St. Luke's Happenings
Reflection & News from Your Good Neighbor Church

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were barred for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” John 20:19-23  
 
I’ve always enjoyed the resurrection stories in John, the way that the disciples (except Thomas) are all hiding away in the upper room afraid of the leaders of the temple and the Pharisees. Hidden away just as their ancestors were at the time of Moses during the Passover. Then, suddenly, Jesus appears within their midst. He says, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”  Breathing the Holy Spirit upon them, he proclaims, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
 
Jesus is offering them shalom in the midst of their fear. But, that's not all. He's giving them a mission, sending them as his father sent him. Jesus is sending them out into the world to serve; to forgive sins. Jesus is sending them out to be to be God's representative in the world.
 
What amazes me about the disciples that day is that they stayed. They could have, should have, run out into the wilderness on Friday. Maybe they just didn’t know what to do now that Jesus was gone. Whatever the reason, they stayed hidden away in that locked upper room.
 
I often wondered what it would be like in that upper room. I never thought I would experience something like it, but in a way we have experienced it this year. We’re all locked away ourselves. Our current times can be scary, but like the Israelites of the Passover, we can’t see the danger. But it’s still there. We’re not staying locked away just out of fear. We are doing it out of love. Love for the other so that we don’t help to spread this terrible disease. Love for those who may be older, who may have a pre-existing condition, or for one reason or another can’t fight this sickness off.
 
Now, we might want to say “I’ve had enough. I want to go out and about” but that’s not answering the call of Jesus.  Jesus sends us as the father sent him, to do the loving thing and the loving thing for us is to stay put. We are so close. Many have received the vaccine and as each day passes, more are receiving this gift from God working through science and medical professionals. How fitting that the vaccine is reaching out to almost all people. In a way, this gives us new life to carry out the mission of Christ. I also believe that the same Spirit that Jesus breathed into the first disciples is holding us together as one, even when we’re apart; giving us the courage to stay in for the other as we near the end of this time of isolation.

This is truly one of those times when we realize that Easter isn’t about me. Easter isn’t about what I want. Easter is about what the other needs. You will learn, if you have not already, that one of my favorite sayings is “people are always more important than things”. In this last year we have been able to show this by our actions to protect the other. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus empowers us to show the love of Christ. We are called to serve Christ by serving one another.
 
I pray for us during this time of new life, as we journey out of our long year of separation and struggle. I pray that we continue to serve by our words and our actions. I pray that when we once again gather together, that we do so caring for each other as we bring praise to the God of love who has led us through our long struggle.
Amen.

Pastor Tim

This is the first in a series of Holy Week continuing this week on Facebook the Good Neighbor Blog.

Sunday Worship Online

Our Sunday Worship Service continues to be available at 8:00am on the Website as well as Facebook and YouTube. Make sure to like and subscribe to receive notifications. We look forward to worshiping with you in spirit!
Gathering Safely Again

We are so excited to share that we will be opening up the sanctuary doors again, starting April 18th, 2021.

Online worship service has proven to be an essential part of ministry in the past year, and it will continue to be a vital part of worship here at St. Luke's. So while we welcome some of you in the sanctuary, know that we will continue to offer our pre-recorded worship services each Sunday

As we ease back in to a routine, we will begin with 3 services each week at 8:00am, 9:30am, and 11:00am. We are welcoming 75 people per service and sign up is required to save your space. Masks are also required.

You can sign up here on the church website, or call the office at 608.831.6084.
Where Good Neighbors Gather

While we continue to worship at home, we also continue to gather in fellowship and community together. Join Pastor Tim and your St. Luke's neighbors in fellowship here at Digital Coffee Hour.

Or dial in: 312-626-6799 
Meeting ID: 944 8530 4433 
Pass code: 765034 
Adult Faith Academy
 
There are great Adult Faith Academy classes going on now. Click the links below to learn more or visit www.stlukes-elca.org/afa
 
 
 
It's 2021
Scholarship Time!

Through the St. Luke’s Foundation, we are fortunate to be able to offer post high school
scholarships to our members through the generosity of numerous benefactors. The
application form for those scholarships will be available in the church office or online at
www.stlukes-elca.org beginning Friday, March 5th. The deadline to apply is 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 8th.

Scholarships are awarded based on a variety of factors including academic merit, volunteer service to St Luke’s and the community, and financial need. Candidates
include students planning to attend or are attending four year colleges, universities, technical or trade schools, or seminary.

Interviews will be scheduled the evening of May 5th for all who apply. We hope to see
your name on the list!
 
Wednesday Oasis Worship
 
Our Midweek Oasis worship will be picking up again on April 14th with a meditation in word with Kari Nelson.

In case you missed this past week's Good Friday service, we have the video above.
 
This unique midweek service includes special reflections from members of the congregation, as well as music and prayer. You can join us on the website, Facebook and YouTube. We hope you are able to join us for more wonderful worship experiences!
 
You are welcome here.
Part Time Custodial Assistant Position

The Part Time Custodial Assistant is responsible for the general cleaning of the church building itself and hospitality duties on Sunday mornings. It may also include work on the grounds, the cemetery and the parking lot. This position will also assist in room set up/tear down and other duties as assigned.
The position is about 10 hours per week with 6 hours being required on Sunday mornings and the other hours flexible. 
A qualified candidate will have the capacity to interact effectively with staff and volunteers and have the ability to use good judgement in any situation that may arise.
 
This position requires the ability to do one or more of the following throughout the day: stand, walk, push, pull, drive, sit, bend and reach above and below shoulder level. Must be able to lift up to 50 pounds as needed.

If interested please contact Drew Hathaway at dhathaway@stlukes-elca.org or 608-831-6084.
Open for Small Groups
 
We’re excited to be able to allow small groups (20 or less people) in the building; we’ve certainly missed you! Small group leaders can reserve either the Friendship Hall or the Sanctuary by contacting Julie Murray via email or 831-6084. St. Luke’s has taken measures to avoid spreading COVID and will continue to do so. It’s important we not only protect you and your family, but our staff, their families and our broader community.
 
At St. Luke’s, we abide by the commandment to love our neighbors which currently means following all Dane County Public Health guidelines including wearing masks, staying 6 feet apart and staying home if you’re sick or have had potential exposure. We also have stringent cleaning protocols. Group leaders will be responsible for ensuring guidelines are followed but please help by doing your part. We’d much rather be sharing the love and joy of being in community than reminding you of the guidelines.

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Altar Flowers
 
We love to have altar flowers for St. Luke's online worship services. This is a wonderful opportunity to remember a birthday, an anniversary or someone who has died. Please review the available slots below and click on the button to sign up. In the comment field, write what the occasion is and this will be included in the credits at the end the worship service you choose. Sign up here. Cost is $40 payable to St. Luke's Church online, by mail or drop off at the church office.

Children Youth and Family Updates
VBS - Discovery on Adventure Island

Registration is now open for our in-person VBS! Pre-school VBS (3 y.o. by June 1st) will meet June 14-16 and Elementary VBS (K-5 current school year) will meet June 21-24. Both groups will meet 9:00-12:00 to help facilitate COVID safety.  We hope you join us on our "Quest for God's Great Light!" Contact Steph Kiel or Beth Marshall for more information.

J.O.Y

Our next J.O.Y. class event will take place on Sunday, April 11 at 2:00 p.m. We will meet at Pope Farm Conservancy for a scavenger hunt and lesson. We'll start and end our activity at the picnic table area near the upper parking lot. Please sign up, wear a mask, and dress appropriately for the weather. Contact Beth Marshall with any questions.


Sunday School At Home

Be the Church
Lesson packs for Sunday School will be available on Easter Sunday for all pre-school and elementary kids. Our “Be the Church” theme will span the weeks of April 11-May 2. Lesson packs will also be available during the week at the church office, or porch drop off can be requested by emailing Beth Marshall or Steph Kiel.
6th/7th Grade Camp: “Beloved”
June 27- July 1
Expeditions Unlimited

We will meet at Expeditions Unlimited on Sunday afternoon and enjoy a week of various outdoor activities and working through our theme of “Beloved” through worship, conversation, games and more! Although there may be another group at the camp, we will have our own space and enjoy this week as a St. Luke’s group. The cost is $350. You may signup here, or on the web or app.
 

8th Grade “Journey”
July 11- July 15
Northern Wisconsin

Life is a journey. This journey has ups, downs, twists, turns, and so much more. Throughout the week we will travel northern Wisconsin on our own journey. We will serve, spend time on the water, in the forest, and more. We will spend time thinking and talking through where we see God in our journey of life and faith. The cost is $350 and covers all meals, travel and activities. You may signup here, or on the web or app.


High School Mission Trip
July 18 - July 23
Duluth, MN

We will travel to Minnesota’s scenic north shore to learn and serve. We will partner with local organizations that work to help communities in need and organizations that help better the amazing nature of the north shore. We will serve together, explore together, and learn together. The cost is $400 and includes all meals, travel and lodging. You may signup here, or on the web or app.


High School “Real Talk”

One of the things that is commonly said and heard after events, retreats, trips, and more is that we all just enjoyed building trust and talking with one another. It is so important that we acknowledge our need to simply connect in an honest and safe space. It is also important that we interact in fun ways as well. Real Talk is all about both of these. This new High School opportunity will meet on Sunday evenings at 6:00-7:30pm for 2-4 weeks at time. These gatherings will include fun activities, meaningful conversations and more! Friends are welcome and encouraged as well. Please sign up here.
“Social Media and Me”- April 18 and 25
“Faith in an Anxious World”- May 16 and 23
Confirmation

9th Grade Confirmation Retreat at St. Luke’s
Friday, April 23 at 5:00-9:00pm
Saturday, April 24 at 10:00am-1:30pm

During the retreat we will unpack and talk about the many things we learned through confirmation. We will also talk about what this moment means and how we move in to the future as confirmed members of the church. We ask the all 9th Grade Confirmation students attend this retreat. Please contact Jay Kiel with any conflicts that may arise, so we can come up with a plan together. Please sign up here


Confirmation End of the Year Hangout Nights

We want to celebrate that year and continue to grow in relationships with others in our class through a night of fun and activities. Please check the schedule for your grade’s date and time. Please sign up in advance through the confirmation page of the web or app. See you there!
6th Grade:
Wednesday, May 5- 4:30-6:00pm
7th Grade:
Wednesday May 12- 6:00-7:30pm
8th Grade:
Wednesday May 19- 6:00-7:30pm
9th Grade:
Wednesday, May 26- 6:00-7:30pm
Connect with us here: