Dear St. Lukers,
Everyone is busy making preparations for what looks like a true storm headed Florida’s way. It has already made landfall in the U.S. Virgin Islands and continues its path, gaining strength in the Atlantic as we speak. As it moves and everyone waits, it’s always hard to know how much to prepare, what to do, and how to help. We will, as always, find ways as soon as possible to be “all in” in helping with clean-up, and giving generously through UMCOR. Please be in prayer for all of those already affected who are still trying to work their way through the devastation of previous storms.
PREPARE YOUR HOMES
We urge you, regardless of the models, to always have your hurricane preparations ready. For those of us who have lived here our entire lives, it’s sometimes easy to get lax, but we need to be ready for anything that might happen. Whatever the storm may bring, our phone will be forwarded to us if there is an emergency. Our staff is preparing their own homes and families, so when we come to the other side of the storm, and the sun beautifully rises in the sky as always, St. Luke’s can be ready to help and care for others as we have done so often in the past. We will make sure if the campus is available, to open up in whatever ways needed.
SIGN UP TO HELP BEFORE THE STORM
- We could use some help making sure our neighbors in East Winter Garden are ready as well. If you would like to help prepare homes or meet some of our neighbors to help support them, please sign up here. A group will meet at the HUB in East Winter Garden at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.
- We will be working with our Care Ministry to check in our senior congregation members, and those who are by themselves. If you would like to help in making calls, contact Pastor Jad.
SUNDAY MORNING WORSHIP TIME CHANGES
We will gather in worship on Sunday, however, because of the holiday weekend we will have only three services: 8:00 a.m. Traditional in the Sanctuary, 9:30 a.m. Traditional in the Sanctuary, and 11:00 a.m. Contemporary in Founder’s Hall. We will have shortened music in all services as we already had planned to bring back “Ask the Pastors Anything” Sunday. Pastors Jad, Melissa, Bill, and I will be in these services, and you will have a chance to write your questions down during the first part of worship, then during the offering time we will pick out questions we know we can answer fully and with care.
ONE LAST WORD FROM OUR ST. LUKE’S CHILDREN
We already have questions from the children that were written on Wednesday night. I can tell you they are all exceptional, but my favorite is “What makes God happy?” What makes God happy – that’s an easy one in this instance! What makes God happy is for people to always be prepared physically, spiritually, and emotionally for whatever storms may come, so that as people of God, we are ready to be the hands and feet of Jesus to help others, who have been overcome and devastated, with hope, healing, and care. Why not check on your neighbors and see who needs help in your community. Maybe even invite them to join you for worship on Sunday. It’s a great time to show everyone the Heart of St. Luke’s and our values of community and service.
Until Sunday, may you keep the words of the Psalmist in your prayers from Psalm 46:
1 God is our refuge and strength,
a help always near in times of great trouble.
2 That’s why we won’t be afraid when the world falls apart,
when the mountains crumble into the center of the sea,
3 when its waters roar and rage,
when the mountains shake because of its surging waves.
4 There is a river whose streams gladden God’s city,
the holiest dwelling of the Most High.
5 God is in that city. It will never crumble.
God will help it when morning dawns.
6 Nations roar; kingdoms crumble.
God utters his voice; the earth melts.
7 The Lord of heavenly forces is with us!
The God of Jacob is our place of safety.
God bless you and keep you,