St. Luke's United Methodist Church


4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Road
Orlando, FL 32819
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A Note from Mariam Mengistie-September 29, 2022

Posted on September 28, 2022 at 9:47 am in .

Greetings St. Lukers,

Prayers of safety and peace to us all, and the most vulnerable among us and in our community and state, as we experience the impact of Hurricane Ian. Join me also in lifting up our global neighbors nearby in Cuba and Puerto Rico, and far away in Pakistan and Japan. It had been a brutal summer with extreme weathers all over the world.

We sent out a message to you on Monday informing you that the church campus will be closed today (Thursday), and all on-campus activities are cancelled. We will also gather as one congregation for worship in the Sanctuary on Sunday (October 2) at 9:30 and 11:15 a.m. For this and more updates, please visit St. Luke’s Hurricane Resources page by clicking here.

In faith, we are looking forward to a special World Communion Sunday this coming Sunday! It is a special Sunday for St. Luke’s as we go All-In for Global Partners – partners we call friends, mentors, and neighbors! What a great opportunity for us to come together and join Christians from around the world in worship and Communion. Just imagine all voices in all languages raised up to glorify God! This World Communion is particularly special for us because we will be hearing from Barbara Matsanga, Country Manager of ZOE Empowers in Zimbabwe, who will be joined by two children from the ZOE Empowerment groups St. Luke’s is supporting. Come hear their powerful stories and what their gifts of faith, boldness, strategy, and focus mean to us as Christians and to our local ministries. Come hear what family and neighborliness means from the perspective of ZOE children.

Speaking of neighborliness, we were encouraged to learn that the Florida Conference and community partners know that St. Luke’s has been committed to supporting our neighbors. We have answered such calls to provide food and personal hygiene items for 50 migrant worker families in Wimauma in Hillsborough County who were terrified that they were going to be caught in Tropical Storm Ian without everything they needed. We were able to send the last batch of the shelf-stable items you donated this summer for Maxey Elementary families. This is because Maxey told us last week that they only needed fresh produce because they have another source for shelf-stable items right now. I don’t think this was a coincidence!

May this prayer prepare our hearts to hear the message on Sunday and renew us:

God of Life

Prepare our hands for a touch

A new and different touch

Prepare our hands for a touch

A touch of encounter

A touch of awakening

A touch of hope

A touch of feeling

Many are the worn-out gestures

Many are the movements frozen in time

Many are the useless excuses just to repeat attitudes….

Give us daring

to create new titles of community

New links of affection

Breaking away from old ways of relating,

Encouraging true, meaningful ways to move into closeness.

By Ernesto Barros Cardoso, Brazil

(from the book Gifts of Many Cultures: Worship Resources for the Global Community by Maren C. Tirabassi & Kathy Wonson Eddy)

Be safe!

Mariam Mengistie

St. Luke’s Executive Director of Missions

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