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.

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.

July 18, 2016

Resources for the Western Jurisdiction election of Karen Oliveto

Bishop Ken Carter offers resources and a reflection about the election of Karen Oliveto as a bishop.

July 14, 2016

'Dreamers' by Daniel Bashta

Daniel Bashta performs "Dreamers" from his album The Sounds of Daniel Bashta live from the RELEVANT Studio.

July 13, 2016

Haupert-Johnson appointed bishop of North Georgia Conference

The Rev. Sue Haupert-Johnson, a district superintendent of the Florida Annual Conference, has been elected as a United Methodist bishop by delegates at the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference. She has been appointed bishop of the North Georgia Conference for the next quadrennium.

July 13, 2016

Rev. Harold Lewis is new episcopal candidate

On Wednesday, July 13, Rev. Dr. Harold Lewis of the Florida Conference became an episcopal candidate for the Southeastern Jurisdiction (SEJ) of The United Methodist Church. He withdrew his nomination after several ballots.

July 12, 2016

Eating faithfully is a key to living faithfully

A North Carolina program for clergy, congregations and communities called Life Around the Table focuses on eating well as a way to nurture healthy Christian communities. The key, as its founder says in this interview, is developing a eucharistic imagination.

July 11, 2016

To bear greater fruit, churches team up on mission

What was intended as a one-time mission trip in 2015 for First United Methodist Church of Sebring has blossomed into a commitment to foster the dream of expanding a group home for orphaned, abused and neglected Bahamian children.

July 08, 2016

July conferences to elect 15 U.S. bishops

While the U.S. political scene focuses on who is winning red and blue states, many United Methodists are preparing to vote on who will wear the purple.

July 07, 2016

Faith, Hope and Racial Injustice: A Response from the Florida Conference Cabinet

In light of recent violent events, this is a re-posting of the Florida Conference Cabinet's December 12, 2014 "statement of faith and hope in a time of racial injustice."

July 07, 2016

Phil Wickham: 'Your Love Awakens Me'

In his first LP since 2013 which boasted the impactful “This Is Amazing Grace,” Phil questioned his future in music due to vocal cord surgery. Following the operation, Phil heard an undeniable truth from God that he was His child and reminded of the need to trust Him.

July 05, 2016

Survey provides insight into what seekers want from church

Spiritual growth and community top the list.

July 01, 2016

Bringing the Kingdom of God to our neighborhoods

Middle and high school students from Florida and Texas worked for a week in June in a low-income community in Southeast Gainesville as part of the United Methodist Action Reach-Out Mission by Youth's (UM ARMY) strategy to grow the organization's presence in Florida.

June 30, 2016

'Safe & Sound' by Bailey

Bailey is a singer/songwriter living in London. He released his first single 'Safe & Sound' in March and has recently released his debut album 'Gold'.

June 30, 2016

Quadrennial training theme: Leading into the future

The first Quadrennial Leadership event included presentations by Dr. Lovett Weems, as well as breakout work sessions for committees and leadership teams of the Florida conference. A link to videos and the slide presentations of Weems' sessions is in the story.

June 28, 2016

Recipes for keeping cool on the Fourth

Cool off your Fourth of July with recipes submitted by other people from all around the Conference. After all, who knows how to beat the Florida summer heat better than our veteran church foodies? Don't forget to stock the cooler with plenty of ice.

June 27, 2016

When believers don't believe

"A faith that has lost the ability to imagine the other’s existence is stale and loses the capacity to stir the spirit of love."

June 24, 2016

Bishop Carter's reflections on AC 2016

Bishop Carter shares thoughts about the 2016 Annual Conference, including the changing leadership roles for clergy and laity and how the Orlando murders shaped the context of the meeting.

June 24, 2016

The three-fold practice of abiding

Abiding is difficult in this busy age. But the practices of silent contemplation, shared reflection and anticipation of God’s grace give leaders a way to abide with those they lead, writes a pastor.

June 23, 2016

'Alive in You' by Jesus Culture

Jesus Culture performs an acoustic version of "Alive in You" live for Relevant magazine.

June 21, 2016

Churches support families living with Alzheimer's

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, so it’s timely to take a look at how some Florida United Methodist Churches are helping those affected by this healthcare crisis.

June 20, 2016

AC 2016 closes with joyful service

Conference closed on Saturday with a joyful Licensing, Commissioning and Ordination service and inspiring music.

June 18, 2016

Health benefits to change in 2017

The members of Annual Conference voted overwhelmingly to approve the Freedom to Choose health insurance proposal, to be implemented in 2017.

June 18, 2016

Leading in the midst of change

As society becomes more complex, the more sophisticated leadership must become, according to Bishop Janice Riggle Huie. “So, we’re talking about leading in a culture of change. And that change increasingly is rapid, unpredictable and nonlinear.”

June 17, 2016

AC Thursday: Leadership is about the power of love

The call for leadership, love and inclusion wove throughout the meeting’s first day, from Holy Communion to the night's prayer vigil for the Orlando shooting victims.

June 17, 2016

Photos from the Annual Conference 5K Run

The third Florida Annual Conference 5K started at the historic Windermere Town Hall on Friday morning, June 17. Nearly 60 were up at the crack of dawn, shoes laced and lining up to run for a good cause.

June 16, 2016

'Abide' by Liz Vice

Liz Vice performs "Abide" at the 2015 Pickathon Edge Sessions in Portland, Oregon.

June 16, 2016

Photos from Orlando prayer vigil

The 2016 Florida Conference's annual meeting came to Orlando in the wake of tragedy: five days before its commencement, a “blatant act of mass murder that happened literally in our neighborhood."

June 14, 2016

Conference to hold prayer vigil Thursday night

The Annual Conference will have a prayer vigil for the Orlando shooting victims, survivors and their families, the City of Orlando and the nation on Thursday, June 16, at 9:30 p.m.

June 13, 2016

First Orlando to host InterFaith Service on Tuesday

The Tuesday, June 14, service will include leaders from the religious communities within the City of Orlando that work with Rev. Dr. Jim Coffin, the executive director of the InterFaith Council of Central Florida.

June 13, 2016

Reclaiming the distinctive gifts of a small church

Few places in the U.S. support the conditions for small churches to act like big churches. So they have an opportunity to focus on the activities that both foster the particular gifts of the congregation and make a distinctive witness to the community, writes the executive director of Leadership Education at Duke Divinity.

June 10, 2016

Clergy Gathering slated for Oct. 25-26

Click here to register for Clergy Gathering 2016  

June 09, 2016

Audrey Assad: 'Be Thou My Vision'

In many ways, a hymns album is a return home for Audrey, who grew up learning to sing in a Plymouth Brethren community.

June 08, 2016

Quadrennial Leadership Day on June 25

Bishop Carter invites conference committee members to participate in a Quadrennial Leadership Day on June 25. The keynote speaker will be Lovett Weems of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.

June 07, 2016

New welcome centers encouraging connections

While the new centers provide extra space for churches to expand their outreach, do missions work and, in some cases offer a good cup of coffee to the flock before and after worship services, the main focus is to create space that fosters connections and makes new members comfortable.

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