On February 23, 1923, the charter was signed and a fifth congregation began to serve the area. St. Luke’s English Evangelical Lutheran Church of Oxboro became the first Lutheran church in a community that today has fifteen Lutheran congregations.
Through the years many things have changed except for one thing Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever. This is the promise – we celebrate the past, live our mission in the present, with an enduring hope for the future.
As Congregational President Susan Sartell was asked during her introduction to the congregation on Sunday, what are your goals, hopes and dreams for the coming year? Below are Susan's comments:
What choices do I really have here? We have a 100th celebration of the founding of this church coming up. The count down begins this April. This will take a lot of our time, attention, our energy and our volunteers, etc. But as I thought more about it, the fact that we are looking backward and remembering all the good things that went on here, it gives us a great opportunity to launch ourselves into the future. We need to look at all that has gone on here -- all the programs and ministries and think about what is working well for us today; What needs to be improved? What can we enrich? How do we address the needs of our congregation and our community in the future? I think this is a big job for the council to do, and I know that they are up for it!
We ask everyone here for your input, your support and most of all for your prayers. We need all of you to help us stay on the road that was set out for us by the first St. Luke's Lutheran congregation in Bloomington. Be sure to talk to council members about your ideas and thoughts.
If you are interested in being a part of the Anniversary Team, please contact Barb Roberts at email@example.com or Deb Krieg at firstname.lastname@example.org. A monthly calendar of celebration events will be shared in the near future. Hope you will join in on the Celebration!
by Britt Halaas, Council Missions Representative
As I step into my new role as Missions Chair, I am excited to tell you all about our focus for the month of April. As Earth Day and Arbor Day both occur next month, it is time for us to focus on the planet in which we live.
Nature and Wildlife conservation are both incredibly important aspects of my life. I am a nature and animal lover and want nothing more than to preserve both of those for future generations to enjoy. This may not make sense immediately, but I come from theatre world, stay with me, when you break down a set after you’ve completed all your performances, the rule is to leave the stage better than when you initially found it. I have now carried that over into my everyday life as well, which includes this planet. One of my life goals is to leave this world better than it was when I got here.
I am nearly thirty-six years into this journey of mine, and while it’s difficult to make a big difference as one person, I feel like if everyone just made a little difference, we could accomplish my goal, and hopefully yours too. I know it feels overwhelming sometimes with all the pollution and news articles that talk about how bad a shape our ozone is in, but don’t let that deter you from putting your mark on the world by making even just the smallest difference. That’s why in April the Missions Committee is focusing on Care for the Earth.
We, as a team, want to make our little difference to the world. With this we have a couple things that we will focus on and accomplish.
First, I would like to bring your attention to our Rain Garden Project. Rain Gardens, also known as Bioretention Facilities, are used to assist in rain run off so that it gets reabsorbed by the soil. This will help nurture our soil and help plants grow.
If you’re unaware of what they look like or how they work, it is a piece of destressed (or sunken) land, that will, with the assistance of gravity, pull water down into the sunken land which will allow for more rain water to end up back in our soil than in the city sewers, which is where a lot of our rain water goes thanks to how sidewalks, roads, and parking lots are designed.
What we ask from the congregation, is for people of all ages to come together to learn more about rain gardens and how to maintain them to assist in keeping our rain garden functional for years to come. This is a great family project if you and your kids want to spend more time together. Or if you love yardwork and want to learn more about it for your own yard one day. We could use all the help we can get to make sure that our Rain Garden is here for St. Luke’s next one hundred years!
So, you want to help but worried that you may not know enough about Rain Gardens? Don’t you worry! Nine Mile Creek is coming to assist with all the training you will need! If you have any questions regarding this project, the Missions Team is happy to help find the answers.
As St. Luke’s one-hundred-year anniversary nears, we are also focused on planting our “Promise Tree.” If you don’t know, Arbor Day was designed as a day for everyone to go out and plant a tree. Trees are extremely important for our eco-system as they bring in carbon dioxide and they release oxygen. They say that the rainforest is the lungs of the earth, and that’s true. It is, however, very important to make sure that the world outside of those rainforests are also well planted. This will help reduce pollutants in the air as they act as our air filters. They will also provide places to live for animals that have been forced out of their homes that have been taken over by human interference.
As much as I love a good view of our concrete jungles, I still want to see humankind come together to make sure that we maintain regular jungles, forests, and wetlands as all of them are important and personally they make me feel a little more connected to God and His creation.
The church council will be looking for the perfect place to plant our tree and will let you know where that will be soon. If you have any questions regarding this project, or how you can help, please contact Marc Dunham, Council Property Representative.
It’s always good to give back to a planet that has given us so much. Even more so, God entrusted us with this planet, and as a thank you, it is immensely important to keep it alive and well. Please join St. Luke’s journey to help the planet thrive by volunteering for our projects, and if you have any other ideas on how St. Luke’s can make a little difference in the world, please reach out to me or anyone else on the Missions team to let us know.
As a team we look forward to giving a bit more to the planet in the month of April, and we hope that you join us on that journey as well.
Some call the Bible “God’s love letter to humanity.” In a search of “God is love” on the website https://www.openbible.info/ these are the verses that came up (rearranged in Biblical order). Share in the comments - Which is the one that speaks most to you?
Leviticus 19:18 - You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.
Deuteronomy 7:9 - Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,
Psalm 18:1 - To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord, who addressed the words of this song to the Lord on the day when the Lord rescued him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said: I love you, O Lord, my strength.
Psalm 63:3 - Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.
Psalm 86:15 - But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
Psalm 109:26 - Help me, O Lord my God! Save me according to your steadfast love!
Psalm 136:2-3 - Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever;
Psalm 136:26 - Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.
Proverbs 3:3-4 - Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.
Proverbs 8:17 - I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.
Proverbs 10:12 - Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.
Proverbs 17:17 - A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Song of Solomon 8:6-7 - Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised.
Isaiah 43:4 - Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.
Isaiah 54:10 - For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
Jeremiah 31:3 - The Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
Zephaniah 3:17 - The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
Matthew 5:43-48 - “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? ...
Matthew 6:24 - “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Matthew 22:37-39 - And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
John 3:16-17 - “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
John 13:1 - Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
John 13:34-35 - A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
John 14:15 - “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
John 14:21 - Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
John 15:9-17 - I have loved you, just as my Father has loved me. So remain faithful to my love for you. If you obey me, I will keep loving you, just as my Father keeps loving me, because I have obeyed him. I have told you this to make you as completely happy as I am. Now I tell you to love each other, as I have loved you. The greatest way to show love for friends is to die for them. And you are my friends, if you obey me. Servants don’t know what their master is doing, and so I don’t speak to you as my servants. I speak to you as my friends, and I have told you everything that my Father has told me. You did not choose me. I chose you and sent you out to produce fruit, the kind of fruit that will last. Then my Father will give you whatever you ask for in my name. So I command you to love each other.
John 16:27 - For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.
Romans 5:2-5 - Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Romans 5:8 - But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 8:28 - And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:37-39 - No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 12:9 - Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
Romans 12:10 - Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
Romans 13:8 - Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
Romans 13:10 - Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 - If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 16:14 - Let all that you do be done in love.
2 Corinthians 13:11 - Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
Galatians 2:20 - I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 5:22-23 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Ephesians 1:4 - Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love
Ephesians 2:4-5 - But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved--
Ephesians 3:19 - And to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 4:2 - With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
Colossians 3:14 - And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
2 Thessalonians 3:5 - May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.
Hebrews 12:6 - For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”
Hebrews 6:10 - For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.
1 Peter 4:8 - Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
1 John 3:1 - See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
1 John 3:16 - By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
1 John 3:18 - Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
1 John 4:7-8 - Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
1 John 4:9-11 - In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:12 - No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
1 John 4:16 - So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
1 John 4:18 - There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
1 John 4:19 - We love because he first loved us.
1 John 4:20 - If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.
1 John 5:3 - For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
Jude 1:21 - Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.
I’m a little late to the party. This was in the January 27, 2022 Sun Current
Thank you to all who voted for St. Luke’s. It is a wonderful recognition to have members and friends who take the time to vote.
I feel blessed to attend worship at St. Luke’s and enjoy the music of the Choir, Bells, and Jubilee. Thank you to all of our singers and musicians and especially to our Music Leadership:
Greg Anderson – Jubilee Director
Bernie Asher – Choir Director
Jesse Meyers – Jubilee Percussionist
Lori Murray – Organist and Choir Accompanist
Alanna Teragawa – Bell Director
Also a thank you to all who serve in worship. I count every person who helps worship be pleasing to God and all who attend, inside and outside of the sanctuary: Lectors, Worship Assistants, Ushers, Altar Guild, Sound-Video-Camera Techs, Greeters, Welcome Desk, Treat Providers, Hosts, Communion Assistants, Snow Shovelers, Acolytes, Office Staff, and the Prayground/Children Church Leaders.
Furthermore, to all who attend, lifting their voice in praise and prayers, welcoming one another and most importantly guests.
Thank you especially to those who remember the 2-Minute Rule. Following worship, please take the first 2 minutes to greet someone you don’t know. It makes all the difference. And you can still meet up with your friend, even better introduce them to the guest.
And for those of you online, may you do the same.
Last, but not least, may you continue to worship as you go out into the world. Hold St. Luke’s in your prayers. Share God’s love, Jesus’ peace, and the Holy Spirit’s joy with all you meet. As we have heard in the past month as we have started reading through the Gospel of John, may we be a reflection of The Light that shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
Take all of this one step further and invite someone to join you this Sunday or in the weeks ahead. You can tell them, “Come to the best place of worship in Bloomington that has the best choir and music program.”
“Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker – Psalm 95:1-6
Ongoing prayers and blessings, Rob
email@example.com / 952-881-5801 ext. 103