Published 3/13/2020 at 2:15 p.m.
Dear St. Lukers,
It’s hard to believe how quickly things change. We invite you to join us in praying for all those affected by novel coronavirus (COVID-19), our leaders, and first responders as they seek to care for those who are ill. We lament the lives lost and hearts that are hurting, broken, and anxious.
We believe the role of the church is to be good stewards of each of you and the community God has given us to love. We want to be smart and proactive in our planning, so we continue to be a place of hope, safety, and comfort for all. This is a time to be community while protecting ourselves and our families and ensuring the safety of others, especially those most vulnerable to this virus.
St. Luke’s Executive Leadership Team and Executive Council are closely monitoring state and local advisories related to COVID-19. The church is taking precautions, recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), to prevent the spread of this and other illnesses.
Worship is important in times like these. Following the recommendation of Orange County and City of Orlando officials, and with the safety of our congregation, community, and staff as our highest priority, effective Sunday, March 15, St. Luke’s campus will temporarily suspend in-person meetings for the next week and public worship on campus through the end of the month.
This Sunday, you can watch Contemporary worship at 9:30 a.m. and Traditional worship at 11:00 a.m. live on Facebook. (click watch below at these times).
*Ticket holders for Steel Magnolias will receive an email today with more information on scheduled shows.
We want to be extra cautious with the lives of our congregation and community God has entrusted us to shepherd especially because of the usually high volume of guests present on our campus each day. Ministry leaders and participants will receive communication from St. Luke’s staff members next week with options for connecting remotely (online or via phone).
St. Luke’s is helping prevent the spread of illness by: • Enhancing cleaning procedures for high-touch surfaces like tables, chairs, doorknobs and push bars in all buildings using hospital-grade EPA recommended cleaning solutions to combat the spread of viruses
- Offering hand sanitizing stations around campus and sharing best practices for handwashing
- Asking guests and staff experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 to stay home to care for themselves and as a precaution for others
- Continuing to offer hospital and home visits as well as crisis support by our pastoral team while temporarily suspending visits by our lay Care Visitation Team members. (Lay teams will continue care through check-in phone calls to meet congregational care needs)
- Contacting St. Lukers in high-risk groups to ensure they are prepared, not left in isolation, and have access to worship and attend studies online as well the latest health information
- Providing study/care group leaders information and guidance so they may choose to hold classes virtually over Zoom (online/over the phone) rather than in-person (instructions coming soon) As the situation develops, St. Luke’s will provide updates about scheduling changes, worship services, and more through regular communication channels.
For the latest updates, visit www.st.lukes.org/stayhealthy.
You can also connect with St. Luke’s through social media (@stlukesorlando) and the St. Luke’s Orlando app, available on the App Store and Google Play, as well as continue to support our vital ministries by giving online.
This Sunday we will meet the woman at the well as we hear Jesus help her and all of us know our value and learn to BeLOVED. You are each precious to us and we hope we can be a beacon of hope and community during this time. Thank you for doing your part to ensure the health and safety of our extended St. Luke’s family.
– St. Luke’s Executive Leadership Team and Council
We fix our eyes on Jesus
God promises that He will never leave us or forsake us. As we seek His heart, we find hope for our souls and strength to face whatever is in front of us. Our situation may not change, but when we spend time in God’s Word, our perspective shifts.
When you call on me,
when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen.
– Jeremiah 29:12