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The Monthly Newsletter of St. Luke United Methodist Church · May 2019


St. Luke


More Photos from the Easter Baptismal Service on Page 20!

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” Zephaniah 3:17


1. Announcements 3. Youth Sunday 4. Planting Seeds 5. Nicaragua Water Project 7. SLT Update 8. May Resource 9. Retirement Celebration 10. Pastoral Transition 11. Tea Party Invitation 12. UMW Project 13. Teacher Appreciation 14. Goodbye from the Searls 15. Family VBS 17. Stewardship Update 18. Giving Matters 19. Blue Barrel Bag 20. From the Pantry Shelf 21. The Trees of Life 22. Swahili Baptisms May 2019 | 1

ANNOUNCEMENTS Calling All 2019 High School and Higher Education Graduates We want to take time in worship to recognize and honor our graduates. St. Luke will recognize high school graduates on May 19. We need the following information: the graduate's name, high school of graduation, parents' names, the graduate's plans following graduation, a photo, and which service you plan to attend on the date you are to be recognized (if you are able to do so). Please send these details to mwalz@ no later than May 13 for high school graduates. Young Men's Retreat What does it mean to be a man of God in the midst of the current culture around us? In an effort to help our young men answer this question, St. Luke presents a retreat for high school and college-age guys. Join us for a weekend getaway with God and fellow men of God on May 17-18 at the Turner's Farm in Richmond, KY. Mark your calendar now! To register email John Duff or Michael Mayeaux:, Please Update Your Membership Information Does our church database have your family membership record correct? Have you changed your phone number, email, or have you moved? Now is your chance to update your record for our annual Guide Book & Directory. Please let the church office know about changes to your record so that the information in the 2019 Guide Book and Directory is correct. Our number is 859-269-4687 or email at 1 | May 2019

Free Pancake Breakfast to support the youth group, Sunday, June 2, 9-11:00 a.m. in the Gym! We hope you'll join us in supporting our youth program by attending the free pancake breakfast. Donations will be accepted. All proceeds go towards serving and supporting our youth program.

Young Adult Red's Game St. Luke's young adult and college groups are going to watch the Red's play baseball on May 16th. The game starts at 6:40 PM in Cincinnati so we plan to meet around 4:40 at church to carpool up to the game. If you haven't been involved in the past with our group this is a great event to jump in and get to know everyone! If you are interested please contact John Duff at jduff@ BBQ to Go - Support International Missions! Skip the drive through, surprise your family, treat a neighbor, delight your coworkers, and support your mission team travel to reach out to orphans and abandoned elderly in Guatemala. You too can be a part of the mission effort. You can purchase a pound container of delicious secret recipe pulled pork BBQ on Sunday, May 19 for only $8! You can buy the BBQ to eat on Sunday freeze it for later, or to give it to a friend in need. Sales will be in the Connection Center between and after all services. We also need your help raising funds to send our team and support our work! You can be a part of the team by purchasing a "share" in our trip at a suggested donation of $20 in the Connection Center at the display between services on Sunday mornings. May 2019 | 2

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PLANTING SEEDS by Mike Powers, Pastor of Building Relationships and Introducing Christ


ill was a dear friend and faithful member of our church in Morehead. A loving husband, devoted father, and community leader, Bill filled several roles in our congregation, but he especially loved teaching children. One day, he received those dreaded words from his doctor, “Bill, I am sorry, but you have inoperable lung cancer.” The next Saturday, I looked out the window and saw Bill in the backyard of our church with several children from his Sunday School class planting trees. Now you may wonder about that, why Bill would spend valuable time and energy planting trees that he would not live to enjoy. Yet, you know why, don’t you? All his life he had enjoyed the beauty of the leaves and the comfort of the shade and

the fruit of the labors of others who had planted trees before him. He wanted to return the favor to those children gathered around him with their shovels, and their children, and their children’s children. That is what we do day after day, week after week, year after year at St. Luke United Methodist Church. We make eternal investments with thankful hearts for those who did not know us but prayed for us and gave generously for us. And now, we plant seeds knowing we may not enjoy the fruits of our labors, but we gladly and faithfully pass along the blessings we have enjoyed with prayers for the yet-to-be disciples of Jesus Christ.

Pastor Brian who will continue this ministry of sowing, reaping and sowing more for the work of Christ’s Kingdom through St. Luke UMC. Aren’t you glad to be part of our church whose past inspires its present and instructs it future? This is who we are. This is what we do. Thanks be to God.

As we prepare for a transition in the leadership of the Senior Pastor, we praise God for the seeds Pastor Mark has faithfully, lovingly and carefully planted in our church and community. And we pray for May 2019 | 4



by Mark Walz, Jr.


have some amazing news about the water project! As you know, in November 2017, St. Luke UMC agreed to take on the Yakwalwas Water Project in our partner village of Yakalwas, Nicaragua at an estimated cost of $24,000. This is the same village we partnered with to build a school and we have taken a few mission trips there! During the dry season of 2018 (MarchJune), the residents of the community in Yakalwas began digging and purchasing materials. At that point, they began all the work they could get done while they wait on funds to come in from us. In January of 2019, they began to build the filter box and spring box. They wanted to begin laying pipes in February, but we didn't have enough money sent to them by then. As of February 2019, we had sent $4,505, $2,283, and $3,900 for a total of $10,688! That is very impressive! However, they still needed an additional $13,512 to finish the project and they really needed it by June at the latest, otherwise they would have to wait a whole year to work on it again, when the dry season returned. 5 | May 2019


NDED! After I had heard that news, I called Ronnie Hopkins, our missionary partner in Nicaragua, and told him that we would need some help to reach this goal if he knew of anyone that wanted to help St. Luke sponsor this project. Well, this past April, Ronnie let me know that he had told me he had borrowed some money to purchase the pipes and in the process discovered that he had overestimated the total and that they would be able to finish the project with a total of $21,500. At the end of May, we sent them $1952, bringing our total contribution to $12,640. That is an INCREDIBLE and God-sized amount, however it was still $8,860 short of our goal!

Here's the miracle: on Good Friday, April 19, Ronnie was informed that a someone had donated $10,500 to the Yakalwas Water project, bringing the funding to completion! His name is Ed Baker, and he is former Nicaraguan Missionary and a current US Based Water Engineer, he is one of the men whom I traveled with in 2016, when we first visited Ronnie and Yakalwas. This amazing news means the water project funding is complete and Yakalwas will have a complete clean water system by the end of June! Praise God! And THANK YOU, St. Luke for your generous gifts of $12,640! May 2019 | 6

Servant Leadership Team (SLT) Update


s you know, in addition to the team's regular responsibilities, your Servant Leadership Team is preparing for an intensive year-long journey of prayer, learning, team-building, and leadership development, and this work will begin in May. We are very pleased to announce that Amanda Draughn and John Duff will be joining this work and the SLT immediately. To meet the SLT’s Ministry Action Plan requirement of a minimum number of members on the SLT, the process for adding new members to the team was amended in this instance. Amanda and John bring talents, spiritual gifts and congregational connections that will enhance and strengthen your leadership team’s ability to listen, discern and guide

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St. Luke into the next season in collaboration with our incoming senior pastor, Rev. Brian Ebel. The SLT is excited that Amanda and John, two young adults who are spiritually mature leaders and very committed to St. Luke, are willing to make this type of an investment of their time and effort toward serving St. Luke and God’s Kingdom in this way. When you see Amanda or John, please share your appreciation with them!


Discipleship Resource for May By John Duff


he St. Luke Resource for Christian discipleship for the month of May is The John Wesley sermon collection by Seedbed Publishing. John Wesley sermons are a means of grace for the Christian life, helping us understand more what it means to follow and know Jesus Christ as Lord of our life. Seedbed has taken the sermons and edited out the old English, so they are easier to read. On top of that they have grouped them together in different smaller collections so that you can focus on a few at a time! These sermons are highly recommended and we have a few of the collections in our resource room at St. Luke. You can also browse the collection online at: the-john-wesley-collection . These are great for personal study, as well as group study. The sermons might take a couple of reads, but are definitely worth the time and effort to gain valuable insight from the founder of Methodism. May 2019 | 8


a Retirement Celebration for Rev. MArk girard

Friday May 31, 2019 at 6 pm in the Life Center Friday May 31, 2019 at 6 pm in the Life Center at St. Luke UMC we all will celebrate Pastor Mark Girard’s retirement from the ministry after 38 years of dedicated service! What an accomplishment and a well-deserved send-off for Mark, Karen, and their family. We want to take this opportunity to thank Mark for his years of dedicated service not only to St Luke UMC but also all the churches he has served so faithfully during this time in the Methodist tradition.

The SPRC is planning a fried chicken, green beans (Mark’s favorite), and mac & cheese menu supplemented by side dishes, salads or desserts from those who will be able to attend. We are also planning some time to share our favorite stories and memories of Mark and his impact on our lives. There may also be some surprises thrown in during the evening festivities.

Pastor Mark will obviously be greatly missed here at St Luke after his final Sunday, June 9, but we hope he will visit us frequently in between visits with his brand new grandson! 9 | May 2019

In order to help us plan, please RSVP the number in your family that will be attending by signing up on the sheet in the Connection Center or by emailing

What we are asking everyone to do even if you cannot attend this event is to write cards, notes, letters of appreciation, etc. and drop them off in Venus’s office or put in the SPRC mail box. Love gifts are also welcome and should be given to one of the staff or SPRC members. And spread the word! Let’s all make this a time of remembering Mark’s significant impact on the Kingdom and help God say “well done, good and faithful servant”!


n June 30th, Rev. Brian Ebel will take his place as the seventh senior pastor in 43 year history of St. Luke United Methodist Church. The average tenure for pastors at St. Luke has been right at seven years. Pastor Mark is the first one to retire from St. Luke. Two former pastors, Rev. Debbie Wallace Padgett and Rev. Lindsey Davis have been elected to the Episcopacy, a remarkable record for any church but especially one as young as St. Luke. Two pastors (Rev. Davis and Rev. Gene Strange) left St. Luke to become District Superintendents while two (Rev. Wallace-Padgett and Rev. Girard) came to St. Luke following tenures as District Superintendents. One pastor (Dr. Steve Martyn) went from St. Luke

to a teaching position at Asbury Seminary and one (Dr. Woody Church) left to plant a new church. Through it all, St. Luke has continued to grow and prosper and has become one of the largest and most vital churches in the Kentucky Conference. Rev. Ebel is one of the finest young pastors in the Conference. He has been a pastor, associate pastor, church planter and adjunct professor and excelled at each. He will bring a high level of energy, enthusiasm, innovation and leadership to St. Luke. St. Luke will continue its amazing heritage of growth and vitality. A pastoral transition is always a time for a church to hit the reset

button. In the next few weeks we need to be taking a look at everything we do as a church and adjust accordingly. Are we doing our best to glorify God through worship and study and fellowship and service? Are we one in the Spirit? Or are we often individual parts acting independent of the Body? It’s a great time for those who have wandered away from the church for whatever reason to come back. Let’s all recommit to our vows to support the church through our Prayers, Presence, Gifts, Service and Witness. If we all will do that, then June 30th will be the beginning of yet another wonderful chapter in the amazing, faith filled story of St. Luke United Methodist Church.

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Tea for a Cause SATURDAY, MAY 18 AT 11:00 A.M. AT ST. LUKE Lunch and tea will be served and all proceeds for this fundraiser will benefit the scholarship program at Aldersgate Camp this summer. Donations are accepted! 11 | May 2019

trip to Guatemala, missionaries in Uganda, scholarships to Aldersgate Camp, items for the Methodist Children’s Home in Nicholasville, and supplies to make Hygiene Kits for UMCOR. The picture shows items we were able to purchase and recently deliver to the Methodist Home. These were items listed on their “wish list” – Gatorade, men’s underwear, women’s underwear, deodorant, Throughout the year, United Methodist shampoo and conditioner, body wash, Tide Women give our Pledges to the corporate Pods, Disinfect Wipes, and individually United Methodist Women for the support of packaged Frito Lay snacks. various projects around the world. We also collect a “Love Offering” within our local This May we’re adding a new fundraiser. units, which is used to benefit women and/ These funds will fund Aldersgate Camp or children’s needs with local connections. scholarships for youth at St Luke. This In addition we have “The Holiday Market,” will be a Tea (see invitation) scheduled which has become our major fundraiser. for May 18. Come to the tea and help us Out of these monies, we are able to donate reach our goals. to several projects such as: the mission May 2019 | 12


Children’s Ministry Teacher Appreciation Day May 19th! Our teachers & leaders love serving your children! Show them some love on May 19th! Help your child bake them cookies or a cupcake! Draw them a picture! Think of another way you can say

PreSchool A– Danielle Dutton & Emma Keyser PreSchool B/C– Darleen Blanton & Andrea Annunziato God’s Playground– Molly Barber & Tammy Medaris K-2nd Grade Shepherds– Trish Henson & Christina Briggs 3rd-5th Grade Shepherds–Venus Brown & Erin Miley Backyard Buddies- Julia Hefner 13 | May 2019

GOODBYE FROM THE SEARLS We feel so blessed to be a part of the St. Luke family!

by Janet Garrison We are happy to report our kids, Alicia, Brady, and Gabriel, arrived safely back in Kampala, Uganda on April 2nd with all their 10 checked bags too! Praise God! We want to thank you for all the prayers and generous financial support they received from so many of you at St Luke to make their departure for their next 2 years to Africa possible. Please keep on praying and stay tuned for updates on how God is working there.

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. m . p 0 0 : 8 6 ) , 0 0 3 : 2 8 8 8 m 1 o r f e J u ntional Gym TimeIncluded! (Op

r e p p u S k c a n S

Nursery provided for 3 year olds and under. Children 4 and up participate with parents. Middle School youth are welcome to participate!

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Reserve your place by registering today at

All families registered by the end of May will be eligible to win a $25 gift card to Malibu Jacks!

"Be on your guard. Remain strong in the faith. Be brave." 1 Corinthians 16:3

Families will explore God’s word through stories, games, crafts, science & songs! May 2019 | 16

The information is a summary of our finances through March 2019. Many thanks for your faithfulness and for the many ways you impact our church and the world for Jesus Christ. May we continue to be good stewards of God’s gifts!

MARCH 2019

Budget needs


Expenses Total income* Expenses-to-Income difference

$100,374.08 $113,310.20 $ 12,936.12

Alms contributions for March 2019 Balloon Fund contributions for 2019 Total Balloon Fund contributions to date

$3,911.00 $11,949.00 $315,576.45

Life Center mortgage balance (as of 3-31-19)



Budget needs (as of 3-31-19) Expenses (as of 3-31-19) Total income (as of 3-31-19)* Expenses-to-Income difference (as of 3-31-19)

*Total income includes contributions, building use fees, and Kroger card receipts. ** Our current fiscal year runs from July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019. Questions? Please contact Nora Conner, Associate Pastor/Director of Ministry and Stewardship

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$1,012,137.56 $904,650.73 $897,409.18 ($7,241.55)

Giving Dear Church Family, I’m excited to share these things with you: • We’re celebrating our best March giving month ever. • One of our young adults joined the church on Easter Sunday. • Our children are earning God Tags at a record pace. Six kids have earned eight God Tags just last month, and one of our second graders has earned all of the God Tags available! God Tags recognize the child when they have memorized various basics of our faith and tradition, like the Doxology, the Fruit of the Spirit, the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostles’ Creed, the 12 Disciples, and more. • Four members of our Swahili Ministry were baptized on the Saturday before Easter. • We have a thriving College Age ministry in which people in an important time of transition in their lives find true Christian community and support as they grow, learn, and serve together. • We have a thriving Young Adult ministry in which people are taking their faith and commitment as Christ’s disciples seriously. • Hundreds of hungry families receive food each week through our God’s Pantry. • Dozens of children are nourished physically, emotionally, and educationally each week through our Kids’ Café ministry.


• We support 11 missions and missionaries through our Ministry and Vision giving. Your giving, your participation, your witness—they matter. Keep it up! • There are many ways to give financially at St. Luke: • Your check or cash placed in the offering plate on Sunday mornings, dropped off during the week, or your check mailed to the church. • Online at (click “Give Online”). • Through stock donations. • Through foundations. • Through your IRA’s Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) (for those over 70 ½ ). • Remember St. Luke in your will.

Our f iscal year ends on June 30th. Let’s work together, let’s all do our part, and f inish on a high note! In Christ,

Nora Conner Associate Pastor

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or May we are looking for fruit: applesauce, peaches, pears, pineapple, mandarin oranges, fruit cocktail. Fruit can be expensive so individual size containers work fine and multiuse packs are great for those with children. Although, we have to admit, canned pumpkin and cranberry sauce are often left on the shelf.

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pantry St. Luke operates a food pantry through God's Pantry on Mondays through Fridays from 1-2:30 p.m. & 6-7:30 p.m. The clients are given an opportunity to pick food items to form a nutritional food selection. Food supplements are prepared from both donated and purchased food and contain the items necessary to prepare enough meals for five to seven days.

From the Pantry Shelf by Karen Hinkle Food Donations We are rapidly approaching the summer months when food donations to the main pantry seem to drop off. The need continues, however, so you are encouraged to encourage your friends, family and neighbors to think about donating to the pantry. Most grocery stores have blue barrels near their entrances so it can be easy to buy an extra can or two and leave them there. We have been serving close to 200 client families each week. If each family were only 3 person households that requires 3600 cans or packages of food of vegetables, fruits, soups, cereals, pastas and canned protein items. That is a lot of food! Options to buying food Even though the pantry will deliver food to us Monday through Friday, if the donations don’t come into the pantry then we get a smaller delivery. Thanks to your generosity, we have a fund available that allows

us to be able to purchase foods to fill in the gaps when necessary. Thus, if you don’t have time to shop to fill your Blue Barrel Bag, or you are going to be out of town on our Blue Barrel Bag Sunday, you can write a check and designate it to St Luke pantry. Your giving helps us keep the shelves filled. Volunteers: This time of year a lot of students need to perform hours of community service to meet the requirements for academic organizations or to earn scouting badges. To the extent possible, we are happy to offer service opportunties. Most of the students can be included on the volunteer team on Wednesday nights when St. Luke coordinates the pantry volunteers. Any interested student can contact Karen Hinkle at to arrange their hours.

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The Trees Of Life by Pastor Mark Girard


recently had the profound pleasure of putting the 2018 leaves on the two Trees of Life in the Lobby of the Sanctuary. These, of course, honor the saints who passed from our midst in this past year. As I was adding these new saints, I had a chance to reflect on the leaves from previous years. So many great church members are represented there. Individuals who gave so much so that Aldersgate and St. Luke could grow and flourish through the years. We are indebted to all these faithful souls who have gone before. Every time we come to worship, or Sunday school class, or Bible study, or fellowship meals we reap the benefits of what they have sown. Everytime we serve through the ministries of the church, we follow their examples. 21 | May 2019

The reason that there are two trees is to remind us that St. Luke is the merger of two church families in recent years. One of the trees represents the former Aldersgate United Methodist Church and the leaves represent the Saints of that Church family down through the years. I noticed that there are only two or three empty spots on that tree. After they are filled, then all leaves will be placed on the second tree which is the one for St. Luke United Methodist Church and once that happens then the uniting of these two church families will be complete.

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This newsletter is also available online in full color at Worship Schedule: 9:30 a.m., 10:45, 11:00 a.m. God’s Backyard (K - 5th grade): 11:00 a.m. Swahili Worship: 12:30 p.m. Multicultural Worship: 3:00 p.m. 2351 Alumni Dr., Lexington, KY 40517 ¡ 859-269-4687 Child care available at all services.

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May 2019 Newsletter of St. Luke UMC  

May 2019 Newsletter of St. Luke UMC  

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