The Gospel for All Ages - and Stages
While summer is often synonymous with relaxation, St. Luke’s UMC in Houston is ramping up to provide a Christian dimension to the traditional pastimes of reading, traveling and summer theater.
SUMMER = READING
· Woodshop volunteers recently completed 100 bookcases - one for each student that St. Luke’s members mentor through Kids Hope USA. Better yet -- members have donated hundreds of books to fill them up.
· How better to Invest in the Young than to have families reading God’s word on a daily basis. Many in the congregation are committing to curl up with “The good book” during the church-wide Read-the-Bible-in-90-Days challenge. Kicking off May 26-August 25, this challenge provides members with daily reading assignments and weekly clergy-facilitated sessions on Sunday evenings.
SUMMER = TRAVELING
In addition to offering youth opportunities to live out their faith in various parts of the world, St. Luke’s is also hosting its first family mission trip, third singles mission trip and its third international excursion to the Dominican Republic.
· International travel: St. Luke’s is Investing in the Young by giving students several opportunities to put their gifts of service to work on behalf of residents of Kenya, Africa and Santiago, Dominican Republic – as well as by ministering to AIDS orphans, and helping enhance curriculum and a children’s nutrition feeding center.
· First Family trip to Galveston
During this one-day trip, families will pray and work together in service projects that will benefit The Ronald McDonald House Galveston, Galveston Salvation Army, and Flower Garden Banks Marine Sanctuary. The workday will end with a time of family fun in the sun, which will include a cookout on the beach and surf lessons.
· Singles head to Salem, Maine: Travelers will Invest in the Young by work with the United Methodist Economic Ministry to assist single-parent homeowners as well as elderly, low income, and the handicapped as needed.
Summer Clubhouse at St. Luke’s Gethsemane campus are weeklong sessions offering children (through fifth grade) a safe, educational and spiritual place to 1) learn what it means to be wonderfully made by God, 2) to learn abut the arts through special activities incorporating theater, drama, cooking and music, and 3) to do science projects with sound, light, digital and computer technology and more. “We came up with the idea for many reasons,” says Amy Kelly, Children’s Ministries. “There is a great need for affordable summer activities in the Sharpstown/Gulton area and we wanted to provide a safe place for children to come for at least a few weeks. Most importantly, this gives us the opportunity to teach children that God should be in everything we do from cooking to inventing to acting to writing to dancing. It is a Bible school and summer camp mixed to together.” Event planners are hoping to help at least 65 children in the surrounding parish learn to expect God’s presence in all they see, learn, say, do and experience.
Summer Music Opportunities for Children and Youth
When it comes to musical fun this summer, St. Luke’s UMC offers two opportunities for children (entering K-5) to participate in music making, and one for middle and high school students. In addition, there is a special Children's Theater production for all to enjoy. St. Luke’s Bridges Academy of Fine Art sponsors The Jerry Eckles Music Theater Camps for children and youth each summer. Campers receive a week of instruction in singing and acting, as well as preparation of the musical revue, "Glee III", that students will present on Friday night, June 28. Additionally, in mid July, the Rotunda Theater will feature a special Children's Theater production of Little Red Riding Hood. And the Children’s Music Ministry will present the first summer musical “Oh Jonah!” for children entering grades K-5 next fall. In mid August, the Pure Sound youth choir will present “Once Upon a Time.”