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.

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.

February 13, 2019

Coalition fights central east coast homelessness

According to the Volusia/Flagler County Coalition for the Homeless, a nonprofit agency, the area’s homelessness has decreased by 70 percent since 2012.

February 12, 2019

Camping Sunday is Feb. 24

Camping Sunday is the perfect time for those who have attended camps to share their stories. They also can share a message of the need for scholarship money to help send kids to camp.

February 12, 2019

Role of Bishops in the Called General Conference 2019

Tuesday, February 12, 2019   To my fellow United Methodists:   Greetings in the blessed name of our...

February 06, 2019

Messy Church focuses on intergenerational worship

The Messy movement is catching on throughout the United States. It’s not like church as most people understand it, but the goal is the same—glorify God through worship and fellowship.

February 04, 2019

Special Session GC to begin with day of prayer Feb. 23

The Praying Our Way Forward team of the Council of Bishops has released details of the Day of Prayer, which will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. CST in the St. Louis America’s Center Convention Complex on Saturday, February 23, the first day of the 2019 Special Session of General Conference.

February 01, 2019

Black History Month: Honoring Black Methodists' history

Part of the rich story of Methodism includes African Americans who chose to stay with the denomination despite being sometimes excluded or treated unfairly.

January 30, 2019

LEC renovating to meet future expectations

The staff at the Life Enrichment Retreat Center of the Florida Conference wants to help guests have more sleep-filled nights so they can have more inspiration-filled days.

January 29, 2019

UMC sexual ethics resources are available

The UMC believes sexual misconduct within ministerial relationships represents an exploitation of ...

January 28, 2019

Young adult initiative creates servant leaders

The free program invites young adults, ages 18-25, to apply for either a 6-week non-paid internship or a 12-week paid residency for study and training in a specific ministry that interests them.

January 23, 2019

Florida churches raise over $1.5 million for Michael relief

Inspired by a matching funds challenge of $500,000 from First UMC Ormond Beach, Florida Conference churches raised over $1 million for Hurricane Michael relief for the Alabama West Florida Conference. A total of $1,533,096 was donated to their recovery.

January 22, 2019

Abide 21: Community unites through prayer

Fourteen congregations from Avon Park to Lake Placid, Sebring and smaller communities along the way have joined an ecumenical movement called Abide 21. It consists of 21 days of prayer and fasting from Jan. 6-27.

January 21, 2019

Homeless ministry grows from humble beginnings

Like most acts of kindness, it began with a small idea. Two decades ago, members of Tampa’s affluent Hyde Park United Methodist Church noticed that homeless people were gathering for shelter under a nearby expressway. They were hungry. Why not give them something to eat?

January 20, 2019

Bishop Carter announces Cabinet changes for the Florida Conference

Rev. Dionne Hammond has been named as a new cabinet member by Florida Conference Bishop Ken Carter, and Rev. Dan Jackson and Rev. Rini Hernandez will continue to serve on the cabinet in new roles.

January 15, 2019

Making the ‘Dream’ a reality: the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

King was mindful of the power and responsibility of the church in healing the divides of society. He was also well aware of challenges hindering churches themselves.

January 12, 2019

AC 2019 resolutions due Jan. 31

According to the Standing Rules of the Florida Conference, Par. 206 2(d), “All submitted resolutions must be received by the Conference Secretary by Jan. 31 to be considered at the regular Annual Conference Event later that year.”

January 07, 2019

Cooperative Ministries: a contemporary mustard seed

United Methodist Cooperative Ministries has grown into a five-county organization serving more than 15,000 people each year, working with approximately 20 local churches and other agencies.

January 02, 2019

Church answers call to foster care crisis

Though the crisis can seem hopeless, a local Palm Beach County church, Community of Hope, adopted the motto, “Everyone can do something,” and has begun slowly and carefully to put care and concern into action.

January 02, 2019

One year in: Hurricane Irma recovery needs volunteers

The number of volunteers dropped off significantly after attention shifted to areas in the Carolinas hit by Florence, then to the Panhandle, devastated this summer by Michael.

December 27, 2018

Blessings, renewal and hope for the coming New Year

Here are 12 Bible verses of renewal and hope for the coming New Year.

December 20, 2018

Merry Christmas!

Enjoy the lyrics of the hymn, O Come, O Come Emmanuel, and The Piano Guys' music video of a simple arrangement.

December 19, 2018

Hospitality, trust and reweaving the fabric of community

At a time when the social fabric is frayed, the church has an important role to play in reweaving community, drawing on the practices of hospitality and trust, says theologian and professor emeritus of Christian ethics Christine D. Pohl.

December 19, 2018

Two extraordinary movements of the Holy Spirit this Christmas

Bishop Ken Carter shares two extraordinary movements of the Holy Spirit among us this Christmas.

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