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.

January 19, 2017

'Zion' by Kings Kaleidoscope

This song is from the band's album "Becoming Who We Are."

January 18, 2017

New online network connects volunteers, ministries

It isn’t just millennials who want to make the world a better place. It’s an intergenerational aspiration for United Methodists. Learn how you can get involved through Volunteer Connect.

January 12, 2017

'You Are My Vision' by Rend Collective Experiment

Rend Collective Experiment performs "You Are My Vision" from their album "Homemade Worship by Handmade People" live from the Relevant studio.

January 12, 2017

Community conversations begin with race relations

Amidst fresh coffee and conversation, an informal gathering was held Jan. 11 at Lakeland's Concord Coffee to discuss race relations issues. It was the start of a new series initiated by Florida Conference Bishop Ken Carter to help form a more inclusive community.

January 10, 2017

Young adult summit mirrors Silicon Valley

A focus on involving young adults in the church is no surprise, but bringing millennials into an organization's decision-making process offers innovation and shades of Silicon Valley.

January 09, 2017

Florida churches plan to observe MLK, Jr. Day

In a day of both celebration and remembrance, churches throughout the Florida Conference are commemorating the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with dance, speeches and interfaith activities.

January 05, 2017

'Please Be My Strength' by Gungor

Gungor performs "Please Be My Strength" from the album "Beautiful Things" live from the old RELEVANT Studio.

January 05, 2017

From Civil Rights to Black Lives Matter: A community discussion with Bishop Carter slated for Jan. 11 in Lakeland

Bishop Carter will lead a community discussion, "From Civil Rights to Black Lives Matter," on Wednesday, Jan. 11, at 5 p.m. in Lakeland.

January 04, 2017

Season's traditions included ugly Christmas sweaters

Among the many celebrations held at Florida Conference churches during the holidays, one old tradition has taken on a new wave of popularity. From Star Wars to Queen Elizabeth, ugly sweater parties in 2016 re-defined art on clothing.

January 03, 2017

AC 2017 resolutions deadline is 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 02, 2017

2016 apportionments due Jan. 10, 2017

January 10, 2017 is the deadline for submitting 2016 apportionments.

December 30, 2016

Loving God with our minds: A bishop’s reading through 2016

Bishop Ken Carter shares fifteen books he read in 2016. One of the ways God blesses us is with the ideas, narratives and worlds created by a fascinating diversity of women and men.

December 29, 2016

'We Three Kings'

The Piano Guys play "We Three Kings."

December 26, 2016

'Yuletide Chat': Thoughts for after Christmas

It's time to pack up the Christmas ornaments of 2016, but not the spiritual reflections that come with the season. Originally published in December 2012.

December 26, 2016

Recipes to ring out the old and ring in the New Year

New beginnings, fresh starts, reaffirmations of love and faith and the desire for a peaceful future ...

December 24, 2016

In the city of David, a Savior has been born to you...

Excerpted from Luke, Chapter 2, is the story of our Savior's birth in Bethlehem.

December 23, 2016

Commission on a Way Forward: Update from the Moderators

Our way forward, as women and men created in the image of God, is to seek reconciliation with one another. It is not that we do the work of reconciliation so that we can later share the gospel through evangelism and mission. There is no evangelism, no mission, no gospel apart from reconciliation.

December 22, 2016

'For Unto Us a Child is Born' by Handel

King's College, Cambridge Choir sings "For Unto Us a Child is Born" from Handel's "Messiah."

December 21, 2016

Churches embracing children on Sunday mornings

In a continuation of our series on intergenerational ministries, members of two conference churches discuss how bringing children into Sunday morning worship services has helped bring families closer together.

December 20, 2016

When Christmas falls on a Sunday

Performing plays, concerts, candlelight and late-night Christmas Eve services, many churches find added challenges when Christmas falls on a Sunday. This story looks at several churches throughout the conference and how they plan to celebrate one of the most important days on the Christian calendar.

December 19, 2016

'Yuletide Chat': Pondering the meaning of Christmas

Yuletide Chat with Bishop Ken Carter continues with some of the bishop's favorite themes for the Advent season. Originally published in December 2012.

December 16, 2016

Bishop Carter's Christmas reflection

Bishop Ken Carter shares a Christmas reflection with John 1:14 as the scriptural reference.

December 15, 2016

'O Holy Night'

"O Holy Night" is sung A Capella.

December 14, 2016

Intergenerational ministries blossom in Florida

This is the first of a two-part series on intergenerational ministries. Church members that include young and elderly are forming special friendships as ministries become more inclusive.

December 13, 2016

Christmas recipe season is in full swing

Christmas season is in full swing, with visitors dropping by, family coming to visit, parties to ...

December 12, 2016

Bishop's 'Yuletide Chat' contemplates Peaceable Kingdom

The third installment in Bishop Ken Carter's Advent series focuses on interpretations of the vision by the prophet Isaiah. Originally published on December 16, 2012.

December 09, 2016

Observing Advent in London's Lambeth Palace

Specially invited to work and pray in a London monastic community for 10 months, Miranda Harrison-Quillin talks of the challenges of following the liturgical rhythms of the church year in a society, where Christmas trees and sugar plum cookies make an early arrival.

December 08, 2016

'Hark! the Herald Angels Sing'

The Celtic Women perform "Hark the Herald Angels Sing."

December 08, 2016

Holiday ministry opportunities...and more

In the Christmas season, opportunities abound for volunteers to give the gift of ministry in ...

December 07, 2016

Lineage Retreat helping millennials find direction

A group of seven young people from the Tampa Bay region were inspired to help others their age. The result was the Lineage Retreat, held Sept. 23-24 at Warren Willis in Fruitland Park, helping those struggling to find a place in their local churches.

December 05, 2016

'Yuletide Chat' with Bishop Carter continues

Bishop Carter's Yuletide Chat, a series of messages for Advent season, continues. Originally published on December 9, 2016.

December 02, 2016

Life lessons learned in Cuba

Rev. Dr. Rini Hernandez, district superintendent of the Southwest District, reflects on the life lessons he learned living in Cuba during the era of Fidel Castro.

December 01, 2016

'O Little Town of Bethlehem'

Anggun Cipta Sasmi sings "O Little Town of Bethlehem."

November 30, 2016

'Yuletide Chat' with Bishop Carter starts today

Bishop Ken Carter celebrates the Christmas season with tips for pastors and worshipers and some of his favorite sermon ideas from Christmases past. Originally published on December 2, 2012.

November 30, 2016

Members of Gator Wesley dare to imagine

Members of Gator Wesley Foundation dared to imagine what's next at the Next2016 biennial college ministry conference held in Atlanta. UF students recently joined hundreds of young people from across the country.

November 26, 2016

One focus for Giving Tuesday is South Florida's Justice for Our Neighbors

South Florida's Justice for Our Neighbors (SF-JFON) is reaching out to hundreds of immigrants facing legal challenges in Miami courtrooms. With Giving Tuesday happening on Nov. 29, the Florida Conference is providing a $10,000 matching grant to SF-JFON, making your gift worth more.

November 24, 2016

'For the Beauty of the Earth'

Happy Thanksgiving from our music video team!

November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here is a Thanksgiving prayer from the "Book of Common Prayer."

November 22, 2016

Monroe working to empower laity

After 35 years working for the church, Paulette Monroe is working to turn her position as Conference Lay Leader into an opportunity to empower. She talks about her plans and dreams to reach out.

November 21, 2016

Resources for Advent home worship

Advent is the season when we prepare ourselves to receive God's gift of Jesus. It is a time of "getting ready" for the celebration of Christmas. Here are some ways you can prepare yourself and your family for celebrating Jesus' birth.

November 18, 2016

Advent, and the longing for home

Serving as chaplain at a memory care facility, a retired UMC bishop learns that the longing for home is an innate hunger, buried deeper than our memories or imaginings. And it lies at the heart of Advent.

November 18, 2016

Ready-made meals for holiday stowaways

Don't forget that there is more than just the turkey dinner to figure out during the holiday. Many ...

November 17, 2016

'Worn' by Tenth Avenue North

Tenth Avenue North is an American contemporary Christian music band from West Palm Beach, Florida that takes its name from an east-west road in Palm Beach County. The group was formed while members attended Palm Beach Atlantic University.

November 16, 2016

East Angola villagers fighting to survive malaria

The husband-wife team of Rev. Armando and Icel Rodgriquez have turned a one-time visit to East Angola into an annual mission. Today, medicine and supplies are giving villagers of Quessua a chance to survive.

November 15, 2016

Bikers, pastors and MAD DADS walk together

During 2016, homicides have set a record pace in Jacksonville, Fla. From prayer vigils at murder scenes to motorcycle rides, a church and local activists from a group called MAD DADS are doing something about it.

November 11, 2016

Mission Honduras: Security a top priority

It has been nearly 15 years since the General Board of Global Ministries deemed Mission Honduras an official initiative of The United Methodist Church. With one of the highest murder rates in the world, security has become a top priority.

November 11, 2016

Missions to Honduras an uphill battle for Cuban nationals

She and her late husband once served as missionaries to Honduras in the late 1990's, helping the country recover from Hurricane Mitch. Now in her 70's, Elina Iglesias wants to return. The challenge is that she is a Cuban national. The Honduran government will not allow her to travel there.

November 10, 2016

The leadership of laughter

Less talk and more joy. Less explanation and more playfulness. Less selling and promoting and more embodying and expressing the sheer wonder and joy of our faith. This is what ministry is meant to be like, grounded in the laughter of God, a seminary professor says in this ordination sermon.

November 10, 2016

Third Day: 'I Need A Miracle'

Enjoy a music video by Third Day performing "I Need A Miracle."

November 04, 2016

Churches give big salute to Veterans Day

Members of Palm Harbor UMC recently visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to lay a wreath and honor all who have served. For many conference churches, Veterans Day is a day for recognition and thanks; especially to those men and women we have lost, and the families who supported them.

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