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We belong

At First Presbyterian Church of DeLand, Pastor Michael Bodger will teach from the Gospel of John, 17:6–19 on Sunday, May 16. Both the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. services will consider these last words of Jesus, a prayer for those disciples God has given Him, who will soon stand alone upon Christ’s arrest and Crucifixion. Jesus prays, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth of your Word.”

How does today’s world know this about Christians? We live into the truth of Jesus’ teachings — so counter to the world around us. “We belong to Him!”

This spring, volunteers have been nurturing the church’s Community Garden as part of the commitment to Earth Day and certification as an EARTH CARE CONGREGATION since 2016. Chairpersons Fred Hoffmann and Jim and Carol Nichols invite members to join in this mission, which already has given food to various missions of the church.

First Pres’s Food Distribution Drive-Thru will open again Saturday, May 15, and Saturday, May 29, to provide food boxes to needy families. It will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the entrance to the church parking lot on West Pennsylvania Avenue; volunteers will load the food boxes into cars until 11:30 a.m.

First Presbyterian School announces that its virtual celebration of the school’s 60th birthday can be viewed in a video that will begin Sunday, May 16, on YouTube. A link can be found at www.facebook.com/FirstPresSchoolDeLand or  www.fpcdeland.org.

‘Jesus, Our Light of the World’

The Rev. Elizabeth Carrasquillo of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of DeLand, continues her sermon series on Jesus at the 10:45 a.m. Sunday, May 16, service. Her topic May 16 is “Jesus, Our Light of the World,” based on John 8:12-20. Open Communion is a part of every service.

The General Board has unanimously voted Christina Coulter as church musician. She has been providing special music during each weekly service.

Coulter recently returned to DeLand, her hometown, after attending college in Oklahoma. First Christian welcomes her to its church family.

On Sunday, May 16, and Sunday, May 23, the Pentecost Offering is being received to support new church development in regions of the United States. Half of the offering is for training, equipping, assisting and multiplying new church leaders.

The Disciple Women are doing outreach in the middle of COVID by collecting hygiene materials for The Bridge and kits for The Neighborhood Center. Hygiene supplies may be donated to the church office 8 a.m.-noon Monday-Friday, by anyone in the community. Edna Cortes is coordinating the project.

Sue Brague, president of the Disciple Women, has developed the College Scholarship Project for members of the congregation who are attending colleges and universities.

Dr. Janet Raney and Brague welcome students 4-6 p.m. Thursdays in the church library for Homework Hotspot Tutoring.

Second chances magnified

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 a.m. to 10:25 a.m. for greetings before the service begins. The Zoom ID for Sunday services is the same every week: Zoom ID: 927 1881 9188.

On Sunday, May 16, the topic will be “When Opportunity Meets Readiness.” Patricia Goodwin, LCSW, will share with the congregation the amazing benefits and transformations she has humbly witnessed as an eight-year volunteer mentor to a Toastmasters group in a women’s correctional facility.

Second-chance programs in correctional facilities aim to provide skills, preparation and enhanced self-awareness for incarcerated individuals. This paves the way for successful re-entry, productive work and relationships, and reduced recidivism. Every dose of compassionate validation and guidance to hurting individuals can lead to exponential growth and discovering lost selves.

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.

‘From Distracted to Present’

Time never seems to slow down. With the rapid pace of time, there always seems to be so much more to get done than we have time to accomplish.

And then there are all the many things that come along and distract us from our tasks and lead us off into other endeavors. It is so easy to get distracted, and sometimes distractions are a way of avoiding those things we really don’t want to do, but still need to get done.

On Sunday, May 16, First United Methodist Church of DeLand will be concluding the “Unsubscribe” series with the topic “From Distracted to Present.” The congregation will look at how to unsubscribe from distractions and how to subscribe to being present.

How often do we find ourselves disconnected from the situation we are in and the circumstances surrounding us by failing to be present and attentive to those around us and the realities of what is going on in front of us?

First Church provides in-person traditional worship at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. in the sanctuary, and has a contemporary service at 9:30 a.m. in the Family Life Center. All three services are streamed live on Facebook on the First Church DeLand page, or they can be accessed through the website at Firstchurchdeland.org.

First Church offices are open 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday. Call the office for additional information at 386-734-5113.


Mosaic Unitarian Universalist Congregation, while not meeting face to face, is meeting online at 11 a.m. every Sunday. The May 16 service is titled “Resilience.”

So many have suffered in our world as the COVID-19 pandemic has ripped through lives. Families have been brought to their knees, and any of us could be or could have been affected by this devastating epidemic: brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, friends or family members. Join Steven Merens on May 16 for his talk on the miracle that brought him back from near death from COVID-19. He will explore the resilience of the spirit, the soul, community connections, health, and how all of those contributed to his experience.

Worship leader Judy Raymond will guide everyone through the service. All are welcome! For instructions on how to join the virtual service, email to mosaicuuc@gmail.com.


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