In This Issue
- Weekly Message from Rev. Joanne Whitt
- Weekly Facebook Video
- Announcements & Upcoming Events
- Outreach Opportunities & Updates
message from rev. whitt
Dear St. Luke family:
On Tuesday evening this week, my husband and I attended an outstanding concert remembering Michael Morgan, the artistic director and conductor of the Oakland Symphony who died following kidney transplant surgery this past August. As we stood in the long line waiting for the doors of the Paramount Theater to open, a large man, apparently unhoused, came along with a big coffee can asking loudly whether anyone would contribute to the homeless. A security guard, another large man, came up to him and told him to quit bothering the concert patrons. “Come on, man,” the first man said, “Don’t do that. Leave me alone.” He did not want to be silenced. He did not want to be shooed away, hidden from the largely well-dressed crowd as an unpleasant reminder that life is hard for some people.
How often something like that happens! This is the story we hear this Sunday in Mark’s gospel, the story of Bartimaeus, a blind man who will not keep quiet, even when he’s shushed by the crowd surrounding Jesus. But Jesus heals him, saying his faith has made him well. This doesn’t mean Bartimaeus was healed because he had enough faith; that would mean he, Bartimaeus, accomplished the healing, when the healing was all Jesus’ doing. Bartimaeus merely had the faith to receive it.
Almost all of us know how it feels to be silenced from speaking our truth. And most of us have participated in silencing others, particularly where we’d just rather not see, hear, or know about someone else’s truth. What has this looked like for you? We’ll explore this on Sunday.
We’ll also try something new for St. Luke. We’ve built this Sunday’s worship around music from the Taizé community, an ecumenical Christian community in the Burgundy region of France. The community focuses on God’s love, reconciliation, and living simply. Taizé has become a Christian pilgrimage site, attracting people and especially young adults from all over the world. Taizé worship uses simple, repetitive chants to provide a meditative worship experience. The songs have simple lyrics taken from the Psalms or other Scripture. Your worship team is discussing whether this might be a form of worship we offer one Sunday a month or once a quarter, or perhaps even as a contemplative service one evening a month. This is your opportunity to experience it and let us know what you think.
Don’t forget that a week from Sunday, October 31, we’ll observe All Saints. That day, you’re invited to bring photos of your loved ones who have died, and we will place them around the communion table. Also, remember that two weeks from Sunday, November 7, we’ll switch from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time – we’ll “fall back,” and get an extra hour of sleep.
I look forward to seeing you in church, in the sanctuary or on Zoom.
Grace and peace,