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Saying Farewell and Saying Hello: A Letter from St. Luke’s Council

Dear Members and Friends of St. Luke’s:

On Sunday, October 21, 2018 our congregation unanimously voted to call Pastor Erin Coleman Branchaud to be the next pastor of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church of Logan Square! We are blessed to have Pastor Erin continue with us on our mission to be a powerful church, changing lives, and transforming the world.

As usual, St. Luke’s will be busy over the next few months. We will bid farewell to Transitional Pastor Brooke and welcome Pastor Erin. We will focus on “Growing in Generosity” in November, and celebrate Advent and Christmas in December.

Here are dates to note on your calendars:

Worship during November will be marked by a focus on “Growing in Generosity.” We will practice new rituals to help re-orient ourselves to God’s generosity towards us and think about how we can respond by growing our generosity to the church. We hope you can join us for worship throughout November to consider how we can transform the abundant gifts God has given us into a sustainable ministry at St. Luke’s.

Sunday, November 11 will be Pastor Brooke’s last Sunday with us. We have been exceedingly lucky to have Pastor Brooke lead us through this pastoral transition. Pastor Brooke deftly assessed our congregation’s needs during this time and helped us identify who we wanted to be going forward. We will bid Pastor Brooke farewell and Godspeed at both the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. worship services on November 11, with time between the services to thank her and say good-bye. (Pastor Brooke and Pastor Erin will overlap in the office during the week of November 12-16 to ensure a smooth administrative transition.)

Sunday, November 18 will be Pastor Erin’s first Sunday presiding over worship at St. Luke’s. Of course, Pastor Erin has preached and participated in worship many times over the past two years in her former roles as seminary intern and pastoral resident. But please be sure to join us for worship at 9 a.m. or 11 a.m. to celebrate Erin’s first Sunday as Pastor of St. Luke’s.

Pastor Erin’s ordination is scheduled for Saturday, December 1 at 10:00 a.m. Ordination is the rite in which the church officially entrusts the office of ministry of word and sacrament to new pastors and sends them into this ministry. The special service includes promises made by the ordinand and the assembly, the giving of a stole, the laying on of hands, and the celebration of Holy Communion. The location of Pastor Erin’s ordination, along with other details, will be announced soon. We hope as many St. Luke’s members and friends as possible will be present to participate in this special event.

Soon after, Pastor Erin will be installed as Pastor of St. Luke’s. A representative from the Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America will attend worship to officially commence Pastor Erin’s call to our congregation.

December 2 is the first Sunday of Advent. Worship in Advent will center on the theme “Come now and set us free.” During the Advent season, we’ll also have opportunities to participate with congregations throughout the city in organizing efforts to end mass incarceration.

Midweek Advent worship services will be offered on Wednesday evenings, December 5, 12, and 19 at 7:00 p.m. We are also planning a Longest Night service of healing on the winter solstice, Friday, December 21 at 7:00 p.m.

On Christmas Eve, Monday, December 24 we will have worship services at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

On Christmas Day, Tuesday, December 25, we will have “brunch church” at 10:30 a.m. This special service will weave a Eucharistic liturgy in with a robust potluck meal.

Looking ahead to January, we are planning an expanded Twelfth Night Dinners program to welcome Pastor Erin. In years past on the Twelfth Night of the Christmas season, a few members’ have opened their homes to small group dinners. This year we hope to schedule a number of dinners on different nights throughout January for Pastor Erin to attend and give her the chance to share a meal with small groups of members and friends. Look for further details in the coming weeks.

The next few months will be marked by celebrations of many kinds at St. Luke’s. There are many dates to remember, but you can always check the calendar at stlukesls.org for reminders and updates. Please join us as we embark on the next chapter of our mission to transform lives and change the world through the Gospel.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Peter Wilhelm
Council Chairperson
on behalf of
Reed Fowler, Vice-Chair
Erika Dornfeld, Secretary
Zach Pflederer, Treasurer
Charlotte Flynn
Sarena Griffin

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