|Date Posted||May 9, 2021|
Washington (Robert Phillips)
|Communicants in Good Standing||259|
|Average Sunday Attendance||100|
|Child Population in Church School||5|
|Adult Population in Church School||30|
|Teacher Population in Church School||4|
During COVID-19, St. Luke's has held several online events designed to educate, entertain, and fundraise. For All Saints and All Souls Day, St. Luke's conducted a two-day educational webinar focused on the origins of the Day of the Dead feasts and festivals as they are known in Central and South America. Guest speakers were brought in and other churches participated in this interactive webinar with breakout sessions on various topics. St. Luke's celebrated its 147th anniversary online. The anniversary committee planned the celebration to include a "reception" where participants listened to live music, watched a presentation slideshow, listened to pre-recorded musical selections, a live reading of the history of the church, and pre-recorded first-person rector profiles voiced by current parishioners with the picture of the rector showing. Over 100 people attended the event. These two events illustrate that St. Luke's is committed to diversity and educating members about differences and similarities with other cultures. St. Luke's is also willing to change the way we do things to adapt to new circumstances and maintain momentum.
A major conflict involved embezzlement. Within the past ten years, a parishioner (who is still a member) was discovered to have stolen money from the church. The parishioner paid the money back and a “Service of Forgiveness” was conducted by the Rector. The perpetrator came before the congregation and admitted wrongdoing, informed the church that the money had been repaid, and asked for forgiveness. The police were never involved with this matter. For many, this issue remains paramount and since they would like to have seen severe punishment administered, they will not let it go. Another issue is that there are parishioners who feel like people in leadership positions need to have degrees—preferably advanced degrees. Lastly, many congregants do not like sharing the parking lot with Whole Foods (even though this is a source of income), and the sanctuary itself with other kinds of congregations. St. Luke’s does have a record of addressing issues, but the resolution of those issues is not to everyone’s satisfaction. There is a faction in the church that is not able to move beyond past hurts and disappointments. This inability to completely resolve issues is problematic.
St. Luke's is a parish that has a rich history of tradition and is working towards identifying new ways to live into a very changing community. Parishioners are quite proud of past identity and are becoming increasingly open to answering the call that God has placed on them for mission growth and visionary presence.
The next Rector of St. Luke's should bring a skillset revealing strength in administration, pastoral care, evangelism, and conflict management.
The Rev. Canon Dr. Robert Phillips