August 3, 2016
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From the Organ Bench

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven
(Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Dear Parishioners of St. Luke's, 

Early last week, I shared news regarding the St. Luke's Department of Music with Fr. Carey and Deacon Joanna. In personal letters on Monday to the choir and to the Festival of the Senses Board I passed along that same information, as it was those parishioners with whom I worked most closely these past almost four years and with whom I collaborated most directly to offer both choral and organ repertoire for the liturgy so that through it and the celebration of the Sacred Mysteries enhanced by it, all persons, parishioners and visitors alike, who attended St. Luke's for Mass, Evensong, or any special service might be inspired to praise, to worship, to pray more deeply, and to experience perhaps a growth in faith.  

As this liturgical year nears its end, so too does my time among you as your Organist and Choirmaster. On July 21, 2016, I accepted the call to become the Associate Director of Music at Trinity Cathedral, Little Rock, effective  September 1, 2016. On that day I will assume musical duties as organist at the Cathedral Church in Little Rock under the direction of Victoria Harden, Cathedral Director of Music. 

My final Sunday with you at St. Luke's will be August 28, 2016, and for this reason, not because of the themes of the appointed Lessons as is customary, I have selected the Howe "Day by Day" and the Bruckner "Locus Iste" for the 10:30am Mass on the 28th,  as their texts embody my desire for you all and for St. Luke's: that day by day, you should see him more clearly, love him more dearly, follow him more nearly, and that you may always regard the Church as a place made by God, a place of inestimable sacrament. 

The friendships made with you are treasured gifts I hope to maintain. I have found at St. Luke's a fervor for the liturgy and a living faith which feeds souls. It is a mystery how the universe is ordered, but it is beautiful and miraculous to us how God's plan does not always conform to our own plan, that he alone knows what is best for all of us, and that he accompanies us always along our journey to point the right way, as W.H. Auden so aptly phrased it in Hymn 463,  "through the land of unlikeliness." 

As I prepare to move on, I charge you all to remain steadfast in your mission as a parish in all your ministries, your tireless service to the poor, the marginalized, and the outcast. Countless persons benefit each day from your generous spirits and your kind, Love-filled hearts.  Maintain fortitude and perseverance in your work for the Kingdom of God, and always, always do everything to God's greater glory and with much beautiful music. I hope none of you looks upon me or my departure with scorn, as I request your friendly blessing, and that is what I leave you, and my unbounded gratitude for all you have done for this imperfect servant of the liturgy.  I ask you all to pray for me as I take up duties in my new position at Trinity Cathedral, and you may be assured also of my own prayers for each of you and for St. Luke's. 

May St. Luke the Evangelist, patron of healers, continue to point the way to the one Healer of Souls, and may St. Cecilia, patroness of musicians,  pray for us as we continue that same sacred work, so that the faithful everywhere might gain some glimpse of the beatific beauty that awaits.  I wish you all

Christ's Peace, 
Jason Pennington 

Deb Cooper's Ordination
August 6th at Trinity Cathedral 

The Central Arkansas Integrity  

Will hold a meeting and potluck on Tuesday August 9th at 6:30 pm in Parke Hall at Christ Church. Call Foster Lee at Christ Church for more details. Fosterleeiii@att.net

Dine, Dance, and Donate with a Smile

What:  12th Annual Shrimp Boil with live entertainment by the legendary Greasy Greens in the garden
Who:  Everyone who enjoys Cajun shrimp served tableside, live music, and fun
When:  5-9pmSaturday September 24, 2016 (Drive through open from 5-7pm)
Where:  St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 1000 N. Mississippi, Little Rock
Why:  To benefit St. Francis House ($165,000 raised in the first 11 years!)
Details:  Advance tickets are discounted to $25 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under through September 16.  After the 16th, tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for children and will be available at the door.  For tickets and information, please call St. Mark's church office at (501) 225-4203.
Staying connected to St. Luke's during the summer

Get Church "to go" box. Take a picture of you with the picture of Jesus in the box where you go and send back to joannaseibert@me.com for us to put on Facebook. Bring to Joanna your bulletins where you attend church and we will put up on a bulletin board and talk about them in the Evangelist.
From the Deacon's Bench

This spring I have a call from Children's Hospital to come and look at boxes of x-rays in a hallway that are going to be de-silvered. That means the silver in the film is taken out and the film thrown away. It takes a while for me to respond.  I think I have made my peace with the profession I had for 40 years. Being a pediatric radiologist became my identity, but many signs appear saying that it is time to retire. My specialty of pediatric radiology is continually changing and keeping up becomes almost impossible in order to give the care I want to give.
 My long time secretary is there and stays with me. She has become a lifelong friend and I know will remain a friend forever. I look through boxes after boxes of x-rays, copies of films I had collected over the years as "interesting cases." Lord, deliver any of us from being an "interesting case". These are copies of films of patients with problems that I used to teach residents and medical students about diagnosing diseases in other children with a similar problem. Years of work, now going to a dump heap, but I also hear the words of Thomas Merton and Richard Rohr calling us to die to our old selves or to lose ourselves to find ourselves. They call us to take off the masks, the labels of the person we had to become in order to survive and  now to find our real self. This meeting of old X-rays in a hall has become like a liturgy, a ceremony, a ritual to honor who I was and the children and families and residents and medical students and other physicians and co-workers I met in my past. I say prayers over some of the children I remember, some who are healed, others not, families I learned to know and love.
There are a few x-rays I cannot yet part with, but for some reason, I am not as sad as I had suspected. Diagnosing abnormalities on the X-rays helped children at the time; the films of these patients helped teach residents and students how to diagnose diseases at the time.
This experience is a lesson for me in living in the present, knowing things will change, and remembering you cannot rest on your laurels. Ever. I close the top on the last white box with yellow jackets holding my silver treasures, knowing that the hospital still values the silver of my work. I thank my African American secretary, Faye, and give her the small pile I want to keep, knowing they will also go some time in the future. As I stand up and walk down the hall, I remember my favorite Faye story. She comes to work in the file room shortly after I arrive. She is amazingly competent, diligent, can find films that no one else can find (Of course now, there is no file room, no X-rays to be lost or found. Everything is digital.) About a year after she comes, I hear that Faye is leaving for another job. I simply go to her and tell her I am sorry she is leaving, and that I have really loved working with her. That is all I say: a simple courteous but true statement. Faye decides to stay and stays with me through thick and thin for 40 years.
I remember that you never know what an impact a small word of kindness or love can have on someone. I walk out of Children's Hospital into a bright spring day remembering and knowing all we have is the present moment and our attempt to make a difference in the world as we live in that present moment, still trying to find and become the person God created us to be.    



Children's formation will resume Rally Day September 11. Adult formation will continue at 9:30 in the Parish Hall discussing Half Truths following breakfast at 9. 


The formation of our children is probably the most important part of the programs at St. Luke's. We have some amazing children. Prayerfully consider being a part of this vital ministry helping with Sunday School and/or Children's Chapel. You will be making a difference in so many lives and I can promise your life will be changed as well. Contact Joanna to learn more about this ministry. joannaseibert@me.com.

Adult Formation

Half Truths, an Exciting Adult forum beginning July 31

Join the Adult Forum from 9: 30 to 10:15 after breakfast in the Parish hall where we will study Half Truths with Adam Hamilton and Deacon Joanna July 31 through August 28 

These are simple phrases. They sound Christian-like something you might find in the Bible. We've all heard these words. Maybe we've said them. They capture some element of truth, yet they miss the point in important ways.
Join Adam Hamilton in searching for the whole truth by comparing common Christian clichés to the message and ministry of Jesus. 

The clichés include:
* Everything happens for a reason.  July 31
* God helps those who help themselves. August 7
* God won't give you more than you can handle. August 14
* God said it, I believe it, that settles it. August 21
* Love the sinner, hate the sin.  August 28

This is an amazing series you will not want to miss.

Prayer List
Anne Gontermann, Helen Snipan, Nina Goins, Betty Miller, Chris Mikesell, Louis Jenkins, Gloria Holst, Bill Shepherd, Kailyn, Bobby and Gary Mackzum, Marilyn Gay, Christine Startz, David Martin, Bernice Carrigan, Steve Fanning, Steven Sacks, Jill Cox, Gene Cox, Jennie Martin, Carle, Paula Kalina, Becky Simpson, Mary Schultz, Dan McKee, Gene Macalik, Sarah, Betty, Jack Dreher  
Special Concerns: For all the men and women of our Armed Forces, especially Justin, Joshua, Bret, Brian Mahoney, Tim, Matt, Doug,  Brian Mennes, Frank Tate,
Alex Schimelpfening, David Liem, Justin, John Landis, Lucas Kunce, David Jackson