On, Sunday, September 24, we bid farewell to our intrepid interim rector, Ricardo Avila! We shared in good food, good fun, and a few good tears, as we celebrated the last 4 years of Ricardo's service at St. Luke's.
Part of our celebration included media presentations from the staff and members of the congregation, expressing our thanks, our memories, and our well wishes for his next venture at St. Luke's, Los Gatos in San Mateo.
Enjoy them out below!
In 2016, our urban intern, Graycie Wingo, made it her mission to bring the St. Luke’s community together, by folding 1,000 peace cranes! The goal was to create a symbolic representation of our collective prayers, hopes, and intentions. We successfully reached that goal and displayed them above the altar during the season of Pentecost!
St. Luke's donated a portion of our prayer cranes to the "Cranes of Hope" project at the Todd Cancer Pavilion last year. They collected over 10,000 cranes from the community, with the intention to rebuild this art installation at the hospital. Their goal is to provide hope and encouragement to patients, family members, and all who visit their facilities. An unveiling ceremony took place on September 12 at the pavilion, where they beautifully displayed 14,000 cranes, gathered from all over the community. We are proud to have a part of St. Luke's incorporated in this wonderful project!
Once a year, we ask the children of St. Luke's to bring their backpacks to the 10am Eucharist for a blessing before the new school year begins. This year, we also blessed the wonderful teachers and educators in our parish!
The Wini Williams Carter Community Service Scholarship is awarded each year to a graduating senior from Long Beach Poly High who has demonstrated a commitment to helping those less fortunate in our community. It’s a 4-year award, $1,000 per year given based on continued attendance at a college or university of the student’s choice. The scholarship is named after Wini Carter, a beloved St. Luke’s parishioner whose life-long community service sets an example for all of us. She’s 98 and still going strong, volunteering in various capacities around the city and making friends wherever she goes.
For the first time, we have a full contingent of four Wini Williams Carter Scholars! They are Hannah Bogich (2014), Monique Lozano (2015), Chloe Weatherspoon (2016), and Derek Matos (2017). Our first four scholars are attending Northeastern University, Boston; Cal State University - Long Beach; and UCLA.
At our 10am Eucharist on Sunday, August 13, we welcomed our newest recipient, Derek Matos. Additionally, this was our farewell to Hannah, who will be completing her four years as a Wini Carter Scholar. We love our scholars and wish them all the best in their future endeavors!
We welcome donations to keep this scholarship going and to assist future community leaders in their educational advancement. Please contact the church office for more information.
Well, even the best parties have to end sometime. After two blissful years as your associate rector and one year and eight months as your interim, my last Sunday at St. Luke's will be September 24. I have accepted a call to the rectorship of St. Luke's, Los Gatos, and will join them Sunday, October 15. I am going to miss you all terribly! But your new rector, when he or she arrives, will take up the mantle and you will love and laugh all over again.
It's been a privilege to walk alongside you these past few years, learning how to be a priest while loving and being loved by such a diverse and vibrant community! I arrived in January 2014, eager but wet-behind-the-ears; I leave a far more seasoned and sturdy pastor. Words aren't enough to express my gratitude for all you've taught me. Father Gary plucked me up out of obscurity and was a terrific mentor and friend. And, while the interim period was a bit of a crucible, it forged something solid in me that I carry as blessing.
Thank you for sharing your lives with me! You will always hold a place in my heart, just to the left of cinnamon rolls and adjacent to Dostoevsky.
God bless you.
P.S. -- September 10 will be my last Sunday presiding and preaching at the 12:30 p.m. Spanish service. September 24 will be a bilingual Eucharist at 10:00 a.m. Do join us!
And now ... a word from our Vestry!
From the very beginning of this process, the Vestry has been expecting and planning for the possibility that Ricardo would be leaving before the new Rector starts. We are thankful that Ricardo stayed as long as he did and we wish him our best. We have a great Associate Rector, Staff, Wardens, and Vestry, and they will be able to handle whatever comes up during this interim period. The Vestry has been meeting twice a week (sometimes more) to keep our discernment process moving forward. We are very excited about all our candidates and about the future of St. Luke's. The entire Vestry asks for your continued support, understanding, and prayers.
Bueno, incluso las mejores fiestas tienen que terminar en algún momento. Después de dos felices años como su rector asociado y un año y ocho meses como su interino, mi último domingo en St. Luke's será el 24 de septiembre. He aceptado una llamada a ser rector de St. Luke's, Los Gatos, y me uniré a ellos el domingo, 15 de octubre. ¡Les voy a extrañar terriblemente! Pero su nuevo rector, cuando él o ella llegue, tomará el manto y amarán y reirán de nuevo.
¡Ha sido un privilegio caminar a su lado estos últimos años, aprendiendo a ser sacerdote, amando y amado por una comunidad tan diversa y vibrante! Llegué en enero de 2014, ansioso pero sin mucha experiencia; saldré un pastor mucho más experimentado y robusto. Las palabras no son suficientes para expresar mi gratitud por todo lo que me han enseñado. El Padre Gary me arrancó de la oscuridad y fue un mentor y amigo fabuloso. Y, aunque el período intermedio fue un poco de un crisol, forjó algo sólido en mí que llevo como bendición.
¡Gracias por compartir sus vidas conmigo! Siempre tendrán un lugar en mi corazón, justo a la izquierda de rollos de canela y adyacente a mi autor favorito, Dostoevsky.
Que Dios los bendiga.
PD -- El 10 de septiembre será mi último domingo presidiendo y predicando a las 12:30, el servicio en español. El 24 de septiembre será una Eucaristía bilingüe a las 10:00 am ¡Únase a nosotros!
Y ahora ... unas palabras de nuestra Junta Parroquial!
Desde el comienzo de este proceso, la Junta Parroquial ha estado esperando y planeando por la posibilidad de que Ricardo se fuera antes de que comience el nuevo Rector. Estamos agradecidos de que Ricardo permaneció tanto tiempo con nosotros, y le deseamos lo mejor. Tenemos un gran rectora asociado, empleados, guardianes, y ayuntamiento, y serán capaces de manejar lo que ocurre durante este período interino. La Junta Parroquial se ha reunido dos veces por semana (a veces más) para mantener nuestro proceso de discernimiento avanzando. Estamos muy entusiasmados con todos nuestros candidatos y con el futuro de St. Luke's. Todos en la junta parroquial piden su apoyo continuo, su comprensión, y sus oraciones.
On behalf of the St. Luke's staff, we want to wish Father Ricardo a very special 'happy birthday'!!!
On Sunday, July 23, members of our Spanish congregation had the opportunity to venture out to the Aquarium of the Pacific, with Father Ricardo and Mother Nancy. Thanks to parishioner, James Chapman, who works for the aquarium, they were able to interact with and feed some otters and check out some lively underwater creatures! Check out the footage and photos below.
On June 8, 2017, our beloved sexton, Hektor Rivas, celebrated his 25th anniversary working at St. Luke’s! On July 16, 2017, we threw him a celebration, which also happened to be his 50th birthday, to commemorate his time at our church! He was presented with a Certificate of Recognition from Councilmember Lena Gonzalez, a Proclamation from Mayor Robert Garcia's office -- giving thanks for all Hektor has done to make St. Luke's a center for community programs and service to those in need, and a generous gift towards a trip to visit his family in Mexico -- made up from donations collected from the parish. Thank you, Hektor, for everything that you have done for not only the church but for its' parishioners and the Long Beach community.