St. Luke's United Methodist Church


4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Road
Orlando, FL 32819


A Note from Mariam Mengistie-August 6, 2020

Posted on August 6, 2020 at 2:50 pm in .

Dear St. Lukers,

When I hear the word “lavish,” the mental image I have is of my one and only experience at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The word triggers this image because that Saturday morning, I was filming a video in a low-income neighborhood listening to residents tell their life experiences of poverty, insecurity, and yet their pride in their community. Then later that afternoon, I was at a friend’s house overlooking one of the numbered golf holes (I’m a soccer girl with no knowledge of golf), enjoying hors d’oeuvres and cold drinks with her neighbors while waiting for Tiger Woods to walk by during his turn. It was cool to see Tiger Woods up close, but the juxtaposition of my morning and afternoon in one day was too much to wrap my head around the huge economic and social gaps in our community.

Often, our worldly lens through which we interpret words and concepts distort what could be a beautiful and wholesome expression of God. God’s “lavish” love is an invitation for us to love recklessly, abundantly, and sacrificially. That love comes, and should come, to life through us as followers of Christ. As a St. Luker and a part of the Missions Team, I have the privilege of witnessing this love expressed through your dedication and sharing your time, talents, and treasures in such meaningful ways. We see it tangibly when you:

  • Roll up your sleeves and distribute 1,512 cases of produce, 1,296 gallons of milk, and thousands of heads of lettuce to individuals and our community partners – that’s over 6,000 people supported!
  • Generously contribute to St. Luke’s Coronavirus Emergency Help Fund, which is Restoring Hope to people during this health, economic, and social crisis
  • Bake, glean, pick up baked goods from Publix for various food distributions
  • Support 15 weeks of food distribution in East Winter Garden for an average of 800 people a week
  • Love your neighbor by making more than 2,500 meals (and counting) available to the arts community impacted by loss of income and jobs week after week
  • Refurbish used laptops and computers so 17 local families and children can do school work online and individuals can work virtually
  • Bless 3 families with donated cars who would have otherwise been unable to work or be independent

So, thank you for your lavish love, St. Lukers! We are restoring hope in these difficult times. In the book The Prophet, Khalil Gibran says, “When you love, you should not say ‘God is in my heart,’ but rather, ‘I am in the heart of God. And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worth, directs your course.”

This coming Sunday, we will continue this Kingdom work, so make plans to join the movement and learn more during worship on Facebook LIVE.

Hope and grace,

Mariam Mengistie

St. Luke’s Executive Director of Missions

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