Dear People of God,
It’s hard to believe that we’ve been back in the church for worship now for nearly 3 months. I am so grateful to everyone for pulling together to work with the guidelines for in-person worship. And I deeply appreciate everybody’s patience and willingness to extend grace upon grace to each other. You have made it possible for us to fulfill one of the most important mandates of the church: to meet together to offer thanks and praise to God (cf. Hebrews 10:25). And you have shown that St. Luke’s remains a healthy and resilient parish that can seize the opportunities that challenges bring. We have made a lot of progress!
I’m writing to share with you another step of progress. After consulting with the St. Luke’s Regathering Task Force, I have decided that beginning on Sunday, October 4 we will offer two services on Sundays: 8:00 AM and 10:30 AM. The 8:00 AM service will be a Rite I service, while 10:30 AM will remain a Rite II service. Registration will be required to attend either service for the foreseeable future. And we will continue to livestream the 10:30 service for those who are unable to attend church in person.
As we move forward, I am reminded of an observation made by Episcopal priest James Griffiss. Writing about the Episcopal Church, Griffiss notes that “our history and foundations demonstrate a pattern of continuity and change - continuity with the tradition of the gospel we have received in Christ and, at the same time, a willingness to interpret and understand that gospel as changing situations might require.”
A pattern of continuity and change: that precisely sums up where we find ourselves as one family in Christ at St. Luke’s. I plan to consult with the Regathering Task Force, the Vestry, and others to discern how to best maintain continuity with the traditions that have shaped our unique identity as a parish, while at the same time making the adjustments and changes needed for successfully fulfilling our mission in what will one day be a post-pandemic ‘new normal.’
This means that while much will look and feel the same as we’ve been accustomed to, other aspects of our worship, formation, and fellowship may be different. But our core mission will remain unchanged. We will continue to care for one another, nurture spiritual growth, and bring others closer to God through Jesus Christ.
Thank you all for your continuing support of our beloved St. Luke’s. And thank you for allowing me the privilege to serve as your Rector.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Bryan Owen
6th Rector of St. Luke’s