Week of May 15, 2016 Sunday Lectionary Readings May 15, 2016 Pentecost Sunday
Genesis 11:1-9 Psalm 104:25-35, 37 Acts 2:1-21 Romans 8:14-17 John 14:8-17, (25-27) Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Saint Luke’s Mission Statement To be an open, inviting, and serving community in which Jesus Christ is the center of our life and the gospel
Saved A sermon preached by the Rev. Richmond Webster on Mothers’ Day, Sunday, May 8, 2016 based on Acts 16:16-34. “Then the jailer brought them outside and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Acts 16:30 This morning I’d like to talk a little about the word “saved.” Saved. The word “saved” is an important word in the bible. It’s used over 100 times in the New Testament alone. (I looked it up on my phone.) But it needs to be said that “saved” is also a misused word, if a well-intentioned word—a word to make sure we go to heaven when we die. And while it’s true that “saved” can mean saved from sin and death and also the promise of the hope of heaven, it means much more. In fact, “saved” is a layered word, a complex word, a word that has less to do with heaven than with something here and now. “Saved” can mean healed, and it can mean whole or sound. “Saved” can also mean free, which is what the jailer asks for in the 16th chapter of Acts. To get us thinking a quick story might help: In January 2010, Conan O’Brien left the Tonight Show. He had been very publicly mistreated by NBC, and his fans were heartbroken and furious. And on this last show O’Brien would have the very last word, and with millions watching and waiting for his chance to hit back, he said this: “All I ask is one thing, and I’m asking this particularly of young people who watch . . . if you work really hard and you are kind, amazing things happen. I’m telling you amazing things happen.” There is even more to the quotation; you can look it up. But these days people use his words for motivation and inspiration and post them on office walks, and they are so good and true they could have come right out of the Bible. O’Brien lost the best job he ever had but held his head high. He didn’t hit back. It was more than courage. O’Brien was free.
is modeled and proclaimed in Word and Sacrament.
sermon continued on page 7
Upcoming Events Join Us as We Celebrate Pentecost Sunday, May 15 Day School Pre-Kindergarten Blessing
Join us for this special Pentecost Sunday as we celebrate the life of the Holy Spirit in our church and as we honor our Day School 4K children! At the 10:30am service in the Nave, we will have a special blessing for these children as they transition from preschool and prepare to begin Kindergarten in the Fall. They also will sing for us.
New Sunday School Class to Begin May 15 Living out Faith in the Public Sphere as 21st Century Anglicans 9:15am to 10:15am, Founders Room Taught by Nate Darville (Nate is an intern in a process of discernment for Holy Orders with the Diocese of Alabama.) What do the Bible, Church Tradition, and the Book of Common Prayer have to say about politics, economics, or social issues? In an increasingly polarized political culture, it is becoming more difficult to discuss these issues as Christians in America. This course seeks to provide an introduction to the rich tradition scholars call ‘political theology’ in order to better understand how to live publicly in a way faithful to the Gospel. Childcare is provided for children 4K and younger.
Over the past few years Saint Luke’s has experienced increased use of our facilities, coupled with indications that some of our needs for space have become different from the space we have available. This is good news for a thriving parish, but tells us we need to listen to what our church family life is telling us and make adequate plans to meet our physical requirements. Your Vestry appointed a committee, chaired by Chris Harmon and Hollis Gieger, to explore the necessity and feasibility of a major capital project for Saint Luke’s. That committee has moved deliberately to assess our needs through extensive interviews with focus groups composed of parishioners and staff addressing Worship, Christian Education (children and adults), Music, Inreach and Outreach, Youth, and the Day School. Your vestry has put together a survey that not only asks several sets of questions about our congregation’s current ministry and your own involvement, but also seeks your input on church dynamics and your vision for our future. We are asking each member of your household, over the age of 14, to complete the survey.
Here is how you can participate in the survey: • Last week a survey was emailed to each member. You can complete it through the online link OR print a copy, complete it, and bring it to the church.
May 15: The Bible: All Politics is Religious Lecture
• You can access the survey HERE.
May 22: The Early Church: Suppression and Persecution
• We also have paper copies of the survey available in the Commons and on 2nd floor.
May 29: Augustine & Calvin’s influence on American Politics June 5: Recent & Contemporary Political Theologians Lecture June 12: Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi: Politics and the Book of Common Prayer
Have You Completed the Parish Survey? Deadline is Monday, May 16
• If you cannot come to church and would like a survey mailed to you, contact Jeanna Speegle: 802-6218. Let us hear from you!
Announcements Service of Healing with Holy Eucharist
Noon - Chapel All are welcome. This service has been meaningful to so many people that we have decided to continue it through May 25.
Church Periodical Club Collection Next Sunday, May 22 Help Our Seminarians Buy Textbooks
Sunday, May 22 is the day our parish will collect donations to help fund materials that are required for our Diocesan Seminarians during their study for ministry in the Episcopal Church.
Officially named the “Church Periodical Club,” monies are collected in red buckets once a year, sent to the Diocesan office in Carpenter House in Birmingham, then distributed to Seminarians from our Diocese. Prayer books, educational materials, and textbooks are some of the needs these funds will help gift. Look for the red buckets, and please be generous.
Spring Picnic for Senior Adults Wednesday, May 25 - 5:30 pm All Senior adults are invited to come to the church for a picnic in the pavilion, located near the playground. The menu will include: grilled chicken sandwiches, potato salad, slaw, and Steel City Popsicles. After we eat, we will have the opportunity to attend 6:30 Eucharist in the chapel. Please contact Jeanna if you want to come: 802-6218
Senior Adults Will Host Party for Episcopal Place Residents Thursday, May 19 - 2:00 We need our Senior Adults to help host a May birthday party for the residents of Episcopal Place. We will serve cake and ice cream and have a sing-a-long. If you are available to help, please contact Jeanna at 802-6218.
May Outreach Collection
Books for STAIR
We are collecting funds to buy books for the STAIR Tutoring program in Norwood. Please look at the Book Donations to STAIR board in the Commons, find a book(s) you wish to donate. Cross out that book and write your name by the book. Books are $10 each and can be made payable to Saint Luke’s, with STAIR books in the memo line. Place your check in the basket by the board. If you cannot be at church, you can mail a donation to the church—$10/book. STAIR (Start the Adventure in Reading) is an after school tutoring program for second graders who attend Birmingham City Schools. The books we are collecting this month will be for children in the Norwood area.
Announcements Encore—Respite Care for Adults With Memory Loss
Begins June 7, Tuesdays and Thursdays - 10:00am to 2:00pm Must be registered to attend Do You Have a Family Member or Friend Experiencing Memory Loss Issues? Encore is a new ministry based at Canterbury Methodist Church. Its mission is to enrich the lives of adults with memory loss through fellowship and engaging activities. The programs for participants include cognitive stimulation, music, creative arts, exercise, recreation, and pet therapy. The cost is $40 per day and includes lunch. Encore also provides resources for families and Caregivers. A Caregivers Support Group will meet every Thursday, from 10:00am to 11:00am. To register a participant or to learn more, contact Patti Williams: [email protected]
Do You Have An Extra Bible?
We are looking to provide Bibles to some of the residents at Golden Living Center to use for their Bible Study. If you have an extra Bible, please bring it to Jeanna Speegle’s office. All translations are acceptable, and large print versions are especially appreciated.
Encore Need Volunteers Volunteers are the core of Encore! Our team welcomes the time, talents and skills that volunteers provide to enhance the daily activities of Encore. Opportunities include a variety of different options, including providing group or individualized entertainment, assisting or leading daily activities, interacting with small groups of participants, or working with the Encore team on office and clerical work. For more information, contact Kristen at [email protected]
gmail.com. You can also contact Susan Logan: 706-0996 or [email protected]
Parents Of Graduating Seniors, Share Your News With Us!
As a parish family, we would like to recognize your son or daughter and note in the Dialogue where they will attend college in the fall. Please contact Sandy Porter with the information: [email protected]
or 802-6207. Be sure to include: • your son’s or daughter’s full name, • parents’ names, • college they will attend,
Please submit this information no later than Friday, May 27.
Looking for a Great Way to Enjoy Camp McDowell This Summer??
Diocesan Homecoming (June 10-12, 2016) is just about the best summer vacation opportunity around! Formerly known as “Camp Day”, Diocesan Homecoming is the evolution of Family Camp - where old friends gather and new friends meet in God’s Backyard to rest, play, worship, and ENJOY GOD’s CREATION with others. It is open to all ages and we encourage you to bring your family and friends. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Activities will include the Ropes Course, swimming, boating, arts & crafts, a visit to Camp McDowell’s farm and many more! All are invited to come for the day, stay one night, or come for the whole weekend! Register at www.campmcdowell.com. Contact Georganne Perrine 205-358-9230 or [email protected]
Youth News Claypool Scholarship Recipients for 2016–2017 The Claypool Scholarship Committee is pleased to announce the recipients of the John R. Claypool Scholarship for the academic year 2016–2017. The Committee received eleven applications, and all of the applicants were very qualified to receive a scholarship. Below are our Claypool Scholars for this academic year. Two students are past recipients, and two are new recipients, entering college as freshmen this fall.
Margaret is a senior at the University of Virginia, and this year will be her fourth year to receive a Claypool Scholarship. She is studying Systems Information and Economics. Margaret is a member of Christ Church in Charlottesville, Virginia and has been very active in other campus and scholastic programs throughout her entire school career.
Everette is a junior at the University of Alabama, and this is her third year as a Claypool Scholar. She has a double major in Finance and Economics, and will add a Master’s degree in Economics with a focus on Data Management and Financial Engineering. Everette has also been very active on campus campus where she is currently vice-president of Alabama Panhellenic Association, is involved in the Greek Week program, and counsels at the university. She is training for a marathon in Dallas that is taking place this spring. Everette will study abroad this summer and attend International Business seminars hosted by business men and women with international companies.
Helen is a new recipient of this scholarship program. She is graduating from Mountain Brook High School this month with a GPA of 4.53. She has been involved in the Cross Country Team, in several national honor clubs and societies, won the merit scholarship from Berklee College of Music Summer Program, and teaches guitar and voice lessons throughout the community. Helen will attend the University of Virginia in the Fall.
Jackson is also a graduating senior from Mountain Brook High School and has a GPA of 4.35. Jackson has been awarded several National Honor Society awards, is an Eagle Scout in Troup 63, is on the Varsity Indoor/Outdoor Track Team, and is involved with the Interact Club, Spanish Club, Ambassadors Club, and BigTime Ministries. He also has maintained a part-time job at a local retail store in Birmingham and has run the Mercedes Marathon for three years. Jackson will attend Rhodes College this Fall.
We are proud of each of these students and their achievements and are awarding each student $4,000 for the coming school term. The Claypool Scholarship Fund has awarded over sixty scholarships to twenty students over the past fifteen years.
Youth Week 2016 June 6–9 We are encouraging ALL of our students to volunteer at VBS this summer! If you have not yet registered to help with VBS, please register HERE. The youth will eat lunch each day as VBS ends, then participate in local service opportunities Monday through Wednesday. We have a super fun day planned for Thursday, going to Spring Valley Beach Water Park! Registration is OPEN! *The cost for Youth Week is $75 and includes
Have YOU Registered for VBS? Register Today! Vacation Bible School 2016!
Monday, June 6 – Thursday, June 9 9:00am to Noon 4 years through Rising 6th graders $25/child
We will learn to find the God’s truth below the surface!
Click HERE to register and to volunteer. We need both adult and youth volunteers.
sermon continued from front page With this freedom in mind, look closely at this story from the Book of Acts, and notice that if “saved” means “free” there is precious little freedom here. The slave girl isn’t free. Her owners aren’t free. The magistrates aren’t free. The mob isn’t free. Only Paul and Silas seem free in the middle of this mess that involves accusations, and yelling, a terrible beating, and the arrest of two innocent men. Paul and Silas hold their heads high, they don’t hit back, and in jail that night they sing and pray. And in the dead of night, when the earthquake comes and the chains are gone and the doors are opened, they stay. No wonder the jailer asks that question. He saw it all along. These men were really free. The jailer. In the Roman world a jailer was pretty much at the bottom of the economic ladder, a working man, a paycheck to paycheck man, and this reminds me of someone I met just a few weeks ago. I was downtown at the hospital. It was early morning, still dark, and I was meeting someone to pray before surgery. And while I waited in the hall I noticed another man sitting on a bench. He was poorly dressed, unshaven, and dirty to the point that Birmingham cops kept stopping, as they walked by, to ask questions and frankly harass him to make sure he wasn’t a vagrant looking for a warm bench. But I saw him earlier, and he was supposed to be there. He was with a patient in the admitting office, so I decided to sit with him on the bench, figuring that my black shirt would keep the cops off his back and give him peace. It worked. He was a nice guy, and he told me about his brother’s cancer, and his own string of jobs and a smoky car, and what he said confirmed what I am still learning about people who live near the bottom. I’m learning that they are survivors, often against great odds and obstacles I can’t imagine. I’m learning that they are generous to their own kind and possess a morality or a code that may not be ours. I’m learning that they tend not to overthink things or plan for the future, they just do. I’m learning that they don’t trust easily and they can spot a fake pretty quick. On this morning he let me sit beside him, and talk, and I’m learning this was a gift. It was his gift to me. I like to think this matters because here in a jail in the 16th chapter of the Book of Acts, after the earthquake and the chains laying on the ground, another working man, a paycheck to paycheck man saw Paul and Silas. He saw two men who did not run. He washed their wounds. That was his gift. It was all he had. He washed the stripes on their backs, and he was now a disciple.
But notice how it happened. Notice that Paul and Silas didn’t preach a sermon or deliver a treatise on the divinity of Christ. They didn’t offer any conditions or even judge the man. They just stayed. They were free. He wanted it too. John Claypool once said in this very pulpit that human beings are radically dependent by nature. And our word “dependent” literally means to “hang,” like a chandelier, held in place by something other than itself. And here in the open doors of a jail cell the source of true freedom is revealed. Paul and Silas are dependent on Jesus. Jesus, who taught us to hold our heads high and turn the other cheek. Jesus, who showed us the power of love. Jesus, who died and rose to show us how it works, how life works and how death works and how heaven works so we don’t have to be afraid. This is the gift. And it has been said that in those times when the noise of our fear and confusion and hurt are so loud we can’t hear a thing but the shriek of our own pain, we can look to see that the hand holding ours has a nail print. And we need this gift, this freedom, we can’t live without it. After all, we may never know prison with real bars and walls, but we still have our chains. These are the chains of cynicism, or frustration, or fear, or anger, or jealousy, or despair, or contempt, or anything that keeps us from being honest or happy or truly alive. Hang on. His hand is outstretched. I can’t finish this sermon with saying something about Mother’s Day. And you might not know it but there is a story about freedom within the history of this annual observance. Mother’s Day officially began in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her own mother in Grafton, West Virginia. Grafton was a place torn by the American Civil War, and Jarvis’ mother was a hero, a peace activist, and a healer. Throughout the war she crossed battle lines, again and again, caring for any wounded she found regardless of the side, and she was so well known that after the war local leaders asked if she would host an event to begin healing this very divided region. She called it “Mothers Friendship Day,” and veterans from both sides were invited and the band played Dixie and the Star Spangled Banner and in the end they all sang Auld Lang Syne. And there were tears all around and handshakes and hugs and only a mother’s love could facilitate this freedom. I’ll say this once more. We need this freedom. We can’t live without it. We need this freedom to live and to love and to serve. We need this freedom to be happy, and make no mistake, the whole world will want what we have. And we even know where to find it. His name is Jesus.
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Dialogue Vol. 23, No. 19
SUNDAY—15 8:00 am Holy Eucharist, Rite I 8:30 am Breakfast 9:30 am Living our Faith 10:30 am Holy Eucharist, Rite II 10:30 am Service of the Word 5:00 pm Holy Eucharist, Rite II
Nave Graham Hall Founders Room Nave Graham Hall Nave
MONDAY—16 9:30 am Hebrews Bible Study 12:00 pm Cancer Support 4:00 pm EfM
Dining Room Room 212 Room 214
TUESDAY—17 6:30 am Men’s Bible Study 9:00 am SAIL Exercise 5:00 pm Women’s Lectionary Study
Tilson Room Graham Hall Tilson Room
WEDNESDAY—18 12:00 pm Service of Healing with Eucharist Chapel 1:30 pm Pondering Scripture Room 214 6:30 pm Contemplative Eucharist Chapel THURSDAY—19 9:00 am SAIL Exercise FRIDAY—20 10:00 am Bridge
Graham Hall Tilson Room
SATURDAY — 21 For a complete listing of events, go to www.saint-lukes.com or check the totems in the Commons and 2nd floor.