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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COVID-19 Help & Updates

Posted on March 4, 2020 at 2:48 pm in .

I NEED ASSISTANCE

To be able to provide beneficial help and support during this time of COVID-19, please complete St. Luke’s short questionnaire. We want you to know that we respect your privacy and that only a trained St. Luke’s staff member or trained volunteer will see your responses. Your answers will help us to determine how we can best help you and connect you to valuable resources and others who can serve as emotional, educational and spiritual support during this difficult time.

I WOULD LIKE TO HELP

You can be a ray of light and hope during this season of COVID-19. Use your spiritual gifts and other resources to encourage and support others who are struggling. Everyone has something to give. Please take the brief questionnaire below to learn how you can help and demonstrate Christ’s love to others.

COVID-19 COMMUNITY RESOURCES

(Updated June 2 at 6:00 p.m.)

Please click the button below for COVID-19 related sources.

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!

COVID-19 CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTER UPDATES

Published 4/22/2020:

OCPS announced last Saturday, that schools will remain closed through the end of May.   Therefore, our Preschool and VPK classes will also remain closed through May. Additionally, PDO will be closed through the month of June. Updated information on prepaid tuition for April, May, and June is available under the “Frequently Asked Questions” section on the CDC website.

Published 4/1/2020:

OCPS has announced that schools will remain closed through May 1, 2020.

St. Luke’s CDC will continue to follow OCPS closure dates.

Attached is an article from Becky Bailey’s Conscious Discipline for School and Working from Home. In addition to the resources listed below, St. Luke’s website continues to provide opportunities for all family members to enjoy (www.st.lukes.org). The April newsletter which includes class calendars has been emailed and are posted on the CDC website.

Kids National Geographic

Free School YouTube Channel

Netflix: Science for Kids

Please let us know how we can assist you and your family.  We continue to remember our families in our thoughts and prayers.

“Do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ~ Isaiah 41:10  

Published 3/19/2020 at 10:00 p.m.:

Dear Child Development Center Families,

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your children as we navigate these uncharted waters together. Following the Governer’s announcement, St. Luke’s CDC will remain closed until April 15. We will miss seeing you and the children while we are apart but we are working on ways to connect with you remotely. St. Luke’s has already started sharing videos like daily bedtime stories and enrichment activities for the kids that can be viewed here. New stories are posted daily and new activities are posted on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

For adults, St. Luke’s has daily devotional videos posted to our Facebook page every morning at 6:00 a.m., work out videos on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 10:00 a.m., and lots of new online classes starting next week (link coming soon to Facebook). Fun opportunities for families to connect online are coming soon as well.

If you have questions or need assistance, please call the office at 407.876.1155. You can visit the Child Development Center webpage or click here to view important updates from St. Luke’s.

You can also connect with St. Luke’s through social media via the icon buttons below. Thank you for following the recommended guidelines for social distancing to ensure the health and safety of our CDC family.

– Debbie, Cindy, and St. Luke’s Executive Leadership Team and Council

P.S. This Sunday, we invite you to worship with us on Facebook LIVE at 9:30 a.m. 

Published 3/12/2020:
Dear CDC Families,

It’s hard to believe how quickly things change. We invite you to join us in praying for all those affected by novel coronavirus (COVID-19), our leaders, and first responders as they seek to care for those who are ill. We lament the lives lost and hearts that are hurting, broken, and anxious.

We believe the role of the church is to be good stewards of each of you and the community God has given us to love. We want to be smart and proactive in our planning, so we continue to be a place of hope, safety, and comfort for all our students and families. This is a time to be community while protecting ourselves and our families and ensuring the safety of others, especially those most vulnerable to this virus.

Click here to read the CDC’s guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

St. Luke’s CDC Directors, Executive Leadership Team and Executive Council are closely monitoring state and local advisories related to COVID-19 and taking precautions, recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), to prevent the spread of this and other illnesses.

Following Orange County Public Schools announcement today, St. Luke’s CDC will also be closed the week after our scheduled spring break and remain closed until at least March 30. The safety of our students, families, congregation, community, and staff is our highest priority. In addition to this school closure, effective Sunday, March 15, St. Luke’s campus will temporarily suspend in-person meetings for the next week and public worship on campus through the end of the month.

This Sunday, we invite you to watch Contemporary worship at 9:30 a.m. and Traditional worship at 11:00 a.m. live on Facebook. (click below at these times).

Click here to watch St. Luke’s worship.

We want to be extra cautious because of the high volume of activity on our campus each day.

St. Luke’s is helping prevent the spread of illness by:

Enhancing cleaning procedures for high-touch surfaces like tables, chairs, doorknobs and push bars in all buildings using hospital-grade EPA recommended cleaning solutions to combat the spread of viruses
Offering hand sanitizing stations around campus and sharing best practices for handwashing
Asking guests and staff experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 to stay home to care for themselves and as a precaution for others
Continuing to offer hospital and home visits as well as crisis support by our pastoral team while temporarily suspending visits by our lay Care Visitation Team members. (Lay teams will continue care through check-in phone calls to meet congregational care needs)
Contacting St. Lukers in high-risk groups to ensure they are prepared, not left in isolation, and have access to worship and attend studies online as well the latest health information
Providing study/care group leaders information and guidance so they may choose to hold classes virtually over Zoom (online/over the phone) rather than in-person (instructions coming soon)
As the situation develops, St. Luke’s will provide updates about scheduling changes, worship services, and more through regular communication channels.

For the latest updates, visit www.st.lukes.org/stayhealthy.

You can also connect with St. Luke’s through social media (@stlukesorlando) and the St. Luke’s Orlando app, available on the App Store and Google Play, as well as continue to support our vital ministries by giving online.

Thank you for doing your part to ensure the health and safety of our CDC family.

– Debbie, Cindy, and St. Luke’s Executive Leadership Team and Council

COVID-19 GENERAL UPDATES

Published on: 6/20/2020

Dear St. Lukers,

St. Luke’s Campus Reopening Task Force met yesterday in response to the rising number of positive COVID-19 cases in Florida and Orange County, as well as the Mayor’s decision to create an executive order requiring face coverings in public. While we see constant changes in virus confirmations and information, St. Luke’s commitment to your health and safety remains our top priority.

Upon evaluation of data from the Orange County Health Department, the daily positivity rate percentage has moved from hovering around 5-6% over the last weeks to raising over the last three days to 15% on Friday. The average median age is also on a downtrend, meaning the average age has shifted to not only affect grandparents but now moving toward the ages of parents and caregivers of our children and youth.

The Task Force has requested we hold on moving to the first phase of hosting small in-person groups on campus until there is more consistent trend data. In the meantime, the Task Force and Directors will meet with two different healthcare providers on Tuesday to gain more information. The first meeting will be a walk-through of our facility to ensure spacing, sanitation, and ventilation are correct to provide the safest conditions possible. The second will be a meeting with a data analytics specialist who will provide further information on trends to watch. We will utilize information from these meetings as well as an agreed-upon dashboard of metrics to continue evaluating operating decisions for our church and outreach to the community.

Questions can be submitted to the Task Force by clicking here. We are grateful for your patience and understanding as we move through these times and we encourage you to pray for one another and take care of yourself and those around you.

With Hope and Healing,

St. Luke’s Campus Reopening Task Force

Katy Slack Chair, Church Council
Jim Atchison, Vice Chair, Church Council
Jon Crump, Chair, SPR
Debby Zutter, Chair, Trustees
Warren Willis, Co-Lay Leader
Yvette Desrosiers-Alphonse,  Co-Lay Leader
Phyllis Van Dyke Thompson, Church Council member
Janet Burnley, St. Luke’s member
Jennifer Stiles Williams, Scooter Leonard, Dawn Fleming, Melissa Cooper, Steve Schneeberger


Published on: 6/4/2020

St. Luke’s Campus Reopening Task Force, which included staff, lay leaders, chairs of Trustees, Church Council, Staff Parish, and lay leaders from theme parks and local business, created a phased approach to engaging ministry on St. Luke’s campus. The Task Force’s recommendations were shared with Church Council on Tuesday night.

The phased approach was created with the grounding of:

  • St. Luke’s Core Values: Christ-centered Love lived out in Acceptance, Hospitality, Community, Discipleship, Service
  • The three General Rules of the Methodist Church: Do no harm, Do good, Attend to the ordinances of God
  • St. Luke’s COVID-19 Priorities: Safety and healthConnection and careFinancial strength and support

The recommendations help create a roadmap for staff and leaders to slowly and cautiously begin to offer on-campus ministry in addition to continuing ministries online. Precautions from resources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) include:

  • Utilizing face coverings
  • Washing/sanitizing hands frequently
  • Providing additional hand sanitizing stations
  • Maintaining social distancing including seating in venues
  • Increasing sanitation practices after every gathering
  • Disinfecting areas of campus daily between noon – 2:00 p.m. and nightly

These precautions will be part of our new social covenant with one another.

In early May, St. Luke’s solicited feedback on reopening campus by sending out a church-wide survey. The survey responses from St. Lukers were used in addition to other resources in preparing the phased reopening plan.

On Monday, June 8, St. Luke’s staff members will begin returning to work on campus as needed in a staggered schedule. We will continue to encourage our most vulnerable staff to telework and those on campus will practice our new precautions of face coverings in common areas, social distancing, continued online meetings, and using new sanitation equipment and protocols.

St. Luke’s first public phase will begin after the June 15 guideline from the Florida Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and approximately 2-3 weeks after the first theme park opens. This first phase will include:

  • Opening the church office for limited hours by appointment only
  • Opening the Sanctuary during specific weekday hours for private worship
  • Welcoming small groups of 15 or less to gather on campus

You will notice signage about St. Luke’s new campus protocols at the entrance to each building.

It is important to note that St. Luke’s phases are subject to change. Each slow, strategic phase of reopening will begin approximately 2-3 weeks after the prior phase and about 1 stage behind state and county guidelines. With each subsequent phase, there will be added numbers and hours to the maximum capacity. Any spikes or concerning rise in rate of positivity will be used to revise and postpone the movement to the next phases.

We all want to know more about returning to on-campus worship, so members of the Campus Reopening Task Force have compiled resources and information to consider:

St. Luke’s current online worship enables us to gather with the most people possible, utilize more people to represent St. Luke’s diversity, utilize musicians and singers without limitation, allowing you, your family, friends, and those who are new to St. Luke’s to fully sing, participate, and connect from anywhere in the world. Our goal is to continue to upgrade our ability to offer online worship and help you connect to worship together in neighborhoods or small groups.

For these reasons, we will not begin to gather for corporate worship on Sundays until the last phase. In Phase 2A, we will host designated times for you to gather privately in the Sanctuary throughout the week with liturgy, scripture, prayers, and pre-recorded music. We know sacred space is important and this may be helpful for your personal worship discipline. Days and times will be shared as we enter Phase 2A.

We will continue to update you as we move into each phase. Click here for an overview of St. Luke’s Campus Reopening Phases.

St. Luke’s is developing policies and procedures including this permission form for Children’s and Youth Ministries. These guidelines along with St. Luke’s phased Campus Reopening Plan are being reviewed by Andy Gardiner, Sr. Vice President for External Affairs and Community Relations at Orlando Health and Dr. Donald Plumley, Pediatric Surgeon with Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact St. Luke’s Leadership Team. You will receive a response within a day.

May we always hold true to those who prayer walked St. Luke’s campus forty years ago before there were any buildings. May our number one concern be to uphold the sacred worth and value of every person who steps on these grounds physically, emotionally, and spiritually in the name of Jesus Christ.

Published 4/28/2020:

Last week, St. Luke’s Church Reopening Task Force met online. The group is meeting again this week and working in subcommittees to evaluate how and when St. Luke’s campus will reopen to the public. The health and safety of our staff, congregation, and community is our highest priority. Below is a reminder for all individuals to continue to practice good hygiene and physical distancing.

Published 4/1/2020:

St. Luke’s campus is closed to all groups and public worship through May 1, this includes the Child Development Center. St. Luke’s staff continue to work from home as they are able. St. Luke’s Community Counseling Center continues to schedule appointments as needed.

Published 3/17/2020 at 9:00 p.m.:

Dear St. Lukers,

You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress my God, in whom I trust.” 

It is redundant to speak of how this is a time like none other. The leaders of our nation, state and city have advised recommendations in order to contain and stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Hour by hour there is new information and updates and we are committed to follow guidelines and keep our congregation informed and connect.

St. Luke’s campus is closed to all groups and public worship through March 30. Staff have been encouraged and resourced to work from home and hourly employees will continue to be paid for their regular workweek hours. The Counseling Center will continue to work as needed by their clients, and any work which must be done from the campus will be done by a small number of staff holding to social distancing guidelines. 

Your Ministry Leadership staff have agreed to three primary objectives during this unprecedented time in our lives.

– Safety and Health of Everyone

– Support and Care of Everyone

– Financial Strength and Resourcing

All ministry created, continued or refocused will seek to articulate and support these three priorities of St. Luke’s in the coming week. We will need your help as people committed to our vision and values to make these priorities come to life in tangible ways. Here is how you can stay connected AND do your part during this vital time of ministry.

1. Safety and health of everyone – We ask every St. Luker to live our core value of Hospitality and care for the safety of ourselves as individuals and families and the care and safety of others around you. You can be a carrier of this virus and have no symptoms so please consider this during the next fifteen days and beyond.

2. Support and Care of Everyone – This is a season of learning how to deepen our spiritual life, caring for our anxiety and worries, and centering deep in skills of prayer, meditation, study and worship. We also want to find new ways of being in community with one another.

a. Worship will continue on Facebook LIVE, Sundays at 9:30 a.m. – with new restrictions we will be offering very creative worship with prerecorded music by our choir and praise team, with live liturgy and message. You can watch worship any time after it’s recorded if you are not available to join us live at 9:30.

b. Social Media – St. Luke’s staff members are adding creative ministry to social media daily with morning devotion times, exercise, bedtime stories, and contemplative space for breathing. A calendar of online events will be available soon so you can plan to join us live, attend a watch party online, or view previously recorded videos and webinars. You can access content through our Facebook page without creating an account or through our website.

c. Online or Conference Call Learning Platforms – If you’ve been meaning to join the church, this Sunday we will offer our “Discover St. Luke’s” class remotely. Click here to register and receive a link to join online or a number to call if you need an audio only option. Youth Ministries will start online chat groups, Pastor Bill will be teaching his Passion Play Pilgrimage study on Zoom, and others of us will begin new studies on Zoom as well. If you need help connecting with St. Luke’s online, please call 407.876.4991 or email us and we will help you get connected.

d. Calling Teams – our Grace Call, Care Visitation, and Connect Teams have been calling our most senior members and those in the hospital or assisted living homes. We would love to expand that list of those called but need your help. If you would like to join that volunteer work please contact Kim Paredes, Director of Care Ministries.

e. Neighborhood Ministry Teams – St. Lukers living in clustered neighborhoods can check in with one another for support and encouragement. If you would like to reach out and be a captain in your area, please contact Liz Vasquez, Director of Connect Ministries.

3. Financial strength and resourcing – We are going to need to be prepared to continue and even build on our ministry of helping those in need during these weeks and months. We have a commitment to continue the work we began during the 2008 recession by eliminating any unnecessary spending and to use as many resources as possible to support our congregation and community during this time. We will need your help in continuing to give as public worship is the place we receive the majority of our ministry income. You can give by:

a. Using the outside dropbox attached to Building C, it will be checked on a regular basis for security

b. Setting up a recurring bank draft (for assistance click here)

c. Giving online or through the app

d. Going above and beyond, now more than ever we will need special gifts for supporting our congregation and community. Please consider a special gift for our ministry so we can live into the call of God’s church to help and fill the gaps in our community.

We say this is unprecedented, however, all we have to do is look to scripture to find the beginnings of this kind of community we need to see come to life in our nation and world. The birth of the early church happened in the midst of a difficult time. And yet with the power of the holy Spirit, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers, awe came upon everyone, …All who believed were together and had all things in common. They would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need…praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.”

Thank you for being a St. Luke’s family who is willing to do whatever it takes to be ALL IN to our values, mission, and call from God. We will get through this together, and come out stronger in our witness and faith working together in new ways to be the Church for our city and neighbors.

Grace and peace,

Jenn.

Published 3/13/2020 at 2:15 p.m.:

Dear St. Lukers,

It’s hard to believe how quickly things change. We invite you to join us in praying for all those affected by novel coronavirus (COVID-19), our leaders, and first responders as they seek to care for those who are ill. We lament the lives lost and hearts that are hurting, broken, and anxious.

We believe the role of the church is to be good stewards of each of you and the community God has given us to love. We want to be smart and proactive in our planning, so we continue to be a place of hope, safety, and comfort for all. This is a time to be community while protecting ourselves and our families and ensuring the safety of others, especially those most vulnerable to this virus.

Click here to read the CDC’s guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

St. Luke’s Executive Leadership Team and Executive Council are closely monitoring state and local advisories related to COVID-19. The church is taking precautions, recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), to prevent the spread of this and other illnesses.

Worship is important in times like these. Following the recommendation of Orange County and City of Orlando officials, and with the safety of our congregation, community, and staff as our highest priority, effective Sunday, March 15, St. Luke’s campus will temporarily suspend in-person meetings for the next week and public worship on campus through the end of the month. 

This Sunday, you can watch Contemporary worship at 9:30 a.m. and Traditional worship at 11:00 a.m. live on Facebook. (click watch below at these times).

CLICK HERE TO WATCH WORSHIP 

*Ticket holders for Steel Magnolias will receive an email today with more information on scheduled shows.

We want to be extra cautious with the lives of our congregation and community God has entrusted us to shepherd especially because of the usually high volume of guests present on our campus each day. Ministry leaders and participants will receive communication from St. Luke’s staff members next week with options for connecting remotely (online or via phone).

St. Luke’s is helping prevent the spread of illness by: • Enhancing cleaning procedures for high-touch surfaces like tables, chairs, doorknobs and push bars in all buildings using hospital-grade EPA recommended cleaning solutions to combat the spread of viruses

  • Offering hand sanitizing stations around campus and sharing best practices for handwashing
  • Asking guests and staff experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 to stay home to care for themselves and as a precaution for others
  • Continuing to offer hospital and home visits as well as crisis support by our pastoral team while temporarily suspending visits by our lay Care Visitation Team members. (Lay teams will continue care through check-in phone calls to meet congregational care needs)
  • Contacting St. Lukers in high-risk groups to ensure they are prepared, not left in isolation, and have access to worship and attend studies online as well the latest health information
  • Providing study/care group leaders information and guidance so they may choose to hold classes virtually over Zoom (online/over the phone) rather than in-person (instructions coming soon) As the situation develops, St. Luke’s will provide updates about scheduling changes, worship services, and more through regular communication channels.

For the latest updates, visit www.st.lukes.org/stayhealthy.

You can also connect with St. Luke’s through social media (@stlukesorlando) and the St. Luke’s Orlando app, available on the App Store and Google Play, as well as continue to support our vital ministries by giving online.

This Sunday we will meet the woman at the well as we hear Jesus help her and all of us know our value and learn to BeLOVED. You are each precious to us and we hope we can be a beacon of hope and community during this time. Thank you for doing your part to ensure the health and safety of our extended St. Luke’s family.

– St. Luke’s Executive Leadership Team and Council

We fix our eyes on Jesus

God promises that He will never leave us or forsake us. As we seek His heart, we find hope for our souls and strength to face whatever is in front of us. Our situation may not change, but when we spend time in God’s Word, our perspective shifts.

When you call on me,

when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen.

– Jeremiah 29:12

Published 3/4/2020:

St. Luke’s Executive Leadership Team and elected leaders are closely monitoring official advisories related to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and taking precautions to prevent the spread of this and other illnesses. The well-being of our staff, teachers, students, counselors, clients, congregation, and community is our highest priority.

The Center for Disease Control offers the following guidance to help prevent the spread of viruses:

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (you can also clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-95% alcohol)
  2. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and immediately throw away the tissue in a no-touch trash receptacle (an elbow or shoulder should be used if no tissue is available)
  3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth to help prevent the spread of germs

St. Luke’s is helping prevent the spread of illness by:

– Enhancing cleaning procedures for high-touch surfaces like tables, chairs, door knobs and push bars in all buildings using recommended cleaning solutions to combat the spread of viruses like the flu.

– Offering hand sanitizing stations around campus

– Temporarily discontinuing our practice of shaking hands during the passing of the peace and holding hands during the benediction. During the passing of the peace we invite you to place your hands over your heart, smile, wave, and/or nod and say “peace be with you” to greet those around you.

Thank you for doing your part to ensure the health and safety of our extended St. Luke’s family.

DAILY DEVOTION VIDEOS – MOVING

*The Daily Devotion videos are moving!! Watch them all here: st.lukes.org/devotions

We are praying for you and your families during this time of anxiety and social distance. Join St. Luke’s pastors and staff in a daily devotion, and find some quiet and peace through prayer, Scripture, and love.

 


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