Local Outreach Ministries
Durham Episcopal Resettlement Coalition (DERC)
The Durham Episcopal Resettlement Coalition (DERC) helps refugees and their families in making new homes in the Durham area. Formed in response to the 2021 Afghan refugee crisis and the Christian call to welcome the stranger, DERC consists of volunteers from St. Joseph’s, St. Luke’s, St. Philip’s, St. Stephen’s and St. Titus’ Episcopal Churches, who provide logistical and material aid, advice and companionship, working in cooperation with established resettlement agencies. DERC has secured and furnished housing, and provided several months’ assistance to a young Afghan man and his elderly aunt; helped welcome and settle a couple fleeing civil unrest in Africa; and stands poised to help families in need from around the world find welcome and friendship in what may be a strange and bewildering new homeland. For information or to volunteer, contact DERCoalition@gmail.com.
St. Luke’s two Faith Teams have met throughout the pandemic with their Partners to help support each during their reintegration process to the community. This Reconciliation and Reentry ministry is typically a one-year partnership between individuals recently released from prison and our congregation’s faith teams. New teams form each year to support new Partners.
Here is a reflection on how our first Partner fared after connecting with our team.
This article provides an overview of the larger faith team program across the entire Durham community.
LEAP (Latino Educational Achievement Partnership) preschool is the product of a longstanding partnership among the Diocese of North Carolina, Iglesia El Buen Pastor, St. Luke’s, and St. Philip’s Episcopal Churches in Durham. LEAP’s Nuestra Escuelita, on St. Luke’s campus, and its EDCI/LEAP Academy partner program are the only non-profit bilingual preschools for Latino and other three and four-year-olds in Durham. LEAP draws children who do not receive HeadStart funding even though they are eligible.
If you can volunteer to tutor a child or help out in the preschool classroom, we have all the materials you need, and we’ll show you how to use them. No Spanish fluency required.
Learn more and donate at DurhamLeap.org
Maple Court Missioners
Over five years ago, a grassroots group at St. Luke’s began collecting items to create welcome baskets for residents of Maple Court, a local transitional community for veterans. Over time, the project expanded to include many other types of support for these individuals who served our country. St. Luke’s volunteers have prepared a traditional Thanksgiving feast each year to share with the residents. Our Maple Court friends receive special consideration at our annual Spring or Fall Fling yard sale, and benefit from our Share Your Christmas collection. Some have attended services with our congregation.
We delivered the Thanksgiving feast in 2021 so residents could help themselves to it safely. The turkey was provided and prepared by Croasdaile Village, where a number of St. Luke’s members live.
In 2018 some of our artists created a special mural for the Maple Court dining room. This photo gallery shows how Anne and Peggy, painting directly onto a blank wall, created the impression of a framed painting hanging there.
Maple Court is operated by Volunteers of America of the Carolinas (VOA) in partnership with the VA, NC Housing Finance Agency, and City of Durham.
Share Your Christmas
St. Luke’s Share Your Christmas program gives parishioners the opportunity to help neighbors in need during the holiday season. Beneficiaries include St. Luke’s Families (identified by clergy and St. Luke’s parishioners), veterans at Maple Court, and families from LEAP and the Ronald MacDonald House. We also collect food and other items for homeless pets at the Animal Protection Society of Durham. Look for more information in monthly newsletters and weekly bulletins in November and December. To volunteer to help with planning and/or execution of Share Your Christmas, please contact Carol at SYCStLuke at gmail.com any time.
Outreach Fundraising Events
Spring or Fall Fling
The Fling, St. Luke’s indoor yard sale, is our largest Outreach fundraiser of the year. It provides the community with a virtual bargain basement of really low-priced merchandise for their homes, and it gives members of the congregation a chance to clean out their homes as they donate their “treasures” to this large indoor yard sale. We are excited to hold the 2022 Fall Fling on October 15! View the donation guidelines for this year’s sale here.
The Pumpkin Patch event is held throughout the month of October, providing the local community the opportunity to get a variety of classic and heirloom pumpkins and decorative gourds for all kinds of fall activities. The pumpkins are grown by the Navajo people in New Mexico, so sales support that community as well as St. Luke’s programming, plus our outreach efforts here in Durham. Click here for details of this year’s sale.
Global Outreach Ministries
Supporting Holy Cross Graduates in High School
Growing out of the St. Luke’s mission trips to Holy Cross Anglican School in Belize, this ministry has involved several “waves” of support giving Holy Cross graduates the means to attend high school on Ambergris Caye. The first wave began several years ago, when Jan Lamb was still our Deacon at St. Luke’s. Jan provided support for Isolene through her four years of high school on Ambergris Caye. Since then, we have supported several other Holy Cross graduates through high school and beyond. Pictured here is our latest St. Luke’s student, Leticia, who graduated from Holy Cross in June, 2019, and with our continuing support is on track to graduate from high school in June of 2023.
St. Luke’s plans various domestic and international mission trips for both adults and youth. Mission team members spend several months prior to their trips raising funds to cover the cost of the materials they will use, or to support the organization they will be working with. On site, the team’s focus is on building relationships as much as on building structures.
Over the last 16 years, St. Luke’s has gone on mission to:
- San Pedro, Belize (2002-2020: youth and adult trips);
- Blackfeet Nation, Montana (a 2013 youth trip);
- Long Beach, Mississippi (2007: Hurricane Katrina cleanup);
- La Cañada, Honduras (2004);
- Koinonia Farm in Americus, Georgia (2003).
Organizations We Support Through Grants from Special Outreach Fundraising
The Outreach Committee at St. Luke’s annually allocates a portion of the money from outreach fundraisers directly to local agencies which apply for assistance. These organizations have received funding in the past:
- Communities in Partnership
- Durham Congregations in Action
- Families Moving Forward
- Housing for New Hope
- Iglesia El Buen Pastor
- Meals on Wheels of Durham
- Partners for Youth Opportunity
- Reality Ministries
- Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham
- Senior PharmAssist
- Student Action with Farmworkers
- Urban Ministries of Durham
- Durham Literacy Center
Our Pumpkin Patch and Fall Fling events will build up this fund again.