Newsletters

Sunday, December 16, 2018

This Sunday 

Dear St Luke Community,

Not too long ago I was turning my car around in front of my home and facing the water. The morning sun was breaking through the clouds over the bay. Without thinking I said, I love you. The subtext was thank you. But somehow, for whatever reason, gratitude turned to an expression of love.

This Sunday we light the Advent candle of love. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. (John 1:5) These are big words. But then so is the word love. There’s a lot of sad news in our lives. Some personal, some global. I take comfort in these words of John’s more than ever. John also tells us that the life that came into being through Christ is the light of all people. That’s you, that’s me. So how do we live our lives as a people of light? We begin with love. 

Christmas Comes by Ann Weems 

Christmas comes every time we see God in other persons.
The human and the holy meet in Bethlehem
or in Times Square,
For Christmas comes like a golden storm on its way
to Jerusalem -
Determinedly, inevitably…
Even now it comes
In the face of hatred and warring -
No atrocity too terrible to stop it,
No Herod strong enough,
No hurt deep enough,
No curse shocking enough,
No disaster shattering enough -
For someone on earth will see the star,
Someone will hear the angel voices,
Someone will run to Bethlehem,
Someone will know peace and goodwill:
The Christ will be born!

See You Sunday,
Nicole

P.S. Here is a link to our opening hymn which will be new for many of us.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lmcz2T5hCsY

Upcoming Events & Announcements

All are welcome to attend

Ritter Center of San Rafael Christmas Gift Giving Program ~
Was a tremendous success! More than 45 toys and gifts were donated THANKS to the generosity of St Luke members and friends. 

Come Celebrate Our Choir ~ This Sunday, December 16th 
On December 16th after Worship, come celebrate and give thanks for all the time and energy the St Luke Choir gives towards the Christmas Cantata. There will be special treats and singing of carols together as we share in fellowship.

Deacon Ministry ~ 
San Rafael CARE Team is collecting coats and other “warm things” to distribute. Please bring any of the following and leave in the office:
Sleeping bags, Warm jackets and hooded sweatshirts, Beanies, Gloves, Socks, Raingear and Ponchos, Shoes

Celebrate Christmas With Us! 
December 19th 7:00
Blue Christmas Service
This Season can be a tough time for many. Join us in our candlelit sanctuary as we listen to piano music and pastoral reflections as people who wait in darkness for light to appear.

December 24th ~ Christmas Eve Services at St. Luke

4:00 PM ~ Children’s Wiggle Service
Children and toddlers are invited to bring nativity pieces to the creche as we present the traditional Christmas manger scene through story and song.

Cider and Cookies between services.

5:30 PM ~ Candlelight Service 
Our traditional Candlelight service of Lessons, Carols and music.
Childcare available.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

This Sunday 

The Advent theme this Sunday is Joy. Sometimes focusing on a word, one solitary word like joy, can do more for us than all the scripture analysis in the world. As I contemplate joy, I’m reminded once again of how it’s gifted to us by God. Like any gift, we need eyes to see it, ears to hear it and arms to embrace it. 

The Psalmist reminds us, Teach me your way, Lord, so that I can walk in your truth. Make my heart focused only on honoring your name. (86:11)

What a wonderful verse to pray each day this Advent. Christmas deserves our whole heart. And so Advent becomes a wonderful time to prepare our hearts to embrace all signs of light given for us.

Which brings us to our other scripture, which is one we usually don’t hear until Christmas Eve. Nearby shepherds were living in the fields, guarding their sheep at night.-Luke 2: 8-20  

Can you imagine for a moment being a shepherd living in fields? These were not the sheep owners and definitely not the landowners. They are the hired help and life, in a nutshell, was not easy. There’s plenty of waiting in darkness

I was reminded of a personal favorite hymn this week. I share both a few of the lyrics and a link to listen to a beautiful choral rendition. Enjoy as you contemplate what it means to walk in truth and honor with your whole heart the name of God.

I want to walk as a child of light.
I want to follow Jesus.
God set the stars to give light to the world. 
The star in my life is Jesus.

In Him there is no darkness at all.
The night and the day are both alike. 
The Lamb is the light of the city of God.
Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.

http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/i/w/a/iwanwalk.htm

REMINDER-This Sunday is our last chance to drop off toys and gifts for our Ritter Center Giving tree. If you don’t have a tag, simply purchased a gift for any aged/gender child and Ritter Center will make sure it finds a home. 

See you Sunday, with joy.
Nicole

Upcoming Events & Announcements

All are welcome to attend

Ritter Center of San Rafael Christmas Gift Giving Program ~
With Advent and Christmas around the corner, we will be supporting Ritter Center of San Rafael in their Christmas Gift Giving Program. Ritter Center serves families and individuals in Marin County who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless. On Sunday when you enter the Narthex (aka the front porch of the church) you’ll see a Christmas tree filled with tags. Simply take a tag with you and bring back an unwrapped gift for that child the following Sunday to place in the gift barrel. We will have until December 14th to drop off gifts.

St. Luke Women’s Association Annual Christmas Tea & Program ~ Friday, December 7, 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.
Tea, Coffee, Sweets, and Savories with a Music Program and a RAFFLE. Invite your friends to enjoy St. Luke’s Holiday cheer. Invitation cards are available from Women’s Association members and in the church office. Raffle items may be dropped off in the church office.

St. Luke Partnering with Marin Street Chaplaincy ~ December 11th 
St Luke will be serving over 100 guests at First Presbyterian in San Rafael. This dinner is also going to have several donors and assorted financial supporters in attendance. Because of the larger guest count, we will be partnering with St Raphael Church. To volunteer email Michael at Thank you!

Come Celebrate Our Choir ~ December 16th 
On December 16th after Worship, come celebrate and give thanks for all the time and energy the St Luke Choir gives towards the Christmas Cantata. There will be special treats and singing of carols together as we share in fellowship.

Deacon Ministry ~ 
San Rafael CARE Team is collecting coats and other “warm things” to distribute. Please bring any of the following and leave in the office:
Sleeping bags, Warm jackets and hooded sweatshirts, Beanies, Gloves, Socks, Raingear and Ponchos, Shoes

Celebrate Christmas With Us! 
December 19th 7:00
~ This Season can be a tough time for many. Join us in our candlelit sanctuary as we listen to piano music and pastoral reflections as people who wait in darkness for light to appear.

December 24th ~ Christmas Eve Services at St. Luke

4:00 PM ~ Children’s Wiggle Service
Children and toddlers are invited to bring nativity pieces to the creche as we present the traditional Christmas manger scene through story and song.

Cider and Cookies between services.

5:30 PM ~ Candlelight Service 
Our traditional Candlelight service of Lessons, Carols and music.
Childcare available.

Posted by Nicole Trotter with

Sunday, December 2, 2018

This Sunday 

Dear St. Luke Community,

This Sunday we begin Advent, a time of waiting and preparation for the holiest of nights. Our Advent theme this year is Calm and Bright, 200 years of Silent Night. The story goes, that 200 years ago, on Christmas eve, St Nicholas’s church organ was broken and so the Pastor began thinking outside the box, searching for a way to worship God through music. What came into creation was the most recorded song in history. Something was broken and something was created. A door closed, another opened. Out of the void comes life. And during Advent, perhaps most importantly, out of the darkness comes a star so bright it leads us home. 

Advent brings with its tradition, sacrament, and song. There will be familiar pieces of worship and a few new things as we experience what it means this Sunday to cultivate peace. Isaiah 2:1-4; 9:2, 6-7. 

See you Sunday,
Nicole 

Toward the Light
By Ann Weems, Kneeling in Bethlehem 

Too often our answer to the darkness
is not running toward Bethlehem
but running away.

We ought to know by now that we can’t see 
where we’re going in the dark.

Running away is rampant
separation is stylish:
separation from mates, from friends, from self.

Run and tranquilize
don’t talk about it,
avoid.

Runaway and join the army
of those who have already run away.

When are we going to learn that Christmas Peace
comes only when we turn and face the darkness?

Only then will be able to see
the Light of the World.
 

Upcoming Events & Announcements

All are welcome to attend

Ritter Center of San Rafael Christmas Gift Giving Program ~
With Advent and Christmas around the corner, we will be supporting Ritter Center of San Rafael in their Christmas Gift Giving Program. Ritter Center serves families and individuals in Marin County who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless. On Sunday when you enter the Narthex (aka the front porch of the church) you’ll see a Christmas tree filled with tags. Simply take a tag with you and bring back an unwrapped gift for that child the following Sunday to place in the gift barrel. We will have until December 14th to drop off gifts.

Advent Season Series ~ Begins This Sunday, 10:00 AM
This year marks the 200th anniversary for the beloved song, “Silent Night.”  As we enter into this Advent Season we’re reminded of how much our world is in need of a pause, in need of calm. Join us this Advent Season as we journey together towards that holy night of peace.

Advent Kickoff with Guided Imagery ~ This Sunday, 12:00 PM - 2:30 PM
You are invited to “A Taste of GIM”. Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) is a spiritual pathway that leads to freedom and profound experience of the presence of God. GIM is an invitation to take a long, loving look within, to walk inner pathways to self-discovery and to deep peace. Come and listen to music designed to bring images from your Soul for your life.
Led by Spiritual Director Debbie Dybsky and her GIM partners. 
Please grab or bring a lunch after worship before attending GIM.
Please RSVP to 

St. Luke Women’s Association Annual Christmas Tree Decorating ~ Tuesday, December 4th, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
Put on your holiday wear and come transform the tree to a Christmas Tree and decorate the Bayview Room for the holidays. 

St. Luke Women’s Association Annual Christmas Tea & Program ~ Friday, December 7, 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.
Tea, Coffee, Sweets, and Savories with a Music Program and a RAFFLE. Invite your friends to enjoy St. Luke’s Holiday cheer. Invitation cards are available from Women’s Association members and in the church office. Raffle items may be dropped off in the church office.

St. Luke Partnering with Marin Street Chaplaincy ~ December 11th 
St Luke will be serving over 100 guests at First Presbyterian in San Rafael. This dinner is also going to have several donors and assorted financial supporters in attendance. Because of the larger guest count, we will be partnering with St Raphael Church. To volunteer email Michael at Thank you!

Come Celebrate Our Choir ~ December 16th 
On December 16th after Worship, come celebrate and give thanks for all the time and energy the St Luke Choir gives towards the Christmas Cantata. There will be special treats and singing of carols together as we share in fellowship.

Deacon Ministry ~ 
San Rafael CARE Team is collecting coats and other “warm things” to distribute. Please bring any of the following and leave in the office:
Sleeping bags, Warm jackets and hooded sweatshirts, Beanies, Gloves, Socks, Raingear and Ponchos, Shoes

Celebrate Christmas With Us! 
December 19th 7:00
~ This Season can be a tough time for many. Join us in our candlelit sanctuary as we listen to piano music and pastoral reflections as people who wait in darkness for light to appear.

December 24th ~ Christmas Eve Services at St. Luke

4:00 PM ~ Children’s Wiggle Service
Children and toddlers are invited to bring nativity pieces to the creche as we present the traditional Christmas manger scene through story and song.

Cider and Cookies between services.

5:30 PM ~ Candlelight Service 
Our traditional Candlelight service of Lessons, Carols and music.
Childcare available.

 

Posted by Nicole Trotter with

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