From the Pulpit - Redeemer Lutheran Church
Redeemer Lutheran Church, a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, was founded and established at its current Winter Park location in February 1960. Our congregation grew steadily over the years, adding new ministries along the way. There have been several expansions to the building and facilities including a new sanctuary, educational wing and a large fellowship hall.
One of our many long-standing ministries is Redeemer’s preschool and daycare which was first established in 1972. It too has grown over time and so several years ago, Redeemer built a new addition to expand our preschool. Today it provides a strong and safe Christian learning environment for over 100 children each day.
We are also very grateful for our relationship with the Christian Service Center (CSC). Eleven years ago, the Winter Park branch of the CSC was looking for a new home. Redeemer had several adjacent classrooms available and so the relationship began. The CSC can meet needs that go beyond the ability of Redeemer on its own. Our work together has helped so many through the years and has created a new community that knows we are here to help and to love. Gwenell Hall, local CSC manager, and her staff of volunteers are part of the family here at Redeemer Lutheran, and we are so grateful for this ongoing relationship.
Another long-standing ministry of Redeemer Lutheran is reconditioning bikes. This ministry started initially in providing children’s bikes for the children at the Peppi Headstart Center in Belle Glade at Christmastime. Every year, members and folks from the community collect the bikes and then volunteers work on them in the Fall to recondition them. In December, they are loaded into a truck and a group drives them down to Belle Glade. The congregation also collects Christmas gifts for the children there. Between the bikes and the gifts, over 150 children receive a wonderful present every year!
In recent years, the bike ministry has expanded to reconditioning bikes for those in our community who need transportation. Again, volunteers make this happen, as they are able and bikes become available. The need, especially considering job loss and homelessness, have made this ministry a vital part of helping our community.
One other key aspect of Redeemer outreach is our commitment to help those in need with food support. Many years ago, Redeemer started a very small food pantry. As the need has grown, so has our food pantry. With care, the pantry has been able to stay open through the pandemic. We are so grateful to serve our neighbors in need through these programs and alongside the Christian Service Center.