Our Ministries and Outreach
Encountering the Scriptures -- In these bible study sessions, we meet to encounter and be transformed by the life-giving message and hope that is found in Scripture, all of it. To account for the various schedules of our parishioners, there are two active adult groups, one on Monday evenings at 7 pm and one on Friday mornings at 11 am (this is a normal schedule), as well as a Youth Bible Study for our GOYANs. The books we are examining and discussing presently are Genesis (Monday) and Ecclesiastes (Friday). Come, join us!
"The Road to Emmaus" Sunday School Program -- The purpose of Sunday/Church School is to teach our children how to live our Orthodox Christian faith. By teaching the students about the life of Christ, they are provided the foundation for Christian living, to go out into the world and share their faith and by doing good works, for "faith without works is dead" (James 2.17). The Program welcomes chilldren as young as three and offers classes from pre-school to high school. Every Sunday, there is also a Youth Sermon after the Gospel lesson in the Liturgy.
Parish Administration and Stewardship
Parish Council -- The Parish Council is a ministry, whose members are called to be Ambassadors of the Faith, to assist the Parish in fulfilling its Vision and Mission. The Parish Council consists of the Priest, as the head of the Parish, and eleven dedicated and faithful lay members who are elected by the Parish body. The Council has numerous responsibilities, from assisting the Priest in the administration of the Parish, to overseeing the budget of the Parish, as well as facilitating the work of the Ministries of Saint Luke. The Council also calls the Parish Assemblies and establishes the appropriate committees to provide for the good order of the Parish.
Stewardship and Welcome Committee -- Membership means participating in Church life as well as allowing the Church to "participate" in one's life. By applying the teachings of the Gospel, and by taking part in the spiritual, social, educational, and financial life of our Parish, we show that we are active members of the Church. The Stewardship Committee oversees the annual Stewardship Campaign of the Parish, following the guidelines of the National Stewardship Program of the Archdiocese, and provides resources and opportunities for our members to offer their Time, Talent, and Treasure. The newly established Outreach Committee, which connects with parishioners who were once active in church life, works closely with the Stewardship Committee and the Parish Council.
In the months ahead, the Stewardship Committee will also work with the various ministries to communicate with the Parish about the amazing and exciting work in which the Ministries are engaged.
Liturgical and Music Ministry
All the earth shall worship You and sing praises to You; They shall sing praises to Your name -- Ps. 66.3
Chanters -- The Chanters of Saint Luke are a very important part of our liturgical life. They come, with dedication, to chant the hymns of the Church across the various services -- Vespers, Orthros, Paraklesis, Compline, and of course, the Divine Liturgy.
Choir -- The Saint Luke Choir is a group of our parishioners who love singing our beautiful Orthodox hymns and enriching the worship experience of our congregation. Its dedicated members enjoy a close fellowship and devote many hours to our choir ministry, as well as being actively involved in the New England Choir Federation for the Metropolis of Boston.
Acolytes -- Serving as an Altar Boy in the Holy Altar is an opportunity to serve the Lord and experience the richness and beauty of the Divine Liturgy. This past year, our Acolytes were tonsured by His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, in what was a memorable experience for our parish community and the acolytes and their families.
Ushers and Greeters -- The first face parishioners of visitors see when entering our church is most often the usher or greeter. These friendly faces are members of the Parish Council, Stewardship Committee, or parish volunteers who enjoy welcoming people as they enter the narthex.
HOPE/JOY -- The Junior Orthodox Youth is a ministry for children ages 8 - 12, with HOPE from 4 to 8 years. Children meet with parent volunteers and our Priest for spiritual and social activities (such as bowling, pumpkin picking, movie night). We also join with neighboring Greek Orthodox parishes in some fo our yearly activities.
GOYA -- The Greek Orthodox Youth of America is a ministry to middle and high school students. Meeting every month, our GOYANs plan their goals under the supervision of their Youth Advisor and the Priest. In this past year, they have visited the Soldiers' Home in Holyoke, MA and have assisted the JOY children by providing mentoring to them. Each year, they participate in the 30 Hour Famine for Hunger the weekend of Palm Sunday going into Holy Week. GOYA becomes a place where our children think through how they can actualize an Orthodox vision and communicate it to the larger community.
Saint Luke Dancers -- Our dancers practice regularly throughout the year, and they are the main social attraction at the Taste of Greece. Not only that, they have been asked to perform at other Greek Orthodox parish festivals (in Massachusetts and NY State). They perform not only traditional mainland Greek dances but also Pontian songs. The ages of the dancers are from 4 to 18.
Outreach Ministries and Programs
From the earliest years, Saint Luke has not only stewarded to provide for its own ministry needs but also the needs of the larger community. The Prophet Jeremiah says, "Seek the welfare of the city on which you live, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your own" (Jer. 29.7).
Philoptochos -- The mission of Philoptochos (i.e., the Friends of the Poor) is to serve as the main philanthropic organization of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. They serve not only the poor, sick, aged, and hungry but also parishioners who may be in need. Philoptochos meets regularly as well as hold general assemblies for the Parish to inform the community of their Outreach efforts. They also consistently and with dedication provide for the various national ministries of the Archdiocese, including International Orthodox Christian Charities, the Orthodox Christian Mission Center, and the Hellenic Collge/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.
Food Outreach -- Each year during the major holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter), large food baskets/boxes are prepared for families in the larger Western Massachusetts area who are in need, as well as for parishioners. This Outreach ministry, also involves the youth of the Parish in planning, preparing for the distribution of the baskets.
Loaves and Fishes -- The Loaves and Fishes Community Kitchen program provides meals to people who are poor or homeless in the Greater Springfield area. Groups and individuals at the Parish commit on a monthly basis to prepare meals they sponsor that are then delivered to the Loaves and Fishes shelter. Each month, enough meals for 250 people are cooked and delivered.
Crop Walk -- This is a national event, the largest of its kind, where people throughout America walk for hunger. Saint Luke has been one of the most dedicated and active members of the Greater Springfield Crop Walk for the past 35 years.
Fellowship and Culture
The Taste of Greece -- The Taste is a major activity and fundraiser of our Parish. A large group of volunteers works throughout the summer and fall preparing traditional Greek cuisine. This three day event involves cooking, cleaning, organizing, counting, and serving -- and it is an expression of the respect and love the parishioners have for one another. This popular event is held in the fall (this year October 16, 17, and 18) and serves the greater East Longmeadow and Pioneer Valley community into northern Connecticut.
Golf Tournament -- The Tournament is held each spring. The proceeds benefit not only our parish, as portions of the event have been donated in recent years to the Baystate Children's Hospital and the Lighthouse Clubhouse (an organization that transitions people with mental illness into the workforce).
Church Dinners -- Throughout the year, the Parish Council and/or Philoptochos organize lunches or dinners. While benefitting the Parish, they are opportunities for fellowship.
Romeos and Juliets -- Our experienced and wise parishioners find fellowship outside of the Parish each month by meeting at a restaurant for fellowship, friendship, and conversation. The group has remained dedicated and consistent in keeping the bonds established in the Church strong wherever they may be.