Change Needs a Hug Embracing Transition
Change Has a Name Meet Rev. Rob Fuquay
Giving Spare Change and Then Some Celebrating Five Years of T.I.M.E.
together in ministry everyday
Journeys This spring, a Worship Planning Team met to begin to plan a meaningful program of worship for July and August. Led by Interim Senior Pastor Linda McCoy, the team decided that the theme of “Journeys” was appropriate for this time of transition at St. Luke’s. First, we’ll focus on “Spiritual Roads”—the journeys that have led each of us to where we are now. The preaching schedule for this series is: Dr. Carver McGriff, Senior Pastor of St. Luke’s from 1967-1993 Bishop Michael Coyner JULY 17: Dr. Linda McCoy JULY 24: Rev. David Williamson JULY 3:
Next we will explore the “Pathways Together” that we have taken as a faith community. The sermons will revolve around our identity of being an “Open community of Christians gathering to seek, celebrate, live and share the love of God for all creation.” Dr. Linda McCoy “open community” Rev. Marsha Hutchinson “seek” AUGUST 14: Dr. Linda McCoy “celebrate” AUGUST 21: Rev. Phil Gulley, (Quaker pastor and author) “live” AUGUST 28: Rev. David Williamson “share” JULY 31:
You’ll notice some changes in worship as well this summer. More use of video, fewer announcements, some familiar elements moved around a bit. Don’t worry—it will still look and feel like St. Luke’s. Excellent music, inspiring preaching, and donuts. We look forward to being in worship with you this summer as we journey together toward the bright future of always being transformed by God and transforming the world into a compassionate, just, inclusive, Christ-like community.
st. luke’s identity We are an open
community of Christians gathering to seek, celebrate, live and share the love of God for all creation. st. luke’s vision We envision being transformed
by God and transforming
the world into a compassionate, just, inclusive, Christ-like community.
100 W. 86th Street Indianapolis, IN 46260 TELEPHONE: 317-846-3404 FAX: 317-844-1034 WEB: www.stlukesumc.com EDITORIAL:
Lori Crantford Sarah Nevin CIRCULATION MANAGER: Sylvia Forbes DESIGN:
NEXT T.I.M.E. DEADLINE:
August 22 for October—December 2011
from the desk
Dear St. Luke’s Congregation, It is with mixed emotions that I write this—my sole contribution to our quarterly T.I.M.E. publication. By the time you receive this in your mailbox, we will have said a fond farewell to Kent Millard, who has served us as Senior Pastor so faithfully and lovingly for almost eighteen years. We wish him and Minnietta the best as they move into the next phase of their life together. At the same time, we have learned that Rob Fuquay will be coming to serve as our new Senior Pastor. That news fills us all with a sense of anticipation and excitement, and we look forward to meeting him, his wife and daughters, and welcoming them to our St. Luke’s family. So it is that we find ourselves in the in-between time, and those of us who are filling in for this brief time have been praying and planning as we move into July and August. Our goal is to focus on those parts of St. Luke’s that will not change during this time of transition, and that is the heart and soul of who we are. Our Sunday messages will focus on our vision of St. Luke’s as “an open community of Christians, gathering to seek, celebrate, live and share the love of God for all creation.” We’ll be talking about our spiritual journeys both individually and corporately, and explore how St. Luke’s has impacted our lives and our faith in significant ways. I hope you will plan to be with us each and every Sunday during the summer months as we journey together, and continue to grow spiritually. We’ll also be celebrating the fifth anniversary of our T.I.M.E. (Together In Ministry Everyday) initiative. This is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the ways
that the people of St. Luke’s have touched lives and been transformed in return, to renew our commitment to being the change we want to see in the world, and celebrating this active family of faith. As many of you know, I have been a part of the St. Luke’s family almost my entire adult life, and I have grown in so many ways because of this church. It is because of St. Luke’s and especially the influence of former St. Luke’s Senior Pastor Carver McGriff and former Associate Pastor Wayne Trevathan that I began to contemplate what it might be like to become a pastor. It is because of the talented and committed colleagues with whom I served early in my ministry that I began to understand what responding to God’s call is like. It is because of the encouragement and support of Kent Millard that the vision for The Garden came into being, expanding the reach of St. Luke’s beyond these walls. I have felt God’s nudge here, have been nurtured and supported here, and feel privileged to live out my ministry in this place, and I am sure many of you can say the same thing. While each of our journeys has been unique, we all share this common experience: God has always been at work in this congregation, and will continue to be at work within us and among us. It is up to each of us to be open and receptive to the ways in which God is calling us to live out our faith during this part of our journey. My prayer is that our faith will be awakened in new ways, our commitment deepened, and our hope heightened for all that is and will be.
Linda Interim Senior Pastor Pastor, The Garden
together in ministry everyday
A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Lori Crantford, Editor
In December 2010, when St. Luke’s Senior Pastor Dr. Kent Millard announced that he would be retiring effective June 30, 2011, it didn’t take long for the realization to set in that the unthinkable would have to happen: we would have to find someone to become our new senior pastor. In a sense, St. Luke’s had to start dating again.
Rev. Rob Fuquay
Fortunately, not everyone had to endure the dating process. A great group of lay persons was already in place and, with the direction of Bishop Michael Coyner and the support of the leadership and congregation, six men and women went fearlessly in search of our next senior pastor. If only it were as easy as setting up a profile on pastormatch.com or evangelistharmony or even posting an old-fashioned personal ad, which might read something like “Single diverse middle-aged congregation seeking individual who has an open theology, enjoys working on the weekends, thrives on meetings, isn’t afraid to lead but also not shy about showing a tender side. Must like babies. Owning a robe a plus.” Fast forward to May 2011. After many months of searching, listening to sermons, discussion and prayer, it was announced that Rev. Rob Fuquay (pronounced “few-kway”) would become the fifth senior pastor of St. Luke’s in its 58-year history, beginning September 2011. In the announcement letter to the congregation, Rob stated “’Prayer put us in God’s way.’ I don’t know who said it, but I believe it. You have been praying about this transition longer than I was aware of it. You have sought God to be at work before anyone could see just what God was
doing. We Methodists call that prevenient grace. I believe my coming to St. Luke’s is an act of grace. Through your prayers, God has acted and I will soon be laboring with you in furthering God’s work. I can’t wait to join you in actively extending the peace, love, justice and mercy of God. What an honor. Through the gracious consent of Bishop Coyner, the gracious welcome of Dr. Millard, the gracious vote of confidence from your Leadership Transition Team, I am truly ‘graced’ to be among you very soon.” Before he is among us, let’s find out a little about our new senior pastor. Robert Earl Fuquay, Jr. was born on May 16, 1963 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. His dad, Robert, Sr., was a life insurance salesman. His mom, Julie, was an RN specialist. They are both retired and living in North Carolina. Rob has an older sister, Kathy, and a younger brother, Steve. There are probably few boys who think they want to be a pastor when they grow up, and Rob is no exception. In the 8th grade, Rob and a friend made a pact that they would never be scientists (this was during biology class, so perhaps a dissection had gone horribly awry) but that they would be lawyers (Rob’s friend kept his end of the deal). He also had dreams of playing Division I college basketball. “Despite being slow, having a weak jump shot, and being verticalleap challenged, I thought I had a chance,” Rob says. “When ACC schools didn’t come calling after my senior season and I went to Pfeiffer, I still couldn’t let go. I was already heading in a ministry direction, but Pfeiffer created a JV team. This was my last shot, so to speak. We played a game at a community college where their top player was being recruited by Georgetown. Well, I found myself as the lone defender down court against this star player. He drove the lane. When I tried to slap the ball out of his hands, he just spun around me and did a reverse dunk so hard
the ball came through the rim and bounced off my head into the stands. Needless to say their crowd loved that. That was when my call to ministry became very clear.” Rob’s call to ministry initially came in the form of Duke Seminary students who worked as interns in the rural church Rob attended in high school. “I was greatly influenced by them. They were different than pastors, people I could relate to. By my senior year I felt this nudge to go into ministry. What finally gave me the courage to step over the line was the pastor of my home church who provided this sage advice: ‘If you can do anything else and be happy, do it. But if it’s a genuine calling, at some point you will have to pursue it and then it will either grow stronger or weaker.’ It has yet to wane.” After high school, Rob attended Pfeiffer University (not far from Charlotte, NC) and earned his B.A. in Religion in 1984. He then attended Emory University and earned his M.Div. from the Candler School of Theology in 1987. After finishing seminary, Rob served a church in Bristol, England from 1987-1988 and then returned to the mountains of North Carolina to serve a two-point charge (two churches that share one pastor)—Long’s UMC and Cruso UMC. “I moved into a small parsonage, unloaded my few possessions, and when I walked around outside the house there was no civilization to be seen at all.” During his two years at Long’s/Cruso, Rob received a crucial piece of mail—a brochure outlining a Biblical tour of Greece and Turkey that had been sent to him by the General Secretary of the World Methodist Council. Because he didn’t have the funds to go on this tour, Rob had thrown this piece of mail in the trash and went about chopping wood or yodeling or whatever one does in the mountains in one’s spare time.
A few weeks had come and gone when the aforementioned General Secretary called Rob to inquire if he had received the brochure. “Yes,” Rob replied and was about to go on to explain that he couldn’t possibly go because he didn’t have the funds when the GS informed Rob that a benefactor had stepped forward to pay Rob’s way... so rather than “Yes, but...” Rob said “Yes... and I would absolutely love to go.”
“I can’t wait to join you in actively extending the peace, love, justice and mercy of God. What an honor.” —REV. ROB FUQUAY
The mail was crucial because while gathering with the rest of the tour at the Frankfurt, Germany airport Rob met Susan Wilke. Susan was the Youth Director at Highland Park UMC in Dallas, and she was on the trip with her parents (Susan’s father is Bishop Richard Wilke, who wrote the Disciple Bible Study series). On the flight home after the two-week trip, Susan wrote her phone number down for Rob. “Susan sometimes gets confused,” Rob says, smiling. “When she gave me her number, she wrote down her brother’s area code in Kansas along with her number in Dallas. When I called, I got some bar and grill in Eldorado, Kansas.” They finally managed to connect, spent time together on five separate occasions during that year, and got married. They recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary, despite the fact that Rob says “Susan’s been rethinking that year ever since.” Susan is a native Kansan, spending most of her upbringing in the Wichita area where her dad served several appointments. She graduated with honors from the University of Kansas with a degree in Occupational Therapy. She tried her hand as an OT for a short time before taking a youth ministry position in Norman, Oklahoma and then Highland Park in Dallas. While there Susan taught courses on volunteerism at Per-
fun fuquay facts! FAVORITE COLOR: Royal blue FAVORITE SPORT: Basketball FAVORITE TEAM: Duke Blue Devils FAVORITE HYMN:
“Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah” FAVORITE SECULAR SONG:
“Roll with the Changes” by REO Speedwagon [Perhaps we should make this our transition anthem – Ed.] FAVORITE BOOK:
Several edge-of-your-seat pastoral page turners (see article). Also, “Most impacting book was one from the late ‘80s by Mark Mathabane, Kafir Boy, because it really opened my eyes to the issues of apartheid in South Africa and the connection to our struggles with segregation and civil rights in America.” FAVORITE MOVIE: “The Godfather” FAVORITE FOOD: Country style steak.
[This is tenderized steak dredged in flour, cooked in a skillet and served with gravy, not roadkill which is what I thought first – Ed.]. Also jambalaya. LEAST FAVORITE FOOD: Beets. Liver and onions. FAVORITE RESTAURANT: Cheesecake Factory FAVORITE VACATION SPOT:
Anywhere in the mountains PET PEEVE:
People who don’t use their blinkers SECRET TALENT:
(1) Can bark like a terrier. (2) Able to throw peanuts in the air, sometimes as high as 15-20 feet, and catch them my mouth. Had to do with the way my parents fed me when I was little I think. FUN FACT: Can build a one-match fire.
Also swam the mile at camp at age 14.
together in ministry everyday
GOOD MAN, cont’d from page 5
kins School of Theology. After getting married and moving to NC she was also a national trainer for Disciple Bible Study. Susan continues to love working with and teaching Disciple in the local church. Her personal interests include being a mom and cooking—two things she looks forward to having more time to do in the coming year. She will also be looking for a new exercise partner after getting settled. One of her many talents is playing cello, which she hopes to put to use in the church orchestra some time. Susan is happy to be returning to the Midwest, Rob says, “because everything’s on a grid. She once went to get carrots at the store in North Carolina. The store’s 10 minutes away; Susan came back two and a half hours later and said ‘I’ve been to Tennessee.’ So she’s excited to move to a place where the streets run north, south, east and west.” As soon as she finds out everything you need in Indianapolis exists on 86th Street, she’ll be ecstatic. The Fuquays have three daughters. Julie (18) will be attending Kansas State as a freshman. Sarah (16) will be a junior at North Central High School and is looking forward to playing her violin with the school orchestra. Anna (14) will be a freshman at North Central and plays soccer. The family is rounded out by two dogs: Bella, a St. Bernard, and Sugar, a Maltese. Clearly an advocate for canine higher learning, Rob is hoping that Bella will be accompanying Julie to Kansas State as well. “The congregation will soon learn that the women in my life—Susan, Julie, Sarah and Anna—especially Susan (but excluding Bella and Sugar!) make me look real good.” After serving at Long’s/Cruso, Rob was associate pastor at Matthews UMC from 1992-1995, and Long’s Chapel UMC from 1995-2008. He was appointed senior pastor at Williamson’s Chapel in February 2008. During his time as associate pastor at Matthews UMC, a 3000-member church, he led the building committee in a two-phase relocation, a $4 million project that included a capital campaign. He has had similar experiences in other congregations, participating in the building of a new sanctuary and children’s building, as well as building renovation. At Williamson’s Chapel, Rob undertook an in-depth visioning process which resulted in the launch of a new off-site ministry. Leadership roles are a large part of Rob’s life. He has served on the United Methodist Board of Directors of several conference ministries, as well as having served on the District Boards of Ministry, chaired the Superintendency Committee, served on the Alumni Board at Candler, and many others. The bulk of his Conference involvement for the past 12 years has been on the Board of Directors for a special program
JULY—SEPTEMBER JULY—SEPTEMBER2011 2011
of church leadership development through the United Methodist Foundation. “For six years I chaired the committee for a leadership academy composed of 25 of our leading pastors in the conference. We coordinated visits with some of the outstanding church leaders in the country like Adam Hamilton and Bill Hybels. This has been a very rewarding part of my ministry beyond the local church. This academy and the other programs of leadership development have impacted over 100 pastors and congregations in our conference.” One of Rob’s most meaningful spiritual events occurred in Seoul, Korea. “I was participating in a leadership development trip, and we went to learn from Kwang Lim Methodist Church, the largest in the world. One of the keys to Korean Methodism is their emphasis on prayer. The church has a retreat center with dozens of literal prayer closets—small 6’x4’ rooms with a pillow on the floor where individuals spend hours. When I took my turn at this ‘watch,’ I had to resist all internal drives in order to settle and
receive. Along with other similar experiences while there, I came away not only with a new appreciation for the practice of prayer but a new awareness of my utter and complete dependence on God.”
(L TO R): Sarah, Susan, Julie, Rob and Anna Fuquay at Yosemite National Park
Rob has expressed a deep desire to lead a church like St. Luke’s where more progressive views are embraced and encouraged. “My top priority for a church I serve is to have a desire to positively impact its community. This means a church with members who care about the needs of all those around them and who want to connect others to the body of Christ. That often requires innovation and being willing to try new things —so a church with a daring spirit is very appealing to me. I also desire a church that welcomes everyone and allows God to work with them where they are. As I study Jesus I see someone who sought to show grace to all people... and I want to be a part of a church that models that. I want to serve a church that cares about reaching beyond its own community and impacting the world with hope.” — —
together in ministry everyday
GOOD MAN, cont’d from page 7
One of the great honors about coming to St. Luke’s, Rob says, is following Dr. Kent Millard. “I have known of Kent for many years. I have had a copy of Passion Driven Congregation (co-authored by Kent and former St. Luke’s senior pastor Carver McGriff) on my shelf for a long time and never thought I would one day be asked to carry the torch once held by the authors who kept the light of Christ shining
“As I study Jesus I see someone who sought to show grace to all people... and I want to be a part of a church that models that. I want to serve a church that cares about reaching beyond its own community and impacting the world with hope.” —REV. ROB FUQUAY bright at St. Luke’s. Honestly, it’s intimidating to come behind such incredible preachers and leaders, but that intimidation has been lessened greatly by the amazing welcome they have extended to me. I am thankful for Kent’s hospitality and the gracious way he is handing off the baton (or torch in case I am mixing metaphors!). It’s really rewarding to hold someone you have never met in high esteem, and then have that impression fully validated as you get to know the person. That could not be truer than it is with my association with Kent. The only thing bigger than his heart is his faith. I just know I will need lots of patience, prayer and encouragement from the congregation as I follow one of Methodism’s best pastors.”
When asked what Rob would like people to know about him as a pastor, he replies “I have a great passion for the church being the strongest, healthiest it can be, because I believe the world needs the church and that the church is the hope of the world.” When asked what he’d like people to know about him as a person, he responds, “I like to work hard but have fun.” Other questions (see side bar for Fun Fuquay Facts) included favorite book, which Rob couldn’t easily answer off the top of his head and has now involved a few emails revealing that Rob is a self-described nerd who likes books on leadership and pastor stuff. You have to like a guy who will own his inner nerd. Other authors on his list that the rest of society might find interesting include Mark Twain and John Steinbeck. His favorite poet is Robert Frost, “mostly because of the first name, but for some reason, The Road Less Traveled stuck with me from high school reading.” But the one author that got an all caps (“I’m a HUGE fan”) was Flannery O’Connor. “My favorite short story is The Life You Save May Be Your Own” he shared. I discovered that The Life You Save May Be Your Own is part of a collection of short stories by O’Connor entitled A Good Man Is Hard to Find. It looks like we found one. Many welcome events will be held for the Fuquays when they arrive later this summer. Rob’s first official day as St. Luke’s senior pastor is September 1, and he will preach his first sermon on Sunday, September 11. Please join us in welcoming Rob, Susan, Julie, Sarah and Anna to Indianapolis and St. Luke’s. n
Knowing Who We Are by Rev. David Williamson, Executive Pastor
“Why would anyone ever want to view his or her pictures on a TV?” —Reaction of Kodak executives when presented with the first-ever digital camera, developed by Kodak engineers in 1975 In his classic book Managing Transitions, William Bridges makes an important distinction between “change” and “transition,” a distinction I’d never really given much thought to before. Change, he says, is largely external —it’s a shift in circumstances or environment that directly impacts you. And, as the adage tells us, change is inevitable. It comes whether we desire it or not. Change is not optional. Transition, in contrast, is internal—it’s what happens inside us as we adapt ourselves to whatever change has taken place. While change may come quickly, as circumstances sometimes shift overnight without warning, transition is always a process, one that is often open-ended. And finally, while change can and does happen without our choice, transition requires our participation and effort. It can be resisted. We see this all the time—people who for a variety of reasons fail to adapt themselves to a new situation or circumstance. Take the example of Eastman Kodak. We all associate the name “Kodak” with cameras. We even talk about photo-worthy moments as being “Kodak moments.” In 1975, Kodak invented the world’s first digital camera. It was a far cry from today’s cameras—for instance, it took 23 seconds to process a single image, which was only .01 megapixels in size. But they were on the ground floor of a new technology. Unfortunately, they failed to develop their own invention, betting that there would always be a market for film development. Soon other companies far outpaced them in the digital field; by the time they tried to make the switch to digital, they were hopelessly behind. A recent blog listed Eastman Kodak as “The Worst Performing Stock for 2010.”
Change happened. Transition did not. And Kodak was left in the dust.
The first digital Kodak. IMAGE SOURCE: bits.blogs.nytimes.com
Of course, that’s not to say that there aren’t good reasons to sometimes resist change. In many cases, we’re afraid of where the change leads us. Or we’re aware that change brings loss, and we’re afraid of losing something essential to who we are. The danger if you swing to the opposite end of the spectrum, if you embrace and chase after every “new thing” under heaven, you run the risk of losing your moorings, you end up building your life on shifting sand, you might be spending and investing and ultimately wasting your energy/time/money on things that will never delivered on their promise. Those who bought “Beta VCRs” know what I’m talking about...
together in ministry everyday
New Coke from TIME Magazine’s failed inventions list. Change for change’s sake rarely pays off.
So the crucial question is: How do we embrace the change that confronts us as a church, and still hold on to what is essential? As you can see, this is a bigger question than just who our next pastor will be. It embraces everything: How we respond to the changing demographics of our neighborhoods, how we use technology in order to enhance communication and strengthen our message, how we explore different worship styles in order to provide relevant and meaningful worship experiences across generational gaps. It’s a huge question! Luckily, we’re not the first to be confronted with this question of transition. While the change is coming fast and furious these days, nothing we experience is really new, not even the changing of a beloved senior leader. The key is to somehow cling to what is at our core. Doug Anderson, a consultant who has led some workshop retreats with our senior staff these past months, remarked that organizations often get confused between the “what we’re about” and “how we do it.” For instance, to take the Kodak example, the “what we’re about” seems clear—they were about helping people to capture and share moments in a visual format. Somewhere along the lines, though, they got married to the “how we do it”—traditional film development—to the expense of exploring more effective ways to accomplish their mission. Now I realize that I’m oversimplifying the case somewhat. Back in 1975, it was not crystal clear that digital photography was the future; at the time it made more sense to invest their resources into things that would deliver shortterm payoff. Nor is it clear what direction we
should take as a church when it comes to exploring new technology or worship styles, which investments would pay off over the long haul and which would turn out to be shifting sand. But my point isn’t that we need to change the “how we do it,” at least not as our starting point. Change for change’s sake rarely pays off. My point instead is that now is the opportune time to focus in on the “what we’re about.” The more clear we get on our mission and identity as a church, the better we’ll be able to respond to the change that surrounds us. And so you’ll see over the next few months that we’re going to be focusing in on our identity statement as a church, re-exploring what it means to be an “open community of Christians gathering to seek, celebrate, live, and share the love of God for all creation.” Transition is the process whereby we reclaim who we are in response to the challenges that shifting circumstances bring. Bottom line, here’s what I believe: God has given the church a unique calling within the world. God has chosen us, imperfect though we may be, to proclaim God’s message of salvation, to make disciples of all nations, to be Christ’s body reaching out to the world in compassion, to be that place where love of God and love of neighbor is upheld and practiced and experienced in its fullness. That is what we are about. And no matter what changes take place in our church’s leadership, no matter what changes take place in the surrounding world, there will always be a place for that mission. n
Knowing Who We Are by Jennifer Todd, St. Luke’s Lay Leader
I have a confession to make. Kent Millard is the only senior pastor I have listened to consistently, week after week, and I have looked forward to hearing his sermons. My confession comes with some caveats. I began attending St. Luke’s back in 1993 on Kent’s first Sunday in the pulpit, so I was not around during Carver McGriff’s time at St. Luke’s (although from the handful of Carver’s sermons I’ve heard over the years since, I can state with certainty that I would have enjoyed sitting in the pew each week for his sermons as well). My previous sermon experiences were as a student growing up in the Presbyterian church. The sermons were not memorable to my young, inexperienced ear. Rather, they tended to be circuitous in nature, and I was typically lost in daydreaming by the second or third point... so then I would switch to my favorite church-boredom relieving habits of counting organ pipes or the number of bald heads in the pews in front of me. I do not know how many organ pipes are in the St. Luke’s organ, nor do I count heads! I really enjoy listening to sermons—and I know most of you do— especially those who grab for a pew pencil to make notes on the church bulletin. When the Leadership Transition Team began meeting a year and a half (or so) ago, we discussed the many criteria we would be looking for in our next senior pastor. Tops on the list: Must give a good (or should I say great) sermon. There were many other criteria on the list as well, including an
open theology that matches St. Luke’s; visionary leadership; motivator; empathetic/caring; courageous risk taker; good listener; good sense of humor; a person of integrity; someone with passion; a good fundraiser. Piece of cake! In the weeks and months since our team began meeting, we have listened to hundreds of sermons. The not surprising truth is there is no one who preaches just like Kent Millard. What a blessing for St. Luke’s that our lay leadership, with the help of Bishop Woodie White, found him in South Dakota eighteen years ago. Now, we look forward eagerly to the next chapter in St. Luke’s history, under the leadership of our new Senior Pastor, Rob Fuquay. In the course of our search, not only has the Leadership Transition Team been moved by Rob’s messages from the pulpit, we have found him to be the quality of senior pastor that fits the rest of our criteria as well. I expect you will find him to be a kind, thoughtful, and gracious leader who strives to be his best and hopes to lead a church that continues to worship together as a church family and reaches out in our community and the world with compassion. He brings passion, knowledge, and a friendly ease in the pulpit that I think you will find most engaging. I am looking forward to many weeks, months and years sitting in the pews with you, being moved by Rob’s sermons, perhaps reaching for a pew pencil to make a note or two, and definitely not counting organ pipes! Many thanks to all of you for your continuing prayers for the Leadership Transition Team, St. Luke’s leadership, our retiring Senior Pastor and for our new Senior Pastor, who will be joining us this fall. n
together in ministry everyday
Our Identity, T.I.M.E. and Time Again by Scott Semester, T.I.M.E. Committee Member Over the past few months, we’ve given thanks for Dr. Kent Millard’s 18 years of leadership, during which we’ve had the opportunity to grow closer to God and closer to each other in and around St. Luke’s. Now, as we look forward and continue our transition to a new senior pastor, we’ll be experiencing the change journey on a new pathway together.
“OUR IDENTITY is a GPS device that tells us exactly where (who) we are right now. OUR VISION is like the postcard we’ve
drawn together—a picture of our destination that we can dream about and work toward realizing. And OUR METHOD is our turn-by-turn TripTik from AAA, with directions from here to there and reminders about what to do along the way.”
Sometimes—almost all the time!—change can be scary. But it’s important to remember that, even with a new senior pastor, most of what makes us “St. Luke’s” will stay the same. Worship will still be vibrant and engaging, even if it may look a little different. Clergy, church staff and members will still care for each other through hospitalization, grief and other times of need. Small and large groups within the church will continue to meet—the Chancel — —
Choir will still sing, the Sowers will still plant, the United Methodist Men will still fry fish. We will still consider ourselves Together In Ministry Everyday, and our mission—both the written statement and the way we live it—will still be reflected in everything we do. This summer, as we continue on our journey, as individuals and as a congregation, we’ll have a chance to live into the “in-between” time, reflecting on our identity and looking forward, Together In Ministry Everyday.
Who We Are Back in the late 1980s, a dedicated group of St. Luke’s members got together to refine a mission statement for the church. Great care was taken to develop a mission statement that was specific enough to differentiate our faith family from others and guide us in decision-making, but open enough to reflect our inclusiveness and leave room for future changes only God could foresee. For more than two decades, that statement of who we are has led us as a congregation and helped us to name and claim our shared purpose. Our mission statement consists of three parts: our Identity, our Vision, and our Method. The Identity is the part you’re probably most familiar with: “St. Luke’s is an open community of Christians, gathering to seek, celebrate, live, and share the love of God for all creation.” This is perhaps the most fundamental expression of our community’s purpose and call. The sermon series from July 31 through August 28 will further explore this part of our mission and lead us to reflect on the part we play in living out the St. Luke’s Identity.
together in ministry everyday
What We Do—and How We Do It Although this summer’s sermon series will only have time to focus on our Identity, the framers of our mission statement didn’t stop after defining “who we are” as a community. They also described “what we do” and “how we do it” in the other two parts of our mission statement: our Vision and our Method. Building on our Identity as an open community, “we envision being transformed by God and transforming the world into a compassionate, just, inclusive, and Christ-like community” (our Vision). And in the process, “we experience God’s unconditional love, embrace hope, grow in faith, and become empowered by our passion for ministry and service in the world” (our Method). Our Vision and Method are reflected in every activity and ministry area around the church. Every ministry—from Singles to Eve Circle to Handbell Ensembles to the new Refugee Assistance Ministry—is designed to help us fulfill at least one part of our Vision, using at least one of the tactics outlined in our Method. As Christians on a journey following these pathways together, we can think of our Identity as a GPS device that tells us exactly where (who) we are right now. Our Vision is like the postcard we’ve drawn together—a picture of our destination that we can dream about and work toward
realizing. And our Method is our turn-by-turn TripTik from AAA, with directions from here to there and reminders about what to do along the way.
One of the first T.I.M.E. events
The Method to Our Mission Six years ago, a group of clergy, staff and volunteers convened to talk, pray, discern and think about St. Luke’s as an outward-focused congregation and how we were expressing our mission. This group organized what would eventually become known as Together In Ministry Everyday—a church-wide initiative designed to encourage St. Luke’s members of all ages to live out the Method part of our mission and engage in ministries of service, education and advocacy. Over the last five years, new ministries have emerged, utilizing T.I.M.E. as an opportunity to promote their efforts and recruit additional supporters. Over the last five years, individuals who had not yet taken their first step in getting involved at St. Luke’s have jumped headfirst into volunteer service opportunities. And over the last five years, families who have been deeply engaged in the life of the church have made time to experience new ways to grow together by participating in classes and service projects. Over the last five years, God has led us to find creative and engaging ways to live out our — —
together in ministry everyday
PATHWAYS, cont’d from page 13
mission together, and we think it’s time to celebrate! So over five weeks this summer, we’re going to acknowledge and give thanks as we celebrate T.I.M.E.’s Fifth Anniversary. We’ll bring back some of the most effective and popular parts of T.I.M.E., including: •
An ice cream social on Sunday, July 31,
Family/individual portraits as we update the church database, and
An all-church pitch-in/picnic on Sunday, August 28.
community with volunteers ready to serve,
Connections Expos in the Narthex on three Sundays—August 7, 14, and 21 – to help members
Let’s Make T.I.M.E. to Be Who We Are
Community gatherings in members’ homes and at various events around Central Indiana (Symphony on the Prairie, the Indiana State Fair, etc.) to get to know each other better outside of church, and
Servant Day on August 6, when we’ll flood the
of all ages find a way to get more engaged in the life of the church and beyond our walls, •
In addition, we’ll be using the opportunity to bring back some old reliable church traditions:
Opportunities for story-telling and reflection, including a video booth where you can record a video to share your favorite T.I.M.E. memory.
This summer, while we await the arrival of our new senior pastor, we have the opportunity to continue to do and be what makes us unique as the congregation of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. It is our hope that you’ll take part in the T.I.M.E. celebration activities by sharing stories about what God has done through you and celebrating what God has done through others over five years of T.I.M.E. But the best way to honor what T.I.M.E. is about is to continue living Together In Ministry Everyday, in ways both large and small. n
St. Luke’s fuels up for a busy day of ministry at a Servant Day breakfast Fox Hill Elementary Servant Day project RIGHT: Learning about service opportunities at a T.I.M.E. Connection Expo MIDDLE:
The Legacy Carries On... by Tricia Tomson, Endowment Committee Member
In 2006, the Christian Life Scholarship Fund was established by Ken and Linda Young—long-time members of St. Luke’s who had the desire to help build a better tomorrow. Establishing this endowed fund enabled them to leverage their gift by providing scholarship support in perpetuity to St. Luke’s youth on an annual basis. Each year, the Endowment provides scholarship support to two or three youth members who have demonstrated a passion for their faith and their willingness to help make a difference in the lives of others. This year, the Christian Life Scholarship Fund’s earning investment was able to provide $1,500 in scholarship support to two recipients. On Sunday, May 22, scholarship recipients Maya Robinson and Mark Satterly were recognized for their accomplishments and acknowledged for their desire to further their education.
Maya Robinson graduated from Brebeuf
Jesuit Preparatory School and plans to pursue a degree in Psychology and Liberal Arts this fall. Maya is a natural leader and believes love and respect are the two basic principles for everyday life. She loves to sing and volunteer with Art With A Heart, and considers any service for community to be a service for God.
graduated from North Central High School and plans to pursue a degree in Civil Engineering this fall. Mark’s perseverance and love for giving back led him to achieve the prestigious Eagle Scout Rank. He loves to play the saxophone, studied abroad in Spain, and believes that honesty, humility, dedication and faith in God are the most important values in life.
Linda Young, Kent Millard, Maya Robinson, Ken Young, Mark Satterly
The endowed Christian Life Scholarship Fund not only provides financial support for college, but also recognizes our youth’s achievements and acknowledges their good faith and acts of philanthropy. The fund exists in perpetuity, enabling the designation of scholarship support for years to come. St. Luke’s Endowment was founded over 20 years ago by members who had the vision and passion for securing our church’s future for generations to come. It currently stands at just over $3 million. Over the years, the Endowment has helped build and sustain programs such as The Garden, Staff Parish Fund, Sowers Fund, Deaf Camp Fund, Carillon Fund, Christmas Fund, Jean Bepko Children’s Resource Fund, Christian Life Scholarship Fund, Orchestra Music Fund, and Seminarian Scholarship Fund. If you are interested in making a contribution to an existing fund or establishing a new fund, or would simply like to learn more about how you can leverage change and leave your legacy at St. Luke’s, please contact Jim Price, Endowment Committee Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org, 2083726 (o) or 466-0112 (h). n — —
together in ministry everyday
Confirmation—A Journey by Kevin Davis, Director of Youth Ministries
Over the past school year Confirmation has gone through a transformation. Last year we noticed that leaders and students were at a place where trust was in its infancy stages and stories were only beginning to be shared at the end of Confirmation. Adults and students were sad that Confirmation ended so quickly. We felt like Confirmation needed to broaden its experience so that students could do more than just establish trust with their small groups—we wanted them to continue that trust relationship with their leaders ultimately experiencing and sharing their own faith journey. Karen Christensen, a parent of a Sr. high girl and a Jr. high guy, remarks that “The Confirmation ministry has been greatly improved. Having a year-long ministry allows the youth and leaders to get to know each other better and develop stronger relationships with each other, and more importantly with God.” Now that that transformation has occurred, there are a variety of experiences that increase the value of the student’s faith journey.
Retreats Confirmation now offers three retreats over the course of a year. The first, the fall retreat at Spring Hill in Seymour, is a place for students to connect and to be introduced to their small groups. The fall retreat has times of teaching and small groups, but the main emphasis is building that foundation of connection. The winter retreat is an overnight at the Lodge; it focuses on continuing those connections along with some more intentional learning where students discover their spiritual gifts and abilities. The spring retreat at Bradford Woods is where students share their favorite verse and their faith journey with their small group. The fall retreat at Spring Hill has the most to offer in “fun” activities, while Bradford Woods has the least. That said, at the end of Confirmation many students said their favorite retreat was Bradford Woods. For students, it was all about the growing experiences along the way. The final retreat culminated their year-long journey with stories shared in the context of trusting relationships. Kelly Harris, one of the Confirmation students, said “Confirmation was a life-changing experience for me. I definitely grew in my faith. I was able to meet and connect with new people at the retreats.”
Youth confirmation retreat experiences
Service Opportunities The experience of Confirmation goes beyond the walls of the Lodge. We ask students to serve five times throughout the year. Three times of serving need to be alongside the church and all the opportunities found at St. Luke’s, while the other two opportunities match one’s gifts and abilities with needs found in the community. Some students this past year came to the Lodge to help Habitat for Humanity by constructing furnishings for the home. One student used his gift of playing trumpet to bless the elderly at a seniors’ home. We want students to understand that there are many ways to serve alongside the church, and to take initiative to serve in their community
Small Groups Everyone needs a safe place where they are accepted and can grapple with tough questions and issues. Small groups are six to eight students split up according to gender and organized with students each person will know, as well as some new faces from different schools. Carrie Flieg, a small group leader and parent of a student who was just confirmed, gives a good description of her small group experience this past year. “I was nervous and unsure about what would be asked of me as a confirmation small group leader. What I experienced was moving and powerful. Many times I felt my place was simply to listen as the girls in our group shared their beliefs, fears, concerns and questions. I was proud of the questions they asked and the connections they made between what they were learning
in the Bible and their life experiences. Toward the end of our meetings, one girl shared that when she was little the Bible stories seemed random and made no sense, but now she could see how they related to her life. A parent told me that her daughter said she could come to St. Luke’s and feel accepted and no one made fun of her.”
Mentors Students meet with a mentor eight times over the course of a school year. The goal is for students to have a place outside of church to talk about their faith. We want students to know that faith is much more than attending a class or going to church, it’s a life! Mentors are present to listen, to touch base with their student to see how they are doing, and to encourage them. There are often teaching experiences. An example of a teaching experience for a student I was mentoring happened when we went to McDonald’s to get some ice cream and to touch base. I asked him how he was doing, and he was talking about his day at school. He became distracted by what he was seeing on TV, so we both stopped to look at the sports report. An athlete had made a poor choice and there was a huge breaking report on all of the implications. This student went on to say “Hey, that’s what we were talking about in Confirmation. That person and their family needs prayer. Poor choices are hurtful for everyone involved.” I was so impressed with his outlook. Many people start judging or saying “Wow that person really messed up.” Instead, this 7th grade guy had a more holistic approach. Mentoring is engaging the student in their faith and real life as it happens!
together in ministry everyday
CONFIRMATION, cont’d from page 17
God’s Love in a Bag of M by Kerri Lemming, United Methodist Women Volunteer
Teaching The foundation of the Confirmation experience is established with a student’s connection to others their age, high school students as mentors, and adults who are both small-group leaders and mentors. A foundation is constructed in which students connect to the teachings of the Bible and the church. In the fall semester the Old Testament stories are shared, while in the spring semester we cover the New Testament. The social activities, serving, mentoring and retreats tie this learning together to help students in their understanding of their own spiritual journey. Effective Confirmation has to be an experience that blurs the lines between a class and youth ministry. Confirmation needs to be living, walking, talking and breathing for it to be a part of a student’s faith journey. Connection needs to be made from the head to heart. If that connection is made, then Confirmation will be viewed as a beginning, not an end. Patti Hurdle, a small-group leader, heard the following comment from a girl in her small group concerning her personal relationship with God: “I never really got it before, but now I get it!” n
You’ve all heard the phrase “like a kid in a candy store.” And if you’re a parent, you know the tremendous power candy can give you with your kids. What self-respecting parent hasn’t used candy as a bribe to get them to eat their vegetables, clean up their room or do their homework? Why does this work so well? The answer is simple. Whether your preference is jelly beans, M&Ms or Snickers (mine would have to be Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs directly from the refrigerator), candy is delicious, candy is an indulgence and, for those of us who like to think we eat healthy, candy is a bit mischievous. But for the children at the Indiana United Methodist Children’s Home, candy means so much more. Founded in 1915, the Home is located northwest of Indianapolis in Lebanon and provides a multi-faceted treatment program to youth who cannot cope with the everyday responsibilities of family living. The Home is a residential treatment facility and houses children ages 6 to 18. Children are placed at the Home either through the Indiana Department of Child Services, the Indiana Department of Education, or private placements. More than 10 years ago St. Luke’s United Methodist Women began sponsoring party bags each month for the children at the Home. It fits right in with UMW’s mission of supporting children and youth (in addition to women). The bags include juice, snacks and of course… candy. They are used at monthly theme parties for the children to celebrate holidays or reward successes, like the recent ISTEP results. Over time our church’s involvement has spread to other groups outside of just UMW, like Bible study groups and Children’s Commission. Maya Angelou said, “Giving liberates the soul of the giver.” This has proven true as this monthly ministry continues to grow into so much more. Instead of just providing the snacks, many groups have given extras for the kids: kites, puzzles, Valentines and school supplies to name a few. Some groups have even spent their own time making extras to add a personal touch. The Mary Magdalene Circle sewed little bags to hold cell phones or Bibles. Eve Circle made hot chocolate cones.
united methodist women
&Ms Our UMW’s giving continued to grow in late 2009. As our UMW Board’s representative for the Children’s Home, I shared with the Board how the Home needed pajamas and robes since many of these children come to the Home in such abrupt circumstances and don’t have much with them. Without hesitation, the Board decided to provide pajamas and robes for every child at the Home for Christmas. I know how much my boys enjoy having pajamas that are special to them, so we did the same for these children by getting specific sizes and requests from every child. We had a huge variety of requests, everything from Hannah Montana to Colts to Spiderman to “pink fluffy.” The response from the women was so overwhelming that it is now an annual event to give a personal gift to each child during the holidays.
If your group would like to provide party bags or other needs for the children at the Indiana United Methodist Children’s Home, contact me at email@example.com or 317-595-8545. For more information about the Home and the services they provide, you can visit their website at www.iumch.org. n
Another example of the UMW’s giving heart started last November. The Home requested funds from the Board to purchase books for their on-grounds school. Regan Summers, a UMW Board member, spoke up and thought we could do even better. She organized a church-wide Book Drive in March and brought in over 150 books. There’s a famous song from my generation titled “Don’t Know What You’ve Got ‘Til It’s Gone.” (And if you recognize it and the band, then yes… I admit to listening to ‘80s hair bands at one time). But what if you never had anyMembers of the United Methodist Women displaying the Christmas thing in the first place? That’s what the children gifts for the Children’s Home at the Home face since many of them have been victims of their circumstances and not given much of a chance. The Home’s mission, with the help of our UMW, is to break that cycle. Susan Bennett, Public Relations Director at the Home, says the children look forward to the party bags each month and “come running when they see them delivered, excited about what could be in them.” In many cases, the relationships these children have with adults are negative, so what better way to spread the message of God’s love and generosity than to receive gifts from complete strangers? n
together in ministry everyday
St. Luke’s United Methodist Church • 100 West 86th Street • Indianapolis, Indiana 46260
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All Church Photos & Info Updating In conjunction with celebrating the fifth anniversary of being Together In Ministry Everyday, Lifetouch Photographers will be here in August and September to take photos for our database. There will not be a printed all-church directory, but we will use this information to update our records in order to better communicate and inform. Now is the TIME to get your church info updated and sign up for the new All-Church E-mail Listing.
Sign-ups begin at the church on July 10, or sign up anytime online at www.stlukesumc.com. See the July Communion Monthly for details. — —