Around the Parish                        February 2019

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - the authors of our four Gospels - each have a symbol that was attached to them by the early church. They are based on the four creatures described by the prophet Ezekiel in chapter one of his book.

In his vision there are four winged creatures that serve at the heavenly throne of God, perhaps even supporting the throne - a lion, an eagle, an ox and one, "like a man." Ezekiel's description is repeated and modified in the Revelation According to John, (4:6-8). In Christian symbolism, the lion is assigned to Mark, the eagle to John, the ox (or bull or calf) to Luke, and the man to Matthew.

If you would like to know more about the theology and meaning that is associated with each, there is extensive information on the web. Wikipedia is a good place to begin. St. Luke's symbol is particularly interesting for its sacrificial reference as well as its power, and especially for us who worship here.

While none of this is necessary knowledge for our salvation, it is always enlightening and enriching for our faith to be aware of our history and lore.

Below are a few of the myriad depictions of the winged bull of St. Luke, and of the four evangelists as a group (tetramorph) - some ancient and some modern.

I appreciate your positive feedback about the use of our logo. This article is in response to your comments and questions. Bless you.

Fr. Rusty+
Holy Eucharist and Healing Service
Wednesday, February 6
12 Noon
Miles Chapel
48th Annual Diocesan Convention
February 14-16
St. James Fairhope
"Life Together"

Jennie Ori
Patrick Robinson
Ray Thompson
Connie Jo Williams

Diane Engels
Jean Golden
Kathy Thompson
Safe Haven Weekend
The next weekend for hosting the women of the Safe Haven program will be March 16th - 17th. We need lots of help! Please contact the church office, 666-2990, or Connie Jo Williams, 661-2476, if you are willing to serve. Thank you!
Celebrate the end of the Mardi Gras Season with an Episcopal Tradition
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner
Tuesday, March 5th
6:00 p.m.
Activities Room

*More information to come.
Vestry Retreat
Strike up the band. It's Mardi Gras season and, it's Resurrection time for St. Luke's!

We are grateful to have Father Rusty here to help lead us to the "Promised Land" of a new Rector, and a new and brighter day. He's helping us see and understand it is time for the people of St. Luke's to take charge. Time to chart our own course and to bring new life into our great parish. We need courage, a vision and a plan. Now is the time for us all to review, reflect, dream and hold our heads high as we march together into a new era of greatness for St. Luke's.

Fr. Rusty also cautioned us that a new Rector is not a "magic bullet." We all will need to work together in mutual ministry. Even Jesus called others to work with him.

Saturday, January 26th, your Vestry was inspired, informed, and tortured for hours on end. On a chilly January day, no one told the attendees that the heating system was not working. Had we known, some of us would have dressed differently. Seriously however, it delivered the perfect non-verbal message regarding the state of the St. Luke's budget and program.

St. Luke's was founded by a bold and brave group of young visionaries. They acted early and often. Inside the membership of St. Luke's, the heart of that lion still beats, but it needs to be rallied, inspired, and challenged. Time for a transfusion from the Holy Spirit.

As Fr. Rusty pointed out, the search process is a two-way street. As we search for a new rector, those potential rectors are judging and evaluating where they might want to cast their lot as well. The excellent candidate we seek might well decline, if we have a budget deficit and can't demonstrate the ability to pay them a fair salary to lead our amazing organization, or do the ministries that make us the hands of Jesus, inside and out.

"Artwork" by Fr. Rusty brilliantly demonstrated that St. Luke's could be described as a beautiful state of the art manufacturing facility without a shipping department. We have every piece of needed equipment, but currently our underused plant is not moving the finished product out into the world. St. Luke's "plant" is made up of millions of dollars of beautiful "PAID FOR" facilities, of which we should all be proud, and a body of Christian resources - our parishioners - who can do so much good in the world. Let's open the doors and spread the good news in word and deed about St. Luke's Parish and School. We need to renew our efforts to deliver our priceless Gospel product.

What do we have to do today to get back on the right path?

Average Sunday attendance (ASA) for 2018 was a dismal 124 Sunday worshipers. In the "good old days" we had more than 200 people in church every Sunday. With an ASA of 200 or more once again, most of our problems disappear, we will be able to focus on our ministries, and we will have a lot more fun. What if today you invite friends to come, see, hear, and feel St. Luke's with you starting this Sunday?

If you have pledged already, thank you. If you haven't pledged yet, your pledge, regardless of the amount, is needed now. Your vestry has set a great example, as we should. The total pledge from us for this year is DOUBLE what it was for 2018. We are also committed to giving more of our Time and Talent. You can help St. Luke's become a place you and your friends will feel good about and enjoy even more by joining us as a piece of our Resurrection.

We all left the retreat sobered, but hopeful and energized for our ministries in the days ahead.

Most Kindly,

Robin Roberts
Vestry Communications Chair
January Vestry Meeting Minutes
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Mobile
Vestry Meeting Minutes
Date: 26 January 2019
Time start/end: 09:15 – 11:02
Interim Rector: Father Rusty Goldsmith
Wardens: Patrick Robinson (Sr), Joe Ruffer (Jr)
Members: Catriena Daniel, Marilyn Fisher, Ted Grove, Sue Holmes, Sherry Poole, Robin Roberts, Bob Will, Connie Jo Williams (Not present: Amber Martenstein, Virginia Ori)
Treasurer: Ray Thompson
Clerk: Jeff Krause
I attest to the accuracy of these minutes. Respectfully submitted, 
Clerk of the Vestry, Jeff Krause

Consent Agenda:
  • For future meetings, request that all vestry members respond to the consent agenda, even if by saying, "nothing to report or change."
  • Motion for accepting the consent agenda (C. Daniel)
Discernment Committee (R. Thompson)
  • moving forward with search; documents to be loaded onto web
  • on track for call by mid-summer (start date negotiable)

Senior Warden (P. Robinson)
  • Personal ministry themes: vision, leadership
  • Goals to engage others to be community leaders within and without
  • focus efforts 2-3 months at a time
  • Activities
  • Men's Group (looking for leadership from parish) Retreat at Camp Beckwith (3/1/2019-3/3/19)
  • Reaching out to school

Junior Warden (J. Ruffer)
  • Grounds improvement core group update
  • Fence needed around compressors/transformers visible from Azalea
  • ACTION: getting quote for work

Rector (Fr. Goldsmith)
  • Clarification of policy when Rector is out: Points of contact: Senior Warden and Pastoral surrogate (e. g. Priest Associate). Important for rector to have time to recharge and rest.
  • Safeguarding: certificates by Vestry members required as soon as possible
  • Music/Choir: youth; three colleges with music programs and many local schools. reach out to bring young people, families, into Sunday services.
  • Stewardship: 92 pledges for $204,241 (lower than last year in total number and dollars except for average pledge). Need for D. Poole to be given a break, given his faithful service for 3 years. 18 former pledgers need to be contacted personally. Once financial side set, ministries will be coordinated based on feedback from stewardship card (e. g. time, talent)
  • 2018 Parochial report approved for transmission to Diocese.

Treasurer (R. Thompson)
  • Form for job approval (>$250) worked on by Treasurer and Junior Warden. Protocol for confirming work that has been done prior to approving payment.
  • Payoff off from reserves of $10,000 line of credit. ACTION: Vestry approved
  • Protocol for handling cash contributions in envelopes from Sunday offering

 New Business
  • Church By-laws draft (B. Will, Fr. Goldsmith): to be approved and commented on by the vestry and new rector. ACTION: By-laws to be discussed during the March 2019 meeting
  • Update on School (B. Will): search committee for new headmaster in place. Just held their annual meeting.
Help Wanted
Robin Roberts, Chair of the Communications Committee, is inviting anyone with social media skills who are willing to share as a ministry to the church, to contact him directly, 251-666-4766, or Wendy in the church office, 666-2990.
2019 Approved Budget
Plate Offerings                   $4,000
Non Pledge Offerings        $40,000
Pledges                                 $225,000
Special Offerings               $10,000
Previous Year Pledges      $7,500

Total Revenues:                 $286,500

Personnel                             $201,000
Diocesan Covenant            $16,500
Maintenance, Office          $80,000
Worship, Fellowship         $16,000
Outreach                              $    500
Audit                                     $4,900
Miscellaneous                     $8,000
Rector Search                      $8,000

Total Expenses:                  $334,900

Deficit                                   $48,400
February Propers
February 3
Jeremiah 1:4-10
Psalm 71:1-6
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Luke 4:21-30

February 10
Isaiah 6:1-8, 9-13
Psalm 138
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Luke 5:1-11

February 17
Jeremiah 17:5-10
Psalm 1
1 Corinthians 15:12-20
Luke 6:17-26

February 24
Genesis 45:3-11, 15
Psalm 37:1-12, 41-42
1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 42-50
Luke 6:27-38
February Birthdays
4  Scott Daniel
6  Robin Stefurak
6  Josie Woodfin
7  Bob Peavey
8  Richard Faust
12 Carol Solberger
14 Robin Roberts
16 Pierre Grethen
16 Abigail Carwie
17 Doug Goudie
17 Anna Clason Harris
19 Stephen Mack
21 Emory Robinson
22 Rose Mary Mack
25 Tim Knight