Greetings from Eagle Pass!
San Lucas is beginning its 28th year of ministry along the United States—Mexico border. As the only ELCA congregation in a 120-mile radius, San Lucas is a unique location for modeling a community of welcome and justice in a context that knows all too well the struggles of discrimination and systemic poverty. In 2015, we are building enthusiasm for food and hunger ministries, intergenerational learning, and leadership development.
San Lucas was joined by friends from Gethsemane Lutheran Church (Austin, TX) and New Life Lutheran Mission (Dripping Springs, TX) on January 16-18. A 2500-gallon water tank (above) was installed to collect rainwater from the parsonage roof. Two raised garden beds were also constructed. Both of these projects are early steps to help us better utilize our land and help us take care of God’s creation.
Another project completed together with Gethsemane and New Life was a renovation of our food pantry area. We consolidated the food storage area from two rooms to one and created a more streamlined shelving system. The newly-created space will enable us to have increased meeting and office work space. The food pantry at San Lucas, a partner agency of the South Texas Food Bank, continues to help over one hundred local families each month with hunger assistance.
Several San Lucas women are in the process of beginning a women’s group. Plans are in the works for craft projects, visitation ministry, fellowship, and Bible study. Nine women attended the second gathering in January.
About fifty people from various local congregations of several denominations attended Ora, Eagle Pass, Pray, a worship service held at San Lucas on January 19 for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Rev. Noelia Gómez from La Trinidad United Methodist Church in Eagle Pass was the preacher. Eagle Pass Mayor Ramsey English Cantu gave words of greeting.
Seminarian Amy Westphal from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago is back at San Lucas during the month of January. Westphal, a native of Goliad, Texas, completed an independent study immersion course at San Lucas last January. Latino ministry has been her primary focus as a candidate for diaconal ministry in the ELCA.
The financial giving from San Lucas members in the offering plate during worship averages about $100 per week. This is supplemented by a grant from ELCA Congregational & Synodical Mission, as well as many generous gifts from individuals and congregations. The ministry at San Lucas is sustained by the prayers and support of so many. Thank you. Here are congregations and institutions that have partnered with San Lucas in various ways during 2014:
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary (Austin, TX)
Iglesia Anglicana Buen Pastor (Piedras Negras, Coahuila)
Calvary Lutheran Church (Park Rapids, MN)
Christ Lutheran Church (San Antonio, TX)
CrossTrails Ministry (Kerrville, TX)
Emmanuel Lutheran Church (Knippa, TX)
First English Evangelical Lutheran Church (Austin, TX)
Gethsemane Lutheran Church (Austin, TX)
Lutheran Campus Ministry (Austin, TX)
Lutheran Church of the Resurrection (Marion, IA)
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (Chicago, IL)
Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest (Austin, TX)
St. Mark Lutheran Church (Marion, IA)
St. Paul Lutheran Church (Davenport, IA)
St. Philip Lutheran Church (Glenview, IL)
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church (Austin, TX)
Southwest Texas Synod (Seguin, TX)
Spirit in the Hills Lutheran Mission (Spicewood, TX)
Wartburg Theological Seminary (Dubuque, IA)
Peace be with you,
Pastor Paul Bailie