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 or click here to use our convenient “Submit a story” form.

Image courtesy of Copyright © by Cliff Leitch.

June 25, 2018

Churches approach 'Brain Fitness' intergenerationally

College students see that what textbooks say about dementia isn’t what people living with dementia are; they can be contributing members of the community for a long time. Club members, many of them doctors, lawyers and businesspeople, mentor the students and feel a sense of accomplishment.

June 21, 2018

5 other Bible verses for Jeff Sessions to consider

"The problem is not with a politician quoting scripture. Promoting biblical literacy in the public square can be a good thing. The biggest problem is not even with misinterpreting scripture. We are all susceptible to it. The problem is in its misuse, to promote an agenda that is not only antithetical to the Gospel, but is destructive to the highest and best human institution that God created: the family."

June 21, 2018

Installing new doors for a hurricane-damaged church

In April, a team of skilled volunteers from First United Methodist Church in Land O'Lakes responded to disaster recovery needs in the Florida Keys. The team brought tools and construction know-how to Big Pine Key UMC where they installed new doors in the church facilities.

June 20, 2018

Micanopy UMC adopts school in new ministry

Apart from Sunday, Tuesday is the most joy-filled day of the week for Pastor D. J. Muszynski of Micanopy United Methodist Church.

June 19, 2018

Churches bridge the summer hunger gap for children

About 21 percent of Florida children are considered “food insecure,” meaning they do not have regular access to healthy food, according to the federal government. To combat that during the school year, these children receive free breakfast and lunch at school. In the summer, feeding programs provide nourishment.

June 18, 2018

Where there is Irma misery, there is ministry opportunity

Case managers help survivors figure out where they are, what recovery looks like for them, walk them through the process and help them identify and access resources.

June 14, 2018

UM ARMY is transforming for young adults on mission

Working with elderly, low-income and disabled homeowners in Gulfport, this June young adults will be painting, doing minor floor repairs, working on siding and debris cleanup, among other things.

June 13, 2018

AC 2018 concludes with a new vision for the future

After spending the week of 2018 Annual Conference re-connecting United Methodists with the basics of their faith through the theme “Remembering Who We Are, ”laity and clergy come away with a new vision as they continue to make disciples "On Mission Together."

June 12, 2018

Way Forward session innovative, highly participatory

The Way Forward session Friday afternoon was highly participatory and innovative.

June 08, 2018

Photos from the 2018 Annual Conference 5K

On Friday morning, June 8, the fifth Florida Annual Conference 5K began on Lake Hollingsworth across from the Nina B. Hollis Wellness Center and ended on Lake Hollingsworth Drive across from Branscomb Auditorium.

June 08, 2018

Collaboration is key for new direction, 'On Mission Together'

As the Annual Conference opened Thursday afternoon, the message went out to United Methodists across Florida about a renewed collaboration that will seek to make disciples for Jesus Christ.

June 07, 2018

Laity celebrates mission outside church walls

The 2018 Florida Annual Conference laity session Thursday, led by conference Lay Leader Paulette Monroe, highlighted the vital contributions lay workers provide at United Methodist churches throughout the state.

June 05, 2018

Innovative approaches boosting church vitality

A rich mixture of good news is sweeping across the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church, from a land sale that will bring in ministry-boosting resources, to new churches and mergers designed to strengthen outreach and attendance.

June 04, 2018

Prepare for the 2018 hurricane season

Assess your church’s readiness. Trim tree limbs, sandbag doors, take an inventory of property and check insurance coverage, especially the hurricane deductible. If possible, put aside funds to cover damage that isn’t covered by insurance.

May 30, 2018

‘We must disagree well’

Methodist minister from Northern Ireland shares thoughts on peacemaking.

May 29, 2018

Goodbye camp, hello open road

Dave and Donna Bruns have mixed emotions about their retirement as they leave Centenary Camp in Quincy after more than 12 years.

May 28, 2018

CROS Ministries celebrates 40 years of collaboration

One of the greatest successes has been the transformation of people's lives, from the volunteers to the people we serve. To be able to touch a person's life is an honor and privilege. We are the hands and feet of God, bringing God's love into reality for those struggling with daily living.

May 25, 2018

Bishop Ken Carter responds to Judicial Council decision

Bishop Ken Carter's statement expresses gratitude for the Judicial Council’s work and our continuing commitment to serve and lead our church, as well as providing clarity around the Council of Bishops' motivation for requesting a Declaratory Decision.

May 25, 2018

Countdown to Annual Conference 2018

The annual conference, themed “Remembering Who We Are,” is June 7–9, and it is partly a 50th-year celebration of the formation of The United Methodist Church in 1968 with the union of the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church. Here you'll find information and links to help orient you to the event.

May 23, 2018

Picture this! Disaster recovery in action

In these photos, submitted by disaster recovery construction coordinator Hank Lunsford, a spirit of generosity is seen in volunteer teams hailing from across the country as they work hard to put roofs back over people's heads.

May 22, 2018

FUMC Tavares school partnership is jammin’

The church just completed its third year of Jesus and Me, the JAM program, with about 70 students from Tavares Elementary School. Parents get in on the fun and fellowship, as well, through what the church calls FX Family nights.

May 21, 2018

Florida team ministers in Brazilian Amazonia

Using a Methodist-owned boat turned floating clinic, doctors, nurses and other helpers navigated tributaries to the Amazon River and offered health clinics to indigenous populations. All photos by Rev. Armando Rodriguez.

May 21, 2018

ZOE empowers orphans, vulnerable children in Africa

ZOE ’s approach has proven that children living in poverty also hold the greatest capacity to create lasting solutions for themselves, their families and their communities.

May 17, 2018

Asbury, Maitland, launches dinner and conversation

“Constellation” is a Fresh Expression that brings young adults together on Monday nights to enjoy food, fellowship and spiritual storytelling.

May 17, 2018

Displaced Maria survivors continue to struggle

Maria, one of the worst Atlantic storms of the last century, left many Puerto Rican families with little or no possessions. Some still suffer from post-traumatic stress, and all are struggling to figure out their futures.

May 16, 2018

AC theme: ‘Remembering Who We Are’

“The theme ‘remembering who we are’ is about our identity in Christ and, more particularly, our identity as United Methodists within the Body of Christ.” --Bishop Ken Carter

May 15, 2018

Campus ministries growing, spreading the good news

Students across the state rallied in service to those affected by the storms that battered Florida and Texas. They are reaching out to those on their campuses to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. Through technology, they are telling that story in innovative ways, as well as old-fashioned retreats and gatherings.

May 14, 2018

Madison Children’s Home celebrates new facilities

A crowd of 300 celebrated the dedication of a new chapel and state of the art counseling center at the facility in Madison on May 5.

May 10, 2018

Exploration helps young adults contemplating ministry

"Although I am still unsure of what exactly my calling is, I do have a better understanding of the fact that God is not looking for me to be a perfect person. Instead He is looking for me to simply say, Lord, do whatever you want." —Catie Hessler

May 09, 2018

Churches play vital role in Irma recovery

More than seven months into recovery, area churches and established businesses continue to play important roles they adopted in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

May 08, 2018

New missional connection brings disciples from Argentina to Florida

The missional roots of the Florida Conference are growing a new discipleship network with Argentina.

May 07, 2018

Seven Comments about the Council of Bishops’ recommendations on a Way Forward

The Council of Bishops recommends the One Church Plan as our best way forward. This vote was by a significant majority. The One Church Plan allows for contextualization of language about human sexuality in support of our mission with all people.

May 04, 2018

United Methodist Bishops recommend a Way Forward

United Methodist bishops, meeting in Chicago, engaged in a prayerful process to discern a way forward. At the conclusion of the discernment process, the Council of Bishops strongly approved the following motion and rationale.

May 03, 2018

‘The Table’ is theme for 2018 summer youth camp

Warren Willis Camp and the Life Enrichment Center in Fruitland Park combine operations, sharing staff and resources and are gearing up for the 2018 camping season.

May 01, 2018

A heart for things to be just and right in the world

UMC members from churches around Hillsborough County, joining with the interfaith group Hillsborough Organization for Progress and Equality (HOPE), focus on a few issues each year that they believe need immediate attention.

April 26, 2018

Despite Irma, the cross shines brightly from San Marco's steeple

While still in the throes of major renovations to their hurricane-damaged church property, this Jacksonville church continued finding ways to serve the surrounding community.

April 25, 2018

AmeriCorps alleviates burden from Hurricane Irma

The AmeriCorps Tribal CCC (Civilian Community Corps) Program of the Hoopa Valley Tribe in California spent 17 days helping those still dealing with effects from Hurricane Irma. The team worked in Everglades City, 31 miles southeast of Marco Island in Big Cypress National Preserve.

April 25, 2018

Wesley Foundation consecrates new building

A campus presence since 1926, the Wesley Foundation at Florida State University and Tallahassee Community College celebrated its new building consecration on April 21 with Bishop Ken Carter.

April 24, 2018

Boca Raton pastors tutor kids 'hungry for one-on-one time'

In addition to tutoring, Pastors Rachel DeLaune and Tom Tift help out with school book fairs, read in classrooms during literacy week, help students figure out their gift budgets for holiday shopping and bake cakes with them for Mother’s Day.

April 18, 2018

Worship from your paddleboard at 'Adventure Chapel'

Floridians love sunshine and water activities. So, why not bring church worship where the people want to be? This paddleboarding Fresh Expression dubbed Adventure Chapel is doing just that.

April 17, 2018

'Rough Cut Men' offers no-holds-barred testimony, hope

Faced with what was literally a life-defining moment, David Dusek met God on top of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Today his ministry, Rough Cut Men, is creating bonds through straight-up testimony and trusting relationships.

April 15, 2018

Bishop Carter announces full-time appointment changes

Bishop Ken Carter and the appointive cabinet of the Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church, in consultation with the clergy and authorized lay leaders of the local churches, announce full-time appointment changes, to take effect July 1, 2018.

April 14, 2018

Appointment-making in a time of mission: 2018

“The Florida Conference Appointive Cabinet 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

April 12, 2018

Leaps of faith: Florida Conference churches on fastest growing list

According to an annual report by church growth strategist Len Wilson, three Florida Conference churches are among the 25 fastest growing large United Methodist churches in the U.S. This story looks at what they're doing right and how they're serving their respective communities.

April 10, 2018

Sanford outreach: 'more blessings than we give out'

Beyond the town's eclectic shops and 19th-century architecture, Sanford, Florida, has people in need. Churches, a nonprofit with a professional chef and other volunteers have joined to spread gospel through action.

April 06, 2018

Florida pastors inspired by End Racism Rally in D.C.

A half-century has passed since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered in Memphis, but the racism he sought to erase remains a major social issue.

April 06, 2018

Indiana team helps Immokalee Irma survivors

Mission teams that come to Immokalee volunteer to help some of the most disadvantaged survivors of Hurricane Irma. A team of young adults hailing from Indiana saw this devastation and was invigorated to offer help.

April 04, 2018

Alachua interfaith coalition responds to past hatred

Responding to former evangelical Pastor Terry Jones' burning of the Quran in 2010, Alachua County churches and other organizations formed a coalition to create change. They recently completed their sixth Habitat for Humanity Interfaith Build Day.

April 02, 2018

Two is better than one: Historic churches form covenant

Two Jacksonville churches were steeped in history but faced financial and structural challenges. They formed a unique covenant and now share a sanctuary on Sunday mornings, along with bills for utilities, insurance and lawn care.

April 02, 2018

Your Easter memories: worship, food and prayer

Easter weekend has come and gone, but the memories we have made together will live on. Thank you for filming and sharing your memories with us. See our Easter highlights reel, curated from your very own Facebook posts.

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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