Why St. Luke Parish?
Living the Christian life is difficult in this highly secularized world. Saint Luke's can help you in your efforts to practice the True Christian Faith today, tomorrow, and in the 21st Century. JOIN US!
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History of St. Luke Church
Saint Luke was founded in 1984 as a Parish of the Orthodox Church in America. It evolved from an evening Bible study program where members wanted to deepen their experience of the Orthodox Faith. During this study of the Holy Scriptures, the group felt a strong need to move beyond ethnic boundaries and to establish a new Orthodox Christian Parish dedicated to witnessing to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ through:
Knowing that these goals would be a matter of ongoing challenge and growth, the new mission gathered for its first celebration of the Divine Liturgy on January 29, 1984. The first two liturgies were held at the Wayside Chapel on Southwest Highway in Palos Park while details were worked out for the renting of the Sacred Heart Church at 10700 South Kean Avenue in Palos Hills.
By October 1986, the decision was made to purchase the building and its grounds from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. The late Joseph Cardinal Bernadin supported and approved the sale. That same year, a portable classroom facility was added to accommodate the rapidly growing Church School. A milestone in the life of the Church was achieved on January 1, 1995, when St. Luke was granted full parish status; i.e. it was longer considered a mission. On the Feast Day of Saint Luke, October 18, 1997, the building was consecrated as Saint Luke the Evangelist Orthodox Church by His Grace Job Bishop, of the Midwest Diocese of the Orthodox Church in America. The parish had grown from the original membership of seventeen to over 150 parishioners. Through the years, the parish has been served by Fathers John Matusiak, Mark Stevens, William Bass and Kyril Riggs. In December of 1995, the Very Revered Andrew Harrison was appointed rector of Saint Luke and currently charts its future course. He resides in Lemont about eight miles from the church. We pray that God will continue to bless our efforts to grow ever stronger in His love as witnesses to His Gospel for many years.
Our Vision is to become an Icon of the American Orthodox Church in America.
Our mission is to reach out and welcome all people who seek the saving grace of Jesus Christ, and blend them together into one Eucharistic community, through the worship and the beliefs of the Orthodox Church in America.
The Outreach Program has sought to promote St. Luke's as a resource center for unchurched Orthodox, the unsettled Orthodox and newcomers to the Orthodox Faith. Over the years we have provided a wealth of Orthodox literature to libraries, colleges and universities in the Chicagoland area and around the USA. Church follow-up ministry includes note cards, phone calls, personal visits and computerized literature through the Internet for those coming into contact with the Orthodox Christian Faith.
Our Media Outreach Consists of:
The Very Reverend Andrew Harrison has been a priest since 1968 serving parishes in Pennsylvania, Colorado, and California. He is a Reserve Air Force Chaplain Lt. Col. attached to the Milwaukee Air Reserve Squadron. He has been an addiction therapist and family counselor for the Veterans Hospitals. He was Civil Air Patrol Chaplain and member of the US Coast Guard.
Father Andrew has a B.S. in Education from New York University; a Master of Divinity from Saint Vladimir's Seminary and a M.S. in Counseling from California State University. He holds certifications in Drug and Alcohol Counseling, Marriage, Child and Family Therapy, and Employee Assistance Counseling. He is also a Relapse Prevention Specialist. Father enjoys hobbies such as skiing, hiking, fishing and toy train collecting. He is married (Pat) and has two adult sons.
"Everyone is invited to our church services and fellowship activities," says Father Andrew, " and visitors will be greeted warmly and provided hospitality characteristic of the Faith. It is our firm belief that those not born into the Orthodox Faith have the full right to inherit the Church as established by the Apostles. 'Cradle' Orthodox, seeking to grow in their knowledge and understanding of the Orthodox Christian lifestyle, will find help and strength in meeting the demands of everyday living."
Father Andrew Harrison is available for counseling in the following areas:
After Sunday Divine Liturgy, a "Fellowship Hour" with refreshments is served in our hall. Visitors have an opportunity to meet our priest and church family. Fellowship activities are provided throughout the year for all ages and interest groups.
To be a member of the Holy Orthodox Christian Faith one must:
(Note: There is no minimum pledge, nor are there any sacramental fees. The weekly pledge offering is the primary source of income. Members pledge according to their means and conscience, offering God the first-fruits of their labor and resources.)
Our teaching staff has cumulatively acquired over 100 years of Christian education experience. Guided and nurtured by our clergy, this group of dedicated teachers provides all members, young and old, with the correct teachings of the Holy Orthodox Church. Retreats and lectures are provided throughout the year. Short-term Bible studies are encouraged for a greater appreciation of the Faith. In addition, the following are offered:
The parish maintains a full cycle of worship services including Great Vespers each Saturday at 5:30 PM, Sunday Matins at 8:30 AM followed by Divine Liturgy at 9:30 AM. The life of the parish centers on these services and especially on Christ's presence in the Scriptures and the Holy Eucharist. The Holy Sacraments of Baptism, Chrismation, Confession, Matrimony and Holy Unction are offered without fee although parish membership is expected. (See Membership)
Charitable works are done either as a corporate body or individually. The second Sunday of each month is termed "Charity Sunday" where monetary collections are gathered. Donations are then distributed to various agencies including the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), Project Mexico, The Orthodox Christian Mission Center, needy individuals and local projects. Many members are involved with personal ministries to the sick, suffering, and needy and are helped by the remaining congregation in whatever means are needed.
St. Luke is expanding its structure size. Plans for a new multi-purpose building are finalised and construction will begin soon. The building should be under roof by Winter 2001. This is a drawing of what the new church complex will look like when finished.