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.

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 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.

February 12, 2020

Love given without expecting anything in return

What if everyone on Valentine’s Day focused on agape love more than hearts, candy, and flowers?

February 10, 2020

“The best-kept secret in the church”

A group of retirees called the Nomads travel the country in RVs, offering their help for home and church repairs, furniture refurbishing, or whatever else is need.

October 08, 2019

Church partnership bringing arts to its community

Mandarin UMC and the emerging Fine Arts Conservatory team up to fill the gaps in art education, painting, sculpture, theater and music in the community surrounding the church.

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.

August 20, 2019

Students learn about living in meaningful service

“You hear about fighting poverty. Well, there are so many different types of poverty. There’s material poverty, of course. We know that one. But there’s emotional poverty. There’s spiritual poverty. We want students to see poverty everywhere in a way that calls them to minister to it. Sometimes, it’s right in front of you.’’

August 07, 2019

Artist’s spiritual gift brings Bible stories to life

Recently in a children’s classroom, William Joyner painted a mural that is roughly eight feet high and 15 feet wide so that three- to five-year-olds can visualize the story of Noah’s Ark.

April 29, 2019

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.

January 30, 2019

LEC renovating to meet future expectations

The staff at the Life Enrichment Retreat Center of the Florida Conference wants to help guests have more sleep-filled nights so they can have more inspiration-filled days.

June 27, 2018

Fourth recipes: a real summertime celebration

July Fourth is a real summertime celebration: fruits and berries are in abundance, the grill has been tuned up and Florida’s hot, humid weather rolls in every morning. Enjoy the Fourth with recipes submitted by other people from around the Conference.

December 27, 2017

A dozen soups for Christmas recovery and cooler weather

After the whirlwind of the holiday season and with the beginning of cooler winter days, soup can ...

October 19, 2017

Fiendishly tasty treats for Halloween season

Methodists' recipes make it easy to supplement manufactured, store-bought candy with homemade deliciousness.

August 30, 2017

Sides recipes for Labor Day barbeques and picnics

After such a hot summer, you deserve to top off the season with a great Labor Day break. Whether you...

July 10, 2017

Ways we can be better neighbors

This author is convinced that if there is a solution to the social isolation, the political polarization and the superficial relationships that exist in our neighborhoods—and in the world as a whole—it is reclaiming the art of neighboring.

June 29, 2017

Florida Southern: A Frank Lloyd Wright treasure trove

Florida Southern College, founded in 1883 by the Florida Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, is on the National Register of Historic Places and was named a National Historic Landmark of the United States. This year, the 113-acre campus also became a United Methodist Historic Site.

May 30, 2017

Pastors find strength, balance in their Asian heritage

Numerous churches in the Florida Conference are blessed with Asian-American Christians joining us from places like Vietnam, South Korea and Japan. In this feature, we present three stories that are unique and diverse.

March 03, 2017

Methodist Day planned at Jet Blue Park on Mar. 20

Cypress Lakes UMC in Ft. Myers will host the Red Sox event, which will include lunch and author Tim Kurkjian of ESPN speaking about his new book, "I'm Fascinated by Sacrifice Flies."

December 26, 2016

Recipes to ring out the old and ring in the New Year

New beginnings, fresh starts, reaffirmations of love and faith and the desire for a peaceful future ...

December 13, 2016

Christmas recipe season is in full swing

Christmas season is in full swing, with visitors dropping by, family coming to visit, parties to ...

November 21, 2016

Resources for Advent home worship

Advent is the season when we prepare ourselves to receive God's gift of Jesus. It is a time of "getting ready" for the celebration of Christmas. Here are some ways you can prepare yourself and your family for celebrating Jesus' birth.

November 18, 2016

Ready-made meals for holiday stowaways

Don't forget that there is more than just the turkey dinner to figure out during the holiday. Many ...

August 31, 2016

Recipes for Labor Day and end of summer celebrations

For many of us, Labor Day is the final break before a long stretch of work and school before the ...

July 29, 2016

The most ignored commandment

It's one of the Bible's most well-known commandments. So why aren't we following it? Commentary is courtesy Relevant Magazine.

July 25, 2016

Pokémon goes to church

United Methodist congregations across Florida are finding new faces in their parking lots, thanks to the popularity of a new game played on mobile phones.

July 12, 2016

Eating faithfully is a key to living faithfully

A North Carolina program for clergy, congregations and communities called Life Around the Table focuses on eating well as a way to nurture healthy Christian communities. The key, as its founder says in this interview, is developing a eucharistic imagination.

June 28, 2016

Recipes for keeping cool on the Fourth

Cool off your Fourth of July with recipes submitted by other people from all around the Conference. After all, who knows how to beat the Florida summer heat better than our veteran church foodies? Don't forget to stock the cooler with plenty of ice.

May 24, 2016

Memorial Day picnic recipes

To remember our fallen heroes, many of us enjoy coming together in fellowship with those still with us. Here, we've put together ideas for what to bring to a Memorial Day picnic, potluck and grill out.

March 29, 2016

Christian cliches we shouldn't use

Jonathan Merritt discusses Adam Hamilton's new book, "Half Truths: God Helps Those Who Help Themselves and Other Things the Bible Doesn’t Say."

March 28, 2016

11 contemporary authors Christians should read

Good literature broadens our perspectives. Through fiction, we can experience war, infidelity, the loss of a lover. To an extent, we can empathize and understand the pain others go through.

March 28, 2016

Peace building through the arts

The arts are a starting place for addressing what different faiths have in common, says the founder of a nonprofit that hosts interfaith art exhibitions around the world.

March 21, 2016

Family-favorite Easter recipes

Skip the recipe egg hunt this year. We scrounged up 12 seasonal recipes for your Easter feaster. Check out these delicious options submitted by our community.

March 18, 2016

What to stream for Holy Week

Turn Holy Week into a biblical video marathon. We've put together a list of christian-themed movies as well as some kid-friendly options. Check it out.

March 10, 2016

Beef up your St. Patty's feast with these 14 Irish recipes

There are some aficionados of Irish cuisine amongst our ranks here in the Florida Conference. With St. Patty's day coming up, this is a great opportunity to try out what they've stewed up for us.

March 04, 2016

Hundreds turn out for ‘Real Ideas’

Those arriving at the Real Ideas Conference at Van Dyke Church in Lutz came with different aspirations.

February 11, 2016

Breakfast in bed for your valentine

Start Valentine's Day off with a breakfast in bed guaranteed to make mouths water and hearts melt. We've put together a list of breakfast goodies that we think you'll like, mainly because they were given to us by ... well, you! That's right. These are all recipes submitted to us by UMC members.

February 04, 2016

Love one another: Start with Disability Awareness Sunday

United Methodist Disability Awareness Sunday encourages worshipers to look around the meeting space and think about barriers to people with disabilities, as well as challenge biases and prejudices.

February 02, 2016

Church civility ministry spawns pilot program that works

Operation Hedgehog, born of a civility ministry that started at Southside UMC, Jacksonville, is showing promise in public schools and grabbing the attention of a university research study.

January 05, 2016

Are online relationships healthy for teens?

The Internet, social media and gaming have created changes in the way teens form, nurture and maintain relationships that ministry leaders should consider.

January 01, 2016

Leading conversations on race relations

The goal is to build a Beloved Community of inclusivity within the Annual Conference that cultivates cultural competency among us.

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