, including 6 full time techs; five on-site mechanics who operate the five bays in a garage the nonprofit purchased in 2020, and 1 mobile van triage. They service or evaluate 130 cars a month. Appointments are scheduled a month in advance, and there is always a waiting list.
They provide more than tune ups and oil changes, they provide resources and emotional support for people who are in crisis, because most people who walk through the door are in some level of crisis. They work to resolve issues in ways that honor their customers lives, experiences and intelligence with dignity and grace.
For our April Mission, we will be providing Car Care Kits for The Lift Garage. A poster of items needed will be set up in the Narthex for those who are interested in supporting The Lift Garage.
You can read more about The Lift Garage at: www.theliftgargage.org
Jesus said to Roman Centurion, “Go; let it be done for you according to your faith.” And his servant was healed in that hour. – Matthew 8:13
When I’d heard that the Missions Committee was exploring a new partnership with an organization benefitting veterans and their families, I immediately thought of Fisher House. The organization St. Luke’s had previously supported in this category turned out to be less than an ideal fit, and the Missions Committee resolved that it was time to move on.
Last month Pastor Rob, Mission Committee members Craig Brandt and Roger Lyson, and I toured the two beautiful homes near the VA. The manager, Kimberly Binh, interwove the history of the Fisher House Foundation during our tour, and she listed specific material needs of the houses as well as opportunities to volunteer,
I’ve been associated with Fisher House for about seven years, ever since I was asked by my former employer … who did significant business with the VA and military hospitals … to research and recommend a cause worthy of the company’s philanthropic commitment to veterans. Naturally, I was delighted then that the company approved of my recommendation, and it was wonderful to see how proud our employees became over time of the company’s support for Fisher House.
I’ve had the opportunity to visit several Fisher Houses, arranging tours for colleagues and serving meals to residents. My passion for Fisher House comes from listening to the residents’ stories. The gratitude that they were able to freely express despite their overwhelming burdens is a true testament to God’s work.
As a proud Legacy Donor of Fisher House, I’m delighted now that my passion has been embraced by my faith community.
The Fisher House Foundation builds comfort homes where military and veteran families can stay free of charge, while a loved one is in the hospital. These homes are located at military and VA medical centers around the world, and the Minneapolis VA has two Fisher Houses on site. Fisher houses have up to 21 suites, with private bedrooms and baths. Families share a common kitchen, laundry facilities, a warm dining room and an inviting living room. Since inception, the program has saved military and veterans’ families an estimated $547 million in out-of-pocket costs for lodging and transportation. The Foundation also manages a grant program that supports other charities and scholarship funds for military children, spouses, and children of fallen and disabled veterans.
The Fisher House is named after Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher, who were builders, philanthropists and supporters of the U.S. Armed Services. They built the first two Fisher Houses on their dime and deeded them to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, in 1990 before starting the Foundation to build more houses. There are 92 Fisher Houses today, several more under construction, and even more on the drawing board.
Giving Opportunities: Volunteer and Financial Gifts
There are a number of ways to participate. Volunteers are invited to serve meals for the residents. This can be a one-time or ongoing commitment. If you like to work outdoors there is the Spring planting event and yard care opportunities.
Those interested in volunteering on site must first take the VA’s safety and security orientation. This requires a background check which includes a photo, fingerprints, and ID documents. Craig Brandt is researching and providing the details. For more information and inspiration, see the website: https://fisherhouse.org/ or call 612-467-2050.
The Fisher House Foundation welcomes financial donations for general support its as well as to specific locations such as the two houses at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center.
What a wonderful way to thank our veterans during their time of need, as they unselfishly served our nation caring for us in ways most of us could never imagine.
St. Luke’s at play…
Cribbage – Basketball – Golf – Softball – and more…
I love the fact that our highest calling is to be children of God. And what comes naturally to children is Biblical:
And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets.- Zechariah 8:5
There are four playful activities in the months ahead, come and play or cheer on our teams…
Sunday, March 26 at 11:15 AM in Fellowship Hall.
All levels of players are invited to participate. This is a friendly game where we help one another. Standard cribbage rules will be used. Pairings, and number of matches per game, will be determined once sign-ups close at 10:00 a.m. on March 26th.
To register, either email: email@example.com in advance, or sign up prior to
10:00 a.m. on March 26th in the fellowship hall.
Holy Hoops Season-Ending Tournament
Sunday Afternoon, April 23 at Augsburg College
St. Luke’s has been a part of Holy Hoops since 2018. It is a basketball league made up of church teams. Games are on Sunday afternoons. Each game begins and ends with prayer. A home team player prays before the game and a visitor team player prays after the game. It is for 9th-12th grade students who do not play for their high school.
Currently that little church in Minneapolis, Mount Olivet Lutheran has three teams, along with teams from St. Stephen’s Lutheran, Christ Presbyterian, and one team is made up of three churches: Galilee, St. Olaf Lutheran, and Christ River of Life.
This year St. Luke’s had 4 wins and 2 losses. The seasoning ending tournament will be at Augsburg College. It is single elimination. Save the date and look for an update of the time of the first game.
Men’s Lutheran Golf League
Season begins Tuesday, May 9 at Lost Spur
The league is over 30 years old. St. Luke’s has played in it since 2018. All levels of golfers are welcome. It is a handicapped league which allows every match to be competitive. If interested contact the Office.
St. Luke’s has been playing against the same church teams for years. Friendships have been built with guys we play with and against. It’s all about fellowship and community. Look for more information in the weeks ahead. Weather permitting, there will be some practices early April. If interested contact Adam Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org
Play happens during Vacation Bible School, at Camp for 1st Grade through Grandparents, on the Mission Trip to the Pine Ridge Reservation, and Sailing for 11th-12th grade students in June and a trip for adults in September.
The devotion shared at the start of the Holy Hoops season says it all,
How do you spell Recreation? How do you spell Re-creation? Enjoy your childhood no matter your age.