Thursday, June 28, 2018

Thursday Thoughts


1. Sunday Morning Worship - This week we will continue our new series on prayer entitled, "Prayer IS...." Pastor Daryl will be preaching on "Wanted" as he explores Luke 11:1-4 and the invitation to prayer and that we are all wanted by God to engage in that practice. 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. Summer Camp - On Monday we sent close to 20 children and youth to camp at Warren Willis for the week. The theme this year is "The Table" and that God loves and invites everyone to join him at his table. Please keep these young people in your prayers for their safety and for their hearts to be receptive to the worship and small group times. 









3. Prayer Vigil - To go along with our summer preaching series on "Prayer Is," we are going to be hosting a prayer vigil on Thursday July 12th from 8:30am to 4:30pm. Signups are currently full for praying in our prayer chapel, but you are encouraged to find some time on that day to pray for our church and its ministries, our surrounding community, our country and the world.



4. Churchwide BBQ - We will be hosting our annual churchwide summer picnic after all the worship services on Sunday July 15th. There will be slips in the bulletin this week to fill out and drop in the offering plate to register - or you may call the church office. Don't miss out on this great time of food and fellowship.










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, June 27, 2018

Midweek Moment

From Pastor Loida - An Update on Summer Gardens Small Groups at Community UMC

This summer we have 11 small groups meeting once a month at different homes throughout The Villages, Fruitland Park, Leesburg, and surrounding areas. Each group comes together to enjoy a meal, snack, or dessert at the table. Each group studies God’s Word, pray for one another and, as outreach, they are encouraged to participate in a service project, outside our walls. They find a way to bless the community. One group already sent me a schedule of how they will serve at the Wildwood Soup Kitchen, a place where many in need gather at the table.

It is always interesting to share our experiences when we gather at the table. It is at the table that we begin to understand community in our family of origins. We celebrate birthdays, holidays, and just the ordinary day-to-day events. We discuss things important to us. We cry and laugh together, at the table. Jesus understood the importance of what happens at the table. He took the time to sit at the table with anyone who invited him. Many miracles and transforming moments happened as he sat and broke bread with others. Just read through the gospels and you find Jesus often sitting at the table. No wonder many called him “a glutton who ate with sinners.” As part of the study guides in our Summer Gardens, we read of the encounter Jesus had with Nicodemus, the Samaritan woman, with Mary, Martha and Lazarus, and breakfast with the disciples after his resurrection. In each of these encounters, Jesus took as much time as needed to be present and make a difference in each person’s life.

Whether you are in a small group or not, take a chance to invite others to join with you at the table. Maybe invite a visitor to lunch with you after worship service… or someone you have seen in church often but you don’t know well.

This week, as you sit at the table to eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner, look around at those who are sitting with you. If you are alone, think back to the many meals you have shared with others in your lifetime. Take the time to give God thanks for those you have shared with at the table. Then, think of one person you might want to invite to join you for a meal, or a snack, or just dessert. Again, great things happen when we gather in fun and fellowship! Enjoy!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Thursday Thoughts

1. Sunday Morning Worship - This week we will begin our new series on prayer entitled, "Prayer IS...." Pastor Loida will be preaching on "Are You Really There?" as she explores Exodus 17:8-13. 



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. Vacation Bible School - We're so thankful for all of your prayers and all of the volunteers that are helping us to enjoy a wonderful week of sharing God's love with our kids at Vacation Bible School. Shipwrecked is our theme and we have learned so far about how Jesus rescues; when we are lonely, when we worry, and when we struggle. We have two nights left of this important ministry.







3. Memorial Service - One of our longest active Chancel Choir members died unexpectedly this week. There will be a memorial service for Laura Blankenship on Saturday June 23rd, at 11am in the church sanctuary.



4. 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.




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, June 14, 2018

Thursday Thoughts

1. Sunday Morning Worship - This week we will conclude our series, Lesson from the Life of David. This Sunday, Pastor Daryl will be preaching on "David's Last Words" dealing with his advice to his son Solomon from I Kings 2:1-4.

We will also be recognizing all of the men of Community for Father's Day in worship. Men will be asked to sign in on one of the boards in the sanctuary and Family Life Center so that we can make a $1 donation for each man present to Open Arms Village in Ocala.

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 - NEXT WEEK!!! That's right, VBS time is here!!!! It's not to late to register for Shipwrecked - you can do so online by clicking here or by walking up to register on Monday evening. VBS runs from 5:30-8:30pm each weekday night (June 18th-22nd). 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. 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, June 13, 2018

Midweek Moment

Last week Pastor Loida, Pastor Daryl and myself spent the week in Lakeland for our Annual Conference gathering, along with nine members of Community UMC who served as church and district delegates: Hunter Gnann, Justin Moore, Glenn and Elsa Kaye, Riley Standifer, Art and Judy Wadding, Mike and Pat Weer,  We spent our time going back and forth between the First UMC of Lakeland as well as the campus of Florida Southern College for this event. I have to say that in many ways I think it was the best Annual Conference event I have been a part of in the last several years. There was a sweet spirit of collegiality among those gathered and we were privileged to hear many powerful sermons during some very inspiring worship. 

Our former district superintendent, Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson was the speaker for both the Clergywomen's Breakfast on Thursday as well as that night's communion service. I have missed her presence in our district and conference these last two years and it was so good to hear her speak and hear her truth-telling once again.  





As the leader of the Residents in Ministry process for provisional elders and deacons, it was especially exciting to celebrate these 18 ordinands (our largest class in 6 years) be affirmed on the floor of Annual Conference before their ordination service on Saturday morning.


There were other wonderful moments to celebrate as well. We took a $701 offering from you to contribute to the Bishop's Offering benefiting ZOE International and some new evangelism training the Bishop wants to do with pastors and lay people in our conference. We celebrated the chartering of three new churches in our conference: a Haitian congregation in Miami, a Spanish-speaking congregation in Ocala and a congregation called Collective in Deland designed specifically for people who have turned their back on church. We recognized those pastors who were retiring including some of my dear mentors and remembered those pastors who had passed away in the last year: including Richard Quackenbush, the father of our youth director, Sharon Quackenbush. And we spent a large portion of time on Friday afternoon having conversations around "The Way Forward" for our denomination. I was very encouraged by the spirit in the room during that presentation and conversations. 

All of the sessions from Annual Conference are available online to watch and listen to if you are interested on this website. I would definitely recommend Bishop Sue's sermon from Thursday evening as well as Bishop Greg Palmer's sermon from Friday night. 

We are thankful for all of the members of Community who took the time to attend all of the sessions last week and participate in representing all of you. We continue to pray for our church and the whole of the United Methodist Church as we prepare for the upcoming General Conference in February. 

Blessings, 



Thursday, June 7, 2018

Thursday Thoughts

1. Sunday Morning Worship - This week we will continue our series, Lesson from the Life of David. This Sunday, Pastor Daryl will be preaching on "The Characteristics of True Friendship" dealing with David and Jonathan from I Samuel 19:1-7.

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. 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, June 6, 2018

Midweek Moment

As this blog post comes through this afternoon, I and many other Methodists are gathered together at the First United Methodist Church in Lakeland and Florida Southern College in Lakeland for Annual Conference. Annual Conference is a time when clergy and lay representatives from every church through the Florida Conference gather to celebrate what has been happening in our ministry and to plan for the future as we approve recommendations from conference committees (including our budget and leadership). We'll be here through Saturday around noon. In addition to Pastor Daryl, Pastor Loida and myself, we have three local church representatives, Art and Judy Wadding and Mike Weer. Our church also sent three other at-district delegates (Elsa and Glenn Kaye, and Pat Weer) as well as three youth delegates (Hunter Gnann, Justin Moore and Riley Standifer). 

The theme of this week’s conference is Remembering Who We Are. Some of our guest speakers for general sessions this week include Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson (a former pastor from our conference now serving over the North GA conference), Dr. Paul Chilcote (professor of Wesleyan theology at Asbury Seminary in Orlando), and Bishop Gregory Palmer (of the West Ohio Conference). We will also spend some time on Friday afternoon engaging in conversations related to The Way Forward Process. The conclusion of our week will be a Service of Licensing, Commissioning and Ordination on Saturday morning. This is always a very special time of celebration. There is a link here to watch Annual Conference sessions if you are interested.

There is much to be accomplished in the next several days. We have much to be thankful for in the Florida Conference, in particular the faithfulness and passion of our leadership and the commitment and strength of our connection. All of your pastors and church delegates would certainly covet your prayers for wisdom and guidance as well as for energy and stamina to get through the marathon long days.


Blessings,