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St. Luke Core Values: II. Love and Encourage One Another
By Pearl Homiak

Below is a discussion of the second most important core value that St. Luke parishioners identified. -Ed.

We are not alone in this world, and we were never intended to be. ("It is not good that man should be alone" -Genesis 2:18). "As Orthodox Christians we are members of the Church community created by God" (Note for Romans 1:7, Orthodox Study Bible: New Testament and Psalms). How, then do we relate to one another in the Church? Jesus Christ answered this question when He was on Earth: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, as I have loved you" (John 13:34).

St. Luke parish takes this commandment to heart. The people of St. Luke are very loving and caring. But how is this demonstrated at St. Luke? Our gathering of interested parishioners (see The Evangelist, Fall 2002) came to the following conclusions:

  • We sincerely tell one another, "I love you and will pray for you," then do it.
  • We have an unconditional deep caring for and acceptance of one another.
  • We work to see Christ in everyone else.
  • We listen to each other through focused and undivided attention. (This involves remembering what the person said and following up later with pertinent questions).
  • We readily perceive a need and do what we can at the time to fulfill it.
  • We help a hurting person with his/her needs, while encouraging troubled individuals to take care of and do as much as they can for themselves. A hug, a smile, a note of encouragement and positive words, a phone call, email messages, willingness to give of our time to another person, and, most especially, prayer for the person are all part of what we do when necessary.
  • We gladly give alms to those in need without expectations of getting something in return.

The loving concern of St. Luke parishioners carries into our daily lives. We tend to give spontaneously, and we consider it normal to perform random acts of kindness. We often pass on our blessings, and we share what we can with other people.

In all these ways we are fulfilling Christ's new commandment to love one another. "By this all will know that you are my disciples" (John 13:35).

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