Outreach is a high priority for the people of St. Luke’s.
Because Christ has laid down his life for us, we seek to lay down our own lives in service to others. Join us as we share the Gospel and help those in need in our community and around the world! Here are a few of the ways in which we reach out to share Christ’s love in our community throughout the year:
Little Free Food Pantry
Right outside our church is a little free food pantry, which St. Luke’s members donate pre-packaged food to each week. This food is for anyone who is in need in our area. In this time of quarantine, when so many are without work and are in need, please consider donating to our Little Food Pantry. Find out more about how you can take part in this ministry at our St. Luke’s Little Food Pantry Page.
Human Needs Network
Every Tuesday morning, families who are in need are invited to make an appointment to visit our Benefit Bank of SC at St. Luke’s to receive assistance with their electric bills. This is a significant ministry for those who are working hard to overcome poverty.
One morning each week, St. Luke’s members volunteer to help children learn to read at Summerville Elementary School. Reading Buddies is a program that changes lives of children in our local schools. What an amazing opportunity it provides, not only for the ones who are learning to read but also for those of us who get to watch them grow!
In the Spring of 2019, St. Luke’s began a partnership with Lutheran Hospice. This team of professionals meets together regularly in our Education Building to craft individualized Hospice care for their patients in the LowCountry. They focus on six dimensions of wellness—physical, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, social, and occupational—to bring dignity and a sense of purpose for their patients’ end-of-life care.
The ARK of SC
The ARK (Alzheimer’s Respite Care) assists families of the Lowcountry who are living with Alzheimer’s Disease and other memory disorders. The ARK began as an outreach ministry of St. Luke’s in 1996, and has recently moved to a building of its own at 502 West 5th North Street in Summerville. They hold a social group respite program for Alzheimer’s patients, monthly support groups for families of Alzheimer’s patients, caregiver consultation and education programs, Law Enforcement and First Responder training for Alzheimer’s patients, and they reach out through the NOAH project, assisting rural towns in developing Alzheimer’s support services. Every August, the ARK holds a 5K Race and Fun Run that begins and ends at St. Luke’s. Since December 2018, we also hold an Ugly Sweater 5K and Nativity Scene Fun Run. We are proud to support this ministry as it continues to grow and help our community!
Summer of Service
In the summer, St. Luke’s sets out to share Christ’s love through service in our community. This past year, we spent the month of June collecting clothing, toiletries, and monetary donations for children at LowCountry Orphan Relief. Then in July, we collected school supplies and backpacks for our local school children. On August 10, we held our annual food drive for LowCountry Food Bank. Some givers to this cause said that they wanted to give because they were once recipients of food in their own times of need. Even though we set out to share Christ’s love with THEM, we saw Christ’s love shining through them into our own lives. What a beautiful thing it is to be a part of sharing and receiving God’s grace day after day!
Thanksgiving Basket Project
Every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, St. Luke’s works together with other local congregations in a joint effort as we purchase, pack, and personally deliver Thanksgiving Meals to families in need in our area. Our packing and delivery takes place after our ecumenical Thanksgiving Worship Service. The Thanksgiving Basket Project is a wonderful way to celebrate the blessings God has given us by sharing our blessings with others.
Angel Tree Gifts and Operation Christmas Child
During Advent, we set up an Angel Tree in the the entryway to our church with gift requests from children in local families who would otherwise have nothing for Christmas. This is such a meaningful time each year, as we share God’s love with them. We also work together with Operation Christmas Child to collect items and fill red and green shoeboxes with toys and necessities for children across the globe to share the love of Christ with them. In 2019, we filled 312 boxes, and we look forward to packing even more next year!
Newborns in Need
St. Luke’s has an active group of knitters, who not only make blankets for babies who are being baptized and prayer shawls for our shut-ins, hospitalized and grieving members, but they also knit hats for Newborns in Need in our local hospitals. All of these knit items share the warmth of God’s love with others.
St. Luke’s Missionaries
St. Luke’s is proud to sponsor a missionary couple, the Rev. Dr. Sarah Hinlicky Wilson and Dr. Andrew L. Wilson. The Wilsons work alongside the Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tokyo. Andrew serves as Professor of Church History at Japan Lutheran College and Seminary, and Sarah is associate pastor at Tokyo Lutheran Church. We are excited to support the ministry of the Wilsons as they share the Gospel in Japan! To find out more about the Wilsons, check out ELCA Missionaries.
2nd Mile of Giving
Each month, St. Luke’s highlights a different outreach ministry on which our members focus their efforts as part of our Second Mile of Giving. A few of the ministries and events, which St. Luke’s regularly supports, hosts, and with whom our members regularly volunteer, include:
180 Place , Chase After A Cure , Doors to Freedom, ELCA Good Gifts, Habitat for Humanity , HELP of Summerville, LowCountry Home of Hope Homeless Shelter , Lutheran Homes of SC , Meals on Wheels , My Sister’s House , Narcotics Anonymous , Palmetto House , Relay for Life , Souper Bowl of Caring , St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Food Pantry and Medical Outreach , TriCounty Family Ministries, Water Missions, and Veterans Victory House