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St. Luke's Strategic Plan (Draft)
Look for a separate email including the full draft of St. Luke's Strategic Plan in both English and Spanish. Sunday Forums on December 4 and 11 after services. See the weekly email or the News page on our website for the full schedule.

Please visit our website to view
a downloadable print version of the newsletter. Please use the links in the above menu to be directed to our website.

Inside This Issue

St. Luke's Strategic Planning Forums
St. Luke's Sermons Now Available Online
Our Lady of Guadalupe / Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe
Advent Forum for Dec 4, 2011
Rector’s Notes – Bilingual Worship: Work and Reward
Blessing of the Creche
The Rt. Rev. Diane Jardin Bruce to Visit St. Luke’s in January
Baptism Preparation
February Retreat Sign-Ups
Last Call for Pledge Cards
UTO: United Thank Offering
Advent Taize: Waiting for the Light
From the Music Director
Youth Group News
Manna Meals

Heifer International
Brass Rubbing Medieval Arts Center
Faith Journeys
Bookstore News: Advent Spiritual Preparation, Christmas

Little People
La Gente

St. Luke's Strategic Planning Forums
St. Luke’s will have three open forums in December to study and offer further input to our developing Strategic Plan.  The Vestry has taken great pains to respond to input given in the spring and turn it into a cohesive plan for the next three years.  

The Vestry has very judiciously tried to make the strategic plan both pragmatic and visionary.  Some wonderfully creative and generous ideas were put forward early in the year, but sometimes the Vestry had to be realistic about what we really can achieve in the next three years.  At other times, the Vestry raised the bar on our hopes and expectations.  

Now the Vestry wants to provide further room for the movement of the Spirit.  So we are having open forums on Dec. 4 and 11 after the 10 o’clock service in English, and on Dec. 18 after the 12:15 service in Spanish.

The season of Advent is a perfect time to enter the final phase of our planning.  As we prepare the way in our hearts and in the world for the coming of Christ and the new creation, let us listen carefully to what God is whispering to us about what St. Luke’s can do in our common life to prepare the way.


St. Luke's Sermons Now Available Online
The 10AM sermons are now available online (usually one to two weeks after they are recorded) on iTunes (more info below). CD copies of the sermon and/or the whole service are available for $1 by requesting them from me in person or via e-mail at Right now only the 10AM service is recorded on a weekly basis.

Instructions for obtaining podcasts:

To subscribe to the St. Luke’s podcast in iTunes, click here or search for St. Luke’s Long Beach while in iTunes.

If you’re using a podcast aggregator other than iTunes, you can add the podcast manually by typing the following address into your podcast software:


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Our Lady of Guadalupe / Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe

On Sunday, December 11th, our 12:15 p.m service will be bi-lingual and will celebrate the Virgen de Guadalupe, through procession, words and music. For those of you who don’t know, the Virgen de Guadalupe is one of Mexico’s most popular religious and cultural images and celebrating this event has become tradition here at St. Luke’s.

To that end, we invite and encourage all members of the congregation to experience festive worship as images of the Virgen de Guadalupe will be lifted up and blessed. After the service the joyous atmosphere will follow into coffee hour where delicious Mexican food and beverages will be served. Please see Ranjit Mathews if you have any questions.


 advent2 Advent Forum for Dec 4,2011

Advent- that period of great joyful anticipation which summons us to the beginning of our liturgical year. The word Advent means "coming" or "arrival." The focus of the entire season is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ in his First Advent, and the anticipation of the return of Christ in his Second Advent. Thus, Advent is far more than simply marking a 2,000 year old event in history. It is celebrating a truth about God, the revelation of God in Christ whereby all of creation might be reconciled to God. Advent also symbolizes the spiritual journey of individuals and congregations, as we affirm that Christ has come, that He is present in our world today, and that He will come again in power. Advent is marked by a spirit of expectation, of anticipation, of preparation, of watching and of waiting. So as we celebrate with gladness the great promise in the Advent, we understand the knowing that there is also a somber tone as the theme of concern is added to the theme of promise.
The Prayer Ministry team invites you on Sunday, December 4th at 11:30 to share what Advent can be for you this year and 24 prayers you can take with you for your own journey this Advent season. Many Blessings in Christ,
Julie Von Pelz


  Rector’s Notes – Bilingual Worship: Work and Reward

A few times a year, all of St. Luke’s bilingual family comes together for a bilingual service.  We come together on Maundy Thursday.  We come together on the day of the Parish Picnic.  This Advent, we will have a bilingual service at 12:15 to celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe.  In January, we will have bilingual services at 10 o’clock when Bishop Diane Bruce visits St. Luke’s and again on the day of our Annual Meeting.

From a clergy standpoint, bilingual services mean more work.  I’ve planned over 100 of them, and we always ask which music to sing where, which prayers and readings to have in English and in Spanish, how to preach bilingually this time.  One rule of thumb is to keep bilingual services as simple as possible because they are innately complicated.

From a lay person’s standpoint, bilingual services mean more work.  We have to be more attentive.  We can’t go through the service on auto-pilot.  Unless we are bilingual, we are edged out of our comfort zone.

But just as there is more work, there is also a greater reward.  Every time we gather for a bilingual service, we partially fulfill the dreams of prophets and visionaries.  The prophets Micah and Isaiah speak of the great day to come when nations come together on the mountain of God to learn God’s ways and live in God’s peace.  When we come together for a bilingual service, we get a glimpse into that glorious experience.

John of Patmos speaks of a time to come when people from every tribe and language gather around God’s throne to lose and find ourselves praising God and the Lamb.  When we worship God bilingually, we have a foretaste of that glory to come.

May it always be so with bilingual services at St. Luke’s.  More work, certainly.  But much more reward, absolutely!



         DSC_1087 Blessing of the Creche

St. Luke’s will have its traditional Blessing of the Creche service on Sunday, December 18 at the 10 o’clock service.  As we did last year, we will be asking several children and youth to be our lectors that day.  Also as we have done in previous years, we will ask parishioners to take part in processions carrying parts of the Creche to the baptismal font. 


The Rt. Rev. Diane Jardin Bruce to Visit St. Luke’s in January

Bishop Diane Bruce will be with us on Sunday, January 8 for a bilingual confirmation service at 10 a.m.  St. Luke’s has been very blessed the past 18 months with visits from both of our Bishops Suffragan – at our Mardi Gras Mass, at the Gay Pride Eucharist, and now at a Sunday morning service.  Let’s welcome Bishop Diane back to St. Luke’s!


          DSC_2017 Baptism Preparation

The next service of Holy Baptism will be when Bishop Diane Bruce makes her visit on January 8.  If you would like to be baptized or have a member of
your household baptized, there will be a Baptism Preparation session on
Sunday, Dec. 11 at 9 a.m.  If that time is inconvenient, please let Gary


 st marys retreat labyrinth February Retreat Sign-Ups

If you are interested in attending the February 24-26 retreat at St. Mary’s Retreat House in Santa Barbara and have not yet signed up or paid a deposit, please contact the Church Office to see if spaces are still available.  Gary will lead the retreat on Jesus’ question: “Who Do You Say I Am?”


  Last Call for Pledge Cards

If you have not yet turned in a pledge card and intend to do so, please make sure it gets to the Church Office by Dec. 11, the day before the Vestry’s budget meeting.  You can put your pledge card in the Sunday offering, mail a card to the Church Office, or email your pledge to  Thank you!!


     bluebox UTO: United Thank Offering

Maya Angelou’s Prayer

Father, Mother, God – Thank you for your presence during the hard and mean days, for then we have you to lean upon.  Thank you for your presence during the bright and sunny days, for then we can share that which we have with those who have less.  And thank you for your presence during the Holy Days, for then we are able to celebrate you and our families and our friends.  For those who have no voice, we ask you to speak.  For those who feel unworthy, we ask you to pour your love out in waterfalls of tenderness.  For those who live in pain, we ask you to bathe them in the river of your healing.  For those who are lonely, we ask you to keep them company.  For those who are depressed, we ask you to shower upon them the light of hope.  Dear Creator, You, the borderless sea of substance, we ask you to give to all the world that which we need most – PEACE.

As we at St. Luke’s prepare once more for the celebration of the Birth of the Christ child may continue to give daily thanks.  Blue Boxes are available in Bellis Hall.


         taize candle
Advent Taizé: Waiting for the Light
Tuesday December 13 at 7:30 PM
Each year in early December, Taizé Prayer offers a time to reflect on the meaning of the Advent Season and prepare for the coming of the Light, the coming of the Christ Child.  Take time from your busy holiday schedule to spend a quiet hour of prayer and music in the candle-lit softness of St. Luke’s sanctuary.


From the Music Director

Thanks to all who attended the Cole Conservatory Chamber Orchestra. It was a great event. Students and audience enjoyed it equally. Thanks also to Tom and Ethel Sanford for hosting the reception afterwards.

We have worked out the final kinks of the organ after the releathering process. The action of Austin Organs are very complex and take immense care to adjust. Both, the Austin Organ Company as well as Rosales from Los Angeles have spent much time getting it all adjusted and tuned. The organ now sounds more crisp, all leather components will be working for many years to come. We are eagerly awaiting a few additions to the sound palate. That final stage of organ enhancement will begin possibly even this December.

We will have a special musical presentation on Christmas Eve at 10:30 PM. The choir,  accompanied by organ and  a string ensemble, will present a varied program of music of traditional and new music for the season.  Please bring your friends  to great sacred music in a great sacred space.

Thank you,
Johannes Müller-Stosch

Youth Group News   by Sharon Sheffield

The big event for Youth Group this month is the Yule Ball on Saturday, December 3. There will be live music by our own Potential Lunatics (Emma and Isaac Simons-Araya), with food and fun for all. The entry fee is a toy or gift card valued at $10 or more. We’re hoping that everyone in the group will bring a friend, invite a neighbor, and expand the circle of the Youth Group.

We are continuing to coordinate with the First Congregational Church youth group on Thursday nights, and hope that the New Year will provide many more opportunities for making our partnership grow.

The Parents’ Planning Meeting is scheduled for Sunday, December 18, at 3:30 pm in the Youth Room. Please come if at all possible so we can review the last few months and plan for the first half of 2012.

All Middle School and High School youth are welcome to come to the Youth Group meetings, even if you haven’t been coming regularly. We meet in the Youth Room after the 10:00 service. If you have any questions, or want to explore ways to help the Youth Group, please contact me at or 562-492-5968. Thank you for your support!


Manna Meals

Our hot meal for the homeless and needy will be on Christmas Eve at 11:00. We will have the table in the patio for sign ups for casseroles and volunteers to help prepare food and serve starting Dec. 4th. Please be generous with your time, and cooking expertise, as we expect a large turn out so close to Christmas.


Heifer International

Heifer International will once again be offering alternative gives of animals, honey, and animal ornaments to Christmas gift giving.  Look for the display in the Parish Hall each Sunday during December.

Heifer Int’l provides food-producing animals to needy people in the US and around the world to help them become self-sufficient. Literature is available, and you can check them out on their website:


Brass Rubbing Medieval Arts Center

Thank you to all of you who gave your time for this year’s St. Luke’s fundraiser. It takes so many people to plan, advertise, decorate, and execute both the Festival of Medieval Merriment and the Brass Rubbing Center. After all the bookkeeping is done, we will be able to announce how well we did, and how much money we will give to the general fund.

Next year we hope to have some new faces join the ranks in the castle to lighten the workload. The Brass Rubbing Center is an outreach to public, private, and home schools – 25 this year with a total of over 650 kids, and also individuals who enjoy the art of brass rubbing and history of medieval times.

Ted Fruechting & Gail Mutke


Faith Journeys
By Sister Susan Alice Metzmaker, A.F.

By now most of you have probably seen me on Sundays wearing the green and flax habit of Anamchara Fellowship after my reception as a Novice in the Order on October 16th.  Many thanks to all of you for the warm support and wonderful good wishes you’ve given to me.  I’ve been overwhelmed by the interest in my faith journey.

One of the most common questions I’ve received since then is: “What are you going to do now?” The answer has several layers.  First, I will continue to attend St. Luke’s and to participate in the ministries here, like serving as a LEM and in the various other activities of the parish.

As a Novice in the Order I am in the formation process, which means I have a lot of learning and growing to do.  I have a spiritual director outside the Fellowship and an Anamchara inside the Fellowship. (“Anamchara” is the Gaelic word for “soul friend” and is essentially a spiritual director and personal mentor.)  The Order has its own Formation Manual with chapters about the Order itself, traditional and new monasticism, Celtic Christian church history, Celtic spirituality, the Desert mothers and fathers, the vows of a Religious, the Rule of Life, and many other topics.  Each section has reflection questions which are an aid to discussion with my Anamchara and spiritual director. The Novice, Anamchara and spiritual director and free to choose whatever method works best for them to delve deeply into the topics. Of course we are not limited to the specific reflection questions - if one of the questions happens to spark other questions or ideas we definitely explore these as well.  

The goal is always to come to a deeper experience of the Religious life as well as a deeper, more profound relationship with God.


Bookstore News

We have some wonderful books for your spiritual preparation during this sometimes hectic time of year.  We encourage you to come and browse books such as: The Christmas Tide by Frederick Buechner;  Christmastide
Prayers for Advent Through Epiphany from The Divine Hours
, by Phyllis Tickle; Monestery Journy to Christmas,  by Brother Victor-Antoine D’avila-Latourrette; and for children. What We Do in Advent, An Anglican Kids’ Activity Book  bt Anne E. Kitch, and a Nativity Pop-up and Advent Calendar The Christmas Baby by Sally Ann Wright and Honor Ayres.  We also have a number of great gift books for all ages plus some T-shirts and caps with the Episcopal Shield emblem.


little people header dec 4


On Sunday, the Children’s Ministry had a potluck to celebrate Thanksgiving. Food and fellowship were enjoyed by all. Afterwards, some of the children took the opportunity to create beautiful pieces of artwork in our Brass Rubbings Center.

December 10: Making Christmas ornaments and decorate the “Jesse Tree” with Potluck lunch. 10a – 1p

December 18: Blessing of the Crèche and Christmas Presentation


la gente dec 2
Foro de Planificación Estratégica

La Iglesia tendrá tres foros abiertos en el mes de diciembre para estudiar y ofreces nuevas ideas sobre nuestro plan estratégico que está en desarrollo. La mesa directiva ha hecho grandes esfuerzos para responder a toda la información que se les fue entregado en la primavera. La mesa directiva a desarrollado un plan coherente para los siguientes tres años.

Ellos han tratado de construir un plan estratégico pragmático y visionario. Al principio del año se dieron muchas ideas creativas pero la mesa directiva tuvo que ser realista en lo que se puede lograr en los próximos tres años. Pero al mismo tiempo la mesa directiva subió las expectativas para esta congregación.
Ahora la mesa directiva quiere proporcionar un mayor margen para el movimiento del Espíritu Santo. Es por eso que tendremos tres diferentes foros en Diciembre 4 y Diciembre 11 después de la misa de Ingles y un foro más en Diciembre 18 después del servicio de español.

El tiempo de adviento es el tiempo perfecto para entrar a la fase final de nuestra planificación. Mientras preparamos en nuestro corazón la llegado de Cristo y una nueva creación, Les invito a que todos escuchemos atentamente lo que Dios nos está susurrando acerca de lo que
San Lucas puede hacer para prepara el camino a Dios.

Notas del Rector – La adoración bilingüe:Trabajo y Recompensa

Un par de veces al año toda la familia bilingüe de San Lucas se reúne para un servicio bilingüe. Nos reunimos el Jueves Santo y cuando celebramos el picnic parroquial. En este Adviento, vamos a tener un servicio bilingüe a las 12:15 para celebrar a Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. En enero, tendremos un servicio bilingüe a las 10 am cuando la obispa Diane Bruce nos visitara y otra vez en el día de nuestra reunión anual. Desde el punto de vista del clero, los servicios bilingües significan más trabajo. He planeado más de 100 servicios bilingües y las preguntas siempre son las mismas: ¿Cuál música se debe de usar para que parte? ¿Cuáles oraciones y lecturas serán en Ingles? Y ¿Cuáles serán en español? ¿Cómo y quién predicara? Como ven hay muchas preguntas pero solamente en regla. Mantengan el servicio lo más simple posible ya que estos servicios son por naturaleza complejos.

Desde la perspectiva de un laico, los servicios bilingües significan más trabajo.Tenemos que estar más atentos. No podemos ir a través del servicio en el piloto automático, claro al menos que seamos bilingües un servicio bilingüe nos saca de nuestra zona de comodidad.

Pero así como hay más trabajo, también hay una recompensa mayor. Cada vez que nos reunimos en los servicios bilingües estamos parcialmente

cumpliendo los sueños de los profetas y visionarios. Profetas como Isaías que hablan del gran día! cuando las naciones se reunirán en el monte de Dios, para aprender los caminos de Dios y vivir en la paz de Dios. Cuando nos reunimos para un servicio bilingüe, tenemos la oportunidad de ver un vistazo de esa gloriosa experiencia. Juan de Patmos habla de un tiempo que vendrá cuando la gente de toda raza y lengua se reunirá alrededor del trono de Dios. En ese momento las naciones se perderán y se encontraran en las alabanzas a Dios y al Cordero. Cuando adoramos a Dios en forma bilingüe, tenemos un anticipo de la gloria por venir.

Así que continúe esta tradición de! más trabajo y de recompensas celestiales.

Sinceramente, Gary

Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe

El Servicio de las 12:15 del Domingo 11 será un servició !bilingüe en el cual celebraremos a La Virgen de Guadalupe.! Para ustedes que no conocen esta tradición este dia sera una gran oportunidad de conocer más de esta tradición que es muy popular en México y ahora también es muy especial aquí en nuestra iglesia.
Todos están invitados a celebrar este día con nosotros.Tendremos una gran celebración después de la misa con comida y bebida Mexicana. Si tiene alguna pregunta favor de hablar con Rangit Mathews.

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