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.

December 30, 2016

Loving God with our minds: A bishop’s reading through 2016

Bishop Ken Carter shares fifteen books he read in 2016. One of the ways God blesses us is with the ideas, narratives and worlds created by a fascinating diversity of women and men.

December 29, 2016

'We Three Kings'

The Piano Guys play "We Three Kings."

December 26, 2016

'Yuletide Chat': Thoughts for after Christmas

It's time to pack up the Christmas ornaments of 2016, but not the spiritual reflections that come with the season. Originally published in December 2012.

December 26, 2016

Recipes to ring out the old and ring in the New Year

New beginnings, fresh starts, reaffirmations of love and faith and the desire for a peaceful future ...

December 24, 2016

In the city of David, a Savior has been born to you...

Excerpted from Luke, Chapter 2, is the story of our Savior's birth in Bethlehem.

December 23, 2016

Commission on a Way Forward: Update from the Moderators

Our way forward, as women and men created in the image of God, is to seek reconciliation with one another. It is not that we do the work of reconciliation so that we can later share the gospel through evangelism and mission. There is no evangelism, no mission, no gospel apart from reconciliation.

December 22, 2016

'For Unto Us a Child is Born' by Handel

King's College, Cambridge Choir sings "For Unto Us a Child is Born" from Handel's "Messiah."

December 21, 2016

Churches embracing children on Sunday mornings

In a continuation of our series on intergenerational ministries, members of two conference churches discuss how bringing children into Sunday morning worship services has helped bring families closer together.

December 20, 2016

When Christmas falls on a Sunday

Performing plays, concerts, candlelight and late-night Christmas Eve services, many churches find added challenges when Christmas falls on a Sunday. This story looks at several churches throughout the conference and how they plan to celebrate one of the most important days on the Christian calendar.

December 19, 2016

'Yuletide Chat': Pondering the meaning of Christmas

Yuletide Chat with Bishop Ken Carter continues with some of the bishop's favorite themes for the Advent season. Originally published in December 2012.

December 16, 2016

Bishop Carter's Christmas reflection

Bishop Ken Carter shares a Christmas reflection with John 1:14 as the scriptural reference.

December 15, 2016

'O Holy Night'

"O Holy Night" is sung A Capella.

December 14, 2016

Intergenerational ministries blossom in Florida

This is the first of a two-part series on intergenerational ministries. Church members that include young and elderly are forming special friendships as ministries become more inclusive.

December 13, 2016

Christmas recipe season is in full swing

Christmas season is in full swing, with visitors dropping by, family coming to visit, parties to ...

December 12, 2016

Bishop's 'Yuletide Chat' contemplates Peaceable Kingdom

The third installment in Bishop Ken Carter's Advent series focuses on interpretations of the vision by the prophet Isaiah. Originally published on December 16, 2012.

December 09, 2016

Observing Advent in London's Lambeth Palace

Specially invited to work and pray in a London monastic community for 10 months, Miranda Harrison-Quillin talks of the challenges of following the liturgical rhythms of the church year in a society, where Christmas trees and sugar plum cookies make an early arrival.

December 08, 2016

'Hark! the Herald Angels Sing'

The Celtic Women perform "Hark the Herald Angels Sing."

December 08, 2016

Holiday ministry opportunities...and more

In the Christmas season, opportunities abound for volunteers to give the gift of ministry in ...

December 07, 2016

Lineage Retreat helping millennials find direction

A group of seven young people from the Tampa Bay region were inspired to help others their age. The result was the Lineage Retreat, held Sept. 23-24 at Warren Willis in Fruitland Park, helping those struggling to find a place in their local churches.

December 05, 2016

'Yuletide Chat' with Bishop Carter continues

Bishop Carter's Yuletide Chat, a series of messages for Advent season, continues. Originally published on December 9, 2016.

December 02, 2016

Life lessons learned in Cuba

Rev. Dr. Rini Hernandez, district superintendent of the Southwest District, reflects on the life lessons he learned living in Cuba during the era of Fidel Castro.

December 01, 2016

'O Little Town of Bethlehem'

Anggun Cipta Sasmi sings "O Little Town of Bethlehem."

November 30, 2016

'Yuletide Chat' with Bishop Carter starts today

Bishop Ken Carter celebrates the Christmas season with tips for pastors and worshipers and some of his favorite sermon ideas from Christmases past. Originally published on December 2, 2012.

November 30, 2016

Members of Gator Wesley dare to imagine

Members of Gator Wesley Foundation dared to imagine what's next at the Next2016 biennial college ministry conference held in Atlanta. UF students recently joined hundreds of young people from across the country.

November 26, 2016

One focus for Giving Tuesday is South Florida's Justice for Our Neighbors

South Florida's Justice for Our Neighbors (SF-JFON) is reaching out to hundreds of immigrants facing legal challenges in Miami courtrooms. With Giving Tuesday happening on Nov. 29, the Florida Conference is providing a $10,000 matching grant to SF-JFON, making your gift worth more.

November 24, 2016

'For the Beauty of the Earth'

Happy Thanksgiving from our music video team!

November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here is a Thanksgiving prayer from the "Book of Common Prayer."

November 22, 2016

Monroe working to empower laity

After 35 years working for the church, Paulette Monroe is working to turn her position as Conference Lay Leader into an opportunity to empower. She talks about her plans and dreams to reach out.

November 21, 2016

Resources for Advent home worship

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. Here are some ways you can prepare yourself and your family for celebrating Jesus' birth.

November 18, 2016

Advent, and the longing for home

Serving as chaplain at a memory care facility, a retired UMC bishop learns that the longing for home is an innate hunger, buried deeper than our memories or imaginings. And it lies at the heart of Advent.

November 18, 2016

Ready-made meals for holiday stowaways

Don't forget that there is more than just the turkey dinner to figure out during the holiday. Many ...

November 17, 2016

'Worn' by Tenth Avenue North

Tenth Avenue North is an American contemporary Christian music band from West Palm Beach, Florida that takes its name from an east-west road in Palm Beach County. The group was formed while members attended Palm Beach Atlantic University.

November 16, 2016

East Angola villagers fighting to survive malaria

The husband-wife team of Rev. Armando and Icel Rodgriquez have turned a one-time visit to East Angola into an annual mission. Today, medicine and supplies are giving villagers of Quessua a chance to survive.

November 15, 2016

Bikers, pastors and MAD DADS walk together

During 2016, homicides have set a record pace in Jacksonville, Fla. From prayer vigils at murder scenes to motorcycle rides, a church and local activists from a group called MAD DADS are doing something about it.

November 11, 2016

Mission Honduras: Security a top priority

It has been nearly 15 years since the General Board of Global Ministries deemed Mission Honduras an official initiative of The United Methodist Church. With one of the highest murder rates in the world, security has become a top priority.

November 11, 2016

Missions to Honduras an uphill battle for Cuban nationals

She and her late husband once served as missionaries to Honduras in the late 1990's, helping the country recover from Hurricane Mitch. Now in her 70's, Elina Iglesias wants to return. The challenge is that she is a Cuban national. The Honduran government will not allow her to travel there.

November 10, 2016

The leadership of laughter

Less talk and more joy. Less explanation and more playfulness. Less selling and promoting and more embodying and expressing the sheer wonder and joy of our faith. This is what ministry is meant to be like, grounded in the laughter of God, a seminary professor says in this ordination sermon.

November 10, 2016

Third Day: 'I Need A Miracle'

Enjoy a music video by Third Day performing "I Need A Miracle."

November 04, 2016

Churches give big salute to Veterans Day

Members of Palm Harbor UMC recently visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to lay a wreath and honor all who have served. For many conference churches, Veterans Day is a day for recognition and thanks; especially to those men and women we have lost, and the families who supported them.

November 03, 2016

'Yesternite' by Gungor

Gungor performs "Yesternite" from their latest album "I Am Mountain" live for Relevant Magazine.

November 02, 2016

A year in God's time

The first in a series of blog posts by Miranda Harrison-Quillin, invited by the Archbishop of Canterbury to join a monastic community in London for 10 months. She will share her insights, experiences and reflections about her new life.

October 28, 2016

Cuban Bishop talks of Covenant changing lives

Bishop Ricardo Pereira of Cuba recently sat down for an interview in Lakeland. With candor and grace, he talks about Methodism in Cuba, sister churches and the challenge to rebuild following Hurricane Matthew.

October 28, 2016

Youth brings clean water to Guatemalan village

Logan Franks, a 16-year-old girl from Jacksonville, made it her mission to bring clean drinking water to the village of Chisec in Guatemala. She started a Go-Fund-Me page, held fundraisers and found a Guatemalan based supplier for the water filters.

October 27, 2016

'Truly Today' by Liz Vice

KEXP @Pickathon presents Liz Vice performing "Truly Today" live on the Logging Road at Pickathon. (Recorded on July 31, 2015.)

October 25, 2016

Student interns consider pastoral life

They are asked to preach, attend church meetings, visit the sick and participate in worldwide missions. Ten students recently participated in unique internships to consider pastoral careers.

October 21, 2016

Engineering a future with clean water

A curious mission team member in a remote Cuban village learns that the tap water is unfit to drink, and providing people with clean water soon becomes the mission of a lifetime.

October 20, 2016

'Carbon Ribs' by John Mark McMillan

John Mark McMillan performs "Carbon Ribs" from the album "The Medicine" live from the Relevant studio.

October 18, 2016

Tallahassee church unites art and soul

Good Samaritan UMC incorporated the arts into its church mission. Today, the thriving program has 150 students and 14 instructors leading the way for many with special needs.

October 16, 2016

What I learned at VBS this summer

A pastor charged with teaching a third grade VBS class realized she was learning not only from the children but with them, by openheartedly engaging in the activities meant for kids.

October 14, 2016

Posting with a purpose on social media

Members of Southside UMC of Jacksonville are sharing their "life of faith with the world" on social media by posting, tweeting and liking. It's all part of a national event being called Social Media Sunday.

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