Focus Groups bring together individuals who want to dedicate their study and service to a specific area. It has been through the work of such groups that St. Luke has accomplished so much in its mission. Below are the currently active groups, a short description, and their contact people. Focus groups are always happy to welcome new faces!
American Indian. We focus on Indian education, traditional Indian spirituality and religious freedom, supporting grassroots Indian causes, political lobbying, and reservation housing. St Luke hosts a sweat lodge which has become a valuable resource for the Indian community. We work closely with Twin City Indians and the people of Pine Ridge & White Earth Indian Reservations on numerous projects. Read more.
Archives: This group is responsible for historical records of the congregation.
Contact: Linda Thomson
Buildings and Grounds, charged with maintaining the St. Luke church building and its surrounding property, this group invites all people to contribute in small ways for organized progress.
Contact: Molly Muniz
Family and Children in Crisis addresses a variety of issues affecting children and families, especially those in poverty. We encourage participation in fund raising events for non-profit organizations and encourage volunteerism in many organizations. We make small grants to organizations meeting our criteria. Groups funded in the past include the ICA Food Shelf, Bridging, West Suburban Teen Clinic, Kids Kare Connection, Meals on Wheels, and Kwanzaa Community Church in North Minneapolis.
Meetings: Third Thursdays of certain months.
Contact: Connie Bell and Katie Williams
Families Moving Forward: Twice a year St. Luke host four homeless families with children in our church as part of a network of churches associated with Families Moving Forward (FMF), a program of Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative. FMF busses the guest families from their Minneapolis Day Shelter to our church for the night. St. Luke volunteers prepare & serve a hot supper, supervise evening activities for the children, and set up sleeping arrangements in our classrooms. FMF busses our guest families to their Minneapolis Day Shelter in the early morning.
Contact: Doug Anderson, Arlene Nystuen and Harding Van Schaack (chair).
Finance: The Finance Focus Group is responsible for the management of St. Luke’s financial condition throughout the year. The group’s work includes developing the budget with input from the Session, monitoring the income and expenses, determining investments, and working with the various groups in the church to maintain proper accounting for the church. The Finance Focus Group meets as needed, but it always meets at least quarterly.
Contact: Don Davies or Darla Monson
Human Resources: The Human Resources Focus group is responsible for employment matters of the pastors and the church staff. This includes coordinating the hiring of new staff when requested by session. One of our major responsibilities is to administer and implement the staff performance review system. All staff and pastoral annual reviews are completed according to established procedures that gather a broad base of feedback and provide consistency in evaluation criteria.
Contacts: Christina Gregory
Legacy: This group oversees bequests and financial gifts to the congregation. Recent projects include the columbarium installation, accessibly lift, and academic scholarships.
Contact: Don Davies, Connie Branson
Latin America/Haiti: The Latin America/Haiti Focus Group concentrates on all issues impacting people in developing or underprivileged regions of the Western Hemisphere. In addition to donating to various non-profits, we also sell fair trade coffee, chocolate, clothing, and crafts each year. In the last several years, our group has become increasingly involved with immigration issues, and a number of our members have volunteered with humanitarian non-profit groups in Arizona that seek to assist and defend the rights of undocumented immigrants.
Contact: Frank Babka
Major Gifts: This Focus Group is responsible for helping the church support significant outreach projects. We work with the other focus groups in the church to collect applications from agencies and projects seeking financial support. The Major Gifts Focus Group welcomes new members who have expertise or a passion for looking at outside projects for potential funding. We do not have a grant program this year.
Contact: Nancy Rademacher
Membership: The Membership group focuses on reaching out to the community and inviting people to visit St. Luke. Once someone visits St. Luke, we strive to welcome and integrate visitors into our faith community. We provide information about the programs of St. Luke so they may be enriched and nurtured by all that St. Luke has to offer and we look for ways that their skills can bring new gifts to us. Key areas of our work include welcoming visitors, leading new member classes, and hosting special events.
Contacts: Tamara Rogers, Sue Kirchhoff
Peace and Justice: Believing that justice and peace are inextricably intertwined, the purpose of the Peace & Justice Focus Group is to identify opportunities to live out St. Luke’s ongoing commitment to “follow the ways of Jesus by working to become makers of peace, healers of the breach, and agents of justice.” All interested in sharing information about their peace work and working collectively to find new ways to build peace and promote justice are invited to attend the Peace and Justice Focus Group meetings.
We also sponsor the St. Luke Peace & Justice Action Network which provides St. Lukers with monthly, easy, fast action opportunities to influence government and public opinion on issues that are important to St. Luke and the world. If you are interested in signing up, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and your name will be added to the distribution list.
Contacts: Adele Lennig-Sullivan - stlukepeaceandjustice at gmail.com
Spirited Learning: The Spirited Learning Focus Group plans and oversees adult learning experiences at St. Luke. The aim of Spirited Learning is to educate, inspire, and empower the St. Luke community in support of its mission. In addition to planning Sunday morning adult education, our focus group plans the annual St. Luke Seminar and several evening events whose scope transcends the time limits of Sunday morning classes.
Contact: Mike Breckenridge or Cindy Suplick
Stewardship: Giving at St. Luke is about much more than supporting our own church and providing a fancy facility for ourselves. St. Luke is dedicated to having a warm and open church building that offers us the simple beauty of worship and the opportunities for education while allowing us to give major portions of our income to organizations and ministries working on behalf of the poor and needy, peace and justice, wholeness and healing, and inclusion and acceptance. We believe it is important to try to spend much for others rather than so much on ourselves.
The Stewardship Focus Group’s responsibility is to promote faithful giving, develop and implement the annual stewardship drive, and support the overall ministry of St. Luke through education on St. Luke’s theology of giving. The major portion of Stewardship's work takes place in the fall around the annual stewardship period.
Contact: Randy Schumacher
Sustainability: This focus group is responsible implementing environmentally sound projects at St. Luke. Recent projects include maintaining gardens that donates fresh produce to ICA Foodshelf and Division of Indian Works and community outreach on Bee Safe Gardens.
Contact: Judy Gregg
Worship: The Worship Focus Group is responsible for providing a rich worship experience that invites meaningful participation by the congregation. It plans Sunday morning worship services as well as any special services held throughout the year. This group also oversees the aesthetics of the worship space and the Garden Court to make sure they are beautiful and welcoming. We meet the first Monday of the month at 6:00 pm
Contacts: Larry Stickler