Weekly Worship - Mission Outreach

In January 2009 a former Rector, Fr. Fred Leach, expressed concern for a Mission Outreach to the senior citizens of Mechanicville. With the 100 unit Mid-Rise Apartments, standing right next to the Mechanicville Senior Center, it made good sense to approach the management for permission to hold a special Sunday Worship for interested residents.

Russ Fitch met with the Mid-Rise Manager for permission to begin an Mission Outreach from St. Luke's on the Hill. Management was more than willing to invite us in. The first service was held Sunday February, 1, 2009 with 22 people attending. Since then, without interruption, the Mid-Rise Mission Church has been meeting in the community room.

The average attendance is around 20 people. During the hot summer months and cold winter weather the average grows to about 25 people. We come from all denominations, together in worship and praise. The first Sunday of the month, our Rector Fr. Dave Haig and Deacon Lynne Curtis bring Eucharist. The first Sunday of the month is also a celebration with "cup cakes" for the birthday people. On other Sundays we enjoy, cookies, or cakes, sandwiches and occasionally a hot lunch.

St. Luke's Mission Outreach has proved to be a life changing event and answer to prayers from the people who attend. Many who attend are enjoying a life changing experience placing their trust in our Lord to provide them with His peace, comfort and strength. Many testimonies have flown from the residents to provide support and edification among the little church.

St. Luke on the Hill clergy have provided the Mid-Rise Mission Church with council, support and services. The clergy have performed funeral and memorial services for the residents. Visited them when they were sick, hospitalized or in a rehabilitation center. Residents who have given up their drivers license say knowing the Mission Church is here has made it easier for them to make that decision. Giving up their license, in many cases, met giving up their independence and ability to attend their church. St. Luke's Mission Outreach offered an alternative, it's not the same as what they've enjoyed for so many year, but the services in the community room offer them meaningful worship.

The Mission Outreach has extended into the Davenport Estates, where there is a much smaller group of residents but nevertheless the same needs that were found at the Mid-Rise Apartments. One person had attempted suicide several weeks before coming to St. Luke's Mission service. Her visit changed her life and she became a witness offering their lives to Jesus, being reborn and filled with joy. Another person had not been to a church or had Communion in over 40 years, but she came and the St. Luke clergy ministered to her and three weeks before she passed away, offered herself to Jesus and received communion.

There are many inspiring stories to be shared. There are many outreach ministries that have grown from the first Mission Church service in February 2009. Jesus is using this parish, St. Luke's on the Hill to bring life and light to His people. Through gifts, labor and prayer parish members are all connected to the blessed mission outreach.

The Mission Outreach Team: Fr. Dave Haig, Deacon Lynne Curtis, George Owad, Helen and Russ Fitch.

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