Our summer celebration of St. Luke’s 110th anniversary rolls on, and as I sit writing this letter we are just one week away from our first annual Boulevard Bash (July 9-11)! As we prepare to host neighbors from around the city for a weekend of food and music, I want to just share with you some of my favorite memories from the last month at St. Luke’s:
- June 5, 2010 – the Sing-spiration – Noel Spain’s father and extended family presenting songs and stories from an age gone by was folky and faithful and loads of fun, but the part that really caught me was when Noel’s dad shared that they’d never really had a memorial service for his parents. I understood then what we were there for. Tom Long writes “it is good for the voices of the community singing praise to be heard above the noisy clamor of death.” In the midst of so much suffering, past and present, it is good and right that we gathered to sing in the face of death!
- June 6, 2010 – the Anniversary Luncheon – coming right on the heels of the fabulous Sing-spiration, the Anniversary Luncheon has become my favorite go to story about how the St. Luke’s family has grown into itself. There were plenty of volunteers to sweep floors, set up tables, serve meals and wash dishes. There was amazing food and generous portions. There were moment of humor and poignant recollections as people shared stories about what St. Luke’s has meant to them, which were summed up perfectly when Cynthia Stengel asserted, “I knew that if I fell down in the aisle here, someone would pick me up.”
- June 20, 2010 – the Service of Dedication and Evening Prayer – Kyle and I had been working on the service of dedication for some time, but when the evening came and the choir, instrumentalists and soloists gave us those magnificent gifts of music, and all the texts of all the scriptures and songs just flowed in and out of each other, it was hard to keep the lump in my throat from preventing me from preaching.
And so, with all these experiences of our own local, intimate community buoying us up – we now turn to a much larger experience. We have high hopes for the coming weekend and the Boulevard Bash. We want it to re-introduce us to even more future friends and neighbors. We want it to provide much needed income to sustain us as we redevelop our ministry. But I hope we also aim to give people a glimpse of the spirit that lives at St. Luke’s – a spirit of accompaniment in life’s joys and life’s sorrows that grows out of faith that God is present in us, and through us and for us for the sake of the world. Faith that we are called together by love for love, which is what most anniversaries are truly meant to commemorate.