St. Luke's United Methodist Church

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4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Road
Orlando, FL 32819
407.876.4991

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Care Ministries


Care Ministries

Our St. Luke’s Care Ministries provide love and support during the joys and trials of life through group programs and individual ministries. Listed here are the ministries where you can find support or volunteer to assist others with the support that they need.

If you are facing a challenge, have any questions, or want to serve as a volunteer, please contact Kim Paredes, Director of Care Ministries, at 407.876.4991 ext. 262.

In case of an emergency involving the death of a loved one or a hospitalization, call the Church office at 407.876.4991 ext. 316 so a pastor can support you through this time.

Prayer Requests

Pastors, staff, and the Prayer Team pray for all prayer requests submitted weekly from online Connection Cards, website and personal prayer requests.

Click here to submit a Prayer Request Online

Coping with Caregiving – Loving Support for Caregivers

Caring for a spouse, parent, or child with a long-term illness, special needs or age-related issues brings stress and unforeseen challenges to our lives. St. Luke’s invites you to attend a safe space for you to share your concerns, challenges and blessings with others who are experiencing similar situations. Take a small break from your grueling routine on Sunday, February 7 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and join Pastor David Stephens and Care Ministry lay leaders online for candid conversations where you can share your struggles and blessings when caring for a loved one. We hope you will join us! Click here to register.

Life Events

 Hospitalizations

  • In case of an immediate need involving the death of a loved one or a hospitalization, call 407.876.4991 ext. 316.

 Births

St. Luke’s wants to celebrate your baby’s birth and welcome them to our church family. We can provide you with helpful information regarding childcare during worship, baptism classes/dates, and meal assistance for the family upon arriving home from the hospital. Notify the Care office at 407.876.4991 ext. 262 of a new birth.

 Weddings

Click here to learn more about Weddings at St. Luke’s.

Pictures of the Sanctuary

Please know that these pictures were taken during Easter and the banners would not normally be hung in the Sanctuary, however also know that during certain Christian seasons the Sanctuary will be decorated with decorations that may not be able to be removed for the ceremony.

Sanctuary Stage
Sanctuary Stage – facing West

Choir Loft
Choir Loft, facing South

Back of Sanctuary
Aisle leading to Back of Sanctuary, facing East

Stage Left of Sanctuary
Sanctuary toward Memorial Garden, facing North

Learn about our “Before You Wed” couple’s class offered at the Community Counseling Center.

 Deaths and Funerals/Memorial Services

Long time St. Luker, Ginger Vaughn, passed away on Monday, January 11 at the age of 80. Ginger is the mother of Andrea Vaughn and grandmother to Lena. She was a faithful volunteer and counted St. Luke’s offering on Tuesday mornings for over 30 years. A private graveside service for family members was held on Tuesday, January 19. Please keep Andrea, Lena, and their extended family lifted up in prayer throughout the week.  

Long time St. Luker, Jerry Buchanan, passed away peacefully on Monday, January 4 at the age of 93. Jerry is the mother of St. Luker Lynn Aust Moot. Click here to read her full obituary. A memorial service (by invitation only) was held at St. Luke’s in the sanctuary on Saturday, January 16 at 10:00 a.m. Her service was livestreamed and the family invites you to view her service via this secure Vimeo link. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial gifts be made in Jerry’s honor to St. Luke’s UMC or to The Russell Home for Atypical Children. Please lift up Lynn and extended family members in your prayers.

Long time St. Luker and former contemporary worship usher, Doug Rhyne, passed away on Monday, December 21 at the age of 75. Doug is the husband of Carol Rhyne and father to Jeff and Christin. A memorial service (by invitation only) was held on Saturday, January 9 at 2:00 p.m. in the sanctuary. The service was livestreamed so those who cannot attend may log in to view his service. Click here if you wish to view Doug’s service online. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial gifts be made in Doug’s honor to St. Luke’s UMC. Please lift up the Rhyne family in your prayers.

 Church Member Assistance

Contact the Care office at 407.876.4991 ext. 262 to discuss any member assistance needs.

St. Luke’s Care Ministries Directory

 Parenting Solo Support Group

During this time of social distancing we still want to connect with you. Contact the Care office to learn how to continue with this support group online.

Parenting Solo is a support group designed to provide helpful tools, education, encouragement and fellowship for single parents. The support group is led by trained and caring St. Lukers who are or have been single parents themselves. St. Luke’s offers a different curriculum each fall and spring to support single parents in their daily lives and the many responsibilities they have.

Parenting Solo is taking a break during the fall and hopes to be able to meet in person for the spring cycle. For additional details about this support group, email or call the Care office at 407.876.4991 ext. 262.

Divorce Recovery Ministry

DivorceCare is a weekly support group designed for people who are currently separated or divorced. If you are not separated or divorced but are contemplating separation/divorce, please contact the Care office at 407.876.4991 ext. 262 for assistance.

At this time St. Luke’s is not offering DivorceCare on campus or virtually. To locate a church that is currently offering DivorceCare, click here. Please email or call the Care office for additional information.

Buddy Break

Buddy Break is a free respite care program for children with special needs ages 3 years – 16 years and their siblings ages 4 years through fifth grade. It is offered in partnership with local churches and Nathanial’s Hope. St. Luke’s no longer participates in the Buddy Break program. Please click here for other central Florida locations for your child or to volunteer as a Buddy.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Support Ministry

St. Luke’s is excited to offer a support group for parents of children and teens with Autism Spectrum Disorders. We invite you  to join this helpful support group on the second Thursday of the month (unless otherwise noted) at 6:30 p.m. in Building C Room 206 to share ideas, concerns, success stories, challenges and fellowship. A trained facilitator from UCF CARD (Center for Autism and Related Disabilities) will offer a brief topical lesson each month. Prior registration is required. Click here to register. Contact the Care office at 407.876.4991 ext. 262 or email if you have additional questions. 

Next Meeting: This support group will continue online for now during this season of COVID-19. Our next meeting is Thursday, January 14 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Please contact the Care office for the online meeting link and password.  Click here to register your child for childcare for a future meeting when we re-open. Childcare is available for children age 10 or less.   

Cancer Support Team

St. Luke’s cancer support group is transitioning into a cancer support team in order to provide a support network for individuals and families affected by cancer. Individuals will be paired with a team member who provides spiritual/emotional support and connection with the Care office. During the next few months, our cancer support group will not meet in order to dedicate planning time to the transition.

If you or someone you know has cancer or is a cancer caregiver and would like to have support from a team member, please contact the Care office at 407.876.4991 ext. 262 or email.

Card Ministries

Sends cards to those hospitalized and to bereaved families

  • Sends holiday greeting cards three times a year to those 80+, new members, military, and shut-ins
  • Veterans’ writing group gathers to share fellowship and write holiday greeting cards four times a year to veterans in Orlando

Care Visitation Team

During this time of COVID-19, our Care Visitation Team volunteers are connecting with people who are hospitalized or in rehab/nursing home facilities via phone each week to check on them and to offer prayers.

St. Luke’s Care Visitation Team (CVT) is comprised of trained lay members who provide follow-up care in partnership with St. Luke’s pastors to provide compassion, encouragement, and support for church families during illness, hospitalizations, and/or long-term care. We will open recruitment of new Care Visitation Team volunteers in the summer of 2021. Know a St. Luker that can no longer come to church but wants to remain connected? Contact the Care office to schedule a visit with one of our Care Visitation Team members.

Caring Kitchen

The Caring Kitchen meets the first Thursday of the month (unless otherwise noted) in the kitchen of Building C from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.  Share fellowship with others and help make healthy frozen crockpot ready meals for St. Lukers who are recovering from surgery, dealing with a chronic illness, going through cancer/other treatments, have a new baby, etc. Adults and children age 12+ are welcome. Wear closed toe shoes and bring a sharp knife and an apron if you have them. No experience required – just a compassionate heart and a passion for cooking and caring!

Next Cooking Date: Caring Kitchen meets on Thursday, February 4. Volunteers must register beforehand.  We can only have a total of six volunteers along with the leadership team due to social distancing guidelines. 

Click here to sign up for February and March cooking dates.

If you know a St. Luker who would benefit from a crockpot meal during this time, email or call the Care office at 407.876.4991 ext. 262.

St. Luke’s Community Counseling Center

The St. Luke’s Community Counseling Center offers one on one counseling sessions to accommodate most schedules and budgets. Counseling is provided by Licensed Mental Health Counselors and support groups may be available. Click here to learn more about St. Luke’s Community Counseling Center and to download a brochure or make an appointment. Tele-therapy sessions are available during this time of social distancing. For more information contact call 407.876.8237.

Grief Support Ministry – REGISTRATION OPEN FOR FEBRUARY GROUPS!

GriefShare: Loss of a Spouse 

This special two-hour workshop is designed to help those grieving the loss of a spouse/partner no matter how long ago the loss occurred. Learn how to process your grief and face the future with hope. This free program will be offered via Zoom on Sunday, January 24 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Registration is required. Participants will receive a personal workbook to accompany this program. Zoom meeting login credentials are sent once the registration process is completed. Contact the Care office at 407.876.4991 ext. 262 for more information.  

GriefShare Weekly Support Meetings 

GriefShare consists of weekly support group meetings designed to help you rebuild your life after losing a loved one. Our group is led by caring lay members who have experienced intense grief themselves. You’ll find a warm, caring environment and will see your group as an “oasis” on your long journey from mourning to joy. Meetings include videos, small group discussion (support group), and personal study exercises that reinforce weekly session topics.

Click here to view a short video about GriefShare.

St. Luke’s will offer two classes for the winter/spring cycle beginning on February 4 (an evening class) and February 24 (a morning class). These classes will be virtual classes offered via Zoom to help keep everyone safe.

Classes meet weekly for 13 weeks. Participants will purchase their workbooks directly from GriefShare. There is a $15.00 fee for the workbook. Contact the Care office at 407.876.4991 ext. 262 or email for more information.

Winter/Spring 2021 Class Schedule:

Registration is now open. Below are our offerings:

  • Register for the Thursday evening class (6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.). Cycle runs February 4 through May 6. No class on April 1 (Holy Week).
  • Register for the Wednesday morning class (10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon). Cycle runs February 24 – May 26. No class on March 31 (Holy Week).

Hearts to Hands Ministry

During this time of social distancing, please join us outdoors in the Torrance Pavilion (the breezeway) in between the sanctuary and the Youth Center on Wednesdays at 3:30 p.m. or continue to knit or crochet items for Hearts to Hands from the comfort of your home.

  • Knits and crochets prayer shawls, newborn and preemie hats and blankets, and prayer squares.
  • You don’t have to be experienced in knitting or crocheting, just have a willingness to learn and an eagerness to create. Free classes offered on Wednesdays from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. outside the back of Building C near the picnic tables. Bring your own lawn chair and wear a face mask while social distancing and knitting/crocheting with friends. Contact the Care office at care@st.lukes.org or call 407.876.4991 ext. 262 for more info.

In Home Care Ministry

  • Provides care and support for families and individuals in crisis
  • Provides meals and transportation as requested through a team of volunteers

Opening Doors Ministry (Special Needs)

  • Promotes opportunities for full participation in worship and programs for persons with special needs
  • Provides sensory friendly accommodations at church-wide and community special events
  • Connects with and support area ministries and organizations which serve persons of all ages with disabilities and their families
  • Works to make the church campus and programs safe and accessible to all
  • For more information email or call the Care office at 407.876.4991 ext. 262

Prayer Ministry

The Prayer Team is meeting online during this time of social distancing. Contact the Care office with any questions or prayers. 

  • Prays in the chapel on Sundays between and during worship services
  • Receives prayer requests submitted on the church website (see form below)
  • Prays in the chapel on Wednesday mornings for those on the prayer list, Connection Cards, and submitted prayer requests

Stephen Ministers

Stephen Ministers are available to provide one-on-one Christian care during this season of COVID-19 via online platforms and meeting one-on-one in a safe and social distanced manner. Email the Care office or call 407.876.4991 ext. 262 to request a Stephen Minister. 

  • Are children of God who walk beside a hurting person
  • Are caring Christians who really listen and provide confidential one on one support
  • Helps meet the needs of those who are facing illness, loneliness, bereavement, job or spiritual crisis, etc.
  • Serves communion
  • Receives extensive training in how to provide distinctively Christian care

Stephen Ministry is an international lay caring ministry used by more than 13,000 congregations worldwide. Click here to learn more about Stephen Ministry. If you are in need of a Stephen minister, you may mark your Connection card on Sunday, email or call the Care office at 407.876.4991 ext. 262 to be confidentially matched with a caring Christian listener. Women are matched with female Stephen Ministers and men are matched with male Stephen Ministers.

Transportation Ministry

Do you need a ride to a doctor’s appointment, medical treatment, grocery store, pharmacy, etc.? Contact the Care office at 407.876.4991 ext. 262 or email to arrange for a transportation volunteer to take you free of charge. Please give us five to seven days notice so that we may find a driver.

Volunteer Opportunities within Care Ministries

St. Luke’s Care Ministries has immediate service opportunities in the following areas:
  • Administrative Volunteers: Volunteers are needed to follow up via phone with those sick, hospitalized or recovering at home. May also assist in data entry, mailings, copying and other administrative duties. Training provided.
If you can service in any of the areas listed above please email connect@st.lukes.org or call 407.876.4991 ext. 262 for more information.

Local Care Groups

Alcoholics Anonymous

IMPORTANT: AA is now meeting back on campus. Please ensure you complete a Health Declaration Form when attending a meeting and follow all safety and health guidelines set by St. Luke’s. 

St. Luke’s is host to the Dr. Phillips Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) group. A.A.’s Twelve Steps are a group of principles, spiritual in their nature, which, if practiced as a way of life, can expel the obsession to drink and enable the sufferer to become happily and usefully whole. Click here and select the “month tab” at the right hand top of the page to learn the days, times, and meeting rooms for AA meetings at St. Luke’s.

Al-Anon

IMPORTANT: Al-Anon is now holding meetings on campus. Please ensure you complete a Health Declaration Form when attending a meeting and follow all safety and health guidelines set by St. Luke’s. Email or call 407.896.4929 for information. 

Al-Anon meetings take place Fridays and Sundays. Click here and select the “month tab” at the right hand top of the page to learn meeting days, times, and locations on campus.

Overeaters Anonymous

IMPORTANT: OA will resume meetings on campus once St. Luke’s re-opens. Click here to find an online meeting during this time of social distancing.

Overeaters Anonymous provides guidance and support to anyone facing problems with food — compulsive overeating, under-eating, food addiction, anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, or over-exercising. This support group meets weekly on Fridays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in Building B Room 202. To learn more about Overeaters Anonymous, click here.

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)

IMPORTANT: NAMI support groups have resumed meetings on campus. Click here or call 1-800-273-8255 for more information regarding support groups. All attendees must complete a Health Declaration Form when attending a meeting and follow all safety and health guidelines set by St. Luke’s.  

NAMI’s Connection Support Group meetings follow NAMI’s Connection model and are open to adults 18 years of age and older living with a mental illness. There is no cost to attend meetings. Meetings are drop-in and confidential; you do not need to make a reservation or call ahead unless you need more information. Meetings take place the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in Building C, Room 206.

NAMI’s Family Support Groups are open to family members, caregivers or friends of people living with a mental illness. Meetings are drop-in and confidential; you do not need to make a reservation or call ahead unless you need more information. Meetings take place in Building B, Room 201 on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. To learn more about NAMI, click here.

Connect and Care Mission Statement

As we affirm faith in God through our ministries, we claim a sacred place where Christ’s love unites us with compassion and the caring of others.

In order to make the love of Christ a real presence in the life of each person we reach within our faith community, our ministries:

  • Extends support during the trials of life and celebrate the joys
  • Leads persons to resources appropriate to their needs
  • Creates and maintain innovative programs to minister spiritually, emotionally, and physically
  • Encourages all to explore and maximize their individual spiritual gifts for the work of the church and to the glory of God.
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