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 or click here to use our convenient “Submit a story” form.

Image courtesy of Copyright © by Cliff Leitch.

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.

January 04, 2017

Season's traditions included ugly Christmas sweaters

Among the many celebrations held at Florida Conference churches during the holidays, one old tradition has taken on a new wave of popularity. From Star Wars to Queen Elizabeth, ugly sweater parties in 2016 re-defined art on clothing.

January 03, 2017

AC 2017 resolutions deadline is 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 02, 2017

2016 apportionments due Jan. 10, 2017

January 10, 2017 is the deadline for submitting 2016 apportionments.

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.

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