What a way to celebrate 100 Years!
For the fifth year in a row, St. Luke’s was voted as one of the best in Bloomington – for Place of Worship, Choir and Music Program, and Vacation Bible School! These awards show how much our members and neighbors love our church – and what’s not to love!?
One community with two styles of worship.
One community with four music groups:
St. Luke’s Choir, Jubilee Praise Team, Bells of Praise, and back by popular demand the Children and Youth Choir.
One community welcoming many children to VBS. There are St. Luke’s church members, St. Luke’s Preschool Students, Learning Tree Development Children, children from our neighborhood, with many of them inviting their friends. All of them are loved and cared for by amazing Student Leaders and Adults. It is not only “The Best Week of the Summer!” but the best in Bloomington!!
We are living out our mission:
We are a welcoming and growing community of Faith, busy making Christ known to the world
At the St. Luke’s 2022 Annual Meeting we heard our 2023 Congregational President Mark Bergherr announce that our mission will continue to be our focus for everything we do as St. Luke’s. Joining him on Council for the year ahead are:
Susan Sartell, Past-President
Leah DeSchepper, President-Elect
Paul Sundet, Treasurer
Rani Hayden, Secretary
Britt Halaas, Missions
Nancee Erickson, Worship and Music
Marc Dunham, Property
Diane LaFontaine, Community Life
Tim Krieg, Stewardship
Kerry Kollodge, Faith Formation
Greg Hornicke, Member at Large
In the weeks and months ahead the Council Members introduce themselves during worship, and be available between to meet you.
St. Luke’s Foundation welcomed Jodi Murphy, joining…
Pat Lair, President
Diane Gilmer, Treasurer
Helen Schatzlein, Secretary
and Paul Kopnick
At the 2023 Minneapolis Synod Assembly St. Luke’s will be represented by:
Dan Cinnamon, Mollee Erickson, and Sadie Cinnamon; with Greg Hornicke and Britt Halaas as alternatives if needed.
“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.” Romans 12:4-6a
May we hold all of our leaders in prayer for the year ahead especially the staff who have the privilege to lead the Best of Bloomington:
Greg Anderson, Director of Jubilee Praise Team
Bernie Asher, St. Luke’s Choir Director
Angela Hanson, Director of Children and Youth Choir
Lori Murray, Organist and Accompanist
Alanna Teragawa, Director of Bells of Praise
Emily Schoeller, Director of Children and Family Ministry and Vacation Bible School
Give God the Glory!
While I am no Barb Roberts when it comes to speaking on the subjects of stewardship and giving, Rob nevertheless asked me to address you, and how do you say no to Rob?
But why now? And why so soon after the New Year?
I little background: The current Capital Campaign was created in 2020 and launched after a Covid-related delay in 2021 to take care of some badly needed items, namely the new boiler, the new roofs and our current live-streaming capability.
But now it’s time to tackle the mortgage, which is $165,500 per year. That’s about $14,000 per month! By the way, our mortgage payoff date is July, 2031 at the current rate. Now, our Building Fund Income budget for 2023 is $130,500, which includes both Building Fund pledges and Special Gift Fund pledges. Despite our generosity, if you do the math, we still face a “funding gap” of $35,000 per year to pay the mortgage.
And that’s why I’m standing here today.
Many of us pledged a monthly or quarterly dollar amount to the Special Gift Fund over the last two years of the Capital Campaign. Question: If you’ve become “habituated” to those payments, why not pledge to continue those Special Gift Fund offerings in 2023 … and maybe even beyond … to help offset that “funding gap” of $35,000 per year.
Let me add, however: Though technically “house poor,” please know that the church is on firm financial footing overall. Still, think of the additional good works we could fund without having to pay a mortgage!
In addition to Special Gift Fund offerings, I’d like to briefly mention Legacy giving.
I’m blessed to give two ways:
First, I was fortunate to share my parents’ gift to me with St. Luke’s, and I’ve directed the church to use it to supplement the Building Fund Income in equal annual payments. I like the idea that Mom and Dad are still making a contribution to St. Luke’s. Knowing how much they loved you and this church, they would be very pleased indeed.
Second, my Legacy Bequest form is on file in the church office. If you aren’t familiar with the form, there are copies at the information desk in the narthex. Mine includes the instructions I’ve left for my personal representative to remit a certain percentage of my estate, which really belongs to God, to St. Luke’s. As written in Psalm 24: 1 - “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it.” I’m confident that future church leadership will see fit to put my memorial gift to good use, whether for current budget or future needs.
Not having a family of my own, I find comfort in knowing that I’ll be taking care of my St. Luke’s family during our second century of making Christ known to the world.
So, in conclusion, please prayerfully consider extending the term of your Special Gift Fund pledge and/or making a Legacy Bequest to St. Luke’s.
Thank you for your attention and may God Bless.
Annual Meeting will be this coming Sunday,
January 29, 2023, at 11:15 AM, in the sanctuary and online.
A link for the Annual Report will be in this Thursdays E-News, and is also available to be picked up in the office on Thursday or at the Information Desk on Sunday morning. A link to attend the Annual Meeting online will be available on our St. Luke’s Website Sunday morning prior to the meeting. http://stlukesbloomington.org
Year-End Statements were mailed on Tuesday, January 24, 2023.
Love, caring, sharing, friendship, why do we quilt? Those words explain how we feel about helping others in need. "God's work, our hands" is what it's all about.
Last March 18th we began another group to sew, quilt and bind quilts this year for a local organization. We have 60 + quilts ready to donate.
On Sunday, January 29th Mary Jo Prinsen, founder of Bundles of Love, will be here to speak to all about this wonderful organization at both services. She will also be available in the Narthex between services to show you and answer questions you may have about how our quilts will be used by them and the ways they assist Mothers with new babies who have a need for their help.
This is the Sunday each year that we have you help bless the quilts made by both groups of Mission Quilters. They will be placed on the backs of pews for you to see and bless them in prayer. We hope you will join us on this very special day.
Diane Anderson, Sewing Group of quilter's
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
As part of our celebration of the 100th year of St. Luke’s, we’re recording 100 Acts of Kindness by the congregation. What a fun idea to kick off our Anniversary year! There is a tree in the narthex with “kindness leaves” attached.
Why are we doing this? We are fulfilling our Christian teaching to love one another and are encouraging others.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Acts of Kindness are:
There are so many opportunities to help or encourage others, we’d love to add yours!
If you’re worshipping online and are unable to record your act of kindness, please call or email me and I’ll do it for you. Please call the office for my contact information.
Thank you to the member that gave me a bag of Heath Miniatures candy bars, which is my most immediate temptation as they sit next to me on my desk. I’m going to make one a reward when I finish the blog.
This coming Sunday we will read Jesus temptation in the wilderness from the Gospel of Matthew. This story comes following Jesus baptism. It is also found in the Gospel of Luke. In the Gospel of Mark it is condensed to two verses, (1:12-13) “The Spirit immediately drove [Jesus] out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and he was with the wild beasts.”
There is no mention of it in the Gospel of John. In fact the verse that follows Jesus’ baptism is, “The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples; and he looked at Jesus as he walked and said, “Behold the Lamb of God.”
There are zillions of temptations--everyone is tempted daily, if not hourly. One temptation some people have is to not believe because of all the discrepancies in the Bible. Remember the Gospels was shared orally for thirty to eighty years after Jesus’ ascension. The four were written to different audiences. Thus, it reasons that the stories would differ, or be missed completely.
This is one of the many lessons to be learned from the story as found in Matthew and Luke. After he fasted forty days and forty nights, and was hungry, that is when Satan approached him. Jesus stayed level headed throughout the ordeal. He combatted the temptations through his knowledge of scripture. As Satan would twist the Word of God to his liking, Jesus would respond with the truth of scripture – three times…
First Temptation – Matthew 4:3-12
Satan: If you are the son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.
Jesus: It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Deuteronomy 8:3)
Second Temptation – Matthew 4:5-7
Then the devil took Jesus to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple.
Satan: If you are the son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “He will command his angels concerning you,” and “On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.” (Psalm 91:11-12)
Jesus: Again it is written, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” (Deuteronomy 6:16)
Third Temptation – Matthew 4:8-10
The devil took Jesus to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.
Satan: All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.
Jesus: “Worship the Lord your God and serve only him.” (Deuteronomy 6:13)
We also encounter lies in our own lives - in conversations, on social media, and more. Thankfully, God has given us minds to think critically about whether or not the messages we receive are actually true. We can carefully examine their validity and respond to them with godly wisdom. Romans 12:2 urges us, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
When Jesus was tempted, he focused his mind on God’s will. We can do the same using our God-given ability for critical thinking to evaluate whether or not messages are true. As Jesus resisted lies and responded in the truth, we should do the same.
So in this great drama between Satan and Jesus, it ends with his victory over the tempter because of Jesus’ knowledge and use of the word of God. Satan made his attacks against every vulnerable point--hunger, trust, and responsibility--and when these were held firmly, there was no other area the devil could attack. He struck at the material or physical need of food, but he found one who knew the spiritual was more important than the physical; he struck at the spirit’s confidence in God, but found one whose trust in the Father did not need testing; and he struck at the carrying out of the divine commission, but found one who was determined to carry out that plan in a divine way. Thus Satan was thwarted, but it wasn’t over, for we read in Luke 4:13, “When the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Jesus until an opportune time.”
What is very clear is the importance of knowing Scripture, being able to use the Word of God in making choices between what is good and what is evil.
I believe it is so important that St. Luke’s has a number of ways for you to go through the Gospel of Matthew. You are invited for worship every Sundays, throughout Lent, until the week after Easter and you will hear a majority of the Gospel. You can join a study group. There is one here on Wednesday Nights from 6-7 PM in the Great Room. There is another one forming, based on the day and time that works best for the most people, contact me to learn more. Your welcome to take time each day and follow the St. Luke’s reading plan: https://www.stlukesbloomington.org/adult-faith-formation.html. And one more alternative is to listen to it online, just 2 minutes a day: (https://youtu.be/mgUWg3ZY_C8). If you start today, it will take you less than 10 minutes to catch up.
See temptations works both ways – Hope you’re tempted to join in our New Year’s Resolution and read the Gospel of Matthew in any way you can, as often as you can. Now for that Heath…
Ongoing prayers and blessings, Rob
firstname.lastname@example.org / 952-881-5801 ext. 103
Walking wet is to daily remember the promises of Baptism. We hear them in the introduction of Baptism. – ELW p. 227
God, who is rich in mercy and love, gives us a new birth into a living hope through the sacrament of baptism.
1. By water and the Word God delivers us from sin and death and raises us to new life in Jesus Christ.
2. We are united with all the baptized in the one body of Christ,
3. …anointed with the gift of the Holy Spirit, and joined in God’s mission for world.
We are forgiven and reborn to a new life in Jesus Christ.
We are officially welcomed in the church as Baptized Members
We pour out the Holy Spirit upon the baptized; the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge, and the fear of the Lord, the spirit of joy in your presence. Amen.
· Walking wet is to live out the covenant God made with us in baptism, to nurture our Christian faith,
· Worship and take communion.
· Grow in our knowledge of faith by reading the Bible.
· Pray without ceasing, and when we don’t know what to pray, pray the Lord’s Prayer.
· Profess our faith in word through the Creed
· Live out our faith in following the Commandments.
All of this is being a faithful witness showing your trust in God, proclaiming Christ through word and deed, and caring for God’s creation, including all people.
For we are children of God, sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever. Amen!
So wherever you go, let your light shine before others that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:16
Begin each day as Martin Luther did, “When you wash your face, remember your baptism.”
And try to always Walk Wet!