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.

June 11, 2021

Opening day of Annual Conference brings challenges, hope, and news

The Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church convened its second consecutive virtual Annual...

May 14, 2021

Bishop Carter to Serve Western NC & Florida Conferences Starting Sept. 1

On May 14, the Council of Bishops approved episcopal supervision recommendations for the Southeastern Jurisdiction (SEJ), due to the retirement of four bishops.

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 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 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 ...

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.

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

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 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.

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 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 ...

May 27, 2020

Bishop Ken Carter's assignment to Florida is extended

In light of the postponement of the General and Jurisdictional Conferences due to the Coronavirus ...

March 04, 2020

Geraldine McClellan’s call to ministry was stronger than obstacles she faced

This trailblazer in the Florida United Methodist Church shattered barriers through determination, work, and empathy for others.

February 05, 2020

Making Disciples for the Transformation of the World

Participants in Florida Advocacy Day stress social justice and other issues to state lawmakers.

February 02, 2020

Bishop Carter names Thom Shafer as South West District Superintendent

Bishop Ken Carter is pleased to announce the appointment of Rev. Thom Shafer as the new South West ...

January 27, 2020

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.

November 25, 2019

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

November 20, 2019

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.

October 30, 2019

Conference has new emphasis on Hispanic/Latino ministries

A refugee from Castro’s Cuba whose family endured imprisonment and forced labor for their religious devotion, Rev. Dr. Rini Hernandez will lead the effort. He has been a church-founding pastor and Methodist district superintendent in both Cuba and Florida.

October 28, 2019

Alturas churches serve community ecumenically

The congregations routinely get together to do things, like the upcoming fall festival, which serves as a Halloween alternative. There are the Christmas cantata, the Easter sunrise service at the lake on the property of the Methodist church and the Fifth Sunday sings.

October 03, 2019

‘Matthew 25 Challenge’ focuses on lives of the least

The “Matthew 25 Challenge,’’ a weeklong event held at Orlando’s Pine Castle United Methodist Church, energized its members by not only giving back, but also by undergoing real-life exercises that were everyday occurrences for the least of their brethren.

September 26, 2019

UMW retreat celebrates 150-year legacy

UMW members had to overcome the rules of society and the limits imposed by their own national and racial identities to assume vital leadership roles.

August 05, 2019

Summer camps inspire youth to ‘do amazing things’

“I’m always in awe of how many clergy and lay people have heard the call to Christ right here on our grounds. There’s something special about this place that inspires people to go back out to the world and do amazing things.”

April 25, 2019

No matter size or location, congregations need care

Congregational Care Ministries (CCM) is a program aimed to empower lay people to work alongside their ministers. They perform services such as hospital visits, leading grief and divorce groups and even administering communion to home-bound people.

April 10, 2019

Camp is an ‘Oasis’ for urban kids

“From being a kid and a camper at Oasis, my biggest takeaway was getting to unplug from that city urban environment and going somewhere where you could be more open and reflective.”

April 08, 2019

Killearn iServe volunteers are ‘Earth Angels’

iServe is a grassroots ministry that gives church members an outlet to assist people with pressing needs in the community at no cost.

March 12, 2019

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.”

February 26, 2019

Southeast churches include homeless as family

Churches in the Southeast district practice the love and gratitude of radical hospitality.

January 28, 2019

Young adult initiative creates servant leaders

The free program invites young adults, ages 18-25, to apply for either a 6-week non-paid internship or a 12-week paid residency for study and training in a specific ministry that interests them.

January 20, 2019

Bishop Carter announces Cabinet changes for the Florida Conference

Rev. Dionne Hammond has been named as a new cabinet member by Florida Conference Bishop Ken Carter, and Rev. Dan Jackson and Rev. Rini Hernandez will continue to serve on the cabinet in new roles.

November 26, 2018

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.

November 15, 2018

Leadership development focused on women clergy

The focus on female pastors was prompted by an increase in the number of women entering the clergy, as well as a desire to see more women in leadership positions.

November 08, 2018

Three to be commissioned to EarthKeepers

Cara Fleischer, Elan Miavitz-Brown and Rev. Tiffania Willetts, all from Florida, will join others from around the nation in the online commissioning. The ceremony will affirm the EarthKeepers in their call to the ministry of creation care and will bless their work in their communities.

September 26, 2018

Young People’s Convocation unites in praise, worship

In Johannesburg, South Africa, it brought together about 300 youth and young adults from 40 nations to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the merger between the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren

August 27, 2018

‘Sacred Spaces’ is theme for Sept. UMW retreat

United Methodist Women across Florida will have a special opportunity to “press pause from the day-to-day routine’’ during a weekend retreat Sept. 7-9 at the conference Life Enrichment Center.

June 28, 2018

Bishop Carter, Cabinet invite others to join in Scripture reading

The Bishop and Cabinet invite anyone to join in reading the following passages – Isaiah 40-66, Romans 8, Philippians 1-4 – each month. The plan is to read a chapter a day, beginning with Isaiah 40 on the first day of the month and ending with Philippians 4 on the last day of the month.

May 10, 2018

Exploration helps young adults contemplating ministry

"Although I am still unsure of what exactly my calling is, I do have a better understanding of the fact that God is not looking for me to be a perfect person. Instead He is looking for me to simply say, Lord, do whatever you want." —Catie Hessler

February 13, 2018

Missio Ecclesia studies missional Church, innovation Feb. 22-23

Janet Earls, director of Congregational Vitality for the Florida Conference, said her idea of church changed during a trip to England with Bishop Carter and others three years ago. The place where Fresh Expressions took root provides inspiration to an upcoming Missio Ecclesia conference Feb. 22-23 at FUMC Lakeland. Registration is now open.

January 09, 2018

United Methodists share MLK’s dream

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was the face of the African-American civil rights movement ...

February 03, 2017

Black History Month resources available

In celebration of Black History Month, United Methodist Communications (UMCOM) has provided ...

November 22, 2016

Monroe working to empower laity

After 35 years working for the church, Paulette Monroe is working to turn her position as Conference Lay Leader into an opportunity to empower. She talks about her plans and dreams to reach out.

November 04, 2016

Churches give big salute to Veterans Day

Members of Palm Harbor UMC recently visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to lay a wreath and honor all who have served. For many conference churches, Veterans Day is a day for recognition and thanks; especially to those men and women we have lost, and the families who supported them.

October 25, 2016

Student interns consider pastoral life

They are asked to preach, attend church meetings, visit the sick and participate in worldwide missions. Ten students recently participated in unique internships to consider pastoral careers.

October 03, 2016

McKinley eager to do 'good soul tending work'

Florida Bishop Ken Carter announced in March the appointment of Rev. Sara McKinley as new director of the Office of Clergy Excellence. McKinley talks of exploring new mindsets of young clergy and those considering a call to ministry.

September 08, 2016

Revival, history themes for AC 2017, 2018

Described by Sharon Austin, director of Connectional Ministries, as an important time of gathering and fellowship, the 2017 Annual Conference returns to Orlando, and the 2018 Annual Conference returns to Florida Southern College in Lakeland.

September 06, 2016

Mission workshops aim to ignite ministries

The upcoming Mission: Ignite and Engage, will offer Florida Conference leadership a unique opportunity through workshops and chat rooms - to discover new ways to engage with their communities.

August 08, 2016

Young people work toward change concerning racism

Resources for youth ministry and race conversations are available from several United Methodist agencies.

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The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church

450 Martin L King Jr Ave
Lakeland, FL 33815

(863) 688-5563 or toll free (800) 282-8011