Who we are
We are a noisy and spirited community seeking to follow Jesus’ example of radical love. Chiefly, we do this by opening our hearts and lives in a welcome that knows no bounds or restrictions. In this we have found a vision of the Kingdom of God: healing and joy bursting into a hurting world.
Our life together tends to be flexible and informal, rather than highly programmatic. New things come and old things sometimes go as the community grows and changes. What remains is our love for this place, our love for the God who created all things, and our desire to share what we have found with everyone we meet.
what we believe
The Episcopal Church welcomes and celebrates the ministries of all people, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, marital status, social class or age.
We are grounded in what we call the “via media”: the middle way between extremes. Rather than telling people what to believe, we provide safe places for questions and struggles of faith. Consequently, our unity comes from worshipping together, not agreeing with each other. Our character is deeply based in our ability to include a diversity of perspectives.
The Bible is the foundation of our faith, and the sacred stories shape all that we do. However, we do not interpret the Bible literally. We see it as a living text, through which God continues to speak to us. Informed by our tradition, reason and experience, our understanding of scripture continually evolves, expanding and changing as our experience of the world expands and changes.
Our common life is fed by the two central sacraments of Eucharist and Baptism: signs to remind us of God’s grace. Through bread, wine and water, we experience God’s presence in the stuff of everyday life.
The Holy Eucharist:
central to our life together
Open to All
In the Eucharist, we are given food to sustain us, and share a meal that unites us. Christ is present in the bread and wine: it is a sign to us of Christ’s presence in the world. Christ, then, becomes a part of us, present in us, as we eat this holy food. We are also united with one another as we share the holy meal. The bread that was broken, sign of a broken world, is brought back together as we are joined together in community. We are, then, the body of Christ living in this world, a sign of God’s presence to all people.
Jesus broke bread with everyone he met. It was a central way in which he demonstrated God’s love and acceptance of all people, from religious leaders to notorious sinners. Therefore, we attempt to follow his life’s example and extend that invitation to break bread with Christ and with us to everyone who enters God’s house. You are ALL welcome to come forward and receive the bread and wine, the Body and Blood of Christ, at the time of the Communion of the People. No matter your age or denominational background (or lack thereof).
First and foremost, don’t worry too much about what to do. There is almost no “wrong” way to take Communion. But if you’d like some pointers, here they are. An usher will let you know when to go forward. Follow the lines up to the altar, and when there is a space at the railing, step forward to fill it. You may kneel or stand. You may receive the bread in your open palms, or directly onto your tongue. You may consume the bread separately from the wine, or leave it in your palm. The chalicer (cup-bearer) will either offer you a sip from the cup, or dip the bread into the wine and place it onto your tongue. If you simply wish a blessing for yourself or your child (first read “Children at St. Luke’s” page), you may cross your arms over your chest or simply ask the priest for “a blessing please.”
You may consume both bread and wine, or either one you choose. If you are unable to eat wheat, please let us know and we can bless a non-wheat wafer for you.
Children at St. Luke's
People say, “The children are the future of the church.” We say, the children are the church NOW, along with all the rest of us! They are equal members with the oldest and most established among us, with their own roles in the community, their own ministries, and their own ways of worshiping God (slightly noisier, but likely more enthusiastic as well).
We believe that children have an innate relationship with God, and it is our responsibility to help nurture that relationship. We provide age-appropriate avenues of education, care and worship for our children, in the form of childcare for the youngest members of our congregation, and Christian formation for different age groups during the service.
Children and the Eucharist
Following the earliest practices of the Church, we welcome children of all ages to share in the Communion meal. Our thinking is that they are full members, and therefore should be able to join in this sign of our community. And we truly believe that the mystery of the Eucharist unfolds only as we enter into it, and there are layers to that mystery that are, in fact, more easily accessible to children than they are to adults (such as the imagery of being fed, and the connection between receiving and a sense of inclusion in the community).
ABOUT the REV. CLARE HICKMAN
Though “the vicar” finds such biographical data a bit dull, she will admit to an M.T.S. in New Testament from Harvard Divinity School (’92) and an M.Div. from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary (’98). After graduating from Seabury, she returned to her home state of Michigan to be ordained and to begin a 10-year position as Associate Rector at Christ Church, Dearborn. She now lives in Canton with her husband, Brian; sons, John and Peter; and (as often as possible) her step-children Samantha, Ian, and Alexandra. Despite not being able to live within the city limits, she loves Ferndale and has been enjoying herself immensely as Rector of St. Luke’s since January of 2008.
Brought up in the Church of England, Clare immigrated to the States with her family at age 10. She is, therefore, what is known as a “cradle Episcopalian.” In fact, her maternal grandfather was an Anglican priest in South Africa during the 1940s, so one might say the calling is in the blood.
Of her ministry at St. Luke’s, Clare says, “It’s a rare joy to minister in a community that is so open, relaxed and playful in their faithfulness. This place has a deep and grace-filled acceptance of human imperfection, which makes it a truly warm and healing place to be.”