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St. Luke’s is an Inside-Out church. Those inside the church carry the good news outside the doors, and we invite those outside the church to come inside and experience transformation as part of our church family.
We give ourselves away in generosity and service so we can demonstrate the good news rather than just talk about it.
This is best accomplished through mutual collaboration, so we partner with local and global organizations. By volunteering, funding, educating and advocating for those in need, we open ourselves up to be the hands and feet of Christ, and God enriches our lives and shapes us from the inside out.
The Houston Project Committee was established in 1977 to provide grants to organizations whose work enriches the quality of life in the greater Houston area. Today, the Houston Project provides not only needed funds, but volunteer support as well. Since its inception, the total amount donated by St. Luke’s through the Houston Project is $6,265,182.
2017 Grant applications will be available online March 1, 2017. For further information, please contact Meredith Davis at 713-402-5064.
2016 Grant Recipients: Agape Development, Emergency Ministries, Have Shears Will Travel, Healthcare for the Homeless(Angela House), Houston Center for Literacy, Mission of Yahweh and Wesley Community Center.
2015 Grant Recipients: Casa de Esperanza de los Ninos Inc., Emergency Aid Coalition, Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston, Neighbors in Action, Inc., Spaulding for Children, Spring Branch Community Health Center, Trees of Hope and Volunteer Interfaith Caregivers-Southwest.
Houston reVision is relationships for kids on the edge. reVision, a non-profit organization birthed from St. Luke’s UMC, leverages the power of kinship community by connecting kids on the edge with mentors, positive peers, and life-changing resources. On Monday nights, Gethsemane becomes a safe place for kids in the neighborhood simply to be, eat, rest, and play. For more information please visit www.houstonrevision.org
KIDS HOPE USA is a church/school mentoring program for at risk elementary aged children. St. Luke’s provides caring, trained mentors at Sutton Elementary School and Briarmeadow Charter School. By spending just one hour per week, reading, talking, playing and listening to a child at school, children feel loved and valued and that helps them to learn, grow and succeed.
There are many ways to be involved in this ministry:
1. Mentor one student for one hour a week during the school day.
2. Serve as a Prayer Partner and pray(at home) for an assigned mentor-child team.
3. Serve on the Teacher/Staff Encouragement Team and prepare small treats and baked goodies for the school staff and/or help host holiday parties and spring picnics at one of the schools.
We co-sponsor refugee families new to the United States by helping them feel welcomed, providing opportunities to become familiar with their new home and customs, and by walking alongside them as they work towards self-sufficiency.
We host JFON clinics monthly at our Gethsemane campus. JFON is a ministry of hospitality which provides high quality low cost legal aid to immigrants and refugees so they may comply with our laws.
Morgan Crocker gives his business plan presentation during a Prison Entrepreneurship Program class at the Cleveland Correctional Center on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, in Cleveland, Texas. PEP is a privately-run program that trains inmates how to run their own businesses once they are paroled. ( Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle )
We believe the redeeming love of Jesus Christ transforms life. We also believe that we are called by Him to walk alongside incarcerated persons and those trying to build a new life after release. St. Luke’s is privileged to partner with several outstanding organizations working in this ministry area:
While St. Luke’s focuses primarily on empowerment ministries, we recognize there are times when people are dealing with crisis situations which require immediate assistance. To meet these needs, St. Luke’s partners with several local relief organizations including Christian Community Service Center. These organizations are excellent and expert in understanding the many needs of persons in crisis and providing them with food, clothing, financial assistance, and employment services so they may become financially stable.
The woodshop builds a myriad of projects for the church and anyone who needs it, but one of their special ongoing projects, building bookshelves for local Houston organization KIDS HOPE, isn’t just about building furniture. It’s about building hope.
Isaiah 41:13 “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you do not fear, I will help you.”
In the event of an emergency situation, please visit the St. Luke’s homepage for information on safety as well as opportunities to help others. When possible, St. Luke’s will join in community efforts to provide relief to those in need through hands on and financial assistance.
Please consider having in place a plan in case of emergency. Consider making your own emergency kit, develop a family action plan, or register for an assistance program. Visit this page for more information: ready.gov or redcross.org
St. Luke’s is fortunate to be able to partner with outstanding foreign mission organizations. Our desire is to go deep with our partners, building strong and large networks of support and learning from one another for the empowerment and faith formation for all involved. St. Luke’s members know that authentic service is completely mutual.
ZOE is a distinctive three-year program, developed in Africa that empowers orphans and vulnerable children around the world to overcome extreme poverty, become fully self-reliant, and learn of God’s love for them. Active in Kenya, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Liberia, Guatemala and India, ZOE has approximately 28,000 children currently enrolled.
In 2013 St. Luke’s partnered with ZOE to create a pilot program in Guatemala. Today, this program has helped over 2,500 children and has 12 other supporters including St. Luke’s. If you join us on a ZOE trip you will visit with several groups of ZOE children and youth, see their businesses, pray and fellowship together, hear their testimonies, and learn about their plans for the future.
ZOE helps children across the world never need charity again. ZOE helps children help themselves and become the people God created them to be
G.O. Ministries works in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mongolia, and urban America to redeem people, renew communities, and restore creation. G.O. has extensive partnerships with local pastors, trains future church leaders, and works through sports ministry, medical outreach and building projects to empower neighborhoods and transform lives. St. Luke’s has been a G.O. partner for over eight years and each year there are opportunities to serve in the D.R. for ages eight and up.
Elliott and Katherine Stotler are missionaries appointed to the Eastern Cape of South Africa with The Mission Society.
Elliott and Katherine develop educational, economic and spiritual empowerment ministries and build relationships with the residents in and around Durban. Durban is located in one of the more impoverished areas of the country, Elliott and Katherine support a variety of preschool and primary schools, mentoring youth in small business development, leading job skills training as well as plant churches and encourage local pastors. They have three children – Cason, Ryan and Emily.
Mary Kay and Charlie Jackson are missionaries appointed to Ghana, West Africa, with The Mission Society.
Mary Kay is the daughter of St. Luke’s members Dan and Barbara Clinton and grew up as a member herself. In 2006, Mary Kay and Charlie and their two sons, who were 12 and 15 at the time, moved to Ghana, in response to God’s call on their lives.
Charlie is an Assistant Professor of Engineering at Ashesi University College (www.ashesi.edu.gh). Having attended MIT as an undergraduate, and having earned his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University, Charlie is excited to be able to equip the next generation of African engineers and entrepreneurs. With an American liberal arts teaching style, an emphasis on ethics and leadership, and a student body from all over Africa, Ashesi instills in its students the skills and desire to transform the continent. As a member of the Judicial Committee, there are plenty of teachable moments for Charlie to disciple students as well.
Mary Kay holds degrees in civil engineering from Texas A&M and Stanford. As a water professional in the United States, she long dreamed of applying her skills in the developing world. Mary Kay works for Methodist Development & Relief Services, the development charity of the Methodist Church Ghana, helping to bring safe water, sanitation, and other development projects to rural Ghanaian villages. Mary Kay also is the Managing Director of Pure Home Water, a manufacturer of ceramic pot water filters for household water treatment. She serves The Mission Society as the Ghana Field Leader and African Regional Consultant, helping with placement of missionaries around the continent and encouraging her colleagues on the field to greater fruitfulness.
We are privileged to partner with Mary Kay and Charlie in Africa.
Mireya and Miguel Ottaviano are missionaries with Mercy Ships and will be departing July 13, 2016 for the next three years. The Ottavianos are St. Luke’s members. Mireya is a psychologist and commissioned minister in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and Miguel worked in the energy industry for many years and is a professional videographer. In 2014 they took a sabbatical to discern God’s plan for their future. After a period of travel and reflection they feel that God has led them to Mercy Ships.
Mercy Ships is a unique mission organization that provides both direct surgery to the most needy as well as supporting local health professionals and institutions. Because a Mercy Ship stays in port often for more than a year, missionaries are able to make long lasting relationships with locals.
Mireya will serve as counselor/chaplain attending to the emotional and spiritual needs of the staff, and Miguel will work with the communications team to tell the Mercy Ship story through photography. Mercy Ships’ has an exciting vision to bring hope and healing to West Africa. St. Luke’s is privileged to be a partner in this effort.
Flood Recovery Mission Trip January 2-6, 2017 | Baldwin, Louisiana
To ring in the New Year a disaster recovery team is going to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to restore homes devastated by the August floods. We are connecting with UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) and partnering with Habitat for Humanity to direct all the home repairs. Team members will help home owners repair drywall, paint and install new flooring. On the last day, the team will join the Sager Brown team at Avery Island to explore the TABASCO museum, country store and restaurant. For more information email Denise Snider or call 713-402-5034. Cost: $125.00
Flood Recovery Mission Trip January 2-6, 2017 | Baldwin, Louisiana
Another team will head for the Sager Brown depot, headquarters for UMCOR’s relief suppy for global disaster recovery. Team members will learn about the needs of others, serve their neighbors and deeper their relationships with God and one another. Participants will package flood buckets, birthing kits, health kits and school kits. The last day will include a fun trip to Avery Island to explore the TABASCO museum, country store and restaurant. For more information email Denise Snider or call 713-402-5034. Cost: $275
Mission Trips to Guatemala March 13-18, 2017 | October 9-14, 2017
In 2017 St. Luke’s is sending two teams to Guatemala to spend time with the ZOE children. ZOE is an international organization empowers children to overcome extreme poverty and move their lives forward. They accomplish this through a three-year program, which includes mentoring, working with the groups so they learn how to run a business, giving them micro loans and grants to invest in their business and partnering with local churches. Trip participants will see how the power of God’s love can transform the lives of vulnerable children in every aspect of their lives. The team will build relationships with the children by visiting groups at work, in the community and in their homes. They will listen to their stories, learn about their businesses, their culture, will pray and fellowship together. For more information email Denise Snider or call 713-402-5034. Cost: $1650
Visit Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles May 7-10
Rev. Greg Taylor, with Houston reVision, is taking a team to Los Angeles to learn how we can empower people who are living on the edge of society. Team members will visit Homeboy Industries and learn about the work of Father Greg Boyle. His compelling story tells us how to build deep, long-lasting relationships with gang members so they can rehabilitate, learn new job skills and and re-enter society. When we have lunch at Homegirl Cafe we will experience firsthand how people are empowered to change their lives. Additionally, we will visit Union Rescue Mission, an organization helps people escape the streets of skid row. We’ll learn from Rev. Andy Bales about how they empower people so they can become self-sufficient. On the last day we will go to Santa Monica Beach to dip our toes in the water and worship together as the sun goes down. For more information email Denise Snider or call 713-402-5034. Cost: $850