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Happy Centennial New Year!

This is our Centennial year. Saint Luke's of the Mountains went from airy vision to solid stone in 1924. For a century, stones gathered by hand from the La Crescenta hills have given shelter and substance to our community. Our charming chimes have sounded through the valley. When you hear the bells this year, remember they are the original bells and still use the original electrical system. Pause a moment, that's a century of sound in your ear.

The gathered stones and old beams of the church have witnessed baptisms, confirmations, quinceañeras, weddings, installations and memorial services. The stained glass windows have illuminated countless moments. The church is as solid as, well, a rock, and I'm sure will be full of life and love, joy and grief, music and silence, the sacred and mundane for another century. That is at it should be. In our accelerating world, it's good to have a big stone anchor for our community. It's good to feel the mass and gravity of gathered stone. It's good to move from our hectic pace to the slow time of the rocks and hills. It's good to have a century old temple in the heart of La Crescenta.

It was the collapse of a temple in Jerusalem 2000 years ago which shook the world and gave the teachings of Jesus a sudden weight. Temples rise. Temples fall. New temples are built to satisfy the human need for structure, for something bigger and mores solid than ourselves. As mortals, we long for permanence. What could be more permanent than God's love? Not love heavenly and abstract, but concrete. It's the fragile loving acts of kindness we share with each other that stand the test of time. It's love we pass from one generation to the next. The love we share with each other is the love of God among us. When we walk in love as God loves us, we walk with God, by walking with each other.

Walking in love takes time. It's a slow walk, like the walks Seymour Thomas took looking for the stones to build Saint Luke's of the Mountains. Walking in love takes patience. It takes an artist's eye for the potential purpose in a fallen rock. It's the walk that notices budding trees, singing birds, chiming bells. Walking in love is the time it takes to smile at our neighbor and say, "hello."

In 2024, I hope you find time to walk by Saint Luke's. If you are one those who walks by the church and has always wanted to come in, I hope you come to a service. I hope you get to see the dark beams and stained glass windows with the morning sun flowing through them. You are invited. Most of all, I hope this year you walk in love with God. Happy 2024!

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