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.

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.

March 22, 2016

New campus leaders announced

New Wesley Foundation leaders have been named to lead two of Florida’s universities: Gator Wesley Foundation at the University of Florida in Gainesville and United Wesley of Miami.

March 21, 2016

Church can happen anywhere

Spurred on by ReThink Church grants, several Florida churches are taking journeys beyond their brick and mortar traditions to embrace the 21st century-driven changes in the ways churches reach out to their congregations and the communities they serve.

March 21, 2016

Family-favorite Easter recipes

Skip the recipe egg hunt this year. We scrounged up 12 seasonal recipes for your Easter feaster. Check out these delicious options submitted by our community.

March 18, 2016

What to stream for Holy Week

Turn Holy Week into a biblical video marathon. We've put together a list of christian-themed movies as well as some kid-friendly options. Check it out.

March 17, 2016

'Reason to Sing'

All Sons & Daughters perform "Reason To Sing" from their album Reason to Sing live from the RELEVANT studio.

March 14, 2016

Bishop Carter announces new appointments

Bishop Ken Carter and the appointive cabinet of the Florida Conference announced new assignments today, and they will become effective July 1.

March 14, 2016

Florida Conference's day of prayer for GC is April 14

The Florida Conference is called to a time of prayer on April 14 to prepare for General Conference as part of denomination's 131 days of prayer that began on December 31. Rev. David McEntire, FUMC Lakeland, provides a format for this day of prayer in the Florida Conference.

March 14, 2016

Losing the home court advantage

The end of the home-court advantage is result of our own flaws -- we must confess, more honestly, our sins -- and it is the inevitable consequence of modernity and, more recently, post-modernity. Modernity wondered how Christianity could be true; post-modernity asked how Christianity could be authentic. Taken together, the faith seemed out of sync with culture.

March 10, 2016

Beef up your St. Patty's feast with these 14 Irish recipes

There are some aficionados of Irish cuisine amongst our ranks here in the Florida Conference. With St. Patty's day coming up, this is a great opportunity to try out what they've stewed up for us.

March 10, 2016

'Scandal of Grace' by Hillsong United

Hillsong United performs "Scandal of Grace" from the album "ZION" live with RELEVANT Magazine in Tampa.

March 08, 2016

Five Christians who changed the world

A reminder of a few of those who have gone before us to fight for justice. Courtesy Relevant Magazine.

March 07, 2016

South Florida JFON debuts mobile immigration clinic

A donated camper has been converted to a mobile legal clinic for immigrants by the South Florida Justice for our Neighbors, a ministry of The United Methodist Church that offers free legal services.

March 04, 2016

Hundreds turn out for ‘Real Ideas’

Those arriving at the Real Ideas Conference at Van Dyke Church in Lutz came with different aspirations.

March 03, 2016

'Like a Lion' by Daniel Bashta

Daniel Bashta performs "Like A Lion" from his album The Sounds of Daniel Bashta live from the RELEVANT Studio.

March 03, 2016

How do you curate human potential?

Courageous institutional leaders work to hire and develop the next generation of leaders -- even knowing that those leaders likely will leave to work somewhere else, writes a managing director of Leadership Education at Duke Divinity. Article courtesy of Faith & Leadership

March 02, 2016

Building bridges: A commentary

A Florida Conference pastor and a summer staff intern who come from widely differing cultures share a story about how building bridges and staying at Christ’s table can overcome stereotyping and divisiveness. “We don’t have to be united in our particulars to be united as Methodists.”

February 29, 2016

Pitching in for the home(less) team: North East District

United Methodists join nonprofit organizations and borrow ideas from other Florida church members to tackle an enormous socioeconomic issue in their community.

February 26, 2016

You’re welcome: tips for greeting visitors this Easter

Children's drawings, like this one of a visitor and a cross on Easter morning, can warm the ...

February 25, 2016

'Holy (Wedding Day)' by The City Harmonic

The City Harmonic performs "Holy (Wedding Day)" from their album I Have A Dream (It Feels Like Home) live from the RELEVANT Studio.

February 24, 2016

Va va (va va) zoom: Fast growth not necessarily fast work

Pastors of three large Florida Conference churches that landed on a list of fastest-growing churches in the denomination share practices that helped them get there.

February 23, 2016

Back from the birthplace of Christianity

Ordinands return from a Florida Conference-sponsored Holy Land trip with new perspectives on the Bible.

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