St. Luke’s 2024 Readers’ Choice Award Winners
Voted as the best Church in Bloomington for:
These awards show how much our members and neighbors love St. Luke’s – and what’s not to love!?
One community with two styles of worship:
8:30 Traditional with hymns and 10 AM Praise Music
One community with four music groups:
St. Luke’s Choir, Jubilee Praise Team, Bells of Praise, and Children's 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!! – 2024 VBS “Camp Firelight” is June 24-27, 2024
We are living out our mission:
We are a welcoming and growing community of Faith,
busy making Christ known to the world
St. Luke’s 2023 Annual Meeting
2024 Congregational President Leah DeSchepper enjoyed looking back last year as St. Luke’s celebrated its 100th Anniversary. The focus for the year ahead is looking forward into the next century. Please keep the Council in your prayers.
Leah DeSchepper, President
Mark Bergherr, Past President
Kelsy Newby, President Elect
Paul Sundet, Treasurer
Rani Hayden, Secretary
Britt Halaas, Missions
Becky Olson, Worship and Music
Jane Nechville, Community Life
Tim Krieg, Stewardship
Kerry Kollodge, Faith Formation
Greg Hornicke, Member at Large
Nominations were accepted for Property. We will announce the representative when appointed by the Council.
In the weeks and months ahead the Council Members will introduce themselves during worship, and be available between to meet you.
St. Luke’s Foundation – Members all returning
Pat Lair, President
Diane Gilmer, Treasurer
Helen Schatzlein, Secretary
Paul Kopnick, member
Jodi Murphy, member
2024 Minneapolis Synod Assembly – St. Luke’s will be represented by:
Brenda DeSchepper and Kevin Schulz with Julie Schroeder, alternative 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
St. Luke’s Staff – Along with our elected leadership, please hold the staff in your prayers.
Greg Anderson, Director of Jubilee Praise Team
Candi Brand, Preschool Teacher
Susana Castillo, Custodian
Tracy Engdahl, Preschool Teaching Assistant
Nancee Erickson, Wedding Host
Angela Hanson, Director of Children and Youth Choir
Emily Hendricks, Director of Children and Family Ministry and Vacation Bible School
Heather Kambeitz, Minister of Finance
Pat Lair, St. Luke’s Choir Director
Lori Murray, Organist and Accompanist
Rob Norris-Weber, Pastor
Alanna Teragawa, Director of Bells of Praise
Cheryl Thiele, Office Support
Barb Watson, Preschool Director
and let us welcome…Tommy Denesen, St. Luke’s Part-Time Office Support
Tommy works for the family business, "Most Wanted Comics". His responsibilities include social media accounts, customer service, editing the website, answering emails, merchandise products within the store, and planning inventory purchases. Over the next few years, he plans to work his way through college as he studies marketing and business.
One of the joys of a congregation is to raise up leaders. Tommy started attending St. Luke’s as a child. He was confirmed at St. Luke’s. He is active on the Stewardship Team, one of the Video Techs for worship and participates with his family hosting Pizza Night for Wednesday Night Live Dinners.
Tommy graduated from Jefferson High School in 2023. Some notes from his biography on the 2023 St. Luke’s High School Graduate Board: He enjoys writing, reading, a playing the saxophone in his spare time.
His Bible Verse is John 11: 25-26: I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Word of Encouragement for younger students: The faith you build in childhood can help to guide you through difficult times during the rest of your life. Also know that you are always loved by somebody, because Jesus always loves you.
Sunday, January 28, 2024 – 11:15 AM
“Let’s trust the promises that keep us going. God always keeps his word. Let’ see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, worship together, spurring each other on, especially as we see the promises fulfilled as we faithfully follow Jesus.” – Hebrews 10:23-25 MSG paraphrased.
What a year it has been! What a year it will be!!
I cannot help but feel grateful about the past year and excited for the year ahead with all that St. Luke’s was, is, and will be as we faithfully follow Jesus.
As a member of the congregation I ask you to do Five Things:
1. Read the Annual Report. If you have not done so, please take the time prior to the Annual Meeting. Use this LINK or get a hard copy at church.
2. Attend the Annual Meeting. Be a part of the decision-making process. We invite you to come in person or join online (stlukesbloomington.org).
The meeting will begin when we have a quorum.
Agenda includes (Not in this order):
President’s and Pastor’s Reports
Treasurer’s Report which includes:
The 2023 Financial Statement
The 2024 Budget Proposal. (This requires a congregational vote.)
St. Luke’s finances strong, but precarious.
Personnel Committee Update. We are fully staffed. Come welcome Tommy Denesen, Office Support.
St. Luke’s Foundation Meeting
Elections: Ballots will be available at the Annual Meeting and online.
This includes (These require a congregational vote):
3. Opt-In to the New Church Directory. Thank you to all who have submitted a picture and updated their contact information. This is an in-house/online production. You do not have to include a picture. You also do not have to be in the directory. This is an invitation. As the saying goes, “Know that you are known, as you make yourself known.” If you would like to participate simply email firstname.lastname@example.org Include your names, contact information you would like to share, and a photo if you so choose.
4. Complete your 2024 Ministry Handbook. This is an annual opportunity to live out the core values of St. Luke’s. We invite you to consider an opportunity in each area: Service, Worship, Evangelism, Community, Stewardship, and Discipleship. Like the directory, you can use this LINK or pick one up at the church.
5. Pray. This is the greatest resource. Pray for St. Luke’s. Pray for those who accept the responsibility of leadership. Pray for our members. Pray for our community. Pray for all of God’s creation. By attending the meeting you gain valuable insights into the direction of our church and the goals we hope to achieve. By attending the meeting you will strengthen a sense of unity and shared purpose with St. Luke’s.
Last, but not least, annual meetings are more than numbers and budgets; they are a time to celebrate the achievements and milestones of St. Luke’s. It is a chance to reflect on the past year and recognize the ways in which God has been at work within and through our community.
What are you looking forward to or have questions about the Annual Meeting.
Ongoing prayers and blessings,
CAMP VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL HS MISSION–VBS in NYC HS SAILING
Winter is here, but Summer is coming…
Today Camp Wapo 2024 Registration Opened. There are opportunities for all ages. St. Luke’s chooses a specific time for Children and Youth, but know that the camp has a number of opportunities throughout the year for all ages. There are 3 different sites:
Camp Wapo is on Lake Wapogasset Lake and Bear Lake in Amery, WI. It is a special place to encounter God's word, make friends, and create memories that will last a lifetime. If you went to camp, share one of your fond memories in a comment below.
St. Luke's has space reserved, but you can go anytime. This is the residential camp that St. Luke’s promotes for 1st – 12th Grade Students, with a specific weeks for specific ages. Ages listed is the grade the student just finished. I encourage you to explore their website: https://lakewapo.org/
St. Luke’s Registration Link is: http://lwlbci.com/stlukes-blmt
2024 Summer Camp Weeks:
Youth (4th-8th) July 7-12 = $650
Ox Lake (7th-12th) July 7-12 = $650
Seed Camp (1st-3rd) July 12-24 = $260
St. Luke’s Vacation Bible School
Camp Firelight - June 24-27
Surrounded by water, trees, and rolling hills, Camp Firelight is the perfect location for every Camper’s favorite summer activities!
During each assembly session, Campers join first-time camp counselor Sam and Lu (short for Lumen), the lightning bug puppet, and learn to face their fears while trusting in God. Each day, Campers see Counselor Sam face new challenges, from as simple as leading Campers on a hike to as intimidating as meeting a new and wise nature expert. With the help of Lu the Lightning Bug and the Camp Counselor Guidebook, Counselor Sam and our Campers explore timeless Bible stories that show how Old and New Testament Campers trusted God in the face of their own fears and went on to do great things in God's name.
Through these stories, this program will teach us about people in the Bible who experienced the gift of a trusting relationship with God. In addition, it will teach us to trust that God will go with us, lead the way, share wisdom, to give us peace, and spark joy as we celebrate the good news of Jesus in our own lives and in the lives of others. We will also learn ways we can connect with and put our trust in God whenever we are afraid, challenged, or called to do God's work in the world and share the Good News of God's love through Jesus Christ.
2024 - New York City VBS
Taking Vacation Bible School on the Road. We will partner with a church in New York City to lead VBS – the same one we will do at St. Luke’s. This is an amazing time of growth and maturity. Most students when reflect back say, “It was my favorite trip.”
Information Session and Sign Up is on Sunday, February 4 at 11:15 AM in Fellowship Hall
Dates will be determined by those who are able to go. Cost will be the same as camp = $650.
High School Sailing Trip for the Classes of 2024 and 2025.
Cost = $425
Students will be leaving their harbors and sailing onto the next adventure in their lives. A wonderful time of reflection and preparing for their futures. The trip includes living together on a sailboat, making meals, learning how to sail, having morning devotions and the students lead evening devotions. Each claims a Bible Verse for the year ahead.
“Praising God and having the goodwill of all the people…” -Acts 2:47a
Last Sunday we celebrated Baptism of our Lord. Everyone who attended received the 2024 St. Luke’s Ministry Handbook. The picture above is from the front cover. The theme this year is, “Praising God and having the goodwill of all the people the Lord added to their numbers.”
Last week the St. Luke’s 2024 New Year’s Resolution was reading the Gospel of Mark. Fun to see so many people participating. There are still a few Serendipity Bibles available in the Hallway Library on the shelf right of the Great Room entrance. One member shared with me that the questions connected with each of the readings have helped her get a lot more out of the reading. Also, if you’re interested in a small group experience, and the 6-7 PM Wednesday night Bible Study doesn’t work for you, contact me and we will find a time that works best for you and others.
New Year’s Resolution 2.0 is the Ministry Handbook
St. Luke’s members are encouraged to live out our mission by choosing one opportunity of each Core Value. Remember when you sign up, it’s not a life sentence, that’s why we have an annual Ministry Handbook and invite people to sign up each year. Your interests or commitments change year to year, so too can your area of participation. Handbooks are available at the Welcome Desk or online HERE.
Looking at the handbook can be overwhelming, so let me encourage just a few of which there is need.
Altar Guild prepares the church for worship including setting up for communion, baptisms, candle usage, and changes the seasonal paraments. Didn’t they do a fabulous job helping us celebrate the Advent and Christmas Seasons! Prayerfully consider joining and give thanks: Bette Gamboni, Diane Arellono, Kathy Dunham, Jane Nechville, Marilyn Nelson, Nancy Schulz, Phyllis Kilmer, Vi Rozek, Betty Bender and Maddie Boyle. A couple others have recently attended, but there is room for more.
Sound, Video, and Camera Techs – (Page 3 in the handbook) It would be wonderful if we had enough people participating so it would be a monthly commitment: we are close, prayerfully consider. You will receive training. Here is our current roster, feel free to connect with anyone of them to learn more about each opportunity, and at the very least take a moment to thank them as you enter or depart worship from the Narthex. Note a couple people are listed in more than one opportunity.
Sound: Dan Cinnamon, Nancee Erickson, Kim Fokken, Tony Kambeitz, Jayson Ness, Jon Sasseville. Could use four more.
Video: Tommy Denesen, Kim Fokken, David Johnson, Howard Johnson, Diane LaFontaine. Could use three more.
Cameras: Kim Fokken, David Johnson, Eli Norris-Weber, Ethan Norris-Weber, Mark Roberts, Richard Wright. Could use three more.
Church is not a place, or an event, it is the people who gather as the Body of Christ working together as Jesus voice, hands, and feet. Thank you St. Luke’s!
“We are a welcoming and growing community of faith,
busy making Christ known to the world.”
Living out our Core Values - Simply What Every Christian/Congregation Should Do.
Simply What Every Congregation Should Do
Service + Worship + Evangelism + Community + Stewardship + Discipleship
Ongoing prayers and blessings, Rob
952-881-5801 ext. 103
Every year the Church celebrates the Baptism of Our Lord Sunday. Jesus’ baptism is found in all four of the Gospels: Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-23; and John 1:29-24. Each shares the story a little differently. The one thing all four have in common is the description of the Holy Spirit descending from heaven like a dove.
During baptism we pray, “Pour your Holy Spirit upon [Name of the person being 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.”
This is followed by the Cross of Christ stating, “[Name of the person being baptized], child of God, you have been sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever. Amen.”
On this Sunday, you are invited to remember your baptism. We will celebrate both sacraments, baptism and communion. As you come to the table for communion you will have the opportunity to stop at the font and remember your baptism.
Martin Luther pointed out that you should do so daily saying, “When you wash your face remember your baptism.”
In preparation, I thought it appropriate to share Luther’s explanation of the Sacrament of Holy Baptism from his small catechism. He has the style of asking a question and then sharing the answer. Many of us had to memorize the Small Catechism. A challenge for you to answer it in Luther’s Word, but more importantly for you to be able to explain it in your own words.
The Sacrament of Holy Baptism, Martin Luther*
What is Baptism?
Answer: Baptism is not simple water only, but it is the water comprehended in God's command and connected with God's Word.
Which is that word of God?
Answer: Christ, our Lord, says in the last chapter of Matthew: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
What benefits does God give in Baptism?
Answer: In Baptism, God forgives sin, delivers from death and the devil, and gives everlasting salvation to all who believe what he has promised.
What is God’s Promise?
Answer: In Mark 16 our Lord Jesus It is not water that does these things, but God’s Word with the water and our trust in this Word. Water by itself is only water, but with the Word of God it is a life-giving water which by grace gives the new birth through the Holy Spirit.
St. Paul writes in Titus 3: “He saved us…in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life. The saying is sure.”
What does Baptism mean for daily living?
Answer: It means that our sinful self, with all its evil deeds and desires, should be drowned through daily repentance, and that day after day a new self should arise to live with God in righteousness and purity forever.
St. Paul writes in Romans 6: “We were buried therefore with him by Baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”
*Source: The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther. Augsburg Fortress. 1979
Baptism is not a one and done life insurance policy, but a gift that is to be shared with others as Jesus shared, “Let your light shine before others that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16.
We do that by living out the baptism call:
Read the Bible.
Know the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed, and the Ten Commandments.
Trust God and proclaim Christ through word and deed.
Care of God’s creation, including all people.
Note that these responses are not a prerequisite to be baptized, instead they are a response to having been welcomed, washed, and filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. May we forever remember to walk wet. Amen.