God’s creation started with a garden as he created our beautiful world and dwelled within “The Garden of Eden” (Gen 2:8). But humans destroyed this garden by refusing to produce the good fruit of justice, mercy, and love (Isa 5:1-7; Luke 20:9-18). God then began his new creation when Jesus was buried in a garden (John 19:41) and then was seen by Mary as a gardener after he was raised from the dead (John 20:11-16). Jesus’s new garden creation is about bringing new life and healing to the world by fundamentally changing the way we think and live. This is done by becoming disciples (students and apprentices) of the Way of Jesus—leaving behind the madness of the world’s ways and entering into a new life of obedience to Jesus’s teachings (Matt 28:16-20).
St Luke’s Lutheran Church, in the heart of Kansas City, KS, has been a community participating in this work of new creation and disciple-making since 1900. We are a humble community of around 80 members, but the power of God’s love works great things among us.
- St Luke’s is a diverse and Jesus-centered family who strives to love and take care of all of her members in the way that Jesus has loved us (John 13:34-35).
- St Luke’s welcomes any and all to learn about the liberating and life-changing Way of Jesus.
- St Luke’s provides love and nurture in the Way of Jesus for neighborhood youth through Sunday school, after-school & sports programs, and Vacation Bible School.
- St Luke’s and her members provide hospitality (housing, food, shower & laundry facilities, medical vouchers, and other emergency assistance) to families and individuals experiencing homelessness and need.
- St Luke’s partners with and hosts Metro Lutheran Ministry which provides emergency services (food pantry, utility assistance, etc.) as well as case management to those in need.
- St Luke’s partners with and hosts Riverview Health Services which provides a safety net of medical assistance and healthcare education to those in need.
Wanting to expand and deepen this beautiful work of new creation, St Luke’s has now acquired 32 acres (3200 & 3201 N 10th Street) in the heart of an impoverished neighborhood in KCK to develop “The Disciple Garden of St Luke’s.”
“The Disciple Garden of St Luke’s” is going to be a place of life-changing learning and education, where we will become and make disciples of Jesus in an immersive and hands-on way. We will do this by deeply connecting to God’s creation, embodying hospitable compassion, and living in community with each other.
God’s land will be the foundation of this whole development. We will be caretakers of this green space, using it as a place for escaping the endless concrete of the city and finding a quiet space for prayer, learning, and reflection. It will be a place in the midst of a “food desert” where we will cultivate a “food forest” that will teach us how to live in harmony with God’s creation while relying on his daily provision.