•Invite-Welcome-Connect. There was terrific energy in the Parish Hall on September 8-9 as 140 parishioners gathered for this program. The Vestry expressed appreciation for all of the planning and preparation for this program by the Rector, Mark Simmons, and other staff members. We heard stories about other growth-oriented Episcopal churches and generated ideas and next steps to help St. Luke’s grow. One result of our work was the creation of the collect that has been added to the Prayers of the People offered on Sunday mornings. Also, based on parishioners’ preferences, teams have been formed to work on projects such as re-thinking the location of coffee hour, using nametags at services, and creating a small group dinner-study program. We look forward to our follow-up session on October 28.
•Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s Atlanta visit. Presented by Day 1 on September 17, Bishop Curry spoke on “We Need Some Witnesses to the Way of Jesus!”, a stirring message on the Jesus Movement and how we can play a role in reviving the mainline churches to follow the Way of Jesus today. His remarks are available at www.Day1.org in the Latest Day1 TV section.
•Wednesday Bible Study. This 15-person study group has resumed for the program year and has become a real community, with many gathering for lunch following the 11 a.m. class every Wednesday. The group is studying Isaiah; new members are welcome!
•Elevator. The elevator is out of service. Funds for the repair will come from the loan obtained to replace the boiler; this loan will be paid back with interest out of annual operating (pledge-supported) funds. In the future, projects like this one would ideally be funded out of pledge-supported Church reserves.
•Stewardship. The 2019 stewardship theme is “Living Simply, Loving Generously,” and priorities include helping parishioners understand how all of our financial contributions have a real and positive impact on our church and in our community, as well as the spiritual aspect of giving. The campaign runs from September 30 through October 21 when we’ll celebrate St. Luke’s Day by returning our pledge cards at Sunday morning services and attending Evensong at the church in the evening. Vestry members will join with other parishioners in writing notes to church members on October 7, pondering the questions, “What is enough?” and “What matters?”. C.J. Cash and Russell Currey, Vestry liaisons to the 9-person Stewardship Committee, also noted that whereas our parishioners’ giving levels remain fairly constant, our expenses are rising in large part due to maintenance of our beautiful yet aging buildings.