Dr. Tom Pace, Dr. Tom Pace lll, Senior Pastor St. Lukes UMC, Sr Pastor St Lukes

A PERSONAL PRAYER
Gracious God, I still remember the day I heard you call my name, asking me to follow you, telling me you had work for me to do. It seems I am always trying to figure out exactly what work I am supposed to be doing, continually searching for that great purpose in the sky that will change the world. Is that what you want of me? I confess that while I am looking for that greater purpose, greater vision, there is a friend who needs a word of encouragement, a colleague who needs some help with a project, a child who has a question that needs answering. Too often, I pass up those who need me, looking for something grandiose that will make me feel like I am important, like my life matters. Forgive me God, and help me to see those around me who need me right now as your incredibly important call on my life.

God, I confess that sometimes I am reluctant to step into the lives of others and ask them to be a part of your serving corps. “They are so busy,” I think to myself. “I don’t want to intrude.” But perhaps they, too, are searching for a purpose. Maybe they are tired of just trying to get through the day. Perhaps they too are looking to be a part of something that matters. Every one of us was made for service. You created us all with a need to be needed. Inspire me God to call them, without apology, into the mission to which you have called all of us.

Today, I pray that you will show me how to stop my search for some grand purpose in life and instead just respond to the grand mission right around me. Open my eyes and heart to reach out to the people I see today, asking them to join me in the work of loving and serving your children. Show me how to live out for them the good news of a savior who loved them so much he gave away his life, and direct me to share with them the marvelous joy of giving ours away as well.

In the name of the one who came not to be served, but to serve, Jesus the Christ. Amen.

SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
This Sunday, we conclude a three sermon series titled “Wanted!” What does it mean for us to share God’s heart for all of his children? We are looking together at the three steps of hospitality. Over the last two weeks, we have considered “pursued” and “included.” This week we consider “needed,” with a sermon titled “A Third Class Ticket.” I hope you will come and be a part of it.

Sunday, September 8, is our Fall Kick-Off. Children will move up to their new Sunday School classes. Food and fun in the Fellowship Hall from 11:00-1:00, and yes, the other pastors and I will take our turns in the dunk tank if you want to see us get wet.

On Sunday, September 8, we will begin a new three week sermon series called “Better Together.” In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, Paul says “I hear there are divisions among you…” Boy does this speak to what is going on in our world, in our time. Looking at passages from 1 Corinthians 11-13, we will explore together both the theological framework and practical suggestions for not just tolerating one another, but actually living in love together. We can be diverse in opinion but united in mission and love. I hope you will invite your friends and colleagues, whether they are folks with whom you agree or folks with whom you struggle. Both the church and the world so desperately need to hear the “more excellent way” that Paul shares with the church at Corinth.

The best way to find a place to belong at St. Luke’s is to join a small group. Sign up for the Small Groups Launch on September 24, and invite someone else to sign up, too! Visit http://www.stlukesmethodist.org/small-groups-launch.

Come this Sunday night, August 25, at 6:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary to hear the Rob Landes Trio perform “Music from World War II.”

PRAYER CALENDAR
Sunday, August 25
Heavenly Father, what a gift you have given to us in the treasure chest of the Bible! As we prepare for the fall and back to school, we pray that you would take us back into your Word. You bless us with so many opportunities to study the Bible here at St. Luke’s; place it on our hearts and our calendars so that we may take advantage of these opportunities and grow into the amazing life that you have planned for us. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Monday, August 26
Lord, be with us as we begin a new work week. Help us to find new, creative ways to use our gifts and talents to serve you in our current job setting. Let us remember that we are working for you and not for men. Give us the strength and motivation to do our very best in all we do today and always. Amen.

Tuesday, August 27
God, no one can snatch us out of your hand. Your grace is greater than anything we can imagine. We pray for our faith to be strengthened and trust that it will because you are strong. Amen.

Wednesday, August 28
Almighty God, you are the Great Physician who heals us mentally, physically, and spiritually. Today, I pray for healing for those who are battling cancer. Ease their pain, let their treatments go smoothly, give them peace of mind, signs of encouragement, and show them that you are with them. Then, O Lord, heal them completely in miraculous and powerful ways like only you can do. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

Thursday, August 29
Heavenly Father, we thank you for the staff members and volunteers who serve in the Women’s Ministry. Thank you for the amazingly talented women who work to provide opportunities that will help the women of our congregation grow in a faithful community. Amen.

Friday, August 30
Loving God, thank you for the world that you created for us. Thank you for the birds who sing, the rains that water our plants, the sun that rises and sets, and the flowers that bloom. Thank you for the gift of nature that plays your great symphony and paints your wondrous works of art. We praise you! Amen.

Saturday, August 31
Heavenly Father, we thank you for our ministers. We thank you for the way they obediently answer your high calling and for the way they teach us, care for us, and minister to us. Give them strength and encouragement in their ministries. Please bless them and their families always. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.