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 17, 2018

Playing music can connect children to God

“We want to teach children how to play music to help them better connect with God,” program founder Gary Brosch said. “I wanted to give them a gift that keeps on giving.”

December 11, 2018

Active-threat training offered to Florida churches, ministries

Church officials will learn to prepare for hostile intruders, active shooters or other threats. Emphasis will be placed on formulating routines and developing safety teams with specific instruction on trauma care.

December 10, 2018

Take a 'Deep Dive' in 2019 to explore best practices

The Florida Conference Office of Congregational Vitality is set to expand its new Deep Dive initiative in early 2019 with the aim of rolling out workshops in the north, south and mid-conference regions.

December 06, 2018

'Sky is the limit’ for school-church partnerships

More than 100 people representing 34 churches participated in school-church training on Sept. 29 at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Orlando.

December 04, 2018

St. John's is re-purposing a community mission

Four miles from Winter Haven's St. John’s United Methodist Church, in unincorporated Wahneta, a community mission, Casa Vida, is being re-purposed. Rev. David Averill, pastor at St. John’s, is helping transition missions like Casa Vida that are at the end of their life cycles.

December 01, 2018

Apportionments are due Friday, Jan. 11, 2019

Apportionment payments for 2018 must be received in the lockbox at Regions Bank or paid online by Friday, January 11, 2019.

November 29, 2018

Church is part of Cedar Key's safety net

By focusing on providing outreach and missions to the changed fortunes of the city, Cedar Key UMC is considered by some as “the church of the community.”

November 28, 2018

School fills need for speech, occupational therapy

Carol Hilson never imagined how much of a role speech and occupational therapy would play in the preschool at Community Methodist Church in Fort Pierce when she began the program 30 years ago.

November 26, 2018

Do No Harm: training addresses sexual misconduct

Bishops sent representatives from each annual conference to receive training in administrative/judicatory response, advocacy for the accused and the alleged victim and integrity and healthy boundaries.

November 20, 2018

A Thanksgiving Day prayer

A Thanksgiving Day prayer is offered for expressing our gratefulness to the Lord.

November 19, 2018

Florida focuses on Hurricane Michael for Giving Tuesday, Nov. 27

The Florida Conference is celebrating GivingTuesday, Nov. 27, this year by asking donors to contribute to the Hurricane Michael matching fund. Click here to donate online.

November 15, 2018

Leadership development focused on women clergy

The focus on female pastors was prompted by an increase in the number of women entering the clergy, as well as a desire to see more women in leadership positions.

November 12, 2018

Church dedicated to fighting childhood hunger

Were it not for the sacks that go home with students on weekends, many at Bellaire Elementary School in Clearwater would not have much, if anything, to eat until they return to school on Monday morning.

November 08, 2018

Three to be commissioned to EarthKeepers

Cara Fleischer, Elan Miavitz-Brown and Rev. Tiffania Willetts, all from Florida, will join others from around the nation in the online commissioning. The ceremony will affirm the EarthKeepers in their call to the ministry of creation care and will bless their work in their communities.

November 06, 2018

Social justice advocates celebrate 30 years of HOPE

St. Andrews United Methodist Church in Brandon joined in, celebrating the 30th anniversary of HOPE—Hillsborough Organization for Progress and Equality—by voting to continue the fight for housing for the downtrodden, help for the elderly and second chances for young people who make bad choices.

October 26, 2018

UM connection aids Hurricane Michael recovery

Members of Lynn Haven United Methodist Church await a new 4,000-square-foot tent they’ll use for worship. The Hurricane Michael-ravaged congregation and many United Methodists in the area are struggling to return to normalcy. Jim Patterson has an update on the denomination’s efforts to provide relief in the Alabama-West Florida, Florida and South Georgia conferences.

October 24, 2018

Florida's Amendment 4: The time to act is now!

We have partnered with Faith in Florida as they lead The Let My People Vote (LMPV) campaign, a project of Faith in Florida which invites congregations of faith from across the state of Florida to support giving over 1.4 million Floridians a second chance at redemption.

October 23, 2018

Over 100 attend GC 2019 listening session

Over 100 people recently attended a special day of listening regarding the General Conference 2019 special session.

October 22, 2018

New churches intentional about serving their demographics

Launching new churches takes a lot of time, work, organization and more than a little innovation. But for Dan Jackson, director of the Vital Church Initiative for the Florida Conference, it’s about going where people are to share the love of Christ.

October 18, 2018

Missionary inspired by Brazilian churches’ vibrancy

“When you go to Africa, Asia and South America, in as much as people have knowledge, they understand the importance of God. They might not be practically involved in the church, but they have the belief that without God they are nothing. People in need grow closer to God than people who have plenty.”

October 17, 2018

Gift will match up to $500,000 in Hurricane Michael donations

The people of the First United Methodist Church of Ormond Beach have challenged the Florida Annual Conference to help our sisters and brothers in the panhandle through a matching gift up to the amount of $500,000.

October 15, 2018

November marks Native American History Month

The Committee on Native American Ministries organized the first Native American Gathering in 2006 at the Life Enrichment Center in Fruitland Park near Leesburg. The April 2019 event is expected to draw more than 70 attendees.

October 12, 2018

Hurricane Michael special collection

We know all too well the shock and helpless feeling hurricane survivors are left with when the storms pass. After a weather event of this magnitude, there are many ways to help but monetary donations are crucial in the immediate aftermath

October 11, 2018

Conference ready to help survivors get back on their feet

Before Hurricane Michael slammed into Panama City and the Florida Panhandle and left jaw-dropping carnage in its wake, The United Methodist Church was already planning how best to serve victims of the ferocious Category 4 storm.

October 10, 2018

Elementary students are learning yoga

A partnership between Horizon Tampa Bay and B.T. Washington Elementary has engaged young students in an unexpected activity. Photos from yoga sessions led by Ms. Brundidge were recently shared to the school's social media account.

October 10, 2018

Exercise caution in Hurricane Michael aftermath

Be smart and be safe. Most serious injuries and death occur after the storm has passed. As you check your home and check on neighbors, pay attention to your surroundings, looking for downed power lines, snakes, red ant mounds (which travel in flood waters) and other hazardous debris the storm may bring. Photo courtesy Rev. Wayne Wiatt.

October 08, 2018

Clean water in Cuba flows from Agape-Church partnerships

Venice-based Agape Flights, a Christian missionary program that sends charitable goods to many foreign lands, is partnering with the 43 United Methodist churches in Florida’s Southwest District to provide desperately needed water filtration units for Cuban churches.

October 04, 2018

Mosaic provides Brevard’s first cold-weather shelter

In addition to giving people a safe, warm place to stay, Mosaic Palm Bay UMC’s shelter is an opportunity for the Brevard Homeless Coalition, an umbrella organization of about 75 agencies, to provide aid for people who are otherwise living on the streets.

October 03, 2018

October is Pastor Appreciation Month

Editor's note: Pastor Appreciation Day is October 14. Some of you may know that October is ...

October 03, 2018

The General Conference delegation slates 'listening session' Oct. 20

The day will be an opportunity for the delegates to listen to you. There will be time spent around tables with delegates listening to each person who wants to share. There will also be an opportunity for those who would like to address the entire delegation to sign up for a five-minute time to speak.

October 01, 2018

East Angola mission delivers on saving lives

“It’s literally life and death,” said Rev. Armando Rodriguez, who serves as the pastor at First United Methodist Church in Bartow. “There are people dying for lack of medicine. It would be a sin not to help.”

September 26, 2018

Young People’s Convocation unites in praise, worship

In Johannesburg, South Africa, it brought together about 300 youth and young adults from 40 nations to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the merger between the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren

September 24, 2018

Creation Care is economic, social justice issue

On a national level, UMW is speaking out on issues like greenhouse gas emissions, which are warming the planet and is bringing attention to the fact that environmental issues are a social justice issue, as well, because it has a greater impact on lower-income and indigenous people.

September 20, 2018

Justice for Our Neighbor’s hope is in God

Florida JFON needs a wide range of volunteers to help set up clinics, serve as drivers and welcome clients. Volunteer attorneys are needed to provide clients with advice and counsel and free representation. If you’re interested, call 786-470-0302 or go to

September 17, 2018

Churches share ideas for Creation Care ministries

Churches can save a lot of money and do something environmentally responsible by switching from plastic plates, utensils, bottled water and shopping bags, as well as paper products, especially for routine events like church dinners.

September 14, 2018

Bishop Carter's regional gatherings will be livestreamed

For those unable to attend the regional gatherings, the Florida Conference is livestreaming the events.

September 14, 2018

Wait, pray, give as Hurricane Florence batters coast

Your prayers and gifts to UMCOR are the best possible resources to share before, during and after Florence makes landfall.  We know firsthand the difference those gifts can make, as we first responded in the aftermath and then began the long road of recovery–a road we are still traveling today!

September 11, 2018

‘God’s Renewed Creation’ even more relevant today

Congregations are expressing their commitment to environmental issues through Creation Care, a ministry of the Florida Conference to educate and inspire Methodists to action on behalf of the planet.

September 05, 2018

Churches, Family Promise battle Central Florida homelessness

In the shadow of Walt Disney World, which calls itself the happiest place on Earth, there is another, far-different story taking place.

August 28, 2018

Join Bishop Carter at one of four regional gatherings

Bishop Carter will hold four regional gatherings in September of 2018. These events are open to all, and there will be an opportunity to submit questions for Bishop Carter prior to the gatherings.

August 28, 2018

School-church partnership training set for Sept. 29

What’s different about this training is that organizers are asking churches to register and bring teams, not just send one or two individuals. The teams are asked to do some prep work before the event.

August 27, 2018

‘Sacred Spaces’ is theme for Sept. UMW retreat

United Methodist Women across Florida will have a special opportunity to “press pause from the day-to-day routine’’ during a weekend retreat Sept. 7-9 at the conference Life Enrichment Center.

August 22, 2018

School-church partnership produces anti-bullying program

The program is based on the concept of Ubuntu, which, like the practices of restorative justice, focuses on healing and reconciliation of broken relationships between individuals, communities and nations.

August 14, 2018

Repurposed church is a Fresh Expression

New Hope United Methodist Church in Brandon took on a weekly meal for the homeless in a run-down church building and transformed it in to a community Dinner Church, reaching out to families who might otherwise never cross a sanctuary threshold.

August 09, 2018

Churches intentional about being school stakeholders

Long before the school summer recess reached its waning days, United Methodist churches throughout Florida were planning events, organizing services and collecting supplies to prepare students in need for the upcoming year.

August 07, 2018

Children’s Home expansion creates outreach opportunities

Dreams for the 20,000 square foot building include developing a support system for young parents and creating community service projects for children who have aged out of the program.

August 02, 2018

Kindness of neighbors: Hurricane recovery in Pahokee

Florida communities devastated by Hurricane Irma are not alone thanks to connections of volunteers established by Florida Restores.

July 31, 2018

New Covenant growth spurs planting of new campus

New Covenant United Methodist Church’s Lake Deaton campus is located on a 10-acre site in the fast-growing Wildwood area of The Villages. Initial development will include a 26,600-square foot multipurpose building.

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.

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The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church

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