From the Rector (September 2016)

 “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2 & “Practice hospitality ungrudgingly to one another.” 1 Peter 4:9
 
This is not a new idea, hospitality; it has been a part of the fabric of St. Luke’s since the inception of this congregation 64 years ago… However, the Vestry and various committees of the Church have been reflecting on how we might revitalize our understanding and participation in this “way of being” (hospitality)… particularly in relation to the “Stranger”.
 
For several years now we have been working on our remodel and renovation projects both inside and outside the Church… one of the big “Makeovers” was the creation of the large gathering area in front of the Church including the curved concrete bench that borders the pavers near the street. I have written (and even spoken at Diocesan Convention) about the impact this little concrete bench has had on our neighborhood… people walking by will often stop and sit a spell there, or in the reflection area just below and to the right (thanks to Skip & Rosey Parks for the patio furniture, and to Mike Ferree for bringing it to us.) The bench/wall lends itself to a short rest and reflection. 
 
On Sunday, September 11, we will be unveiling plans for a new “Hospitality” feature near the bench/wall, close to the street… a “Watering Station”. Roger Taber, in consultation with the Vestry and Design Committee, is designing a watering station that will provide “on demand” water for the many dog walkers (and others) who frequent this portion of Palma Ave. This new feature will also include a stone mosaic that is being developed by Kathy Hansen… And, as part of the “unveiling” we will be setting a bucket out, near the sidewalk, into which passersby and congregants will be encouraged to drop stones (no larger then a Quarter). These stones, along with some of our “Confession” stones, will be incorporated into the mosaic which will grace the outside walls of the Watering Station.
 
Pretty “Cool”, I’d say!
 
In addition to the “Unveiling”, September 11 will be our “Welcome Home From Summer!” Sunday… An opportunity to re-group and re-gather our community after “Summer Break”. In this vein, and just for fun, I am encouraging a little friendly competition to see which service can gather the most people for worship (8 or 10:15). To spice up this competition a bit, and to encourage hearty attendance, food will be provided after each service… A simple breakfast after the 8 o'clock, and a potluck brunch after the 10:15. I am developing flyers to distribute to our neighbors, announcing the unveiling of our plans and encouraging them to come
visit for church and a little repast following… A rousing treasure hunt and a few other games will be provided after the 10:15. 
 
While we are on the subject of hospitality, there are a few other things going on in September and early October that will also address this ministry: A “Newcomers” Brunch will be held on Sunday, September 18 following the 10:15am service (If you’d like to help with food and refreshments, contact Alice Baker-Taber); A Fall Inquirer’s Group will be forming this month as well to give basic introduction to the Roots and Branches of the Episcopal Church… with an emphasis on “Telling our Stories”; and of course there will be the Annual Blessing of Animals Services on Sunday, October 2.
 
Welcome back everyone,
Fr. Matt