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St. Luke’s Lubbock

Wonder of Christmas


A NOTE FROM PASTOR ANDY A Holy Advent I went into a store the day after Halloween and noticed that all the Halloween supplies were coming down and already all the Christmas inventory was going up. I began to see Christmas lights around town by November 10th. I confess that I am definitely one of those who love all things Christmas; I am one of those who can never get enough of Christmas songs, Christmas parties, Christmas decorations, and of course Christmas foods. Somewhere in my heart, however, I felt a hesitancy. We seem so busy to rush to all things material about Christmas and if we are not careful we will miss out on that which is primary and essential about this season. First, let’s make sure we don’t rush through that truly holy day that we call Thanksgiving. Second, let’s remember that before Christmas there is an important season called Advent. Advent is a church season that has been practiced for over 1500 years. Advent comes from the Latin word adventus meaning “coming” or “visit”. This season begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. In our secular calendar Christmas and December are the end of the year, but in the ancient church calendar, Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year. During Advent, Christians of prior centuries prepared for and anticipated the coming of Christ. We believe that Jesus has come, is come, and is coming again. In Advent, we are invited to slow down and remember the longing of the Jews for a Messiah and our own longing for, and need of, forgiveness, salvation and a new beginning. This Advent, we need to remember that before Jesus came the Prophets had been silent for 450 years. The people of Israel had settled in to a certain kind of religious life, but many of them longed for more; they longed for encounter and experience of God; they longed for their Messiah to come. This longing was an aching, a hunger for God to come and make himself clearly known. Oh sure, there were those who had settled in and accepted their situation; there were those who learned to manage and be satisfied with the status quo, and more often than not these were the ones who missed Jesus when he did come. I wonder which side of that equation you are on this Advent/Christmas season. Have you settled in to reality as it is or are you longing, aching for Jesus to come and reveal Himself, His power, His Spirit and His will in just as new and certain ways as he did 2000 years ago. This advent, we need to remember that before Jesus came many leaders got so entrenched in Israel’s past history that they missed God’s presence in the here and now in the incarnated Christ who was right before them. By the way, we need to learn from our history. We are to be rooted in our spiritual and theological history. One of the key ways of understanding who God is today is seeing and understanding who He has been. We believe that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And yet, what we can’t do even as we celebrate his coming 2000 years ago is miss out on how He desires to come in us afresh and anew in the here and now. The very Holy Spirit of Jesus that was poured out 2000 years ago is available to be poured out afresh and anew upon us today. This Advent, let the Jesus born in a stable 2000 years ago, be born powerfully anew inside you and through you as never before. Let His Spirit come and take not just residency but presidency in you! This Advent, don’t forget our history, but also don’t miss out on His reality in the here and now. This Advent, remember that Jesus came to both show the way and be the way. Jesus came as our ultimate example and model of how we are to love God and love each other. He showed us how to pray and how to meet the needs of those who are hurting; He showed us how to overcome temptation and how to build community. He showed us how to reach the lost and how to challenge the things that were not of His Father. But I praise God that he didn’t just come to show us the way or point us in a certain direction. I praise God that Jesus came to be THE WAY! Jesus came to give his life for our salvation. Jesus came to bring forgiveness, healing, and transformation. 2

Wonder of Christmas

St. Luke’s Lubbock

If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer. But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior.

A NOTE FROM PASTOR MATT Positively Christmas Recently, I attended a Christian teaching seminar with hundreds of people and I was fortunate to meet people from all over the United States while we discussed issues, shared meals together and worshipped together. I began to notice that the common theme surrounded negativity. I am not talking “problem solving,” but rather just “cussing and discussing” negative aspects of the church and private lives. I listened to conversations in the airport, watch the news channels and saw the newspaper headlines that were all negative. Our culture revolves around negativity. Judy Sheindlin, the star judicial queen of “Judge Judy,” is reportedly paid $47,000,000 a year to ensure negativity is entertaining. She is the highest paid television personality, ever! Our lives are filled with so many good and positive aspects, but we focus on the negative. God’s word tells us, not suggests to us, that we are more than conquerors, but not many people are jumping up to tell their stories of conquest. Why? I recently read this from psychologist Rick Hanson, “In effect, the brain is like Velcro for negative experiences, but Teflon for positive ones. That means it is possible “your underlying expectations, beliefs, action strategies, and mood,” are increasingly moved towards negative tendencies. He believes this because we are so used to surviving, that if we forget how we managed to survive the last difficulty, the next one might actually defeat us. We do not readily remember the positive, because frankly, it was too easy to remember. I want to again remind us that the Lord did not give us a spirit of fear or timidity, but a spirit of power. Most people have that part of the scripture memorized, but they do not know that passage ends with, “…in order that we would have a sound mind.” Jesus Christ is the creative power of the universe and through us, by the power of his Holy Spirit living in us, he is still creating. Jesus has the power and he gives us his power. The negativity of Satan has no power on its own, but only the power we give it. We are taking what is positive within us and giving it away and fueling what is negative outside of us! It is a choice of how we respond to life around us. Notice I said, “respond” and not “react.” A “response” is an informed choice, but a “reaction” is altogether something else. So, what do you do with this information? Where do you go from here? In the days leading up to Christmas morning we have many, many opportunities to spread the promise of a hope that conquers the sins of the world. I propose we all choose to live and respond in light of the hope, truth, and promise of Christ’s grace. As while we walk our journey of faith together, stop beating yourself up and let go of the past. I pray that you also help others do the same so they can truly find the wonder, majesty and hope of Christ in Christmas. Remember, we can do all things through Jesus Christ our Lord.

St. Luke’s Lubbock

Wonder of Christmas


A NOTE FROM SCOTT LATAHM Please help spread the word for folks to know about these opportunities. These groups and classes are open to anyone they might benefit including people you know who do not attend St. Luke’s.


You don’t know them. But when they got married they were viewed as today’s Romeo and Juliet; King Arthur and Guinevere; the “IT” couple. The “TRY-AND-BE-LIKE-THEM” couple. They led worship at churches and spoke at retreats and camps. She wrote a very popular blog and he had a very successful business. They were raising children, biological and adopted, and living a beautiful, fairytale life. Now they are divorced. It shocked everyone. Everyone. Did you know that the number one reason couples divorce is due how they argue. Certain styles of conflicting are toxic and deadly to marital love. Learning how to conflict in a way that resolves issues and also preserves respect and trust is the key to having a marriage that last till “death do us part”. In my opinion, EVERYONE can always use a refresher course on how to argue well. A “Making Marriage Stronger” Grace Group will begin Sunday, February 5th, focused on how to argue and conflict for good resolutions. The class will be from 4:00-5:30 at Southwest campus and nursery will be provided. If you have questions please call Scott at the church office


Do you know how to make a bieroch (a German food)? My mom’s parents came to the United States from Germany so naturally my mom cooked German dishes. As with many recipes, certain things went into making a bieroch and certain things did not. To add an ingredient not in the recipe or to subtract an ingredient from the recipe resulted in not making a bieroch. What are the ingredients couples need to bring to their relationships in order for their marriages to be what God intended marriage to be in the first place? A “SERIOUSLY DATING, ENGAGED, AND NEWLY MARRIED” group will begin Wednesday, February 1st. We will gather at 6:00-7:30pm at Central campus. Focus will be given to Ten Essential Ingredients Necessary For Lifelong Love. All young couples are invited whether they come to St. Luke’s, go to another church, or don’t attend anywhere. If you need more information please call Scott at the church office:


All college students are welcome to the Latham home Tuesday nights at 8:00-9:30pm for a robust, thought-provoking, in-depth bible study. Currently we are studying the Minor Prophets of the Old Testament. We will take a break for all the holidays but start back up January 24th. If you need more information please call Scott at the church office


We will spend 1/3 of our lifetime working. Yet there are a staggering number of Americans who are extremely unhappy in their occupations. What does that mean? Why do some people see work as a curse and others treat it like a god? And as Christians, were does work fit into God’s calling on our life to “seek first His Kingdom”? This Grace Group is for all Junior, Senior, or Graduate college students who feel a need to examine and unpack the meaning of work, what the Bible has to say about work, and how we can bring our Faith to the secular workplace with integrity and dignity. We will look at Daniel, Esther, Nehemiah, and Joseph as case studies as well as the meaning of Sabbath and other work related topics. We will meet Wednesday nights, starting January 25th. Our meeting will be 8:00-9:30pm in the fellowship hall at Central campus. If you have any questions please call Scott at the church office


Wonder of Christmas

St. Luke’s Lubbock

Advent is the season on the Church Calendar (versus the Gregorian Calendar) that includes the four weeks before Christmas. It is a time of waiting. And waiting seems to always lead to longing. This is why Simeon in Luke 2, is one of the Bible Characters that helps us understand Advent. The Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would see the Messiah before he died. So he had been coming to the temple looking for the Messiah for a long time ~ tradition has it that Simeon was very old. For Simeon Advent started with longing. How does Advent start in our world? Venti Pumpkin Spice, ½ whole milk, ¼ 2%, ¼ non-fat, extra hot, split quad, no foam, latte with 2 packets of splenda, one packet of raw, 1 pump of vanilla, and 3 sprinkles of cinnamon. And with one of the 15,000 renditions of silent night in the background, we put in our headphones and browse facebook which eventually leads to our want list and/or our shopping list. This reminds us of errands to run, things to order, stuff needing to get done……….headaches and frustrations. So, after a time, we reach for the Advil and the remote and escape into Netflex. Advent is about waiting and longing. Not for our latte and not for our gift request. Waiting and longing for Jesus to come. Like Simeon. And think about this: after waiting and longing for so long, how did he recognize the Messiah infant when His parents brought Him to the temple? Luke says in 2v27 he was “moved by the Spirit” (NIV). What is moving you this season before Christmas? Just consider, if what is moving you is not the Holy Spirit, you might miss Jesus coming this Christmas. Something to think about.

May Jesus Hold Your Focus For The Holidays,


Happy Thanksgiving November

27th - First Sunday of Advant & Tree Trimming @ Both Campuses 27th - CPS Tree @ Both Campuses

December 4th - St. Luke's Singer's and Cherub Sing @ Central 4th- Belize Info Meeting @ Noon, Central Fellowship Hall 4th- Carols and Candles @ Central 5th - Snack Packing @ 5:30, Southwest 11th - Lunch with the Pastors for Newcomers @ Central @ SW 11th -Night in Bethlehem @ 5:00pm, Southwest 17th - Radio Show @ 3:00pm, Central in Fellowship Hall 18th - Belize Info Meeting @ 6:00, SW Conference Room 22nd - Bells of Christmas @ Central 26th & 27th - Church Offices Closed

CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICES 12:00pm @ Central 2:00pm @ Central for Kids 4:00pm @ SW 6:00pm @ Central 11:00pm @ Central CHRISTMAS DAY 10:45am Service @ Central 10:30am Service @ Southwest 6:00pm Vida Abudante Service *No Nursey will provided on during Christmas Services

Financial Peace University coming in January 2017

St. Luke’s Lubbock

Wonder of Christmas


RAGAMUFFIN STUDENTs Today I want to do something different than my norm; for this article I would like to simply share scripture and respond to its message. Ephesians 4 is one of my favorite chapters in the entire bible, though it often seems to be forgotten in our day-to-day lives. Let me share Ephesians 4:11 & 12, and then 13-16 with you: Ephesians 4:11-12 “Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the shepherds and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.” So here’s what I see so far and my questions: 1. Jesus HIMSELF gave us leaders to guide the church. These leaders are not solitary pastors who do everything. No He gave MULTIPLE types of leaders to lead in their unique way. The preachers should preach, the teachers should teach, the apostles share God’s vision, the evangelist bring the lost into the fold, the shepherds disciple them, and the prophets redirect us when we begin to miss the mark. These are the GIFTS of the church. My questions to our church families regarding this verse are: a. Are multiple people leading in various giftings, or are we putting the responsibility of all these on the shoulders of one or two? b. Do we see these people as gifts from Jesus? Evangelists, sure! Shepherds, absolutely! But what of the prophets? Do we thank people who rebuke, correct, and remind us of who we are and what our true purposes are? Or do we see them as divisive, rude, out of line, or even heretical? Scripture shows us that we as humans do not have a good track record when it comes to hearing and receiving God’s word through the prophetically gifted. How do you hold up to God’s people of the past. 2. The responsibility of the leaders was not to DO the work of God, but rather to “EQUIP GOD’S PEOPLE TO DO HIS WORK” and to build up the body. There’s a famous quote about church that compares it to a modern football game: “22 people on the field trying as hard as they can to accomplish a goal, and thousands watching in the stands.” a. Does our church family look to our leaders to take care of all the issues AND provide all the spiritual food? Or rather do we look to ourselves as the primary workers in God’s kingdom with the Christ-given leaders there to guide, help, and encourage us? Are WE the primary channel of God’s grace and redemption in our context or are we spectators looking to “be fed” by those we’ve hired to do that? That’s the challenge. Now let’s look at the promised rewards of God for His people who live by these verses. Ephesians 4:13-16 “This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” 1. If we follow this structure given by Jesus, one in which we look to our leaders to train, equip, and encourage us to do the work of God, rather than follow the Western precedent of expecting them to do it all (“well they get paid for it don’t they”), God makes great and beautiful promises: a. We will all become mature, MEASURING UP TO THE FULL AND COMPLETE STANDARD OF CHRIST! We will be as mature as CHRIST!!!! b. Life will have no power over us. We will NOT be tossed back and forth by every new thing or difficult struggle. c. We will be a community that can speak with full honesty, yet dripping with love. This is truly the rarest thing in our world is a person who tells the whole truth in complete love. d. We will fit and work together perfectly AS WE DO OUR UNIQUE PART, continuing to grow healthier and healthier.


Wonder of Christmas

St. Luke’s Lubbock

Why would we deny the beautiful blessings God wants to give us through this message any longer? Is this not speaking to our greatest dreams as a church body; to do His work, grow up in Him, and love one another perfectly? What would a church like that look like? The leaders would be put out of a job because God’s people would be doing all the work, and as a paid staff member that would be just ok with me! Sunday, December 11th Dinner – 5:30pm @ 6501 Elkhart Ave RESONATE Worship – 7:00-8:30 @ Overton Hotel Pickup from the Overton Northwest entrance @ 8:30pm

November 27th No Student GRACE Enjoy your Thanksgiving break Sunday, December 4th Carols & Candles Christmas Program 6:00pm

Wednesday December 14th Ragamuffin Christmas Party 6:30-8:00pm December 15th – January 7th No Student Programs Have a VERY Merry Christmas!

PRE-SCHOOLs St. Luke’s Preschool is a half day preschool program at Central. We serve children 3 year old to kindergarten. Loving God’s little children is our upmost goal. Through play and hands on activities we strive to help children meet and exceed the goals set forth in our core knowledge curriculum. St. Luke’s Preschool would like to invite you to experience the joy of Christmas through music with our 4 and 5 year old students on Thursday, December 8 or Friday, December 9 at 9:15 in the Sanctuary. We wish you a joyful and blessed holiday season.

St. Luke’s Lubbock

Wonder of Christmas




Wonder of Christmas

St. Luke’s Lubbock


St. Luke’s Lubbock

Wonder of Christmas


CHILDREN’S MINISTRY Don’t forget to check the St. Luke’s Kids website for updates and more info: UPCOMING EVENTS: December 4th @ 6:00 pm Carols & Candles @ Central December 11th @ 5:00 pm A Night In Bethlehem @ Southwest December 24th @ 2:00 pm Children’s Christmas Eve Services December 12th – January 7th Merry Christmas and Happy New Year January 8th @ SW Kids LIVE Family Event January 22nd – 25th AWAKE 2017 – Featuring Kids’ Bible Quest with Wes and Felicia Putnam

Carols & Candles

December 4th 6:00 @ Central Join us as all of the musical talent join together for one night to celebrate the birth of our Savior.

KID’S LIVE DATES Mark your calendar! January 8th - Family Event January 15th January 22nd – Bible Quest January 29th

AWAKE 2017 Featuring Kids’ Bible Quest January 22nd – 25th 6:00 pm – Bible Quest 7:00 pm – Awake Service

Wes Putnam will be here to bring the Bible to life through story telling. There will be evening activities to get the kids involved as they learn about the Bible. This will be a great experience for the whole family!


Wonder of Christmas

St. Luke’s Lubbock

NIGHT IN BETHLEHEM NEEDS: •Amazon Wish List: (purchase and have shipped automatically to the church) •25 packages 8 count Pillsbury butter flake crescent rolls •2 lbs butter •25 people to make 2 dozen Homemade cookies •Borrow: Pop-up Canopy tents


Contact Tessa Armes at 438-2499 to sign up to help or to donate. Thank you!

A NIGHT IN BETHLEHEM CHRISTMAS JOURNEY December 11th from 5:00 – 6:30 @ SW Come as a family and discover Jesus in Bible-times Bethlehem! Families will interact with local shopkeepers and Mary and Joseph who share the Christmas story, and create unique keepsakes during this Christmas adventure.


•150 CPS children adopted and loved on this Christmas •150 Christmas Food Boxes for needy families •1200 Jesus seeking worshipers on Christmas Eve

•3000 personal invitations made to include friends and family in something Jesus is doing at St. Luke’s this Christmas •A church that makes this Christmas all about Jesus •Special Financial gifts that get our church in the Black as we begin 2017: 1. 10,000 gift 2. 7,500 gifts 3. 5,000 gifts 4. 2,500 gifts 5. 1,000 gifts St. Luke’s Lubbock

Wonder of Christmas


MUSIC MINISTRY What happens to people when they lose hope? They give up. They quit. Hope and perseverance go together. Hope is a future promise that keeps us going. It is the carrot before the donkey. Hope knows that there is a goal, and that the goal is worth pursuing, even through hardship and difficulty. If we don’t have hope, we won’t have perseverance. It is primarily God Himself who gives us encouragement. If we lack endurance and hope, we need to learn more about the attributes and intentions of God; for the more we know Him, the more encouraged we will be. Ligonier Ministries

Last month, I began my newsletter article grumbling about the miserable presidential campaign. Well, it’s finally over! Sigh! Now, we need to keep our country, our leaders, and the church in prayer as we begin another chapter in our nation’s history. Praise God that our ultimate citizenship is in the Heavenly Kingdom. The Apostle Paul reminds us in his letter to the Philippians and in his letter to the Ephesians that believers are citizens of God’s Kingdom. This is not to escape our earthly responsibilities, but to keep them in proper perspective. This task is not easy, so let’s pray continuously for each other and be ready to lend a gracious, listening ear to each other. When the church functions in this way, God can use His people as powerful vessels of His hope. Another way you can share God’s hope is to invite someone to Carols and Candles, which is on Sunday, December 4th at 6:00pm. Our presentation this year is entitled “The Game of Life” and is about the real hope that Christmas brings. Our choirs, orchestra, handbells and actors have been diligently working to offer an entertaining and meaningful evening of music and drama. After the presentation and candlelight singing, we’ll have a reception in the Fellowship Hall called “Cookies, Coffee and Cocoa.” This will be a wonderful opportunity to thank the performers, to enjoy fellowship and to welcome visitors to St. Luke’s. Please pray that Carols and Candles clearly presents the real hope that Christmas brings and that lives are changed. I would like to make a third invitation for serving in the Technical Crew. Please consider serving in one of the spots discussed below, or giving me the name of someone who would be good in one of the positions. We have several openings in both services at the Central Campus. It is important to fill each spot in order to have a reliable rotation that keeps the services running smoothly. You can be on the Sound Crew (which operates the soundboard) or the Media Crew (which operates the slideshow). While these are vital jobs during worship, they are not difficult and we will make sure that you are fully trained. Look at the chart below for openings. 8:30 Service Sound Fred Wagner


10:45 Service Media


Sam Kennedy Andrew Kennedy

Dale Wiginon

Mike McMurry

Ben Hayes



???? Bryce Yancey ???? Darren Jones

Wonder of Christmas

Media Leslie Garrison Leslie Garrison Elaina Thomas ????

St. Luke’s Lubbock

Joke of the Month

A kindergarten teacher gave her class a "show and tell" assignment of bringing something to represent their religion. The first boy got in front of the class and said, "My name is Benjamin and I am Jewish and this is the Star of David." The second boy got in front of the class and said, "My name is Mary. I'm am Catholic and this is the Crucifix.” The third boy got in front of the class and said, " My name is Tommy and I am Methodist and this is a casserole."





St. Luke’s Lubbock

Expense, $992,528

Actual October Income $121,471 Expense $88,290 Surplus/(Deficit) $33,181

Amount Paid Remaining Debt Original Building Debt

Actual YTD $978,119 $992,528 ($14,410)

$1,807,012 $192,988 $2,000,000

Deficit, ($14,410)

Surplus, $33,181

Expense, $88,290

Income, $121,471

Income, $978,119



Wonder of Christmas


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Wonder of Christmas

St. Luke’s Lubbock


CHILDREN’S PASTOR Central - D’Lea Jordan Southwest - Tessa Armes STUDENT PASTOR Kurtis Vanderpool MEDIA COORDINATOR Breanna Harrison BUSINESS MANAGER Florence Ann McVay



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 6:00 pm Hispanic Service

St. Luke’s Lubbock


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


Office Hours

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

Southwest 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

Wonder of Christmas


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

Carols and Candles The Game of Life AND THE REAL HOPE OF CHRISTMAS

Sunday, December 4th • 6:00pm • Central Campus “Cookies, Coffeee, and Cocoa” reception to follow Revelation


Listen to our Sermons Online at 16

Wonder of Christmas

St. Luke’s Lubbock

December Visionary 2016  
December Visionary 2016