St. Luke's United Methodist Church


4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Road
Orlando, FL 32819
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A Note from Pastor Jenn-October 26, 2023

Posted on October 26, 2023 at 11:37 am in .

++++ The following Weekly Update was written before the mass shooting in Maine began, where as of this moment, the shooter has still not been found. The number of those who were killed is still on the rise as well as those injured, and two cities are on lockdown. St. Lukers have family and friends locked in their homes. Words cannot convey the fear, anger, and tragedy we all feel as we watch this story happen before our eyes. I am at a loss as to what to say because this kind of senseless violence happening again and again has used up my mental drawer of responses.

And as I sat staring at my computer with my hands paused on keys willing them to type something I remembered the words of Paul from Romans 8:

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. – Romans 8:26-28 (The Message)

May we trust the Holy Spirit that intercedes for us and the people of Maine. May we not just pray for peace, but be active in becoming people of shalom and grace in our own community.

Dear St. Lukers,

Last night on campus was the Fall Family Fun Night with our Children’s Ministry and Child Development Center families. It was a huge success with over 200 people enjoying food, games, music, and building community together. Thanks to all our volunteers and staff for your hard work, and to everyone who came out to celebrate!

We also thank all who showed up this week to start supporting the vision of More for Children and Youth in 24! We had a great turnout Tuesday night at the first listening discussion for 24 & More around the next impact on education. We had teachers, administrators, parents, volunteers, and people who are advocates for our children and youth engaged in conversations about the gaps people see, the assets St. Luke’s has, and possibilities of what we could do to support our community. We will be holding a follow-up meeting with new conversation starters in a month, so watch both here and in worship for the next date and time.

This past Sunday in the Sanctuary, I had the privilege of preaching for two people who made a huge impact on my life when I was a youth and young adult. Bishop Charlene Kammerer and her husband Leigh came into my life when I needed people to walk alongside me, speak truth, and see my potential. What a gift to be preaching about this vision with my own mentors right there in the room. They changed my life for sure, and I realize some of the relationships I have with young adults now are modeled on what they offered me.

This week we are looking at the story from Acts of the relationships between Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch. A story centered in how the Holy Spirit moves unlikely persons toward one another for moments of transformation. It’s a powerful image of mutuality that is foundational in our next 24 & More Vision pillar focused on Adults. Listen to this week’s podcast episode from Pastor Melissa as she gives us some context and teaching on this passage, and a special episode featuring St. Lukers talking about the role of mentors, to prepare for worship as we consider what MORE God has for us to do, but also for us to experience together.

Blessings and grace, and can’t wait to worship with you Sunday,


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