St. Luke's United Methodist Church

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4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Road
Orlando, FL 32819
407.876.4991
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Care Ministries

Photo taken prior to 2020

Our St. Luke’s Care Ministries provide love and support during the joys and trials of life through group programs and individual ministries. Below you can find support or volunteer to assist others with the support that they need.

Pastors, staff, and the Prayer Team pray for all prayer requests submitted weekly from online Connection Cards, website and personal prayer requests.

If you are facing a challenge and need assistance, have any questions, or want to serve as a volunteer, please contact Kim Paredes, Director of Care Ministries, at 407.876.4991 ext. 262.

In case of an emergency involving the death of a loved one or a hospitalization, call the Church office at 407.876.4991 ext. 316 so a pastor can support you through this time.


Recruiting Stephen Ministers for January 2022!

Are you a good listener? Would you like to learn to use that gift to serve others in a caring and Christian way? Consider applying to become a Stephen Minister. What is a Stephen Minister? They are lay congregation members trained to provide one-to-one care to those experiencing storms in life, such as grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, or relocation. Stephen Ministers come from all walks of life, but they all share a passion for bringing Christ’s love and care to people during a time of need.

Click here to view a short YouTube video about Stephen Minister training.

St. Luke’s is now recruiting for the 2022 training class for Stephen Ministers through October 17. Weekly online classes start Tuesday, January 11 and run through May 24 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Zoom. Discernment meetings will take place between October 15 and November 30. Click here to complete a fillable PDF application. Once finished, download and save the form with your information and email it to the Care office by Sunday, October 17. Contact the Care office at 407.876.4991 ext. 262 or email regarding any questions.

Life Events

 Births

St. Luke’s wants to celebrate your baby’s birth and welcome them to our church family. We can provide you with helpful information regarding childcare during worship, baptism classes/dates, and meal assistance for the family upon arriving home from the hospital. Notify the Care office at 407.876.4991 ext. 262 of a new birth.

St. Luke’s Care Ministries Directory

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Support Ministry

St. Luke’s is excited to offer a support group for parents of children and teens with Autism Spectrum Disorders. We invite you  to join this helpful support group on the second Thursday of the month (unless otherwise noted) at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom to share ideas, concerns, success stories, challenges and fellowship. A trained facilitator from UCF CARD (Center for Autism and Related Disabilities) will offer a brief topical lesson each month. Contact the Care office at 407.876.4991 ext. 262 or email if you have additional questions. 

Next Meeting: This support group will continue meeting online during this season of COVID-19. Our next meeting is Thursday, October 14 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Please contact the Care office for the Zoom meeting link and password.     

Care Ministries Volunteer Opportunities

St. Luke’s Care Ministries has immediate service opportunities in the following areas:
  • Prayer Follow Up Volunteers: Volunteers are needed to follow up with St. Lukers regarding  previously submitted prayer requests so the prayer team may continue to pray for them. You may call or email from the comfort of your home. Training provided.
  • Funeral Hosts: Volunteers are needed for funeral/memorial services. Tasks include directing people to the worship venue, restrooms, seats, reception area, assisting with floral arrangement arrivals, help setting up the Narthex area, passing out bulletins, opening doors and greeting guests as they arrive and tidying up afterwards. Dark professional attire recommended.
  • Baptism Hosts: Volunteer to assist families baptizing their infants/small children on the third Sunday of the month at the 9:15 a.m. contemporary worship or the 9:15 a.m. traditional worship service. Duties include greeting the families upon arrival, directing them to their reserved seats, pointing out the restroom facilities and family room in the back of each worship venue. Volunteers will also assist with taking a family baptism photo after the service.
  • Holiday Greeting Card Writers: Volunteers are needed to help write 12 – 14 holiday greeting cards at Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. St. Luke’s provides the cards, addresses, inspirational message and postage. You may write the cards from the comfort of your home and drop them in the mail in time for the holiday!
  • Veterans Greeting Card Writers: Join this fun group on campus to share fellowship and write cards to veterans residing at the Orlando VA Community Living Center four times a year.
  • Drivers: Volunteers are needed to drive St. Lukers to their doctor’s appointments/medical treatments, grocery store, pharmacy, library, etc. Meet new friends by helping someone get to where they need to be. Must have a valid driver’s license, auto insurance and pass a background check.

If you are interested in serving in any of the areas listed above, please email care@st.lukes.org or call 407.876.4991 ext. 262 for more information.

Caregivers Support Group – Next Meeting Sunday, September 12

Caring for a spouse, parent, or child with a long-term illness, special needs or age-related issues brings stress and unforeseen challenges to our lives. St. Luke’s invites you to attend a safe space for you to share your concerns, challenges and blessings with others who are experiencing similar situations. We will not meet during July or August. Take a small break from your routine on Sunday, September 12 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and join Pastor David Stephens and Care Ministry lay leaders online for candid conversations where you can share your struggles and blessings when caring for a loved one. If you haven’t been able to attend our meetings recently, we’d love to see you again in September.  Register now for our September meeting date as well as October through December. We hope you will join us.

Care Visitation Team

Photo taken prior to 2020

St. Luke’s Care Visitation Team (CVT) is comprised of trained lay members who provide follow-up care in partnership with St. Luke’s pastors to provide compassion, encouragement, and support for church families during illness, hospitalizations, and/or long-term care. Know a St. Luker who can no longer come to church but wants to remain connected? Contact the Care office to schedule a visit with one of our Care Visitation Team members.

Caring Kitchen

The Caring Kitchen meets the first Thursday of the month (unless otherwise noted) in the kitchen of Building C from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.  Share fellowship with others and help make healthy frozen crockpot ready meals for St. Lukers who are recovering from surgery, dealing with a chronic illness, going through cancer/other treatments, have a new baby, etc. Adults and children age 12+ are welcome. Wear closed toe shoes and bring a sharp knife and an apron if you have them. No experience required – just a compassionate heart and a passion for cooking and caring!

Next Cooking Date: Caring Kitchen will meet next on Thursday, October 7.  Volunteers must register beforehand. We can only have a total of ten volunteers along with the leadership team at this time. 

Click here to sign up for the October 7 cooking date.

If you know a St. Luker who would benefit from a crockpot meal during this time, email or call the Care office at 407.876.4991 ext. 262.

Stephen Ministers – Now Recruiting for 2022 Training Class!

Stephen Ministers:

  • Are children of God who walk beside a hurting person
  • Are caring Christians who really listen and provide confidential one on one support
  • Helps meet the needs of those who are facing illness, loneliness, bereavement, job or spiritual crisis, etc.
  • Serves communion
  • Receives extensive training in how to provide distinctively Christian care

Stephen Ministry is an international lay caring ministry used by more than 13,000 congregations worldwide. Click here to learn more about Stephen Ministry. If you are in need of a Stephen minister, you may mark your Connection card on Sunday, email or call the Care office at 407.876.4991 ext. 262 to be confidentially matched with a caring Christian listener. Women are matched with female Stephen Ministers and men are matched with male Stephen Ministers.

Now Recruiting New Stephen Ministers for 2022

Are you a good listener? Would you like to learn to use that gift to serve others in a caring and Christian way? Consider applying to become a Stephen Minister.  What is a Stephen Minister? They are lay congregation members trained to provide one-to-one care to those experiencing storms in life, such as grief, divorce, job loss, chronic or terminal illness, or relocation. Stephen Ministers come from all walks of life, but they all share a passion for bringing Christ’s love and care to people during a time of need.

St. Luke’s is now recruiting for the 2022 training class for Stephen Ministers through October 17. Weekly online classes start Tuesday, January 11 and run through May 24 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Zoom. Discernment meetings will take place between October 15 and November 30. Click here to complete a fillable PDF application. Once finished, download and save the form with your information and email it to the Care office by Sunday, October 17. Contact the Care office at 407.876.4991 ext. 262 or email regarding any questions.

St. Luke’s Community Counseling Center

The St. Luke’s Community Counseling Center offers one on one counseling sessions to accommodate most schedules and budgets. Counseling is provided by Licensed Mental Health Counselors and support groups may be available. Click here to learn more about St. Luke’s Community Counseling Center and to download a brochure or make an appointment. Tele-therapy sessions are available during this time of social distancing. For more information contact call 407.876.8237.

Grief Support – Fall Cycle Groups Still Enrolling!

GriefShare Weekly Support Meetings 

GriefShare consists of weekly support group meetings designed to help you rebuild your life after losing a loved one. Our groups are led by caring lay members who have experienced intense grief themselves. You’ll find a warm, caring environment and will see your group as an “oasis” on your long journey from mourning to joy. Meetings include videos, small group discussion (support group), and personal study exercises that reinforce weekly session topics.

Click here to view a short video about GriefShare.

St. Luke’s offers two meeting days/times for the fall cycle beginning on August 19 (an evening class) and September 1 (a morning class). These meetings are virtual offered via Zoom. Attend our sessions from the privacy and comfort of your home.

Meet weekly for 14 consecutive weeks. The fall cycle contains a special class entitled “Surviving the Holidays.” Participants will purchase their workbooks directly from GriefShare. There is a $15.00 fee plus shipping and handling for the workbook. Contact the Care office at 407.876.4991 ext. 262 or email for more information.

Fall 2021 Online Class Schedule:

Below are our offerings:

  • Register for the Thursday evening class (6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.). Cycle runs August 19 through November 18.
  • Register for the Wednesday morning class (10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon). Cycle runs September 1 – December 8. No class on November 24 (Thanksgiving week).

Hearts to Hands Ministry

Please join us in the Special Events Dining Room in Building C (directly across from the chapel) on Wednesdays at 3:30 p.m. wearing masks and social distancing or continue to knit or crochet items for Hearts to Hands from the comfort of your home.

  • Knits and crochets prayer shawls, newborn and preemie hats and blankets, and prayer squares.
  • You don’t have to be experienced in knitting or crocheting, just have a willingness to learn and an eagerness to create. Free classes offered on Wednesdays from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Special Events Dining Room of  Building C (directly across from the chapel). Share fellowship while knitting/crocheting with friends. Contact the Care office at care@st.lukes.org or call 407.876.4991 ext. 262 for more info.

Opening Doors Ministry (Special Needs)

  • Promotes opportunities for full participation in worship and programs for persons with special needs
  • Provides sensory friendly accommodations at church-wide and community special events
  • Connects with and support area ministries and organizations which serve persons of all ages with disabilities and their families
  • Works to make the church campus and programs safe and accessible to all
  • For more information email or call the Care office at 407.876.4991 ext. 262

Prayer Ministry

The Prayer Team is meeting online via Zoom during this time of social distancing. Contact the Care office with any questions or prayers. 

  • Prays in the chapel on Sundays between and during worship services
  • Receives prayer requests submitted on the church website (see form below)
  • Prays in the chapel on Wednesday mornings for those on the prayer list, Connection Cards, and submitted prayer requests

Transportation Ministry

Do you need a ride to a doctor’s appointment, medical treatment, grocery store, pharmacy, etc.? Contact the Care office at 407.876.4991 ext. 265 or email to arrange for a transportation volunteer to take you free of charge. Please give us five to seven days notice so that we may find a driver.

Additional Resources

Here are some additional resources for support and care in the Orlando area. Email or call the Care office at 407.876.4991 ext. 262 for more information.

  • Divorce support – DivorceCare is a 13-week support group designed for people who are currently separated or divorced. Click here to locate a church that is currently offering DivorceCare.
  • Respite care for parents of children with special needs – Buddy Break is a free respite care program for children with special needs ages 3 years – 16 years and their siblings ages 4 years through fifth grade. Buddy Break is offered in partnership with local churches and Nathanial’s Hope. Click here for central Florida locations for your child or to volunteer as a Buddy.
  • Cancer support – If you or someone you know needs assistance in finding a local cancer support group, contact the Care office at 407.876.4991 ext. 262 regarding available support groups in the community.
  • In-Home care –  Email the Care office or call 407.876.4991 ext. 262 for more information and recommendations regarding in-home health care.

Local Care Groups

Alcoholics Anonymous

IMPORTANT: AA is now meeting back on campus. Please follow all safety and health guidelines set by St. Luke’s. 

St. Luke’s is host to the Dr. Phillips Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) group. A.A.’s Twelve Steps are a group of principles, spiritual in their nature, which, if practiced as a way of life, can expel the obsession to drink and enable the sufferer to become happily and usefully whole. Click here and select the “month tab” at the right hand top of the page to learn the days, times, and meeting rooms for AA meetings at St. Luke’s.

Al-Anon

IMPORTANT: Al-Anon is now holding Sunday evening meetings on campus. Please ensure you follow all safety and health guidelines set by St. Luke’s. Email or call 407.896.4929 for information. 

Al-Anon meetings take place Fridays on Zoom and Sundays on campus. Click here and select the “month tab” at the right hand top of the page to learn meeting days, times, and locations on campus.

Overeaters Anonymous

IMPORTANT: OA will resume meetings once wide-spread vaccination has occurred. Click here to find an online meeting during this time of COVID-19.

Overeaters Anonymous provides guidance and support to anyone facing problems with food — compulsive overeating, under-eating, food addiction, anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, or over-exercising. This support group meets weekly on Fridays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in Building B Room 202. To learn more about Overeaters Anonymous, click here.

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)

IMPORTANT: NAMI support groups have resumed meetings on campus. Click here or call 1-800-273-8255 for more information regarding support groups. Attendees are required to follow all safety and health guidelines set by St. Luke’s.  

NAMI’s Connection Support Group meetings follow NAMI’s Connection model and are open to adults 18 years of age and older living with a mental illness. There is no cost to attend meetings. Meetings are drop-in and confidential; you do not need to make a reservation or call ahead unless you need more information. Meetings take place the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in Building C, Room 206.

NAMI’s Family Support Groups are open to family members, caregivers or friends of people living with a mental illness. Meetings are drop-in and confidential; you do not need to make a reservation or call ahead unless you need more information. Meetings take place in Building C, Room 208 on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. To learn more about NAMI, click here.

Care Mission Statement

As we affirm faith in God through our ministries, we claim a sacred place where Christ’s love unites us with compassion and the caring of others.

In order to make the love of Christ a real presence in the life of each person we reach within our faith community, our ministries:

  • Extends support during the trials of life and celebrate the joys
  • Leads persons to resources appropriate to their needs
  • Creates and maintain innovative programs to minister spiritually, emotionally, and physically
  • Encourages all to explore and maximize their individual spiritual gifts for the work of the church and to the glory of God.
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