spring 2011 newsletter
In This Issue
Lent/Easter Schedule 2
Families On Fire for Jesus 3
Upcoming Events 4
Youth Ministry 5
Children & Families 6
Building Update 8
God Stories 9-11
Easter WeekendSaturday, April 23
Easter Vigil, 5 pm
Sunday, April 24Easter Celebration Services
8:00, 9:30, and 11:00 am
Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide,
do not hold back;lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes, for
you will spread out Isaiah 54:2
We chose this verse when St. Lukes began the For Those To Come
building campaign back in 2008. Members of this congregation
stepped forward in faith and pledged over 2 million dollars to
expand our facilities. We have raised over 1 million dollars toward
that goal, in hard economic times. Thank you to all who have
sacrificially given to see Gods work continue to grow here at St.
Lukes! Thank you to all who have worked diligently on those future
plans! Thank you Lord Jesus, that you continue to turn hearts and
save souls here at St. Lukes!
Today I read Isaiah 54 with fresh eyes. The prophet calls the
people to enlarge and expand because LORD Almighty is with them. It
is not our strength or our dreams that drive us. It is Gods
presence, power and purpose that move us to action. In fact Isaiah
says that He is God of all the earth. Our Gods heart is bigger than
St. Lukes, Federal Way, Washington state, or even America. He is
the One who is redeeming all the earth!
As we move forward the real expansion is not the building, it is
the growing of the Kingdom of God in the hearts and minds of
people. Jesus said the kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, which
a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of
all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of the garden
plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and
perch in its branches (Matthew 13:31-32). We are still moving
forward with plans to add over 14,000 square feet to our facility,
but our real hope is that through our efforts God would transform
the hearts and lives of the people we meet each day.
Jesus invites each and every one of us to be a part of this
great work. Look at the opportunities in this newsletter and open
your heart to call of God in your life. Then watch and see the
Master Builder build His Kingdom!
2Easter Season Alive! In a world where many settle for
breathing, Jesus says, I have come that they may have life, and
have it to the full. Each Easter we celebrate that Jesus is Alive!
This Easter we celebrate that we, too, were made Alive that first
Easter morning. In the weeks following Easter we will continue our
study of Jesus words in the book of John and how to come Alive and
be Alive each day.
Wednesday Communion Services - 7 pm
In church we often talk about pursuing God and forget that we
have a God who is pursuing us. Wednesday nights we will be studying
through the prophet Jeremiah what it means for God to have us in
Weekend Worship during Lent
Saturday, 5:00 p.m.Sunday 8:00/9:30/11:00 a.m.What makes us
afraid? How does fear impact our actions and choices? Is fear a
good or bad emotion? What does it mean to fear God? How do we
overcome fears in our life? This series invites us to face our
fears and find the peace of God in the chaos of life.
March 12/13 Behind the Curtain
March 19/20 The Cowardly Lion
March 26/27 The Tin Man
April 2/3 The Scarecrow
April 9/10 Guest, Leonard Sweet
April 22 April 23 7 p.m. 5 p.m. Good Friday Easter Vigil
April 23/24 Easter Weekend Alive!, John 10
April 30/May 1 When Dreams Die, John 11
May 8/9 Get a Life, John 12-13
May 15/16 Resurrecting the Dead, John 14
May 22/23 Staying Alive, John 15
May 29/30 Catching Your Breath, John 16-17
March 16 - Eat the ScrollJeremiah 1:4-10We are Called by God
March 23 - Lamb to the Slaughter
Jeremiah 11:18-23We are Separated (made holy) by this call and
opposition will appear because of this call
March 30 - Fire in My BonesJeremiah 20:7-9The Holy Spirit will
fill us with Fire and passion as we pursue Gods calling for us
April 6 - The HammerJeremiah 23:25-29We are Gods Hammer and
through His word he will use us as His tool
April 13 - Innocent BloodJeremiah 26:13-15God calls us to Die to
sin and be a sacrifice, giving our all for God and our death is not
The services have reflective music and soft lighting and are a
preparation into Holy Week, with a Bible Study style of teaching
3FAMILIES ON FIRE FOR JESUS
St. Lukes presently has a number of wonderful programs directed
toward children and teens. Each program is served by dedicated and
passionate volunteers and is touching lives in Jesus name. Our
programs are all independently created and run, and there often
seems to be no overarching direction or goal for our children and
youth ministries. This means we are also not communicating a clear
goal or direction with parents, many of whom have not had positive
parenting models in their own lives.
Our dream is to see families walking together in faith on fire
with the love of Jesus and on fire about our mission to seek out
and bring people into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as
their Savior and Lord. In order to see this vision happen we are
focusing on four areas of development:
1. Building Parent and Family Communities by Age/Grade2.
Developing a Comprehensive Curriculum Plan for Our Ministries3.
Partnering with Parents and Improving our Communication to
Parents4. Create a Culture of Anticipation
Building Parent and Family Communities by Age/GradeWe believe
that the family is still the primary place where children grow.
Therefore we are intent on supporting, equipping, and connecting
parents. We believe one of the most effective ways of doing this is
to help create parent communities who are raising their kids
together. We will be asking parents in each age/grade to play a
centering role for their group.
Developing a Comprehensive Curriculum Plan for Our
MinistriesOver the last year we have been intently researching,
interviewing, and seeking feedback from parents on what we long to
teach our children before they graduate from high school. We are
presently developing curriculum, memory work, and experiences
around specific themes and bible characters for our Sunday morning
learn time. The following list captures the central themes for each
year. This will not encompass everything the students do during
this year, but it will be a central part of the learning plan.
Age 0 Joy (Isaac/Elizabeth) 1st Family (Abraham/Lois) 7th Love
(Jonathan/Ruth)Age 1 Peace (Noah/Eve) 2nd Bible (Josiah/Miriam) 8th
Team (Elijah/Priscilla)Age 2 Jesus (Joseph/Mary) 3rd Choices
(Gideon/Rahab) 9th Surrender (Caleb/Esther)Age 3 Prayer
(Samuel/Hannah) 4th Identity (Daniel/Puah) 10th Character
(David/Abigail) Age 4 Help (Barnabas/Tabitha) 5th Truth
(Nathan/Martha) 11th Witness (Stephen/Mary Magdalene)K Worship
(Moses/Anna) 6th Gifts (Sampson/Lydia) 12th Calling
Partnering with Parents and Improving our Communication with
Parents As we develop this new program we are inviting parents to
participate, give us their thoughts, and tell us how we can help
them raise children to know and walk with the Lord. Part of our
planning is considering how to be more intentional with parents and
how to communicate better to parents. Our new website
(www.stlukes-church.com) is designed to be a source of connection
and information for families.
Create a Culture of AnticipationPresently there are certain high
points in the children and youth program such as baptism, first
communion and confirmation. Our goal is to create rallying moments
around the theme every year for students. By structuring this way
it will help parents and students get fired up about what is to
come in their journey of faith. It could be a community birthday
party (age 1), a backstage worship tour (age 5), a secret agent
mission (6th grade), a True Love retreat (7th grade), or a rite of
passage into adulthood (12th grade). Having fun, creative,
meaningful moments will help provide an energy and excitement to
St. Lukes Purpose StatementTo seek out and bring people into a
personal relationship with Jesus Christ as their Savior and
Family Life Core Values1. Family and individual values are
derived from the Word of God2. Parents have a God-given call to
love and instruct their children3. The home is the primary place
where children and adults grow4. Every family needs the support and
strength of a larger community5. A healthy family life requires
stability and intentionality6. Spiritual growth is a continual
process7. Each family and family situation is unique
Its easy to start an L-Team! Email Jan Grothe at
[email protected] or go to the St. Lukes website
(stlukes-church.com). Highlight Members on the top bar, Login and
register yourself on our site. (It might take a day for your
registration to be approved.) On your homepage, click on Profile.
In the second column there will be a list of options. Click on
Start a new L-Team and fill it out! If you need help, email Jan or
Life with God This workshop and Next Steps events are designed
to learn about the vision and purpose of St. Lukes, as well as our
ministries and L-Teams. We cover topics in the Christian faith,
including Baptism and the Lords Supper. This workshop is held three
times throughout the year. The next date is April 15 & 16.
CAREGIVER KITScoming again this May!
Be a part of a supporting those who travel far and wide, quite
often on foot, to administer care to those suffering from HIV/AIDS
in places like Swaziland and Haiti. We are doing a Caregiver Kit
build May 21 and May 22 at St. Lukes. Put your faith in action and
bring the whole family to be a part of this event. Our kits are
going to Mahlalini, Swaziland, our partner in Africa through World
Vision. Each kit costs $28.
LEONARD SWEET will be here soon! April 9 workshop and book
signing Tickets on sale for $10
Len Sweet teaches on both coasts (Drew University, George Fox
University). He knows first hand that the Northeast and the
Northwest are post-Christian cultures, where Christianity no longer
has the home court advantage, and all games are away-games. How do
you share the gospel in this new context, on this new mission
The first thing any missionary does is learn the language of the
culture. Len will help us learn to speak in ways that this culture
can hear us. He will also introduce the concept of Nudge, a
revolutionary new look at evangelism which Len defines as paying
attention to what God is already doing in someones life and nudging
that along. Discover how every person is a burning bush of divine
activity, and how we can help people see and share in the shining.
Find out whether or not nudge ever turns to shove, and why old
models of evangelism are deeply flawed. Explore also what happens
when evangelism is no longer disconnected from discipleship. For
Sweet, what yokes evangelism to discipleship is the art of
attention, attending to life and attending to God. Or as Sweet puts
it, using one of Jesus favorite phrases (pay attention): Pay
Attention: Every Bush is Burning.
Love Pours Out Womens Event
A social column in a small town newspaper reads, A good time was
had by all. We did have a good time! Our speaker, Jodi Detrick, was
fabulous. She set the stage for the day by talking about Gods love.
His love is amazing and abundant. His love pours out from Him to us
by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is also by that power that we
love others. How do we show God we love Him? We pour out His love
in our lives to others.
Jodis stories and experiences touched our hearts. We were so
grateful for her presence on this special day.
From the moment women walked through the door, they were
welcomed with thematic decorations, delicious breakfast foods, and
a warm, inviting spirit. Workshops varied from hands on activities
(like scrapbooking and card making) to cooking on a budget,
exercise class, relationship topics, prayer and much more.
We were delighted to hear the mens chorus sing a special song
written for the occasion by Joan Kroeller. Curt Genzlinger led on
guitar with the back-up chorus of Kevin Gottlieb, Paul Acuna, Jerry
Church, Dan Buethe, and Dick Bean. Ian Krueger provided background
music for our listening pleasure throughout our wonderfully
Worship, speaker, lots of delicious food, and great workshops
melted together like smooth chocolate to sooth our souls and
provide that bit of deliciousness that we needed to energize us as
we went home to our families, our work, and our activities. Such a
Next year? Who knows? Stir us, Lord, to hear your Spirit
MISSIONSSWAZILAND PARTNERSHIP UPDATEOur partnership is in its
6th month already! Here are some things that have been going
We as a congregation have sponsored over 100 kids! That is
incredible. Keep writing those letters!
Our youth raised approximately $3000 toward a new water project
Our childrens ministries are doing a loose change drive for the
same water project.
Remember those orange caregiver kits? Well, we are doing them
again. May 21/22 come build a kit! We are building 500 (a mere
project scope of $14,000)!
We are planning a small team vision trip to Swaziland in
PRAY FOR OUR YOUTH MISSIONS:
Okanagan Gleaners Mission Trip for 7-8 graders, July 31-August
6. Okanagan Gleaners dries and packages surplus food into soups and
fruit mixes. These dried mixes are donated to relief organizations
in the USA and around the world.
Mexico Outreach Unshakeable for 9-12 graders, June 17-25,
Ensenada, Mexico. Participating teams are assigned a ministry site.
Our team will facilitate a Vacation Bible School.
Fundraising through SCRIP: Earn a percentage of gift card
purchases for your youth account. Funds may be used for mission
trips or youth events. Contact Donna Breyer 253.941.3000 or
YOUTH AUCTION FOR MEXICO MISSION
April 3, the youth mission team to Mexico will host a dinner and
auction. Come support the youth and this great ministry in Mexico.
Tacos are on the menu and many great items to bid on!
ALL YOUTH RETREATTURN IT UP!
April 15-17 Camp Berachah - $99Its the annual house competition
for 7-12 graders. Contact: Donna Breyer 253.941.3000
Join us on June 5, 11:00 a.m. service, as 22 of our young adults
affirm their baptism through a public profession of their
APOSTLES BUILD WITH HABITAT FOR HUMANITY
If you have been looking forward to swinging a hammer for
Habitat for Humanity, your time is coming! Be on the look out for
volunteer days coming in April and May.
Ask in the office for more information about how you or you and
your family can pray over this community.
FAITH IN ACTION UPDATEWorld Vision 30 Hour Famine
Our youth fasted for 30 hours to raise money for a water project
in Mahlalini, Swaziland. The 7-12 graders raised money through
personal pledges, a telethon and a food drive in local
neighborhoods. Over $3000 and 500 cans of food were collected.
Canned food will be given to Operation Blessing and our local food
CREATION NW 2011
When: July 20-23When: Enumclaw Expo CenterFor: Youth, 7th grade
and above, & adultsCost: $150 (includes ticket to Creation NW,
food and camping)Contact: Teri Johnson 253.332.4403 or
[email protected] up on youth bulletin board.
6CHILDREN & FAMILYSCHOOL ENROLLMENTWe are currently
enrolling children in our preschool and kindergarten classes for
the 2011-2012 school year. We offer classes for children who are
three, four and five-years-old by August 31. We have all day
kindergarten for five-year-olds. We have a variety of choices for
preschool classes, and a four-year- old class that runs five days a
week from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Registration packets are available at the
Information Counter or in the office. Call Heather at 253.839.0173
with questions, to set up an observation or come in to register
Visit our St. Lukes website for more information. Enrollment
will continue until we fill our classes.
SUNDAY SCHOOLJourney to the Cross and Hosanna FestivalDuring
this Lenten season, our first-sixth grade Sunday School classes are
on a Journey to the Cross. The sixth grade class and other
volunteers help in the craft, food and drama centers. This takes
place in Malkow Hall during the regular Sunday School hour.
Together we experience events in the life of Christ leading up to
his death and resurrection.
The children are collecting and saving money for our water well
project in Mahlalini, where the three children we support through
World Vision live. There is a contest among the classes to see who
can raise the most money.
On Palm Sunday, April 17, we will have our Hosanna Festival.
Much of the art work the children do during the Journey to the
Cross will be on display in our Meditation Walk rooms. As part of
the Hosanna Festival, there will be an Easter Egg Hunt for the
three-five-year-old Sunday School classes in our fenced
BIBLE CAMPAs you make summer plans for your family, mark your
calendar if you have children entering 4th-7th grades in Sept,
2011, Bible Camp dates are August 12-14, 2011.
Our theme this year is Treasure Island Seeking the treasure of
the kingdom of heaven, Gods Word and the treasure in you! Watch for
registration forms and more information. Kids are encouraged to
KIDS FOR CHRISTAll fourth, fifth and sixth graders are invited
to the KFC activities. In April come for Bible Games Nighton Wed,
April 20, at 6:30 p.m. Bring your friends. Dinner is a little
cheesy mac and cheese and cheese cake for dessert.
In May, we will have Wet and Wacky Night on May 18 at 6:30 p.m.
in Malkow Hall and at Mirror Lake School. Bring a friend you will
all get soaked!
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOLThe dates for our annual Vacation Bible
School are July 11-15 for four and five-year-olds and children
going into 1st - 5th grades in Sept 2011. Our theme is PandaMania
where God is Wild about You! Psalm 139. We will need lots of
donations and volunteers. You will be able to register and
CHILDRENS CHOIR & JR BELLS CONCERTOn Sunday, May 22 at 5
p.m., our Junior Bells and Childrens Choir will present their
end-of-the-year concert in the Worship Center. All families are
invited. A reception in the lobby will follow the concert.
HAPPENINGS AT ST LUKES!Please update the church office
(253.941.3000) with new addresses, phone numbers or e-mail
Baptized:Brycen Lyons-Curry 1/2/11Jason Brucker 1/29/11Jaime
Salyer 1/29/11Elliot Finney 2/19/11
Weddings:Jacob and Sarah Simons 1/2/11Matt and Rachael
New Members:Gaylen Floy Rob & Paula NorwoodDave Ford Chang
PakAaron & Morgan Griffith Eric SmithNadia Moore
FIRST COMMUNION KIDSAllison Avaiusini Isaac SatoBrandon Bell
Jonathan DicksonBen Ray Mari RuggelsKendall Brockmann Natalie
MeansCameron Rud Nicholas HallstromEmily Gunderson Regan MeyerHaley
Ruppel Sammy McConnellHannah Hileman Sarah HartmanHannah Pacquing
Sophia MusiakIsabella Faccone Zoe deCillia
7OPERATIONSFINANCIAL UPDATE Giving (Q1 and Q2 Results)Every time
we review our finances from the previous month, we are always taken
back at how God is continually blessing His ministry at St. Lukes.
Not only do our finances show us the gifts that God is blessing us
with, but these financial statements also tell a story of the lives
that are being changed each and every month. There are so many
stories to share from the various ministries happening through
L-Teams, and there have been countless relationships developed
because of such stories. And our financial resources are certainly
one aspect in how some of these opportunities have been able to
occur. Pastor Chris mentioned in one of the CORE classes from a few
weeks ago that our response to God through our giving and how we
talk about it is a tremendous gift to the people around us. That is
an amazing thing to think about with the 632 families that are
actively giving to the St. Lukes ministry. God is certainly
speaking and moving in our lives!
Below is a brief review of the past two quarters of the 2011
fiscal year (July 2010 - June 2011). As of December 2010, our
weekly offerings are up compared to this time last year. However,
as noted in the operating budget review shown below, we are 3.55%
under budget in giving.
Revenue and ExpensesTotal income (church, preschool &
kindergarten, childcare, rental groups, and interest/investment) as
of December 31, 2010 of $872,847 exceeds net operating expenses of
$804,598 by $68,249, although our general fund offerings of
$589,064 are under budget by $20,936 (-3.55%). After mortgage
principle payments, the current budget surplus to date is $54,587.
This surplus is due to a number of contingencies built within the
budget, as well as keeping a watchful eye on spending, and the
money is not spent until after the fiscal year is complete in which
the ELT will then recommend how it will be utilized. In years past,
this money has been applied to the mortgage principle, capital
improvement projects and/or safety reserves.
General Fund CashGeneral Fund Cash (aka Cash Surplus) at the end
of this reporting period is $907,662. $500,000 has been dedicated
by the ELT to the current building expansion project (as approved
by the congregation in April 2010), and the remaining $407,662 is
dedicated towards the churchs safety reserves, which is
approximately three months of salary and facility expenses.
Capital Improvement FundThe Restricted Capital Improvement Fund
(aka the Building Fund) is $120,669. The ELT is currently
evaluating our overall capital needs and is putting together a
comprehensive capital improvement plan in which to implement over
the next five years. This plan includes such items as computer
network replacement, door replacements, exterior and interior
painting, roof replacement, AV-IT upgrades, etc. Look forward in
the near future various fundraising opportunities in which to help
fund these needed projects.
OPERATING BUDGET (Q2 Results | July December 2010)
To go one step further, we can provide a significant gift to
other people by how we talk about money as a whole, not only how we
give but how we individually spend our money, as well. Next to
love, money is the second most referenced topic within Scripture.
That certainly says something in our Christian walk to how we are
to look at our finances. Look forward within the next four months
as we refresh how we communicate about our overall financial
position, as well as how God is leading us in supporting His
ministry at St. Lukes as well as we are to engage our personal
finances as followers of Christ.
Q1 (July-September) | FY 2011 vs FY 2010
FY 2010 Gen Offerings YTD $ 271,725.80
FY 2010 Gen Offerings Avg/Week $ 20,901.98
FY 2011 Gen Offerings YTD $ 264,928.76
FY 2011 Gen Offerings Avg/Week $ 20,379.14
FY 2010 Avg Offering / Active Family TD $ 429.95
FY 2011 Avg Offering / Active Family TD $ 419.19
FY 2011 vs. FY 2010 -2.50%
Q2 (October-December) | FY 2011 vs FY 2010
FY 2010 Gen Offerings YTD $ 580,658.73
FY 2010 Gen Offerings Avg/Week $ 22,333.03
FY 2011 Gen Offerings YTD $ 591,498.73
FY 2011 Gen Offerings Avg/Week $ 22,749.95
FY 2010 Avg Offering / Active Family YTD $ 918.76
FY 2011 Avg Offering / Active Family YTD $ 935.92
FY 2011 vs. FY 2010 1.87%
Whats Happening? (as of March 12th) Concrete footings and walls
on the main expansion (14,500 sq ft) have
been poured Interior drywall and roofing has been installed in
the Worship Center
storage room (500 sq ft) Finalized interior and exterior color
selections Designing all signage (interior and exterior) Moved out
of west hallway on main level (bookstore, main chair closet,
Warehouse, Operation Blessing office)
Whats Coming Up Next? Pouring of main expansions concrete
flooring (late March) Steel and wood framing installation (late
March) Completion of Worship Center storage (early April) Interior
remodeling begins in existing main and lower floors (late April)
South parking lot renovation begins (Monday, April 25th early
August) / look out for more information in early
April about parking and building access revisions
What to Pray and Give Thanks For? Pray for each individual of
the building committee (Shane Doig chair; Teri Sato; Dave Ramsay;
Todd Zern; Pastor Chris Davis) as they continue to make
decisions on various financial and design changes Pray for Abbott
Construction as they proceed with steel and wood framing Pray for
Abbott Construction and BPH Architects as they continue to pursue a
late August / early September completion
date Pray for Church leadership as they work through space
constraints due to the closing down of the west hallway Pray for
the Operations Office and the Parking Lot L-Team as they prepare
for the renovations of the south parking lot
taking place after Easter Thanksgiving for New Hope Church in
opening their facility to host the Operation Blessing ministry for
the duration of
the construction project Thanksgiving to the following St Lukes
members who have volunteered their skill, time and efforts towards
project: Jerry Church (plumbing installation), Dale Rene
(signage design, materials and installation), Mark Taylor (data
communications/network design and installation), David Emmert
(audio-visual design and installation) and Ken Breyer (various
interior carpentry projects)
FOR THOSE TO COME (Building Expansion Funding)
As we approach the official completion at the end of March of
For Those To Come, we have certainly been enjoying in watching the
visible results of this effort through the construction of the new
building. It is absolutely amazing to think that it was three years
ago that we launched this vision in which to expand our facilities.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you so much for walking along
side of us in making this dream a reality!
Look forward to hearing about an opportunity in April to come
together and celebrate what God has done thus far in For Those To
Come, and learn about new opportunities in which to help fund this
project. Such opportunities will include helping purchase some of
those more tangible items including furniture, kitchen appliances,
childcare center cubbies, various AV equipment, upgrades to Holy
Concrete footings and walls have been poured in the main
expansion (picture taken March 12)
Project Funding Review
Pledge Commitment(March 2008-March 2011)
Pledged Funds Received(as of February 28, 2011)
$1.57 million (78.5% to goal)
General Fund Cash $500,000
Mortgage Loan(Lutheran Church Extension Fund)
Total Funds Received to Date(Pledged funds, general fund cash,
Total Construction Cost $4.54 million
Minimum Funds to be Raised to Meet Budget $155,000
9WHO IS THIS?by Jan Grothe
It is amazing how little things can be so uplifting!
Throughout 2010, I would occasionally receive a card from my
Secret Pal. The envelope always had a label on it no handwriting.
The card was never signed no handwriting. The postmark indicated it
was local not a family member. For quite a while, I tried to guess
who it could be. Several names would float through my mind each
time I received a card. I mentioned it in the office a couple of
times to see if anyone would spill the beans. Nope. Either they
were keeping it quiet, or they didnt know.
How well did I know this Secret Pal? Was it someone close to me
that I should know? Was it someone who I knew a little bit? As the
year progressed, it bothered me less and less that I didnt know
this person. Heres why.
Every time I received a card, I needed the words that were
written there. There was never anything major going on in my life
that was depressing or harmful or bad. It was just moments where I
was extra busy or had been praying for people who were hurting or
troubled. It was moments where I needed that little reminder that
someone else was thinking of me. When I saw the card from that
special someone, I also was reminded that Someone was with me, too.
God uses all sorts of people and circumstances to remind us of His
love and care. In 2010, the reminder of His presence was from my
Secret Pal. It was uplifting and encouraging. It was supportive,
kind, and loving.
Cards, notes, messages, letters, emails, or texts can provide
words of encouragement. They are simple ways to tell someone else
that were thinking about them and praying for them. A small thing
can be so very meaningful for the recipient. I know its true. I was
a recipient for a year! It made my day each time.
Who was my Secret Pal? Lita Sippy! Thank you, Lita; you made my
LAST MINUTE PROVISIONby Shari Shomin
Mike and I moved back to Washington after spending five years in
Naples, Florida. I had wanted to move back to Federal Way because
our kids, Adam and Nicole, were raising children, and I didnt want
to miss any more moments in their lives. The miles were just too
many! We never worried about finding a job, as we have always
worked. Even when we had been downsized before, we were able to
find more work.
We arrived back in Federal Way in August of 2007. I had not
realized the job market was in the midst of crashing. We both
applied to numerous places and found that every time we
interviewed, although we were told how over-qualified we were, the
job offers just did not come. As time marched on, we both became
increasingly stressed and worried. Three years had come and gone,
and our unemployment would soon run out. The stress was taking its
toll on our emotions and self esteem. Thank goodness that we have
such a wonderful array of friends. St. Lukes periodically helped us
out financially, and our friends seemed determined to help us
survive as well. Our good friends, Joe and Linda Schultz, gave us
temporary work until the market forced Joe and his son, Luke, to
downsize, too. Mike
and Etroy Hudson made sure we had all the trimmings to make
Thanksgiving complete. Soon it was May and our unemployment had run
out of resources and our claims exhausted. We were facing the real
possibility of having to either move in with one of our children,
or be homeless. Mike and I and our friends were praying like crazy.
I could not believe God had brought us this far to only end up
homeless and broke and beaten down to the point of mental
We had given our landlord notice that we no longer had income,
and had to move. We had no way to pay for rent. One night I prayed
to God to guide me and if it was His will, I would indeed accept
the fact that my life would forever be changed. Then, in the
morning, Mike was reading the want ads and said, Hey, Shari, check
this out! The ad said, Needed: a couple for management. We looked
at each other and said, Why not? We have nothing to lose.
That day, we called the number and made arrangements for an
interview the next day. We interviewed; they loved us; and now we
are the newest apartment managers for Howe Investments. Mike runs
the maintenance division, and I run the rental office. Part of our
pay is a two bedroom unit, with all utilities, cable, and phone
paid. God so blessed us with the gift of this job. We were humbled,
and then given the gift of life again.
BIBLES FOR THE BLINDby Harry RothEach year the members of the
Braille L-Team work on different books of the Bible to be sent
around the world for those who are unable to see. In 2010, our
Braille workers produced 2207 copies of the book of Romans. The
Braille L-Team is composed of several different smaller teams who
work at various times during the day and different days of the
week. The L-Team can always use more people to help with this
immense project. Approximately 800 volunteer hours went into making
The Braille books were shipped to 16 nations all over the world,
directly from St. Lukes. Literally, all over the world! Cameroon,
Canada, Chile, England, Indonesia, Singapore, Ghana, Pakistan,
Japan, South Africa, Columbia, France, Sierra Leone, Tanzania,
Zimbabwe, Zambia, United States, Uganda, Bangladesh, Kenya, Malawi,
Nigeria, and India.
It is truly amazing to see God at work through the commitment of
the Braille team. As the teams work around the table in the Braille
room, there are discussions of life, of support and encouragement,
laughter, and fellowship. Not only are we serving people around the
world as we work, we are also growing together.
CENTRO de AMISTAD CRISTIANOAt times, when trying to describe in
detail the wondrous works of our mighty God, we may find ourselves
in a difficult situation. How do we describe the indescribable and
his awesome power? As his works come to mind, we are reminded that
God has always been for Centro de Amistad Cristiano, and He will
continue to be. God has always had a great purpose for the
CDAC was born in Auburn, and after thirteen years God brought us
to the city of Federal Way. We understand that our latino community
needs a church that cares for their necessities and hardships
suffered. We have seen the power of God upon the partnership with
St. Lukes. Its moving to see how St. Lukes has opened their doors
as well as their hearts, allowing a pathway and greater potential
for Gods works in CDAC. We are preparing ground and forming
strategies to get to the soul of our community. We have seen and
are seeing how God is working.
For example, its astonishing to see how just one month ago Mario
and Sherry Aguillar with their three children, found themselves in
a rut. Mario, looking for a job saw Brother Roy and Brother Ignacio
performing the landscaping work on St. Lukes grounds. Brother Roy
said that they were members of CDAC and they were just doing
volunteer work. But Mario
did not leave empty-handed. Instead, he left with words of
encouragement and an invitation to the Saturday night service. To
date, Mario and his family have been attending both Auburn and
Federal Way service while they grow and learn. Mario also found a
job after prayer and connecting with some members of the
In continuation to our outreach, on our Thanksgiving potluck, a
great number of new individuals attended after opening this event
to the public through our radio affairs. It is clear to see how God
is in control and involved with the churchs efforts and strategies
In our Childrens Ministry, we have recently reached a number of
50+ after being in the teens just a month ago. This shows how God
has strengthened the childrens programs; that through these kids,
their parents and families can come to know the church. By March,
our goal is to double the number of kids and continue with the
process of initiation of our Childrens church.
There is tremendous energy and excitement to see what God has in
store. We can see the beginnings, but we know its only the start.
We thank St. Lukes for its missionary spirit by giving CDAC the
opportunity to work as a team given that our success is St. Lukes
success as well. We are a team!
A LONG JOURNEY TO FORGIVENESSThis is a story about my long, long
journey to forgiving a once very special person in my life, lets
call him Jeremy. Jeremy and I shared some very special years
together, but too soon it was tainted by betrayals of trust. My
heart was so hardened by the physical, emotional and mental abuse
it suffered that I became very bitter towards Jeremy. I not only
turned away from Jeremy, I also turned my back on GOD. I could not
forgive Jeremy and as time went on the wall I had built around my
heart got thicker; I could not even be in the same room with him.
Due to circumstances there were times through the years that we had
to be at the same life events. I certainly dreaded those times,
although Jeremy seemed to have been able to forgive, I would not.
He would try to approach me to give me a hug or say hello, but I
would retreat in the opposite direction. Dont get me wrong, I was
not totally blameless in the relationship by any means. My
reactions and responses to the transgressions were not Christian at
all and not full of Gods good grace either. I needed forgiveness as
well, and it seemed Jeremy was full of Gods grace and forgiveness,
but I would have nothing to do with it or him.
Time goes on and GOD started working to soften my heart. First
by calling me to move to Federal Way from sunny, dry and warm
Southern California. Second by calling my son, his family and me to
worship at St. Lukes and for a chance to grow my faith. Third by
calling me to take part in CORE. I felt GODs tug at my heart to
strengthen my relationship with his son Jesus Christ and to grow
spiritually, so I signed up. One of the CORE small group challenges
or maybe it was the Big Idea (God in a Google World) in any case it
was to Forgive someone that has done you wrong either on the phone,
written letter or in person. Wow, this one was going to be a
challenge for me.
Within a couple of weeks of the challenge an opportunity
presented itself. I had read on Facebook that Jeremy was going to
be in the area in a few days, so I sent him email and took the
plunge and asked him if we could get together for dinner. He
graciously accepted the invitation and met for dinner.
Amazingly enough, Jeremy felt compelled to admit how poorly he
treated me those many years ago, and he actually apologized to me,
before I had a chance to tell him why I had wanted to have dinner.
That was the first time he had ever admitted or apologized for his
wrongs to me. Through GODs good grace I was able to tell him I
forgave him. Then I tearfully asked him for forgiveness of how I
had responded to him over the years. I was finally able to hug him
and receive his hugs graciously. It was for sure a GOD
Thing....From the moment I forgave Jeremy and he forgave me, a huge
weight was lifted from me and I felt a peace within me like Id
never felt before. It may have taken me many, many years to get
here, but through GODs grace I found forgiveness and the peace of
GODs ever present LOVE.
For some of you getting this letter, you may be good friends,
some are acquaintances and others I dont personally dont know, but
you have played an important part recently in my life. In spite of
the range of introductions that I have with you, one thing you all
have in common is that you were part of a surprise team that
blessed my family this past year.
Some of you may know extended versions of my family story, where
others may know the more recent events, but all of you were part of
a Christmas story for my family that would not have been
Ive been a Christian most of my life and when it came to family,
being a single mom wasnt ever part of the dream. That said; please
understand that in loving my children dearly and trying to do my
best to raise them as an involved parent, there have been many
difficult times. It is fair to say that this year has been the
toughest Ive had, and one I never imagined Id have. From job
struggles and basically sole provider responsibilities to trying to
cultivate the life I hope for my children, myself and our place in
the world, its felt like being a tennis ball bounced back and
forth. My own immediate family is extremely supportive in so many
ways. Every day we are blessed with their generosity, and I know
its also hard for them to see me go through these times. One
particularly trying day this past fall, I shared with my dear and
patient friend, Cherie, my struggles and pretty bare circumstances;
blowing off steam in a moment of shear weakness and sadness and
just plain exhaustion.
That to say that a few weeks later, Cherie presented me with the
wonderful gifts, books, cards and financial blessings that you all
chose to provide for us, and I wanted you to know how much that
meant to my family.
I wanted you all to know that without your gifts, I would not
have been able to buy any of the presents my children hoped for
this year. In fact, before I received these gifts, I had just
TREMENDOUS THANK YOUby AnonymousThis is a letter that I wrote to
a group of people who helped me this Christmas, and the people of
St. Lukes are also very much included. Thank you!
a week with $1.20 left in my bank account until I got my next
paycheck in the mail. (Another provision from the Lord in a timely
blessing.) The gifts and help I received from you all, as well as
from those at my church, St. Lukes, were the only way I made it
though this Christmas with my wits about me, and that is the honest
truth. I also believe the Lord may have used your graciousness not
only for my childrens sake, but also as a gift to give me peace of
mind this season to be able to provide for them, which I wouldnt
have been able to do otherwise.
My family was able to enjoy the festivities of Christmas this
year, and I continue to be persistent with the Lord to deliver my
family through these circumstances and into a new vision for our
life. Due to some last minute job changes, my bills are currently
covered and Im starting 2 new jobs this week, with time to start
getting some financial footing underneath us.
Though Im not at a place where I can even pretend to understand
the brilliance that God may be cultivating through the path that
was last year; what I can say is that I will have a range of
experience from which to draw from to help others in the future who
find themselves in similar circumstances.
Your gifts and care brought joy and humbled me in a way I will
never forget. Knowing what it is like to be on the receiving end of
such help, inspires me more to hope that I will someday be able to
do the same for others.
Thank you so much, to all of you for what you provided. In
addition to the financial help, the personal lessons Ive
experienced of faith, caring and charity are ones I will carry
through the years beyond this past one.
May God bless your families with fulfillment, joy and faith this
year and forward~
KEEPING WARMby Nola Davenport
It is a misconception that the Needlers L-Team makes only
quilts. Our L-Team is busy throughout the year making so much more
than only quilts. We also make baby quilts, burp cloths, bibs, lap
robes, and hats. We were privileged to see the quilts as they
adorned our Worship Center pews near Thanksgiving time. So many
colors and kinds of materials go into the quilts!
Our Needlers Team meets on Tuesdays to cut cloth, sew, put
together the items, tie quilts, and finish the edging. As we use
our talents, we feel blessed to be able to help others in
communities. Recently, we personally delivered 15 quilts and 7 baby
quilts to the Compass Veterans Center in Renton. The need is great
at the Compass Center, which helps individuals and families with
homelessness and poverty in the Seattle area, providing services,
shelter, and transitional housing.
We were also blessed to be able to help out a variety of
organizations in the Puget Sound area: the Tacoma Nursing Home,
Fusion, Union Gospel Mission, Operation Blessing, New Life, Pierce
County Health Department, and the Reach Out Mens Shelter.
It is a joy to be working with our hands, doing what we enjoy
doing, and blessing others through our labors of love. Nola
Davenport would love to talk with you about how you can be a part
of this ministry and bless others as you serve. Call her at
stlukes program staff
stlukes general info
chris davislead pastor
janet brittassistant to the lead pastor
jan grothedirector of spiritual growth
larry kruegerdirector of worship and arts
mitzie olliladirector of childrens ministries
jaye zerndirector of missions
todd zerndirector of operations
worship servicessaturday - 5:00 pm
sunday - 8:00, 9:30 and 11:00 am
nursery care - available at all services
childrens church and sunday school
- available sunday mornings
contact515 s 312th street
federal way, wa253.941.3000
Community of Christ - St. Lukes515 South 312th StreetFederal
Way, WA 98003
RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED
PAIDFederal Way, WA 98003
Permit No. 190