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.

September 09, 2019

Small church is committed big time to literacy

Trinity UMC’s biggest commitment is helping kids learn to read, focusing on the second graders—those about to enter the crucial third-grade year when reading competence becomes critical for further advancement.

August 14, 2019

Good Samaritan works to close gaps in school needs

Good Samaritan members have organized teacher appreciation luncheons and served as classroom helpers. They have been mentors and reading buddies to the children. They grilled hot dogs at Conley Elementary’s “Back to School Bash.’’

June 27, 2019

Mosaic jumps right in to help neighborhood school

Look no further than John 1 3:17 to get inspired for the type of project Mosaic Palm Bay has undertaken: “But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?”

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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 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.

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 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.”

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.

May 22, 2018

FUMC Tavares school partnership is jammin’

The church just completed its third year of Jesus and Me, the JAM program, with about 70 students from Tavares Elementary School. Parents get in on the fun and fellowship, as well, through what the church calls FX Family nights.

April 24, 2018

Boca Raton pastors tutor kids 'hungry for one-on-one time'

In addition to tutoring, Pastors Rachel DeLaune and Tom Tift help out with school book fairs, read in classrooms during literacy week, help students figure out their gift budgets for holiday shopping and bake cakes with them for Mother’s Day.

February 06, 2018

Largo church goes beyond sanctuary, fosters connections

Reaching out to schools in an impoverished neighborhood, Anona UMC in Largo was named Business Partner of the Year in Pinellas County for a reason. They not only started a community coalition to help school children in need, they've changed lives for the better.

January 30, 2018

NFL Hall of Famer Tony Dungy reflects on All Pro Dad

For Tony Dungy, the former NFL player and coach who won two Super Bowls, wins are more about time spent with family. Today, the All Pro Dad program that he helped originate is a vital part of some Florida Conference churches and the lives of fathers and their children.

January 09, 2018

Harvest UMC making the grade in Manatee County

A call to action can mean many things. For volunteers at Harvest UMC in Lakewood Ranch, it was an opportunity to change the lives of young students at a local elementary school. From books to nutrition to college scholarships, this school-church partnership in Manatee County is having a positive impact.

October 30, 2017

'Small steps' changing lives in Fruitland Park

For two decades, volunteers from Community UMC in Fruitland Park have been taking "small steps" to make a difference at the school next door. Many lives--both the children and volunteers--have changed for the better.

September 27, 2017

Helping schools part of Newberry culture for decades

For Newberry UMC, helping schools is part of the town's culture. We continue our school-church partnership series with a program that has thrived for decades.

September 26, 2017

Workshop postponed for 'Our Kids Training Plus'

The first in a planned series of training workshops for school-church partners, "Our Kids Training Plus," has been postponed until further notice. The event, originally scheduled for Oct. 7, is being rescheduled due to Hurricane Irma recovery efforts.

August 25, 2017

Registration open for 'Our Kids Training Plus'

Organizers are encouraging Florida Conference church pastors, staff and laity to register now for the first school-church partner training session. "Our Kids Training Plus" will be held Oct. 7, 2017 at St. Luke's UMC in Orlando.

August 16, 2017

Stirring in soul: Retired teacher reaches out in Volusia County

Retired teacher Mica Roughton's life changed the moment she reached out to help children and families living in poverty. She's now the volunteer coordinator of a ministry called Food Brings Hope, a program at FUMC of Ormond Beach giving families in a local elementary school physical and spiritual nourishment.

July 17, 2017

First, Port St. Lucie, battles summer reading slump

In the first of a monthly series about School-Church Partnerships, read about volunteers at FUMC in Port St. Lucie who recently collected 1,005 books for children at an area elementary school.

September 12, 2016

Churches and schools partnering to work with at-risk kids

Temple Terrace UMC, following its mission as an instrument of hope in the community, is working with students at Kimbell Elementary in Tampa - a school reported to have challenges extending beyond the classroom.

January 29, 2014

Beyond the gift of education

Volunteer tutoring lifts the spirit and self-esteem of disadvantaged children.

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