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 current and past puzzles. Have a story to share? Email or click here to use our convenient “Submit a story” form.

Image courtesy of Copyright © by Cliff Leitch.

February 04, 2016

'Impossible' by Meredith Andrews

Word Worship recording artist Meredith Andrews is passionate about writing and leading songs that keep people's hearts and minds set on Jesus.

February 04, 2016

Love one another: Start with Disability Awareness Sunday

United Methodist Disability Awareness Sunday encourages worshipers to look around the meeting space and think about barriers to people with disabilities, as well as challenge biases and prejudices.

February 03, 2016

Lent begins Feb. 10; resources are available

Lent is a season of 40 days, not counting Sundays. It begins on Ash Wednesday – Feb. 10 this year – ...

February 02, 2016

Church civility ministry spawns pilot program that works

Operation Hedgehog, born of a civility ministry that started at Southside UMC, Jacksonville, is showing promise in public schools and grabbing the attention of a university research study.

February 01, 2016

Black History Month resources available

Black History Month resources are available courtesy of the denomination’s Discipleship Ministries. The theme for 2016 is “Unnatural Disasters: The Stony Road to Hope.”

January 28, 2016

"Your Love is Enough" by Jon Foreman

Unlike his more pop, rock-out work with Switchfoot, Jon Foreman’s solo albums are more mellow and stripped down, showing how at his core, he’s a really great songwriter.

January 26, 2016

Celebrate Jesus model goes international

An evangelism tool developed in Florida takes on a new life in mission fields across the ocean.

January 25, 2016

How to recruit volunteers (when begging doesn't work)

United Methodist Communications offers some tips that include using volunteer matching services and exploring a Rethink Church grant.

January 21, 2016

"Spirit Speaks" by All Sons and Daughters

All Sons and Daughters perform “Spirit Speaks” from the album Reason to Sing live from the Relevant Magazine studio.

January 21, 2016

Bishop Carter’s first podcast highlights current events

Listen to the bishop discuss recent and upcoming events in the first of a series of podcasts.

January 20, 2016

Camping Sunday set for Feb. 28

The annual day of offering is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 28, but churches can give to Florida Conference Camps & Retreats any time of the year.

January 20, 2016

Prepping for Portland: Florida delegation bones up

Delegates to General Conference review some of the legislative proposals they will see when United Methodist leaders convene in May for General Conference.

January 18, 2016

Bishop Carter appoints four new cabinet members

The appointments include three district superintendents and the assistant to the Bishop. Additionally, the current superintendent of the North Central District will assume the leadership for the Gulf Central District.

January 15, 2016

A letter to Martin Luther King, Jr. - 2006

Each year, retired United Methodist Bishop Woodie W. White writes a “birthday letter” to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in which he offers his perspective on the state of race relations, particularly in the United States. White, now bishop-in residence at Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, was the first general secretary of the General Commission on Religion and Race of The United Methodist Church.

January 14, 2016

"Hallelujah! What a Savior" by Ascend the Hill

Ascend the Hill performs "Hallelujah! What A Savior" from the album Take The World But Give Me Jesus live from the RELEVANT Studio.

January 13, 2016

Reaching out to the Islamic community

Leaders of two Florida Conference churches with a history of welcoming members of the Islamic faith ...

January 12, 2016

Florida hosts SEJ church leaders

The SEJ College of Bishops is joined by the jurisdiction's episcopacy committee and lay leaders from associated annual conferences.

January 08, 2016

Apportionments due Jan. 12, 2016

Apportionment payments for 2015 must be received in the lockbox at Regions Bank or paid online by Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016. This is not a postmarked by date, but is the last day by which monies must be received online or in our bank lockbox to be included in 2015 apportionments receipts.

January 07, 2016

"Empires" by Hillsong United

Relevant Magazine shares an acoustic version of the song performed in a coffee shop in Nashville.

January 05, 2016

Are online relationships healthy for teens?

The Internet, social media and gaming have created changes in the way teens form, nurture and maintain relationships that ministry leaders should consider.

January 04, 2016

Florida churches raise $1.2 million to end malaria deaths

The Florida Conference celebrates the contributions of local congregations and moves on to the next phase of the Imagine No Malaria campaign.

January 02, 2016

Local church learning communities

Design of a conference learning organization goes beyond the traditional classroom.

January 01, 2016

Leading conversations on race relations

The goal is to build a Beloved Community of inclusivity within the Annual Conference that cultivates cultural competency among us.

December 31, 2015

Nehemiah Project addresses church life cycles

The Nehemiah Project is designing an intentional and transparent process to ensure our churches’ legacies inform each stage of their life cycles, from growing and thriving to repurposing.

December 30, 2015

Tackling young clergy debt

The Conference invites other foundations and benefactors to participate in this great movement of the Spirit as we “Pass the Torch” across the Florida Conference to support our young clergy. Our hope is that our clergy can eliminate their seminary debt within a few years after their first appointment.

December 29, 2015

Fresh Expressions experiences a year of growth

Listening, loving and serving, building and worship: this is the metamorphosis of forming a new kind of church. Fresh Expressions is an international movement that has us reaching new people in their backyards and moving beyond our conventional buildings, meetings and leaders. It has the mindset of “we’ll come to you.”

December 28, 2015

Happy New Year from Bishop Carter

God is always giving us a new beginning.

December 28, 2015

Madison Youth Ranch adds equine therapy

Horses will help heal children struggling with emotional issues or learning the value of teamwork at this branch of the Florida United Methodist Children's Home.

December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Luke tells the story of the birth of Christ, and Nat King Cole celebrates with "O Come All Ye Faithful."

December 22, 2015

Bethune-Cookman lands $600,000 Lilly grant

Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach is one of 82 schools in the U.S. to receive a grant from the Lilly Endowment for programs aimed at encouraging high school students to study theology and explore their calling to God's service.

December 21, 2015

Methodists help fill health services gap in Angola

Florida Conference efforts expand from education and reconstruction of a war-torn village to providing much-needed health care to people with nowhere else to turn.

December 17, 2015

'Great Are You Lord" music video

All Sons and Daughters is Leslie Jordan and David Leonard, who serve at The Journey Church in Franklin, the duo are best known for writing songs that focus squarely on Jesus while embracing the tension of the Christian walk.

December 17, 2015

All about food: Recipe contest benefits the hungry

Churches submitted nearly 700 recipes to the Florida Conference recipe contest, and $2,250 in prizes will help hunger relief ministries at three churches.

December 16, 2015

Bishop Carter's Christmas Reflection

Bishop Ken Carter shares a Christmas reflection and wishes all of us in this season a joyous and meaningful experience.

December 15, 2015

'My Treedom' helps Christians triumph over persecution

A journalist sets up a Facebook page that allows Christians in some of the most dangerous places in the world to show how they continue practicing their faith.

December 10, 2015

McMillan performs 'Holy Ghost'

John Mark McMillan performs "Holy Ghost" from his latest album "Borderland" live for RELEVANT Magazine.

December 09, 2015

When the days aren't merry and bright

Hyde Park UMC, Tampa, offers a workshop for those grappling with stress and depression during the holiday season. The church also is developing a "Toolbox of Care" series of workshops to address similar issues in the new year.

December 07, 2015

Conference to focus on disciple-making mission

Registration is open for Missio Ecclesia, a gathering of clergy and lay leaders at Grace Church, Cape Coral, scheduled for Feb. 17-19.

December 07, 2015

Prayer, advocacy are daily tasks at climate summit

United Methodists in Paris say they are joining other faith groups to advocate for action in climate change that affects disadvantaged populations the most.

December 03, 2015

'He Shall Reign Forevermore'

Chris Tomlin performs "He Shall Reign Forevermore" from his upcoming album "Adore: Christmas Songs of Worship (Live)," which came out October 23, 2015.

December 02, 2015

Methodists head to Paris for climate summit

A team from United Methodist Global Ministries will join other voices in pressing for "climate justice" at the 21st Conference of Parties to the United Nations in Paris.

December 01, 2015

AC 2016 resolutions due Jan. 31

If you are considering a resolution for the 2016 Annual Conference, they are due on January 31, 2016.

November 30, 2015

Open enrollment webcast on Dec. 1

On Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015, at 11:00 AM the Conference will broadcast a webcast reviewing the changes for 2016 Open Enrollment.

November 29, 2015

Sharing thoughts for the Advent season

Churches invite members to reflect on the reason for the season. The results fill two booklets with devotions that are funny, touching and profound.

November 26, 2015

Advent worship resources for families

Advent is the season when we prepare ourselves to receive God’s gift of Jesus. It is a time of getting ready for the celebration of Christmas. This is the first in a series of articles with suggestions for Advent worship services for families. This first week is about Hope.

November 26, 2015

Crowder's 'My Beloved'

It's a live performance of the David Crowder song, "My Beloved."

November 25, 2015

Churchwomen thank the hands that harvest

Manatee UMC, Bradenton, is the site of the annual Migrant Tea for Manatee County's Church Women United.

November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving prayer: 'Make us instruments of Your peace'

A United Methodist pastor in Texas reminds us to see God's goodness in even the darkest moments.

November 24, 2015

Bethlehem is back; churches keep Christmas story alive

Local church leaders say live re-enactments of the birth of Jesus carry benefits for volunteers as well as community residents who attend.

November 23, 2015

Giving Tuesday set for Dec. 1

The annual opportunity to double the funding support for a favorite missionary or Advance project through Global Ministries' matching program is set for Dec. 1, 2015.

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The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church

450 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue
Lakeland, FL 33815

(863) 688-5563 or toll free (800) 282-8011