St. Luke's United Methodist Church

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4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Road
Orlando, FL 32819
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A Note from Mariam Mengistie-December 5, 2019

Posted on December 5, 2019 at 1:09 pm in .

Dear St. Lukers,

I don’t know about you, but this sermon series on the topic of “God’s intersections” is challenging me to think deeply about all the intersections I came across in life and my ministry here at St. Luke’s. As most would, I find reflecting on intersections in Advent particularly interesting because it’s about waiting during the craziest time of year; thinking of others while rushing to cross off tasks on our to do lists; creating meaningful connections while worrying about the stuff that needs to be done.

When we think of our lives intersecting with others, we may not often think of those we are serving. However, St. Luke’s “Restoring Hope” initiative is teaching us how we are interconnected in more ways than we realize. As one of the six Pillars of our 2020+ Vision, the “Restoring Hope” initiative focuses on partnering with families to reduce family homelessness and childhood hunger. Through St. Luke’s Educational IMPACT Ministry, we have built incredible relationships with children, teachers, administrators and at the OCPS district office. Now this new initiative is opening doors to connect St. Luke’s with parents, particularly those who are living in motels and doubled up in houses. Learning their stories is helping us realize that they are, after all, a part of our story. They are the people who code our medical records. They deliver our food at home. They teach our children. We ARE connected!

We are already partnering with 12 families who were previously staying in motels or over-crowded houses to empower them to stabilize their families through programs such as Jobs Partnership and Circles. “It’s not just working on stuff. It’s a Circle of calm as well.” said Theresa Williams who’s the first family we moved out of a motel and who’s now getting ready to become a Circle Leader. This is another intersection between our 4D Vision (through the Community Transformation Initiative) and the 2020+ Vision (through Restoring Hope).

As Christians, when we call others “siblings in Christ,” we are also claiming that our lives are interconnected. This Sunday, join us in worship as we revisit God’s intersection through the story of an angel appearing to Joseph in Matthew 1:18-25.

So, how do we show up this Advent season for families who are facing homelessness and children who don’t know where their next meal will come from? This Sunday in worship you’ll receive an Advent Offering Wish List. We invite you to prayerfully consider saying “YES!” to a gift that supports St. Luke’s ministries “AND…” a gift to support the “Restoring Hope” initiative. You can learn more about these Advent giving opportunities and share a special gift this season by clicking here.

Together we can forge a better future for children and families in God’s Neighborhood.

Grace and Peace,

Mariam Mengistie
Executive Director of Missions

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