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Celebrating fresh expressions of church with Bishop Berlin
Just one day after moving to Florida from his home state of Virginia where he ministered in various churches for over 30 years, Bishop Tom Berlin traveled to St. Mark’s UMC in Ocala to spend time with the Fresh Expressions team.
Fresh Expressions FL welcomes new team addition
Fresh Expressions Florida is excited to announce the newest addition to the Conference team: Jessica Taylor.
Adventurers Leadership Academy teaches Fresh Expressions in an immersive way
Clergy and lay members from across the Conference recently earned a certificate in Fresh Expressions and Adventurers Ministry through immersive, experiential learning.
Feeling stressed? Virtual "Taize Tuesdays" might help
The Portico in Tampa offers Taize Tuesdays streaming on Facebook Live as one way to deal with the anxiety wrought by COVID-19.
“We’re here to give them a little light and a little love”
The HUGS ministry at New Covenant UMC in The Villages makes a joyful noise to those who need to hear it most.
A ‘Fresh’ Approach To Ministry At Wildwood
Instead of waiting for people to come to the church, Wildwood UMC is bringing Jesus to where they are.
Disney grant to fund ‘Hotels to Home’ ministry
The Community Hope Center, sometimes known as Hope 192, recently received a $75,000 Disney grant that will be used to start a program known as “Hotels to Home.’’
Art in the Park is Fresh Expression
Art in the Park is a Fresh Expressions outreach of St. Mark’s Ocala United Methodist Church.
‘Hippie Church’ is an open, unstructured and inclusive third place
Rev. George Potter, a substance abuse counselor with Recovery Ministry, thought about starting a fellowship, something open and unstructured, for people who felt excluded or uncomfortable in a traditional setting.
Fresh Expressions thriving at New Hope, Brandon
Beginning in late May, New Hope added four new ministries to its Fresh Expressions lineup: a food co-op, Basketball Church, Meet and Walk and a student-led Caffeine and Christ that meets at a local Starbucks.
Sanford Picnic Project is a 10-year-old Fresh Expression
Celebrating their 10 year anniversary this August, the Picnic Project is a free community meal held every Sunday that is served restaurant style inside the First United Methodist Church of Sanford.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Asbury, Maitland, launches dinner and conversation
“Constellation” is a Fresh Expression that brings young adults together on Monday nights to enjoy food, fellowship and spiritual storytelling.
Worship from your paddleboard at 'Adventure Chapel'
Floridians love sunshine and water activities. So, why not bring church worship where the people want to be? This paddleboarding Fresh Expression dubbed Adventure Chapel is doing just that.
Food for Thought rebrands, brings 'stories to the table'
Raised in a Southern Baptist church, Associate Pastor Rob Tucker of Suntree UMC wanted to explore a more "grace-filled and personal" God through Fresh Expressions. In what was once a fireside chat on the church lawn, today's Food for Thought brings spiritual messages to tables filled with sushi and other delicacies.
Author Brian McLaren helps Collective with 'spiritual migration'
The author of 15 books advocating "a new kind of Christianity," Brian McLaren attended a weekend conference late last fall at The Collective in DeLand. Rev. Ben Collins, calling McLaren an "itinerant inspirer," sparked discussion about relationships between the institutional and the emerging Church.
Painting and Parables opens door to creative fellowship
For Rev. Will Wold of Mandarin UMC, using a paintbrush to form a new Fresh Expression offered much more than color on blank canvas. In a gathering at a local brewery in Jacksonville, a group of artists found ways to capture the spirit of a Ukranian folktale, reflect and share fellowship.
Podcast: Bishop Carter, Rev. Warren on Fresh Expressions
The Lewis Center of Wesley Theological Seminary interviewed Audrey Warren and Bishop Carter about practical ways that Fresh Expressions can help the church reach new people, younger people and more diverse people with the gospel.
God's message unleashed for dog lovers at Paws of Praise
For Rev. Michael Beck, senior pastor at Wildwood UMC, holding church in a dog park on Saturday mornings is another Fresh Expression. "Paws of Praise" offers dog lovers a chance to hear the Word, encourage and listen.
Equipping congregations for 'Dinner Church'
As part of the growing Fresh Expressions dinner church movement, Grace Trinity UMC recently hosted a statewide church dinner encounter. Held Saturday, Nov. 4, the event was designed to encourage off-campus ministries modeled after a program that originated in Seattle.
Open Table offers unconventional service
At Belleview UMC on Sunday afternoons, 5 o'clock goes beyond the traditional dinner hour. Church members have formed a Fresh Expression that includes a buffet potluck meal served on china plates with music and a message.
Cinema Conversations reel to faith, Christian fellowship
Cinema Conversations is a Fresh Expressions ministry in Leesburg stimulating friendship and talk about the spiritual meaning behind Hollywood films. The group's members discuss films that include "The Circle" and "Wonder Woman."
Simple Church model blends dinner, worship and enterprise
Congregants gather for a sacred weekly meal where the conversation serves as the sermon and freshly baked bread provides nourishment, communion and income. Other churches are using their template to replicate the experience.
Fresh Expressions grants include surfing pastor, brick oven pizzas
The Florida Conference recently awarded $14,450 to Fresh Expressions startups across the state. Included were an outdoor brick oven and community garden, a college pub group and a Cocoa Beach pastor who brought surfing friends together to talk about "bad religion."
"From the Steeple to the Street"
The North Central district is holding a pioneering event encouraging congregations to step outside their sanctuaries for one day. Led by district superintendent Rev. June Edwards, thousands are being asked to go out in their communities April 8 to pray, observe and listen.
Urban Soul reaching new people, in new places, in new ways
Campus to City Wesley Executive Director, Derrick Scott III, is reaching out to young professionals in coffee shops, craft breweries and other venues in the heart of Jacksonville's eclectic urban core neighborhood.
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.
Economics and the emerging church
Many congregations dream of being places of radical welcome, but that vision is not sustainable through tithing alone. It’s time to think differently about how to accomplish such work, writes the executive director of Leadership Education at Duke Divinity.
Collective is firing up the 'nones' and 'dones'
In a former newspaper office building in the middle of Deland, Fla., Christ is at work in a coffee house atmosphere where musicians play and the passion of a thirty-something pastor fires up the “nones” and “dones.”
Fresh Expressions video competition launched
Could your Fresh Expressions ministry use an extra $1,000? Here's an opportunity exclusively for Fresh Expressions in Florida.
Church can happen anywhere
Spurred on by ReThink Church grants, several Florida churches are taking journeys beyond their brick and mortar traditions to embrace the 21st century-driven changes in the ways churches reach out to their congregations and the communities they serve.
Fresh Expressions experiences a year of growth
Listening, loving and serving, building and worship: this is the metamorphosis of forming a new kind of church. Fresh Expressions is an international movement that has us reaching new people in their backyards and moving beyond our conventional buildings, meetings and leaders. It has the mindset of “we’ll come to you.”
Gather in His name: Parks, tattoo parlors fair game
A young pastor takes the gospel to the streets – and tattoo shops, burrito restaurants and anywhere else people tend to gather.
Fresh Expressions takes root in Florida
Vision Day draws clergy and lay members from across Florida to learn about new ways to form worshiping communities.
2014: A year of living missionally
A look back at Florida Conference ministries that took off in 2014.
Florida Conference to freshen up for 2015
Conference leaders to seek coaching from Fresh Expressions and Duke Divinity School.
Tattoo ministry: a fresh expression of Christian commitment
Wildwood UMC mixes Bible study with body art as some members get cross-and-flame tattoos.
Renewing community in a networked society
We need imaginative Christian leaders to develop institutions that can support and sustain the community we now lack.
Ministries build relationships before churches
New church plants are less about building sanctuaries and more about helping people find sanctuary together.
When disruption comes to church
Leaders in mainline Protestantism need to look beyond the stereotypical congregation to envision new ways of gathering as God's people.
A fresh look at church means redefining community
A new working group looks to a British model of church renewal that explores building worship communities without walls.