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Friday, August 29, 2014

The fall season

Dear St. Luke’s Parish Family,

Now that the fall season is upon us, I want to outline and underscore some important things that will be taking place here at St. Luke’s. As you can imagine, it looks to be a busy time for our parish.
Confirmation Classes to begin on Sunday, September 7th: I will be leading a new six-week Confirmation Class after church on Sundays this fall. This class is for Youth who are 12 years of age and above and also for adults. We will meet in the parish library from 11:45 AM to 12:45 PM. (It is fine for students to bring a sack lunch to eat during class.) This year’s Confirmation Class will focus upon ―The Catechism‖ found in The Book of Common Prayer. Youth and adults will be prepared for Confirmation when Bishop Rickel visits our parish on Sunday, October 19th. Please contact the parish office for more information and to sign up for the Confirmation Class.

Friends of St. Luke’s Sunday School Meeting: I want to encourage everyone to read Julie Williams’ article in this issue of The Bridge where she describes some of the needs facing our Sunday School. We have been blessed with a wonderful Sunday School program for many, many years here at St. Luke’s. However, this vital ministry needs a new infusion of energy and support in order to meet the spiritual needs of our children. I hope many of you will come to our ―Friends of St. Luke’s Sunday School‖ meeting on Sunday, September 14th. Bring your questions, ideas and suggestions as we work together to support our Sunday School program.

St. Luke’s Sunday and Bishop Rickel’s Visitation, Sunday, October 19th: Bishop Rickel will make his visitation to St. Luke’s on this very special Sunday. The Bishop will be here to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation and to receive those who desire to be received into the Episcopal Church. We will also begin to celebrate my upcoming retirement. Bishop Rickel will offer some prayers marking this important milestone and transition during the Sunday liturgies. A reception will follow in the Bell Parish Hall.

All Saints’ Sunday, November 2nd: This will be my last Sunday as Rector of St. Luke’s. Our plan is to have a special ―Hymn Festival‖ after church where we will sing many of our favorite hymns. Both choirs will be with us to lead and sing the hymns, along with some of our other musicians. As I have mentioned previously, I think singing many of our favorite hymns is a great way for us to celebrate our nearly 16 years of serving Christ together as priest and congregation.

I realize that once September gets here I will only have two short months before my retirement. As I move toward the end of my ministry at St. Luke’s, my heart is filled with many emotions and memories. Being the Rector of this parish has been the most meaningful and most joy filled experience of my entire ministry. My primary emotion is that of gratitude - gratitude to God and to all of you. The opening words of Hymn #397 express what is in my heart: ―Now, thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices.‖

The Lord bless you and keep you.
Fr. Paul +