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 webadmin@flumc.org or click here to use our convenient “Submit a story” form.

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

March 21, 2017

Habitat faith build is a symbol of love

A recent Habitat for Humanity build in Miami brought three faiths together with one common goal: to build a house. In the end, the day's success was measured far beyond the concrete blocks, wood panels and nails used in construction.

March 17, 2017

Churches: 'Do not withhold good...when it is in your power to act'

Amidst political turmoil, churches are opening doors to immigrant refugees. Most are fleeing countries where the violence of wars and despair of poverty are the norm.

March 15, 2017

Faith Mission forming roots in east Gainesville neighborhood

Serving an east Gainesville neighborhood that is home to more than 700 families, Faith Mission is finding ways to belong. The program was established in 2014 and is located in what was once Faith United Methodist Church.

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.

January 31, 2017

Debra Susie and Florida Impact - 30 years breaking barriers to hunger

Debra Susie, the longtime president and CEO of nonprofit Florida Impact who stepped down at the end of 2016, said it was love at first sight upon first joining the organization. Her passionate battle for Florida residents living in poverty, especially children, has made a difference.

January 25, 2017

Interfaith gatherings planting seeds for solidarity

Describing it as "something he was called to do," Rev. Josh Bell of Spring of Life UMC in Orlando started an interfaith conversation between Methodists, Jewish and Muslim communities nearly one year ago. Today, those conversations continue - building relationships between different faiths.

January 20, 2017

Miracles: horses, youth and hope in action

In what many consider unconventional therapy, horses are being used at Madison Youth Ranch to help treat children who have been abused or neglected. Two of these equine therapists named Pinky and Sugar are changing lives in powerful ways.

January 18, 2017

New online network connects volunteers, ministries

It isn’t just millennials who want to make the world a better place. It’s an intergenerational aspiration for United Methodists. Learn how you can get involved through Volunteer Connect.

January 12, 2017

Community conversations begin with race relations

Amidst fresh coffee and conversation, an informal gathering was held Jan. 11 at Lakeland's Concord Coffee to discuss race relations issues. It was the start of a new series initiated by Florida Conference Bishop Ken Carter to help form a more inclusive community.

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.

December 08, 2016

Holiday ministry opportunities...and more

In the Christmas season, opportunities abound for volunteers to give the gift of ministry in ...

November 26, 2016

One focus for Giving Tuesday is South Florida's Justice for Our Neighbors

South Florida's Justice for Our Neighbors (SF-JFON) is reaching out to hundreds of immigrants facing legal challenges in Miami courtrooms. With Giving Tuesday happening on Nov. 29, the Florida Conference is providing a $10,000 matching grant to SF-JFON, making your gift worth more.

November 16, 2016

East Angola villagers fighting to survive malaria

The husband-wife team of Rev. Armando and Icel Rodgriquez have turned a one-time visit to East Angola into an annual mission. Today, medicine and supplies are giving villagers of Quessua a chance to survive.

November 15, 2016

Bikers, pastors and MAD DADS walk together

During 2016, homicides have set a record pace in Jacksonville, Fla. From prayer vigils at murder scenes to motorcycle rides, a church and local activists from a group called MAD DADS are doing something about it.

November 11, 2016

Mission Honduras: Security a top priority

It has been nearly 15 years since the General Board of Global Ministries deemed Mission Honduras an official initiative of The United Methodist Church. With one of the highest murder rates in the world, security has become a top priority.

November 11, 2016

Missions to Honduras an uphill battle for Cuban nationals

She and her late husband once served as missionaries to Honduras in the late 1990's, helping the country recover from Hurricane Mitch. Now in her 70's, Elina Iglesias wants to return. The challenge is that she is a Cuban national. The Honduran government will not allow her to travel there.

October 28, 2016

Cuban Bishop talks of Covenant changing lives

Bishop Ricardo Pereira of Cuba recently sat down for an interview in Lakeland. With candor and grace, he talks about Methodism in Cuba, sister churches and the challenge to rebuild following Hurricane Matthew.

October 28, 2016

Youth brings clean water to Guatemalan village

Logan Franks, a 16-year-old girl from Jacksonville, made it her mission to bring clean drinking water to the village of Chisec in Guatemala. She started a Go-Fund-Me page, held fundraisers and found a Guatemalan based supplier for the water filters.

October 21, 2016

Engineering a future with clean water

A curious mission team member in a remote Cuban village learns that the tap water is unfit to drink, and providing people with clean water soon becomes the mission of a lifetime.

October 18, 2016

Tallahassee church unites art and soul

Good Samaritan UMC incorporated the arts into its church mission. Today, the thriving program has 150 students and 14 instructors leading the way for many with special needs.

October 11, 2016

Conference responds to Matthew's impact on Haiti

Both UMCOR and UMVIM recommend volunteers to be patient until further communication is established with the Methodist Church in Haiti and the Circuit Superintendents of the affected areas.

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 28, 2016

Missions are investment in youth

From working in soup kitchens to building houses and planting community gardens, young people from across the conference are actively serving area missions.

September 14, 2016

Photos from 'Flood Bucket Challenge' drop off

It began with a challenge from one church to another. FUMC of Lakeland challenged Hyde Park UMC in Tampa to fill buckets of cleaning supplies to be delivered to flood victims across 28 Louisiana parishes.

September 12, 2016

Churches and schools partnering to work with at-risk kids

Temple Terrace UMC, following its mission as an instrument of hope in the community, is working with students at Kimbell Elementary in Tampa - a school reported to have challenges extending beyond the classroom.

August 25, 2016

Opportunities to help Louisiana flood victims

Florida churches are invited to help flood victims with special offering this Sunday and providing cleaning buckets.

August 19, 2016

Missions profoundly affect team members' spiritual walks

As mission workers from three Florida United Methodist churches discovered recently, the act of helping others had a profound effect on their own spiritual walks—no matter their age. They brought home mental snapshots of life-changing events.

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

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.

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.

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The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church

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Lakeland, FL 33815

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