St. Luke's Allen Park and Christ the King Taylor
|Date Posted||February 28, 2019|
Michigan (Jim Gettel)
|Location||Allen Park and Taylor|
|Communicants in Good Standing||87|
|Average Sunday Attendance||55|
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Allen Park, Michigan (https://stlukesallenpark.org/) and Christ the King Episcopal Church in Taylor Michigan (https://christthekingepiscopaltaylor.org/) share a half-time priest. Both congregations are located on Wick Road, and are separated by about 3.2 miles because Wick Road does not cross a set of railroad tracks in between.
The two churches have longstanding partnerships. St. Luke’s, a small church with a big heart, is located in a quiet neighborhood and has been holding services since 1947. Christ the King was established in 1956 from members of St. Luke’s living in the Taylor area and held the first service in our present building in 1960. Christ the King is located in a busier area near Telegraph Road. In the fall of 1996, both congregations became a Cluster church (DREAM – the DownRiver Episcopal Area Ministry) along with St. Hilda’s of River Rouge, initially sharing two half-time priests and remaining a Cluster until the closing of St. Hilda’s in October of 2011. Our two shared priests, who had been with us since 1996, retired in January 2013 and on July 1, 2018. St. Luke’s and Christ the King continue to meet and contribute to DREAM to fund our priest position and we share some worship services (including fifth Sundays) and some outreach (including the Fish & Loaves Food Pantry in Taylor).
The lay leaders of our two congregations and DREAM largely take care of financial, administrative, operational and facilities matters and enable our priest to focus on helping us with worship, pastoral care and our spiritual journeys. Sharing a half-time priest for 22 years, we clearly recognize the limited time resources available. Based on the 2017 parochial reports, St. Luke’s had 43 members, with an average Sunday attendance of 32, and Christ the King had 45 members, with an average Sunday attendance of 23. Plate and pledge income are about $62,000 and $32,000, respectively. Each congregation has increased our giving to the DREAM budget for 2018, and we are increasing our DREAM savings during this period without a priest.
Sunday worship is at St. Luke’s at 9 a.m. and at Christ the King at 10:30 a.m., with traditional worship from the Book of Common Prayer and The Hymnal 1982. During this time of transition and with a shortage of supply priests, each congregation has Eucharist about once a month and Lay Eucharistic Ministers lead Morning Prayer on other Sunday mornings.
Each congregation makes our building available to our community. Christ the King hosts one NA and six AA groups, with these relationships going back 50 years. St. Luke’s hosts weekly TOPS, yoga and jazzercise classes. In addition to providing funding and weekly volunteers to Fish & Loaves, Christ the King helps support the Spirit of Hope Food Kitchen in Detroit, the Salvation Army’s Bed and Bread efforts, Christnet (a local homeless organization in Taylor), international hurricane/earthquake relief through the Episcopal Relief and Development, and work by Doctors’ Without Borders, Detroit Rescue Ministries and responses to the Flint Water Crisis. St. Luke’s also supports the Noah Project at Central Methodist Church (helping to feed the homeless), Crossroads in Detroit, Adopt a Family at Christmas, Girl Scouts, and the United Thank Offering.
Everyone is welcome at St. Luke’s and Christ the King: all Christians, as well as any who are curious or seeking a spiritual home and community.
Like many churches, St. Luke’s and Christ the King are aging, now representing what we might call the young Medicare generation. While attendance has been fairly stable and plate and pledge have grown some during the last ten years, we would like more of our neighbors to join us on our spiritual journeys.
Each congregation conducted an all member survey to identify what we are looking for in a new pastor. Some characteristics that are important to us in our spiritual journeys together are compassionate, approachable and accessible pastoral care; flexibility and open mindedness; preaching; and spirituality and prayerfulness. We also enjoy a sense of humor and integrity. These include important characteristics we pray for in the BCP prayer for the Election of a Minister: “Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on your Church, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose a priest for these parishes, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
If you might like to join us in our partnerships in serving God and God’s people, we invite you to explore our websites and to submit an application if you feel called to do so.
To apply for this position, please send a resume, cover letter, OTM Portfolio, and two sample sermons (in any format) to:
Canon for Congregational Life
Episcopal Diocese of Michigan