On the local level we give financial assistance to several organizations such as North Country Life Flight, the Saranac Lake Youth and Adult Centers and Saranac Lake Summer Youth Program. As a member of the Ecumenical Council, St Luke’s Outreach supports Samaritan House, the homeless shelter in Saranac Lake, and the heating assistance program, of critical assistance to low income families when the temperature drops to 30 below zero.
Two of our local ministries are very special to us because they operate out of our church:
The Community Lunchbox was started in 1994 by a St. Luke’s deacon. Hot meals are serve twice-weekly at no charge to anyone who wishes to eat and share fellowship. Being an ecumenical ministry, Lunchbox receives funding from several local organizations, both religious and secular. Its 42 volunteers from around the community work in ten teams comprised of cook, assistant cook, set-up/servers, and dishwasher.
Grace Pantry provides household and personal items not eligible for SNAP food stamps: such as shampoo, disposable diapers (the most requested item) and dog and cat food. We make available courses that people could benefit from as for example, a nutritional course called, “Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables.”
In Our Community: In addition to our above-mentioned local ministries, St. Luke’s church further extends its presence in the community by hosting ecumenical services for Winter Carnival and other events (e.g., Trans-Gender Memorial), community music performances, and serves as a meeting place for community groups, such as AA and Al-Anon.
Blessing of the Animals: In the fall around the feast day of St. Francis, St. Luke’s hosts a Blessing of the Animals. It is a time when community members who do not worship with us join our church family. We meet outside of church on the grass (weather permitting), and whoever is leading the Blessing lays a hand on the fur family member and offers a blessing.