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.

October 15, 2019

Resources for November's Native American Heritage Month available

The beginnings of Native American Heritage Month go back to 1915, when Red Fox James, a Native ...

October 10, 2019

Children’s joyful dancing part of worship service

“They are part of a dance company. No experience is needed. It’s an outlet for them to express spiritual joy without competition and feeling they have to be perfect.”

October 08, 2019

Church partnership bringing arts to its community

Mandarin UMC and the emerging Fine Arts Conservatory team up to fill the gaps in art education, painting, sculpture, theater and music in the community surrounding the church.

October 03, 2019

‘Matthew 25 Challenge’ focuses on lives of the least

The “Matthew 25 Challenge,’’ a weeklong event held at Orlando’s Pine Castle United Methodist Church, energized its members by not only giving back, but also by undergoing real-life exercises that were everyday occurrences for the least of their brethren.

October 01, 2019

Apportionments for 2020 are now available

Apportionments for 2020 are now available on the conference website.

September 30, 2019

Fifteen ways to pray for your pastor

October is Pastor Appreciation Month. One of the best ways we can support our pastors and show them our appreciation is to regularly pray for them. But it can be difficult to know exactly what we should pray for. To help get started, the denomination assembled fifteen areas of pastors’ lives and ministries where they would value your prayers.

September 26, 2019

UMW retreat celebrates 150-year legacy

UMW members had to overcome the rules of society and the limits imposed by their own national and racial identities to assume vital leadership roles.

September 24, 2019

Ministry is window into the world of immigrant teens

“Picture My Life’’ is a photography exhibit that is spearheaded by UMCM-Suncoast, a Largo-based organization that addresses poverty through innovative educational programs.

September 17, 2019

Art in the Park is Fresh Expression

Art in the Park is a Fresh Expressions outreach of St. Mark’s Ocala United Methodist Church.

September 10, 2019

Hispanic Heritage Month celebration and worship resources

United Methodist Communications provides resources for outreach, celebration and worship.

September 09, 2019

Small church is committed big time to literacy

Trinity UMC’s biggest commitment is helping kids learn to read, focusing on the second graders—those about to enter the crucial third-grade year when reading competence becomes critical for further advancement.

September 06, 2019

Helping Hurricane Dorian survivors

Many of you and your congregants have been asking how you can help the Bahamas after the devastation of Hurricane Dorian. A Hurricane Dorian fact sheet was sent to your districts Thursday to update them on current activities in the Bahamas and how we, as The United Methodist Church, are responding—both now and over the next few months.

September 04, 2019

Ecumenical ministry serves nearly 3,000 west coast children

First Sarasota was one of 17 different churches that hosted a Day 4 Hope event over three separate weekends before students headed back to school. Another 23 churches across Sarasota and Manatee counties worked as partners.

August 30, 2019

Bishop Carter encourages offering to UMCOR

Bishop Carter encourages reception of an offering for the United Methodist Committee on Relief in the midst and aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.

August 29, 2019

‘Hippie Church’ is an open, unstructured and inclusive third place

Rev. George Potter, a substance abuse counselor with Recovery Ministry, thought about starting a fellowship, something open and unstructured, for people who felt excluded or uncomfortable in a traditional setting.

August 29, 2019

Resources for churches responding to Hurricane Dorian

In addition to our partners at Johns Eastern, we have engaged the Aon Global Rapid Response team to aid in the timely processing of our claims. The Aon Rapid Response experts will arrive at the hardest hit areas within 48-72 hours after landfall of the storm.

August 27, 2019

Cornerstone dares to happen so many can dream

Founded over a century ago, Cornerstone Family Ministries is motivated by reverence for the past, goals for the present and dreams for the future of children living at-risk or unchurched.

August 22, 2019

New leader carries torch for Archives and History ministry

Judi New sees the role more as an important caretaker than a job. After all, she is caring for the church’s heirlooms and artifacts, some that date back to the late 1700s.

August 20, 2019

Students learn about living in meaningful service

“You hear about fighting poverty. Well, there are so many different types of poverty. There’s material poverty, of course. We know that one. But there’s emotional poverty. There’s spiritual poverty. We want students to see poverty everywhere in a way that calls them to minister to it. Sometimes, it’s right in front of you.’’

August 14, 2019

Good Samaritan works to close gaps in school needs

Good Samaritan members have organized teacher appreciation luncheons and served as classroom helpers. They have been mentors and reading buddies to the children. They grilled hot dogs at Conley Elementary’s “Back to School Bash.’’

August 07, 2019

Artist’s spiritual gift brings Bible stories to life

Recently in a children’s classroom, William Joyner painted a mural that is roughly eight feet high and 15 feet wide so that three- to five-year-olds can visualize the story of Noah’s Ark.

August 06, 2019

A Call to Discipleship: Living as Disciples of a Non-Violent Lord in a Time of Violence

What is God’s dream for us? How can we become the answer to the words we say in worship, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done”? (Matthew 6). In Wesley’s words, we are being called “to reform the nation, particularly the church, and to spread scriptural holiness over the land.” -A letter from Bishop Ken Carter

August 05, 2019

Summer camps inspire youth to ‘do amazing things’

“I’m always in awe of how many clergy and lay people have heard the call to Christ right here on our grounds. There’s something special about this place that inspires people to go back out to the world and do amazing things.”

July 31, 2019

Two fall gatherings with Bishop Carter are slated

Events are scheduled for October and December.

July 30, 2019

Fresh Expressions thriving at New Hope, Brandon

Beginning in late May, New Hope added four new ministries to its Fresh Expressions lineup: a food co-op, Basketball Church, Meet and Walk and a student-led Caffeine and Christ that meets at a local Starbucks.

July 24, 2019

'Prayers, Pajamas, Preschoolers Party' teaches kids how to talk to God

Citrus Church invited preschoolers and their parents to wear pajamas to the weeknight party at the Summerport Clubhouse in Windermere. Inside, children and parents rotated among eight separate stations that were designed to teach children how to talk to God.

July 22, 2019

Japan team finds their mission bridges cultural differences

The mission to the Asian Rural Institute in northern Japan had “a different feel. We were immersed in a community of people who were on mission themselves. We were brought in and made part of the family.”

July 18, 2019

Bishops call for new ways of embodying unity through mission, relationships

The bishops of The United Methodist Church will seek to strengthen annual conferences in 2019 through the ministries of sending and missional strategy, Bishop Kenneth Carter, president of the Council of Bishops, has said.

July 18, 2019

Mission u: on missions with children for children

At the United Methodist Women's Mission u in July, hands-on mission experiences shaped the lives of the young children and older youth who participated in making a positive difference in other children’s lives.

July 16, 2019

Small churches can make a big difference

Faith UMC, Jacksonville, partners with World Relief Services (WRS) to host a four-week camp for refugee children. This year about 50 children from Asia, Africa and the Middle East attended.

July 10, 2019

Conference is planting a church in women’s prison

Bishop Ken Carter began discussions three years ago about starting a United Methodist church inside the Lowell Correctional Institute in Reddick, about 15 miles north of Ocala. It houses about 3,000 women, the largest female prison population in the United States.

July 08, 2019

Opioid crisis series: Clergy embrace becoming foster parents

The Revs. Matt and Beth Johnson in Morgantown, W.Va., answered the call to become foster parents to children living in what Matt called “a rough situation.” After a two-year process, they were able to adopt the brother and sister they were fostering.

July 04, 2019

Lay ministers are key to congregational care

Certified Lay Ministers serve to enhance the quality of ministry, much like the class leader did in early Methodism, through service in the local church.

July 02, 2019

Sanford Picnic Project is a 10-year-old Fresh Expression

Celebrating their 10 year anniversary this August, the Picnic Project is a free community meal held every Sunday that is served restaurant style inside the First United Methodist Church of Sanford.

June 27, 2019

Mosaic jumps right in to help neighborhood school

Look no further than John 1 3:17 to get inspired for the type of project Mosaic Palm Bay has undertaken: “But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?”

June 25, 2019

Community transformation is long-term commitment

Part of St. Luke's community transformation work in East Winter Garden is named “Door to Curb,” and it helps residents improve the value of their homes and the overall community by enhancing pre-designated homes’ curb appeal.

June 21, 2019

The path to increased pastoral agency

Pastors serving in congregations have much more freedom in their daily work routines than teachers ...

June 18, 2019

Feeding Tampa Bay ministry blesses all

Think Proverbs 19:17: Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. Those volunteering for Trinity Café say it goes way beyond that. They, too, receive blessings for their ministry with those seeking a hot meal.

June 12, 2019

Bishop Carter's sermon: A New Evangelism, A New Connection

Sisters and brothers, we have to “up our game.” Many have settled for a kind of generic, industrial kind of church. What would it mean for those of us who are leaders in the church of Jesus, which would be all of us, to up our game?

June 11, 2019

A celebration of spirit-led innovation

Friday’s Annual Conference worship service included ministry reports, along with many and diverse choirs and bands.

June 10, 2019

Annual Conference concludes with ordination

Annual Conference 2019 concluded on Saturday with the ordination, commissioning and licensing of 52 persons, and on Friday members discussed and voted on eight resolutions.

June 10, 2019

Remembrance Service photo essay

Photographer Lance Rothwell captured the reverence of Remembrance Service attendees as they celebrated the saints who passed away over the past year.

June 07, 2019

AC Communion sermon delivered by Bishop Willimon

Retired Bishop Will Willimon delivered the communion sermon Wednesday evening at Annual Conference 2019.

June 07, 2019

Record breaking: all 2020 delegates selected by Thursday

On Thursday, Conference members selected eight clergy and eight laity delegates to represent Florida in the 2020 Jurisdictional Conference and alternates for both groups. It is thought to be unprecedented for the Conference to complete the entire roster of delegates for General and Jurisdictional Conferences in two days.

June 06, 2019

Bishop Carter emphasizes unity, acknowledges differences

Reflections with the Clergy Session of the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church, shared...

June 06, 2019

Conference selects full 2020 GC delegation

Wednesday highlights included the clergy and laity meetings, the Strategic Leadership Team and lay leadership reports and the selection of several 2020 General Conference delegates.

June 05, 2019

Annual Conference off to a running start

The event is designed to promote faith and fitness among clergy and lay people.

June 03, 2019

Riverside members’ homes bring ministry to community

Even though it has only about 70 members, many of them just as poor as the surrounding community, Riverside has three buildings on a sizeable lot. They have little money, but they reach out with what they do have—their time, their buildings, a parking lot and even their own homes.

May 31, 2019

Local partnerships boost Hurricane Maria recovery

As many as 3,000 people lost their lives in Puerto Rico—a number that is believed to be severely under-reported in the early days of the aftermath. The island, already in economic distress before the storm, still struggles with recovery.

May 29, 2019

‘On Mission Together’ unites divergent churches in ministry

“Tear down the barriers, and we are one church. It was simply about all of us doing the work Jesus set out for us to do.’’ -Kay Wingard, Covenant UMC Port Orange

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