By the power of the Holy Spirit you will be my witness in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth
Lifting our Global Community
The world needs our collective lights today more than ever! We are lifting up communities and countries torn apart by conflicts and wars. Wars between and within countries, new and forgotten ones. Countries such as Afghanistan, Yemen, Ethiopia, Myanmar, the Sahel, Haiti and now Ukraine are facing the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time.
We ask that you make prayer for peace and help for people impacted by war/conflicts part of your Lenten spiritual journey. Below are more ways you can also support families and children across the world.
Gifts to United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)
Ukraine – Your donation goes directly to people both in Ukraine and those fleeing Ukraine.
- Online at https://umcmission.org/advance-project/982450
- By toll-free telephone: 888-252-6174
- By check made out to Global Ministries/UMCOR with “Advance #982450-Ukraine” written on the memo line, either mailed and addressed to Global Ministries/UMCOR, GPO, P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY, 10087-9068 or given at or through any United Methodist church
Afghanistan – gifts to provide Afghans who are seeking shelter and food can be made to:
- Give your gifts online at https://umcmission.org/advance-project/3022144
- By checks sent to Global Ministries/UMCOR, P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068, with Advance #3022144 in the memo line.
Haiti – gifts to support families and children who are impacted by the recent political instability and gang violence.
- Give your gifts online at https://umcmission.org/advance-project/982450/ or
- By checks made out to Global Ministries/UMCOR, P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068, with Advance #982450 noted on the memo line.
Yemen – gifts to support families and children
- A gift to UMCOR International Disaster Relief, Advance #982450, will assist more families with needed emergency relief.
Gifts to the World Food Program (WFP)
Ethiopia – your gifts will help Ethiopians displaced by war and facing hunger due to the internal war:
- Check out details on the WFP site here
- For questions, contact Claire Claire Nevill, WFP/Addis Ababa, at email@example.com
Gifts to Doctors Without Borders (Medicins sans Frontieres – MSF)
Myanmar – Your donation helps displaced populations with much needed medical assistance
Check out details on their website here
Agua Viva Serves leads sustainable, clean water projects in Costa Rica. St. Luke’s will work alongside the community to connect pipes, dig ditches and bury pipeline to bring water to remote areas on the Nicaraguan border. All of the community sized projects include a co-op component to continue to maintain the systems for the future. Agua Viva partners with communities to build a board of directors and begin collecting money to build a maintenance fund for ongoing operation. Learn more about this life-saving organization at http://avs.ngo/
Click on the image below to view stories from our team that worked with
Agua Viva Serves in Costa Rica.
Pastor Ramon is the pastor of our sister church, whose congregation has a deep prayer life and a big vision for their church in Melones. St. Luke’s has helped build the parsonage for the pastor and has had the opportunity to send teams to visit Pastor Ramon and his family.
If you are interested in joining one of these teams, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Luke’s UMC has partnered with over 1000 children, in eleven and one-half full empowerment groups. Over 325 households have been able to be a part of this life-saving and life-changing empowerment model thanks to the generosity of our congregation. Other families, individuals and Bible study groups associated with St. Luke’s UMC, including the United Methodist Women and our own Children’s Ministry have also partnered with empowerment groups of their own, resulting in over 1500 more children being a part of the Zoe Empowers program.
Give the gift of hope and empowerment to support these ZOE Empowerment groups.
You can give today!
For more information about ZOE, visit Zoeempowers.org
Click on the image below
to see the 2023 Rwanda Missions Team on their journey
Iftar with the Islamic Center of Orlando
Interfaith ministries at St. Luke’s engages people to bridge religious and cultural differences. We provide opportunities for us to meet our neighbors of other faiths to promote peace and understanding. Through this connection, we are able to work together for the good of our community and the world. Watch our event calendar for interfaith events.
For more information or to be involved in this ministry, contact email@example.com.
Noah’s Pudding event
The Atlantic Institute shared NOAH’S PUDDING with St. Luke’s. Stories and the pudding were shared as a way to embrace diversity and build tolerance for differing beliefs, and traditions. The Atlantic Institute Central Florida is an independent, non-profit organization whose goal is to facilitate dialogue and bridge cultures from multiple regions of the world.
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Branches United Methodist Mission and Community Center, Florida City
Branches supports children and youth from low-income and migrant families by providing an after school program, youth ministry, and community outreach. This ministry with a big heart is a beacon of hope in Florida City. St. Luke’s sponsors missionary, Kim Torres, Director of Grow and Climb ministries.
Kim King Torres
Serving at Branches, Florida City, Florida
Kim King Torres is a Church and Community Worker missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries serving as Director of Student Services of Branches, Inc., a community center in Florida City, Florida that provides a broad range of ministries among children, youth, and families. Kim has been a covenant missionary with St. Luke’s for more than a decade.
Branches is a holistic ministry with a focus on afterschool tutoring and enrichment, family literacy, a spring break camp (Oasis), and summer outreach (Summer Shade Day Camp). It provides ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes and family empowerment experiences, often in partnership with the Miami-Dade Public Schools. Branches touches the lives of many children and youth, sometimes leading them to seek careers in ministry and humanitarian services.
Serving in Amazon Rainforest, based in Belem, Brazil
The Rev. Charles I. Mulemena is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church, serving as coordinator of the Council of Christian Churches in the Amazon Rainforest, based in Belem, Brazil. The council serves the ecumenical community of churches in the Belem area of Pará State, located in the northern part of Brazil and part of the Amazon Region.
Charles has been involved in both national and international mission, which has given him experience in cross-cultural relations and led him to enter full-time missionary service. Charles and his wife Barbra are passionately involved with the Children’s Project called “RENASCER CRIANCAS” in 2 of the poorest urban communities (IcuiI & Vila da Barca) of the city of Belem. This project helps poor kids by giving them an opportunity to be true kids like any other by putting them in schools, providing them with educational support, feeding them and spending time with them every Saturday.
Charles is from Kitwe, Zambia and is an elder of the Zambia Annual Conference. He was pastor of Grace United Methodist Church from 2007 to 2013, and also director of the New Life Center, a United Methodist facility beginning in 2009. In 2011 through 2013, he was chair of the Kitwe District of the Council of Churches in Zambia. Charles received a diploma in theology and mission in 2007 from the Trans-Africa Theological Seminary located in Zambia, and also holds certificates in church administration and psychological counseling.
Charles is married to Barbra Chola Mulemena, and the couple has four young children: David Kayiji, born in 2010; Lubanji Chibumbu, born in 2014; Nkundeji Kalumbu, born in 2015; and Kuwaha Mapalo, born in 2017.
Deymi Cruz Moreno
Serving in Melones, Cuba
Deymi Cruz Moreno is a missionary working with the United Methodist Church in Melones, Cuba. She has worked at the church for about 15 years, working along side Pastor Ramon bringing the people from the village to a closer walk with Jesus.
Deymi became a missionary because of the transformation she had in her life and she wanted that for everyone. She has committed her life 100% to Christ and is ready to help the church in any way.
Deymi works at the El Cerro mission where she teaches a disciple class on Tuesdays and preaches on Thursdays. The rest of her time is spent with Ramon’s ministry in Melones, where she helps him lead worship in prayer and song as well as with general day-to-day work around the property including taking care of the pastor’s children, cleaning the church, and cooking. Her greatest love is preaching.
Deymi and her husband live next door to Ramon and Yanaris. She worships with her mom, Rene, daughters Gretel and Susanna. She loves her two grandsons, Gretel’s boys Jeymi and Josua.
Serving in Puebla, Mexico
Miguel Mairena is a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church. Miguel and his wife Nan McCurdy serve with Give Ye Them to Eat (GYTTE) in Puebla, Mexico.
Give Ye Them to Eat was founded in 1977, as a social outreach project of the Methodist Church of Mexico to combat hunger and poverty in the rural sector. The primary goal of “Give Ye Them to Eat” is to strengthen the capabilities of marginalized people and communities to meet their basic needs, and to determine and sustain a just and integrated development process so people can achieve the full promise and potential of their life as a child of God. Participatory methods and development tools are used to create conditions in which change can take place from within the communities. GYTTE uses people-centered approaches to development. It is through their various programs that this goal is achieved.
Miguel is the newest partner in the UMC Missionary Outreach Program at St. Luke’s.
Rev. Kris Schonewolf
Serving at The Oasis at LCI
Kris Schonewolf is the founding pastor and director of The Oasis at LCI, a ministry operating at Lowell Correctional Institution in Ocala, FL. The mission of The Oasis is to utilize faith formation, the arts and education to reduce recidivism and to improve the quality of life for incarcerated women, empowering them to experience transformation through Jesus Christ and change their lives for the better.
Kris has a passion for seeing women set free from the chains of shame, trauma and rejection. By helping them discover their true identity as daughters of God, they are able to focus on becoming all they were made to be and embrace hope for a brighter future.
Prior to beginning her work at LCI, Kris pastored two local United Methodist congregations, and holds a Masters of Divinity from Palmer Theological Seminary. Kris’s top gifts include leadership, teaching, healing, and encouragement.
Kris and her husband Mike have a blended family of 6 children and 9 grandchildren. Kris enjoys fitness, reading, and vegan baking.
Alison Gilmore is a missionary of the General Board of Global Ministries assigned as a counselor at the East Belfast Mission in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Global Ministries and East Belfast Mission have a long partnership in providing a Christian witness to peace, justice, and tolerance in the areas of unemployment, poverty, and social and political tension. One of the mission’s newer services is a counseling center that seeks to offer emotional healing resulting from years of conflict in the area. The 170-year-old East Belfast Mission, which has a worshiping congregation of some 200, sees itself as a center for many efforts to care for and support the poor and marginalized.