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.

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.

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.

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