To the Congregation of St. Luke’s

The Hood Family (l-r):  Tyler, Thomas, Tracy, Fr. Steve, Claire and Rivers

Oct. 11, 2016

On Sunday morning I told the congregation that I stand before you in a posture of thanksgiving. I’m thankful for being called as rector of St. Luke’s and being entrusted to serve as your pastor as we partner together in ministry. My posture of thanksgiving continues this morning as I sit at my desk and write to you. I thank you for your outpouring of welcome to me and my family since we arrived in Bartlesville. You have delivered cakes and sent cards and notes and many of you have stopped in the office to say “hello.” It has been an amazing welcome and I am grateful for your outpouring of hospitality.

Tracy and I were overwhelmed with the pounding on Sunday. We now have enough paper products and food staples to get us through Christmas and beyond. Others gave us gift cards to restaurants and stores that will be a great help as we explore Bartlesville and continue setting up our home. Thank you for your generosity and thoughtfulness. Most of the gifts were anonymous and we thank you for this outpouring of love.

Over the next weeks and months I will be learning more about you. I do not come from somewhere else with plans on how to fix you, but I come to you with an open mind and a desire to honor your history as well as your ministry. I agree with our Presiding Bishop that we need to be a part of the Jesus movement and focus our energies and efforts on proclaiming the Good News of God in Christ in the streets of Bartlesville. But, my sense is you have been a part of the Jesus movement for a long time, and I have a lot I can learn from you.

Christ’s Peace, The Reverend Stephen D. Hood