401 Scammel St.
Marietta, Ohio  45750
Pastor's Update 

Pastor’s Report to Council
Happy New Year! It feels like the holidays were already a long time ago to me, and yet as I reflect back on this past month’s worth of time, I realize Christmas was less than a month ago. So, reflecting back on the Advent and Christmas season, I’d have to say that the Wednesday Advent gatherings went somewhat better this year. Although the attendance for these services isn’t busting at the seams, we consistently get around 18-20 people, and even had a couple of visitors attend. The visitors informed me (of which I wasn’t aware) that St. Luke’s may be the only Protestant Advent service going in town on Wednesdays. That came somewhat as a surprise, although I’m aware that some denominations traditionally don’t celebrate the Advent season as a part of their religious piety. Given that Christmas Eve was on a Sunday this year, the Worship and Music committee decided to offer an Advent 4 service at 9:30 that morning and then a Christmas Eve service at 5:00 that evening. The committee has discussed (after the fact since meeting again) that changing the Sunday morning worship time maybe wasn’t the best idea, and they will be having further discussions pertaining to the 5:00pm worship time for Christmas Eve (hearing comments that it might be too early for some). The committee is tasked with a difficult job in finding a time that will work for everyone, as there will always be a conflict for some on that special night that involves many different family traditions. The Sunday following Christmas was once again a Lessons and Carols service, which was attended better than in past years. The first couple weeks in January have included home and hospital visits, Bible Study getting back together after a short break for the holidays, a Worship and Music committee meeting, and the usual administrative paperwork and reports that have to get assembled this time of year. I also spent some time reorganizing and straightening my office, changing out banners and taking down the aisle candles, and running errands for various church items needed. A usual part of my week includes sermon and worship preparation and study. I’m currently reading a book of Martin Luther’s “Priesthood of All Believers,” as well as working my way through the Select video “We Must Plant the Church” (the series that Nathan Anderson recently used with the adult class). Wednesday Lent services are currently being prepared, as Lent starts in February this year. I continue to deliver Franciscan Meals every other Thursday morning, and have been named to the governing board for Artsbridge, which includes monthly meetings and participation within the Mid-Ohio valley community. We are awaiting word from Rev. Bob Abrams and the Synod Constitution Review Committee regarding the updates and changes that we approved at our December congregational meeting. 

I know this process takes time, so please be patient as they give the same attention to detail as our local committee did when
reviewing these changes.

In Christ, with Christ, for Christ,
Pastor Steve Mahaffey