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 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 31, 2017

Advocating at legislature a spiritual endeavor

Spirits were high as dozens of child advocates gathered in Tallahassee for the annual march to the Capitol March 28. It was a chance to meet with state legislators on behalf of children in need across Florida.

March 30, 2017

For King and Country: 'No Turning Back'

"The power of music can impact our mood, emotions, our day. But when you merge the strength of music with the heart, hope and passion of the Gospel... it has the ultimate power not only to change someone's day, but to impact them for eternity. This is why we write music and sing songs - we hope that people will be moved, encouraged and stirred to live a life for Someone greater than themselves." --For King and Country

March 28, 2017

Program gives teens a crash course in homelessness from those who know it best

Flipping the script on who gets to tell the story of the disenfranchised, common cathedral's CityReach program in Boston empowers people who have experienced homelessness to serve as trusted experts on life without shelter.

March 23, 2017

Jason Gray: 'Remind Me Who I Am'

Jason Gray was born and raised in Southwestern Minnesota where he spent six years in youth ministry before going into full-time music ministry in 1999 as an independent artist. He lives near the Twin Cities area.

March 23, 2017

Second community conversation addresses immigration

A public forum sponsored by the Florida Conference addressed the topic of immigration March 21. It was the second in a series of community discussions on society and culture.

March 21, 2017

Habitat faith build is a symbol of love

A recent Habitat for Humanity build in Miami brought three faiths together with one common goal: to build a house. In the end, the day's success was measured far beyond the concrete blocks, wood panels and nails used in construction.

March 17, 2017

Churches: 'Do not withhold good...when it is in your power to act'

Amidst political turmoil, churches are opening doors to immigrant refugees. Most are fleeing countries where the violence of wars and despair of poverty are the norm.

March 16, 2017

'Never Stop' by Urban Rescue

Urban Rescue is a revival band from Los Angeles and the first ever act signed to Rend Family Records – a partnership between Irish celebration band Rend Collective and Capitol Christian Music Group. Fronted by Jordan Frye, Urban Rescue is on a mission to inspire the next generation of believers to see their churches, communities and cities awakened by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

March 15, 2017

Faith Mission forming roots in east Gainesville neighborhood

Serving an east Gainesville neighborhood that is home to more than 700 families, Faith Mission is finding ways to belong. The program was established in 2014 and is located in what was once Faith United Methodist Church.

March 13, 2017

Mar. 21 community conversation to focus on immigration

Immigration will be the subject of the March 21 conversation, and on April 24 the focus will be creation care.

March 09, 2017

Tenth Avenue North: 'I Have This Hope'

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. "I Have This Hope" is from their album "Followers," released in September 2016.

March 08, 2017

The challenge of leading together

Melissa Cooper, program coordinator of the Life Enrichment Center, offers the second in a two-part essay series on the state of intergenerational ministries. She takes a critical look at the challenges of leading together in the 21st century.

March 07, 2017

Taking inspiration from legacies in London monastery

For Miranda Harrison-Quillin, staying at Lambeth Palace has been a life experience. In her third post about living in a monastic community in London, Miranda examines the legacies of John and Charles Wesley and the rules that guide her as a member of St. Anselm.

March 03, 2017

Methodist Day planned at Jet Blue Park on Mar. 20

Cypress Lakes UMC in Ft. Myers will host the Red Sox event, which will include lunch and author Tim Kurkjian of ESPN speaking about his new book, "I'm Fascinated by Sacrifice Flies."

March 03, 2017

Way Forward group looking to get feedback

The commission, which held its second meeting Feb. 27-March 2 in Atlanta, must develop proposals aimed at keeping the multinational denomination together despite deep differences around homosexuality.

March 02, 2017

Hillsong United: 'Heaven Knows' from 'The Shack' movie

"It was an honor to write a song for the soundtrack, something we have actually had little experience in. We hope, as with everything we do, that people take away a portion of the greater message about Jesus!"

March 01, 2017

Giving voice to our children: Florida Advocacy Days 2017

With state legislators preparing for a busy 50-day session, members of the Florida Conference are ready to march on Tallahassee once again. This year's Florida Advocacy Days takes place March 26-28. It's an opportunity to give voice to the poor and disenfranchised, especially children.

February 28, 2017

Commentary: Working to make ends meet in Central Florida

Rev. Scott George, senior pastor of Pine Castle UMC in Orlando and the development director of Orlando Hope calls for healing and wholeness for all.

February 27, 2017

This Lent, adopt the role of comforter as a spiritual discipline

Being “called to the side of another” is a difficult venture, but one that is a mandate from God, writes a managing director of Leadership Education at Duke Divinity.

February 24, 2017

Pulpit exchanges preach justice and love

Stories of the 1960's, dynamic praise singing and marches through city streets marked the inaugural pulpit exchange of the Florida Conference.

February 24, 2017

Series begins on 'Building the Beloved Community'

With this occasional series on churches’ hard work of reconciliation and redemption, the conference will feature stories about interfaith community dialogues and activities, ecumenical initiatives to build bridges among us, “Reclaim the Common Good” conversations, church efforts to address immigration issues, churches growing the beloved community dialogue beyond the walls of the church, etc.

February 23, 2017

CrossRoad church complements Beatitudes series with Beatles' tunes

CrossRoad church in Jacksonville complements their sermon series on the Beatitudes with their band's covers of several Beatles' tunes. For the sermon based on Matthew 5:3, the band offers "Can't Buy Me Love."

February 22, 2017

Florida 'Praying Our Way Forward' the week of Feb. 26

The Florida Annual Conference’s week of leading “Praying Our Way Forward” is Sunday, February 26, through Saturday, March 4. Resources to assist churches participating next week include a prayer by Bishop Carter and a litany for Ash Wednesday, as well as a video introducing our Florida prayer effort.

February 21, 2017

The state of intergenerational ministries

It's perhaps an understated fact. The numerical measurements of congregational vitality in churches across America are not looking up. In the first of a two-part series, Melissa Cooper, program coordinator of the Life Enrichment Center, focuses on the state of intergenerational ministries today.

February 16, 2017

'Relent' by Citizens and Saints

"Relent" is a cut from the band's album, "A Mirror Dimly," released in September 2016.

February 16, 2017

Cabinet proposes district changes

The purpose of this letter is to inform you about a proposal that will be coming to the Annual Conference during our June meeting in Orlando.

February 16, 2017

February Update from the Moderators of a Commission on a Way Forward

In our next meeting, to be held in just a few days, we will be studying the first three chapters of Paul’s letter to the Galatians. Three commission members, from three different jurisdictions and two different continents, will lead our Bible study. We invite you to read these chapters with us, and to reflect on the challenges and assets in your own communities and congregations.

February 15, 2017

Folklore and family form country churches

Log cabins, handmade quilts and steak supper pick and grins are all part of the fabric of country churches. Follow the back roads to a story about churches located in rural areas of Florida.

February 14, 2017

Children's ministry roundtables create connections

Children's ministry roundtable meetings are described as essential to knowing the pulse of what is happening in local churches. With meetings held in November and again in February, children's ministers are looking for ways to create more sustainable ministries.

February 10, 2017

Appointment-making in a time of mission: 2017

“The Florida Conference Appointive Cabinet has met this week in Lakeland, Florida. The meetings have included prayer, discernment, silence, assessment of the gifts of clergy and discussion of approximately sixty congregations (one-tenth of the whole) who are anticipating transitions. We share these core values with you to let you know about how we do this work, and we request your continued prayers." --Bishop Ken Carter

February 09, 2017

All Sons and Daughters: 'Brokenness Aside'

"We are all poets and saints, we all have something to say, and whatever we have to say comes from our places of brokenness." --All Sons and Daughters

February 09, 2017

For Methodists in Cuba, 'These are good times'

Hard work and good relations—with fellow Cubans, United Methodists and others—help shape today’s church. All photos courtesy Mike DuBose, UMNS. This is part of a series of features on the church in Cuba.

February 08, 2017

It's space for sacred summers, childlike faith

If you're looking to feel the wonderment of childhood again, Warren Willis offers unique retreat opportunities for Camping Sunday. Described as a "fun ministry," this year's event is being held Feb. 26.

February 06, 2017

Cuban worship: Music, prayer and passion

United Methodist News Service provides a four-part series that examines the state of the Methodist Church in Cuba. The articles, which were scheduled to be published January 31, February 2, 7, and 9, take a widespread look at how Methodism is growing throughout urban as well as rural regions of the nation. Linda Bloom, assistant news editor for UMNS, and Mike DuBose, veteran United Methodist Communications photographer, spent one week traveling throughout Cuba.They took advantage of a recent loosening of travel embargoes for Americans to the Caribbean Island to meet with pastors, members and missionaries.

February 03, 2017

Black History Month resources available

In celebration of Black History Month, United Methodist Communications (UMCOM) has provided ...

February 02, 2017

'Soul On Fire' by Third Day

"Soul on Fire" is on the album "Lead Us Back: Songs of Worship," which was released in 2015.

January 31, 2017

Debra Susie and Florida Impact - 30 years breaking barriers to hunger

Debra Susie, the longtime president and CEO of nonprofit Florida Impact who stepped down at the end of 2016, said it was love at first sight upon first joining the organization. Her passionate battle for Florida residents living in poverty, especially children, has made a difference.

January 26, 2017

Commission on a Way Forward holds organizational meeting in Atlanta

Conversations ranged from reflection on challenges, hopes and concerns to the current state of what’s happening in the church to the meaning of unity to practical questions about how the Commission will go about its work and the processes and strategies that will be used to structure that work and meet the target dates.

January 26, 2017

Kristene DiMarco's 'Jesus, Your Love'

Jesus Culture Music presents Kristene DiMarco performing "Jesus, Your Love" from her album "Mighty."

January 25, 2017

Interfaith gatherings planting seeds for solidarity

Describing it as "something he was called to do," Rev. Josh Bell of Spring of Life UMC in Orlando started an interfaith conversation between Methodists, Jewish and Muslim communities nearly one year ago. Today, those conversations continue - building relationships between different faiths.

January 24, 2017

Urban Soul reaching new people, in new places, in new ways

Campus to City Wesley Executive Director, Derrick Scott III, is reaching out to young professionals in coffee shops, craft breweries and other venues in the heart of Jacksonville's eclectic urban core neighborhood.

January 20, 2017

Miracles: horses, youth and hope in action

In what many consider unconventional therapy, horses are being used at Madison Youth Ranch to help treat children who have been abused or neglected. Two of these equine therapists named Pinky and Sugar are changing lives in powerful ways.

January 19, 2017

'Zion' by Kings Kaleidoscope

This song is from the band's album "Becoming Who We Are."

January 18, 2017

New online network connects volunteers, ministries

It isn’t just millennials who want to make the world a better place. It’s an intergenerational aspiration for United Methodists. Learn how you can get involved through Volunteer Connect.

January 12, 2017

'You Are My Vision' by Rend Collective Experiment

Rend Collective Experiment performs "You Are My Vision" from their album "Homemade Worship by Handmade People" live from the Relevant studio.

January 12, 2017

Community conversations begin with race relations

Amidst fresh coffee and conversation, an informal gathering was held Jan. 11 at Lakeland's Concord Coffee to discuss race relations issues. It was the start of a new series initiated by Florida Conference Bishop Ken Carter to help form a more inclusive community.

January 10, 2017

Young adult summit mirrors Silicon Valley

A focus on involving young adults in the church is no surprise, but bringing millennials into an organization's decision-making process offers innovation and shades of Silicon Valley.

January 09, 2017

Florida churches plan to observe MLK, Jr. Day

In a day of both celebration and remembrance, churches throughout the Florida Conference are commemorating the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with dance, speeches and interfaith activities.

January 05, 2017

'Please Be My Strength' by Gungor

Gungor performs "Please Be My Strength" from the album "Beautiful Things" live from the old RELEVANT Studio.

January 05, 2017

From Civil Rights to Black Lives Matter: A community discussion with Bishop Carter slated for Jan. 11 in Lakeland

Bishop Carter will lead a community discussion, "From Civil Rights to Black Lives Matter," on Wednesday, Jan. 11, at 5 p.m. in Lakeland.

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The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church

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Lakeland, FL 33815

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