Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,
As I write this letter Sunday, October 28, the clear, cool blue sky is overhead. We are glancing to the east coast with their threatening forecasts of storms beyond imagination - we will see.
Last Monday, when it was still warm, I took a nice long bike ride, including a section of the Neil Smith trail. That evening, the Shelby county priests gathered again for 10 point pitch and a nice dinner.
Tuesday, October 23, priests and deacons spent the day with Abbott Marcel Rooney helping us reflect on the Vatican II document on the Liturgy. He reminded us of some of its basic principles that we almost take for granted after these years. That evening, I enjoyed being with the St. Luke’s Supper Club at Chips.
Wednesday, I met for lunch with the Ankeny Ministerial Association at Mill Pond. Paul Turner from AMOS - A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy and Pastor Ben Bell, told us about the wonderful progress that “Project Iowa” has made. It is a training strategy that enables unemployed and under-employed to get training in things like welding and nursing associates with employers offering them a good paying job with benefits when they finish the training.
That evening, the Strategic Planning Team met with our architects to work on the master plan for St. Luke’s. The architects took the input from our two parish workshops and put together how, with our input, the facilities for St. Luke’s could be laid out. They presented a plan that would have the church a first and primary focus just up the hill from the SE entry just past the present trees. The gathering space, hall, and St. Luke’s school would follow the contour of the hill toward the NW. Eventually the senior housing would go to the SW from the church down the hill toward the present residential area. It is exciting to begin exploring possible master plans. Of course, any 1st phase of a master plan would have to reflect our financial funding ability.
On Wednesday and Thursday, we finished getting the St. Luke’s School Survey ready and sent in the mail. It has gone out to St. Luke’s, OLIH, All Saints and St. Mary’s/Holy Cross parishioners. Please return your survey to help us put together the support that St. Luke’s School will have. Know that our 1st phase will also have dedicated worship space so we will not have to set up and take down every time we gather!
Thursday evening, the Social Concerns Team met. We approved our operating Charter and began to look at various ways that St. Luke’s could join or initiate caring projects. We are looking at how to support Bishop’s project for the Seminary in Nigeria that he visited this fall. Interest in the Nevln Center will be explored as well as help to St. Vincent de Paul and the local Redrock service organizations. We hope to also be able to gather socks, mittens, hats and coats for those who need them. Adopting families for Christmas will also be part of their efforts.
Keep all your loved ones who have died in the last year in your prayers. It is good to remember all your family who have died, your close friends and neighbors and to hold them up to our merciful God. Our prayers are a very real way that we can ask our loving God to bring them into the fullness of his promised eternal life.
Be blessed as we enter into the last month of the Liturgical year.
Fr. Larry Hoffmann