news & events
10/10/2015 What's New?
The theme for this year’s stewardship campaign is “Joyful Giving”. After the kick-off on Sunday, October 18, 2015, we will have "Stewardship Talks" where we will hear from various members about what giving to St. Luke means to them and what it means for the church. Everyone is invited to attend the family-friendly Stewardship Dinner on Saturday, November 14th where we will have entertainment, delicious food and lots of good fellowship. The campaign will culminate on Commitment Sunday, November 15th, where we are invited to put our pledge cards in the offering plate. Highlights:
As inspired last year by Mark Allen Powell's book, Giving to God, this year we will explore what and how we give in stewardship. As professor Powel writes, "To put it simply, faithful stewardship is a duty and a delight: it involves both giving to the budget and from the heart, and it is God’s grace that inspires and enables us to do both of these things."
You are cordially invited to Pastor Ruth’s house on Friday, November 20th, at 5:00 p.m. for the third of what we hope will be many Casual Fridays. Come as you are, bring a snack or something to drink, and get to know other St. Luke folks a little better in a relaxed atmosphere.
Start thinking Chrismas Concert!
The 80th Annual Emory University Chorus and Concert Choir Present: A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, based around 9 Bible readings beginning with Adam & Eve to the birth of Christ and telling the story of the loving purpose of God. This event gets sold out every year! Please sign up on the bulletin board and pay Sharon Mazna $20 per ticket. The event will be held at Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church, 1652 North Decatur Road, Atlanta, GA 30322.
We welcome our new vicar (seminary intern), Karen Boda (see August Lamp, p2) whose term will run August 1, 2015 through May 31, 2016. Karen graduated this past May from Candler School of Theology of Emory University with a Master of Divinity degree. She is a candidate for ordination with the ELCA and serves as a member-at-large on the Southeastern Synod Council. She has been Lutheran almost all her life and a member of Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in Marietta for the past 30 years where she has served in many capacities. In her previous life she worked as a director in customer support for Hewlett Packard. Her husband, Alan, is a computer consultant at Hewlett Packard. They have three mostly grown children, the youngest of which is a rising senior at Walton High School.
With Alex and Jen Benford reluctantly departing for Alabama, St Luke has found a new Music Director/Organist. Starting August 9, 2015, we are delighted to welcome Jonathan DeLoach. Jonathan has a master’s degree in sacred music in organ performance from Emory University and Candler School of Theology. He has been organist, choir accompanist and director, and music director for a variety of Lutheran, Methodist, and Presbyterian congregations. He also plays the recorder and has performed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra as well as with the Ritornello Baroque Ensemble, which he founded.
As the body of Christ on earth we have the duty and delight to share the Good News. At its core, the Gospel is the understanding that God’s love for us invites us to be closely related to God and to each other. The Gospel is about love—love of God, of neighbor, of self— that calls us into deep and committed relationships with God and each other. The world's ills are about fear that breaks and destroys relationships, putting the individual first and others (including God) last. In the coming year, St. Luke’s commitment to spreading the Good News will take an active turn in recognizing how the Gospel frees us from the burden of our sin and how we can invite others into a life of such freedom. Please contact Eric Brown at EricBrown2001@gmail.com to see how you can participate more fully in sharing the Good News with others.
We now have pagers so that Brenda, our nursery attendant, can discreetly summon parents if their child requires their immediate attention.
We all enjoy the coffee, tea, & treats during our after-service fellowship time. The Fellowship Committee coordinates volunteers who set this up each week. Coffee-making instructions are posted on the kitchen bulletin board. To volunteer or learn more, contact Sharon Mazna for June or Kim Schaeffer for July. Empty slots can also be seen online in the "Cookies" row on the Worship Assistants page.
Please consider signing up on the 2014 Flower Chart which is located outside the Fellowship Hall. Please consider remembering a friend or loved one with a flower arrangement on the altar. Check available dates in the "Flowers" row on our Worship Assistants page. Remember that each date has two opportunities.
New Baby Baskets
For many years St. Luke has given a "New Baby Basket" to members who are celebrating the birth of their first child. The baskets are filled with new items donated by members of the congregation. With the birth of two new babies recently, we are in need of items such as baby clothing, toys, baby shampoo, washcloths, pacifiers, spoons, etc. Please place donations in the baskets in the Fellowship Hall. All donations are greatly appreciated! Please see Kim Schaeffer if you have any questions.
After worship on July 26th, we wished Farewell and Godspeed to our delightful intern pastor, Anna Tew as her year with us drew to a close and she moves one step closer to ordination as an ELCA Lutheran pastor. We at St. Luke have been blessed by the wide variety of skills she has shared with us in her teaching, preaching, outreach, faith and fresh ideas like Blessing of the Animals, Beer & Hymns Fellowships, and Ministry by Facebook! See her farewell to us in the August Lamp (page 2). We hope Anna, Parker & Diego will return to visit us often.
We wished Farewell and Godspeed to Alex and Jen Benford after worship on July 19th. We have been blessed to have Alex as our amazing, multi-talented organist & choir director since 4/14/2013. He has been organ instructor, pianist and coach at Clayton State University. Before coming to St Luke, he had been organist at Atlanta’s First United Methodist Church and Prince of Peach Lutheran Church. His lovely wife, Jennifer has been greeter, harpist and always ready to help us out. They will be leaving so Alex can pursue his doctorate in Musical Arts with full funding at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Jen found a position at nearby University of Montevallo. Their letter of farewell is in the July Lamp (page 3). We will miss them both and hope they return for many visits and eventually maybe even to stay!
St Luke Communications
Our monthly newsletter, The Lamp is available several ways: Postal mail, Email, or it can be Downloaded from the Resources Page. We also have a weekly email update, This Week at St Luke. To be added to the postal mail list for The Lamp, just call the church office and provide your address. To be added to the email list for either or both publications, please forward your email address (and any other contact information that has changed) to Pastor Ruth (Pastor@stlukeatlanta.org).
If you are interested in membership, please talk with Pastor Ruth or send her an email. You can join by Letter of Transfer, Affirmation of Faith or Adult Instruction. We would be delighted to welcome you into membership.
On Rally Day, Sunday September 13, 2015, we welcomed the following people into membership. We thank God for sending us these people who will enrich us with their presence and their gifts.
Join us in welcoming all visitors and new members into our St. Luke family.
Any and all who would like to help us make a joyful noise are welcome to sing with the choir, no audition or previous experience necessary. Lively rehearsals are 7:00–8:30 pm on Wednesday evenings, with a warm-up at 9:15 am on Sunday mornings. Please stop by the organ bench after service and speak with our delightful new music director, Jonathan DeLoach, if you’d like to learn more.
For the Altar Guild, please contact Tina Blackney (404-812-9080). For other positions, please contact Catherine Ramsdell (email@example.com) or the church office (404-237-4413) if you are interested in any of these opportunities. Training for all positions will be coming on October 18, 25, and November 1.
We welcomed Margot Renee into the family of God through the sacrament of Holy Baptism on Sunday, September 27, 2015. Margot is the daughter of Noelle & John Davenport and the little sister of Byron. We rejoice and give thanks to God for the gift of new life. St. Luke’s baby population continues to explode with Adam Richard Shilander (baptized 6/28/2015), Selene Joanne Barnes (baptized 2/15/2015), Griffin Frederick Vagts (baptized 9/21/2014), Isabella Grace Kalise Michel (baptized 12/7/2014) and Conner Felix Powers (baptized 12/22/2013).
We returned for another candlelight tour of Historic Oakland Cemetery on Saturday October 24. This year's theme, "Capturing the Spirits of Halloween", featured Helen Davis as our Guide and Ren Davis as "Eternal Resident" Dr. Fred Palmer who married former slave Julia Hayes (illegal in Georgia until 1967). Facinating tour. See the photos!
On Sunday, October 18, we remembered the Apostle Saint Luke, after whom our congregations is named with an Oktoberfest brunch. In addition the Stewardship Campaign kicked off and we celebrated October Birthdays. See the photos on the Gallery Page!
Give thanks to God for the gift of all creatures! On Saturday Oct 3, 2015, we had a Blessing of the Animals. This year we had only dogs but lots of them. Despite the rain we were able to stay outside under the covered front entrance. Neighbor dogs as well as member dogs were in attendance. There was a brief group service followed by optional individual blessings for each animal. Pet treats and human refreshments were served
We met on Saturday September 5, 2015 for an authentic South Indian meal at Madras Chettinaad. Our own Raj and Divya Potteti were our guides, introducing us to this flavorful dining experience, located at 4305 State Bridge Rd, Suite 108, Alpharetta, GA 30022. We had about twenty people attending and a good time was had by all.
With all ages welcome for our final fellowship event before Summer Break, we gathered at Mo Mo Ya on Sunday June 14, 2015. Located at 3161 Roswell Rd in Atlanta, Mo Mo Ya serves Hibachi style authentic Japanese food and features a pleasant, inviting dining atmosphere that is perfect for family style dining. All who attended had a great time.
Last year was such a delight we are having our 2nd annual talent show May 9 beginning at 6:30 pm. We had art, music and dramatic talent as well as an intermission of tasty desserts provided by the Fellowship Committee. Click the photo to see the pictures Kim Schaeffer posted on Facebook. Thanks Kim! And thanks to all who participated.
In January, we gathered and invited our friends and neighbors to drink beer, enjoy some food, and sing some hymns (Check out the photos!). With the return of the alleluias at Easter, we had our second "Beer & Hymns" on Friday, May 1, from 7-8:30 p.m. with all of us learning a lot of "new" hymns from our hymnal!
The Congregation Council met on October 15, 2015. Agenda:
The congregation of St. Luke held its semi-annual meeting on Sunday May 17, 2015 along with a festive brunch. Reports about their work during 2014-15 were received from the council’s committees and officers. The following people were elected to the Congregation Council for a two-year term, renewable once: Melissa Faulkner, David Vagts, and Janet Bartczak. Eric Brown and Mark Engel were elected to a second two-year term. Two seats remain vacant. We thank Mark Freitag, Susan Clark, Kim Schaeffer, Ruth Anne Yax, and Annette for their service. We also are grateful to those who continue to serve for 2015-16: Catherine Ramsdell, Sharon Mazna, Courtney Sarnow, Ken Torrence, and Paul Powers. A survey about preferences for St. Luke’s ministries and events was distributed, as was a wishlist for building renovations. The Retreat Committee is studying how to bring back the retreat tradition.
The Annual Meeting was held Sunday January 25, 2015 following worship and a delicious brunch hosted by the Fellowship Committee.