Thursday, August 31, 2017

Thursday Thoughts

1. Sunday Morning Worship - This week we are continuing our preaching series diving back into the Old Testament with the 10 Commandments. This week Pastor Debbie will look at the commandments that revolve around those "Thou Shalt Not" statements as we look to the freedom that can come from them. 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). All of this will help make room in the main lot for those who need access to the handicapped spaces and also for our first time visitors. We have also been asked to no longer park on the grass of the red, brick house across the street, as renters will move in there soon. Thank you for your help in this!





2. Flood Bucket Challenge - Many of you have heard about, or have family members affected by, the devastation taking place in Texas with all of the flooding. One of the best things we can do at this moment is pray for all involved. However, if you feel led to do more we want to invite you to donate funds to UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief. This is a United Methodist organization dedicated to providing tangible relief to people, the world over, affected by disaster. If you would like to donate to UMCOR, you can drop your donation in the plate on Sunday mornings. Simply mark your donation, "UMCOR - Texas" and we will make sure it gets delivered. If paying by check, please make it out to CUMC and we will send one check to them. Since UMCOR is sponsored by special givings from all United Methodist churches, 100% of all donations received go to the people in need.

The other way we can help is similar to what we did last year for Louisiana, pack a flood bucket. We will have 300 buckets available at all 3 services this weekend, with a list of the needed supplies. The list says it will cost about $60 to fill a bucket, but if you are a thrifty shopper, you can fill it for less. Flood buckets can be filled and should be brought back by Sunday, September 17th.





3. Wonderful Wednesdays - As part of our ministry to the children of Fruitland Park Elementary and of this neighborhood, we are getting ready to gear up our Wonderful Wednesday program for this year, starting this Wednesday, September 6th. There are lots of ways that you can be involved in this ministry to the over 100 children that will be on our campus each week. You can call the church office or you can email Faye Umble by clicking here. This is our chance to share the grace and love of Christ with the children of this community and we need you to help us to do that and do it well.






4. GROW Night - Just a reminder that our GROW Night classes will begin next week, Wednesday, September 6th, at 6:15pm. That means our Wednesday Night Dinners will resume as well. This year, our first gathering will take place in the Sanctuary as we hear from our Honduras Mission Team and get an update on the classes that will be offered this fall semester. We hope to see you there!






5. Interested in Gardening? - The Harvest of Hope Community Garden will be begin in September of this year on the northeast corner of College Avenue and Berckman Street. We have already secured donations for many of the items needed like wood for raised beds, soil, an irrigation system, seeds, a shed, etc.

We have opportunities for you to be involved with planting, maintenance of the garden, and working with the children from our Wonderful Wednesday program and the elementary school to teach them about gardening. Produce from the garden will benefit families from the school as well as our food pantry. Please email Pastor Debbie if you are interested in helping by clicking here. We would love to have you be a part of this incredible opportunity!


Labor Day Schedule - Just a reminder that the church office will be closed Monday for Labor Day.


Have a great week and we will see you Sunday!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Flood Bucket Challenge - Texas

Greetings my friends,

Yesterday, we were issued the challenge to once again pack flood buckets. This time it is for the people of Texas. Many of you will remember, this time last year, we were introduced to this UMCOR sponsored event as we packed buckets for the people of Louisiana. For that cause, we packed 387 buckets!

Therefore, we come to you and ask for help to pack buckets for the people of Texas. We will have 300 buckets, with packing lists inside, ready for you to pick up this Sunday after worship. They will be available in the narthex of the Sanctuary and the Vestibule of the Family Life Center. We have a deadline of September 17th, to have the buckets returned to the church, so we can turn them around and send them to the collection point in Gainesville.

For more detailed information about this event, the need and our response as a Conference please visit our Conference website by clicking here.

Thanks in advance for your help and together we will bring hope and the love of Christ to the people of Texas!

Blessings,

Midweek Moment

My friends, God is at work! The events of this past week are tangible proof of that! In good times, in bad times, in silent times, in uncertain times, God has been at work!

Last Friday night, the uncertain times hit. Hurricane Harvey had garnered enough strength to be classified as a category 4 hurricane and headed straight for Texas. It made landfall and the bad times began. What type of damage would this storm cause? What would be the impact to the people and cities in the storm’s path? What would the aftermath of this event be to those in the wake? For many of us the uncertainty still lingers as Harvey stalled over land dumping immense amounts of rain, went back into the Gulf of Mexico and made landfall again. We have watched the news and seen the reports; it is devastating. Let us be clear about one thing, this storm was not caused by God, but God was there. God was strengthening hordes of Good Samaritans to lend aid as they could. God was speaking to the hearts of millions of people, encouraging them to help in a myriad of ways. That encouragement found its way to Fruitland Park and we are participating in another Flood Bucket Challenge for the people of Texas. Just the little bit of information we had to pass along at the beginning of the week, sparked incredible amounts of interest in our church family and many of you are ready to get your bucket and fill it up! In fact, the buckets will be here Sunday, with a shopping list inside, for you to take, fill, and return by September 17th. In the bad times, God is here.

Then Sunday morning rolled around and we introduced new opportunities for personal and corporate prayer during our worship experiences. We opened up the rail during our 8am and 11am services and you came. You came, you stood and you knelt, and we prayed together. You offered your gratitude for the opportunity and it will become our norm moving forward. We talked about the new prayer station debuting this Sunday in our 9Thirty service and how we would use it during our time together each week. In the silent times, God is here.

Yesterday, the city of Leesburg hosted a Love Walk through downtown as we sought to show we are one in the name of unity and love. We gathered at Pine Street and walked to City Hall, where we prayed, we sang, and we hugged one another. We talked about how there is a need for the followers of Christ to bind together and face the future jointly. In the uncertain times, God is here.

All of this leads me to the good times. The good times are where in the face of the bad, in the midst of the silent, and in throws of the uncertain, God is there. Evil, injustice, and oppression will not stop our God, especially when we live with the power of the Holy Spirit that enables us to stand in the gap and be Christ’s ambassadors. The good comes in God's redemption. My friends, God is here, moving mountains, giving strength, and changing lives. The way you have responded, the prayers you have offered, the work you are preparing to do, all speak to the good that comes in the power and presence of our God in our midst. I am so grateful for you and this church and your eagerness to lend your heart and hand to those in need. “Nothing will ever separate us from the love we have in Christ Jesus” and each of you are proof of that promise.

My cup runneth over,

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Thursday Thoughts

1. Sunday Morning Worship - This week we are continuing our preaching series diving back into the Old Testament with the 10 Commandments. This week Pastor Debbie will look at the commandments that reveal to us the natural result of making God our priority and how that honor and love, for God and those around us, can play out 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 St/Rose Ave (we have golf cart shuttle from this lot). All of this will help make room in the main lot for those who need access to the handicapped spaces and also for our first time visitors. We have also been asked to no longer park on the grass of the red, brick house across the street, as renters will move in there soon. Thank you for your help in this!





2. Pray for our Honduras Team! - Pastor Loida is leading a team of 28 people from Community and New Covenant on a mission trip in Honduras. They have arrived safely and the mission has begun! The group will return on Wednesday August 30th. Please be in prayer for her and for the rest of the team members for great results with their various projects, which include construction and leading Vacation Bible School, for great fellowship as they work together, and for safe travel when they return home.





3. Wonderful Wednesdays - As part of our ministry to the children of Fruitland Park Elementary and of this neighborhood, we are getting ready to gear up our Wonderful Wednesday program for this year, starting Wednesday, September 6th. There are lots of ways that you can be involved in this ministry to the over 100 children that will be on our campus each week. You can call the church office or you can email Faye Umble by clicking here. This is our chance to share the grace and love of Christ with the children of this community and we need you to help us to do that and do it well.





4. Interested in Gardening? - The Harvest of Hope Community Garden will be begin in September of this year on the northeast corner of College Avenue and Berckman Street. We have already secured donations for many of the items needed like wood for raised beds, soil, an irrigation system, seeds, a shed, etc.

We have opportunities for you to be involved with planting, maintenance of the garden, and working with the children from our Wonderful Wednesday program and the elementary school to teach them about gardening. Produce from the garden will benefit families from the school as well as our food pantry. Please email Pastor Debbie if you are interested in helping by clicking here. We would love to have you be a part of this incredible opportunity!



Have a great week and we will see you Sunday!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Midweek Moment

Last year our Bishop, Rev. Ken Carter, asked each church to create a partnership with the neighborhood elementary school in their area. Fortunately for us, we already had a very strong and vibrant relationship with Fruitland Park Elementary. For years we have partnered with them in a variety ways from hosting some of their events on our campus, to providing supplies for teachers and students, and most famously is probably our tutoring and Wonderful Wednesday programs.

Two years ago, an organization was formed in our area, Bless Fruitland Park. This groups is comprised of community churches and organizations with a heart for the school and its families. Each year a goal is set for a financial donation, and funds are raised, to be made to the school to help where the budget simply cannot. Each year this drive has been held, we here at Community have stepped up and donated. This year we contributed $2,000 to their goal of $15,000. The goal was met and this past Tuesday, Sandi Moore – our SPRC Chairperson, Faye Umble – our Children’s Minister, Pastor Debbie and myself attended the presentation of these funds to the principle of Fruitland Park Elementary, Dr. Langley.

What an honor it was to partner with so many others to bring a bit of hope and love to the administration, staff, faculty, and students of the school. These people give so selflessly of themselves to the little ones in our area. The attention, patience, and grace they offer as they shape these precious children is an incredible and necessary task. And these people do it very, very well.

Therefore, I want to say thank you. Thank you, to all of you that give so generously to this church through your gifts of finances and time. Your faithfulness and support is what allows us to pass that spirit of generosity along to others, especially our fence-line neighbor, Fruitland Park Elementary. What an honor it is for us to have such a special relationship with the school. This relationship allows us to enter in to the lives of these families and love them. It gives us a chance to support the tremendous people that pour their heart into these children and their families every day. It gives all of us a chance to experience the blessings and hand of God at work in mighty and powerful ways through this school.

I was given the honor of closing out the gathering with prayer and I invite you to join me in that discipline. Let us all covenant to pray for this school, for its faculty, staff, and administration, for its students and their families, for the incredible things God has done and will continue to do in that space; and let us do it daily.

Your generosity, your prayers, our hands, and our location present this church a fantastic opportunity to be the tangible expression of Christ in this community. I am grateful for everything you all have done for this school in the past, and I am so excited to see what God will do through us in the future.

Have a great week and I will see you soon!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Thursday Thoughts

1. Sunday Morning Worship - This week we are continuing our preaching series diving back into the Old Testament with the 10 Commandments. This week Pastor Loida will look at the commandments that help us relate to God and check our focus - Are we keeping God first or allowing other things to take that spot? 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). All of this will help make room in the main lot for those who need access to the handicapped spaces and also for our first time visitors. We have also been asked to no longer park on the grass of the red, brick house across the street, as renters will move in there soon. Thank you for your help in this!



2. New Member Class - We will be hosting our third quarter New Member's Class on THIS Sunday August 20th, from noon to 4pm. Lunch will be provided. If you have been attending Community UMC and feel ready to take the step of joining the church, we would love to have you. If you are looking for more information about the church and our United Methodist heritage, this is also the place for you. Please call or email the church office to make a reservation.


3. Pray for our Honduras Team! 
Pastor Loida will be leading a team of 28 people from Community and New Covenant on a mission trip beginning Tuesday August 22nd. The group will return on Wednesday August 30th. Please be in prayer for her and for the rest of the team members for safe travels and for great results with their various project which include construction and leading Vacation Bible School.





4. Wonderful Wednesdays - As part of our ministry to the children of Fruitland Park Elementary and of this neighborhood, we are getting ready to gear up our Wonderful Wednesday program for this year, starting Wednesday September 6th. There are lots of ways that you can be involved in ministering to the over 100 children that will be on our campus each week. You can call the church office or email Faye Umble by clicking here.  This is our chance to share the grace and love of Christ with the children of this community and we need you to help us to do that.



5. Interested in Gardening? - The Harvest of Hope Community Garden will be getting going in September of this year on the northeast corner of College Avenue and Berckman Street. We have already secured donations for many of the items needed like wood for raised beds, soil, an irrigation system, seeds, a shed, etc.

We have opportunities for you to be involved with planting, maintenance of the garden, and working with the children from our Wonderful Wednesday program and the elementary school to teach them about gardening. Produce from the garden will benefit families from the school as well as our food pantry. Please email Pastor Debbie if you are interested in helping by clicking here. We would love to have you be a part of this incredible opportunity!


Have a great week and we will see you Sunday!



Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Midweek Moment

Many of you are aware of the events of last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia. I have had numerous conversations with members of our family here at Community about their feelings, their questions, and have learned some of you have very strong connections to the city itself. Knowing that these feelings run deep, and based on a few requests, I am reposting the comments I made from this past Sunday as part of the Midweek Moment for today.

I invite you to continue praying with me as we move forward together, making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Blessings,





As the events in Charlottesville, Virginia unfolded yesterday my heart grew heavy. Heavier with every video I saw, heavier with every article I read, heavier with every reaction to which I listened.

I thought about them from my perspective as a father, husband, pastor, and child of God. As I listened and prayed several things came to mind,

  • 1 John 2:9 – the one who claims to be in the light, while hating a brother or sister is in the darkness even now 
  • Galatians 3:28 – There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. 
  • Luke 6:27 – But I say to you that listen, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 
  • John 13:35 – By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. 

And as I thought about these verses, I was also reminded of the vows we take as United Methodists whenever we are baptized and join the church. The very first question we ask,

  • Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves?

My friends, the events of yesterday and the values that were espoused are not part of the life we are called to live as Christians and United Methodists. So today I would like us to take another moment to pray for those people of Charlottesville, for those families that have been impacted, and for those in leadership – in all capacities – as they seek to care and help those involved and around the globe.

As Christians and as United Methodists, we are called to be the harbingers of hope, those bearers of the light, those dwellers of God’s Kingdom, showing people that the love of God is always greater than hate, evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.

Let us pray –

Gracious Father, we know that today your heart breaks. We know that yesterday was not part of your plan for this world and that events that took place were not part of your will. So today, we pray for your grace, we pray for that prevenient grace of your Spirit to continue to work in the hearts and lives of all people, that eyes would be opened and hearts softened. Allow the words of your Son be made known throughout the land, that love is our guiding premise, that love is our strongest foundation, that your love is what will overcome all things. We pray for those whose life was lost, for those who families are now forever changed, and for those that are struggling with what means to love one another, as you have first loved us. We ask that you continue to walk with us, your children, show us the way and give us the courage to speak into the darkness as we seek to be the bearers of your light. We thank you that these events, and events like these, do not go unnoticed by you, but that you are already at work in them. Continue to bring healing, help us work with you to bring unity, help all of us the world over to speak your love. It is in your mercy, Lord, hear our prayer. Amen.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Thursday Thoughts

1. Sunday Morning Worship - This week we are starting a new preaching series diving back into the Old Testament for a few weeks exploring the 10 Commandments. This week Pastor Daryl will look at the commandment about observing Sabbath and how we work in a rhythm of Sabbath into our own 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 St/Rose Ave (we have golf cart shuttle from this lot). All of this will help make room in the main lot for those who need access to the handicapped spaces and also for our first time visitors. We have also been asked to no longer park on the grass of the red, brick house across the street, as renters will move in there soon. Thank you for your help in this!



2. New Member Class - We will be hosting our third quarter New Member's Class on Sunday August 20th, from noon to 4pm. Lunch will be provided. If you have been attending Community UMC and feel ready to take the step of joining the church, we would love to have you. If you are looking for more information about the church and our United Methodist heritage, this is also the place for you. Please call or email the church office to make a reservation.




3. Wonderful Wednesdays - As part of our ministry to the children of Fruitland Park Elementary and of this neighborhood, we are getting ready to gear up our Wonderful Wednesday program for this year, starting Wednesday September 6th. There are lots of ways that you can be involved in ministering to the over 100 children that will be on our campus each week. You can call the church office or email Faye Umble by clicking here.  This is our chance to share the grace and love of Christ with the children of this community and we need you to help us to do that.



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. Again all the training will be provided. 
  • 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. Interested in Gardening? - The Harvest of Hope Community Garden will be getting going in September of this year on the northeast corner of College Avenue and Berckman Street. We have already secured donations for many of the items needed like wood for raised beds, soil, an irrigation system, seeds, a shed, etc.

We have opportunities for you to be involved with planting, maintenance of the garden, and working with the children from our Wonderful Wednesday program and the elementary school to teach them about gardening. Produce from the garden will benefit families from the school as well as our food pantry. Please email Pastor Debbie if you are interested in helping by clicking here. We would love to have you be a part of this incredible opportunity!


Have a great week and we will see you Sunday!


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Midweek Moment

Last night we went to Fruitland Park Elementary School as a family for Meet the Teacher Night. We walked Wesley to his fourth grade class and then Davis to his second grade class. We got to pick up paperwork, drop off school supplies and get introduced to the boys' new teachers for the year. Tomorrow, is the big day when they and so many other kids head back to school.

As Pastor Daryl mentioned in worship on Sunday, even if you aren't personally affected by having a child headed back to school, this is a great opportunity to join in prayerful support of the students and teachers in our communities. We're especially mindful of that here at Community, sharing a fence line with the elementary school. Every day over a hundred teachers and staff show up to care for over six hundred young people in our town; and several of the support staff and administration at the school are also members of our church. Of course, starting in September we will be hosting over a hundred of those students every Wednesday on our campus for Wonderful Wednesday and tutoring programs.

We would love to encourage you this school year to keep the students and teachers in your prayers on a regular basis. One easy way would be to offer up a short prayer as you drive up past the school approaching the church: for the teachers, for the students, for the support staff, for testing. In so many communities, as the school goes, the community follows. We want to do our best to be a support to the school. We're praying for a great year of learning and partnership with our neighbor.

Blessings!