Dear St. Luke's,
I will be leaving the position of Choir Director at St. Luke's on Tuesday, June 6.
It has been a true blessing to work over the last two years with such a talented, musical, and faithful choir, and with other gifted musicians in the St. Luke's community. I have appreciated working with St. Luke's dedicated staff and ministers, and I am thankful for the opportunities I have had to get to know many members of the congregation.
Finally, I appreciate having being part of St. Luke’s 100th Anniversary celebration. I wish you God’s blessings in St. Luke's 101st year and beyond.
Godspeed Bernie! Sunday, June 4
Please join in celebrating Bernie Asher’s ministry here at St. Luke’s as the Choir Director. We will recognize Bernie at both worship times and enjoy a treat in his honor between worship times.
Bernie are a person with many talents. Thank you for not only leading the Choir, but also playing congas, drum set, and accordion. Most of all for your love of Jesus and your desire to help others join you in praise. Prayers and blessings to and your family.
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David: O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely. – Psalm 139:1-4
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!!
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 email@example.com.
If you have questions or would like to help, please contact Diane LaFontaine, firstname.lastname@example.org, 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?”
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.