Worship Schedule
  • September 17, 2017       
  • The Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Preparing for Sunday

Click above for weekly lessons 

  • Holy Eucharist Sunday 8:30 and 10:30
  • Bible Study Wednesdays at noon - STARTS 9/20
  • OFFICE HOURS:
  • Tuesday 9:30 to 1:00
  • Wednesday 9:30 to 4:30
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Upcoming Events

PRAY FOR ALL PEOPLE AFFECTED BY NATURAL DISASTER: BY STORMS IN TEXAS, LOUISIANA AND THE CARIBBEAN AND SOUTHEASTERN U.S.; BY FIRES IN THE NORTHWEST; BY EARTHQUAKE IN SOUTHERN MEXICO. 

HURRICANE RELIEF FUND - We are raising funds for The Beacon, a ministry of Christ Church Cathedral, Houston. The Beacon is providing meals, shelter, showers, laundry facilities, legal assistance and pastoral care to displaced people in Houston. We will collect funds over the next few weeks. Make checks payable to St. Luke's and mark "Beacon" or "Hurricane" on the memo line.

PRAYER CARDS FOR HURRICANE SURVIVORS - When we send our contribution to The Beacon (see above) we will send along our prayers and blessings. Help make prayer cards--compose a prayer or message, choose one from the Book of Common Prayer, and illustrate your card.

BIBLE STUDY RETURNS 9/20 @ NOON

Parish Bookstore

History of Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church
Ewing Township, NJ
1912 - 2012

Click here for a .pdf of an in-depth history from 1912 - 1977. 

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church was founded by potters from Stoke-on-Trent, England, who emigrated to the Trenton area in February of 1904. They worked at Trenton’s Mercer Pottery and lived just north of the city limits in Prospect Heights, part of Ewing Township. Needing a neighborhood place of worship, they began holding services at the Alfred Reed School on Trinity Sunday, June 2, 1912. St. Luke’s was formally recognized as an organized congregation by the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey at its convention in 1913.

For five years, the congregation met at the Alfred Reed School on Buttonwood Ave. The cornerstone of St. Luke’s was laid on June 30, 1917. Architect and founding member Albert E. Micklewright designed the building, which together with the land on which it was erected cost $3,500. 

That same year Samuel Kirkham and a committee from the congregation succeeded in purchasing an 1865 William Davis tracker organ for $400 from Trinity Church in Woodbridge. It is the oldest of its kind in New Jersey still in use, and is registered with the Organ Historical Society.  Our first organist at St. Luke’s was Mr. Micklewright’s wife Helen Crisp Micklewright. 

St. Luke’s was assisted by part time clergy and the occasion vicar from 1912 until 1952.  One vicar, the Rev. Gordon Kidd (1924-1927) went on to become rector of St. James Church, Hyde Park, NY, which was the church of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Another assisting priest was the Rev. Charles N. Miller, vicar of St. Monica’s Episcopal Church.  During World War II, when clergy were hard to find, Father Miller led communion services at St. Luke’s, becoming on of the first black priests to serve a white congregation.

However, lay leadership has always central to the vibrancy of St. Luke’s.  In addition to the initiatives of our founders, St. Luke’s was led by a layreader-in-charge, Mr. Donald Phillips, from 1936 – 1953.  Mister Phillips was responsible for the daily administration of the congregation, leading Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer on Sundays when a priest wasn’t available, and securing supply clergy for the sacraments. 

In 1952, The Rev. Ware King became St. Luke’s first full-time vicar as the congregation grew.  The mortgage on the church itself was paid off in 1950, so the congregation was able to build a parish hall in 1951.  In 1955, The Rev. Elmer “Pat” Sullivan became St. Luke’s last Vicar and first Rector as he guided the congregation from mission to parish status.  In 1959, the congregation built the Rectory to Father Sullivan’s specifications, and it was known as the first modern house in Prospect Heights, with a write-up in the Trenton paper.

Diocesan Convention changed St. Luke’s status from Mission to Parish in 1962 when we had become fully financially independent.  At this point, Father Sullivan became the first rector until he resigned in 1967 to take a church in Hamilton.  The Rev. Paul McGlathery succeeded Father Sullivan and served until 1970 when the parish called the Rev. Samuel L. Koons as its Third Rector until 1974 when Father Sullivan returned as now the Fourth Rector!

From its beginnings, St. Luke’s was the center of a diverse religious community, but stabilized as an Episcopal congregation in the sixties and seventies when other denominations in Ewing built their own churches. St. Luke’s was in the forefront of the Civil Rights movement in breaking down racial barriers. When St. Monica’s Episcopal Church in Trenton closed down, forty per cent of its African American congregation was welcomed into St. Luke’s parish. Today the congregation is fifty per cent African American, including people originally from Haiti, Panama, Jamaica, New Guinea, Liberia, and Nigeria 

St. Luke’s history also reflects the struggles of the feminist movement positively. In 1982 it called the Rev. Virginia M. Sheay as its Fifth Rector, a first in the Diocese of New Jersey. At the January 1991 Annual Parish Meeting, the congregation elected its first African American woman warden. St. Luke’s also helped to fight the war on poverty, lobbying for local government to initiate a Head Start program in 1965 against official statements that nothing was needed. 

When Dr. Sheay retired as Rector in 2001, St. Luke’s once again sought a new Rector.  On December 1, 2002, the Rev. Dirk C. Reinken began as Sixth Rector and continued to guide St. Luke’s in its identity as an inclusive congregation welcoming all people where they are in their Christian faith and journeying with them in their spiritual growth.

Aside from the Tracker organ, St. Luke’s has other treasures.  In witness to our outreach, we have a signed letter from the late Mother Teresa of Calcutta thanking us for the baby hats we knit and sent to her orphanage.  As Mother Teresa is now a “Blessed” in the Roman Catholic Church, her signed letter is a third-class relic of a saint!

Other treasures include the works of our own parishioners. Most of the vestments and even the Altar were made by parishioners.  Each Sunday, the communion bread is baked by a parishioner.  The Altar itself contains a stone from Stoke-on-Trent in England, from where our founders emigrated in the first years of the Twentieth Century.  We are a parish firmly rooted in our tradition, but with branches growing widely to serve God faithfully in worship and the world today.

One of Father Reinken’s favorite stories about St. Luke’s is that the building itself is built from cast-off bricks in the local potteries.  They weren’t wanted because they were slightly misshapen or didn’t match the desired color.  The founders collected those bricks and used them to build the new church.  They saw in the bricks the story of their own lives – each person is unique and slightly misshapen, yet God gathers us together to be a faithful community of believers.  Father Reinken is convinced that the openness to diversity from St. Luke’s beginnings has helped it to be the welcoming community it is today.

Throughout its 100 year history, St. Luke’s has been ‘the little church that does big things.’  This has been clearly due to the grace of God at work in us.  As we celebrate our first 95 years, we look forward to the many ways we can continue share the good news of God’s love in Jesus Christ through worship, fellowship, and mission in the world around us.