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.

November 25, 2020

2020 Advent Wreath and Readings

Advent wreath readings plus a simple Bible reading plan to help you prepare and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

November 24, 2020

Detective Hughes, now Pastor Hughes, and a story of redemption

Rachel Hughes was a detective in Pinellas County when she captured a bank robber, who was convicted and sentenced to prison. Twenty-eight years later, the robber came face-to-face with now-Pastor Hughes of Curlew UMC-Palm Harbor in a remarkable story of a life-turned-around.

November 24, 2020

Want to kick the COVID-19 blues? Lake Junaluska singers hit the right note

Music and the arts are enduring traditions at Lake Junaluska, even during the middle of a pandemic. ...

November 23, 2020

A 2020 Thanksgiving Message from Bishop Ken Carter

This Thanksgiving, let us lean into its spiritual purpose.

November 19, 2020

A virtual mission trip? Sign up, buckle up, and experience Zoe Empowers

This is not another "how can we cope in the age of COVID-19" story. Yes, it's about virtual ...

November 16, 2020

Bishop Carter Announces Mid-Year Moves

Bishop Ken Carter and the appointive cabinet of the Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church, in consultation with the clergy and authorized lay leaders of the local churches, announce full-time appointment changes below, to take effect January 1, 2021.

November 16, 2020

Council urges no new US bishops for 4 years

United Methodist Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey presides over an online meeting of the denomination’s Council of Bishops. Amid financial pressure and a potential denominational split, the council called for postponing elections of new U.S. bishops and urged that five new African bishops be added only as resources allow. UM News screenshot via Zoom.

November 16, 2020

Craig Smelser recommended to be next Florida Conference Treasurer

The Council on Finance and Administration unanimously recommended Craig Smelser as the Interim ...

November 07, 2020

Statement from Bishop Ken Carter on the Completion of the 2020 U.S. Election

A prayer for the people of the Florida Conference

November 03, 2020

Apportionments and End of Year Payments

Apportionment payments for 2020 must be received in the lockbox at Regions Bank or paid on line by Monday January 11, 2021.  This is not a postmarked by date but is the last day by which monies must be received in the Conference or our bank lockbox to be included in 2020 apportionments receipts.

November 02, 2020

A Prayer for the Election

A Prayer for the Election by Rev. Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia, pastor at Trinity UMC in Sarasota. This ...

November 02, 2020

Developing a Culture of Voting: Now that We Can, Can We?

Families develop many cultures, one of which should be a culture of voting.

October 29, 2020

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 ...

October 26, 2020

Should General Conference go virtual?

With no end in sight to the deadly pandemic, a number of United Methodist leaders are urging that General Conference be virtual — if it’s to be held at all next year.

October 15, 2020

"I try to say yes when it comes to meeting needs in the community"

Temple Terrace UMC asked God to send people to them. God responded in an unexpected way, but now the Church is trying to show the love of Christ in action.

October 15, 2020

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.

October 12, 2020

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?

October 02, 2020

"This is when the church learns how to be the church"

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many pastors into roles for which they were not prepared, and that has led to added stress and the potential for burnout. But this trying period is also an opportunity for church growth and for members to help minister their pastors by taking things off their plates.

September 29, 2020

Seven ways to embrace the Season of Creation this fall and beyond

Around the world, United Methodists and other Christian denominations have been celebrating the ...

September 22, 2020

Churches pick up after Sally

Hurricane brought strong winds, torrential rain to west Florida and south Alabama.

September 22, 2020

Duke Divinity student forgives person who shot him, hopes to become voice for others

DURHAM, N.C. — A Duke University Divinity School student who was hospitalized for almost four weeks after being wounded in a drive-by shooting last month says he is relying on his faith as he continues a long journey to recovery.

September 22, 2020

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, ...

September 19, 2020

Annual Conference focuses on opportunities in the midst of challenges

The Annual Conference is a long-standing tradition in the Florida Conference of The United Methodist...

September 16, 2020

Fires, coronavirus complicate Western disaster relief

The wildfire crisis ravaging California for weeks took a dramatic turn and spread into the Pacific Northwest, feeding off dry conditions and strong winds.

September 15, 2020

Commissioning and Ordination Services Take On Special Meaning

Leadership in the time of COVID-19 takes on a special challenge that Florida United Methodists rose to accept.

September 01, 2020

Job search opens for new Florida Conference Treasurer

The nationwide search for the next Conference Treasurer closes October 2.

August 31, 2020

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 ...

August 28, 2020

Showing love and support in the face of COVID-19

A repast -- from the Latin word meaning "to eat" -- is often part of any home-going service. It gives the family and mourners a bit of needed closure and fellowship. But how could that happen in the COVID-19 world? When it came time to say goodbye to beloved member Jessie Loretta McSwain Denson, Trinity UMC in Lake City showed it can be done.

August 24, 2020

New director takes helm of Conference young adult mission ministry

There are many things Heidi Aspinwall will miss about her job.  One is helping young adults see ...

August 20, 2020

Creation Care rises in the time of COVID-19

The FLUMC Creation Care Task Team will hold a statewide Creation Care Zoom gathering on August 25.

August 17, 2020

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 ...

August 14, 2020

In reopening UMC preschools, one size doesn't fit all

Churches in the Florida Conference that operate daycares and preschools have grappled with how to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic, or whether to reopen at all.

August 13, 2020

United Methodists to Host New “Dismantling Racism” Town Hall Discussions

NASHVILLE -- Two new interactive town hall discussions are planned as part of the “Dismantling ...

August 07, 2020

Worship and Ideas: Encouragement for Back To School

  Dear Florida Conference Sisters and Brothers:  In this time leading up to a new school ...

July 30, 2020

For the elderly, protection comes at a cost

Senior citizens are among the most vulnerable to the ravages of COVID-19, so they need special protection. But that often means isolation, loneliness, and missing their church and family.

July 27, 2020

Pandemic challenges music ministers and choirs

Churches throughout the United Methodist denomination show how to keep a music ministry alive despite COVID-19.

July 27, 2020

We've Come This Far By Faith

The fight for racial justice, equality, and equity continues decades later, against the backdrop of de facto segregation that still exists today.

July 22, 2020

2020 Annual Conference will be virtual-only event

  Bishop Carter, the Cabinet, and the Annual Conference Planning Team announce that the ...

July 20, 2020

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 ...

July 13, 2020

Delegates: Use GC2020 delay for new vision

The disruption of COVID-19 has led General Conference organizers to reschedule the event from May ...

July 10, 2020

COVID-19 forces churches to grapple about how to continue worship

Some Florida Conference churches have returned to in-person worship, but others either started and quickly shut down or never re-opened at all. It's up to each church to consider the best way to navigate through this time of COVID-19.

July 07, 2020

Church parking lots fill for COVID-19 testing

More United Methodist congregations are offering space for screenings, hoping to reach groups at special risk.

July 07, 2020

How a scriptural imagination can help Christians face fear

It is natural to be afraid at a time like this. But the spiritual practice of reading Scripture within a deep tradition can be grounding for us, and can help us be resilient in the face of fear, writes Bishop Ken Carter.

July 07, 2020

The Work of Disaster Recovery Photo Essay

A look at FloridaRestores in action.

July 01, 2020

Q&A: What delay means for General Conference

The issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the United Methodist Church to navigate uncharted waters to prepare for General Conference in 2021.

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The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church

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