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. Have a story to share? Email email@example.com or click here to use our convenient “Submit a story” form.
Study shows strong support from Blacks to remain United Methodists
However, with racism, advancement opportunities, and pay inequity as obstacles, they also say the status quo is not acceptable.
Bishop Ken Carter's era remembered for his compassion and vision
As Bishop Carter prepares to leave Florida for the Western Carolina Conference, he is recalled as a voice of calm leadership in times of trouble.
At First UMC Orlando, doves send a message of love and hope
Rev. Dr. Vance Rains imagined what origami doves in his sanctuary would look like. The Holy Spirit took it from there.
Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune "epitomizes the values we hold dear"
Florida Methodist, educator, and civil rights icon formally took her place at Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol. To her right, appropriately sitting, is a statue of Rosa Parks.
The ripples from Mary McLeod Bethune's extraordinary life continue today
She was born the 15th child of former slaves but during her remarkable life, she created what is now Bethune-Cookman University and fought impossible odds to educate thousands of mostly Black students. On July 13, that legacy will be celebrated at Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol as she takes her place among the nation's most influential individuals in history.
A Prayer for Peace in the Wake of the Recent U.S. Shootings
Almighty God, our prayers rise like incense. When we cry out to you, the Psalms teach us, you answer. The massacres of the innocent, in Buffalo, in Laguna Woods, in Uvalde are known to you. Our ...
"He was lynched because he didn't matter"
Bigots lynched Robert Johnson of Tampa in 1934 because he was Black. They thought no one would care, but community leaders and United Methodists came together to prove those people were wrong.
"Justice is what love looks like in public"
It is not surprising to hear about the church bearing witness to the love of God in Jesus Christ by feeding the hungry, housing the houseless, visiting those in prison and providing disaster relief. ...
A high honor for the extraordinary life of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune
On July 13, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, the 15th child of former slaves, will take her rightful place among the giants of our nation. That's the official unveiling of her 8-foot tall, 6,130-pound statue in Washington's Statuary Hall.
"They know I am there for good"
Melissa Stevens, inmate number G30701 to the Florida Department of Corrections, didn't know anything about Rev. Kris Schonewolf the first time they met. Until that point, it had been just another day...
Seven Ways to Pray for Cuba in This Present Moment
Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS
Freedom is the Right Thing (Seed), at the Right Time
July 4, 2021 sermon by Rev. Dr. Sharon G. Austin at Lake Junaluska
Rev. Dr. Candace Lewis answers the need: Here I am, Lord. Send me.
After many years of service to the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church, Rev. Dr. Candace Lewis is moving to Atlanta as President-Dean of Gammon Theological Seminary.
A Prayer for Atlanta and our Asian-American Neighbors
O God, our strength and our redeemer, we stand with our Asian-American sisters and brothers today. In the words of your saint and missionary Patrick, we pray that your Son Jesus Christ would be so ...
A Call to Action for The United Methodist Church in Times of Challenge
Grace and Peace to you, Sisters and Brothers in Christ. These are challenging times that we live in. The continued rise of COVID-19 infections and deaths around the world, the attack on the US Capitol last week, and the undeniable expressions of racism, white supremacy and systemic inequity in our communities
Commentary: Hope is the flame that must carry us forward
We are more than a month removed from the election, but it is still nearly two months until President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration. Much like how this year has felt, we once again find ourselves in ...
Developing a Culture of Voting: Now that We Can, Can We?
Families develop many cultures, one of which should be a culture of voting.
Manatee churches come together for racial and social justice
The problems of poverty and injustice in communities across Florida don't have a one-size-fits-all solution. These issues didn't materialize overnight, and they won't simply disappear without a ...
A Call for Justice and Action in "Celebration" of Hispanic Heritage Month
The notion that celebration is how we best honor the beautiful heritage of the Latinx diaspora misses the much larger call placed on us as Christians that supersedes a simple homage for 30 days.
Loving God, Loving Our Neighbor and Rendering to Caesar
What if our learning, in an election year, is that we are called to integrate our spiritual and civic lives, to love God, to love our neighbor and to render to Caesar as disciples of Jesus?
What is the role of our faith in public life?
Methodist Christians have a long history of connecting faith and social action. At our best, Methodist Christians are known for their “practical divinity” in that you see them singing, praying, ...
A Statement Regarding the Shooting of Another Black Man by the Police
The shooting of Jacob Blake In Kenosha, Wisconsin by a police officer requires a public response from all who affirm that black lives matter, and from all who see human life as sacred. As his ...
We have come a long way, but we are not there yet
August 18 marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the constitutional right to vote. We celebrate this anniversary in the midst of the current election season and with ...
NFL team name change victory for Native people
The decision to change the name and logo of the Washington NFL team is a “huge victory” for Indian Country, said the Rev. David Wilson, conference superintendent of the Oklahoma Indian Missionary ...
'Service of Lament' challenges church on racism
United Methodist bishops, agencies collaborate on unflinching video as latest step in anti-racism initiative.
What We’ve Done (and Left Undone)
Many in America believed they had progressed from the racial turmoil of the 1960s. Then George Floyd was murdered.
Cabinet Statement in Response to Racial Injustice
From the Cabinet of the Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church
Coming together to seek social justice
Building on inter-racial relationships, United Methodist Congregations in two different communities, help to organize vigils and opportunities to work for reconciliation.
In the fight for justice, immigrants are our neighbors
Florida Justice For Our Neighbors gives a hand and assistance to those who need it most
Making Disciples for the Transformation of the World
Participants in Florida Advocacy Day stress social justice and other issues to state lawmakers.
United Methodists head to Tallahassee for Advocacy Day
They will meet with lawmakers to push for many items related to social justice, including felon voting rights, immigration, feeding the hungry, and children’s rights.
The battle to realize Dr. King’s dream continues
Christians must remain on guard to confront prejudice and hate in whatever form they appear.
Conference starts ministry in women's prison
The United Methodist Church committed to bringing the gospel of Jesus to inmates at Lowell Correctional Institution.
Branches provides a lifeline where it’s needed most
The family service organization in Miami-Dade County offers education, nutrition, and financial planning to help many people break the cycle of poverty
Old racial wounds start to heal through honest conversation
Grace UMC in St. Augustine helped the city confront its racial divide and reach a joyful conclusion.
Florida’s need for immigration services is acute
In the 20 years since its founding, Justice for Our Neighbors has opened 17 offices in 15 states, including two in Florida. And, according to the National JFON website, it had its busiest year in 2018, serving 4,395 new clients from 112 different countries.
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.’’
Conference is planting a church in women’s prison
Bishop Ken Carter began discussions three years ago about starting a United Methodist church inside the Lowell Correctional Institute in Reddick, about 15 miles north of Ocala. It houses about 3,000 women, the largest female prison population in the United States.
Opioid crisis series: Clergy embrace becoming foster parents
The Revs. Matt and Beth Johnson in Morgantown, W.Va., answered the call to become foster parents to children living in what Matt called “a rough situation.” After a two-year process, they were able to adopt the brother and sister they were fostering.
Prison ministry leads to ‘House of Hope’
The Hillsborough House of Hope assists women who battled substance abuse or were arrested for prostitution and other crimes.
May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
Discipleship Ministries and United States agencies provide a wealth of resources for observing the month in services or classrooms.
United Methodists lobby at Florida Advocacy Days
Well over 70 United Methodists from across the Florida Conference assembled in Tallahassee in late March for the annual Florida Advocacy Days.
Southwest district tackles root causes of homelessness
Homelessness is pervasive in the Florida United Methodist Church Conference’s Southwest District, and churches are using diverse methods to help.
Black History Month: Honoring Black Methodists' history
Part of the rich story of Methodism includes African Americans who chose to stay with the denomination despite being sometimes excluded or treated unfairly.
UMC sexual ethics resources are available
The UMC believes sexual misconduct within ministerial relationships represents an exploitation of power and is a betrayal of sacred trust. The UMC defines sexual misconduct as a continuum of behaviors...
Making the ‘Dream’ a reality: the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.
King was mindful of the power and responsibility of the church in healing the divides of society. He was also well aware of challenges hindering churches themselves.
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.
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.