St. Luke's United Methodist Church


4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Road
Orlando, FL 32819
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I’m a St. Luker Because… [Jo Denmark]

Posted on March 4, 2019 at 4:32 pm in .

St. Luke’s is excited to hear St. Luker Jo Denmark’s St. Luke’s Story:

My friend, Jeanne, was instrumental in bringing me to St. Luke’s. We both went to St Paul’s Presbyterian Church when we lived in Pine Hills. She moved to the Windermere area before me, so when my husband Phillip and I moved to Windermere, she said I needed to come to St. Luke’s. She said there was really no other choice! Having been a Methodist all my life I didn’t hesitate to visit. After visiting a few Sundays, both Jeanne and I walked up to Jim Harnish one Sunday and said, “We want to join the church today.” After he got over the shock, he agreed. Without preparation or membership classes, we joined on the spot.  At the time, there was only one building and we sat on folding chairs.

Right before Christmas that year I realized what I missed most was singing in a choir. I asked Novie Green, the Choir Director at the time, if I could join. It obviously was too close to performance time for the Christmas concert so she suggested that it really wasn’t a good time, but when I make a decision I don’t like to wait! I joined the 10-member choir right then and have been a part of the choir now for 35 continuous years. I have also been a music librarian for 10 years. I sang “Hello Dolly” in our first summer show, sang in the Washington Cathedral, and participated in many other shows and tours as well as singing in nursing homes with this group. I especially remember the impact the Serenades Concerts had on welcoming the LGBTQ community to our church. I helped unload the pipes for our Reuter Organ and actually crawled inside the biggest one! Thank goodness there isn’t a photo of that! We are all a family and call ourselves the “biggest small group” which is now about a 100 members.

There are a lot of other ways I have become involved in St. Luke’s, but one of my favorites was my teenage Sunday school class. I loved teaching that group. Whenever I wanted to encourage attendance, I made sausage and biscuits! We used to use a childcare building across the street, and I usually had to coax students off the monkey bars when it was time for class!

There are so many ways to be involved and to serve at St. Luke’s. It may not be music or teaching teenagers for you, but for me, music has filled my heart and provided a way for me to worship. I am so blessed to be a part of this loving family and to still be singing at age 75!

-Jo Denmark

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