Thursday, May 24, 2018

Thursday Thoughts

1. Sunday Morning Worship - This week we will begin a new series, Lesson from the Life of David. This Sunday, Pastor Loida will be preaching on "The Unlikely People God Choses" from I Samuel 16:1-13. We will also be remembering people for Memorial Day and celebrating those that are graduating.

Invite a friend and a neighbor and we hope to see you at 8am, 9:30am, or 11am! All are welcome, all are invited.






2. Vacation Bible School - Mark these dates on your calendar, June 18-22. That's when we will be celebrating Shipwrecked VBS at Community!!!! Beginning in May, Faye will be at the VBS table after each service to sign up children, volunteers, and answer questions. If you would like to register your children or grandchildren, or if you would like to signup to volunteer, you can do so online by clicking here or by stopping at the church office to pick up a form. In the bulletin this week will also be a list of supplies and decorations that are still needed. If you are able to donate, or let us borrow, we would be grateful. This is an exciting time and a great opportunity for us to love on this community and the families that call it home!







3. We Need You! - We are in need of a few people to help 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 soundboard operations during the services. These positions are very important to the flow and experience of worship and truly add to our time together. If you are interested, please contact the church office by clicking here or calling us at (352) 787-1829. Thank you in advance for your consideration.






4. Choir Tour - This Friday our choir will be departing for Washington D.C. to participate in the National Memorial Day celebrations. Forty-eight members have been rehearsing since the beginning of the year and they will perform at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Please join us in praying for safe journeys as they travel back and forth to Washington D.C. and for meaningful moments as they sing celebrations to our Lord.

We look forward to hearing all of the stories when they return.






5. Be In the Know! - One of the great things about Community is all the options and choices you have to help make disciples and build the Kingdom. And we want you to know about as many of them as possible. The best way to do that is for you to sign up for any of the various ways we have set up to communicate with you. Here is a list of them and how you can sign up or follow them:

  • Churchwide Email System - just call the church office to sign up or email us by clicking here
  • Pastor's Blog - you can find the blog by clicking here. Once you are there, bookmark it and you can even subscribe to have email updates of new posts sent to you automatically. The subscribe box is on the side underneath Pastor Debbie's Photo and Bio. Once you subscribe, don't forget to confirm that subscription by responding to the email you will receive, so the emails will start being delivered to you. 
  • Our Church Website - you can find our church website by clicking here. Don't forget to bookmark it once you are there. 
  • Our Church Facebook Page - there are many updates, photos, and even Facebook Live Videos we post on this page, a great resource! You can find that page by clicking here
  • Our Church Instagram Page - where we host many pictures of church events showing how we are living out our faith in Fruitland Park and beyond. You can find that page by clicking here
  • Our Church Text Messaging Feature - get updates about the church sent to you via text message (text message and data rates may apply). You can sign up for that by sending the text message @cumcfp to the number 81010. 
  • Our Church Publications - and as always you can find great information in our weekly bulletin and monthly newsletter. 
I hope you will take advantage of as many of these avenues for communication as possible. There is a lot happening at Community and we do not want you to miss a thing!


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Thursday Thoughts

1. Sunday Morning Worship - This week we will conclude our series Ashes to Fire as we celebrate Pentecost Sunday and the gift of the Holy Spirit poured out upon the church. This Sunday, Pastor Daryl will be preaching on "The Fullness of Life in the Spirit" from John 14:15-17, 25-26, on the impact that the Holy Spirit has in our lives. We will also be celebrating New Members in each service this weekend.

Invite a friend and a neighbor and we hope to see you at 8am, 9:30am, or 11am! All are welcome, all are invited.




2. New Church Directory - Two additional picture dates - this Saturday May 19th from noon until 5pm in the Fellowship Hall and then Sunday May 20th after worship services. Our new church directory is now live! For information about how to login you can visit our website by clicking here. You can view our directory from a computer or you can download an app for your smartphone or tablet and view from there as well. This is a great tool for us because it can be updated frequently and we can print directories as needed. We are asking everyone to go ahead and login and check their information to make sure it is correct. If you have any questions or need to make changes, please email our directory team by clicking here.


3. Handbell Concert - The CUMC Concert Series continues this weekend with a handbell concert on Sunday May 20th at 6pm in the sanctuary. The Magic of Bronze will be presenting "Kaleidoscope of Seasons." The concert is free and a love offering will be taken.



4. Vacation Bible School - Mark these dates on your calendar, June 18-22. That's when we will be celebrating Shipwrecked VBS at Community!!!! Beginning in May, Faye will be at the VBS table after each service to sign up children, volunteers, and answer questions. If you would like to register your children or grandchildren, or if you would like to signup to volunteer, you can do so online by clicking here or by stopping at the church office to pick up a form. In the bulletin this week will also be a list of supplies and decorations that are still needed. If you are able to donate, or let us borrow, we would be grateful. This is an exciting time and a great opportunity for us to love on this community and the families that call it home!





5. We Need You! - We are in need of a few people to help 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 soundboard operations during the services. These positions are very important to the flow and experience of worship and truly add to our time together. If you are interested, please contact the church office by clicking here or calling us at (352) 787-1829. Thank you in advance for your consideration.





6. Be In the Know! - One of the great things about Community is all the options and choices you have to help make disciples and build the Kingdom. And we want you to know about as many of them as possible. The best way to do that is for you to sign up for any of the various ways we have set up to communicate with you. Here is a list of them and how you can sign up or follow them:


  • Churchwide Email System - just call the church office to sign up or email us by clicking here
  • Pastor's Blog - you can find the blog by clicking here. Once you are there, bookmark it and you can even subscribe to have email updates of new posts sent to you automatically. The subscribe box is on the side underneath Pastor Debbie's Photo and Bio. Once you subscribe, don't forget to confirm that subscription by responding to the email you will receive, so the emails will start being delivered to you. 
  • Our Church Website - you can find our church website by clicking here. Don't forget to bookmark it once you are there. 
  • Our Church Facebook Page - there are many updates, photos, and even Facebook Live Videos we post on this page, a great resource! You can find that page by clicking here
  • Our Church Instagram Page - where we host many pictures of church events showing how we are living out our faith in Fruitland Park and beyond. You can find that page by clicking here
  • Our Church Text Messaging Feature - get updates about the church sent to you via text message (text message and data rates may apply). You can sign up for that by sending the text message @cumcfp to the number 81010. 
  • Our Church Publications - and as always you can find great information in our weekly bulletin and monthly newsletter. 
I hope you will take advantage of as many of these avenues for communication as possible. There is a lot happening at Community and we do not want you to miss a thing!



Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Midweek Moment





Happy 
Mother's 
Day
2018! 








What a wonderful weekend of worship we enjoyed on Sunday for Mother's Day! We showed a short video in each service, and Pastor Loida recognized all of the women of the congregation and prayed a prayer of blessing over them in each worship service as well.

There seemed to be a lot of enthusiasm over the idea of giving money to missions in recognition of the women of Community as well. 393 women signed in on the decorated boards and stands in the sanctuary, choir room and the FLC!!! Many thanks to the Altar Guild for decorating up the stands for sign-in boards.

That money will be going to Esther House, a Christ-centered twelve month recovery program for women coming out of incarceration, that is located right here in Fruitland Park. This is a ministry that several of our UMW Circles have gotten involved in the last year. Judy Courter who heads up Esther House, actually attended our 8am worship on Sunday! When worship was over, she asked if the boards could be sent to her so that she could frame them and put them up in Esther House so that the residents there could be reminded of people in the community who are helping to support that ministry. What a wonderful way to recognize women, by supporting a women's mission right here in town.

Blessings,






Thursday, May 10, 2018

Thursday Thoughts

1. Sunday Morning Worship - This week we will continue our series Ashes to Fire as we place our focus on the praise of Easter and move towards the power of Pentecost. This Sunday, Pastor Debbie will be preaching on "As Long As It Takes" from John 17:20-26, as we look to the power of prayer in how we persevere in this life.

Invite a friend and a neighbor and we hope to see you at 8am, 9:30am, or 11am! All are welcome, all are invited.





2. Mother's Day - This Sunday is Mother's Day! As we looked at how to honor all the women of this congregation, we felt a nudging from the Holy Spirit to do something different. Instead of handing out flowers on Mother's Day during worship, we will be making a gift to missions for every woman who attends worship on that day. This is the day to invite your friends, neighbors, and relatives to worship with you and have their presence count. For every woman in worship on Sunday, May 13th, we will donate $1 to Esther House. For example, if we have 650 women in worship between all three services, $650 will go to Esther House!!! We hope you will join us and help us raise money to benefit the local women of our community as we seek to share the love of Christ!





3. Vacation Bible School - Mark these dates on your calendar, June 18-22. That's when we will be celebrating Shipwrecked VBS at Community!!!! Beginning in May, Faye will be at the VBS table after each service to sign up children, volunteers, and answer questions. If you would like to register your children or grandchildren, or if you would like to signup to volunteer, you can do so online by clicking here or by stopping at the church office to pick up a form. In the bulletin this week will also be a list of supplies and decorations that are still needed. If you are able to donate, or let us borrow, we would be grateful. This is an exciting time and a great opportunity for us to love on this community and the families that call it home!





4. New Church Directory - Our new church directory is now live! For information about how to login you can visit our website by clicking here. You can view our directory from a computer or you can download an app for your smartphone or tablet and view from there as well. This is a great tool for us because it can be updated frequently and we can print directories as needed. We are asking everyone to go ahead and login and check their information to make sure it is correct. If you have any questions or need to make changes, please email our directory team by clicking here.





5. We Need You! - We are in need of a few people to help 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 soundboard operations during the services. These positions are very important to the flow and experience of worship and truly add to our time together. If you are interested, please contact the church office by clicking here or calling us at (352) 787-1829. Thank you in advance for your consideration.





6. Be In the Know! - One of the great things about Community is all the options and choices you have to help make disciples and build the Kingdom. And we want you to know about as many of them as possible. The best way to do that is for you to sign up for any of the various ways we have set up to communicate with you. Here is a list of them and how you can sign up or follow them:


  • Churchwide Email System - just call the church office to sign up or email us by clicking here
  • Pastor's Blog - you can find the blog by clicking here. Once you are there, bookmark it and you can even subscribe to have email updates of new posts sent to you automatically. The subscribe box is on the side underneath Pastor Debbie's Photo and Bio. Once you subscribe, don't forget to confirm that subscription by responding to the email you will receive, so the emails will start being delivered to you. 
  • Our Church Website - you can find our church website by clicking here. Don't forget to bookmark it once you are there. 
  • Our Church Facebook Page - there are many updates, photos, and even Facebook Live Videos we post on this page, a great resource! You can find that page by clicking here
  • Our Church Instagram Page - where we host many pictures of church events showing how we are living out our faith in Fruitland Park and beyond. You can find that page by clicking here
  • Our Church Text Messaging Feature - get updates about the church sent to you via text message (text message and data rates may apply). You can sign up for that by sending the text message @cumcfp to the number 81010. 
  • Our Church Publications - and as always you can find great information in our weekly bulletin and monthly newsletter. 
I hope you will take advantage of as many of these avenues for communication as possible. There is a lot happening at Community and we do not want you to miss a thing!



Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Midweek Moment

Greetings my friends!

Next month churches and their clergy will gather in Lakeland, FL for Annual Conference. This is the one time a year where we are all together – pastors and laity – from every church. We use this time to build relationships, hear about the amazing things the United Methodist Church is doing in Florida and around the world, and vision about our denomination’s future. It is also a time where proposals, or Constitutional Amendments, are presented for changes to be made to our Book of Discipline. The Book of Discipline is the set of rules and guidelines that govern our denomination.

Recently, we had a few amendments that came before our church. In May 2016, General Conference delegates had their say on a set of five amendments that address matters of gender equality, inclusiveness in membership, delegate and bishop elections, as well as bishop accountability.

According to our denominational rules, for an amendment to pass, “a constitutional amendment first requires at least a two-thirds vote at General Conference [the only body that can officially speak for the United Methodist Church], then it must win at least a two-thirds majority of the total voters at annual conferences around the world.”

The set of five amendments mentioned above passed at General Conference and were then presented to the voters at every annual conference around the world. Monday we were presented with the results.

The amendments concerning delegate and bishop elections and bishop accountability all passed overwhelmingly. However, the two dealing with adding language that we are all made in the image of God and that as one body we will work to not only eliminate discrimination towards women and girls, but actively seek to eliminate it from our culture did not. The proposals that did not pass were written as follows:
I. The first amendment proposed a new paragraph between current Paragraph 5 and Paragraph 6. This new paragraph would have focused on gender justice. 
II. The second amendment proposed changes to the wording in Paragraph 4 in "The Book of Discipline." If it were ratified, the proposed amendment would have added “gender,” “ability,” “age” and “marital status” to the protected membership groups.
These two amendments were written to provide support and clarification of the equality of women in our denomination and not allow for discrimination against women because of their gender, their ability, their age, or if they are married.

I am grateful we have a denomination that sought, and still seeks, to make it clear we are all equal in the eyes of God. I am grateful to serve alongside two appointed female clergy in this church and have seen the amazing and incredible ways they have modeled the love of Christ to hurting people and the difference they have made for the Kingdom of God. I am grateful for all of the female staff members that I have the privilege of serving with and seeing the countless lives they have bettered because of their dedication, their gifts, and their presence. I am grateful for all of the female laity of this congregation that serve so graciously in so many different ways, seeking to bring hope and kindness, relief and grace to people locally and the world over. You all are amazing and vital to the Kingdom and its work in this world.

For people to think women are less than, or have less to offer, because of gender, ability, age or marital status, is simply inconsistent with my understanding of God, God’s heart for all people, and the call we have to work together to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. To allow any of those attributes to lessen or alter how people are perceived, valued, and treated is inconsistent with who I believe we are called to be as God’s children and God’s creation. It is also inconsistent with who we are as United Methodists, having a long tradition of ordaining women and for empowering all people – clergy and laity alike - for the work of the Kingdom. All of this being supported in that the first witnesses to the resurrection of our Messiah were women.

I invite all of you to join me in doing a few things. I first invite you to pray about this situation and how God could use you within it. Then I encourage you to act as you are led.

God has not chosen to only equip certain people, God has called each of us to share in that love, grace, compassion, and work of the Kingdom. For we are all created equal in the eyes of God. I sincerely thank you as this congregational family and as this manifestation of God in Fruitland Park, for continually affirming the work of all people in this world and for loving as Christ first loved us.

Your brother on the journey,



If you would like to read more about these amendments as well as the responses from our Bishops on the results, please click here to go to the article on our denomination’s webpage.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Thursday Thoughts

1. Sunday Morning Worship - This week we will continue our series Ashes to Fire as we place our focus on the praise of Easter and move towards the power of Pentecost. This Sunday, Pastor Daryl will be preaching on "The Promise of God's Peace" from John 14:23-29, as we look for ways to continually experience God's peace in our lives.

There is also a Scout Spaghetti Lunch after worship this weekend.

Invite a friend and a neighbor and we hope to see you at 8am, 9:30am, or 11am! All are welcome, all are invited.


2. New Member Class - Our next New Member Class is coming up THIS Sunday, beginning at 12:30pm, in the Fellowship Hall. It's not too late to sign up! We will serve lunch and childcare will be provided. If you have been attending CUMC for a while and want to take the step of commitment in joining the church, we welcome and invite you to attend. Please contact the church office at 787-1829 or email the office by clicking here to RSVP. We hope to see you there!


3. Vacation Bible School - Mark these dates on your calendar, June 18-22. That's when we will be celebrating Shipwrecked VBS at Community!!!! Beginning in May, Faye will be at the VBS table after each service to sign up children, volunteers, and answer questions. If you would like to register your children or grandchildren, or if you would like to signup to volunteer, you can do so online by clicking here or by stopping at the church office to pick up a form. In the bulletin this week will also be a list of supplies and decorations that are still needed. If you are able to donate, or let us borrow, we would be grateful. This is an exciting time and a great opportunity for us to love on this community and the families that call it home!



4. New Church Directory - Our new church directory is now live! For information about how to login you can visit our website by clicking here. You can view our directory from a computer or you can download an app for your smartphone or tablet and view from there as well. This is a great tool for us because it can be updated frequently and we can print directories as needed. We are asking everyone to go ahead and login and check their information to make sure it is correct. If you have any questions or need to make changes, please email our directory team by clicking here.


5. We Need You! - We are in need of a few people to help 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. If you are interested, please contact the church office by clicking here or calling us at (352) 787-1829. Thank you in advance for your consideration.



6. Be In the Know! - One of the great things about Community is all the options and choices you have to help make disciples and build the Kingdom. And we want you to know about as many of them as possible. The best way to do that is for you to sign up for any of the various ways we have set up to communicate with you. Here is a list of them and how you can sign up or follow them:

  • Churchwide Email System - just call the church office to sign up or email us by clicking here
  • Pastor's Blog - you can find the blog by clicking here. Once you are there, bookmark it and you can even subscribe to have email updates of new posts sent to you automatically. The subscribe box is on the side underneath Pastor Debbie's Photo and Bio. Once you subscribe, don't forget to confirm that subscription by responding to the email you will receive, so the emails will start being delivered to you. 
  • Our Church Website - you can find our church website by clicking here. Don't forget to bookmark it once you are there. 
  • Our Church Facebook Page - there are many updates, photos, and even Facebook Live Videos we post on this page, a great resource! You can find that page by clicking here
  • Our Church Instagram Page - where we host many pictures of church events showing how we are living out our faith in Fruitland Park and beyond. You can find that page by clicking here
  • Our Church Text Messaging Feature - get updates about the church sent to you via text message (text message and data rates may apply). You can sign up for that by sending the text message @cumcfp to the number 81010. 
  • Our Church Publications - and as always you can find great information in our weekly bulletin and monthly newsletter. 
I hope you will take advantage of as many of these avenues for communication as possible. There is a lot happening at Community and we do not want you to miss a thing!


Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Midweek Moment

When we turned the pages of the calendar to May, I realized Mother's Day is just around the corner. I love getting to celebrate it with my boys, and the handmade gifts they've all made in school or scouts. I've been thinking about my own mother (Ellen Keller) and grandmothers (Rose Larger, Helen Washburn, Thelma Keller) as well as Daryl's grandmothers (Emma Davis and Muriel Allen). All of these women who are part of the great cloud of witnesses now were important influences in my life, as well as my mother-in-law Joyce Allen who continues to speak into my life now and into the lives of her grandchildren. In recent years I think of our son Davis' birthmother and foster mother halfway around the world in China, and wish that they could see how well is doing. 

We all have women who have poured into our lives and helped mother us and shape us in various ways, especially in our faith development, whether or not they were biologically related to us. That's why in recent years we've taken care in worship to recognize all of the women in our congregation when it comes to Mother's Day and acknowledge that presence. We will still spend time that Sunday in worship to acknowledge the gift that the women of our congregation are to us. 

But this year Pastor Daryl, Pastor Loida and I had the idea to have the recognition go a step further and make an impact. Instead of handing out flowers on Mother's Day during worship, we will be making a gift to missions for every woman who attends worship on that day. This is the day to invite your friends, neighbors, relatives to worship with you and have their presence count. For every woman in worship on Sunday May 13th, we will donate $1 to missions. For example, if we have 650 women in worship between all three services, $650 will go to missions!!! 

The mission that we have chosen to support is a local one, Esther House. Some of our United Methodist Women circles already have an established relationship with this local mission. Esther House is a twelve-month Christ-centered residential reentry program for adult women released from incarceration seeking to change their life for good. 

I hope you'll be present with us on Mother's Day (May 13) and bring women with you to worship. So we may recognize them and we can make a gift in their name to help make a difference in the lives of other women. 

Blessings