May 4, 2016
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Carey's Conversations
"Come now, insignificant one, fly a moment from your affairs, escape for a little while from the tumult of your thoughts. Put aside your weighty cares and leave your wearisome toils. Abandon yourself for a little to God and rest for a little in him."
 From Proslogion, St. Anselm

Dear friends,
It is hard to believe but in about a month's time I will be taking a sabbatical. It will commence on June 6th and will end on August 27th, with the 28th being my first Sunday back. Shannon and Emily will be with me so please be sure to wish them well.

Some have inquired about what I plan to be doing while away. I have much to do but it will be a different sort of "to-do-list." We will be taking a family trip to either Cincinnati or Boston, and there is a conference or two I am looking at attending. There is some time at Subiaco planned and a friend has a cabin on the Little Red River that should prove to be a nice place for catching up on some long overdue reading. I will also take a closer look at my health and develop an action plan for improving my diet and increasing physical exercise. Besides 'doing' I also hope to simply 'be' and to practice what some spiritual writers have called, "the usefulness of uselessness!" It is my hope and prayer that all of this activity and inactivity will bring some much needed rest and renewal.

It is common for a parish's anxiety to increase as they anticipate their rector being gone for an extended period of time. If you have not read the tri-fold on the subject of my sabbatical please do so; there are copies in the narthex. Sometimes just having our questions answered can help us to find reassurance that all will be well.

I believe you all will be in good hands while I am gone. Our Sr. Warden, Suzzette Patterson will be the point person in charge of governing the parish, along with the vestry during my absence. Besides the vestry she will be assisted by a number of people. Curtis Briggs, our Jr. Warden, along with the building and grounds committee will ensure that our campus stays in top condition. Caroline, our parish administrator will be available as always to assist in the day-to-day operations of the parish. Deacon Joanna will be continuing her oversight of Christian formation for all ages, and tending to the pastoral needs with assistance from our community of hope chaplains. On Sundays there will be several guest priests who will act as celebrant and will sharing preaching duties with Joanna. If there is a need for a priest in an emergency situation, one can be provided through the bishop's office.

I thank God for each one of you. It is an honor and privilege to serve as your rector and Shannon and I can't thank you enough for this gift of a sabbatical! It speaks volumes about your caring and compassionate selves and your commitment to the health and future of St. Luke's. The Lord bless you and keep you!

St. Luke's Day at Dickey Stephens Park - June 5th

St. Luke's Day at Dickey Stephens Park - June 5th: Come help us wish Fr. Carey best wishes for his sabbatical while enjoying hamburgers, hot dogs, and baseball. Tickets are $16 per person, ages 4 and up. 3 and younger are free. Tickets are on sale now in the church office, and will be available for sale in the Narthex starting Pentecost Sunday (next Sunday). The gates and buffet open at 4:30 pm, the game starts at 5:30, and the buffet continues through 6:30. 

Payment is required when you pick up your tickets. 

Hope to see you there! 

St. Luke's Summer Monster Food Drive and Can Sculpture Contest

This summer in May and June bring cans and boxes of food for Food Pantries in North Little Rock and St. Francis House and put in the green bucket in the narthex. At our Vacation Bible School closing on July 1 at St. Luke's there will be a can sculpture contest for our youth making sculptures from the can and box goods. Bring food every week and sign up with Joanna joannaseibert@me.com to be a participant or judge in the can sculpture contest. We will also need help being with the children on July 1 as they make their sculptures as well as help delivering the food to the pantries. Again, contact Joanna if you can help with this fun summer project. 

Abundance Orchard: Where Faith Grows and Hungry People are Fed

VBS will be June 27-July 1, 2016 from 9:00-11:30 a.m. This is a joint effort of Christ Episcopal Church and St. Luke's Episcopal Church. Ages 3 years - 5th grade are invited to participate. We encourage youth and adults to assist. Free to all! Sign up now! To register, email patricia.g.lewis@gmail.com with your child's name, age, grade they will be entering in fall, email, phone, and whether you can help as an adult volunteer. We can't wait!
Deacon's Bench

God enters our life in the cracks

It came and now in less than half hour it is gone. I have a bird feeder outside the floor to ceiling picture window in front of my desk in my office at home. The feeder is in the midst of so many unkempt trees and bushes next to our house that it is usually dark around the feeder, and I only see glimpses of the bright blue and red colors of many of the birds. The brilliant colors are a disguised gray in the shadows as the birds peck back and forth frenetically at the hard cake in the wire cage as if it were their last meal, but for about twenty minutes on a sunny day as the sun rises its light goes directly through the dense bushes and trees and scrubs adjacent to your house and shines like a spotlight on the green wire mesh feeder. Male and female red birds, cardinals, bluebirds shine in the sun's radiance. The first time I saw it, I literally could not breath it was so spectacular. "Ahhhh", was my only response. That first morning as I stopped everything I was doing at my desk, checking email, looking at my day's agenda, a flock of at least 15 deer ran by. They went by so fast, I would have missed them if I had not been looking up instead of down at my computer screen. As I look a little higher I see the rooftop of the trees by my window colored with the random branching of the tiny flowers of the red bud tree, a wild tree that announces the beginning of spring in our neighborhood. The painted ceiling of a cathedral could be no more beautifully and intricately designed.
One more interruption in the early morning where God comes into my life through a crack in the trees by my window in the early morning and by some miracle, I look up and out. 

From the Senior Warden

Please connect with nature and create a landscape fir the Parish Hall. It is for us to enjoy this summer~ who knows- you may become famous! Don't be shy with your talent. Every age and skill level is welcome. 

Thanks to all who are preparing breakfast for us each Sunday. It's nice to see 8:00 and 10:30 folks together.
Breakfast at St. Luke's!!

We will have breakfast in the Parish Hall every Sunday from 9 to 9:30. Everyone is invited.  

Join us for the eighth annual World Labyrinth Day on Saturday May 7th as we walk as one at 1 pm! Everyone is invited to join us at the labyrinth to join in on this world-wide event. To learn more, go to https://labyrinthsociety.org/world-labyrinth-day

Yard signs for this event will be available in the Narthex this Sunday. If you live close to St. Luke's please consider taking one of these signs for your yard. Be sure to sign the yard sign out so we can keep track of them. All signs must be returned.

Help create new artwork for St. Luke's gallery! We are asking everyone who wants to show their work to create a landscape during the month of May. The deadline to bring your work is May 31. You can drop it off during the week to Caroline in the office (8-4) or give it to Suzzette on any Sunday. All ages and any media are welcome. Have work ready to hang and we will hang it in the Parish Hall for you. Include with your work: title, artist name, media and cost if you want to sell it, if you don't want to sell it put "nfs"on the cost line. We will make tags so they will all be alike. We want to display your work through the summer. What exciting fun! Think landscapes everyone!!!

If you would like to assist in the office either every week or once in awhile, please contact Caroline in the church office.

The last regular Sunday School classes will end on Pentecost, May 15, 2016...BUT!!! We are trying something new, beginning the very next week: One Room Summer Sunday School! The children will meet together, with our Level III Catechesis class as leaders, and Beth Maze as the teacher. The focus will be twofold: Nurturing Our Prayer Life and Reaching Out to Those in Need. We will ring a bell at 9:30 in the Parish Hall and all children from 3 to 13 (and beyond) will head downstairs to our classroom. Join us for breakfast at 9:00, and send your children off for outreach AND inreach when the bell rings at 9:30. We hope to see you then!
Wednesday Noon Eucharist

There will be no noon Eucharist on Wednesdays during Fr. Carey's sabbatical, from June 8th to Aug. 24th. Noon Eucharist will begin again on August 31st.  
Pocket Change for Building and Grounds Projects

Do you have change in your pockets or change purse?  Do you think it is only a small amount and doesn't matter?  Just image, if everyone donates and combines this pocket change, the total will continue to grow and needed projects will be funded and completed.  A designated glass water bottle will be placed in the Narthex, remember, no amount of change is too small. Thank you from the Building and Grounds Committee.
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, Bill Shepherd, Kailyn, Bobby and Gary Mackzum, Marilyn Gay, Christine Startz, Adam and Jessie Forrester, David Martin, Bernice Carrigan, John Bangert, Sandy Barksdale, Steve Fanning, Lasseigne Family, Steven Sacks, Jill Cox, Nancy Barber, Gene Cox, Larry Stewart, James Hargreaves, Jennie Martin, Carle, Paula Kalina
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