St. Luke’s Youth Group Mission Trip
Reflection By Cameron Simpson
The St. Luke’s youth group went to Grace Mission in Tallahassee, FL on April 19. There they fed the homeless and attended church service with them. For me personally, I learned about how everyone was put here on earth for a reason. Just because someone is different than you, they are still good people.
I met a man there at the shelter who had two young sons; he was singing at the top of his lungs to praise God. I also admired how even though the people there were very poor, they all gave multiple dollars to the offering plate. I learned about a lot of things at Grace Mission and I would love to do it again.
Front row: Caroline Simpson
Middle row: The Rt Rev Dorsey Henderson, Madison Carroll, Addie Harrell, Emily Boggus,
Back row: Pastor Amanda, Talynn Cameron, Bryan Turnan
Thanks everyone for your consistent offering to help our sister church, Fieles a Jesus (Faithful to Jesus). We are still saving money for the time when they finally get their new windows made and we are able to send them money for Mother Tulia’s discretionary fund and the salary for the women who maintains the water purification system.
Most of the discretionary fund goes to rebuild the second floor dormitory. See pictures on the bulletin board. Correction: The money we get from the Gala Cubana will go to pay priests salaries because now the Diocese has included Camp Blakenship in our Capital Campaign Funds!!
Our tentative dates for the next Cuba trip are July 23-30. If these dates are agreeable with Mother Tulia, that is when we will go. Anyone who is interested in going, please let me know asap!
Sign Up Sheets
New Altar Flower and Coffee Hours sheets are posted. Please sign up as soon as possible!
If you are interested in being on the altar guild please contact Kathy Collins at 362- 5617 for details.
Children’s Partnership Council Meets at St. Luke’s
St. Luke’s has been hosting the Suwannee Children’s Partnership Council (CPC) meetings, for the last several months, in the parish hall. The CPC is a group of organizations and individuals that come together monthly to try to improve the lives of children in our community, with a particular focus on child safety and quality of life.
The average monthly attendance has grown to around 25 participating members. Such organizations as the Suwannee County School District, Early Learning Coalition, United Way of Suwannee Valley, Partnership for Strong Families, Suwannee Health Dept, Children’s Home Society, Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Children and Families, and many others are now using this forum to work together.
Father George Hinchliffe serves as Co-Chairman of this group, along with Colleen Cody of Healthy Start.
The group has been interested in doing outreach to the community, which fits nicely with the Free Clinic under development by St. Luke’s. We, at St. Luke’s have had the opportunity to observe outreach being done at St. Andrew’s - Interlachen, with community agencies coming together at St. Andrew’s to provide service access to those in need. In the future, it is hoped that the CPC can provide such outreach around and during Free Clinic operational days.
The CPC recently tested this model, with the help of Pastor Willie Warren, and the folks at Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church near McAlpin. On April 25th, fourteen agencies came together at Mt. Sinai to offer services to over 45 parents and grandparents.
Services such as early childhood educational ac-cess (VPK), food stamp applications, help with utility bills, mental health counseling, smoking cessation, and child welfare and juvenile justice issues. It was viewed as a great success and hopefully will continue to improve the lives of our children and their families.
If you have questions or want to get involved, please see Father George or Elizabeth Simpson for more information on the CPC.
St. Luke’s Free and Charitable Clinic Update
We have been working deliberately to establish a free and charitable health clinic at St. Luke’s over the last several months. Ann Doswell has volun-teered to help with the administrative processes related to the clinic’s startup, and her efforts are much appreciated. In November, with the ap-proval and support of the Vestry, a non-profit cor-poration was established to provide the legal framework for the clinic. The Vestry and the Rector serve as the officers of this corporation. The name of the St. Luke’s non-profit corporation is the " Shepherd’s Hands of the Suwannee Valley, Inc."
The corporate articles of incorporation proclaim the purpose of the corporation as: "
To fulfill the Great Commandment through various ministries as the Board of Directors of this Corporation shall from time to time prescribe, by providing food, clothing, and health care, as well as prayer, coun-seling, and other spiritual assistance and out-reach, to those in need, principally within North Central Florida."
The legal status afforded by this separate non-profit entity is necessary to negotiate and secure the clinic’s status of sovereign immunity (protection from liability) through the State of Florida Department of Health. The non-profit status is also a necessary for 501 (c)(3) status from the IRS, in order to receive tax exempt donations.
In March, Ann Doswell was able to participate in a webinar presented by the Florida Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, on startup and administrative issues in managing clinics. Ann reports that the conference was helpful, thus prompting St. Luke’s/The Shepherd’s Hands of the Suwannee Valley to formally join the statewide association for the technical support available to members. St. Luke’s has been invited by the Diocese of Florida, to submit a letter of interest to the DuPont Foundation for clinic startup funding. Additional information will be shared as this letter is developed and submitted.
As we move forward, we need to create a startup team to transform this dream into a reality. This team would be comprised of members of St. Luke’s who feel called to help in this endeavor. No special medical knowledge is required or necessary, just a heart for loving your neighbor.
If you feel called to help, please let either Ann Doswell or Father George know of your interest. If you have questions please speak with Father George.
The Diocese of Florida Episcopal Church Women Gathered Together as Sisters and Pilgrims at Annual Spring Retreat at Camp Weed April 24--26
Reflections by Lydia Bush
A truly spiritual and loving journey was embraced by eighty beautiful women, including five women from St. Luke's: Andy Miller, Maureen Menosky, Sister Maria Ann, Sharon Chamberlain and Lydia Bush. There was time for praying, reflection, and sharing God's Love.
Our keynote speaker was Mother Beth Tjoflat from Church Without Walls. "Live Without Fear" was the theme for the weekend. Mother Beth shared insightful and spiritual renderings through-out the weekend from St. Clare and St. Francis of Assisi such as this Blessing-
Live Without Fear.
Your creator loves you, made you holy,
And has always protected you.
Follow the good road in peace,
And may God's Blessing remain with you always.
The last session reflected upon the book In The Service of Life, by Rachel Naomi Remen. It spoke to us as women and nurturers who want so very much to help others and to even fix things for others yet God calls us to serve others. The author writes "Serving is also different from fixing. When I fix a person I perceive them as broken, and their brokenness requires me to act. When I serve I see and trust that wholeness. It is what I am responding to and collaborating with."
"There is distance between ourselves and whatever or whomever we are fixing. Fixing is a form of judgment. All judgment creates distance, a disconnection, an experience of difference. In fixing there is an inequality of expertise that can easily become a moral distance. We cannot serve at a distance. We can only serve that to which we are profoundly connected, that which we are willing to touch. This is Mother Teresa's basic message. We serve life not because it is broken but because it is holy."
We ended our sessions with Mother Beth with this thought provoking excerpt from Ms. Remen's book- "Our service serves us as well as oth-ers. That which uses us strengthens us. Over time, fixing and helping are draining, depleting. Over time we burn out. Service is renewing. When we serve, our work itself will sustain us. Service rests on the basic premise that the nature of life is sacred, that life is a holy mystery, which has an unknown purpose. When we serve, we know that we belong to life and to that purpose.
Fundamentally, helping, fixing, and service are ways of seeing life. When you help you see life as weak, when you fix, you see life as broken. When you serve, you see life as whole. From the perspective of ser-vice, we are all connected. All suffering is like my suffering and all joy is like my joy. The impulse to serve emerges naturally and inevitably from this way of seeing."
"Lastly, fixing and helping are the basis of curing, but not of healing. In 40 years of chronic illness I have been helped by many people and fixed by a great many others who did not recognize my wholeness. All that fixing and helping left me wounded in some important and fundamental ways. Only service heals."
"The bottom line, of course, is that we can fix without serving. And we can help without serving. And we can serve without fixing or helping. I think I would go so far as to say that fixing and helping may often be the work of the ego and ser-vice is the work of the soul. They may look similar if you're watching from the outside, but the inner experience is different. The outcome is often different too."
The Choir will rehearse each Thursday, from 6-7pm and the Chimers will follow from 7-7:45 pm. The Choir is seeking donations to replace a few old robes (as well as new members). Please mark any donations "choir" and leave in the alms basin or give to the church office. Also, Is there a baritone and bass out there?? We need you. The Choir thanks you.
If you can help our youth group by providing a Wednesday night dinner, please sign up on the Dinner Angel sheet on the bulletin board or Hal & Janet Airth at: airth_h@yahoo.
Daughters of the King
The next meeting will be on May 5th, at 6pm. All ladies of the church are invited to attend for the meeting, dinner and study.
Busy Hands for Babies
Busy Hands for Babies will meet on Saturday, May 2nd from 9am-11am in the first classroom.
At this time, meetings will be held only once a week. Meetings will be each Thurs. from 5-6:30 pm.
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