Page 1

St. Luke’s Lubbock

December 2015 Visionary


A note from Pastor Andy His Light, Our Peace

Brett Blair tells the following story from U.S. history:

History records for us an interesting footnote. It was during the dark winter of 1864. At Petersburg, Virginia, the Confederate army of Robert E. Lee faced the Union divisions of General Ulysses S. Grant. The war was now three and a half years old and the glorious charge had long since given way to the muck and mud of trench warfare. Late one evening one of Lee’s generals, Major General George Pickett, received word that his wife had given birth to a beautiful baby boy. Up and down the line the Southerners began building huge bonfires in celebration of the event. These fires did not go unnoticed in the Northern camps and soon a nervous Grant sent out a reconnaissance patrol to see what was going on. The scouts returned with the message that Pickett had a son and these were celebratory fires. It so happened that Grant and Pickett had been contemporaries at West Point and knew one another well, so to honor the occasion,Grant, too, ordered that bonfires should be built. What a peculiar night it was. For miles on both sides of the lines fires burned. No shots fired. No yelling back and forth. No war fought. Only light, celebrating the birth of a child. But it didn’t last forever. Soon the fires burned down and once again the darkness took over. The darkness of the night and the darkness of war. The good news for us and for our world is that Christmas (the coming of Christ) means that in the midst of a great darkness there has come and is come an eternal and irrepressible Light, and try as it might,


the darkness is not able to overcome the Light. The Light of Jesus is not some mere temporary bonfire that flames brightly then burns away. It and He are an everlasting flame come into this world to bring peace to all! His peace is vertical bringing forgiveness and restoration between God and humanity. His peace is horizontal bringing healing and reconciliation to our relationships. The story of His Light, the Light of the world and the Light of Christmas, penetrating the darkness is the story of His peace being made available to you, to me, to all this Christmas. That’s why we sing “Sleep in heavenly PEACE!” That’s why we sing, “Hark the herald angels sing; Glory to the newborn King; PEACE on earth and mercy mild!”

The Prophet Isaiah says, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of PEACE.” (Isaiah 9:6) The Prophet Micah says, “He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. And he will be their PEACE.” Micah 5:4-5 I know there may be times, in the events of our world and in the events of our own personal lives, when we feel that “the Light of the World” (John 8:32) is being snuffed out by all the problems. But the promise of Christmas is that no matter what happens, the light still shines and the darkness will never overcome it. Make room for His Light and thus His Peace in your life and your family this Christmas!

December 2015 Visionary

St. Luke’s Lubbock

Vida Abundante

Building the Future

Mistakes are common by humankind, even for those who follow the perfect one, Jesus. As there is no one infallible, it becomes very important to acknowledge that we make mistakes. Like many other things, there are two main ways of seeing mistakes, which are very different. Mistakes can be seen from the perspective of Humanism or Christianity. One of the biggest differences can be found in the perspective and foundation with which each view the future. Humanism, in its essence, has to set a lower top, limiting the future to what people can do. Christianity, on the other hand raises the top to the possibilities of Jesus. Why would Humanism prefer to limit itself in that way? Psalm 14 says “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’”. Let’s change the situation here to see the foolishness. Is it not the job of a humanistic leader to convince everybody that there is no impossible task for them? Even when they know it is not possible? Are they not demanding faith for things that can’t be done? And, don’t people believe it? Of course they do! Isn’t that a contradiction? Is it not human pride trying to figure out, irrationally, this contradiction? Of course it is! In what circumstance would men want to limit their own potential? Isn’t that what happens when they have to renounce their own leadership? Of course, men’s nature demands faith in nothing but themselves. But that is their own trap, because only God does not make any mistakes! In the end they would never want to acknowledge any other God than themselves! There are people who want to see the future in a different and huge way: through God’s eyes! Then, let’s learn the mystery of how to put God in His right place in the Christmas season of our faith community. Let’s figure out how to bring Him into our hearts, because once He stays there He will reduce our mistakes through our entire lives. Come on, let’s try! ~Pastor Jorge~

St. Luke’s Lubbock

December 2015 Visionary


A note from Pastor Matt Advent 2015: The Beginning or the End?

For most people, December is seen as a time to wind down the year since, after all, it is the end of the calendar year. What makes it even seem more like the closing of a chronological chapter in our lives is the enormous talk and celebration of the “new year” that comes shortly after we celebrate Christmas. So which is it for you? Does it seem more like the end or a new beginning?

On December 11, 2015 at 11 am I will “graduate” from Asbury Seminary. That is not a ‘typo’. On December 11th, I will have actually given life to the joke made by many students about being “on the decade plan” to graduate. You all are going to have to come up with a new question to ask me, however, because “When are you going to finish seminary” is no longer a conversation starter! I will have completed 96 hours in 32 graduate level classes. I will have made 11 trips to the campus in either Wilmore. KY or Orlando, FL and spent 4 months away from my family. I guesstimate I have spent 5,760 hours in some form of academics; $60,015 in tuition; and another $11,000 in travel related expenses and who knows how much on books to complete this journey. None of it would have ever been possible without every person reading this article. You have been on this journey with me and you have my heartfelt gratitude for the support and care you have shown me. So, back to the question, “Does it seem more like the end or a new beginning?” My answer: a new beginning. Motivational speaker Jim Rohn says, ““Don’t let your learning lead to knowledge. Let your learning lead to action.” I have no idea if he is a Christian or not, but I know that the Holy Scriptures agree: ! Peter 1:13 “Therefore, preparing your minds for action…” Matthew 7:20 tells us that the world will recognize us as a follower of Jesus Christ by the way I act, talk, influence, show compassion, and serve others. Romans 12:6 tells us we each are given gifts and we are to use them. The Lord has given me several great gifts since coming to Christian ministry, including seminary, and I certainly feel that the Holy Spirit is preparing to unleash those gifts in me. Seminary has prepared me to be used by the Lord and I plan to serve. While preaching one Sunday morning a few months ago, the Holy Spirit clearly communicated to me, “I brought you here for more than this.” There was no indication of disappointment or that anything was not right in my journey so far, but I believe it did communicate that He is about to do something great and I am excited to serve. When Jesus was born into the world it was a new beginning. Jesus is even called “the last Adam” in 1 Corinthians 15:45 and characterized him as “a life-giving spirit.” So I will ask once more, during this season of advent does it seem like the beginning or the end? Sure sounds like a new beginning to me and he invites us all to join the journey. I love you all! Moving Mountains, one rock at a time, Pastor Matt Pastor Matt’s SW Wish List for Advent 2 Volunteers to write thank you cards to church guests (All of December) 4 Volunteers for Christmas Decorators (November 30 – December 4) 4 Volunteers for Christmas Eve Decorators (December 20-23) 6 Volunteers for Christmas Eve Volunteers to Greet


December 2015 Visionary

St. Luke’s Lubbock

Music Ministry I always remind my ensembles after a great rehearsal that “we haven’t peaked yet.” This light-hearted admonition is a strategy to outwit the tendency to be complacent when things go well. The reason I mention this is to point us ahead to the many corporate worship opportunities that await us in December. Our allchurch Thanksgiving service went so smoothly and so nicely that we may be tempted to say that we have peaked. At this special service, we represented almost all of St. Luke’s music ensembles, from children to adults and from bells to brass, from classical to contemporary and from keys to guitars; we covered a lot of music and everyone did great. I pray that the Lord enjoyed our efforts to worship Him and pray that we built up the body of Christ. Let’s not forget that we topped it off with a fantastic meal lovingly prepared and served by our own brothers and sisters. And, I should also mention that our pastors thoughtfully challenged us to stay focused on the spirit and source of Thanksgiving. What a blessed time we shared together. But, we haven’t peaked! Advent is right around the corner and we can look forward to our special advent services, concerts, programs and multiple Christmas Eve services. We all know that there is an increase in church attendance during advent, culminating in a tsunami of people flooding churches on Christmas Eve to get that special religious “buzz” (some people refer to this group as CE members- Christmas/ Easter members- those who attend church only on these two special celebrations). Christmas time is a great opportunity for the church to

AREAS TO SERVE AND GROW Choirs, Orchestra, String Ensemble, Bells, Band, Sound Crew, Media Crew, Librarians, Guitar Class, Drama

St. Luke’s Lubbock

reach out to unchurched and formerlychurched people. Let’s not miss this opportunity. Let’s all brush up on the Christmas story so that we are prepared to share it with people. Let’s pray for boldness and humility, so that we may speak with confidence and tenderness. Let’s be ready to listen to people’s stories about why they don’t come to church, why they have stopped coming to church, and why they may be suspicious of church. And let’s be ready to say “I don’t know…I’ll find out” when someone asks us a question and we truly don’t know the answer. Let’s be the body of Christ to each other and to our visitors as we worship our way through advent. Finally, consider inviting someone to Carols and Candles. This candlelight concert is always a great vehicle for bringing people to church and for inspiring thoughtful conversations about the Gospel. This year, in the context of the Christmas story and adorned with beautiful music, we’ll explore the difference between knowing about Jesus and knowing Jesus. This is such a vital topic for the American church, which has struggled for years with nominal members. Our own Bear Mills is writing a wonderful narration that will gently invite us to reflect on this subtle yet life-changing distinction. Please pray for all of those who are investing their time in Carols and Candles. The performance is on Sunday, December 6th at 6:00pm at the Central Campus. Invite a friend and go grab a cup of coffee afterwards for great conversation!

-Andy C.

UPCOMING EVENTS 12/6 - Carols & Candles Performance @ Central 6:00 pm 12/11 - BellChoir Christmas Concert @ McKenzie House 12/12 - St. Luke’s Singers Christmas Caroling 12/13 - Radio Show @ Southwest 6:00 pm

December 2015 Visionary


Ragamuffin Students Immanuel: God With Us

Yes, most of us have all heard the Christmas story more times than we need to, and most of us know that the name for God’s son, “Immanuel,” means “God with us.” But it all too often feels as if this is just Christmas jargon passed along because it’s the appropriate season, and is rarely given the time, attention, and reflection it deserves. GOD OF THE UNIVERSE CAME TO BE WITH US! He got out of His throne, stepped away from the thousands of magnificent beings (angels) singing praise and holy adoration to Him, left his clothing of radiant light...and stepped into the form of a helpless baby in a dirty barn! A baby that spits up and poops himself and can’t even eat without help. And He did it for you. He did it for me. He did it for those who still don’t yet know it. Here is where I think we as the Church do not live into the reality of who we are, and of what we are capable in Christ. Here is where we so often do not live up to our full potential as the royally adopted children of Yahweh. We accept Jesus as our “Lord and Savior” from our sins and from hell, but we forget that He dwells and walks with us in EVERYTHING! He suffers our pain and tragedies...WITH US! He dances in our joy...WITH US! He bears the burden of guilt and conviction of sin...WITH US! He trudges through failure...WITH US! And he sits beside us in the daily, boring, mundane rigmarole of routine life...with us. This is of so much more importance for our spiritual journey with Christ, to know that He is part of us, He resides within us, and He will never leave us, than to know the ins and outs of Wesleyan Theology; more important than the number of times you have read the good book cover to cover, more importance than our consistent attendance at Methodist Men gatherings or Sunday School; more important than living lives void of all sinful thoughts of actions (which I’m not sure is possible anyway). To know my loving, powerful God “will never leave nor forsake” me, will “be with [me] always, even to the very end of the age,” and that “nothing in all creation will be able to separate us” from His love; this is truly more satisfying and sustaining than anything in this life. Rejoice, for Immanuel...God is with us. ~Kurtis

Holiday Hangouts!

Just because we’re taking a break from activities definitely doesn’t mean we take a break from community! The volunteers and students of Ragamuffin Student Ministry are still available for hanging out and sharing Jesus with one another over the Holiday Break. So don’t be afraid to call, text, or hangout when you can, and be sure to sign up for text notifications so you can find out when people are getting together! Just text @STLUKESY to 81010!


December 2015 Visionary

DECEMBER 6 The Gathering Cancelled DECEMBER 12-13 CHRISTMAS MISSION & PARTY Due to physical limitations a sweet couple we worked with this past summer is unable to do many of the things necessary to take care of their home. So, Saturday, Dec. 12th we will be serving our neighbors by helping them clean and decorate their house for Christmas! THEN, we will have our Ragamuffin Christmas Party that evening from 6:008:00pm @ Southwest, followed by a sleep over at Charley & Ashleigh Brewer’s house! Bring a wrapped white elephant gift (worth less than $5), a sleeping bag, pillow, toiletries, and clothes for church the next morning. COMING IN JANUARY Family Ministry Summit ALL throughout scripture the family was the primary avenue for spiritual development and discipleship of the whole community, from newborns to teens to elders. We at St. Luke’s are seeking to tap into this ancient, biblical precedent of disciple-making by empowering families, biological and spiritual, to work together toward common goals. Join us as we embark on this journey TOGETHER as a “Christcentered family of grace” at our Family Ministry Summit coming this January.

St. Luke’s Lubbock

Children’s Ministry Tree Decorating

November 29 - Both Campuses @ 9:30 am (Sunday School Hour) Please bring a brunch item to share. Children are invited to wear their Christmas Pajamas.

Parents' Night Out

Friday December 4, 2015 from 6:00 – 10:00 @ Southwest $10/child – $30 Family Max Ages: 6 weeks – 5th Grade Dinner will be provided for the children. Enjoy a night out on the town or finish up Christmas shopping while your children join us for fun, games, and a movie. Please sign up online at

Family Fun Christmas Event

Sunday December 13, 2015 from 2:00 – 3:30 pm at Southwest. We will be making keepsake ornaments from the Mud Room. This is a family event. All ages are welcome! Please sign up online at

Family Ministry Summit

ALL throughout scripture the family was the primary avenue for spiritual development and discipleship of the whole community, from newborns to teens to elders. We at St. Luke's are seeking to tap into this ancient, biblical precedent of disciple-making by empowering families, biological and spiritual, to work together toward common goals. Join us as we embark on this journey TOGETHER as a "Christ-centered family of grace" at our Family Ministry Summit coming this January.


: November 29, 2015 – Tree Trimming Event during Sunday School @ Both Campuses Thanksgiving Holiday – (No Kids Live) December 4, 2015 – Parents Night Out from 6:00 – 10:00 pm @ SW December 6, 2015 – Carols and Candles at 6:00 pm @ C – (No Kids Live) December 13, 2015 – Family Fun Christmas Event from 2:00 – 3:30 @ SW (Final Kids Live for Semester) January – Watch for Family Summit and Kids Live Dates and Times

St. Luke’s Lubbock

December 2015 Visionary


All Church Thanksgiving


December 2015 Visionary

St. Luke’s Lubbock

Thanks for all your love and support in 2015: Here’s to a great 2016!

St. Luke’s Lubbock

December 2015 Visionary


Announcements Staff Birthday

Sarah Garrity-Wiginton (Dec. 22)

Staff Anniversaries

Frank Anderson (12 years) Shalan Inmon (4 years) Reba Underwood (1 year)

First Sunday Lunch at Southwest Campus Sunday, December 6 You are invited to bring a covered dish to share and stay after service for food, fun and fellowship.

Hands of Jesus Snack Packs Sunday, Dec. 6 Southwest @ 12:30 pm

All Church Family Ski-Trip March 12-15

Glenwood Springs, CO at Sunlight Mountain 3 Nights, 2 Days Skiing & Rentals We are trying something NEW!

We believe in the power of family, biological and spiritual, so we are launching our first All Church Ski Trip, open to anyone & everyone, coming this spring! Prices include 3 nights lodging, 2 days skiing & rentals, & 1 dinner with the whole gang. Individuals & families will be responsible for their own transportation and meals except for 1 dinner. When: March 12-15 Where: Glenwood Springs, CO @ Sunlight Mountain Resort What: Skiing, Sledding, Snow Mobile Tours, Shopping, Spa, Hot Springs, Dining, Worship, & More! Who: Everyone! Sign up with your family or a group. Cost: $210 - Adults • $205 - Students $200 - Children • $100 - Non-Skiers

sign up online

**Signup & non-refundable $75 deposit due December 1st**


December 2015 Visionary

St. Luke’s Lubbock

Upcoming Events November 26-27 - Church Offices Closed November 29 - Tree Trimming & Decorating @ Both Campuses, 9:30 am December 4 - Parents Night Out @ Southwest, 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm December 6 - Hands of Jesus Meal Packing @ Southwest, 12:30 pm December 6 - Southwest Fellowship Covered Dish Lunches @ Southwest, 12:30 pm December 6 - Carols & Candles Performance @ Central, 6:00 pm December 11 - BellChoir Christmas Concert - Mackenzie House, 6:00 pm December 12 - St. Luke’s Singers Christmas Caroling December 13 - Kids Live/Family Fun Christmas Event @ Southwest, 2:00-3:30 pm December 13 - Radio Show @ Southwest, 6:00 pm December 20 - Blue Christmas Service December 22 - Bells of Christmas @ Central, 6:00 pm December 23 - Christmas Service @ Vintage Township, 6:00 pm December 24-25 - Church Offices Closed December 24 - Christmas Eve Service @ Central, Noon December 24 - Christmas Eve Service for Children @ Southwest, 4:00 pm December 24 - Christmas Eve Service @ Central, 6:00 pm December 24 - Christmas Eve Service @ Southwest, 6:00 pm December 24 - Vida Abundante Christmas Eve Service @ Central Fellowship Hall, 6:00 pm December 24 - Christmas Eve Service @ Central, 11:00 pm December 25 - Christmas Day December 26-29 - Proyecto Abrigo - Juarez Mission Trip January 1 - Church Offices Closed January 10 - Vida Abundante Lubbock First Anniversary January 10 - Guitar Classes, St. Luke’s Singers, and Youth Ensemble Resume @ Southwest January (TBA) - Family Ministry Summit March 12-15 - All Church Family Ski-Trip @ Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Carols and Candles December 6, 2015 St. Luke’s Central Sanctuary 6:00 pm

St. Luke’s Lubbock

December 2015 Visionary


Free to Serve Campaign In January of 2012, we begin financial campaign, Free to Serve. This campaign had four key priorities: 1. Free up tithes and offerings for daily ministry through debt reduction 2. Strengthen and develop our prayer ministry to include the entire church family 3. Extend and enhance our hospitality ministry in all areas i.e. Radical Hospitality 4. Give Biblical tithe (10%) of funds committed to the campaign for mission ministries beyond the walls of our church Together, we have reached our goals. • We have reduced our debt to under $500,000.00 • We have a prayer ministry: Monday mornings at both campuses and every Monday night at Southwest. Also every Sunday, prayer warriors pray during worship. • We have several groups that we are reaching with radical hospitality: 2 ESL Classes Kids Beach Club, Great Commission Fellowship, Wesley Foundation, Afterschool Care, Block Party, Fall Festival, and International Children’s Choir • We tithed off our giving to the tune of $ 93,000 for missional ministries. In three years, we have reached outside the walls of our church through these Missions: • Maedgen Teachers luncheon • Paul’s Project • Maedgen kids to church camp • Kids Beach Club • Cooper West Teachers luncheon • Jeremy and Kirby Smith in Costa Rica • Justin and Lisa Hancock with Missional Wisdom • If I Had a Hammer Missions • Hope Shalom in Lubbock

• St. Luke’s Missions Conference • Vida Abundante Signage • Mission Trips to: • Belize 2 years • Mexico to build a house • Plus numerous other outreach events

Thank you for saying “Yes” when asked to be part of the “Paid in Full, Free to Serve campaign.” Together we accomplished much.

“For two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. “ ~Ecclesiastes 4:9-12


December 2015 Visionary

St. Luke’s Lubbock

Actual for October $92,703 $104,672 ($11,969)

ome pense rplus/(Deficit)

Actual YTD $976,912 $1,000,375 ($23,464)

Financial Update Expense, $1,000,375

Income Expense Surplus/(Deficit)

Debt Freefor October Actual Current Building Debt $92,703 Original Building Debt $104,672 ($11,969)

0 Actual YTD 487,678 $976,912 2,000,000 $1,000,375 ($23,464)


(Deficit) ACTUAL YTD

Expense, $1,000,375


Income, $976,912



Expense, $104,672

Income, $92,703

Income, $976,912


Original Building Debt Current Building Debt Debt Free

487,678 0



Expense, $104,672

Income, $92,703

Finish the Race 2016 Six years ago our church birthed and builtA CaT Usecond location at 98th and AL FOR ACTUAL YTD O C T Ohundreds BER Frankford that has been responsible for reaching of new families, thousands of children, and had an untold impact for Christ all across Lubbock. In January of 2010 our indebtedness on this facility was just under $2 million. In May of 2012 our debt was $1,4 million as we began a church wide campaign called “Free to Serve.” Hundreds of families took part in this three year program and praise God, as of October 2015, our indebtedness dipped below $500,000. God has accomplished so much through all of you who have sacrificially and continually given to get our church family to a place where we truly are “Free to Serve.” Each year, we spend just under $100,000 from our church budget in making building payments. Our prayer and our hope is that these funds can be used and invested in life change not just debt reduction in the near future. Over the next three months, our Finance Team will be introducing a “Finish the Race” campaign where we do what it takes to completely erase our debt. Members of our church family will be asked to make an 18 month commitment to “finish the race” that we began years ago. St. Luke’s Lubbock

December 2015 Visionary


GRACE Groups Contact Church Office 797-4393, Andy Hurst 445-1280, or visit for details

Sunday Ferguson (women)

Friday Hurst (men)

Wednesday Smith (men) Coward (men) Birchfield (walking group) Carmichael (women)***

Monday Ehlers (couples or singles) Tuesday Methodist Men United Methodist Women (monthly)

Thursday Hurst (International Students) Baldree (men)

Grace Prayer Monday Prayer Group (9 am @ Central) (9:30 am @ Southwest) Prayer Warriors (Monday, 6 pm @ Southwest)


*Ad space in the newsletter highlights your business and helps underwrite the cost of printing & mailing the newsletter. If you are interested, please contact us at


Bear Mills

Now available at and Hastings Facebook: Bear Mills Author 432-559-8339

Other books by BEAR MILLS


(806) 765-7877 Fax: (806) 765-8109


Jim Potts




P.O. Box 6392 Lubbock, TX 79493 Bill Carrell Owner-Technician (806) 787-4252



Lubbock, Texas 79411

December 2015 Visionary

St. Luke’s Lubbock


CHILDREN’S PASTOR Central - D’Lea Jordan Southwest - Tessa Armes


STUDENT PASTOR Kurtis Vanderpool







PRAISE & WORSHIP LEADER Southwest - Ashleigh Brewer


ORGANIST Karen Dawson


Worship Opportunities


Socialize with us!

8:30 am Traditional Service 9:30 am Sunday School 10:45 am Experiential Service 11:00 am Hispanic Service

CUSTODIANS Veronica Orosco Joe Ortiz SECURITY Frank Anderson

Central 3708 45th Street Lubbock, TX 79413 797-4393 [phone] 797-4395 [fax]

Southwest 806

9:30 am Sunday School 10:30 am Contemporary Service

“St. Luke’s Lubbock” “St. Luke’s Southwest” “Ragamuffin Student Ministry” “Vida Abundante Lubbock” “St. Luke’s Lubbock Music Ministry @Stlukeslubbock @MattPastor2u @Andyhurst62 @stlukeslubbock

St. Luke’s Lubbock


December 2015 Visionary

Office Hours

Monday - Friday 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM


5805 98th Street Lubbock, TX 79424 771-0555 [phone] 797-4395 [fax]


Office Hours

Monday - Friday 9:00 AM - NOON

visit us online e-mail


Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage Paid Lubbock, TX Permit No. 106

St. Luke’s United Methodist Church 3708 45th St. • Lubbock, TX 79413 Return Service Requested


December 2015 Visionary

St. Luke’s Lubbock

December 15 Visionary  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you