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The Rev. Dr. Caroline Shine of the West Volusia/Seminole Section of the National Council of Negro Women announces a challenge to celebrate the inauguration of the first woman and first woman of color as the vice president of the country. The “Walk in My Shoes” challenge, which kicked off Jan. 20, runs through Jan. 30.

Participants were asked to walk a mile Jan. 20 and take a photo of their walking shoes. In addition, a follow-up is requested to donate a pair of sneakers no later than Jan. 30 to local homeless agencies. In West Volusia, the agency is The Neighborhood Center of West Volusia, 428 S. Woodland Blvd. in DeLand.

Those unable to drop off the shoes are asked to order shoes from online stores and have them shipped directly to the location.

For more information, email the Rev. Dr. Shine at sunshine@iag.net.

George Griffin to speak on civil-liberties challenges

Mosaic Unitarian Universalist Congregation, while not meeting face to face, is meeting online at 11 a.m. every Sunday.

On Jan. 24, George Griffin will be the speaker. His talk is titled “The Trump Era Is Over, So We’re All Done Here, Right?” In other words, what are the civil-liberties challenges facing us now that the administration is changing?

Cary Ragsdale will lead the service. Everyone is welcome!

For instructions on how to join the virtual service, email to mosaicuuc@gmail.com.

‘State of the UUnion’

First Unitarian Universalist Church of West Volusia in DeLand is continuing to host virtual services at 10:30 a.m. Sundays. Those wishing to attend are encouraged to join over Zoom from 10:15 to 10:25 a.m. for greetings before the service begins.

On Sunday, Jan. 24, the service will center on the opportunities for those interested in getting and staying involved in the church and the community at large in 2021. You’re encouraged to join in to learn about what will help fill you with the UU spirit this year and be informed of actions to help sustain the beloved community.

Previous and newly elected board leadership, committee participants and members will discuss projects, involvement in church committees and community over the past year, and plans for the future.

The Zoom ID for Sunday services is the same every week: Zoom ID: 927 1881 9188.

Regular group meetings continue on Zoom: The Book and Poetry clubs each meet monthly, the Covenant Group meets every two weeks, and the Men’s Group meets weekly.

Unitarians are an open-minded, openhearted spiritual community, where all are welcomed to learn together. The church can be contacted through www.uudeland.org to learn more.


At First Presbyterian Church of DeLand, this Sunday, Jan. 24, the Rev. Harland Merriam will lead both services, at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., to explore the topic “YouTurn.” This uniquely phrased title introduces two Scripture readings, Jonah 3:1-5 and 10, and Mark 1:14-20, which Pastor Harland will use to explore the true meaning of repentance.

Just what does repenting and following the Lord’s commands really mean? Is it a fait accompli to just declare sin, or does God expect us to respond with action? By examining the story of Jonah’s interactions with the Ninevites and Jesus’ call to ministry of his first apostles, the brothers Simon and Andrew and James and John, listeners will understand what it means to become followers. Those followers turned indeed!

This Sunday marks the first week of livestreaming of both morning services at 9 a.m., the contemporary service in fellowship hall and, at 11 a.m., the traditional service in the sanctuary. Viewers will find each service on the church’s YouTube site (First Presbyterian Church — DeLand) at the meeting times and also a recorded version afterward. Church members are feeling quite enthusiastic to offer these opportunities to the community and welcome all to both live and YouTube worship.

All who attend these services or any activity at First Pres are reminded that COVID protocols stand in place, so please “wash up, back up and mask up” and prepare to have your temperature taken on-site. With a call ahead from the parking lot, you can visit the church office 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Both services offer the Lord’s Supper and Children’s Church, but no nursery yet. The church encourages those at home to participate in Communion with their own elements.

In keeping with First Pres’ vision “to be a Church fully engaged in Reaching Up, Reaching In, and Reaching Out,” Pastor Michael Bodger urges all congregants to alert the church office if an occurrence in your life or the life of a friend or family member happens and needs attention of the staff. Also, keep your information current in ShelbyNext, the church directory, such as address or phone numbers.

By checking the website (www.fpcdeland.org) or First Press, members, visitors and community members can remain aware of the many activities of First Pres and to select any they might join. Particular plans to consider include the Community Garden, which is about to restart for spring and even offers current harvesting. Many Bible-study groups are meeting Sundays and weekdays in person or by Zoom.

You can register now for the ME STRONG 5K Walk/Run at fpcdeland.org or mestrong.net. This is a charity supporting community members battling cancer. If you are interested in joining the First Presbyterian Church DeLand team, if you live near the church and would like to volunteer, call Kristen in the church office at 386-734-6212. The event is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 27, with time to be determined.

First Pres continues its many local and outreach missions for which you can give time, talent and treasure. You’re all invited to inquire and explore First Presbyterian Church of DeLand!

Help to cope with loss of loved ones; session to begin Jan. 24

LifePoint Community Church in DeLand is once again hosting GriefShare, a 13-week group that can help people learn to cope with the loss of a loved one.

Anyone can join the group at any time during the 13 weeks. Meetings will be 2-4 p.m. Sundays, beginning Jan. 24.

The cost is $15 for a workbook; scholarships are available.

Those interested should call the church office at 386-738-5000, email to info@lifepointdeland.com or register online at griefshare.org, and click on “Find a Group.”


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