Share your estimate of giving for 2021 by February 7.
Share your estimate of giving for 2021 by February 7.
Weekly Update article link
Dear Storytellers of St. Luke’s,
Our first week of Living the Story 2021: Learn, Engage, Listen and Echo has been a powerful week as a St. Luke’s community. We pivoted on Thursday morning of last week, deciding to move forward with the Church Bible Study we had postponed on Wednesday night and even with the last-minute switch we still had close to 70 participants with us. In fact, the level of engagement is pretty exciting:
Even if your schedule doesn’t permit you being with us at the scheduled time on Wednesdays or Sundays, by registering you will receive the recordings as soon as they are uploaded and edited the next day. This way you can still participate in your own time frame. Watching Wednesday night’s class before Sunday helps continue the momentum.
In our first Becoming Beloved Community class we had the opportunity to learn from Sean Murray and Winston Irvine who were involved in the “Troubles” of Northern Ireland on either side of the conflict, and now work toward bridge building and peace in their community. We learned from their experiences of Belfast, the work of Beloved Community takes vulnerability and willingness to confess and listen, sacred space of community and hearts to hear another experience and testimony of trauma, and patience. 20 plus years out from the Good Friday peace accord, they are still working to heal generational trauma, single narratives of hate, and move toward one another in reconciliation and trust. For North Americans, who really like quick fixes, this news was a little daunting. However, as we move into Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, we realize how far we have come, but also how far we still have to go toward the beloved community he began to speak of in 1956.
We see this on every level as we move toward Inauguration with the threat of more violence possibly breaking out this weekend in each state capital. Beloved Community began as a vision of equity by Josiah Royce who founded the Fellowship of Reconciliation of which Dr. King Jr. was a part. King used this vision of equity not just about race, but economics, culture, religion and so much more to capture the heart of Christ’s Kingdom and the Old Testament vision of the lion lying down with the lamb. But all of these years later, we are still laboring for the ideals of beloved community and WE are a part of that work for our communities, nation and even our denomination. But there are things we CAN do, as followers of Jesus, Storytellers of God’s love, as revealers of God’s Kingdom.
This week as we move into the theme of the Bible, RELATIONS, found in stories of Genesis 3 – 50 in particular, we recognize the work of beloved community and relations depends on this movement of us doing our interpersonal work, and then moving toward one another. Pastors Jeremy, Jad, and Melissa will ENGAGE us in the stories Pastor Bill will help us LEARN and weave the connection to this important work on this important weekend. I invite you to take some time this weekend and read Letters from Birmingham Jail as well as the stories of Jacob and Esau from Genesis 25.
We also invite you to participate in one of the many education and celebration events of MLK weekend held in our city. We will begin to look at our US history of race and the work we need to do to understand slavery and the obstacles we must overcome on our way to becoming Beloved Community as Dr. Phillips joins us this Sunday at 5:30 p.m. for a three-week conversation.
Finally, I have been working with the UMCNextFL team and Florida UMC Bishop Ken Carter to help create a 31-day devotional and conversation guide, walking us from MLK day on January 17 to Ash Wednesday on February 17. This journey is based on the third UM Baptism Vow:
"Do you confess Jesus Christ as your savior, put your whole trust in his grace, and promise to serve him as your Lord, in union with the church which Christ has opened to people of all ages, nations, and races?”
Each week, a diverse set of lay and clergy authors scripturally ground each of the underlined words to move us toward a deeper understanding of living this confession and our commitment to a vision of a church whose future is open to all based on Christ as our Lord. Included with each daily devotion is a video of the writer telling their story. I will host a weekly conversation on Thursday nights at 7:00 p.m. for anyone interested in what such a vision means for our witness and how God is writing this story of love at St. Luke’s. Register here for the conversation and you can begin to use the devotion this Sunday by downloading a copy of the PDF here.
Every vision begins with those willing to take the steps to make a vision a reality. It begins with people who see, feel and pray for the vision of God’s holy Kingdom to start the work of making it a reality within themselves, but also within their communities. This is a part of our vision at St. Luke’s. Here are some great ways to begin. Until Sunday…
Grace, peace, and love,
Reminder: The church campus will be closed on Monday, January 18 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and will re-open on January 19 at 9:00 a.m.
Ministry Guide webpage
Click the image above to learn more about connecting to one of the classes or programs you can participate in online or listen to on the phone. If you need help connecting to one of the groups on the schedule, email Liz Vasquez or call 407.876.4991 ext. 216.
St. Luke's is temporarily pausing on-campus worship. Click here to read the update from the St. Luke's COVID-19 Task Force.
Please join us for worship online Sundays at 9:30 a.m. EST on Facebook Live.
Children (K-5th grade) are invited to online Sunday School from 10:30 to 11:00 a.m. weekly (click here to register for Zoom link).
Click here to watch last Sunday's worship service.
St. Luke's in Review

New Year, New Feature Story!

Edible Orlando grow it forward feature link
The Grow it Forward micro farm at St. Luke's got a special shoutout in Edible Orlando this week! Click the button below to read the article about our local food bank heroes:
Read Edible Orlando Article

Community Resources

COVID updates webpage
View COVID-19 Resources
Looking Ahead at St. Luke's
Stewardship page link
St. Luke's Stewardship "Recipe" Guide and Estimate of Giving Card should arrive in your mailbox next week. Please return the Estimate of Giving by February 7 via mail or in the dropbox outside of Building C. You can also view the Guide and complete an online Estimate of Giving by clicking the button below.
St. Luke's Stewardship 2021
Discover Arena registration link
This is the first step toward joining the church.
Register for "Discover St. Luke's"
Loss of a spouse arena registration link
Register for Loss of a Spouse
Wednesday webpage link
Join the church-wide Bible study on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. by clicking the button below:
Register for Wednesday Bible Study
App webpage
If have any Christmas decorations or holiday items you no longer need, donate them to the UMW for next year’s Holiday Marketplace Gift Shop!
Please drop off donations in the brown wicker chest on the porch of the UMW Gift Shop, located at the Annex behind Building C. Thank you all for your continued support!
Supporting hearts webpage link
Learn about the weekly free food distribution at St. Luke's for our neighbors in the arts community, and how to donate, by clicking the button below:
Learn Ways to Support Artists
Opt-in for Texts webpage
Grow it forward webpage link
Learn More about Grow it Forward
Volunteer Serving opportunities webpage link
St. Luke's has all new opportunities to volunteer remotely or semi-remotely with our marketing and communications team. Be part of sharing Kingdom moments with our congregation and community in one of the follwoing roles:
  • Volunteer Social Media Ambassador
  • Volunteer Copywriter/Proofreader
  • Volunteer Photographer
  • Volunteer Graphic Designer
  • Email Marketing Volunteer
  • Marketing Administrative Support Volunteer
Click the button below to learn more and express interest:
Learn More about Marketing Volunteer Opportunities
Email Amy Winslow if you are interested in volunteering with Drive it Forward.
Habitat build day arena registration link
Habitat for Humanity builds strength, security and self-reliance through homeownership. Join a team on Saturday, February 6 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to help build this next home in East Winter Garden. Click the button below to sign up and learn more:
Sign Up for Habitat For Humanity
Griefshare section of care page link
Coping with caregiving registration link
Register for Coping with Caregiving
Sports webpage link
Save the date to register your PreK-8th graders for flag football! Registration opens January 18.
Give to St. Luke's Ministries
November 2020 Financial Update
Giving through November 2020 (less PPP): $3,005,882
Giving is up 2.6%
Expenses through November 2020: $3,231,460
Expenses are up 5.4% due to lack of income from revenue producing ministries because of the pandemic
Without the PPP funds, we are in an unfavorable 2020 YTD position of -$225,578
With the PPP funds, we are in a favorable 2020 YTD position of $336,422
Click the button below to start giving online or call the finance office at 407.876.4991 ext. 227 to learn more about additional ways to give.
Click to Give
Ministry Links
Worship webpage Connect webpage Care webpage
Grow webpage Serve webpage Commit webpage
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