State of the Church Report, 2019
State of the Church Report, 2019
St. Luke Church, Bryn Mawr
Pastor David Tatgenhorst
Bill Reim received the 2019 Jim McDermott Award for Congregational Service at our 142nd Anniversary Luncheon on Nov. 24th. Bill has contributed generously from his formidable gifts during the last 2 years. He has refurbished our sound system, promoted the church through new signs on the corner, and helped with our computer slide presentation in worship almost every week. His dedication to the memory of his beloved wife, Pat Graham Reim, is a wonderful celebration of her life in this church.
We welcomed 6 new members to St. Luke this year: Ann Abbott, Terri Leone, Wayne Parvin, Scott Cooper, Maria Wilson, and Noah Nichilo. Noah was received the Sacrament of Holy Baptism as did Maggie and Ben Cooper. As a congregation, we continue to be involved in ministry that changes our lives and reaches out to new people to transform their lives as well.
Sunday worship is the center of everything we do at St. Luke. The joyous morning celebration is always full of surprises, beauty, and fun, thanks to the music of the sanctuary choir led by Matthew Phillips-English, and thanks to beautiful altars and creative planning of Pastor Joanne Miles. Bill Reim has also been a great help in making our slide presentations beautiful and worshipful. Noah Nichilo and his trombone have regularly joined Marcell Bellinger and his trumpet to add extra spark to the music program.
Carolyn Harmon leads the Children’s Celebration. They are small but mighty have a good time on Sunday morning and on the second Friday of each month for a movie and game night. Kiara Jewette Hernandez staffs the nursery and helps with some social media needs.
The work of the Mission Link at Grace Cafe has continued to be a highlight of our ministry. Anne Kybert, Pastor Joanne, Lauri Cumming, Cathy Clarke, Lyn Elliot, Charlene Reim, Jim McDermott and others have done an impressive job leading our mission ministries. Jon Cumming, Junior and Senior, and Pastor David went on two work trips to Puerto Rico with Tom Lank through Volunteers in Mission this year.
This Sunday, November 3rd for All Saints Day, we will be celebrating the lives of members of this church who died in the last year. Noni Nash was a member of St. Luke for 76 years. Muriel Posey was one of our oldest members. She had moved away but remained faithful to the church. Pastor Nancy Sturdivant was relatively new, but she had found a home here after years of service to the church in New Jersey and North Carolina. And we remember Ethan Jarvis, the son of former members David and Donna Jarvis.
The church has continued this year to be a center for anti-racism training and work with POWER Main Line and the United Methodist Church. Pastor David attended three 3 day workshops on Whites Confronting Racism with 17 other UMC pastors, and helped to organize folks from Lower Merion township in similar training and follow-up sessions.
In June, we celebrated our fourth anniversary as a Reconciling Congregation. We have been praying for the Way Forward as a church and making connections with other churches. We are purchasing a new rainbow flag with plans to hang it in front of the church.
The Men’s LIFE group led by Jon Cumming, the Women’s group led this year by Noni Nash, the Parents’ LIFE group led by Adrienne Lucas, and the Exercise Your Faith LIFE group led by Marilyn Arnott continue to meet regularly. Lauri Cumming and Elaine McDermott work with parents and college students, respectively. Some of these leaders have been caring for their groups for a dozen or more years, some for a few years. The leaders meet once a month with the pastor for Bible study, encouragement, and support.
When people come to visit St. Luke, they often comment on the warm welcome they receive, the beauty of the sanctuary, and the authentic commitment of the people they meet. I am proud of our little congregation and pleased with the progress we have made to have a broader representation of generations and ethnic backgrounds in our midst. I feel enormously blessed to serve this vibrant and grace-filled community of people.