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 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

May 28, 2019

The purpose of a Just Resolution to a complaint and the purpose of the Annual Conference session

The Just Resolution process takes inspiration from scripture (Matthew 18: 15-16). The Message translation reads: “If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him—work it out between the two of you,” before taking a complaint to the whole community.

May 24, 2019

A Memorial Day remembrance

Two poems are offered to commemorate Memorial Day.

May 23, 2019

Countdown to 2019 Florida Annual Conference

Conference members will be choosing from over 100 clergy and lay nominees for 44 slots for delegates to the 2020 General and Southeastern Jurisdictional Conferences. Elections begin Wednesday afternoon.

May 21, 2019

It’s hurricane preparedness season, again

Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science expects as many as 12 named storms with five or more becoming full-fledged hurricanes. They predict that at least two will become major hurricanes with wind levels reaching Category 3 or stronger.

May 17, 2019

Innovation creates an autism-friendly service for children

The Azalea Park UMC kids run the full autism spectrum from high functioning to those who need to wear head protection to avoid injuring themselves. Pastor Andrew Miller said he learned to think in terms of ability level instead of linear age.

May 14, 2019

Lifesong, Orlando, receives lemons, makes lemonade

Lifesong’s The Table is a Fresh Expression ministry of the Florida Conference. Fresh Expressions find a different way to form faith communities that reach new people, in new places, by new ways. Some churches host singing at local pubs, kayaking for Christ, bicycling events, or canoeing on a river on a Saturday morning.

May 10, 2019

Bishops offer pastoral word; make key decisions in May meeting

The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church completed its May 2019 meeting held outside Chicago with a pastoral and prophetic word in response to the decisions of the Special Session and the codification of some of those decisions in the Book of Discipline.

May 09, 2019

Miami Lakes youth mission: the Holy Spirit in action

“I have been on a lot of mission trips,’’ said Rev. Stuart Bodin, pastor of Miami Lakes UMC. “But I’ve never had a better experience than this one. It was remarkable to feel the Holy Spirit in action and experience that level of faith and love.’’

May 07, 2019

‘Volunteer Village’ eases volunteer housing crunch in Keys

The housing for disaster recovery volunteers was created by the Monroe County Long Term Recovery Group (LTRG), an organization founded in February of last year and consisting of faith-based organizations, including the Conference, non-profits, businesses and government agencies.

May 01, 2019

Faith UMC: reaching new people in new ways in new places

Faith United Methodist Church volunteers lead church in Bay Vue Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Bradenton.

April 29, 2019

Prison ministry leads to ‘House of Hope’

The Hillsborough House of Hope assists women who battled substance abuse or were arrested for prostitution and other crimes.

April 28, 2019

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, 2019.

April 25, 2019

No matter size or location, congregations need care

Congregational Care Ministries (CCM) is a program aimed to empower lay people to work alongside their ministers. They perform services such as hospital visits, leading grief and divorce groups and even administering communion to home-bound people.

April 23, 2019

FUMC Gainesville school-church partnership is hands-on

Metcalf Elementary School is small with about 200 students, 98 percent qualified for free and reduced-price lunches. Many students come from single-parent homes, which limits parental volunteerism at the school.

April 18, 2019

CROS Ministries launches mobile food pantry

In its first three months, 860 individuals were served, 28 percent of whom are children. It reaches an array of people in need: the homeless, the unemployed, the elderly and the working poor who experience food insecurity.

April 16, 2019

Suntree is ‘a gift of the highest’ to elementary school

When a majority of the school’s students needed new backpacks, Suntree UMC collected 400 backpacks filled with all the official supplies required at every grade level.

April 15, 2019

A pastoral letter at Holy Week from Bishop Ken Carter

Holy Week is a complicated series of actions, with every variance of human emotion and failure. Life in a denomination can be complicated, but no more complicated than a local church or a family. The same Jesus who is surrounded with imperfect followers is the one who prays for their unity (John 17).

April 12, 2019

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Discipleship Ministries and United States agencies provide a wealth of resources for observing the month in services or classrooms.

April 10, 2019

Camp is an ‘Oasis’ for urban kids

“From being a kid and a camper at Oasis, my biggest takeaway was getting to unplug from that city urban environment and going somewhere where you could be more open and reflective.”

April 08, 2019

Killearn iServe volunteers are ‘Earth Angels’

iServe is a grassroots ministry that gives church members an outlet to assist people with pressing needs in the community at no cost.

April 03, 2019

Cuban Methodist church sees massive growth

In the past 16 years alone, Methodist church membership has increased by 306 percent in Cuba, the Communist island nation located 90 miles from Florida’s nearest shore.

April 02, 2019

Free Youth Leader Summit at FSC Apr. 29

A Youth Leader Summit will be held at Florida Southern College on April 29, 2019, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The event is free for church leaders and youth directors and will include worship, workshops and lunch on campus.

April 01, 2019

United Methodists lobby at Florida Advocacy Days

Well over 70 United Methodists from across the Florida Conference assembled in Tallahassee in late March for the annual Florida Advocacy Days.

March 28, 2019

‘We believe the church exists to give itself away’

Hundreds of church members run or volunteer in dozens of missions ranging from a girls’ orphanage in Haiti to an infant rescue station in Kenya to a group of men who teach boys in local high schools how to tie a necktie.

March 21, 2019

North Florida churches: a hand up instead of a hand out

“People will learn how to live independently in a holistic kind of way. We’d like to tap into after-school programs and job training. We want to get much more organized and help grow this to new levels.’’

March 19, 2019

General, Jurisdictional 2020 delegate nominees listed

At least 101 clergy and lay members of Florida Conference churches will vie for a total of 46 slots for delegates to the 2020 General Conference and Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference, according to Rev. Cory Britt, chair of the Elections Procedures Committee.

March 15, 2019

United Methodist Women: 150 years in mission

In celebration of Women's History Month, information and resources about the 150th anniversary and legacy of United Methodist Women is available on its website, and United Methodist Communications released a new video about Mary McLeod Bethune's legacy this March.

March 14, 2019

Sun City Center bucks the declining trend

At a time when many denominational churches are in decline, the United Methodist Church of Sun City Center is bucking that trend. Attendance there has doubled in the past five years.

March 12, 2019

Port Orange ministry takes church beyond walls

The story of how Derbyshire Place and a neglected community named Port Orange came to nourish each other brings to mind a quote from beloved children’s book The Little Prince: “What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.”

March 11, 2019

Children's Home slates 'A Day on Campus' Mar. 16

The Children’s Home ministers to orphans, children abused and neglected and some with troubled backgrounds. They are provided with shelter, love, education and a way forward in life.

March 08, 2019

UMCOR Sunday, March 31, supports disaster response

For more than 50 years, United Methodist congregations have been taking part in a special UMCOR Sunday offering, laying the foundation for UMCOR’s ministry of relief and hope.

March 07, 2019

Southwest district tackles root causes of homelessness

Homelessness is pervasive in the Florida United Methodist Church Conference’s Southwest District, and churches are using diverse methods to help.

March 05, 2019

Fresh Expressions: Dinner church feeds body, heart and soul

The dinner church approach, primarily driven by lay leaders, reflects John Wesley’s ministry of going into a community to meet the needs of others.

February 26, 2019

Southeast churches include homeless as family

Churches in the Southeast district practice the love and gratitude of radical hospitality.

February 25, 2019

Bishop Carter to host webinar on GC 2019 results March 1

Bishop Carter and delegation leaders will host a discussion on the results of the Called General Conference session in St. Louis.

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