News & Views

The Florida Conference is dedicated to bringing you news stories about United Methodists here and beyond. Whether the news is about the global church or the church on the corner, look for it here. You’ll also find thought-provoking commentaries and opportunities for education and fellowship.

In addition, News & Views is pleased to bring you an interactive Bible crossword puzzle, with new puzzles available weekly. Click here to access this week's crossword puzzle. Have a story to share? Email webadmin@flumc.org or click here to use our convenient “Submit a story” form.

Image courtesy of www.ChristianBibleReference.org. Copyright © by Cliff Leitch.

March 21, 2019

North Florida churches: a hand up instead of a hand out

“People will learn how to live independently in a holistic kind of way. We’d like to tap into after-school programs and job training. We want to get much more organized and help grow this to new levels.’’

March 19, 2019

General, Jurisdictional 2020 delegate nominees listed

At least 101 clergy and lay members of Florida Conference churches will vie for a total of 46 slots for delegates to the 2020 General Conference and Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference, according to Rev. Cory Britt, chair of the Elections Procedures Committee.

March 15, 2019

United Methodist Women: 150 years in mission

In celebration of Women's History Month, information and resources about the 150th anniversary and legacy of United Methodist Women is available on its website, and United Methodist Communications released a new video about Mary McLeod Bethune's legacy this March.

March 14, 2019

Sun City Center bucks the declining trend

At a time when many denominational churches are in decline, the United Methodist Church of Sun City Center is bucking that trend. Attendance there has doubled in the past five years.

March 12, 2019

Port Orange ministry takes church beyond walls

The story of how Derbyshire Place and a neglected community named Port Orange came to nourish each other brings to mind a quote from beloved children’s book The Little Prince: “What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.”

March 11, 2019

Children's Home slates 'A Day on Campus' Mar. 16

The Children’s Home ministers to orphans, children abused and neglected and some with troubled backgrounds. They are provided with shelter, love, education and a way forward in life.

March 08, 2019

UMCOR Sunday, March 31, supports disaster response

For more than 50 years, United Methodist congregations have been taking part in a special UMCOR Sunday offering, laying the foundation for UMCOR’s ministry of relief and hope.

March 07, 2019

Southwest district tackles root causes of homelessness

Homelessness is pervasive in the Florida United Methodist Church Conference’s Southwest District, and churches are using diverse methods to help.

March 05, 2019

Fresh Expressions: Dinner church feeds body, heart and soul

The dinner church approach, primarily driven by lay leaders, reflects John Wesley’s ministry of going into a community to meet the needs of others.

February 26, 2019

Southeast churches include homeless as family

Churches in the Southeast district practice the love and gratitude of radical hospitality.

February 25, 2019

Bishop Carter to host webinar on GC 2019 results March 1

Bishop Carter and delegation leaders will host a discussion on the results of the Called General Conference session in St. Louis.

February 13, 2019

Coalition fights central east coast homelessness

According to the Volusia/Flagler County Coalition for the Homeless, a nonprofit agency, the area’s homelessness has decreased by 70 percent since 2012.

February 12, 2019

Camping Sunday is Feb. 24

Camping Sunday is the perfect time for those who have attended camps to share their stories. They also can share a message of the need for scholarship money to help send kids to camp.

February 12, 2019

Role of Bishops in the Called General Conference 2019

Tuesday, February 12, 2019   To my fellow United Methodists:   Greetings in the blessed name of our...

February 06, 2019

Messy Church focuses on intergenerational worship

The Messy movement is catching on throughout the United States. It’s not like church as most people understand it, but the goal is the same—glorify God through worship and fellowship.

February 04, 2019

Special Session GC to begin with day of prayer Feb. 23

The Praying Our Way Forward team of the Council of Bishops has released details of the Day of Prayer, which will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. CST in the St. Louis America’s Center Convention Complex on Saturday, February 23, the first day of the 2019 Special Session of General Conference.

February 01, 2019

Black History Month: Honoring Black Methodists' history

Part of the rich story of Methodism includes African Americans who chose to stay with the denomination despite being sometimes excluded or treated unfairly.

January 30, 2019

LEC renovating to meet future expectations

The staff at the Life Enrichment Retreat Center of the Florida Conference wants to help guests have more sleep-filled nights so they can have more inspiration-filled days.

January 29, 2019

UMC sexual ethics resources are available

The UMC believes sexual misconduct within ministerial relationships represents an exploitation of ...

January 28, 2019

Young adult initiative creates servant leaders

The free program invites young adults, ages 18-25, to apply for either a 6-week non-paid internship or a 12-week paid residency for study and training in a specific ministry that interests them.

January 23, 2019

Florida churches raise over $1.5 million for Michael relief

Inspired by a matching funds challenge of $500,000 from First UMC Ormond Beach, Florida Conference churches raised over $1 million for Hurricane Michael relief for the Alabama West Florida Conference. A total of $1,533,096 was donated to their recovery.

January 22, 2019

Abide 21: Community unites through prayer

Fourteen congregations from Avon Park to Lake Placid, Sebring and smaller communities along the way have joined an ecumenical movement called Abide 21. It consists of 21 days of prayer and fasting from Jan. 6-27.

January 21, 2019

Homeless ministry grows from humble beginnings

Like most acts of kindness, it began with a small idea. Two decades ago, members of Tampa’s affluent Hyde Park United Methodist Church noticed that homeless people were gathering for shelter under a nearby expressway. They were hungry. Why not give them something to eat?

January 20, 2019

Bishop Carter announces Cabinet changes for the Florida Conference

Rev. Dionne Hammond has been named as a new cabinet member by Florida Conference Bishop Ken Carter, and Rev. Dan Jackson and Rev. Rini Hernandez will continue to serve on the cabinet in new roles.

January 15, 2019

Making the ‘Dream’ a reality: the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

King was mindful of the power and responsibility of the church in healing the divides of society. He was also well aware of challenges hindering churches themselves.

January 12, 2019

AC 2019 resolutions due Jan. 31

According to the Standing Rules of the Florida Conference, Par. 206 2(d), “All submitted resolutions must be received by the Conference Secretary by Jan. 31 to be considered at the regular Annual Conference Event later that year.”

January 07, 2019

Cooperative Ministries: a contemporary mustard seed

United Methodist Cooperative Ministries has grown into a five-county organization serving more than 15,000 people each year, working with approximately 20 local churches and other agencies.

January 02, 2019

Church answers call to foster care crisis

Though the crisis can seem hopeless, a local Palm Beach County church, Community of Hope, adopted the motto, “Everyone can do something,” and has begun slowly and carefully to put care and concern into action.

January 02, 2019

One year in: Hurricane Irma recovery needs volunteers

The number of volunteers dropped off significantly after attention shifted to areas in the Carolinas hit by Florence, then to the Panhandle, devastated this summer by Michael.

December 27, 2018

Blessings, renewal and hope for the coming New Year

Here are 12 Bible verses of renewal and hope for the coming New Year.

December 20, 2018

Merry Christmas!

Enjoy the lyrics of the hymn, O Come, O Come Emmanuel, and The Piano Guys' music video of a simple arrangement.

December 19, 2018

Hospitality, trust and reweaving the fabric of community

At a time when the social fabric is frayed, the church has an important role to play in reweaving community, drawing on the practices of hospitality and trust, says theologian and professor emeritus of Christian ethics Christine D. Pohl.

December 19, 2018

Two extraordinary movements of the Holy Spirit this Christmas

Bishop Ken Carter shares two extraordinary movements of the Holy Spirit among us this Christmas.

December 17, 2018

Playing music can connect children to God

“We want to teach children how to play music to help them better connect with God,” program founder Gary Brosch said. “I wanted to give them a gift that keeps on giving.”

December 11, 2018

Active-threat training offered to Florida churches, ministries

Church officials will learn to prepare for hostile intruders, active shooters or other threats. Emphasis will be placed on formulating routines and developing safety teams with specific instruction on trauma care.

December 10, 2018

Take a 'Deep Dive' in 2019 to explore best practices

The Florida Conference Office of Congregational Vitality is set to expand its new Deep Dive initiative in early 2019 with the aim of rolling out workshops in the north, south and mid-conference regions.

December 06, 2018

'Sky is the limit’ for school-church partnerships

More than 100 people representing 34 churches participated in school-church training on Sept. 29 at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Orlando.

December 04, 2018

St. John's is re-purposing a community mission

Four miles from Winter Haven's St. John’s United Methodist Church, in unincorporated Wahneta, a community mission, Casa Vida, is being re-purposed. Rev. David Averill, pastor at St. John’s, is helping transition missions like Casa Vida that are at the end of their life cycles.

December 01, 2018

Apportionments are due Friday, Jan. 11, 2019

Apportionment payments for 2018 must be received in the lockbox at Regions Bank or paid online by Friday, January 11, 2019.

November 29, 2018

Church is part of Cedar Key's safety net

By focusing on providing outreach and missions to the changed fortunes of the city, Cedar Key UMC is considered by some as “the church of the community.”

November 28, 2018

School fills need for speech, occupational therapy

Carol Hilson never imagined how much of a role speech and occupational therapy would play in the preschool at Community Methodist Church in Fort Pierce when she began the program 30 years ago.

November 26, 2018

Do No Harm: training addresses sexual misconduct

Bishops sent representatives from each annual conference to receive training in administrative/judicatory response, advocacy for the accused and the alleged victim and integrity and healthy boundaries.

November 20, 2018

A Thanksgiving Day prayer

A Thanksgiving Day prayer is offered for expressing our gratefulness to the Lord.

November 19, 2018

Florida focuses on Hurricane Michael for Giving Tuesday, Nov. 27

The Florida Conference is celebrating GivingTuesday, Nov. 27, this year by asking donors to contribute to the Hurricane Michael matching fund. Click here to donate online.

November 15, 2018

Leadership development focused on women clergy

The focus on female pastors was prompted by an increase in the number of women entering the clergy, as well as a desire to see more women in leadership positions.

November 12, 2018

Church dedicated to fighting childhood hunger

Were it not for the sacks that go home with students on weekends, many at Bellaire Elementary School in Clearwater would not have much, if anything, to eat until they return to school on Monday morning.

November 08, 2018

Three to be commissioned to EarthKeepers

Cara Fleischer, Elan Miavitz-Brown and Rev. Tiffania Willetts, all from Florida, will join others from around the nation in the online commissioning. The ceremony will affirm the EarthKeepers in their call to the ministry of creation care and will bless their work in their communities.

November 06, 2018

Social justice advocates celebrate 30 years of HOPE

St. Andrews United Methodist Church in Brandon joined in, celebrating the 30th anniversary of HOPE—Hillsborough Organization for Progress and Equality—by voting to continue the fight for housing for the downtrodden, help for the elderly and second chances for young people who make bad choices.

October 26, 2018

UM connection aids Hurricane Michael recovery

Members of Lynn Haven United Methodist Church await a new 4,000-square-foot tent they’ll use for worship. The Hurricane Michael-ravaged congregation and many United Methodists in the area are struggling to return to normalcy. Jim Patterson has an update on the denomination’s efforts to provide relief in the Alabama-West Florida, Florida and South Georgia conferences.

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