By the time this letter reaches your hands, we will be less than a month away from our 2010 Anniversary Sunday – celebrating our 110th anniversary of ministry in Logan Square. What an amazing testimony to the Holy Spirit working in and through this congregation!
This year, Anniversary Sunday is just the start of an entire summer of celebration of our ministry. We begin on the eve of Anniversary Sunday with a “Song-spiration” – an evening of music and stories in the tradition of the old Methodist camp revivals or Garrison Keillor’s “Prairie Home Companion,” planned by Noel Spain and his family (Songspiration: 5pm on Saturday, June 5th). The following morning we’ll reassemble for worship to celebrate the work of the Holy Spirit at St. Luke’s throughout these last 110 years (Anniversary Sunday: 10:30am on Sunday, June 6th).
Later that month we’ll be dedicating the many gifts we received from Wilmette Lutheran Church at the time of their closing with a service of Evening Prayer, at which you’ll hear our new hand bells. The St. Luke’s Choir will also perform Jesu, Meine Freude (Jesus, Joy and Pleasure), a “Cantata in Praise of Jesus Christ, the Soul’s only Source of Confidence and Joy” by Dietrich Buxtehude (Evening Prayer Service of Dedication: 7pm on Sunday, June 20th).
Three weeks later St. Luke’s and all our friends will hit the streets in full force at our first annual Boulevard Bash – a three day alternative music festival on Logan Boulevard benefitting the church. The council has been working hard with our partners from Star Events to produce this inaugural event, and we have high hopes and expectations for its ability to raise both funds and our visibility in the community (Boulevard Bash: Friday, July 9th through Sunday, July 11th).
Each of these events is a sign of the incredible commitment you have shown, and continue to show, to our community. For those of you who have seen St. Luke’s through good times and bad, these are the just rewards for the many years you labored when signs of hope were hard to find. For those of you who have more recently joined our community, these are just the first fruits of all the ministry yet to come. For all of us, they are both cause to celebrate – and the celebration itself!
As we head into this summer full of activities, I want thank each of you for all that you are doing to strengthen our witness and support our ministries. I also know that summer is a time when many of you take time for rest and travel, and that we may see less of you on Sunday mornings. Please allow me to nudge you, this summer in particular, to keep both your attendance and your giving up. We expect to see more and more visitors as we continue to elevate our profile, and nothing helps first-time visitors feel more welcome than encountering a community that is truly present and engaged. For that, we need you here!
We’re also increasing both our incomes and our expenses, particularly as we take on the Boulevard Bash this summer. That means that we rely on your steady giving – now more than ever! Although many of you have made pledges, we still have very few people taking advantage of the direct debit giving program which allows you to make sure you stay on track with your pledged commitment to the congregation, even when you’re not present on Sunday morning. If you haven’t already signed up for direct debit giving, please take a moment to review the form that’s enclosed in this month’s newsletter and consider signing up. Your support now helps ensure we’ll be around to celebrate our 120th anniversary and beyond!