Thursday, May 25, 2017

Thursday Thoughts

1. Sunday Morning Worship - This week we will conclude our two week preaching series on "Thriving in the Midst of Change" as Pastor Loida explores the question "Are Your Glasses Dirty?" using Romans 8:35-39. We will explore how our perspective on life and faith influences our focus and relationship with God. Invite a friend, or a even a neighbor, and we hope to see you all there at either 8am, 9:30am, or 11am!

Parking Reminder - We're encouraging our members to "park politely." That means for those who are physically able, please park at the Fruitland Park Elementary School lot (accessed from Fountain Street) or at the remote lot on the corner of Catawba St/Rose Ave (we have golf cart shuttle from this lot). That makes room in the main lot for those who need access to the handicapped spaces and also for our first time visitors. Thanks for your help in this!





2. Vacation Bible School - It's coming up sooner than you might think!!! Vacation Bible School is set for June 19th-23rd in the evenings. There are lots of ways that you can help with Vacation Bible School if you would like to volunteer! Painting week for our set decorations will be from May 29th through June 2nd. Contact Faye Umble if you would like to serve by clicking here.

Also, you may signup your children or grandchildren for Vacation Bible School by clicking here.






3. Annual Conference - Annual Conference is coming up, June 7th - 10th. This is the time of year that the Bishop convenes a gathering for all clergy, extension ministers, District Superintendents, Conference staff, and lay representatives. Each congregation must send their pastor(s) and one lay representative for each appointed clergy. For us that means we will send three lay representatives and this year that is Art and Judy Wadding and Will Cooper.

This gathering will deal with the business of the church, share in the mission victories we have had as a Conference and a church, and set a plan for our future. The big item on the agenda this year is a proposal to reduce the number of districts we currently have from nine down to eight. Each of the sessions at Annual Conference will be live streamed if you would like to watch and follow along. We would covet your prayers during this time that we be faithful the mission and cause of Christ. For more information, including proposals and live streaming information, please click here.






4. Annual Conference Offering - Each year at Annual Conference, the Bishop collects a special offering for specific causes. This year the offering that is collected will go to benefit the Abundant Health for Haiti Fund and the Cuban Pastor Pension Initiative. These are two very worthy causes that do need our support. Your opportunity to contribute to this offering will be Sunday, June 11th. If you would like to contribute, please come prepared on June 11th and drop your contribution in the offering plate. If donating by check, please make the check out to CUMC and for all donations please designate it, Bishop's Offering. We will collect all the monies given and send them to the Conference Office for distribution. If you would like more information about these causes, you can read the Bishop's Letter by clicking here.






5. We Need You! - We are in need of volunteers to help with a few areas of the church.
  • One is with the tech aspects of worship at our 8am and 11am worship services. We will provide all the training, but we need people to help with the PowerPoint and sound board operations during the services. These positions are very important to the flow and experience of worship and truly add to our time together. 
  • The second is with ushers at our 11am service. 
  • And the third is helping to coordinate greeters for our 8am service. 
If you are interested in helping with any of these opportunities, please contact the church office by clicking here or calling us at (352) 787-1829. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Have a great week and see you soon!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Midweek Moment

Something fantastic happened Tuesday morning when I arrived at church. I could not find a place a to park. All the spaces in front of the Education and Family Life Centers, full. All the spaces in our grass lot to the south of our buildings, full. Every available spot, in every nook and cranny, full. Therefore, I was given the opportunity to park in our remote lot on Catawba Street and Rose Avenue. I was presented the opportunity to have a nice little walk into the office. While that walk and that chance to breathe a bit were nice, they paled in comparison to what I would find when I made onto our campus.

You see the reason our parking lot was full is that we were hosting the 5th Grade Graduation Ceremony for our neighbor, Fruitland Park Elementary. Family and friends of these fifth graders had come to bear witness to this special occasion, and it was happening at our church. We were the site where accomplishments were being celebrated. We were the place where people came to bathe in the hope of bright futures for their young ones. Our Sanctuary held people who had rearranged their schedules to be here, simply out of love for another person.

As I watched and reflected on all that was happening, something occurred to me. We have cause to celebrate as well. We can celebrate that our church was home to such an important event. We can celebrate that our church was a true reflection of our name, as we welcomed the community to come here and mark such an important celebration. We can celebrate that such an important moment in lives of this community was celebrated in House of the Lord.

So often, churches can become so possessive of their buildings, never letting anyone inside. They become a barrier to Christ, rather than an opening. This past Tuesday, was an example of this congregation engaging in the art of bridge building. We laid a few bricks, yesterday. We created a few on ramps, yesterday. We made a bit of progress, yesterday.

My friends, the relationship with have with Fruitland Park Elementary is an important one. It is a bond that enables us to see the needs of others and then use the blessings of God we have been given to respond. I absolutely love the fact that we had so many people here for a celebration!

Years ago, this church made a decision to stay here in Fruitland Park and minister to this community, rather than move to a new location. We made a commitment to the people in this area. Yesterday, we lived into that commitment. I pray for many more days like that one in our future. May we always be a church that fits our name, Community!

Have a great week!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Thursday Thoughts


1. Sunday Morning Worship - This week we will start a new two week preaching series on "Thriving in the Midst of Change" as Pastor Daryl explores the question "Got Joy?" using Philippians 4:4-9.

We will be celebrating our High School Graduates in worship this weekend and have a few new members also to take in this weekend as well!

Invite a friend, or a even a neighbor, and we hope to see you all there at either 8am, 9:30am, or 11am!

Parking Reminder - We're encouraging our members to "park politely." That means for those who are physically able, please park at the Fruitland Park Elementary School lot (accessed from Fountain Street) or at the remote lot on the corner of Catawba/Rose Ave (we have golf cart shuttle from this lot). That makes room in the main lot for those who need access to the handicapped spaces and also for our first time visitors!!! Thanks for your help in this!!!



2. Vacation Bible School - It's coming up sooner than you might think!!! Vacation Bible School is set for June 19-23 in the evenings. There are lots of ways that you can help with Vacation Bible School if you would like to volunteer! Painting week for our set decorations will be from May 29 through June 2. Contact Faye Umble if you would like to serve by clicking here.

Also, you may signup your children or grandchildren for Vacation Bible School by clicking on the following link: https://vbspro.events/p/events/communityumc




3. We Need You! - We are in need of volunteers to help with a few areas of the church.

One is with the tech aspects of worship at our 8am and 11am worship services. We will provide all the training, but we need people to help with the PowerPoint and sound board operations during the services. These positions are very important to the flow and experience of worship and truly add to our time together.

The second is with ushers at our 11am service. And the third is helping to coordinate greeters for our 8am service.

If you are interested in helping with any of these opportunities, please contact the church office by clicking here or calling us at (352) 787-1829. Thank you in advance for your consideration.



Thursday, May 11, 2017

Thursday Thoughts


1. Sunday Morning Worship - This week we will conclude our preaching series on "Women of the Bible" as Pastor Loida guides us through the Old Testament story of Ruth. Focusing upon Ruth 1:6-18, we will see how in the midst of difficult unknowns we can say "It Is Well With My Soul." We will also be taking in new members this weekend and celebrating a baptism!

Invite a friend, or a even a neighbor, and we hope to see you all there at either 8am, 9:30am, or 11am!

Parking Reminder - We're encouraging our members to "park politely." That means for those who are physically able, please park at the Fruitland Park Elementary School lot (accessed from Fountain Street) or at the remote lot on the corner of Catawba/Rose Ave (we have golf cart shuttle from this lot). That makes room in the main lot for those who need access to the handicapped spaces and also for our first time visitors!!! Thanks for your help in this!!!



2. Vacation Bible School - It's coming up sooner than you might think!!! Vacation Bible School is set for June 19-23 in the evenings. There are lots of ways that you can help with Vacation Bible School if you would like to volunteer! Painting week for our set decorations will be from May 29 through June 2. Contact Faye Umble if you would like to serve by clicking here.

Also, you may signup your children or grandchildren for Vacation Bible School by clicking on the following link: https://vbspro.events/p/events/communityumc




3. We Need You! - We are in need of volunteers to help with a few areas of the church.

One is with the tech aspects of worship at our 8am and 11am worship services. We will provide all the training, but we need people to help with the PowerPoint and sound board operations during the services. These positions are very important to the flow and experience of worship and truly add to our time together.

The second is with ushers at our 11am service. And the third is helping to coordinate greeters for our 8am service.

If you are interested in helping with any of these opportunities, please contact the church office by clicking here or calling us at (352) 787-1829. Thank you in advance for your consideration.


4. Summer Gardens - Our Wednesday Dinners and GROW Night programs have drawn to a close. We are SO thankful for all of the incredible people who helped with the dinners and who taught all of the classes. We had a great closing program this week in which people shared some of the things that they learned.

But your spiritual growth doesn't have to take a hiatus during the summer. Pastor Loida is putting together "Summer Gardens" groups. You can sign up your existing small group or create a new one of 8-10 people. She'll provide the curriculum for four meetings and you can pick your meeting times. Sign up by emailing Loida before the end of May by clicking here.


Have a great weekend and we will see you Sunday!


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Midweek Moment

A few weeks ago it was announced in worship that the Bishop and the Cabinet of the Florida Conference had re-appointed Pastor Debbie, Pastor Loida, and me to Community UMC for another year. While all three of us are very grateful for this we are also excited.

The main reason that we are excited is because of how the Holy Spirit has been moving, and continues to move, in this church. There is a depth and breadth in that movement that is palpable. In fact, the movement has been so fast paced that it has almost overwhelmed us and caused us to miss bits and pieces of it.

For instance, look at our weekly GROW Night classes. We have almost doubled the number of options available and each week it is awe inspiring to see so many people here as they pour out of those classes at the end of the night. I have heard countless stories of how people have found connection and encouragement in these moments and the new relationships that have developed as a result. These are the moments where some serious spiritual growth can and does happen here.

In this reflection, we also must mention the incredible number of youth we had that recently completed Confirmation and joined the church. There were 14 young people that learned about our history and heritage, examined what it meant for them, and made a stand for their faith and joined this body of Christ. They are eager and looking for ways to continue their walks as disciples of Jesus.

Lest we not forget last week in worship as we welcomed back our brother in Christ, Pastor Luis. Pastor Luis is the District Superintendent for our sister church, Perseverancia, in Cuba. This was his second trip to see us and another chance for us to show our support and enthusiasm for all the work being done for Christ in Cuba. Pastor Luis read Scripture for us and we had the opportunity to pray over him. We also gifted him with three preaching robes to take back with him. He shared with me that he is very grateful for all we do for him, our sister church, and the people of Cuba.

We also met with 19 people last Sunday after church in our latest new member class. For three hours, we met and talked about the Methodist Church, this church, and what it means to be a member of Community United Methodist. These folks we excited about joining and looking for ways to be a part of the ministries here.

There is also a fantastic foundation being laid for our summer small group offerings, Summer Gardens. Many people have already made contact with Pastor Loida about the groups they are forming. They are excited about starting this new venture and are eagerly getting to work.

All of this is in addition to the Rise Against Hunger event we had, the meaningful moments of worship on Easter and throughout Holy Week, and new ministries that are continuing to blossom and grow; like our Transitions group and Matthew’s Hands. And like I said Sunday, this is just a small sampling of what is here and happening here.

My friends, this is exciting! To see how the people we have, and the numerous new people that are joining us, are all growing in their faith is noteworthy and wonderful! There is a tangible expression of the Holy Spirit moving through this place and I pray you feel it each time you are here. God is moving here. God is living here. And we have a chance to soak that in, and through that presence, change this world.

We are the body of Christ, one with each other, one with Christ, and one in ministry to all the world! Praise God!

Have a great week and we will see you Sunday!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Thursday Thoughts


1. Sunday Morning Worship - This week we will continue our preaching series on "Women of the Bible" as Pastor Daryl guides us through the New Testament story of Elizabeth and her "Solid Foundation, as found in Luke 1:57-66. We will also be celebrating communion at all three services.

Invite a friend, or a even a neighbor, and we hope to see you all there at either 8am, 9:30am, or 11am!

Parking Reminder - We're encouraging our members to "park politely." That means for those who are physically able, please park at the Fruitland Park Elementary School lot (accessed from Fountain Street) or at the remote lot on the corner of Catawba/Rose Ave (we have golf cart shuttle from this lot). That makes room in the main lot for those who need access to the handicapped spaces and also for our first time visitors!!! Thanks for your help in this!!!


2. Grow Night Dinners and Classes - Our Wednesday Dinners and GROW Night programs are drawing to a close. Next week (May 10) is our closing program for the spring semester which will be held in the sanctuary at 6:15pm.

We've had a great semester of classes, growing in knowledge and love of God and in relationship with friends at CUMC. Keep your eyes open for news about our "Summer Gardens" small groups for over the summer months and how to sign up!!!


3. New Member Class - We will be hosting a New Member class after worship THIS Sunday May 7th in the Fellowship Hall. If you've been attending Community for a while and are ready to take the step of commitment to join the church, this class is for you.

Signup by contacting the church office today: (352) 787-1829 or lhaywood.cumc@gmail.com






4. We Need You! - We are in need of volunteers to help with a few areas of the church.

One is with the tech aspects of worship at our 8am and 11am worship services. We will provide all the training, but we need people to help with the PowerPoint and sound board operations during the services. These positions are very important to the flow and experience of worship and truly add to our time together.

The second is with ushers at our 11am service. And the third is helping to coordinate greeters for our 8am service.

If you are interested in helping with any of these opportunities, please contact the church office by clicking here or calling us at (352) 787-1829. Thank you in advance for your consideration.


5. Vacation Bible School - It's coming up sooner than you might think!!! Vacation Bible School is set for June 19-23 in the evenings. There are lots of ways that you can help with Vacation Bible School if you would like to volunteer! Painting week for our set decorations will be from May 29 through June 2. Contact Faye Umble if you would like to serve (fayeumble.cumc@gmail.com).

Also, you may signup your children or grandchildren for Vacation Bible School by clicking on the following link: https://vbspro.events/p/events/communityumc


Have a great weekend and we will see you Sunday!


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Thursday Thoughts




1. Sunday Morning Worship - This week we will continue our preaching series on "Women of the Bible" as Pastor Daryl guides us through the story of Queen Esther, focusing on her "Perfect Timing" to help us find our courage in God and God's presence in our lives.

Invite a friend, or a even a neighbor, and we hope to see you all there at either 8am, 9:30am, or 11am!

Parking Reminder - We're encouraging our members to "park politely." That means for those who are physically able, please park at the Fruitland Park Elementary School lot (accessed from Fountain Street) or at the remote lot on the corner of Catawba/Rose Ave (we have golf cart shuttle from this lot). That makes room in the main lot for those who need access to the handicapped spaces and also for our first time visitors!!! Thanks for your help in this!!!


2. Grow Night Dinners and Classes - Our Wednesday Dinners and GROW Night programs are drawing to a close. Next week is the final night for classes and then our closing program will be held in the sanctuary on Wednesday May 10th at 6:15pm.

We've had a great semester of classes, growing in knowledge and love of God and in relationship with friends at CUMC. Keep your eyes open for news about our "Summer Gardens" small groups for over the summer months and how to sign up!!!


3. New Member Class - We will be hosting a New Member class after worship on Sunday May 7th in the Fellowship Hall. If you've been attending Community for a while and are ready to take the step of commitment to join the church, this class is for you.

Signup by contacting the church office today: (352) 787-1829 or lhaywood.cumc@gmail.com






4. We Need You! - We are in need of volunteers to help with a few areas of the church.

One is with the tech aspects of worship at our 8am and 11am worship services. We will provide all the training, but we need people to help with the PowerPoint and sound board operations during the services. These positions are very important to the flow and experience of worship and truly add to our time together.

The second is with ushers at our 11am service. And the third is helping to coordinate greeters for our 8am service.

If you are interested in helping with any of these opportunities, please contact the church office by clicking here or calling us at (352) 787-1829. Thank you in advance for your consideration.


5. Vacation Bible School - It's coming up sooner than you might think!!! Vacation Bible School is set for June 19-23 in the evenings. There are lots of ways that you can help with Vacation Bible School if you would like to volunteer! Painting week for our set decorations will be from May 29 through June 2. Contact Faye Umble if you would like to serve (fayeumble.cumc@gmail.com).

Also, you may signup your children or grandchildren for Vacation Bible School by clicking on the following link: https://vbspro.events/p/events/communityumc


Have a great weekend and we will see you Sunday!