St. Luke's United Methodist Church


4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Road
Orlando, FL 32819
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A Note from Pastor Jenn-October 28, 2021

Posted on October 27, 2021 at 12:27 pm in .

Dear St. Lukers,

One of our stories as a congregation has been to walk alongside our siblings in our community, state, and around the world as they journey out of poverty and into stability. For me, the most life-changing stories have come from our partnership with ZOE Ministries. I was able to journey to Rwanda to meet our first ZOE family groups as they began a three-year journey to sustainable entrepreneurship. These were young men and women, many who were younger than my own children, living alone in isolation with no support. The ZOE Empowerment program brought these vulnerable children together to live in family groups, build businesses, and learn life skills to make them successful entrepreneurs. Their stories made me see my stories, and our stories in the small world of Dr. Phillips, in a very different light. Their courage made me rethink the stories I told my kids about what it means to pursue their own dreams of college and work. Their stories made me rethink my stories of struggle and resilience, and made me rethink how I wanted to spend my money and time serving people here based on the amazing model ZOE uses.

To date, St. Luke’s has sponsored 10 family groups representing more than 1,400 children since 2016 in the three-year ZOE Empowerment program. You can read more stories and see the statistics of success of this amazing ministry by clicking here. Each year we make sure there is money in our Operating Budget (which is funded through your weekly tithes and offerings) to continue our sponsorship of new ZOE Empowerment family groups, and we offer other creative celebration offerings for you to sponsor at least one group a year.

This year, we are trying a new celebration offering opportunity. We will be holding our first ZOE 5K run/walk on Saturday, November 13 starting at Family Church (formerly First Baptist Church of Windermere) located at 300 Main Street, Windermere, FL. You can register now to join other St. Lukers either in person or virtually. Click here for more information, for volunteer opportunities, and to sign up.

We are hoping, even if you don’t participate physically in the event, that with your offerings we can raise $8,500 – the first-year cost of sponsoring 90-120 orphans and vulnerable children – in Zimbabwe. If you would like to consider personally sponsoring your own family group, or join with some friends and family to sponsor a group, you can contact Mariam Mengistie, St. Luke’s Executive Director of Missions, for more information.

This Sunday we celebrate All Saints Sunday, honoring the lives of those St. Lukers who have passed over the last year. We begin the new chapter of The Stories We Live by understanding how we put our personal stories together as the church to create Our Stories of St. Luke’s and God’s witness. We will begin on Sunday to see how these saints left a legacy of what it means to LEAD our lives through the story of God and faith. We hope to see you Sunday for worship either online or in person, you won’t want to miss it.

Grace and peace,


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