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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A Note from Janet Chambers-June 10, 2021

Posted on June 10, 2021 at 9:32 am in .

Dear St. Lukers,

“Cel…ebrate good times, c’mon!” Some of you may remember that 70’s Kool and the Gang song. It’s ok to date yourself…it is still played at parties! Our Child Development Center VPK students will be dancing down the Sanctuary aisles today to this song as they graduate from this 2020-2021 school year. A celebration indeed!

When I wrote the update back in August at the start of the school year, we had already delayed the start of the year by two weeks. We had many families still not ready to send their children into a group setting so we had approximately 50% of our enrollment to begin the year. We had many changes in procedures for keeping the children, families and teachers safe. We had extensive cleaning procedures. And we just didn’t know how it was all going to work out. But we kept our faith that God was watching over everything and that opening the school was what we needed to do. We needed to do this for families who were trying to piece together a work day. We needed to do this for the children who were struggling to have some kind of structured learning and social development. We needed to do this for the church. The church needed its sense of community where laughing children, even behind masks, provided a feeling that we were all in this together.

It seems more like 2 years have passed in this school year, rather than 10 months. But the lessons learned will carry over into the next school year.

God gives us strength to handle life more than we can ever expect.

Respecting differences is just that…different. Not right or wrong.

Just when you think you cannot be a good listener anymore, you find the ability to listen again. And listen to understand.

Everyone needs a hug.

The community spirit of these lessons and so many others that were learned throughout the year were ultimately what got us through to the end. The pastors will be preaching about Lessons Learned in the sermon series on Sunday and what being in community teaches us. Does your community support you in tough times? Does your community respect everyone’s differences? Does your community celebrate together?

Our preschool community will be celebrating our good times this week and looking to next year when our community will grow and change. We are adding an additional 4-year-old classroom to increase our VPK students by 25%. We are adding a new 5-day 3-year-old classroom to help our families who needed a full week of learning. We are adding hours to each day to help our working families with child care needs. We are adding additional days to our toddler classes so that our youngest children are cared for. We have much to celebrate with this upcoming school year! We will establish those community relationships again, bring more families into our community, and learn more lessons from each other!

Grace and peace,

Janet Chambers

Director of St. Luke’s Child Development Center

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