Often, when I take a breath before my sermon, I recall the calm that first came over me when preaching at St. Luke’s sometime ago the first time I realized without a doubt this is what I am supposed to be doing.
When I finally got to college, it felt like I was finally free. I had the chance to make real friends and to explore my identity and my beliefs about the world. So it came as kind of a surprise to me that I suddenly found myself dealing with deep, deep depression… And in the midst of my depression, I found myself in a spiritual desert, without my faith to ground me, without a God to confide in or to pray to or even to be angry with…
Genesis offers us stories of ordinary people, imperfect relationships, dysfunctional families, who are nevertheless called and blessed to walk with God. When was a time that, in the midst of your messiness, mistakes, or pain, you experienced God’s saving presence? How has God blessed even your very ordinary life? …
“Holding hands, looking in the face of your neighbor and speaking the benediction describe a tradition that could only have emerged from a community deeply committed to and invested in each other.”
“Maybe most importantly, I learned that I could be a pastor while remaining who I am—that faith and real life can come together, both in church and in me.”
“Pastor Erik once told me it didn’t matter where we went, God would always be there making God’s self known in the people we serve. I realize the truth of these words every day.”
The Chicago Coalition for Welcoming Churches is number 50…
But suffice it to say, my séjour with St. Luke’s is holy to me – not just as the place where I first ‘practiced’ being a pastor, but as a community which gave me full openness and full trust and full blessing – fully acknowledging my gifts to ministry, and fortifying my soul in ways that have sustained me through many a danger, toil, and snare.
Women in the Bible aren’t shy or retiring; they’re fierce and funny and demanding and relevant to twenty-first-century people.
Thank you to everyone who donated flowers for this year’s celebration of Pentecost at St. Luke’s. Your generosity provided us with many floral reminders of Holy Spirit’s presence in worship on Sunday. Flowers were given by: Cynthia Stengel with thanks for the Holy Spirit at work at St. Luke’s. Andrew Bailey in memory of Samuel