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.

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.

June 06, 2016

Churches fill summer 'food gap' for children

Throughout Florida, many United Methodist churches are pitching in to help ensure that young students in low-income families remain well fed during the summer recess.

June 06, 2016

Storm resources available for churches, communities

According to NASA, on June 6, a tropical storm warning was in effect from Indian Pass to Englewood and Altamaha Sound to Sebastian Inlet, Florida. A tropical storm watch was in effect from north of Altamaha Sound, Georgia, to South Santee River in South Carolina. The warning and watch areas cover most of the state.

June 02, 2016

'Death in His Grave' by John Mark McMillan

John Mark McMillan performs “Death in His Grave” from the album 'The Medicine' live from the Relevant studios.

June 01, 2016

Tweet Meet for AC slated for June 8

Bishop Ken Carter will moderate the third "Tweet Meet" for the Florida Conference on June 8 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

May 27, 2016

Telling Our Stories: Leading Like Jesus

The conference is seeking storytellers who will share stories about this year's meeting theme, "Leading Like Jesus."

May 26, 2016

'Strong God' by Desperation Band

Desperation Band performs "Strong God" from their album "Center of It All" live from the Relevant studio.

May 26, 2016

Council of Bishops' letter to the church

Council of Bishops follows tradition with letter to the church.

May 24, 2016

Countdown to Annual Conference

The annual assembly of Florida's United Methodist Church starts June 16 at the Buena Vista Palace Hotel in Orlando. Here's what attendees need to know.

May 24, 2016

Memorial Day picnic recipes

To remember our fallen heroes, many of us enjoy coming together in fellowship with those still with us. Here, we've put together ideas for what to bring to a Memorial Day picnic, potluck and grill out.

May 23, 2016

General Conference 2016 summary

General Conference wrapped up on Friday, May 20, and below are highlights of some accomplishments, ...

May 19, 2016

All things are possible

I love the church. I am not naive about the church, or my own human nature, but I love the church. I loved serving as a pastor in the local church, and now I am blessed in the ministry of being a bishop. My love for the church recognizes her flaws; we hold the treasure of the gospel in earthen vessels, Paul wrote, to show that the transcendent belongs to God and not to us.

May 19, 2016

Citizens & Saints: 'You Brought Me Back to Life'

Citizens & Saints hope their music can do one thing—unite the Church by proclaiming the gospel through song and "Join The Triumph" is the message they want to convey.

May 19, 2016

What does the new DOL rule mean for you?

How will the Department of Labor ruling affect the way your office operates? Are your employees "exempt" or "nonexempt"? Find out the answer to these questions and more.

May 18, 2016

What C.S. Lewis teaches us about losing and finding faith again

How skepticism can actually strengthen our faith.

May 17, 2016

Collective is firing up the 'nones' and 'dones'

In a former newspaper office building in the middle of Deland, Fla., Christ is at work in a coffee house atmosphere where musicians play and the passion of a thirty-something pastor fires up the “nones” and “dones.”

May 16, 2016

Pentecost sermon: Our own native tongue

The image of God at Pentecost is multilingual, multicultural and multi-ethnic, not for a politically correct agenda, but because the gospel demands it. The gospel is polyphonic, the dean of Duke Chapel says in this Pentecost sermon.

May 12, 2016

'His Name' by Urban Rescue

Official lyric video for “His Name” by Urban Rescue.

May 10, 2016

Health ministry grant applications due June 1

The Missional Engagement Ministry of the Florida Conference is currently seeking applications for Health Ministry Grants from local churches.  Applications are due June 1.

May 09, 2016

'We Are More' site shares faith stories

In this season of General Conference, the Missouri Conference is sharing a website called "We Are More," a series of compelling stories of faith.

May 09, 2016

Christianity's countercultural values

The author explores why the teachings of the Bible are still so radical.

May 05, 2016

'Only You' by Young Oceans

Directors Aaron and Alex Craig deliver an angelic vision for Young Oceans' "Only You," a video in support of the Brooklyn meditatives' album "I Must Find You."

May 05, 2016

Florida GC media center launched

Use the GC 2016 link in the gray navigational bar near the top of the home page to access links to social media, news feeds and photo galleries on Florida's General Conference webpage headquarters.

May 04, 2016

Mother of Methodism: Susanna Wesley

This Mother's Day we honor Susanna Wesley. The example of faith and religious reverence she set for her children John and Charles inspired them to become powerful spiritual leaders and to launch the Methodist movement.

May 03, 2016

Haupert-Johnson launches episcopal candidacy website

The Florida Conference episcopal candidate's website includes sermons, a biography, endorsements and a video.

April 29, 2016

GC 2016: Young Clergy Initiative up for renewal

Delegates to General Conference 2016 will be asked to renew funding for the Young Clergy Initiative. The grant-based program, created by General Conference 2012, aims to bolster the ranks of young pastors in The United Methodist Church. While officials say it is too soon for statistical evidence that the program is working, anecdotal accounts offer encouragement.

April 29, 2016

On being hunted by the Gospel

The sense of fear that perhaps just over my shoulder Jesus is waiting for me makes hair stand up on my arms.

April 28, 2016

'You Have Me' by Gungor

Gungor performs "You Have Me" from the album Beautiful Things live from the old RELEVANT studio.

April 27, 2016

Who is my neighbor?

After years of decline, a congregation in Houston has been experimenting with a new ministry with refugees in a nearby neighborhood. This collection tells a story of reclaiming a mission, navigating change, nurturing innovative leaders and embarking on the patient work of building friendship.

April 25, 2016

UMC is key partner in Imagine No Malaria fight

So far, the people of The United Methodist Church have contributed $20,085,817 to the Global Fund, with more than half of that amount donated last year alone.

April 21, 2016

'Carry My Soul' by Phil Wickham

Phil Wickham performs "Carry My Soul" from the album The Ascension live from the Relevant Studio.

April 20, 2016

God's gift of the earth: A photo prayer

This video features stunning images of Nature along with the beautiful words of a prayer written by United Methodist Bishop Ken Carter when he was a pastor in North Carolina.

April 19, 2016

'Pasco Rebuilds Together' making progress

Floodwaters from the 2015 summer storms in Pasco County receded long ago, but the recovery effort continues daily, thanks to a faith-based coalition repairing and rebuilding homes with volunteer labor and donations of money and materials.

April 17, 2016

Bishop announces full-time appointment changes

The appointment changes will take effect July 1, 2016.

April 14, 2016

Geared up for bicycle ministry

The gift of a bicycle brings blessings of hope and joy to both the new owners and those working as the hands and feet of Christ.

April 13, 2016

Three petitions shape Bishop Carter's prayers

They are: the faithfulness of the church, the fruitfulness of the church and the unity of the church.

April 12, 2016

Treasure hidden in a field

"So what do you think will happen at the General Conference?” I’m often asked that question. Underneath are a variety of unspoken emotions: fear, anxiety, sadness, anticipation, excitement. It’s a question that’s voiced this year, perhaps with a greater sense of urgency, but it’s one we have asked before.

April 11, 2016

'Joy of the World' by Rend Collective

Recorded live in Relevant Magazine's studio, the song is from the album "As Family We Go."

April 08, 2016

A place for grace

Shade and Fresh Water created a transformative sanctuary – a "clergy suite" – at the Life Enrichment Center for individuals and their families who are professionally associated with the conference.

April 07, 2016

'We Should Run' by Sarah MacIntosh

Sarah MacIntosh performs “We Should Run” from her album Current live from the Relevant Magazine studio.

April 06, 2016

Pre-conference leadership gatherings offered

Leading Like Jesus is the theme of the 2016 Annual Conference, and pre-conference leadership gatherings will launch the topic and include tracks tailored for laity and clergy. All sessions will be held on Wednesday, June 15, at the Buena Vista Palace Hotel in Orlando.

April 05, 2016

Promoting the ‘culture of the call’

Jacksonville’s Mandarin UMC promotes the culture of the call to ministry.

April 04, 2016

Setting the table is an ecumenical affair

Through the strength of ecumenical connections and collaboration, Clearwater churches boost their impact on fighting their neighbors' hunger.

March 31, 2016

'I Am Free' by Desperation Band

Desperation Band performs "I Am Free" from their album "Center of It All" live from the RELEVANT Studio.

March 30, 2016

Fresh Expressions video competition launched

Could your Fresh Expressions ministry use an extra $1,000? Here's an opportunity exclusively for Fresh Expressions in Florida.

March 29, 2016

Christian cliches we shouldn't use

Jonathan Merritt discusses Adam Hamilton's new book, "Half Truths: God Helps Those Who Help Themselves and Other Things the Bible Doesn’t Say."

March 28, 2016

11 contemporary authors Christians should read

Good literature broadens our perspectives. Through fiction, we can experience war, infidelity, the loss of a lover. To an extent, we can empathize and understand the pain others go through.

March 28, 2016

Peace building through the arts

The arts are a starting place for addressing what different faiths have in common, says the founder of a nonprofit that hosts interfaith art exhibitions around the world.

March 24, 2016

'Calvary' by Hillsong Worship

Luke 23: 32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” [c] And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

March 23, 2016

The Easter story: Tell it again

Some stories need to be told again and again. So it is with the story of Easter, a story that reminds us that we belong to God and that Jesus is out ahead of us, calling us to God’s future.

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