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School choice and its impact in Volusia County 

First Unitarian Universalist Church of West Volusia in DeLand is continuing to host virtual services at 10:30 a.m. Sundays. On Sunday, March 14, Pat Drago, educator from the League of Women Voters, will present a program that shares what constitutes school choice and its impact in Volusia County. She will include information on the funding and governance that is impacted by these choices. 

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. 

The church can be contacted through www. uudeland.org to learn more. 

Unitarians are an open-minded, openhearted spiritual community where all are welcomed to learn together. 

‘Are We Aware?’ 

Mosaic Unitarian Universalist Congregation, while not meeting face to face, is meeting online at 11 a.m. every Sunday. On March 14, the Rev. Tracie Barrett will present “Are We Aware?” 

Unitarian Universalists are not immune from the issues of racism and privilege. The Rev. Barrett explores UUs’ history, present, and what the future could be as UUs become more aware. 

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

‘Old Hat? Not So!’ 

On Sunday, March 14, Pa s tor Michael Bodger’s sermon at First Presbyterian Church of DeLand will be “Old Hat? Not So!” which draws on the Gospel of John 3:14- 21. Pastor Bodger will ask listeners to reflect on words often heard and repeated time and time again. Have these oft-repeated biblical words lost their emphasis and urgency and impact? 

At what point do these repetitions take on the mantle of background noise or, perhaps, do they just fade away into “mindless repetition,” which Jesus warns us about in Matthew’s Gospel? This week’s Scripture reading stands on the oh-so-familiar words “For God so loved the world …” (John 3:16) and the epistle lesson “… by grace you have been saved …” (Ephesians 2:8). 

Too often Christ-followers focus on the words and not the deep meaning behind them. Have these all-significant words become old hat? “Not so!” declares Pastor Bodger in his cautionary sermon. 

During both services, First Pres invites the children of visitors and members to Children’s Church in the Art Room for a spiritual “Walk With Jesus.” Beginning last Sunday and continuing through April 4, the teachers guide the children to learn of Jesus’ walk in Jerusalem, from Palm Sunday to the Last Supper, the Garden of Gethsemane, the cross on Good Friday, and finally to the glory of His Resurrection on Easter. This creative and thoughtful spiritual journey engages children through biblical symbols like palm fronds, a Seder/Passover meal, the washing of feet, prayer rocks, the sacrifice on Good Friday, and glory of Easter morning, with its message of renewed life through an eggstravaganza! 

Also, at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., First Pres offers a nursery for infants through age 3, only by reservation by noon Friday. 

There will be another Food Distribution Drive-Thru 9:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 20. Volunteers will provide more than 1,000 boxes of food furnished by The Society of St. Andrew and Farmers to Families. Enter the church parking lot from West Pennsylvania Avenue. Directed cars will line up in the church parking lot for volunteers to load up two boxes per family. Each box provides a week’s worth of food (some perishable) for a family of four. 

First Pres DeLand continues multiple activities that can be found on the church’s Facebook page and website. The current focus is on Lenten spiritual preparation for Easter’s Resurrection celebration through group study of Holy Solitude by H. Haverkamp’s meditative book, with in-person and Zoom meetings to study the Bible and contemporary life. 

Katie Rives, a Dubuque Seminary intern on staff, welcomes ladies to “Sweet Surrender,” First Pres’s Second Saturday Series at 10:30 a.m. in March and April. With February’s topic “Mary or Martha?” which considered the question of God’s gifts, March 13 will explore the topic “Lord, Help Me With My Disbelief ” drawn from Mark’s Gospel. Please register through the office for participation, especially aimed at fellowship during COVID. Office hours are 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday- Friday. Call 386-734-6212 

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