Bishop Susan and the diocesan Standing Committee approved our application to become a parish! (Parishes are financially self-sustaining and have more autonomy than a diocesan mission, while still remaining a part of the Episcopal Church.) Please see her letter to our community below.
St. Luke's began as a mission of the diocese when it was planted by All Saint's Hillcrest in 1923, and remained so until becoming a parish in the late 1930s. It remained a parish until 2011, when it was converted to mission status after no longer being able to pay for building upkeep or a full-time priest. Though our faith community continued to thrive in important ways in the past ten years, it required diocesan subsidies to keep the doors open. In the past several years, however, we have been strengthened by a significant investment of funds from the diocese, neighboring churches, and the wider Episcopal Church that has allowed us to grow, stabilize, and now to become a parish once again.
God has been hard at work throughout this history blessing our people and this neighborhood, and it has been a joy, a delight, a privilege, and a challenge to join in alongside. But we have done it together, to God's greater glory! Can't wait to enter into this new chapter with you, which will include another congregational meeting in the months ahead to adopt bylaws and elect our vestry members.
Fr. Colin and Mtr. Laurel
From Bishop Susan to the People of St Lukes:
Dear Leaders and Members of St. Luke’s:
I write to you in Easter season, a season of resurrection. I am delighted that on April 20, the Standing Committee of our diocese voted to restore St. Luke’s to parish status. It is appropriate that this vote happens in Easter season, in appreciation for the new life and renewal that has taken place there. The vote recognizes the long process of growth that St. Luke’s has been engaged in. Over the last decade, our diocese has been inspired and overjoyed to watch St. Luke’s thrive, following Jesus in his command to go forth into the world and make disciples.
Our whole diocese is proud of the hard work you have done at St. Luke’s to achieve this milestone in spiritual, missional, and financial growth. You have made a difference to many lives, feeding the hungry, teaching and supporting children through a pandemic, helping people develop new skills, and creating partnerships with neighbors in your community. St. Luke’s is truly a model of what God is calling our churches to become: icons of Christ’s love for this world. As your bishop, I am delighted to support you through this transition back to parish status.
In thanking you for your ministry of Courageous Love, I particularly want to thank the Revs. Colin and Laurel Mathewson, whose faithfulness has supported you through this growth process. I am grateful for their dedicated work among you. I am also grateful to the leaders on your Bishop’s Committee who have worked hard to help you achieve financial and ministry sustainability. I am inspired by your beautiful choir and musicians, and gladdened by your work of teaching the Christian faith to children and youth. I appreciate your partnership with RefugeeNet and the leaders in your congregation who help it to thrive alongside St. Luke’s, and am pleased to watch your committed partnership with other neighborhood organizations. St. Luke’s has truly become an example of dedicated community ministry for the rest of the diocese.
There are a few more steps to take to finalize the transition to parish status, and our diocese will guide you through those steps. For now, I celebrate with you as you mark this milestone moment in the history of St. Luke’s. Thank you for your prayers and witness in Christ’s name, and you are in my prayers as you continue your life in Christ.
Alleluia! Christ is risen indeed!
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Susan Brown Snook, Bishop