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.

July 31, 2018

Way Forward report released in all four official languages of General Conference

The Commission on a Way Forward’s final report has been translated in all four official languages of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church.

July 26, 2018

'Hands and feet of Jesus' tackle Irma damage

Seven months after Hurricane Irma struck the Florida Keys last September, the Rev. Terri Hill, pastor at Key West United Methodist Church, reflected on how the world embraced her small community.

July 24, 2018

30x30 Challenge funds next generation leadership development

The campaign will fund the Future Generations Fund, which provides grant for programs that groom young Methodists under 30 for leadership.

July 19, 2018

Faith-based partnership can save lives, too

For the past two years, Christ UMC in Neptune Beach has provided a middle school with supplies, volunteers and will soon add a food and clothing pantry. Rev. Bridget Thornton knew the faith-based partnership could change lives. Now, she knows it can save lives, too.

July 17, 2018

The Portico celebrates one year of serving the community

The re-purposed former First UMC Tampa campus is bustling with activity as an event venue that happens to have a church service on Sunday nights.

July 10, 2018

Manatee school finds an angel in Oneco UMC

“The school is right across the street, and I just felt led by the Holy Spirit that we should be doing more for these kids.”

July 09, 2018

Hoops in a parking lot is a new Fresh Expression

Todd Leclair believed his passion for basketball could turn into a true life-changing experience for others, creating the unity of brotherhood and sisterhood through play.

July 05, 2018

Irma campus-based recovery team ‘loves out loud’

Many schools refer to mission trips as “alternative spring breaks.” The Virginia Tech campus minister says for the Wesley Foundation “it's not an alternative. It's just what they do.”

July 03, 2018

Summer camp at Warren Willis: playing and praying

Scenes from week one at Warren Willis summer camp.

July 02, 2018

Mission U to build on covenant relationship

Mission U takes place at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach July 12-15 and is open to all wishing to study the covenant relationship practiced by The United Methodist Church.

June 28, 2018

Bishop Carter, Cabinet invite others to join in Scripture reading

The Bishop and Cabinet invite anyone to join in reading the following passages – Isaiah 40-66, Romans 8, Philippians 1-4 – each month. The plan is to read a chapter a day, beginning with Isaiah 40 on the first day of the month and ending with Philippians 4 on the last day of the month.

June 27, 2018

Fourth recipes: a real summertime celebration

July Fourth is a real summertime celebration: fruits and berries are in abundance, the grill has been tuned up and Florida’s hot, humid weather rolls in every morning. Enjoy the Fourth with recipes submitted by other people from around the Conference.

June 26, 2018

New team to lead Fresh Expressions initiatives

The goal of the Florida Conference is to have at least 500 Fresh Expressions of church in operation by 2025. Rev. Dan Jackson, director of The Vital Church Initiative for the Conference, said he believes it could be sooner.

June 26, 2018

The Gospel, a stranger and the burnt ends of the brisket (Luke 24. 13–35)

Who was the stranger who joined us when we sat down to break bread together at the Haywood Smokehouse?

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.

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