Hello St. Lukers,
We were so excited when we were asked to write the Weekly Update on “Going all in.” My wife, Cherie, and I would love to share our story with you. We moved to Central Florida from Knoxville, TN in mid-2017 to be near Disney. We soon learned that as great as the mouse is, it didn’t fill that place where you need fellowship with others so we began searching for a church home. Cherie found St. Luke’s on the internet during a search for a preschool job and we started watching St. Luke’s live on Facebook. Our first time on the campus was on Ash Wednesday. Now this wasn’t an ordinary Ash Wednesday, it was also Valentine’s Day 2018, and we quickly learned that St. Luke’s isn’t an ordinary church. The service was full of inspiration, hope, and love. We left with tears in our eyes, black ink on our thumbs, and hope in our hearts that we had found our new church home. We joined the next meet-n-greet that was offered and that launched us on our way to becoming members.
One of the many great things at St. Luke’s is the abundant ways in which to use your time, talents, and gifts to serve God and others. We were very involved in our previous church and couldn’t wait to get started here. We joined the Connect Council, attended Bible studies, book clubs, and the Theme Park Cluster Group. It is hard being in a new place as the “new kids in school” but St. Luke’s was quick to embrace us and made it easy for us to “Go all in.” One big way we connected is through the annual Trunks, Treats & More block party. We were able to work side by side an intergenerational team of volunteers, many of whom we did not know but now consider friends. It was beautiful to see retired people serving with teenagers and families working together to bring fun and fellowship to others in the community. The night’s cherry on top was the amazing Candy, Sweets & Musical Treats concert in the Sanctuary. What a talented group of people. Thank you to everyone who came out and volunteered your time, donated candy for trunks, donated food for Farmworkers Association of Florida, decorated a trunk (table), or just simply attended the event and exhibited the grace and love to those around.
We are a witness that “Going all in” at St. Luke’s gives you the opportunities to make connections with people who you never would have before, all while serving God and the community. We are UT Vol fans, and they have a plaque over the door to the football field that says “I will give my all for Tennessee today.” Each player touches the sign as they go out on the field to inspire them to leave everything out on the field. We love this symbolic action as a reminder to go out in our daily lives and give all we have for God today. “Little children, let’s not love with words or speech, but with action and truth” 1 John 3:18. The Trunks, Treats & More event was a great example of St. Lukers giving their all and leaving everything out on the floor for God. It could not have been done without every single one of you and you can rest assured that you made a difference in the community. Now we want to rally everyone together and as you leave your home, office, or church reach up to the door give a little tap and commit to giving your all for God today.
See you Sunday,
Donna and Cherie
St. Luke’s Connect Council and Grow Council members