St. Luke's United Methodist Church


8:00, 9:30, & 11:00 a.m. - Traditional

9:30 & 11:00 a.m. - Contemporary


4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Road
Orlando, FL 32819


Community Transformation


To positively impact the lives of children experiencing on-going poverty & hunger


Ending Poverty One Family…One Neighborhood at a Time

Watch video on Community Transformation in East Winter Garden.

Check out the 4D-Vision Statement to better understand our goals


East Winter Garden Community Initiative Celebration Dinner

East Winter Garden Community Initiative Celebration Dinner

An Evening of Song, Stories, and Success

Join us for dinner and an update of how your St. Luke’s Commit dollars have been at work in our East Winter Garden Community Initiative the last 4 years.

Date: Saturday, September 9, 2017
Time: 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. – Open House
Cost:  Free

Time: 6:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. – Dinner and Program
Cost: $10 per person

Open House and Dinner will be at St. Luke’s UMC, Building C.

Catered by East Winter Garden’s own Nate’Z Catering

We will have stories, songs, and videos of all the exciting activities happening in our four focus areas:

  • educational support
  • family economic stability
  • safe and secure housing
  • neighborhood well-being

In 2013, we launched the Meet Jesus on the Road 4D strategy in East Winter Garden committing to “end poverty one family…one neighborhood at a time.” Over 100 people attended the April 2013 Mission Possible conference that began the initiative. Four years later, we have made significant strides toward that ambitious goal and would like to share those stories of hope with those who have funded this effort—the congregation of St. Luke’s UMC.

Who should come? This event is to share with everyone in the St. Luke’s community–those who are directly involved, those who gave money to the Commit campaign, and anyone who would like to hear.

Please let us know if you can join us. Click Here to RSVP.

Serve in East Winter Garden

East Winter Garden Door to Curb

East Winter Garden Door to Curb Workday, September 16, 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

As part of our Community Transformation efforts in East Winter Garden, help residents improve the value of their homes and the overall community by improving pre-designated home’s curb appeal. Jobs may vary, including landscaping, painting, and minor exterior home repairs.

Meet at: 1000 Lincoln Terrace (for a work assignment)

Wear:  Work clothes, closed-toe shoes and sun protection

Bring:   Work Gloves, refillable water bottle, small construction/home repair tools (with your name on them)

Link to sign up, coming shortly

Please direct questions to Adam Hartnett at

Winter Garden Community Garden

Located at the corner of 9th St. and Pennsylvania Ave. in Winter Garden.

If you’re looking to get involved in the East Winter Garden Community Initiative and you enjoy gardening or working with your hands – join us! We will be working in the charity plots to plant new produce.  Dress for gardening and bring a hat and water bottle.

Upcoming Dates:  

Saturday, September 9,  from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Saturday, October 7,  from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Saturday, November 4,  from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 2,  from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Contact Adam Hartnett, for more information or just show up.

Maxey Elementary School

A part of our Educational IMPACT ministry

Weekly and Special Events volunteers are desired.  St. Luke’s is also a partner for their afterschool 21st Century Community Learning Center. Through this afterschool program, St. Luke’s has made a commitment to help provide enriching activities in the arts, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), health and fitness as well as organize community resource nights and other parent involvement activities.


To volunteer for upcoming events in East Winter Garden, please contact Adam Hartnett, Director of Neighborhood Ministries, at 407.876.4991 ext. 346 or

Provide or Cook a Meal

Prepare a Meal for the weekly Circles Meeting

The Circles® Orange County is part of is a national model which provides a transformational approach partnering volunteers and community leaders with families desiring to cross over the poverty line. With the help and friendship of their Allies, each family or Circle Leader sets and achieves goals unique to their own needs and skills. Circle Leaders and Allies work together to better the community while working together on individual goals. Currently, there are 70+ people in our Circles community that meets weekly in Winter Garden.

Have your group organize or donate the evening meal for the Tuesday Evening Circle Meetings.

Dates:  Tuesdays:  ongoing  (Meal for approx. 70 people)

To sign up or for more information, contact Beth Witten at

East Winter Garden E-Newsletters

December 2016

November 2015

March 2015

November 2014

April 2014

Articles from the first East Winter Garden edition of St. Luke’s Missions E-News (April 2014):

Community Transformation Contact

Find out how you can serve and support the Community Transformation efforts by contacting Lynette Fields at 407.876.4991 ext. 230.

What is Community Transformation?

St. Luke’s is walking alongside the residents of East Winter Garden to alleviate poverty one family at a time.  By removing the obstacle of poverty, the residents can create a thriving community together. The focus of the work will be a combination of asset-based community development, family stabilization, economic development, and improving educational opportunities. This will be done through existing St. Luke’s ministries, joint efforts with our community partners, and utilizing best practices in community development. We believe that God calls us to this dignified interdependent relationship with our neighbors so that we can all live fuller and more abundant lives.

How Will We Know If We Are Being Effective?

By Our Metrics:


Improve school readiness through early childhood interventions and ensure that students maintain grade level up to fourth grade through additional educational interventions and partnerships with local schools and other education providers.

Family Stabilization

Increase household income individually through the Circles Campaign and more broadly through economic development.


Improve the stability and security of housing options through the construction of new, affordable homes in partnership with West Orange Habitat for Humanity as well as partnering with the City of Winter Garden and other local organizations to make improvements in the existing housing.

Neighborhood Well-Being

Expand the capacity of the individuals, households and organizations through the use of grants, training, and other forms of support as a catalyst for positive, sustainable, long-term neighborhood change.  Increase hope by investing in the well-being of the community

What are our Guiding Principles for Community Transformation?

  • If it is not good news for the poor, it is NOT the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • We don’t take God “there” – God is already there.
  • Every person has gifts and assets; and needs to be treated with dignity and respect.
  • Make poverty personal.
  • Long term investment leads to systemic change.
  • To truly break the cycle of poverty you must start at birth—prevention.
  • A movement of the poor by the poor – it must have grassroots leadership and an invitation for “outsiders” to participate.
  • Lead by stepping back.

What will Community Transformation Cost?

The work in East Winter Garden is an asset-based community development model. The talents, skills, and resources of the residents will be identified and celebrated. Our goal, as St. Luke’s is to help expand capacity of the individual, family or household, organizations, and ultimately the neighborhood as a whole. Unlike a traditional social service model, most of the money spent will be a catalyst for change rather than a one-time donation or grant. This will lead to long-term sustainability rather than a long-term dependency on outside resources (church, non-profit, or government).

Between 2014-2018 (a total of 5 years), $2,500,000 has been allocated for this Community Transformation Initiative in East Winter Garden.  This includes a $200,000 contribution for 10 Habitat houses; education support and school readiness; Circles program focused on family stabilization and increasing household income; home repair; and neighborhood improvements.

***In 2014, $236,000 of the original $470,000 that was released from the Commit Campaign for Community was spent.***

 Community Transformation Budget (2014-2018)

Education (Children)


Family Stabilization


Housing Improvement


Neighborhood Stabilization


Interns, Staff, Infrastructure


Mission Endowment*




*This contribution will bring the Mission Capital Endowment (initiated through the Body Building Capital Campaign) up to $1,000,000. This will be part of the sustainability plan as the interest from this endowment can continue to fund a limited number of capital projects locally.

Where is East Winter Garden?


  • North-Plant Street
  • South-East Story Road
  • East-State Road 429
  • West-9th Street

Demographics at a glance:

  • 1.07 square miles
  • 1602 people
    • 334 (0-14 years old)
    • 939 (15-64 years old)
    • 329 (65 and over)
  • 524 households
  • 43% of the households earn less than $25,000 per year

Interactive East Winter Garden Map:

Click on our Local Assets of EWG Map for a visual “tour” of where our focused efforts and neighboring community partners are for the target EWG area.

What is Happening with Children?


Improve school readiness through early childhood interventions and ensure that students maintain grade level up to fourth grade through additional educational interventions and partnerships with local schools and other education providers.

  • Weekly volunteers supporting Maxey Elementary School and the Boys and Girls Clubs.
  • On-going visual arts, music, dance, and theater arts classes in collaboration with community partners. (STAY TUNED FOR PICTURES)
  • Exploring school readiness best practices.

Get Involved by:

Volunteering weekly in a school classroom or through occasional special events; assist with art, music, dance, or theater arts classes; serve on early childhood education task team; volunteer with Boys and Girls Clubs after school programs; assist with summer special projects.

Contact: Adam Hartnett

What is Happening with Family Stabilization?


To improve household income and financial stability, reduce household debt, and increase financial and housing assets for low-income families.

  • Identify families who live between 100% and 200% of the federal poverty level (meaning they are most likely dependent on some type of public or private benefits to meet their basic needs of safe, decent, and affordable housing; food; transportation; quality child care; and health care).
  • Provide intensive training (24 hours)– “Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’ By World” for families connected with Circles and West Orange Habitat for Humanity.
  • Provide intensive training (15-30 hours) for volunteers that will serve as Allies for families.
  • Focus on the metrics by providing a weekly support system through Circles Orange County.
  • Add a new group of Allies and Leaders to Circles each year.
  • Create community connections for Circles families, West Orange Habitat for Humanity families, and other residents in the neighborhood.

Get Involved by:

Participating in COPE (Cost of Poverty Experience); donating supplies to Circles; having your small group offer one of the weekly Circles meals; becoming an Circles Adhoc Ally, a Circles Ally, or a Circles children’s program volunteer; or becoming a Habitat Family Nurturer.

Contact: Adam Hartnett

Circles Orange County Web Logo




For more information about Circles Orange County, please visit

What is Happening with Housing?


Improve the stability and security of housing options through the construction of new, affordable homes in partnership with West Orange Habitat for Humanity as well as partnering with the City of Winter Garden and other local organizations to make improvements in the existing housing.

  • Ten new home construction projects with no interest mortgage in collaboration with West Orange Habitat for Humanity within the 1 square mile of East Winter Garden.
  • Home repair for senior residents or those with physical disabilities in collaboration with East Winter Garden Community Development Corporation.
  • Home purchased and renovated to be used as hospitality center and volunteer/staff headquarters and then sold back to an East Winter Garden resident. (Neighborhood improvement)

Get Involved by:

Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity on Wednesday mornings or Saturdays; provide lunch for Habitat volunteers on Saturdays; and participate in community service teams that do house painting or neighborhood improvement projects.

Contact: Adam Hartnett

What is Happening with Neighborhood Well-being?


Expand the capacity of the individuals, households, and organizations through the use of grants, training, and other forms of support as a catalyst for positive, sustainable, long-term neighborhood change.

  • Household-to-house surveys conducted for the purpose of identifying resident-led, community-improvement initiatives and to increasing community engagement.
  • Identifying and mapping the individual, household, association, faith community, business, and other institutional assets of East Winter Garden.
  • Support neighborhood organizations with volunteer hours and expertise and assistance with projects.
  • Jointly sponsor community events to build connections and communication.
  • Matched neighborhood micro-grants for front yard improvements.

Get Involved by:

Attending community events; supporting resident-led initiatives; finding out what your business or employer can do; or volunteering with one of the neighborhood organizations.

***For those residing in Winter Garden, there will be opportunities to be an involved citizen by supporting East Winter Garden residents in their efforts at City Commission meetings.***

Contact: Adam Hartnett




Scroll for
More Content