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.

December 09, 2019

Online services become “a church within a church”

Streaming options help share the message of Christ beyond the Sanctuary walls.

December 04, 2019

We Must Fight The Good Fight For Our Environment

Floridians face an urgent need to act against climate change to preserve God’s creation for future generations.

December 02, 2019

Conference starts ministry in women's prison

The United Methodist Church committed to bringing the gospel of Jesus to inmates at Lowell Correctional Institution.

November 27, 2019

Creation Care Christian Observers

Soon I will be traveling to Madrid, Spain, to meet with 22 other Creation Care leaders from around ...

November 25, 2019

Branches provides a lifeline where it’s needed most

The family service organization in Miami-Dade County offers education, nutrition, and financial planning to help many people break the cycle of poverty

November 20, 2019

Old racial wounds start to heal through honest conversation

Grace UMC in St. Augustine helped the city confront its racial divide and reach a joyful conclusion.

November 18, 2019

Council of Bishops focuses on “justice, reconciliation, and healing.”

Semi-annual meeting includes a renewed commitment to relationships, which are at the heart of Jesus’ prayer for unity with his disciples.

November 13, 2019

Feel led to become FLUMC Lay Leader? Apply now!

The Conference is accepting applications for this important position.

November 13, 2019

Oviedo and University Carillon join community landscaping blitz

There was pressure-washing, marathon style. There was the cutting back of overgrown trees and ...

November 11, 2019

Florida’s need for immigration services is acute

In the 20 years since its founding, Justice for Our Neighbors has opened 17 offices in 15 states, including two in Florida. And, according to the National JFON website, it had its busiest year in 2018, serving 4,395 new clients from 112 different countries.

November 06, 2019

Children’s Home chapel gets a facelift

It’s part of a lot of exciting changes on the campus of the Children’s Home. Gym renovations also recently were completed.

November 05, 2019

"I was called to mission work in another country."

Deb Ralph of Oakhurst UMC in Seminole is leaving for a mission trip to Kenya, where she will work in discipleship and assist Bishop Justus Bundi Miriti with the project for disabled children.

November 04, 2019

Apportionments and End of Year Payments

Apportionment payments for 2019 must be received in the lockbox at Regions Bank or paid on line by ...

November 04, 2019

Apportionments for 2020 are now available

Apportionments for 2020 are now available on the conference website.

October 30, 2019

Conference has new emphasis on Hispanic/Latino ministries

A refugee from Castro’s Cuba whose family endured imprisonment and forced labor for their religious devotion, Rev. Dr. Rini Hernandez will lead the effort. He has been a church-founding pastor and Methodist district superintendent in both Cuba and Florida.

October 28, 2019

Alturas churches serve community ecumenically

The congregations routinely get together to do things, like the upcoming fall festival, which serves as a Halloween alternative. There are the Christmas cantata, the Easter sunrise service at the lake on the property of the Methodist church and the Fifth Sunday sings.

October 25, 2019

Bishop Carter's 'Growing the Center' presentation to be Livestreamed Sat., October 26

Bishop Carter's presentation will include insights regarding leadership in a season of change.

October 24, 2019

Irma recovery: homes to be dedicated in Spanish

The Florida Conference will dedicate three rebuilt homes—one in LaBelle and two in Clewiston—with two of the ceremonies conducted completely in Spanish, a first.

October 22, 2019

SERVE to show teens their power to make a difference

The SERVE Retreats, which are open to middle and high school students from across the state, will focus on local service this year, national service in 2020 and international service in 2021.

October 17, 2019

Disney grant to fund ‘Hotels to Home’ ministry

The Community Hope Center, sometimes known as Hope 192, recently received a $75,000 Disney grant that will be used to start a program known as “Hotels to Home.’’

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.

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.

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The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church

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Lakeland, FL 33815

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