October 2017 – Autumn Reminds Us: We Belong to God

October 2017 -

Autumn Reminds Us: 

We Belong to God 

October 1, 2017 World Communion Sunday

During the beautiful fall month of October, we will pay extra attention to the varieties of ways we belong to God. This Sunday we celebrate World Communion Sunday with a ‘Five Loaves Litany’ to honor cultures from all over the world and their unique forms of bread. (We will also have a gluten free option for those who need it.) The sermon, Under Whose Authority? uses the Matthew reading to think about what kind of authority we recognize, and the differences we have among cultural groups.

Saturday, Sept. 30, at 9 am, Fred and Jon invite anyone who can help to come plant two trees in the front lawn of the church. On Sunday, the Men’s LIFE group will meet for breakfast at 8 am. We have our regular communion celebration at 10 am with the communion offering going to the World Communion Scholarship Fund of the United Methodist Church. After the morning celebration, we will have a Blessing of the Animals, and a Blessing of the Trees. Let Pastor David know if you plan to bring an animal to be blessed.

Some members are walking in the “Out of the Darkness” walk, a suicide prevention and awareness walk, beginning at 8:30 am this Sunday. If you would like to donate or walk, please contact Mindy Reutter. Here’s the link to donate: https://afsp.donordrive.com/team/stluke_and_friends

  Read: Exodus 17:1-7; Matthew 21:23-32

 

October 8, 2017 Fall Harvest Celebration – Outdoor Worship

Ever since I went to college in Vermont, I’ve considered the second weekend in October to be the most beautiful weekend of the year. The leaves are at their peak up there, just beginning to turn down here. We will recognize the particular beauty of that weekend with a fall harvest celebration service in the playground yard behind Lurwick Hall. We will set up chairs out there and enjoy worship under the clouds, if they are not dropping anything on us.

The sermon, God’s Upward Call, reflects on Paul’s advice to people of Philippi as they struggle to incorporate Jewish and Gentile members into one community. We will be conscious of our connection with Jewish brothers and sisters celebrating Sukkoth in booths outside of their homes and synagogues all through this week. This is also Indigenous People/Columbus Day Weekend. The Parents LIFE group will meet after church. In the evening, St. Luke folks will serve food at the Grace Cafe at Arch St. UMC. Come at 4:30 pm to be trained as a server.

Read: Psalm 19;  Philippians 3:4b-14

 

October 15, 2017 Laity Sunday

On Laity Sunday we celebrate the ministry of the laity, the ministry of all God’s people in the church. A couple of people have spoken to me in the past year about their willingness to speak to the church on this Sunday, but we don’t have them confirmed yet for this Sunday. So the sermon on God’s Upward Call for the Laity is yet to be determined, and much anticipated.

The United Methodist Church is inviting us to a new special offering this year for the Volunteers in Mission program. Since Deacon Tom Lank, runs this program for Eastern PA our of our building, we will take this offering to support this important work.

Read: Exodus 32:1-14; Matthew 22:1-14

 

October 22, 2017

“Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.” Every now and then I hear Jesus quoted and I cringe. This is one of those quotes, taken out of context often and used to say something very much different than he intended. Because the passage is so often misused, we as Christians need to be clear about what it really means, how Jesus’ clever response to a tricky question may help us confess what gets in our way of thinking well about the question “What Belongs to God?”

This passage arrives in our lectionary every three years during stewardship season. Do you think that was a conscious choice? Along with the story of the widow’s mite, it’s a passage on which many ill-conceived stewardship sermons have been preached. The fact that we begin our stewardship campaign this week, therefore, does not mean they necessarily need to be closely related.

Read: Exodus 33:12-23, Matthew 22:15-22

October 29, 2017

The theme for this month’s sermon series is God’s claim on every part of our lives, how we belong to God. We continue that theme this morning with the sermon “All Your Heart. Jesus instructs his disciples and followers to love God with all our soul, heart and mind, with all our passion, prayer, and intelligence, as the Message puts it. As we come to understand that every part of us belongs to God, how can we put all that we are in service to that Creative Source?

On this fifth Sunday of the month, we ask the young people to help lead our worship of the Living God.

Read: Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17, Matthew 22:34-46