I hope all of you are safe from the storms and floods, and that your homes are not damaged. Would you let us know if you are not? We would love to be praying for you and help however we can. Go to our website, www.stlukesmethodist.org, where there are three buttons: one, to give us information on your damage, another to volunteer with the Restoration Team, and a third button to contribute funds dedicated to Imelda relief. 

A PERSONAL PRAYER 

Loving God,

I spend my time and energy on so many things that, at the end of the day, I know will not really last. As I grow older, and my own days here are fewer, I want to spend my time on the things that matter most. There will be a day in which everything else will fade away, and the only things left will be faith, hope, and love. When my life here is done, the only residue will be how I have loved. I need you to show me how to love well.

God, I guess you did show me. The cross is the greatest example of love ever seen. You “so loved the world that you gave your only son.” Love is the heart of the message you taught us, but so often I forget how. When I love, I am in relationship with you. When I don’t love, I am apart from you. You are love. Open my eyes that I might see those who are around me to love.

God, I pray today especially for those whose lives and homes are impacted by the rain that has come down yet again. Strengthen and sustain them, and show us how to love them in real and tangible ways.

In the name of Christ, I pray. Amen

SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE 

This Sunday, September 22, we conclude our sermon series “Better Together.” 1 Corinthians 13 is perhaps the most famous of all the passages in the New Testament, with perhaps the exception of the Lord’s prayer. After criticizing the church for the divisions that push people apart in chapters 11 and 12, provides the alternative, closing 1 Corinthians 12 with “and I will show you a still more excellent way.” This week, our sermon is titled “The Excellent Way.”   

It is finally here! Small group launch is next Tuesday, September 24. Sign up for a Small Group and invite someone else to sign up, too! Visit https://www.stlukesmethodist.org/small-groups-launch.

Last Wednesday morning, we canceled Men’s Life because of the approaching tropical storm, so we are going to try again this week. Come join us this Wednesday morning at 6:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall. This Fall, I will be teaching “Etched upon the Heart: the Power of Character in Life and Work.” If you want to register, go here.

Scripture+Shared begins on September 29. Download the app here. This Fall, we are studying “Storytime: the parables of Jesus.” Read the daily readings on the app, watch the weekly video, and then talk about the discussion questions with a “Bible Buddy” or in your small group.

Did you miss last week’s sermon on September 15? Watch it here. In the sermon, I talk about how to have substantive and respectful learning conversations with one another about difficult issues. My friend Chap Temple and I have tried to model that here in a joint white paper about same-sex marriage, the Bible, and the church. (Make sure and watch the sermon first.)

 

PRAYER CALENDAR

Sunday, September 22

Almighty God, we confess that evangelism is a subject that we oftentimes avoid, but Jesus calls us to go and make disciples of all nations. Grow us as disciples of Jesus so that we can answer your call to share the Gospel with others. Help us to find ways that we can effectively tell our stories and share your Good News. Amen.

Monday, September 23
Heavenly Father, as we come together to lift up your Holy name, we just thank you Lord! Thank you for Your sovereignty, Your grace, Your mercy, and on this day, we just want to thank you for the peace… Peace of sound minds, God, peace in the assurance that in all things, it is You that strengthens us and that is in control. May all who seek You, know Your love and faithfulness is eternal! In your Son’s precious and Holy name, Amen!

Tuesday, September 24
Loving God, we pray for those who struggle with mental illness. We ask that you would care for them and provide opportunities for them to get help. Please work through us to show them your unconditional love. Amen.

Wednesday, September 25
Lord, we pray for those who have recently lost a loved one. Please heal their broken hearts and give them peace and comfort. Give them strength and hope to carry on. In the name of Jesus’, we pray. Amen.

Thursday, September 26
Almighty God, we thank you for the staff, clergy, and volunteers who faithfully serve each week at St. Luke’s to guide us in worship. Thank you for such a beautiful place, beautiful music, and beautiful words that bring us closer to you in worship. Thank you for the gift of worship at St. Luke’s. Amen.

Friday, September 27
Gracious God, we thank you for giving each of us special gifts and talents that are unique to us. Thank you for the opportunities to use these gifts and talents to make a positive difference in our world. Thank you for creating us in your image. Amen.

Saturday, September 28
Heavenly Father, we pray for those who are victims of abuse and neglect. We pray that you would provide a safe place for them and heal their injuries. Please surround them with people who will love and help them. Give them hope and strength to move forward. Amen.