Sharing God’s love with people experiencing poverty and hardship by empowering them toward abundant life.
Our Story: Purpose, Beliefs, & Ministries
“The light shines in the darkness…”
LUMINA is the Latin word for light. We believe God calls us to let our light shine in the shadows of our community. LUMINA is a ministry reaching out to the poor in wealth and spirit. Our mission: To share the love of God by equipping and encouraging people who experience poverty and hardship. Our vision for Lancaster City: every person restored to the vital and productive life God intended. LUMINA offers food, education opportunities, encouragement, and friendship to those experiencing the darkness of poverty, hardship, and loneliness. Since we believe “Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit” (I Cor 6:19) we show love and care to the body, mind, and soul of each person asking for help regardless of race, gender, religion, or orientation. Most importantly, we actively build trusting relationships with others.
LUMINA is not a big organization with lots of overhead expenses. Our Board of Directors is made up of all volunteers from both clergy and laity. Likewise, our workforce is nearly all volunteer. Most of the support for our mission work comes local Methodist congregations in the form of grants and free will gift offerings, but we also receive funds from a lot of other benevolent individuals who believe in what we do. We do not receive any government funding. Because of this, LUMINA can be person-focused and maintain flexibility in responding to the changing needs of our neighbors. We partner with other non-profits having similar missions to achieve mutual goals in each of the ministries listed below.
Super Cupboard: LUMINA partners with Penn State Extension in offering free nutrition education courses to caregivers of children under 18 who rely on food stamps and food pantries to feed their families. Penn State provides the instructor and the curriculum, while LUMINA makes sure each family has the food and the tools needed to prepare the nutritious meals of the week. Most men and women enrolled in this Super Cupboard course succeed in adopting at least one new healthy habit in feeding and caring for their families. And the families make much-needed connections in the community. They support one another with recipe exchanges, mom support, and money saving ideas.
Kids’ Ministries: LUMINA currently conducts home visits with families whose children enroll in our extra-curricular programs. When and where it is safe to do so during the pandemic, we hold weekly evening programs, a summer day camp, kids’ cooking classes, and provide funds, gear, and transportation to overnight camp. We have long-standing relationships with these families who often lack the resources to give their children what they need in order to thrive. We listen and encourage. We support children and their families with masks, healthy food, school supplies, art materials, clothing, new toys, and fun treats. Children who are ready to attend overnight camp are given a chance to earn a full scholarship to a week of summer camp at Gretna Glen Camp. Respectful behavior and making peace with others are the key, as we offer educational enrichment and guidance for living in peace with one another, with our Creator and all Creation.
Food Distribution Ministry: When the pandemic hit, LUMINA was not able to hold our usual summer day camp for city children. We decided to switch our focus to a food ministry especially for people who had lost income due to the virus. LUMINA continues to partner with Ross Street United Methodist Church in distributing free food to the hungry each month. LUMINA also schedules deliveries directly to the homes of needy families who do not have transportation. Since the pandemic began, we have hand delivered over 68,000 lbs of food to families in need.
Housing: LUMINA is a member of Manifest, an alliance of United Methodist Churches together with IMPACT! Missions and other community organizations which transforms condemned city houses into safe, decent affordable homes for low-income first-time buyers. LUMINA helps to raise funding and recruit volunteers for the work of rebuilding.
Building Trades Students: LUMINA and other Manifest partners support McCaskey seniors in the building trades program by sponsoring awards of new tools at graduation. Over the past three years, together we have awarded thousands of dollars in hand and power tools.
Crisis Aid: LUMINA maintains long-lasting relationships with many of the families whose children have attended our after school programs. We walk alongside them even as they experience a crisis. With the support of compassionate volunteers who supplied furniture, grocery cards, and motel expenses, LUMINA has been able to help get a large family off the street and into a decent home.
LUMINA is the Light of Hope to this family and to many more!
How You Can Help
Your prayers for those in poverty and despair are needed around the clock. The leadership and volunteers of LUMINA are also in need of your prayers.
Become a Volunteer
You can get involved today by becoming a volunteer. LUMINA always can use help of adults for the many of the ministries that we are serving.
We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and we are looking forward to a world where the hardships and poverty are no longer ignored.
How To Find Us
20 E. Clay Street
Lancaster PA 17602
Tuesday to Thursday – 9 AM to 5 PM