St. Luke's United Methodist Church


4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Road
Orlando, FL 32819
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A Note from Pastor Jenn-October 5, 2023

Posted on October 5, 2023 at 11:41 am in .

Dear St. Lukers,

Shout out to our Missions servant leaders who helped us celebrate World Communion in tangible ways in worship on Sunday. We aided farmworkers by purchasing UV protection shirts and bandanas, raised awareness and prayers for our newest ZOE Empowers families in Rwanda and Zimbabwe, plus supported their business by purchasing over $1,000 worth of their handmade fans and Christmas cards, and we are adding to our collection of signed Right To Clean Water petitions. If you took some petitions with you to be signed, you can find colorfully decorated boxes all around campus to drop them in – remember, our goal is 2,000 by November 30!

Worship was full of great leadership by our children and youth as we gave away storybook Bibles to kindergarteners. We believe it’s important to support children and families as they Learn God’s story together, and your gifts make it possible to give Bibles to our kindergarteners, third graders, eighth graders, and graduating students each year. Your generosity through your offerings enables us to begin building disciples at the youngest age and help them feel comfortable reading God’s story (by the way, did you know we have 165 new first-time givers to St. Luke’s this year! It’s so exciting for each of you to be a part of shaping young people’s lives and letting them know who they are as God’s beloved! THANK YOU for your generosity!).

This weekend 25+ confirmands, eighth grade and older, will be heading to Warren Willis UM camp for the annual Confirmation retreat. They will gather with youth from around the state to understand what it means to make their first public witness of following Jesus as a disciple, and what it means to be the United Methodist Church. I’m so proud that we continue to have young people make the decision to become a Partner in our church and take the membership vows. Confirmation Sunday is November 12 at the 11:15 a.m. service, and I invite each of you to mark it on your calendar to support these young people in their public confession of faith.

But they aren’t the only ones learning about the Wesleyan Way! Pastor Melissa and her team kicked off three new sessions of our new “Wesleyan Way” class, which has more than 65 people learning about our Methodist traditions and history. We have found that more and more people are beginning to join us who find themselves “deconstructing” their faith from other spaces, and have found that our Wesleyan theology gives them grace and space to connect again – learning first and foremost, as the children sang on Sunday, that they are NOT totally depraved, but deeply beloved and made in the image of God.

That’s what Jacob and Esau had to learn. They had to unpack their backpacks of generational struggle of deception, manipulation, and not feeling they were enough without a birthright, and instead claim who they were as men of God, content and fulfilled. Personal work had to come first before being able to reconcile. Which leads us to the last step in turning dysfunctional relationships into functional, healthy ones…the work of reconciliation and forgiveness. The number one thing I hear people of faith struggle with is the discipline of forgiveness. Join Pastor Jad and I this Sunday as we look at these disciplines and the obstacles that get in the way through the story of Joseph and his brothers. Check out our newest episode of “Your Week with St. Luke’s” for not only an overview, but a really unique take on reconciliation and its importance (available wherever you listen to podcasts).

There is so much happening and it couldn’t happen without U. Your support, your generosity, your passion for Christ and his church. St. Luke’s cannot be who God has called us to be without U. See you Sunday as we Love God together in worship.

Blessings, Grace, Peace, and Love,


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