Hello, St. Luke Saints!

Here is your weekly update.

7th Annual Brunch in Bethlehem
Was a Huge Success!
Thank you to everyone who came to Brunch in Bethlehem this past Sunday. We hope you had a fun time strolling through shops of Bethlehem.

Thank you also to all of the wonderful volunteers who make this event so special!

This Week's Devotion

"When they [Mary and Joseph] arrived at Bethlehem, they were the most insignificant and despised.... No one noticed or was conscious of what God was doing in that stable. He lets the large houses and costly apartments remain empty, lets their inhabitants eat, drink, and be merry; but this comfort and treasure are hidden from them. O what a dark night this was for Bethlehem, that was not conscious of that glorious light!

See how God shows that he utterly disregards what the world is, has, or desires; and furthermore, that the world shows how little it knows or notices what God is, has,                                              and does."  Martin Luther
Christmas Eve Candlelight
Communion Services
7pm and 11pm

Invite friends and family to gather as we celebrate together on Christmas Eve.

Please join us as we celebrate the birth of the Christ child.

We will have pre-service music 30 minutes prior to each service.
Our entire church mortgage has been reduced to just $40,000.
At our congregational meeting, a vote was taken to
PRAY it OFF, and burn the mortgage. 
Please prayerfully consider a special gift to retire our church mortgage.
Sunday, December 22

                     Advent 4
      Worship Service of Holy Communion                    
10 :00 am     Worship Service of Holy Communion
6:30pm        Christmas Caroling
Wednesday Night Activities 

NO Wednesday night activities on Wednesday, December 25, or Wednesday, January 1st.

Activities return Wednesday January 8.
Sunday, December 29      

           Lessons & Carols
           Worship Service of Holy Communion
10:00 am   Worship Service of Holy Communion
St. Luke's Vision...

Seek God.  Serve Others.  Share Life.
announcements Announcements
Congregational Meeting Updates

Thank you to all those who attended the Semi-Annual Congregational Meeting Sun., Dec. 8, after worship. The constitution was approved, and the list below is the updated Executive Committee, Council Representatives, and Committee Chairs.

Executive Committee
President: Sue Malone
Vice-President: Kent Anderson
Secretary: Jodi Witcher
Treasurer: Tim Flohr
Property: Bill Frye
Mutual Ministry: John Behrends
Finance: Anita Schroer

Council Representatives
Worship: OPEN
Discipleship: Kelsey Groff
Youth: Maggie Carkeet and Madeline Wright
Evangelism: Kelsey Groff
Fellowship: Michelle Lorenz
Social Ministry: Dale Ernst
Stewardship: OPEN

Committee Chairs
Worship: Karen McCracken and Katherine Fellenstein
Discipleship: Jennifer Carkeet
Evangelism: Ed Cooley
Fellowship: Kelsey Groff
Social Ministry: Jim Allay
Stewardship: OPEN

*these positions are temporarily filled until new people step forward.
Are you reading the ENTIRE "This Week"? 
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Don't miss out on the news!!
2020 Offering Envelopes Available

Please pick up your set of envelopes for next year's giving (for those who do not utilize Simply Giving) from the table in the Narthex.
Merry Christmas
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
More Than A Meal
Hats, Gloves, Scarves and Socks Collected

Thank you Saints for providing love and warmth at the December More than a Meal. Gifts of hats, gloves, socks and scarves were given to close to 100 guests. St Luke provided 50 hats and gloves, as well as 100 pairs of socks and two dozen scarves. In addition, White Station High School students contributed 100 hand made scarves. Thank you to Marta Flohr, her mother Josie, and the Girl Scouts for serving the warm, homemade meal with enthusiasm.

If interested in serving in this ministry in 2020,contact Susie Carlson at 901-486-9972.
God has blessed many with your wonderful support
of our Angel Tree!! Because of your generosity with over 75 gifts or
gift cards, we were able to bring smiles to our Peace Lutheran neighborhood children and parents. We were able to help the families in our Outreach Ministry have a merrier Christmas! You showed the true spirit of Christmas with your "gifts" of love and kindness all wrapped up in a package!
SLY Pies Thank You
Thank you to all those who purchased SLY pies or chocolates. The youth had a great time preparing them and having them ready for delivery at Brunch in Bethlehem.

Your purchase is greatly appreciated!
St. Luke Christmas Caroling
Sunday, December 22, 6:30pm

Becky and Marcin will lead us in song around the neighborhood at 6:30pm on December 22. We will be handing out small gifts as we go and will have hot chocolate, apple cider, and cookies at church when we are finished.

We hope you can join us in this festive holiday event, as we brighten the nights of those around us with Christmas carols and enjoy time together during this often rushed holiday season.
How to Care for Those With Memory Loss
Sun., January 26, 11:30am-1pm

For family caregivers and Stephen Ministers, Herbie Krisle, Executive Director of the Page Robbins Adult Day Center will lead us in How to Care for Those With Memory Loss. Lunch will be provided for participants. Please register by January 14, responding on your Communication Card.
Good Stewards Needed!     

Volunteers are needed for weekly service roles.
  • Chief Steward
  • Acolyte
  • Crucifer
  • Nursery (Adult and Youth volunteers)
  • Fellowship (both set-up and clean-up)
Contact Jan Wentz, stitchersinc@bellsouth.net if interested in serving.
                           Year-End Contributions 
The holidays are FAST approaching! As a reminder, for your contributions to St. Luke to be applied to 2019, they must be received in the office no later than close of business Dec. 31, or mailed and postmarked no later than Dec. 31.
Thank you for your generosity!
More Than A Meal 2020

For more than a decade, St. Luke Saints have committed to providing meal preparation and serving one Sunday a month, to Grace St. Luke's More Than A Meal ministry. Since several of our meal coordinators have retired or moved out of the area, Dave and Susie Carlson need and will greatly appreciate a few volunteers to coordinate the meal the third Sunday of any month(s) in 2020.

Anyone considering this role can get hands-on experience from Dave and Susie on Sun., January 19, and Sun., February 16.

Coordinating the meal requires a one-day commitment, while serving the meal only takes two hours. This can be a fun and meaningful experience for a family or group.

Contact Susie Carlson at 901-486-9972 to coordinate a meal or volunteer to serve two hours of any month. Grace St. Luke's Episcopal Church is located at 1720 Peabody Ave., Memphis, TN 38104.
Mental Health First Aid Training
Sat., February 29, 8am-5pm
St. Luke Lutheran

Mental health challenges--such as depression, anxiety, psychosis and substance use--are shockingly common in the United States. In fact, more than one in five American adults will have a mental health problem in any given year.

During this training, you will learn a 5-step action plan to offer initial help to people demonstrating symptoms of a mental illness or a crisis, and you will be equipped with the tools to connect them with the appropriate professional, peer, social or self-help care.

The course is FREE, but you must register HERE, as space is limited.
ELCA Missionary Sponsorship
Dr. Stephen J and Jodi Lynn Swanson

St. Luke is sponsoring ELCA missionaries Dr. Stephen J and Jodi Lynn Swanson, who work in Tanzania. They have three children, Caedmon, Hannah and Indya.

Stephen is a board-certified pediatric and infectious disease physician and is active in the development of protocols and services for hospitalized children with severe acute malnutrition, and serves as the meical director for Tanzania's highest level neonatal intensive care unit. He also develops pediatric/neonatalogy curriculum, training of Tanzanian healthcare professionals throughout the country, and serves as an intermediary to the international global health community.

Jodi participates in the care and management of acute childhood malnutrition in the hospital and community, as well as being active in nursing, health education and training community health workers.

In addition to this support, we ask that you keep the Swansons in your prayers.
St. Luke Staff Update

We welcome Priscilla Hughes back to the church office. Priscilla has served as a volunteer in the office in the past. We have had some changes this past year, Patti Calvert is now just doing bookkeeping on Wednesdays. Pam Clifford is stepping down effective December 19, and Priscilla will take her place as Office Administrator. We are so very grateful for the wonderful church workers we have had at St Luke. We are very thankful for Pam's time with us, and we grateful for Priscilla's willingness to serve.
"Tidbits" of the Week - Dec. 22

Advent services continue this Wednesday, at 7:05pm. We celebrate with Holden Evening Prayer.

Weekly service Good Stewards are needed! Please prayerfully consider sharing some of your time and talent for this essential part of our ministry at St. Luke.

Everyone sing! Please join in caroling with us on Sunday, December 22nd at 6:30pm and stay for treats afterward.

Good Stewards are still needed for Christmas Eve Services. Please sign up on the papers mounted on the windows of the sanctuary. We would love to have special music that evening. Now that Jacob is aware of his email, you can use it to let him know about someone you know who would like to share their musical talents with us.

A very special "Thank You" goes to Tammy and Kent Anderson for hosting the council Christmas party. Those folks know how to get down and party!!!!

Cliff Notes: Matthew 11: 2-11. This was the 3rd Sunday of Advent. The setting of the Gospel was in a jail, with the occupant being John the Baptist. Not your usual Advent message! John was a messenger and Herod and Mrs. Herod didn't like his message very much. John was bold and forceful, but human: he had questions and doubts. Even though he was doing a good thing, he found himself in jail. Like us, John went from confidence to doubt, hope to desperation, and anticipation to disappointment. He asks the disciples if Jesus is, indeed the one they were waiting for. Jesus assured him through the disciples, by recounting his acts of mercy. John died in and for his faith, even though he wasn't perfect. We are called to follow Jesus, to carry on His mission in love; liberators and reconcilers. Amen!

St. Luke Financial Snapshot 
through November 30, 2019
Actual Budget
REVENUE (in Dollars) (in Dollars)
   Current Giving 349,776 385,000
   Other 23,315 21,885
Total Revenue 373,091 406,885
   Expenses 378,675 410,033
Surplus (Deficit) (5,585) (3,148)
   Total 62,164
   Designated Funds 25,680
Net Available 36,484
Balance at 1/1/2019                  83,381
Balance at 11/30/19 39,759
November Tithe 28,296 35,000
St. Luke Lutheran Church  | 756-8850 |  stlukememphis.org

Keep checking your email for St. Luke news! If you know someone who is not on our emailing list and you know they would like to be added, please feel free to email Priscilla Hughes or Jennifer Wright. We will make sure to add them!

Priscilla Hughes
Church Administrator

Jennifer Wright
Coordinator of Youth and Family Ministries

Jacob Allen
Music Director

Pastor Cliff Bahlinger


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