Dear St. Lukers,
Wednesday was an exciting morning for Shepherd’s Hope and St. Luke’s. Celebrating their next 20 years, Shepherd’s Hope broke ground on their West Orange Medical Clinic and Administrative Center on 9th Street in East Winter Garden. This new center brings the story of Shepherd’s Hope full circle as the first clinic around the corner from this site twenty years ago. We are excited to be a part of this new venture as we partner to help create a community kitchen in 1200 square feet in the new facility.
This community kitchen will be connected to our EWG Neighborhood Alliance and Winter Garden Community Garden. It will be both a teaching kitchen to promote and encourage healthy cooking and eating as well as a shared use kitchen for budding entrepreneurs in the food industry. It’s so exciting to be continuing with our first community vision of Shepherds Hope and connecting with our current community ministry of EWG to form new partnerships in this historic neighborhood. “Just look what God can do!” as a friend of mine always says.
This week we will continue to dream about new visions God has for St. Luke’s in building disciples on campus as well as building God’s Kingdom in the community and worldwide. We invite you to pray over and read our scriptures this week from the sermon on the mount, Matthew 5, specifically praying over verses 13 and 14.
Salt and Light is powerful imagery Jesus gives us to identify our lives and work as disciples. We are meant to be Salt adding “God’s flavors” to the world and being LIGHT in the darkness. After watching the tragedy of the Las Vegas shooting unfold Sunday night into Monday morning, I am not sure I’ve known a more pressing time than now for the salt and light of God to be focused for God’s children. Faithful followers that live out God’s love, mercy and justice are needed in our nation as we heal from this tragedy, the hurricanes and the divide that continues to grow between us. My heart breaks and longs for God to not only heal us but probably more important, to use us in powerful ways to be the embodiment of Christ in this world. As we gathered for prayer and communion on Wednesday night and watched the light of our prayer candles glow in the sanctuary, I was struck by how much one simple candle can pierce the darkness in the name of hope and love.
Sunday, we are going to dream again about how God wants to use our giftedness and strength as a body of Christ to make an impact in building disciples and revealing God’s Kingdom. You even get to vote!! You’ll have a chance to help us dream about how new ministry strategies and partnering with our current ministries could increase our impact of salt and light. If you aren’t here in person, we will have a voting opportunity online or connected with our Facebook live streaming so you can participate! Then head to the rotunda throughout the morning or next week to see the results!
This is an exciting time to be a part of St. Luke’s. Asking God how God wants us to build disciples and build the Kingdom is an opportunity for us to continue to stretch our faith and trust in where God will lead us. I pray you are willing to continue to journey with us.
Grace and Peace,