This pneumonic helps us remember our Congregational Core Values =
Service + Worship + Evangelism + Community + Stewardship + Discipleship.
There it is, right at the beginning - Service. Jesus said it himself, "The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve." (Matthew 20:28)
We were created in God's image, designed to serve others. This has been proven not only spiritually, but also physically and emotionally; you can also add intellectually, socially.
Our Summer of Mission begins on Wednesday, June 2nd, with the Red Cross Blood Drive here at St. Luke's from 1:00-7:00 PM. Our bodies are able to donate a pint of blood every 56 days. Platelet apheresis donors may give every 7 days, up to 24 times per year. Furthermore, doing so offers the donor health benefits - more about that next week.
We will finish the series the Sunday after Labor Day weekend, September 12th, with "God's Work. Our hands". You can look at GWOH as the end of summer or the beginning of our program year. Either way it demonstrates that St. Luke's is a congregation with a heart for service.
St. Luke's supports over 14+ mission organizations. If you go to the Home Page on our website www.stlukesbloomington.org and scroll down to the bottom, you will find links to our 13 official partners. We will be lifting up one or more each week throughout the summer, with the St. Luke's member who represents that organization. We also have other mission organizations that you and I individually serve. My family has supported Lutheran Partners in Global Ministry for years. What organization/s do you serve?
Last, but not least, St. Francis stated and for those who serve others, "For it is in giving that we receive." This was confirmed by Jenny Santi, in her book The Giving Way to Happiness: Stories and Science Behind the Transformative Power of Giving.
"We often focus on how our gifts can help those in need. But the act of giving actually improves our own lives as well. Whether in the form of money, expertise, time, or love - has helped people from all walks of life find purpose and joy. Drawing on the wisdom of great thinkers past and present, as well as cutting-edge scientific research, Santi makes an eloquent and passionate case that oftentimes the answers to the problems that haunt us, and the key to the happiness that eludes us, lie in helping those around us.".
Ongoing prayers and blessings,
Rob Norris-Weber, Pastor