Hi! My name is Mackenzie Rice, and I feel so lucky to be a student at St. Luke’s. Before beginning Pure Sound and confirmation in 6th grade, my family and I were not regular church attenders. I had learned about God who loves me from St. Luke’s Day School and said a blessing before family dinners, but that was about the extent of my faith. So, when I entered the Student Ministry building, most of what I heard was new to me. My faith for the first few years was modeled after what I saw from people around me, reading a devotional, highlighting my Bible, the occasional group prayer, etc. It was surface level, but I didn’t know that faith was more than what other people see.

The summer after my 7th-grade year I went on a St. Luke’s trip to Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. We attended Christ in Youth’s Mix event, and there I learned who the Holy Spirit is and was able to truly experience God. My heart was transformed. Through Mix and Student Ministries, I developed the necessary habits for a strong faith foundation and relationship with Jesus. A couple of years later I still see myself on a journey, motivated to explore the calling of being Jesus’ disciple and leaning into what he has in store for my life. Having a strong community of people that truly love and care about me at St. Luke’s has taught me to use my faith as a starting point for everything that I do and has led me to lean further into the Holy Spirit when it seems easier to push my faith away. I know that my story is far from over and that God has a great plan for my life, but I am so grateful for the community at St. Luke’s I am surrounded by now!