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.

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.

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.

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