Thursday, February 22, 2018

Thursday Thoughts

1. Sunday Morning Worship - This week we will continue our series Ashes to Fire. This series, by Beacon Hill Press, is walking us through the Ashes of Wednesday through the fire of Pentecost, from penitence to praise to power. This Sunday, Pastor Loida will look at how we as disciples represent the practices of God's people in God's world, based on Luke 13:31-35.

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. Church Directory Pictures!!!! - Yes, we are working on a new church directory! Due to illness, we had to reschedule our photo dates. The new dates are this Sunday and March 4th, after all three services. We want to encourage you to stop by and make sure you are part of the new directory. This will be an online version, able to be accessed from computers or from smartphones via a free app. We will also be putting together some printed versions if you need those. Our directory will not be complete without you, so please be a part of it!






3. Lent Retreat - We're doing it again! As an expansion of our GROW discipleship ministries, we are offering a church-wide intergenerational retreat to help kick off the Lenten season here at Community. The retreat will take place on Saturday, March 3rd at the Warren Willis United Methodist Camp here in Fruitland Park from 9am-3pm. We will be exploring the season of Lent and the preaching series for the season, Ashes to Fire. To register you can call the church office at 787-1829 or email us by clicking here.






4. Holy Week - This year we will offer several occasions for you to experience and commemorate Holy Week.

Maundy Thursday, March 29th: - We will have two opportunities for you to observe this day.
  • Sanctuary at 6:30pm: This will be a traditional service, offering time to remember and reflect on Christ's last meal with his disciples.  It will include a time for the celebration of Communion as well as making the clergy in our congregation available to wash your feet.
  • Family Life Center at 7:30pm: This will be an experiential service that will begin with the meal and then walk us through the story of what happened to Christ after that. It will be interspersed with music from our 9thirty Band and conclude with a time of self-guided prayer and reflection.
Good Friday, March 30th: There will be a Good Friday service at Noon, hosted by New Covenant UMC, in The Villages. All the clergy of the United Methodist Churches in the area are participating as well as the combined choirs.

Palm Sunday, March 25th: We will commemorate through worship at all three services, Christ's triumphant entry into the Holy City.

Easter Sunday, April 1st: We will have four opportunities for you to worship and celebrate Christ's Resurrection.
  • Sunrise Service - We will host an Easter Sunrise Service at 6:45am on Easter Sunday morning, with Pastor Loida preaching. This year we are excited to be able to host this service in the Chapel at the Warren Willis Camp. The chapel as a glass wall that overlooks Lake Griffin, giving a beautiful view of the sunrise over the water.
  • We will also host our regular worship services at 8am, 9:30am, and 11am to honor and proclaim the victory over death that is ours because of Christ.
We pray you will take advantage of these many opportunities to remember our Christ and explore your faith. Invite a neighbor and we hope to see you there. All are invited, and all are welcome!





5. Boy Scout Spaghetti Dinner - After each service the next two Sundays, members of our Boy Scout Troop will be selling tickets for their Spaghetti Dinner taking place on Sunday, March 11th at Noon. The cost is $8.00 per plate and their spaghetti lunches are homemade and well worth the cost. This is their primary opportunity to help raise money to assist in funding their trip to summer camp.






6. Memory Care Seminar - The Visitation Team here at Community is hosting a Memory Care Seminar here at the church on Tuesday, February 27th at 1pm. This is being delivered by the Bioclinica Research Group and will focus on memory loss, how to keep your brain active and groundbreaking research opportunities. If you would like to attend this free seminar, please register by calling the church office at 787-1829 or email us by clicking here.






7. 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 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 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 and we will see you Sunday!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Bishop's Response

Good afternoon my friends,

This morning in worship we shared in a time of prayer for the people of Parkland and Coral Springs after the deadly mass shooting that took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. We read a statement from our Bishop, Rev. Ken Carter and extended to you all the opportunity to bathe this situation in prayer.

We also shared with you that our Bishop extended the invitation for all United Methodist churches across the Florida Conference to engage in other tangible expressions of love and support. One of those invitations centers around the practice of writing letters. I have done this before with many organizations centered around a myriad of issues. This time the issue is over the loss of life.

Here is the Bishops invitation from his email:

"An offering of letters to our government officials, state and national, to prioritize the safety and sanctuary of our children amidst this repetitive and escalating violence. These letters can be placed on the altar of your church during the prayer time or at the conclusion of the service. This is in the spirit of the Book of Resolutions, #3428, 'Our Call to End Gun Violence,' and our first General Rule, to 'Do No Harm.'

I call upon the followers of Jesus to speak for those whose voices are silenced, and to speak for our children and grandchildren.

What if, across Florida and even our connection, we were able to collect and send 5000 letters?

I am grateful for the power of our connection."

I want to invite you to consider this as a means of engaging with our connection to share the presence of Christ with the people of Parkland, Coral Gables, and everywhere loss of life due to gun violence has occurred. If you would like to participate, I would encourage you to pray first and see what God lays upon your heart. Then I would encourage you to write a letter that matches those feelings and understandings. Share with our elected officials what you would like to see done, and with grace, how you feel.

If you would like to mail them yourself, please do so. Otherwise, you are invited to address it to the appropriate person and office, affix a stamp to it, and bring it to worship with you next Sunday, February 25th. We will collect them, pray over them in worship, and mail them the next day.

John Wesley called upon the Methodists in his era to do engage in practices that would end hunger, fight against poverty, and make education possible for all people, to name a few. We have a rich history and tradition of speaking for those with no voice, a grief-filled voice, or a disregarded voice.

I invite you all to pray about this and if you feel lead to do so, write a letter.

One of our District Superintendents shared today, as disciples of Christ we have an opportunity to remind people that, "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn't extinguish the light." (John 1:15).

Take care my friends,

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Thursday Thoughts

1. Sunday Morning Worship - This week we will continue the series we started on Ash Wednesday, Ashes to Fire. This series, by Beacon Hill Press, will walk us through the Ashes of Wednesday through the fire of Pentecost, from penitence to praise to power. This Sunday, Pastor Debbie will talk about the temptation Christ faced in the wilderness, that we read about in Luke 4:1-13.

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. Church Directory Pictures!!!! - Yes, we are working on a new church directory! Due to illness, we had to reschedule our photo dates. The new dates are February 25th and March 4th, after all three services. We want to encourage you to stop by and make sure you are part of the new directory. This will be an online version, able to be accessed from computers or from smartphones via a free app. We will also be putting together some printed versions if you need those. Our directory will not be complete without you, so please be a part of it!





3. Preschool Sunday - This Sunday is Preschool Sunday here at Community! We want to invite you to come and hear a bit about our wonderful Community Christian School and even hear our kids sing at the 9:30am and 11am worship services. Their mission is to provide a Christian environment where each child has a hands-on learning opportunity and is prepared both academically and socially for kindergarten. Come and join us as we love on these little ones and let them know how special they are to us!





4. Lent Retreat - We're doing it again! As an expansion of our GROW discipleship ministries, we are offering a church-wide intergenerational retreat to help kickoff the Lenten season here at Community. The retreat will take place on Saturday March 3rd at the Warren Willis United Methodist Camp here in Fruitland Park from 9am-3pm. We will be exploring the season of Lent and the preaching series for the season, Ashes to Fire. To register you can call the church office at 787-1829 or email us by clicking here.





4. UMW Spring Tea - Beginning February 25th, our United Methodist Women will begin selling tickets to their annual Spring Tea.

It will take place on Saturday, March 17th, doors will open at 11:15am and tickets will be $15 per person.

So get out your favorite spring bonnet and join the fun! All proceeds will go to benefit the mission work of the UMW. Tickets will surely go fast, so make sure to get yours early!





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 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. 
  • 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 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 @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 I do not want you to miss a thing!



Have a great weekend and we will see you soon!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Midweek Moment

Today marks the beginning of the season of Lent, Ash Wednesday.

Our General Discipleship Board reminds us, "As we note in our official ritual for this day, 'we confront our mortality and confess our sin before God within the community of faith.' Ash Wednesday is about death, first of all, because this journey of being born anew to a living hope in Jesus Christ requires that we also die with him, 'buried with him in baptism.' Starting with powerful reminders of our mortality reminds us our work of accompanying others toward baptism and personal spiritual disciplines during this season are not a kind of “self-help” or “up by our own bootstraps” exercise. We do not “take on” spiritual exercises. We submit more profoundly to the use of the means of grace. We do not “make ourselves better.” Rather, we open ourselves more profoundly to the operations of divine grace. We do not “hang tight” to make ourselves get better. We let go, trusting God, through submitting to these means, to make us more holy.

'Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.'

We remember, we face up, and we fess up. We are mortal. We cannot save ourselves from death, or the second death. And we are sinners… in the hands of a compassionate God who seeks to save us, not leave us in the paths of destruction to which we are otherwise inevitably heading."

We want to invite you to come and observe Ash Wednesday with us this evening, as we acknowledge our shortcomings, our mortality, and that great hope we have in Christ Jesus. We will have two opportunities: a Traditional Ash Wednesday Service at 6:15 PM in our Sanctuary and a Self-Guided Prayer Station Experience from 6 to 8 PM in our Education Building. Invite a friend and we hope to see you there! All are welcome, all are invited!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Thursday Thoughts


1. Sunday Morning Worship - This week we will conclude our preaching series entitled "Half -Truths." Based on a book by Adam Hamilton, this series has focused on some of the most common phrases people attribute to the Bible and Christian faith, but that aren't actually in Scripture. Pastor Daryl will be preaching on the topic of "Love the Sinner; Hate the Sin" using Matthew 7:1-5.

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




2. Church Directory Pictures!!!! - Yes we are working on a new church directory! You can get your picture taken after all three worship services this weekend (February 11) or next weekend (February 18). No appointment necessary. Stop by and make sure you are part of the new directory. This will be an online version, able to be accessed from computers or from smart phones via a free app. We will also be putting together some printed versions.



3. Valentine's Day Dinner and Show- The Music Ministry is putting on two seatings of a special Valentine's Day Dinner and Show THIS FRIDAY February 9th at 4:30pm and 7pm in the Family Life Center.  A delicious dinner, as well as pictures and fabulous music are all part of the evening. Tickets are $15 a person and you can still call the office (787-1829) to get yours.





4. Love Run - THIS SATURDAY !!!!! - We're so thankful for folks who signed up to run, walk, or volunteer for this Saturday's run. And what a blessing several church members are corporate sponsors for the event as well. It's not too late to signup: You can register by clicking here.  Registration cost is $30. Proceeds from the race benefit our Community United Methodist Food Pantry as well as the City of Fruitland Park's recreation department.







5. Ash Wednesday - We have a few opportunities to commemorate the beginning of the season of Lent next week on Wednesday February 14th. We hope to see you there for one or for all!

* 7-8am in the parking lot - Pastor Loida and Pastor Debbie will be available to pray with you and anoint you with ashes

* 6:15pm in the sanctuary - We will be holding a worship service with prayer and anointing of oil, imposition of ashes as well as communion.

*6-8pm in the Fellowship Hall - there will be self-guided prayer stations throughout the education building starting in the Fellowship Hall. You can go at your own pace to observe Ash Wednesday.


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 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. 
  • 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 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 @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 I do not want you to miss a thing!


Have a great weekend and we will see you soon!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Midweek Moment

Winterfest has come and gone. And the last little bit of ice has finally disappeared from the parking lot. But the memories will last... and the stories... and the impact. Here's just a few pictures of our wonderful day of community outreach. 
















At staff meeting this week, we shared "Glory Sightings" from Winterfest of interactions and encounters we had with volunteers and folks from our community. It was a very special time of sharing the impact that this event has. Many visitors to Winterfest cannot get over the fact that EVERYTHING is free and that there are no strings attached to this event: free food, free entertainment, free games and rides, free prizes as well as free pictures.  Many people tried to pay the folks in our food tents. It doesn't compute for some people that this event is not a fundraiser we put on to try and earn more money for our ministry to ourselves; rather we care so much about the community we budget money specifically for this purpose of giving it away through Winterfest. I think that it is an incredible model for the community of God's grace - not earned, no strings, just a free gift. 

One story that came up at staff meeting in particular was of a church member who brought their daughter and grandkids to Winterfest. The daughter has been somewhat leery of church and coming to worship here. But even though she thought this event would probably be somewhat rinky-dink, the daughter agreed to come because she thought at most it would take up an hour. She was incredibly surprised by the large scale of the event and the excellence with which it was put on. She and her children spent more than an hour here enjoying Winterfest. And as they went to leave she won a door prize of a Walmart gift card. Made even more special by the fact that she was nearly out of gas in her car and didn't really have any money for gas right now. That gift card became a way to fill her gas tank on Saturday! 

Thank you to everyone who donated time, energy, effort, supplies and prizes for Winterfest. What a privilege it is to serve among so many willing to offer our community a gift like this with no strings attached. 

Blessings,






Thursday, February 1, 2018

Thursday Thoughts

Here's your additional bonus advertisement this week! Winterfest is coming this Saturday from 10am - 4pm. Many thanks to all the hands who have volunteered to help with this awesome community outreach event! Invite your friends and neighbors! You won't want to miss this!


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1. Sunday Morning Worship - This week we are continuing our preaching series entitled "Half -Truths." Based on a book by Adam Hamilton, this series will focus on some of the most common phrases people attribute to the Bible and Christian faith, but that aren't actually in Scripture. Pastor Debbie will be preaching on the topic of "God Said It. I Believe It. That Settles It" from 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

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


2. Church Directory Pictures!!!! - Yes we are working on a new church directory! Upcoming sessions include February 11 and February 18th after all three services. No appointment necessary. Stop by and make sure you are part of the new directory. This will be an online version, able to be accessed from computers or from smart phones via a free app. We will also be putting together some printed versions.



3. GROW Night - GROW Night and Wednesday Night dinners are in full swing and it's not too late to join in on the fun. We have new class choices and new subjects aimed at helping you grow deeper in your faith. Class listings can be found on our blogchurch Facebook page, in the church office or at the Welcome Desk in the Narthex. These classes are great ways to explore your faith, meet new people, and feel the power of the Holy Spirit in your life. We hope you will make plans to join us each week as we GROW together!



4. Love Run - On Saturday February 10th will be the annual LOVE Run 5k in the City of Fruitland Park to kickoff the LOVE week celebration. You can register by clicking here.  Registration cost is $20 between now and January 29th; then the cost goes up to $30. Proceeds from the race benefit our Community United Methodist Food Pantry as well as the City of Fruitland Park's recreation department.







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 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. 
  • 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 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 @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 I do not want you to miss a thing!


Have a great weekend and we will see you soon!