St. Luke Outreach Programs
As an active community of Christ we understand our call to share the gifts that we have with the world
Below is a comprehensive list of programs we have supported with the volunteer efforts and funding of St. Luke Lutheran Church.
Click here to learn more about St. Luke’s Social Concerns ministries.
At St. Luke Lutheran Church, 50% of congregational benevolence is given to the ELCA–Oregon Synod for church-wide mission and support. God’s Work: Our Hands. The other 50% is entrusted to the Social Concerns Committee for distribution on behalf of the congregation.
Your volunteer time, talent, weekly offerings and designated gifts have gone to many projects that have been initiated here at St. Luke:
- Grauer Back to School Project
- Community Food Box
- Family Emergency Fund
- Pastors’ Good Samaritan Fund
- Veterans Bridge Fund
- Priceless Quilters
- SLY Service Project in New Jersey
- VBS Build-a-Bear, Doernbecher Hospital
- SE Works Cell Phone Project
- Advocacy groups for Hunger, Peace/Justice and Environmental Stewardship
In addition to the St. Luke initiated ministries, your gifts of time, talent and financial resources have also been shared with other helping organizations.
Children’s Book Bank
Founded by St. Luke member, Dani Swope, the Book Bank strives to improve the literacy skills of low-income children by giving books of their own before they reach kindergarten. Our confirmation class volunteered sorting and repairing books, and members donate books throughout the year.
Christ Care, Malaria Fund
Congregational contribution to the Witcosky Christ Care malaria fund drive as part of the ELCA Malaria Eradication Campaign.
Highland Church Emergency Fund, Sam and Opal Johnson Scholarship, and Thanksgiving dinner
Our congregation’s partnership with Highland dates to the beginning of the Social Concerns ministry in 1969. St. Luke member Marilyn Read serves on the Scholarship Committee and ten members of our congregation help serve the Thanksgiving dinner.
House of Zion Ministries
Serves Hispanic farm worker families in Woodburn through social services, spiritual ministry, and educational programs. St. Luke youth buy, deliver, and hand out gifts at the annual Christmas party.
Letty Owings Center
The center provides a safe place for addicted mothers and pregnant women to live and recover with their children. St. Luke members provide Christmas gifts for the children through the Giving Tree.
Lutheran Community Service NW Multicultural Community Services
Contracts with the federal government to resettle refugees who have fled their countries because of fear of persecution, including the refugee families that St. Luke has sponsored since 1975. Gaile Baack reported that, between 1975 and 2011, our congregation has sponsored 178 refugees from around the world including individuals and families from Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Iran, Iraq, Togo, and Eritrea. St. Luke helps new families through the Giving Tree.
Distributed to all households in the congregation to tell the broader story of the ELCA
Maplewood School Helping Hands
Financial assistance with new playground equipment for neighborhood elementary school.
Neighborhood House Food Box Program
Serves 400 families a month. St. Luke members donate food weekly through drop-off in narthex.
Northeast Emergency Food Program
NEFP serves hungry people citywide at its location at Luther Memorial Church. A team of St. Luke members works the third Saturday of each month. In 2013, St. Luke members donated 1200 pounds of food and hygiene items.
NW Pilot Project
Provides housing for seniors who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless; a strong advocate for maintaining low income housing in downtown Portland. St. Luke quilters assemble baskets of bedding, towels, and shower curtains each month for seniors moving into housing. Each year, St. Luke JOY hosts the NW Pilot Project Picnic.
SE Works Cell Phone Project
Initiated by St. Luke member Gayla Ross and coordinated by SE Works–our partner agency working with those recently released from incarceration–multiple clients have been successfully helped in their transition back to society to find work and housing by providing funding for cell phones on a temporary basis.
27 years ago St. Luke member Faye Palmerton created Tender Love and Care Think N Try as a non-profit grass roots organization to promote self-esteem and focus on the prevention of gang violence by engaging in active recreation, physical and educational activity, and social interaction, K-8 during summer camp in North/Northeast Portland.
Serves people’s needs as they transition from homelessness to housing. 9,000 are served each year. On the third Monday of each month, St. Luke members bake cookies, prepare a meal, deliver it, and serve it to the men at Transition Projects Glisan Street shelter. Tammy Mercier and Ruth Gooding completed 15 years of service to Transitions Projects this year and have stepped down.
West Women’s and Children’s Shelter
Serves victims of domestic violence. St. Luke members place clothing for the shelter in large bins in the lower level year round, and other members deliver it to the shelter. Each May St. Luke members provide a Mothers’ Day luncheon.