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 Mariam Mengistie-April 30, 2020

Posted on April 30, 2020 at 3:50 pm in .

Dear St. Lukers,

I was in a virtual community meeting with other faith leaders who partner with Jobs Partnership. The meeting was a check-in to share how the virtual classes are going and what new ideas we have for the ministry after the shelter in place order is lifted. It’s typical to hear of big numbers from employment related statistics during these meetings. As you can imagine, we talked about the huge number of people who have lost income/jobs, and where Florida stands for unemployment nationally. It’s also typical that we start these meetings with devotion and prayer. In the devotion, we heard about Jesus feeding the multitude with only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. I find the juxtaposition of the statistics report and this Scripture story fascinating. My aha! moment was…there is a huge difference between the values of earthly and Kingdom numbers. Just like the disciples, it’s so easy to be overwhelmed by the number of needs and limited resources, although we know God will bless whatever we have to help those struggling.

So, here are some tangible ways we are stepping out in faith to assist our St. Lukers and the community during these troubling and uncertain times:

Social distancing Wednesday dinners

  • St. Luke’s is excited to announce our partnership with 4Rivers to bring a fun dinner option to our campus on Wednesdays in May starting May 6 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. The 4Rivers food truck will be at St. Luke’s selling their delicious food to grab-and-go. A special preview will be this Friday, May 1 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. 4Rivers will have 200 meals available for purchase, so come early! We will have signs on campus guiding traffic. Cold items are now available for pre-order only. Pick up your pre-ordered cold items Wednesdays starting May 6. To view the list of cold items available and details on pre-ordering click here.
  • 4Rivers will donate a portion of the proceeds to St. Luke’s Coronavirus Emergency Help Fund. Additionally, if you can donate $5 or $10 when you buy your dinner, we can use this money to sponsor individuals receiving hot meals through 4Roots (see details below). You can also donate the money ahead of time by clicking here (select “4Roots Meals Assistance” from the “Fund” dropdown menu).

4Roots meals at St. Luke’s to support the arts community

  • St. Luke’s, leaders in the arts community who are St. Lukers, and 4Roots are partnering to provide meals for 500 people from the arts community once a week starting the second week of May. $5 sponsors one hearty meal. The plan is to provide these meals and free/low-cost fresh produce (as they become available) throughout May and June to help individuals stretch their dollars while they are waiting to get help through government assistance or look for other jobs. The funds given by St. Luke’s and St. Lukers are the proverbial 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread, enough to sponsor 3 weeks of meals. If you would like to sponsor a week of 500 meals for $2,500, you can click here to make that happen (select “4Roots Meals Assistance” from the “Fund” dropdown menu).

“I Would Like to Help” and “I Need Help” forms

  • As you may have heard on Sunday during worship, St. Luke’s Care and Missions Ministries are putting together plans and resources to assist St. Lukers who are impacted by loss of jobs/income. We are building a team of volunteers with diverse gifts, skills, and connections. They will help us walk alongside individuals/families and support them as they navigate systems, resources, and future plans. The Coronavirus Emergency Help Fund will help us fill some of the gaps staff and volunteers identify. Click here to fill out the “I Would Like to Help” form to get involved, and click here to fill out the “I Need Help” form to be connected with various resources.

Fresh produce, meals, and baked goods for the East Winter Garden Community

  • St. Luke’s and its community partners are distributing fresh produce and meals to our neighbors in East Winter Garden – families we are supporting through Restoring Hope, Circles, and Maxey Elementary School. If you would like to volunteer to give out food or donate baked goods, please email Amy Winslow at awinslow@st.lukes.org.

Seed starters

  • To help the East Winter Garden community be food secure, St. Luke’s is partnering with a local organization growing vegetables and herbs. If you would like to join a group of Seed Starters, who grow seedlings to be planted in a community garden, email me at mmengistie@st.lukes.org.

Join us for worship online this Sunday as we begin a two-Sunday message of Baptism renewal and Covenant renewal. This week we will hear the results of Peters’ eyewitness testimony of Jesus risen, and be invited to be convicted, confess, and come back to the water for forgiveness. You will need a bowl of water large enough to place both your hands in, one for each person in your household, as well as the memento symbolizing the hope of resurrection for you. The following week we will encounter John Wesley’s full covenant renewal service as we ask ourselves what we have learned during this time that we want to hold onto as we begin to move into our ‘new normal.’

Grace and Peace,

Mariam Mengistie

St. Luke’s Executive Director of Missions

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