St. Luke's United Methodist Church


4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Road
Orlando, FL 32819
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A Note from Mariam Mengistie-May 6, 2021

Posted on May 6, 2021 at 10:04 am in .

Dear St. Lukers,

“It takes a village!” So, goes the saying. It does take a proverbial village at St. Luke’s to do mission ministries well and across the globe. You became “the village,” once again in a tangible way during Lent to help support those facing food insecurity in our community and children in extreme poverty in Zimbabwe. Because of your generous giving, we can partner with 100-120 Zimbabwean children through ZOE Empowers as they begin their journey from extreme poverty and isolation, to a thriving community in just three years! It’s been an incredible privilege, inspiration, and learning experience being the sidekicks of ZOE children in Rwanda and Zimbabwe.

Here at home, you moved us almost half way to the financial goal we set for the weekly food distribution we started in April 2020 to support our neighbors who found themselves without income due to the pandemic, thanks to your Lenten Offering. The weekly food distribution is much more than just the food. One community member had this to say: “There are not words to express my gratitude. During a time when so much was low in my life, you were a light. You all don’t even know me, and you were a light. Your generosity kept me mentally afloat and restored my faith in the church. I am eternally grateful! P.S. The food was a bonus.”

Special offerings like the Lenten Offering enable us to reach more people beyond what the Operating Budget can. Thank you, St. Lukers!

The thing about a village is being in proximity to neighbors, where we can combine resources for the good of the community and learn each other’s stories. Mission work allows us to be part of the global God story by connecting us with communities we would not have known otherwise.

As Henri Nouwen put it, “community is first of all a quality of the heart. It grows from the spiritual knowledge that we are alive not for ourselves but for one another. Community is the fruit of our capacity to make the interests of others more important than our own (see Philippians 2:4). The question, therefore, is not ‘How can we make community?’, but ‘How can we develop and nurture giving hearts?’”

There are multiple ways we can continue to be in community with others using our spiritual gifts. On Sunday, May 23 we will hold Spiritual Gifts 101 classes to introduce the various gifts and look at how they work in our congregation and community. Identifying your spiritual gifts provides insight as to what you can do to achieve the most fulfillment in service, so register now for the session at 10:15 a.m. (click here) or the session at 12:00 p.m. (click here).

Join us this Sunday for worship at 9:15 or 11:00 a.m. either online or in-person as we continue to Come Alive as Jesus’ sidekicks, because it’s not St. Luke’s without U!


Mariam Mengistie, St. Luke’s Executive Director of Missions

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