March 2, 2016
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Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me. Matthew 25.35
I have been encouraged lately by several conversations I have had with some of our parishioners. Last month your vestry had a wonderful time of fellowship, worship, and planning for the coming year. While in the historic setting of the St. Joseph Center (formerly an orphanage) in North Little Rock we explored the needs of those within our walls but perhaps more importantly, those who are outside our walls.
We were greatly blessed by our Chaplain of Children's Ministries, Beth Maze, as she demonstrated how the subject of Holy Communion is presented in our children's Sunday curriculum, "The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd." I don't think there was a 'dry eye in the house.' She also discussed the need to make some changes in order to encourage more participation of parents with small children.
One idea that there was a lot of positive energy around was in having a Sunday morning breakfast between worship services. The breakfast would start at 9:00a.m. and go until 9:30 at which time the children and teachers would go to class.  The adults would be invited to remain in the parish hall for an adult class or forum with varying topics throughout the year. We hope to have test run with this on Palm Sunday morning, stay tuned for more details.
Several parishioners from our Outreach committee have come up with a possible new ministry at St. Luke's designed to minister to homeless families with children. These are an underserved subset of people who have lost their homes due to loss of job or other economic hardships. We would partner with other area churches in this ministry and its called "Family Promise." You can read more about this in The Evangelist. Jeannie Fry and Anita Gwatney will spearheading this effort and will be contacting you (if they have not already) to ask for your participation.
Churches who remain inwardly focused will not remain centers of spiritual vitality and growth. Those churches that are able to see beyond their own doors and reach out into the community around them are those whom the Spirit will bless. We are blessed to be a part of a church that is alive and looking for new ways to better serve our people and those beyond our doors. It is there we will find Christ in the faces of strangers.
Yours in Christ,
From the Organ Bench
Comments on Olivier Messiaen's Vision of the Eternal Church and 
The Message of the Prodigal.

"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth...and I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven...and I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them...and he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new...I am the Alpha and the Omega." (Revelation 21:1-6)

Each week I select a prelude for the liturgy that reflects either in mood or connection the general theme of the lessons or the season. I arrive at my choice after study of the Propers. Nothing that takes place in the liturgy is random or coincidental. Celebration of the Sacred Mysteries is, after all, a participation in real time in the eternal, heavenly liturgy. The prelude, as insignificant it might seem is really part of an important preparatory time for Mass. When we enter the nave, we enter into timeless, sacred space to experience sacred action. In the liturgy we will encounter the Divine in the flesh, the Real Presence, the very author of our salvation.

One of the most profoundly didactic 20th century composers for the organ is Olivier Messiaen. His works are like no others of the repertoire, and for this reason they are often dismissed as overly innovative, wildly esoteric, or highly experimental. They do not conform to the rules and expectations of standard Western music. Conventional musical analysis cannot explain these works or describe their construction. Messiaen, you see, has created his own music theory, devised his own musical language based on tone color to paint musical images onto a canvas of silence. His music does not allow the listener to comprehend it with the ear alone, but challenges him to perceive it with the heart. If the listener is responsive inwardly, this is music that enfolds the soul in sound and leads it to a place of spiritual centering, a place where God dwells, and where we, ultimately hope one day to dwell with Him. For the fourth Sunday of Lent (March 6th) named "Gladness Sunday", or "Laetare", I have chosen as the prelude Messiaen's Apparition de l'Eglise éternelle, "The Vision of the Eternal Church."

Lenten Services
Lenten Supper and Study
Wednesdays in Lent beginning on February 17th
Supper at 6 pm, Study from 6:30 to 7:30 pm
Stations of the Cross
Every Friday in Lent at 6 pm
March 6th: Evensong
Service at 5 pm
March 20th: Palm Sunday
Holy Eucharist at 8 am and 10:30 am
March 24th: Maundy Thursday
Holy Eucharist with Foot Washing at 7 pm
March 25th: Good Friday
Holy Eucharist at Noon and 7 pm
March 26th: Easter Vigil
Holy Eucharist with Holy Baptism at 6:30 pm. Night time egg hunt to follow service. 
March 27th: Easter Day
Holy Eucharist at 8 am and 10:30 am
Easter Brunch at 9:15 am
Egg Hunt at 9:45 am
Childcare will be provided at all services.

Please bring sure to bring your clearly marked plants for the Garden of Repose by Wednesday, March 23rd. Plants may be brought directly to the chapel or to the office during office hours.

Be sure to bring your spring flowers Easter Day for the Flowering of the Cross.

Easter Brunch and Watch sign up are available in the Narthex.

The Church Office will be closed Monday, March 28th.
Lenten Evensong

Join us Sunday, March 6th at 5pm for  Lenten choral Evensong.  Preces and Responses by Ian Quinn, Magnificat and Nunc dmittis by Eric Thiman.  The anthem for the service: A Litany by Sir William Walton.  The tradition of choral evensong is unmistakably British.  This year's Lenten Evensong will take place one hour before the "Downton Abby Finale Party".  Anglophiles who are fans of the Downtown series, should no doubt also be fans of the true Anglican tradition of choral Evensong and would certainly never let the chance to attend pass by. Get to evensong: The Dowager would certainly attend, and so should you.
St. Luke's celebrated The 95th birthday of Lois Waller this past Sunday. What a blessing she is to us!

Downton Abbey Finale Party: March 6th

Join us March 6th as we bid farewell to the Crawley's of Downton Abbey and view the 2 hour series finale!  Bring your family and friends and your favorite finger foods to share!  High Tea will begin at 6:00 and you are encouraged to wear your favorite Downton outfit!

We will be collecting monetary donations during the event for Lucie's Place, an organization which assists homeless teenagers. 
Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Intimate Neighborhood Concert

The chamber orchestra of the ASO under the baton of conductor Philip Mann will offer and "Intimate Neighborhood Concert" at St. Luke's on March 10, 2016, 7pm.  Soloists include Lily Afshar, guitar, and Carl Anthony, harpsichord. The evening's theme, "Something Old", presents works from the Baroque and other works inspired by the period.  Among the programed items for the event are the First Keyboard Concerto of Bach, Respighi's Ancient Airs and Dances, and the Vivaldi "Guitar" Concerto.  Tickets are $25 for general admission and $10 for students and military.  Tickets may be purchased through the ASO website: www.arkansassymphony.org/something-old  Use the offer code STLUKE to receive a modest discount on the ticket price.

The St. Luke's Festival of the Senses concert series presents ARmusica in Concert on Tuesday, March 15, 2016, 7:00pm.  Julie Cheek, piano, Drew Irwin, violin, and Stephen Feldman, cello will present a program of Beethoven, Bruch, and Schumann, including the Beethoven Piano Trio in G major, Op. 1, No. 2.  A Meet-The-Artists reception will follow the program in the Wilder Hall.  Admission is free, but donations will be accepted to Benefit the North Little Rock St. Joseph's Center, an interfaith retreat house and conference center.
ECW Quiet Day Retreat

"Help, Thanks, Wow, and the Anglican Rosary"
Saturday, March 12, 2016, 9 - 2
St. Luke's Episcopal Church
$20 for lunch and Rosary materials
Retreat Speaker: Joanna Seibert
Contact: 501-753-4281 or stlukesnlr@gmail.com
Hannah Hooker is being ordained as Deacon on March 19th. Please come to help celebrate this wonderful event. 

Deacon's Bench

Meditation to Save your Soul and your Life
As we study this Lent about our rule of life, one consideration will be to but some form of meditation in your rule daily. For me meditation is quieting my mind, slowing down my mind, opening to silence so I can become a part of a world greater than of my own making, trying to connect to or hear the Holy Spirit in me and others. There are so many ways to do this, centering prayer, which is practiced here at St. Luke's each Wednesday afternoon, walking the labyrinth also here at St. Luke's, using the Anglican Rosary as we will do in our ECW retreat March 12, walking the Stations of the Cross as we do on Fridays in Lent, Lectio Divina or meditating on scripture, movement meditation such as Yoga, working with icons, eastern meditations, meditating with music, breath meditations, writing as meditation, praying meditations, reading meditations, active imagination exercises. I could fill a page or more. I would love to hear from each of you what you do. There are also many meditation apps for your I-phone or computer. The one I am presently using is called Calm. I want to stimulate you to consider what meditation can do for your health. These are reports that may convince you this is not only good for your soul and mind but for your body, your health.

Harvard MRI Study Shows That Meditation Literally Rebuilds Your Brain's Gray Matter In 8 Weeks
A study conducted by a Harvard affiliated team out of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) came across surprising conclusions regarding the tangible effects of meditation on human brain structure. An 8 -week program of mindfulness meditation produced MRI scans for the first time showing clear evidence that meditation produces "massive changes" in brain gray matter.
This most recent study found that an average of 27 minutes of a daily practice of mindfulness exercises stimulated a significant boost in gray matter density, specifically in the hippocampus; the area of the brain in which self-awareness, compassion, and introspection are associated. Furthermore, this boost of gray matter density in the hippocampus was also directly correlational to a decreased gray matter density in the amygdala; an area of the brain known to be instrumental in regulating anxiety and stress responses. In stark contrast, the control group did not have any changes in either region of the brain thus ruling out merely the passage of time as a factor of influence regarding the drastic change in gray matter density fluctuations.

Click here to continue reading. 


It was a messy day for it, but our St. Luke's delivery team made visits on last Tuesday, February 23, to area homeless shelters.  Our fellow parishioners responded very well again with their donations! A HUGE amount of toothbrushes, razors, bar soap, hand warmers, hand sanitizer, tylenol packs, shave cream, toothbrush covers, toothpaste, detergent, toilet paper and paper towels were divided up for delivery; additionally, deliveries were made of additional donations: bag of women's & children's winter clothing, bags of children's clothing & coats, handmade winter scarves & caps, and two full armloads of clothing on hangers, a large bag of shoes, some packs of Vienna sausages and two bags of pill bottles. 
Tommie Williams and Don Woods  delivered to River City Ministries in North Little Rock and Jericho Way in Little Rock; Betty Seymour and Sheryl Stewart delivered to St. Francis House and the Dorcas House in Little Rock.  At St. Francis House, we received the attached list of volunteer needs; we were asked to pass it on to our parish.  St. Francis House is especially very much in need of volunteers in the sorting roomfor donated clothing.  Thanks to all of you who help St. Luke's serve the homeless!

Lent at St. Luke's
In this series, we focus on God as the Chief Gardener of our souls, and we seek out ways to grow into the fullness he desires.  Just as stakes and lattices nurture the growth of young plants, so too can spiritual disciplines support the flourishing of our whole being. This series uses a tool from monastic spirituality called a 'Rule of Life' to explore and cultivate our relationships with God, Self, Others, and Creation.  This is an exciting opportunity to dig deep and dream big about ways to live into a more abundant life with Christ.

This series is designed for both individuals and small groups.  For small groups, facilitators will guide the growing process as participants discuss and learn together. For individuals, daily videos and reflections will lead them through the same process.   Ultimately each participant will create a unique Rule of Life or 'Garden Plot' to sustain and expand beyond the class.
Participants will be able to:
  • Design a balanced plan for growing into a deeper relationship with God, Self, Others, and Creation.
  • Celebrate areas of their lives that are thriving and explore areas that need extra nourishment.
  • Tune their sensitivity to the rhythms of nature to help them in keeping a Rule of Life.
  • Grow in fellowship with other participants and support them through the growing process.
  • To Participate in the program at St. Luke's
  • Go to www.ssje.org
  • Subscribe to a daily email
  • Download a PDF copy of the workbook or call the church office if you need a copy
  • Come to Wednesday night Lenten series 6 pm to 7:30 (supper 6 to 6:30) where we will discuss each section about a rule of life
  • Week 1 Rule of Life and Rhythm of Nature
  • Week 2 Exploring your relationship with God
  • Week 3 Exploring your Relationship with Self
  • Week 4 Exploring Your Relationship to Others
  • Week 5 Exploring Your Relationship to the Creation
  • Week 6 Living in Rhythm
ECW Easter Eggs! Order Now!

St. Luke's ECW is currently taking orders for their delicious Easter Eggs. You can order yours by filling out the form available in the Narthex, the Sunday bulletins, or by clicking here. Don't delay! Orders will only be taken through March 6th. Cost is $5 per egg, and payment must be made before eggs are picked up. The eggs will be ready by Palm Sunday. 

Winterstar is March 11-13, 2016. Cost $110 and Registration is open now. Winterstar is the Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas' annual Spring Retreat for Youth in the 6th-12th grade. The weekend begins at Camp Mitchell Friday the 11th at 8pm with registration and ends Sunday at 11:00am. The weekend includes games, music, worship services, hiking, sports, hammocking and even more Camp goodness.

Communion Preparation at St Luke's is available to children who want to begin receiving this Holy Sacrament, and to children who already receive the bread and wine of Eucharist. In Sunday School, the children explore the altar materials and their use. They also study the gestures of the Eucharist - such as the Breaking of the Bread - and come to some understanding of what is happening invisibly (spiritually) while this gesture is being made. (The actual definition of "sacrament" straight from the Book of Common Prayer!) During Communion Preparation, we will put together everything your child already knows about communion, and fill in blanks as necessary. We will have a rehearsal with unblessed wafers and wine, so your child will know just what to do. Best of all, the children's natural curiosity will be satisfied, and the great journey of actually understanding what happens at communion can begin.

The next date for baptism will be on Saturday, March 26th at the Easter Vigil service. If you or someone you know is interested in baptism, please contact the church office.
Flashlight Egg Hunt

We will have our third annual flashlight egg hunt immediately after the Easter Vigil on March 26. We will roast peeps and make s'mores. There will be confetti eggs and prizes. All ages are welcome! Please join us!

The Brotherhood of St. Andrew has scheduled a Retreat/Work Day at Camp Mitchell for Friday, April 15th for a retreat and Saturday, April 16th for the work day.  Lodging w/kitchen will be provided for Friday night.  Everyone is invited.  Friday evening will include traveling to the Petit Jean Mather Lodge's restaurant for dinner and fellowship back at the Canterbury Lodge.  Saturday will be a work day at the camp to include cleaning and clearing the walking trails, flower beds, gardens, and any other work the camp has to be done.  There should be something for everyone.  Individuals are invited to participate in both Friday night and Saturday, or either one.  Work will begin around 9:00 Saturday morning, following breakfast and will end around 2:00, Saturday, noon meal will be provided by Camp Mitchell.  If you have not attended a Camp Mitchell work day, you have missed a wonderful experience.  Additional information will be provided as it is received. 

Lodging: Canterbury Lodge (4 rooms with 13 beds): bedding and towels provided.  Address:  #10 Camp Mitchell Rd., Morrilton, AR 72110.

Work equipment needed:  yard brooms, rakes, gas powdered line trimmer/brush cutter (with attachments) and blowers (with gas, oil & twine), small chain saw, hedge shears/trimmer, extension cords, work gloves, hearing & eye protection.

Recommended work clothes:  long pants, long sleeves, coveralls, jacket, tennis shoes or work boots, cap/hat. The weather may be cool, so bring a mixture of clothing.

Please RSVP to Dickey Mayland.
Home:  835-6411 (Cell: 920-5842)     ddmayland@sbcglobal.net
Prayer List
Anne Gontermann, Hudson Woods, Helen Snipan, Nina Goins, Sydnie Reedy,  Barbara Coker, Megan Elizabeth Hall, Betty Miller, Chris Mikesell, Louis Jenkins, Gloria Holst, Pam Cox, Bill Shepherd, Kailyn, Bobby and Gary Mackzum, Marilyn Gay, Christine Startz, Linda Hopkins, David Martin, Bernice Carrigan, John Bangert, Steve Fanning, Sandy Barksdale, Lasseigne Family, Georgia Luna, Steven, Henry Chenault, Jill Cox

Special Concerns: For all the men and women of our Armed Forces, especially Justin, Joshua, Bret, Tim, Matt, Doug, Brian Mahoney, Brian Mennes, Frank Tate, Alex Schimelpfening, David Liem, Justin, John Landis, Lucas Kunce, David Jackson