St. Luke's United Methodist Church


4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Road
Orlando, FL 32819
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A Note from Pastor Jenn-April 25, 2024

Posted on April 25, 2024 at 11:42 am in ,.

Dear St. Lukers,

As we move through this Eastertide season, we are concentrating on the power of resurrection at work – through the church and seeking to be St. Luke’s on Purpose. The Vision Team, Church Council, and your staff are spending a great deal of time honing what purposeful strategies, organizational alignment, and processes we can work on in 2024 to be ready to grow in the areas of our strategic vision.

Our 24 & More Vision calls us in many areas: to grow in intentional storytelling about who we are; to develop new online worship and teaching content to reach young adults, families, and newly retired 50+ neighbors; and to create leadership, arts, advocacy, and purposeful conversation opportunities for all ages. To do this work and to accomplish some of these goals, we recognize that we need to create some capacity in our work, staff, and volunteers.

We have over 100 volunteers every Sunday helping to create worship for those on campus and for St. Lukers watching online with us. Church expert studies, trends in digital media, and our demographics have taught us that we need to be able to do some very specific content creation with these volunteers “outside” of the normal worship time. These studies have also helped us understand that streaming a full online worship service is not the best evangelism to reach our growing community. Rather, the focus should be intentionally curated content and clips, snippets of our teachings, sermons, and music, which allow people in a digital world to experience who we are as a church, St. Luke’s core values, and the gospel of Jesus.

With summer on the way, we know most of our people travel throughout the months of June and July, making our worship attendance fluctuate. We know our online worship numbers rise, but on-campus attendance is always scattered across services, especially the 11:15 a.m. worship hour. With that said, this week Church Council approved a new Sunday worship schedule that we will live into this summer starting Memorial Day weekend (May 26):

  • Contemporary worship will continue in its current time frame of one worship service at 9:30 a.m.
  • Traditional worship will shift to one worship service at 10:00 a.m. in order to accommodate the merging of our two Traditional worshiping communities.

This change will allow those who worship at 9:30 a.m. to get a little more done in the morning, the 11:15 a.m. worshipers will come an hour earlier with the intention of helping the two groups meet in the middle, and we will use the summer to assess what is best for our fall schedule. Our Children’s Ministry will continue the excitement of The Treehouse in new ways, and our Hospitality Team will offer new ways to enjoy our famous fellowship, coffee, and donuts. This shift will also open up more space on Sunday mornings to create the excellent content we mentioned utilizing groups like our Sanctuary Choir, orchestra, and Praise Team, similar to the content you saw during the height of the pandemic.

Our Vision also calls us to create intentional “tabernacle ministries” off campus to meet people who are in that category of “nones and dones” we spoke about in worship, and to strengthen our bond and connection as a congregation through intentional discipleship and fellowship opportunities. We are already starting to create missional network relationships with other congregations in the area; as your pastors and staff, this allows for more opportunity to create relationships with new communities off campus on Sunday mornings, lead classes for those deconstructing faith, and teach congregation-wide studies.

We know that these intentional and “on purpose” changes will give us the capacity to do, be, and accomplish MORE in 2024 to reach people with the good news of resurrection, while introducing them to the church you love so much. It will give us as a church family more opportunity to create new fellowship and discipleship opportunities to grow together. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Thank you for your passion and love, and for continuing to help us live into our mission to the reveal the Kingdom.

With grace and love,

Pastor Jenn

Click here to read the full Weekly Update

General Conference Update

General Conference began this week with worship, and reports from young adults Senesie T. A. Rogers of Sierra Leone and Florida PhD student Alejandra Salemi! What a powerful witness of unity, power, and hope they shared. You can watch video recaps and watch the live stream of General Conference throughout the session by clicking here. St. Luke’s also put together a webpage with many helpful resources (click here to view the page) – there you will find our Church Council and Leadership Team statement in support and prayer for the focus of those 3 R’s of Regionalization, Revised social principles, and Removal of harmful language.

As of this morning, the plan for Regionalization has passed! Being as this is a change to the constitution, it will be sent back to the Annual Conferences to be voted on this summer and return to the General Conference for ratification. This is great news for how we work together as a worldwide church in the future.

Our Sanctuary Choir sang an amazing piece this week entitled “By Our Love,” and we wanted to share it with you as our prayer for the United Methodist Church in this time (click here to watch/listen). May you be filled with hope and pride of who and what God has called us to be to reach our community with the transformative love of the risen Lord, and what we can accomplish through God’s power for future generations, not just in Central Florida, but beyond.

St. Luke’s Staff Update

It is with mixed emotions that we share the news of Janet Chambers, our beloved St. Luke’s Child Development Center (CDC) Director, departure from her role at the end of the school year. Janet has been an integral part of our community, bringing passion, dedication, and warmth to her role, and we extend our heartfelt gratitude for her outstanding service.

Click the button below to read more information about this transition from Scooter Leonard, St. Luke’s Executive Director of Administration:

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