The Encourager
August 2021- Deadline for September Newsletter submissions is on August 30th!
Pondering Pastor
“How long can a congregation linger in between Good Friday and Easter?” This was a question a colleague asked recently as together we reflected on the ongoing impact of the pandemic on congregational life. The danger of the COVID-19 virus spreading across our community prompted us to refrain from regular indoor activities as a church for nearly 1 ½ years and continues to pose a challenge with the emergent Delta variant accelerating community spread among unvaccinated individuals.
The pandemic restrictions are a kind of Good Friday experience, the sudden and tragic loss of something precious taken away from us specifically in-person worship, groups, fellowship, congregational life, steady friendships, and leadership, etc., and Easter, the restoration of something precious given back to us though different than what we had before. As a congregation we are living in between those two experiences. How long can we linger in between Good Friday and Easter?
Sunrises and sunsets are intriguing as they can appear indistinguishable. Unless you are viewing it live it is difficult if not impossible to tell whether a photograph you are looking at is one of the sun setting, or rising? I think it can be helpful to consider whether we are viewing our own congregational life as a sun setting, or a sun rising?
St. Luke’s is living between a sort of Good Friday and Easter reality in our congregational life and ministry. We are caught between the sun setting, mourning the loss of that which was precious to us and the sun rising, what we trust/hope/believe can someday be restored to us post-pandemic. The latter is all about promise!
How long do we live in between? The obvious answer has to be “as long as it takes” because the truly only constant in all of this is time. Yet, it is possible even in the in-between time to become more determined to spend our time as a congregation moving toward the sunrise. Toward promise! 
Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Let’s find ways together through this time between Good Friday and Easter to strive toward the sunrise of our congregational life. Let’s find ways to acknowledge the losses of the past 1 ½ years, even celebrate where we have come from, but begin to embrace the promise of whatever the Easter future may look like with joy and peace in believing. Central to our efforts will be to believe in ourselves as the body of Christ we are called to be as a congregation that encourages, St. Luke’s.
How long can we linger in between Good Friday and Easter? As long as it takes by the power of the Holy Spirit encouraging US to keep our eye on the rising sun...indeed, the risen Son! 

Peace, Pastor Jeffrey Ingold
St. Luke's Announcements!
Charlotte Knights Baseball Game
The outing will be at the Charlotte Knights baseball game against the Durham Bulls at the Knight's downtown stadium, Truist Field. We have 26 seats for Saturday night, August 28th at 7:00 p.m. in the Right Field Home Run Section HR5, as follows: all of that section's from row, Row A, with 18 tickets (16 of which are available) and the other 8 tickets in the second row, Row B, right behind. The tickets are $15.00 each and each ticket has a $2.00 voucher included to be put toward the purchase of any concessions you want (the ticket is scanned at the concession stand; any other concessions over the $2.00 are on you). Our group will be recognized on the right field video screen between the top and bottom of the fourth inning. There will be fireworks after the game.

Please call the office, or send an email to office@stlukeselca.org to let Holly know how many tickets you will need. Tickets are first come, first served. You may send a check/cash to St. Luke’s by mail, drop off a check/cash by the office Monday-Friday from 8:00am-2:00pm, or drop a check in the offering tray on a Sunday morning. If you are filling out a check, please put “Baseball Game” in the memo line and make it out to “St. Luke’s”. Once we receive payment Holly can email a copy of the ticket to you, or print it out in office for you to pick up.
St. Luke's Pictorial Directory
Since our last pictorial directory was published in 2016, we have been joined by many new members, including Pastor Jeffrey. It's time for an update!  
We have the software to publish our own directory and Terry Cheville (Mr. Terry to most of us) will set up a photo studio in the Bride's Room. You will be able to make an appointment to have your photo taken before or after Sunday services. Or, if you prefer, you may email 'selfies' to Holly at office@stlukeselca.org. Look for more information in the next few weeks!
Beer and Bible
Tuesday, August 3rd, 7:00 pm
Brewers at 4001 Yancey
 
Join us for good food, good imbibes, and good Biblical/Topical conversation among good people.

Please RSVP with Pastor Jeffrey at pastoringold@stlukeselca.org

Katarina Circle 
The Katarina Circle will not meet this month.
McCauley Diehl Circle
The McCauley Diehl Circle will meet August 3rd at 1:30 in the Conference Room.
Connie Counts Circle 
Connie Counts will not be meeting until September.
Lutheran Men In Mission 
The Lutheran Men in Mission will meet August 11th at 1:00pm in the Conference Room.
St. Luke's Women's Fall Retreat 
All women of St. Luke’s are invited to grow in faith together post-pandemic and to have just plain fun in the mountains. If there is anything the pandemic has taught us, it is that we need each other. The Women’s Retreat begins at 7:30 pm on Friday, October 22, 2021 at Lutherock in Newland, NC and ends at 11:00 am on Sunday, October 24.
“Faith and the Pandemic: A Word from Job” is the theme. These 2019 leaders are returning: Diana Brooks, Retreat Coordinator; Sue Setzer, Worship and Bible Study; Yvonne Richie, Community Building; Karen Chien, Creative Crafts; Helen Morris, Movie and Pictionary. Barbara Franche will be our chef again. Ample free time is built into the schedule.
Cost for the retreat will be $180 for the two night weekend, including all meals. (Double occupancy). Private double rooms are available for $280 and private single rooms are $220. A deposit of $90 is requested by Sept. 5th made payable to St. Luke’s Lutheran (memo: Women’s Retreat). This can be handed in to Kathy in the church office or to Diana Brooks, who will also answer any questions about the retreat.(704-542-6825).
Please contact Diana Brooks at 704-542-6825 with any questions. Please join us!
God's Work, Our Hands 
We want to thank everyone for their continued efforts in procuring items for our “Welcome Home Kits’. We still need a few more items, so please take a look at the Sign-Up Genius below to see what is still needed. Judy Hall will be available in the Narthex on Sundays for those who have any questions regarding sign-ups for GWOH. If you are not comfortable using sign-up Genius, Judy will have a list of available items still needed for the kits.

The Kit Assembly Day is coming up quick! If you are interested in assembling the ‘Welcome Home Kits’ please inform Judy so that she can add you to the attendance list. We will need volunteers to assist with packing the kits, delivery drivers (those with trucks are preferred as the boxes will be quite large), strong members who are able to carry/load the heavy boxes once they are assembled, a food team, and several people to work the shirt table. We will also need assistants to help with Set Up/Tear Down on Saturday the 11th and Sunday the 12th. Set Up will be at 10:00am Saturday the 11th.

On September 12th we will be putting together our Kits! We will gather at 10:00am in the Sanctuary for a Sending Service. Afterwards Pastor will direct everyone to the Parish Hall to put together the kits for Roof Above. There will be 10 kits in total. Representatives from Thrivent will be present to assist as well. Once everyone has arrived, instructions will be given on how to pack our kits. Afterwards lunch will be provided by Thrivent! After lunch, our boxes will be delivered to Roof Above.
Should you have any questions please call Judy Hall 704-996-4524 or the office at 704-523-7981. 
Roof Above Lunches
Our next day for making lunches for our homeless neighbors is Sunday, August 8th. Thank you for your continued support of this important ministry!
Crop Walk
There has been a date change for the Charlotte Crop Walk. Please mark your calendars for November 7, 2021. The in-person walk will take place at Memorial Stadium. Folks are welcome to walk virtually, at a time and place that works for them, if that is their preference.
 
The in-person walk will start with Registration at 1, Opening ceremonies at 2 and the Walk at 2:30. Parking is easy at the stadium and usually well marked.
  
Twenty-five percent of the money stays here in Charlotte and goes to Crisis Assistance Ministry, Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays, and Second Harvest Food Bank. The balance of the money is used worldwide by Church World Services to relieve the tragic results of catastrophic events such as earthquakes, flooding and famine.
 
The Charlotte Crop Walk began in 1979 and had raised over 9 million to relieve hunger, $2 million staying right here in Charlotte.
 
We know the need is great. Let's help make this an outstanding success!
 
Marilyn
Altar Flowers
The Flower Chart is back up in the hall outside of the main office. If you would like to beautify our church sanctuary, honor someone, or commemorate a special day, please add your name to the chart! We are now using Starclaire House of Flowers. They can be contacted at 704-553-2435. Payment is by credit card or check in advance to the florist. Remember to tell the florist the date you are giving. Call Holly at the church office at 704-523-7981 with the information you would like put in the bulletins by Wednesday morning of the week you are giving. If you have any questions, call Pam Moser at 704-552-0996. Thanks! 
What's going on at St. Luke's?
Seminarian Spotlight
Wanted to give a brief check-in. I am currently doing my Clinical Pastoral Education at Prisma Health Baptist Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina. My week consists of spending 25.5 hours in the clinic, making rounds and visiting patients on the floors. I also spend 6 hours a week in my educational group, learning different theories and reviewing patient visits. The clinical portion feeds into the education portion and vice versa. On top of all this, I spend one day a week on-call in the hospital. What is unique about my setting is that I am also on-call at a hospital in Irmo, South Carolina. When on-call, I am the chaplain for the whole hospital. During my time in CPE, I have learned (and currently learning) how to conduct spiritual assessments and become more confident in my pastoral identity. I am being richly formed by my experience. After CPE, I return to seminary to begin my second year. I hope to be back in the wintertime to possibly preach for the congregation. Thank you for your continued prayers and blessing along this journey of formation. One last thing, and I am growing into accepting this: I don’t know is a very powerful and faithful answer. I don’t know doesn’t signify ignorance: it simply means that I don’t know the answer. And guess what? That’s fine if you don’t know. 
Boy Scout Troop 355 Update
Boy Scout Troop 355 sent 8 boys and 2 adults out to Philmont Scout Ranch out in Cimmarron New Mexico. Where they backpacked 70-80 miles in 10 days. Along with the hiking, they toured Pike's Peak( 14,105 feet above sea level) ,Garden of the Gods and went whitewater rafting down the Royal Gorge. It rained on them for the last 5 days, but they all endured. While they were visiting the National Boy Scout Museum out at Philmont, they ran into St. Luke's own Eagle Scout, Joel Moser. He was volunteering out at the museum for 2 weeks. It was a delight to visit with him before they went out backpacking.  
 
Pictures:
 
1. Boys holding up a small boulder in Garden of the Gods.
 
2. All ten made it and were happy to be back to civilization.
Council Liaisons
The work of St. Luke’s reflects our mission together and is organized into different ministry areas. These areas are effective through the collaboration among pastor and staff, council, and members of the congregation (committees). There is a place for you to share your gifts in one or more of these ministry areas. Please contact the Staff Member or Council Liaisons for the ministry area(s) of interest to you to begin sharing your gifts and building the body of Christ here at St. Luke’s.

Worship (Music, Altar Guild, Worship Adjunct Groups)
Staff Member - Jan McCoy
Council Liaisons - Terri Wells and Pete Schmidt

Nurture Faith (Sunday School, Confirmation, New Members, VBS, Mid-Week Learning, Youth/Young Adults)
Staff Member - Pastor Jeffrey Ingold
Council Liaisons - Alex Jenkins and Jonathan Wolff

Community Care (Social Awareness, Outreach Ministries, Benevolence)
Staff Member - Pastor Jeffrey Ingold
Council Liaisons - Emily Phillips and Lisa Rhyne

Member Care (Bereavement, Homebound Ministries, Visitors/Prospective Members, Archives, Communications)
Staff Member - Holly Day
Council Liaisons - Rebekah Woodward and Julie Fosbinder

Operations (Building and Grounds, Finance, Stewardship)
Staff Member - Kathy West
Council Liaisons - Kristen Conner and John Hofland

Planning (Sustainability & Vitality, Personnel)
Staff Member - Pastor Jeffrey Ingold
Council Liaisons - Wanda Ebright and David Sweet