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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St. Luke’s Missions Ministries response to COVID-19 

Like any other disaster, the Coronavirus is presenting compounding risk to the families we are supporting through St. Luke’s Missions Ministries. The threat from contracting the virus or unexpected interruptions to routine – work, school, childcare, transportation – will exasperate the immense stress our families experience to make ends meet.

In collaboration with our Community Partners, we are working out ways to continue to support our neighbors and minimize the potentially prolonged recovery.

We are carefully monitoring needs and resources in our community. As needs in the community become clearer, we will know what resources we need to meet them. Please come back to this page for information how you can restore hope to our community. Meanwhile, let’s lift up each other, our community and our world in prayer. Stay safe and healthy!

COVID-19 Related Resources

Please click the button below for COVID-19 related sources.
(Updated April 3 at 10:45 a.m.)

If you know of other resources, please send them to Amy Winslow at awinslow@st.lukes.org.

We will update this list, as information comes in.

Thank you and be safe!

St. Luke’s COVID-19 Update

St. Luke’s COVID-19 Update: Following guidelines from government officials, and with the safety of our congregation and community as our highest priority, St. Luke’s has temporarily suspended in-person programs, meetings, and events as well as public on campus worship. St. Luke’s Child Development Center will also be closed until at least April 30. St. Luke’s Community Counseling Center is open by appointment. If you have questions or concerns, please reply to this email. For the latest updates and to worship with us LIVE online Sundays at 9:30 a.m., follow us on Facebook.

Mission Ministries during COVID-19 Crisis

As we are navigating these uncharted waters on how to continue with our community work during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are grateful to God for opening doors for us to stay connected with families we support through Missions Ministries and the community in general.

Agua Viva

Work has stopped, to protect workers and community. Travel is canceled until at least the end of May.

Circles East Winter Garden

St. Luke’s weekly Circles meeting has successfully gone virtual.

Coalition for the Homeless

NO baking, cooking or serving for the April 18 event. St. Luke’s will purchase meals for the 500 residents.

Although St. Luke’s monthly meal preparation for the 500 residents is cancelled, St. Luke’s funded the meals which our volunteers would have donated and cooked. We also connected Coalition with a company that donated large quantity of fresh produce to the Center.

COVID-19 Emergency Assistance

Distributed personal hygiene kits for 200 women, 75 children/youth and 25 men who are income-constrained in East Winter and Pine Hills.

COVID-19 Resource 

Compiling and updating resources helpful to our families during this crisis. See COVID-19 Related Resources ribbon above.

Educational IMPACT

OCPS schools are currently closed through at least April 30 with all students doing online classes. We will post updates to this closure date, as official notifications from OCPS are available.

Family Promise

St. Luke’s funded four families’ stay in a hotel for a week. That week was St. Luke’s scheduled family hosting week.

Inside Out Jail Ministries

The 33rd jail is closed for volunteers at this time. A volunteer team is creating a newsletter for continued communication, inspiration and sharing love.

Jobs Partnership

The organization is rolling out virtual classes.

Meals on Wheels

Volunteers are taking precautions to continue delivery of these critical meals.

OCPS Math Bee

The May Math Bee is canceled for this school year due to school closures.

Restoring Hope

  • Stable Housing Initiative: Our trained Family Advocates are in regular contact with the families that St. Luke’s assisted. Family Advocates provide encouragement and prayer. We are also connecting the families with resources for food and rent payment.
  • Food Security: In collaboration with Second Harvest, HEBNI Nutritional Consultants and other community partners, St. Luke’s is coordinating grant application and pop-up meal sites to provide fresh produce and cooked meals to families.

Shalom Readers and Pen Pals

No volunteers working in the jails at this time. The Pen Pal program continues.

Virtual Townhall with Mayor Demings Office 

We have a unique opportunity to connect our families in the community to hear first hand about resources relevant to them, ask questions and express their concerns to a Mayor Demings staffer.

ZOE Empowers

Teams traveling to ZOE locations are canceled through at least the month of May.

Get involved 

  • How will my gift help children and families?
    • Your Restoring Hope Offering will go to:
      • moving working families from motels, storage units, and over-crowded houses into their own apartments
      • closing meal gaps for children facing hunger and who don’t know where their next meal is coming from
      • connecting families with Jobs Partnership, Circles and other empowering programs.
  • How many children and families will be served? 
    • With your gifts…
      • 60 families who are homeless at Maxey and Mollie Ray Elementary Schools (St. Luke’s Educational IMPACT partner schools) could gain stable housing.
      • 1,400+ food insecure youth at Olympia High School could focus on their studies instead of worrying about having enough to eat.
      • 50 young people in East Winter Garden will have consistent access to nutritious food options.
  • How can I Restore Hope for children and families?

    • Mail your gift to: St. Luke’s United Methodist Church (c/o Finance Office) 4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Rd. Orlando, FL 32819
    • Tap “Give” on the home screen of the app
    • Click/tap the “give” button below or visit st.lukes.org/give and select “Restoring Hope” from the dropdown menu.

Restoring Hope One Family at a Time

St. Luke’s seeks to Restore Hope for an estimated 60 families from Maxey and Mollie Ray Elementary Schools as part of the church’s 2020+ Vision. In order to support stabilizing families in our partner schools, St. Luke’s will now refer family assistance calls and walk-in requests from the community, as well as agency requests, to alternative resources. St. Lukers who encounter a community member in need are empowered to share our official resource list (yellow sheet) available in the information racks in the Sanctuary Narthex and outside of the church reception office in Santos Welcome Hall (Building C). Click on the button below, to view the Central Florida Community Resource List.

St. Luke’s Partners (members) and regular attendees in need of family assistance can contact the Care Office (link to: care@st.lukes.org) to explore support options.

St-Luker-Serves

“Do justice: love kindness: walk humbly with God…”

Micah 6:8 

 

UPCOMING EVENTS AND SERVING OPPORTUNITIES

IMPORTANT MESSAGE:

Following guidelines from government officials, and with the safety of our congregation and community as our highest priority, St. Luke’s has temporarily suspended in-person programs, meetings, and events as well as public on campus worship. St. Luke’s Child Development Center will also be closed until at least April 30. St. Luke’s Community Counseling Center is open by appointment. If you have questions or concerns, please reply to this email. For the latest updates and to worship with us LIVE online Sundays at 9:30 a.m., follow us on Facebook.

Thank you for your understanding and for helping ensure the health and safety of our community. Stay safe!

SERVE ON ST. LUKE’S CAMPUS 

There are many opportunities to serve within the church and to serve our community, right here on the St. Luke’s campus.  There are opportunities in our Commit, Connect & Care, Grow, Serve, as well as our Worship Ministry areas.

St. Luke’s Commit Ministries:

      • Front Desk Volunteers: Volunteers are needed to assist the staff at the front desk with welcoming guest and answer the phones. There are options to assist with data entry or projects the staff needs help on. Currently there are openings on Thursday afternoon from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Friday morning from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon. Training provided. Contact Laura Turner for  more information.

St. Luke’s Grow Ministries:

      • Vacation Bible School Volunteers: Volunteers are needed to help with this years Vacation Bible School. Come out and enjoy time with the children from around the community as a group leader, teacher of class, or prep work. Training provided. Contact Janet Chambers for more information.
St. Luke’s Care Ministries:
        • 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.
        • Transportation Volunteers: Volunteers are needed to transport individuals to doctor’s appointments, medical treatments, grocery/pharmacy, library, etc. on an as needed basis. Liability insurance required.
        • Food Volunteers: Do you enjoy cooking meals for others? Are you especially talented in “make ahead” meals? We need you! Food volunteers will help purchase ingredients and prepare cost effective and nutritional meals for those going through extended medical treatment. Additional food prep training provided.
        • Greeting Card Coordinator: A volunteer is needed to organize and coordinate the writing and sending of cards throughout the year. Cards are sent to shut-ins, stateside and deployed military and new members for six holidays. Volunteer will disperse cards to a team of inspirational writers and ensure cards are completed and sent on time. Cards and postage are provided by the church.

If you would like to serve in Care Ministries please email Kim Paredes or call 407.876.4991 ext. 262.

St. Luke’s Worship Ministries:

        • Connection Card Baskets: Meets on Fridays at 9:00 a.m. in the Sanctuary to replace connection cards, pens, and other basket items.
        • Worship and Welcome Volunteer Opportunities: It takes hundreds of volunteers to facilitate worship and connection at St. Luke’s each Sunday. Support your church, pastors, and staff by serving once a month as an Usher, Greeter, Connection Point Volunteer, First Time Guest Host, or Communion Server.

Learn more by emailing Luky Nova or calling 407.876.4991 ext. 215.

Click Here to view the various service opportunities on our campus and to get additional information.

SERVE LOCALLY 

God has uniquely gifted you to be “on mission” for His Kingdom! We have many opportunities for you to serve and share the love of Christ with others.

CLICK HERE to view opportunities to serve locally with your family and friends.

If you need help finding a place to serve that is right for you, contact Amy Winslow, Director of Missions, at 407.876.4991 ext. 297.

Click here to learn about St. Luke’s Community Transformation Initiative in East Winter Garden.

SERVE GLOBALLY

St. Luke’s is serving beyond Central Florida. Such global connections give us incredible opportunities to encounter Christ’s love and grace in a unique way – through the experience of people from other cultures – and use our resources with our partners so they can live out their calling to reach their communities.  There are several ways you can serve in St. Luke’s Global Missions Ministries even if you cannot/do not want to travel.

Click here to learn about St. Luke’s global missions partners. Contact Amy Winslow, Director of Missions, at 407.876.4991, ext. 297 to learn how you can participate in an international mission experience or support St. Luke’s global missions.

If you need help finding a place to serve that is right for you, contact Amy Winslow, Director of Missions, at 407.876.4991 ext. 297.

NEWSLETTERS

Please check out our Missions AND East Winter Garden E-Newsletters to find out the latest information on what is going on within the Serve Ministry!

Missions E-News

June 2015

East Winter Garden E-News

December 2016

 

Earlier Editions of East Winter Garden E-News

April 2014

November 2014

March 2015

November 2015

TRAINING INFORMATION

Welcome to our “Training Information” section where you can become familiar with our training held throughout the year and stay updated on the current training schedule. To learn more about training dates, contact Amy Winslow at awinslow@st.lukes.org

 

Bridges out of Poverty

This is a research based course designed to help people better understand how socioeconomic class has affected them. Bridges covers the “hidden rules” of class (poverty, middle, and wealthy) and helps people from all walks of life to better understand and communicate with people from a diversity of backgrounds.

Bridges also assists participants with understanding how to suspend their assumptions so as to begin building meaningful relationships across socioeconomic lines.

Whether you are serving an hour a year or 10 hours a week, in our community or elsewhere, this training is for you!

This is required training for Circle Allies.

Led by nationally certified facilitators through aha! Process, Inc. (www.ahaprocess.com)

Upcoming Date: Postponed, Date TBD

Time: TBD

Location: TBD

Fee: TBD

 

Facilitators: 
Mariam Mengistie*, Executive Director of Missions
Lynette Fields*, Executive Director of Community Transformation

*nationally certified trainers through aha! Process, Inc. (ahaprocess.com)

 

 

Cost of Poverty Experience (C.O.P.E.) 

The Cost of Poverty Experience is designed to help participants begin to understand what it might be like to live as a typical low-income family in the U.S. It is a two hour simulation and debriefing that provides a brief glimpse into what it feels like to walk for a month in the shoes of families trying their best to just survive with incomes between 100% and 200% of the federal poverty level. C.O.P.E. is an invaluable experience for people who, instead of merely talking about poverty as a problem, choose to be part of the solution to end poverty. This training is appropriate for middle school age and older individuals and for everyone serving locally.  

Led by nationally trained facilitators through Think Tank, Inc.

Upcoming Date: TBA

Time: TBA

Location: TBA

 

A recent Cost of Poverty Experience was featured on the Project Community Program on WESH 2. Click the link below to view.

 

 

 

Dignity Serves

Want to learn how to better serve people in your life? Dignity Serves teaches a powerful new paradigm of service called ‘dignified interdependence.’ Taught from a Christian perspective, this 6 lesson study will give you a useful toolkit to apply in all areas of your life – home, office, church, and neighborhood. Want to experience less guilt and frustration trying to help people? This training is for you. It has helped thousands of people since it first hit the scene in 2008.  Led by Phil Hissom.

 

Go All In

The percentage of children who live in poverty in the United States hasn’t changed in over a generation which means what churches, non-profit groups, and the government are doing to alleviate poverty is not working. This class is designed to help participants RETHINK assumptions we have about poverty and “the poor” so that we can RESET our understanding about the causes of poverty, and then RE-ENGAGE in the way we serve and set expectations for sustainable change.

Participants will cover the “hidden rules” of class (poverty, middle, and wealthy) and help people from all walks of life to better understand and communicate with people from a diversity of backgrounds based on the work of Ruby Payne. Participants will also gain a better understanding of our community transformation vision, how St. Luke’s understands mission from a United Methodist perspective, what the Bible says about poverty, and asset-based development.

This class will meet the requirement for Circles Allies, Family Advocates and others interested in serving in relationship-oriented mission ministries.

Meet Jesus on The Road

Participants will gain a better understanding of our community transformation vision, how St. Luke’s understands mission from a United Methodist perspective, what the Bible says about poverty, and asset-based development.  This course provides a safe environment in which to explore how you understand diversity and serving with people from very different backgrounds. 

 

Mission Effectiveness 101: Moving Beyond Benevolence

Explore ways to balance charity or relief work with initiatives that are relational and measure long-term impact.  Participants will discuss how to move beyond charity and benevolence toward a balance of missions that includes betterment and development. The workshop will discuss mission from a United Methodist and Wesleyan perspective, what the Bible says about poverty, and asset-based development. This course provides a safe environment in which to explore how to understand diversity, the personal filter one takes into the field when serving, and serving with people from very different backgrounds.

 

Racial Wealth Gap Learning Simulation

THE SIMULATION IS an interactive tool that helps people understand the connections among racial equity, hunger, poverty, and wealth. It is a good first step for people unaware of structural inequality, a support tool for those who want a deeper understanding of structural inequality, and a source of information for experts who want to know the quantifiable economic impact of each policy that has widened today’s racial hunger, income, and wealth divides.

In the simulation, participants learn how federal policies created structural inequalities—property ownership and education are just two among many areas affected—and how these policies increase hunger and poverty in communities of color. The simulation guides participants to an understanding of why racial equity is so important to ending hunger and poverty in the United States. Our hope is that participants, in becoming more aware of structural inequality, can support policies that undo and/or reduce disparities.

Since the simulation emphasizes the importance of racial equity, it can be a helpful companion tool for churches, organizations, agencies, schools, and communities that have begun working on race and want to learn more about the role that public policy has had, over time, in creating structural divides based on race.

The Racial Wealth Gap Learning Simulation was a joint effort from Bread for the World and NETWORK. The concept and design of the simulation was co-created by Marlysa D. Gamblin, a policy expert on the racial hunger, income, and wealth divide with Bread for the World Institute. She worked closely with Emma Tacke and Catherine Guerrier with NETWORK to pilot it for the first time at Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD) in April 2017. Afterward, Bread dedicated a full year to piloting the simulation in the field and making adjustments as necessary to ensure that this tool is helpful to a wide variety of communities in different settings.

 

Toxic Charity

Several times a year, we offer a six weeks study of this book. The book is helpful for learning how to serve others in ways that are not harmful, but rather maintain the dignity, independence, and hope of recipients. It provides insight into how to be aware of and check our intentions for undertaking acts of charity. It also provides insight into the complexities of poverty.

Bob Lupton, the author, has more than 30 years of community transformation experience in Atlanta. He wrote this book with the hope of offering tools and inspiration for the development of healthy, community driven programs that produce deep, measurable, and lasting change – transformative charity that produces community development.

To get a copy of this book, contact Amy Winslow at awinslow@st.lukes.org                                                                                                                                           

 

Understanding CQ (Cultural Intelligence)

CQ is the capability to function effectively in a variety of cultural contexts—including national, ethnic, organizational, generational, and many other cultures. Enhance the multicultural understanding and effectiveness of your ministry with this only evidence-based assessment of Cultural Intelligence (CQ). This is for anyone wanting to participate in a global ministry team or serving locally in a cross-cultural setting.

Upcoming Event Date: TBA

MEET THE STAFF

 Staff

      • Mariam Mengistie, Executive Director of Missions
        Responsible for the overall vision and strategy for missions at St. Luke’s.  Works with lay leadership in developing strategy and implementation of Orlando and Global Missions, liaison with local community partners at the organizational level, and connects with global mission partners and supporting organizations in those countries. Serves on the Leadership Team (pastors and Executive Directors) of St. Luke’s. Click Here to contact.
      • Amy Winslow, Director of Missions
        Develops service opportunities from entry level through habit and leadership, coordinates community service days, family and intergenerational mission trips, seasonal projects including Wish Tree, Backpack drive, and Bags of Grace, & ensures quality of volunteer experience and Missions Communications.  Click Here to contact. 
      • Peggy Caverly, Administrator of Missions
        Preparation and updates to the Mission Calendar, communications utilizing the Marketing Ministry area for promotion of Mission Events and needs and posting needed information on all forms of internal promotion, budgeting and record keeping (attendance, registrations, events, etc.).  Click Here to contact.                   

East Winter Garden Staff

      • Lynette Fields, Executive Director of Community Transformation
        Oversees the Community Transformation Initiative in East Winter Garden, and serves on the Leadership Team (pastors and Executive Directors) of St. Luke’s.  Click Here to contact.
      • Adam Hartnett, Director of Neighborhood Ministries
        Ground-level liaison between East Winter Garden and St. Luke’s, provides volunteer support and communication, relates to EWG organizations, encourages leadership development of residents, and implements asset-based community development practices.  Click Here to contact.
      • Ruth Berlus, Associate Director of Neighborhood Ministries
        She will be working in East Winter Garden being present in the neighborhood and assisting with the work of our community partners. Click Here to contact.

Visit the My St. Luke’s site to sign up for the following: Other Active Volunteer Opportunities Within the Church and Within the Community.

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