St. Luke’s actively supports many types of missions. The largest mission we support as a congregation is Our Church’s Wider Mission.
Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM) – Our church budget includes this important ministry of the United Church of Christ (UCC). Our congregation sends financial contributions from members every month to OCWM. OCWM gifts provide basic support for the funding of core programs of UCC national ministries and special support for specific mission opportunities through four special mission offerings of the UCC. OCWM gifts mean teaching and healing, sending missionaries overseas, working here in the U.S. toward justice and compassion for all people, and providing support for local congregations. For further information about OCWM click here: UCC Website
Our congregation participates in four special offerings of the UCC each year. Included are:
- One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) – This special offering supports programs internationally for building sustainable communities, emergency relief and rehabilitation, and advocacy and resettlement for uprooted persons. OGHS also supports ministries both domestically and internationally for disaster preparedness and response.
- The Christmas Fund (formerly Veterans of the Cross) – This offering is an expression of love and thanks to those who serve the United Church of Christ. This offering helps provde pension and health premium supplementation to low-income retirees, emergency assistance to clergy families in need and Christmas gift checks to hundreds of annuitants.
- Neighbors in Need (NIN) – This offering supports ministries of justice and compassion throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
- Strengthen the Church – This offering supports leadership for new church starts and revitalizing congregations, leadership development for the whole church, and programs for youth and young adults.
Our congregation supports the following organizations and missions through gifts from our Living Memorial Fund for Church Mission and individual gifts from members of the congregation.
- Steppingstone – Steppingstone is a traditional living program for homeless and at-risk young men and women, ages 15 1/2 to 21, from throughout the Kansas City metro area. Besides providing a safe place to live, Steppingstone teaches the young people the vital educational, employment and life skills they will need to become productive, independent members of society. For more information about Steppingstone, click here: Steppingstone website
- Emmaus Homes – At Emmaus Homes in St. Charles and Marthasville, Missouri, adults with developmental disabilities find the services, support and care needed to reach their highest potential. The mission of Emmaus Homes, Inc. is to enhance the quality of life for people with mental retardation or other developmental disabilities through life experiences that enable growth and inclusion with each person’s chosen communities. Emmaus Homes, Inc. is a private, not-for-profit facility related to the United Church of Christ through the Council for Health and Human Service Ministries. For more information about Emmaus Homes, click here: Emmaus Homes website
- Blue Springs Terrace Pastor’s Home – This facility, located in Blue Springs, Missouri, provides housing for retired United Church of Christ ministers and spouses. Gifts to the Terrace help to provide upkeep and beautification of the neighborhood.
- Community Services League , Independence, Missouri – This organization strives to promote self-sufficiency and provide resources to those in need. St. Luke’s provides monetary support as well as contributes regularly to the food pantry. This year St. Luke’s is also supporting the I Share program which provides utility assistance through CSL. For more information about Community Services League, visit the CSL Website.
- Independence School District Caring for Kids Fund – St. Luke’s supports this fund through monetary gifts that are used for needy children and their families. For more information, visit the Independence School District website.
- Micah Ministry – This program, located at Independence Boulevard Christian Church, provides a hot meal, counseling, and aid for persons in need every week. St. Luke’s makes a monetary donation each year and sends volunteers to help serve periodically. For more information, click here: Micah Ministry
- Camp Shannondale – Shannondale Community Center is a Mission project of the Missouri Mid-South Conference UCC serving the spiritual, educational and economic needs of Shannon and the surrounding counties through its many functions. A tornado recently damaged the camp and repair is underway. For more information visit the Camp Shannondale website.
- Congregational Christian Church of Samoa UCC – St. Luke’s is supportive of this new church start in Independence, MO. Monetary support was given to aid construction of a parsonage. The Samoan Congregation is currently holding Sunday Services in St. Luke’s chapel.
- ICAN – ICAN is an agency in Easter Jackson County that serves adults with developmental disabilities. They work to provide the disabled learning opportunities with life skills and help in discovering the value and capabilities within oneself. Rocky Caudell is the Executive Director.
- Habitat for Humanity – This organization works to provide housing for needy people. For more information visit the Habitat website.
- Independence School District Holiday Helpers – This program provides food and gifts in December for families in need in the Independence School district. For information, click here.
- Disaster Relief – St. Luke’s contributes to disaster relief through the United Church of Christ. Recent collections have been taken for Haiti, Japan, and Joplin. For more information, click here.
- Tabitha’s Closet – This local clothing program provides clothing for children who are preschool through high school ages. It is an outreach ministry of First Christian Church of Independence. St. Luke’s supports this ministry through monetary donations. For more information, click here.
- Hanthorn for Food – A donation was made to stock the food pantry at Hanthorn School.
- Main Street NA – This group holds meetings in St. Luke’s Fellowship Hall on Mondays and Wednesdays at 6:30 pm.
St. Luke’s Youth have sponsored activities to support the following organization.
Heifer International – Heifer’s mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and to care for the earth. A youth-sponsored bakesale and a special Lenten Mission Project enabled St. Luke’s to purchase a llama, 3 flocks of chicks, a trio of rabbits, a goat and a sheep for needy families through the Heifer project. Vacation Bible School offerings also supported the Heifer Project this year. For more information click here, Heifer International
St. Luke’s Youth traveled to La Foret Camp in Colorado Springs, Colorado in June, 2006 for a week long mission trip. They assisted the Salvation Army in Colorado Springs and also worked in the Care & Share Food Pantry. The Youth Group traveled to Back Bay Mission in Biloxi, Mississippi in July, 2008. They helped with Katrina recovery efforts and painted two houses during their mission trip. For more information on Back Bay Mission, click here. In July, 2010, the Youth traveled to Tennessee to work with needy families in Appalachia. They worked with the Morgan-Scott project. For more information, click here. In July, 2012 the youth and their leaders went on a mission trip to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. They worked with the Re-Member organization. For more information,click here. In July, 2014 the youth and their sponsors traveled to Heifer Ranch in Perryville, Arkansas for a week long mission trip where they learned about hunger and poverty around the world. They are planning another trip to the Morgan-Scott Project in Tennesse this year.
Community Outreach Events
In May, 2017, St. Luke’s congregation donated $500 to the Independence Ministerial Alliance program to help homeless graduates. Click here to read about the project in The Examiner.
St. Luke’s congregation collected food for refugee assistance in February and March, 2017. Dianne Emily delivered it to the Jewish Community Center in April.
In December, 2016, St. Luke’s collected 125 items for Tabitha’s Closet on a “warm tree”.
In October, 2016, St. Luke’s teamed up with Trinity Episcopal Church to host a block party for the neighborhood.
In April, 2016 St. Luke’s raised over $8,100 for Chapina
stoves for Guatemala.