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.

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.

October 13, 2016

'More Heart, Less Attack' by NeedToBreathe

The band performs live at KBR Farm in 2014.

October 11, 2016

Commentary: Truly welcoming churches create inclusivity

A funny thing happens when people start simply being kind and welcoming to one another. They get to know each other. They gradually come to understand that the one who is different from them also loves Jesus and is doing the best that they can with what they have.

October 11, 2016

Conference responds to Matthew's impact on Haiti

Both UMCOR and UMVIM recommend volunteers to be patient until further communication is established with the Methodist Church in Haiti and the Circuit Superintendents of the affected areas.

October 06, 2016

Casting Crowns: 'Father, Spirit, Jesus'

Casting Crowns performs "Father, Spirit, Jesus" on the Lifesong Live DVD/CD.

October 06, 2016

October is Pastor Appreciation Month

In honor of dedicated clergy, we asked several ministers to share some of the ways church members had made them feel valued and found that for congregants and clergy alike, simple acts of caring help build a connection beyond the pulpit.

October 04, 2016

Churches discover time capsules and hidden messages

A Hyde Park UMC renovation leads to hidden prayers, while FUMC of Lake Wales finds a surprise discovery of two time capsules -- one dated back to the 1940's.

October 03, 2016

McKinley eager to do 'good soul tending work'

Florida Bishop Ken Carter announced in March the appointment of Rev. Sara McKinley as new director of the Office of Clergy Excellence. McKinley talks of exploring new mindsets of young clergy and those considering a call to ministry.

September 30, 2016

Laity Sunday 2016 emphasizes vital worship

Resources are available from United Methodist Discipleship Ministries, including posters, social media graphics and more.

September 29, 2016

'Silence' by Jars of Clay

Jars of Clay's last song of the Box Canyon night concert in Texas was 'Silence."

September 28, 2016

Missions are investment in youth

From working in soup kitchens to building houses and planting community gardens, young people from across the conference are actively serving area missions.

September 27, 2016

World Communion Sunday is Oct. 2

On World Communion Sunday your giving helps to provide scholarships for national and international graduate students whom God has gifted to learn and to serve. Links to resources are available.

September 26, 2016

Conference churches tackle hunger through food pantries

One in eight people worldwide does not have enough food. Florida Conference churches are responding with local food pantries.

September 21, 2016

Bishop Carter leads town hall in Gainesville

Bishop Carter answers questions at a Trinity UMC town hall meeting in Gainesville, stating it's time for every Methodist to become a bridge builder.

September 21, 2016

Campaign for Africa University launched

The Campaign for Africa University, a four-year effort to raise $50 million, was unveiled at a banquet celebrating the work of longtime supporter and board member Maggie Jackson, who is retiring from the board.

September 20, 2016

'One Thing' by Housefires

Housefires (featuring Kirby Kaple) perform their song "One Thing" for a live audience.

September 15, 2016

The Digital Age: 'Blessed Assurance'

This music video is a practice session of The Digital Age playing "Blessed Assurance" at their studio in Waco, Texas.

September 14, 2016

Photos from 'Flood Bucket Challenge' drop off

It began with a challenge from one church to another. FUMC of Lakeland challenged Hyde Park UMC in Tampa to fill buckets of cleaning supplies to be delivered to flood victims across 28 Louisiana parishes.

September 12, 2016

Churches and schools partnering to work with at-risk kids

Temple Terrace UMC, following its mission as an instrument of hope in the community, is working with students at Kimbell Elementary in Tampa - a school reported to have challenges extending beyond the classroom.

September 08, 2016

'I Am Mountain' by Gungor

Gungor performed the title song from their album "I Am Mountain" live for Relevant Magazine.

September 08, 2016

Revival, history themes for AC 2017, 2018

Described by Sharon Austin, director of Connectional Ministries, as an important time of gathering and fellowship, the 2017 Annual Conference returns to Orlando, and the 2018 Annual Conference returns to Florida Southern College in Lakeland.

September 06, 2016

Mission workshops aim to ignite ministries

The upcoming Mission: Ignite and Engage, will offer Florida Conference leadership a unique opportunity through workshops and chat rooms - to discover new ways to engage with their communities.

September 02, 2016

Gator Wesley gets new leadership from seasoned husband-and-wife team

Respected leaders for young adults, Joel and Heather Pancoast are taking on a new challenge at the Gator Wesley Foundation, serving college students at a pivotal time in their lives.

September 01, 2016

'I Am' by David Crowder

David Crowder performs "I Am" in a lyric video.

August 31, 2016

Recipes for Labor Day and end of summer celebrations

For many of us, Labor Day is the final break before a long stretch of work and school before the ...

August 29, 2016

Bishop Carter to hold town hall meetings in September

Bishop Carter extends an invitation to September town hall meetings to be held in Gainesville, Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale and Grace, Cape Coral.

August 25, 2016

Opportunities to help Louisiana flood victims

Florida churches are invited to help flood victims with special offering this Sunday and providing cleaning buckets.

August 25, 2016

Young Oceans: 'Great is Our God'

Music video by Young Oceans performing Plumb's "Great is Our God."

August 19, 2016

Missions profoundly affect team members' spiritual walks

As mission workers from three Florida United Methodist churches discovered recently, the act of helping others had a profound effect on their own spiritual walks—no matter their age. They brought home mental snapshots of life-changing events.

August 18, 2016

'Amazing Grace' by Palma Ceia praise band

We all know the song "Amazing Grace." Check out the way Palma Ceia's praise band captures the soul of the song.

August 17, 2016

2017 apportionments available

The apportionments for 2017 are now available on the conference website. Please contact your district office first if you have any questions regarding your 2017 apportionments.

August 17, 2016

Dear families of the Orlando community...

Expressions of love, sympathy and support came from as far away as Oakland, Calif., and Lexington, Ky.

August 12, 2016

Methodist ministries help homeless combat Zika virus

While vacationers are warned to stay away from Florida and residents are urged to stay indoors, Florida’s homeless population has little recourse for escaping the Zika virus threat.

August 11, 2016

Celebrating a Puerto Rican night

An extraordinary night filled with faith, talent, music and great food. God welcomes the ...

August 11, 2016

Young adult ministry observes third birthday

What all Young Adult Missional Movement participants have in common is the thirst to discern who God is calling them to be and the desire to serve.

August 08, 2016

Economics and the emerging church

Many congregations dream of being places of radical welcome, but that vision is not sustainable through tithing alone. It’s time to think differently about how to accomplish such work, writes the executive director of Leadership Education at Duke Divinity.

August 08, 2016

Young people work toward change concerning racism

Resources for youth ministry and race conversations are available from several United Methodist agencies.

August 05, 2016

Bishop Carter: Why we need evangelicals

“Evangelical” is the good news that points to Jesus and his coming kingdom which forgives our sin, overcomes our injustices and heals our divisions.

August 05, 2016

East Angola partnership bolsters next generations

Young people have been a continuing part of a unique partnership between Florida United Methodists and East Angola.

August 04, 2016

'Empty Me Out' by Liz Vice

Liz Vice sings "Empty Me Out" from her album "There's a Light."

July 29, 2016

The most ignored commandment

It's one of the Bible's most well-known commandments. So why aren't we following it? Commentary is courtesy Relevant Magazine.

July 28, 2016

'Cornerstone' by Hillsong Worship

Hillsong Worship performs an acoustic version of "Cornerstone" from the album "Cornerstone" live for RELEVANT magazine.

July 27, 2016

Bishop Carter to serve as a moderator of 'The Way Forward'

This post includes a press release from the Council of Bishops' executive committee regarding matters of unity and human sexuality prefaced by remarks by Bishop Ken Carter.

July 25, 2016

Fighting hunger is a connectional effort

“They were connecting more with doing the work of Christ. They feel happy to know they could be used to be the heart and mind of Christ beyond the church walls.”

July 25, 2016

Pokémon goes to church

United Methodist congregations across Florida are finding new faces in their parking lots, thanks to the popularity of a new game played on mobile phones.

July 22, 2016

Rev. Dr. Candace Lewis to lead Gulf Central District

The appointment will be effective on September 1.

July 21, 2016

'Beautiful Things' by Gungor

In 2010, Gungor stopped by the old RELEVANT Studio to give a raw and intimate performance of their song, "Beautiful Things."

July 20, 2016

Five ideas for your back-to-school kick off

For teens, there may be no bigger seasonal transition than starting back to school. This is the perfect time for a fun outreach event. Students can get together and see how the church can be a place to connect with friends.

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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