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 this week's crossword puzzle. Have a story to share? Email webadmin@flumc.org or click here to use our convenient “Submit a story” form.

Image courtesy of www.ChristianBibleReference.org. Copyright © by Cliff Leitch.

October 10, 2017

'Homeless Jesus' sculpture unveiled at First Miami

A life-sized sculpture was unveiled in a special ceremony held October 1 at FUMC Miami. Titled "Homeless Jesus," the bronze artwork was created by Canadian artist Timothy Schmalz depicting Christ wrapped in a blanket and lying on a bench. The church also began its new mobile shower ministry for the homeless.

October 05, 2017

Our statement of solidarity with Puerto Rico

As both of our Conferences recover from the devastations of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, we, in Florida, offer our solidarity and love to our sisters and brothers in Puerto Rico.

September 29, 2017

Clergy Gathering is slated for Oct. 24-25 at Life Enrichment Center

The Bishop’s Annual Clergy Gathering is October 24 and 25, 2017 at the Life Enrichment Center in Fruitland Park.

September 29, 2017

Florida churches commit to long post-Irma recovery

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. — For a disaster survivor, it’s this simple: Green is good; orange is bad. Once...

September 26, 2017

First regional meeting addresses recovery, Way Forward

In the first of three scheduled regional meetings featuring Bishop Ken Carter, topics addressed included the need to reach out to those trying to recover from Hurricane Irma and challenges faced by the Commission on a Way Forward.

September 26, 2017

Workshop postponed for 'Our Kids Training Plus'

The first in a planned series of training workshops for school-church partners, "Our Kids Training Plus," has been postponed until further notice. The event, originally scheduled for Oct. 7, is being rescheduled due to Hurricane Irma recovery efforts.

September 22, 2017

Bishop Carter's regional gatherings will be livestreamed

For those unable to attend the regional gatherings, the Florida Conference is livestreaming the events.

September 20, 2017

LEC, Warren Willis house power crews during Irma

It began the Thursday before Hurricane Irma made landfall. Power trucks from as far away as North Carolina rolled into the Life Enrichment Center and Warren Willis Camp as they opened their doors with hospitality. The facility housed up to 800 linemen in the days after the storm hit.

September 05, 2017

Hurricane Irma information and resources

Dear Church: Based on the forecasts from the National Weather Service and all relevant hurricane ...

August 31, 2017

Four generations of Native Americans come together

Several generations gathered for stories, song and fellowship at the Native American Summer Conference held July 28-30 in North Carolina. The event was part of the Southeastern Jurisdiction Association for Native American Ministries.

August 28, 2017

2018 apportionments are available

Apportionments for 2018 are now available on the conference website. Please contact your district first if you have any questions regarding your apportionments.

August 25, 2017

Registration open for 'Our Kids Training Plus'

Organizers are encouraging Florida Conference church pastors, staff and laity to register now for the first school-church partner training session. "Our Kids Training Plus" will be held Oct. 7, 2017 at St. Luke's UMC in Orlando.

July 05, 2017

Largo summit addresses caregiving, a $470 billion industry

According to AARP, caregiving is a $470 billion industry. St. Paul UMC in Largo recently hosted the 2017 Family Caregiver Lifespan Respite Summit to learn about the needs of 3 million Florida caregivers.

June 05, 2017

Palm Coast pastor experiences South Korean culture

Described as an academic, cultural and spiritual encounter, the Rev. Kevin James, pastor at Palm Coast UMC, and his wife, Linda, recently returned from an eight-day trip to South Korea. James was one of 19 United Methodist Church pastors selected from across the U.S. to join the mission.

May 30, 2017

Map and details for proposed eight districts available

Some of the background for the change, a map of the proposed districts and a list of churches by those districts is available.

May 01, 2017

Bishop Carter announces full-time appointment changes

The appointment changes will take effect July 1, 2017.

April 26, 2017

Community conversation addresses climate change

An April 24 Concord Conversation, held in Lakeland, addressed key issues such as climate change, eco-theology and how to promote the stewardship of Mother Earth.

April 17, 2017

April 24 community conversation topic: Creation Care

The third in a series of community conversations initiated by Florida Conference Bishop Ken Carter will be held April 24 and will focus on creation care.

March 23, 2017

Second community conversation addresses immigration

A public forum sponsored by the Florida Conference addressed the topic of immigration March 21. It was the second in a series of community discussions on society and culture.

March 01, 2017

Giving voice to our children: Florida Advocacy Days 2017

With state legislators preparing for a busy 50-day session, members of the Florida Conference are ready to march on Tallahassee once again. This year's Florida Advocacy Days takes place March 26-28. It's an opportunity to give voice to the poor and disenfranchised, especially children.

February 24, 2017

Pulpit exchanges preach justice and love

Stories of the 1960's, dynamic praise singing and marches through city streets marked the inaugural pulpit exchange of the Florida Conference.

February 24, 2017

Series begins on 'Building the Beloved Community'

With this occasional series on churches’ hard work of reconciliation and redemption, the conference will feature stories about interfaith community dialogues and activities, ecumenical initiatives to build bridges among us, “Reclaim the Common Good” conversations, church efforts to address immigration issues, churches growing the beloved community dialogue beyond the walls of the church, etc.

February 22, 2017

Florida 'Praying Our Way Forward' the week of Feb. 26

The Florida Annual Conference’s week of leading “Praying Our Way Forward” is Sunday, February 26, through Saturday, March 4. Resources to assist churches participating next week include a prayer by Bishop Carter and a litany for Ash Wednesday, as well as a video introducing our Florida prayer effort.

February 16, 2017

Cabinet proposes district changes

The purpose of this letter is to inform you about a proposal that will be coming to the Annual Conference during our June meeting in Orlando.

February 10, 2017

Appointment-making in a time of mission: 2017

“The Florida Conference Appointive Cabinet has met this week in Lakeland, Florida. The meetings have included prayer, discernment, silence, assessment of the gifts of clergy and discussion of approximately sixty congregations (one-tenth of the whole) who are anticipating transitions. We share these core values with you to let you know about how we do this work, and we request your continued prayers." --Bishop Ken Carter

February 08, 2017

It's space for sacred summers, childlike faith

If you're looking to feel the wonderment of childhood again, Warren Willis offers unique retreat opportunities for Camping Sunday. Described as a "fun ministry," this year's event is being held Feb. 26.

February 03, 2017

Black History Month resources available

In celebration of Black History Month, United Methodist Communications (UMCOM) has provided ...

January 05, 2017

From Civil Rights to Black Lives Matter: A community discussion with Bishop Carter slated for Jan. 11 in Lakeland

Bishop Carter will lead a community discussion, "From Civil Rights to Black Lives Matter," on Wednesday, Jan. 11, at 5 p.m. in Lakeland.

January 03, 2017

AC 2017 resolutions deadline is Jan. 31

According to the Standing Rules of the Florida Conference, Par. 206 2(d), “All submitted resolutions must be received by the Conference Secretary by Jan. 31 to be considered at the regular Annual Conference Event later that year.”

January 02, 2017

2016 apportionments due Jan. 10, 2017

January 10, 2017 is the deadline for submitting 2016 apportionments.

October 25, 2016

Student interns consider pastoral life

They are asked to preach, attend church meetings, visit the sick and participate in worldwide missions. Ten students recently participated in unique internships to consider pastoral careers.

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 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 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 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 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.

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 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 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.

July 22, 2016

Rev. Dr. Candace Lewis to lead Gulf Central District

The appointment will be effective on September 1.

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.

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 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 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.

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 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 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.

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The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church

450 Martin L King Jr Ave
Lakeland, FL 33815

(863) 688-5563 or toll free (800) 282-8011