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.

April 15, 2021

After last year's shutdown, Warren Willis Camp is back in business

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck last year, the ministry at the Warren Willis Camp and Conference ...

April 01, 2021


Maundy Thursday is about an impending incident, the death of Jesus, and all of the events that lead to it. It is a significant act, this night, this meal, and we enter into by thinking about how it is interpreted, how it is "framed". It is an act of betrayal, but it is also an act of love.

March 31, 2021

Going virtual doesn't change the importance of Advocacy Day

For many people, political discussions focus solely on the President, United States Senate, and the ...

March 31, 2021

Women in Ministry: Past, Present and Hope for the Future

Seven leaders in the Florida Conference reflect on the role of women in ministry.

March 25, 2021

Bishops cancel General Conference scheduled for May 8

For now, planning for when delegates can meet to deliberate on the denomination’s future remains a work in progress.

March 25, 2021

The past year taught churches a lot about how to adapt to Holy Week

Things aren't completely back to normal after last Easter, but United Methodist churches across Florida know better now about how to hold worship in the middle of a pandemic.

March 23, 2021

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.

March 17, 2021

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. ...

March 17, 2021

Clergy care a priority in pandemic year

After COVID-19 took hold, the Florida Conference formed a clergy care team, recognizing that doing ministry during a pandemic would be a nerve-wracking challenge.

March 11, 2021

Faithful giving allows vital Conference work to continue

Despite the challenges of the global pandemic, giving by United Methodist churches throughout Florida remained strong.

March 02, 2021

Florida Delegation Statement Regarding GC 2021

The delegation looks forward to reaching resolution to our denomination’s current impasse at the next General Conference in 2022.

March 01, 2021

Planned new denomination gets name

A group of traditionalists committed to leaving The United Methodist Church has chosen "Global Methodist Church" as the name for the denomination they are planning to form.

February 25, 2021

Postponement of General Conference and Call for a Special Session in May

To the People of The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church: Blessings to you friends, ...

February 23, 2021

Bishop Carter Announces Changes to District Leadership

Rev. Dr. Candace becomes the first woman president-dean of Gammon Theological Seminary; tenure begins April 1.

February 22, 2021

Staying focused and thinking of others in the face of a terrifying diagnosis

Doctors said she has a deadly form of brain cancer. Cox said her top priority is finishing a badly needed medical clinic in Gaitu, Kenya. Don't bet against her.

February 16, 2021

When did Ash Wednesday begin and why do we celebrate it?

Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent, a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. Although Ash Wednesday has ancient roots, it does not appear in the rituals of The United Methodist Church or our predecessor denominations until the 20th century.

February 11, 2021

Everyone was a winner in Super Bowl Food Challenge

While the National Football League teams from Kansas City and Tampa Bay fought for Super Bowl...

February 05, 2021

Conference Announces New Controller Christine Shutters

Christine Shutters Christine Shutters is the new Conference Controller, assuming the ...

February 01, 2021

Pam Garrison honored with FEPA Distinguished Service Award

Pam Garrison, the former Disaster Response Coordinator for the Florida Conference of the United ...

January 29, 2021

Commentary: QAnon and the failure of prophecy

There have been many reports since January 20 about QAnon adherents and the failure of their ...

January 28, 2021

Workshop can help churches enhance online worship experience

The pandemic gave many challenges to congregations throughout the Florida Conference, but it also ...

January 15, 2021

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

January 12, 2021

Local churches won’t bear cost of steep insurance increases

We all know the havoc that 2020 wrought upon our state, country, and world. Natural disasters such ...

January 11, 2021

A Statement from the Florida Conference Cabinet on the Attack at the Capitol on January 6

The scenes that unfolded in our nation’s capital on Wednesday are troubling on many levels. Images ...

January 04, 2021

Grants, scholarships available for Native Americans through FLUMC

Native Americans play an important role in the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. ...

December 29, 2020

Florida Conference answers Epiphany's call to bring light into the world

In the United Methodist Church, Epiphany marks the Magi's arrival to visit and honor the Christ ...

December 29, 2020

For Pam Garrison, Disaster Response is more than a job, it's a ministry

The Florida Conference Disaster Response Coordinator and director of the Conference's Disaster Recovery Ministry is retiring after 16 years of helping people recover from catastrophe.

December 22, 2020

Faith, hope, love and the vaccine

A medical staff person acknowledges that she will not take the vaccine, because of her understanding...

December 15, 2020

Commentary: The Christmas Star can bring light into our darkness

The Grand Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn combines to create the appearance of a giant, brilliant star. Many theorize its what guided the Wise Men to the baby Jesus. The phenomenon happens just once every 800 years. In this time of darkness and turmoil, we could use this light. It will occur on Dec. 21 as the winter solstice occurs, the longest night of the year.

December 10, 2020

Pandemic on Christmas Eve forces churches to innovate

For many families in The United Methodist Church, Christmas Eve is not complete until they hold ...

December 08, 2020

Tips for a Sustainable and Safe Christmas

Cara Fleischer Although COVID-19 has put a damper on our usual plans, it seems that the ...

December 07, 2020

"As laity of the church, our work matters more now than ever"

“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tiding of great joy that will be for all people.  For unto ...

December 04, 2020

AC 2021 resolutions due Jan. 31

If you are considering a resolution for the 2021 Annual Conference, the Jan. 31 deadline is firm.

December 03, 2020

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 ...

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 ...

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