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The event planner for the City of DeBary has invited Grace Baptist Church of DeBary to participate in hosting the “Kids Zone” at DeBary’s Fourth of July celebration at Gemini Springs Park. Creative minds have been brought together to consider a fun and interactive day of activities filled with history-making memories for the whole family. It’s called “The Great American Journey!” 

Throughout the Kids Zone, Grace Baptist Church will have various tents set up with games and other activities that highlight pioneers and historical figures. Children will be provided with glowing toys and flashlights at the Edison & Westinghouse Illumination Zone; they can capture the fun of flying toy airplanes at the Wright Brothers Flight Center; they can practice skills at Johnny Appleseed’s Apple Toss or John Henry’s Sledgehammer School; and they can even get a little rebellious at the Boston Tea Party Tea Bag Toss! 

Event organizers hope to have multiple displays that highlight historical figures who made a profound impact in our country, from the art of Bob Ross to the fantasy of Walt Disney, the engineering of Henry Ford, to the business principles and innovation of Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse. 

The Heroes Corner will honor those who protect our freedoms and serve to keep our community safe. 

‘Seek and Touch’ 

On Sunday, June 27, Pastor Michael Bodger of First Presbyterian Church of DeLand will present his sermon “Seek and Touch,” from the Gospel of Mark 5:21-43. 

Mark’s Scripture finds Jesus encountering two people who have sought out the Savior to bring healing. First, a woman who has been suffering from hemorrhaging for 12 years appears. Next, a synagogue leader named Jairus seeks help for his gravely ill daughter. 

Knowing that touch marks the key to healing success, Jesus touches the seekers and dramatically changes their lives. The two sought the godly touch and found their amazing healing. 

What lesson does Pastor Bodger declare? Even today in our challenging modern world, we can seek the “touch of Jesus” so that the Savior enters into our lives. When that happens, life becomes dramatically changed for us, just as Mark tells of seekers so long ago! 

At both the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. services, Holy Communion will be celebrated. During both services, children ages 4-10 will meet in the art room for “Building Faith Brick By Brick,” a fun and creative exploration of Bible stories using building blocks with First Pres’ trained teachers. 

God’s Bathhouse at First Pres has resumed. A change of schedule now offers this opportunity 9-11 a.m. on the second and fourth Saturdays each month. The church welcomes homeless and needy folks to come to the parking lot for showers, fresh clothing and hygiene kits. Everyone will observe standard COVID precautions. 


The First Pres Facebook page and website carry more information about specific events. Please visit those sites and the church. All are welcomed to worship at First Pres!

‘The Great Commission’

The Rev. Elizabeth Carrasquillo presents “The Great Commission” to First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of DeLand members and friends at 10:45 a.m. Sunday, June 27.

Betty Davis and Lee Gartside are the greeters of the day for worship, Kathy Porr provides the service welcome and gives announcements, Pastor Carrasquillo accepts prayer requests, elders Eddie Wachter and Edna Cortes give Communion to all believers, and Christina Coulter offers special music.

Janet Raney will deliver the Scripture reading, Mark 16:9-20, followed by the Rev. Carrasquillo’s sermon.

Those who cannot attend worship have the opportunity to view the service live on the church’s Facebook page, First Christian Church – DeLand Disciples. To view later, look at the news feed.

Sue Brague, Disciple Women’s president, will lead the Executive Board at 1:30 p.m. Monday, June 28, in the church library.

The Temple Learning Center Summer Camp and the Volusia County Children/Youth BreakSpot Food Program continue through July 30. Breakfast for children/youth is provided 8:30-9:30 a.m., and lunch is provided noon-1 p.m. in the McDowell Education Building, facing the south parking lot of the church property.

First Christian Church will be celebrating Independence Day with a patriotic singalong beginning at 10:45 a.m. and a picnic afterward outside on the church grounds.

Mosaic UU Congregation to celebrate the summer solstice

Mosaic Unitarian Universalist Congregation, while not meeting face-to-face, is meeting online at 11 a.m. every Sunday. This Sunday, June 27, the congregation is continuing their Summer Sharing Series of roundtable-style services, but will depart from discussing Unitarian Universalists’ Six Sources to celebrate the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, when the sun’s fire is at the peak of its power.

These services are designed to allow participants to share their thoughts if they choose to do so. Sharing is always voluntary; active listening is welcome too.

Facilitator Belle Mendoza will guide everyone through the service. All are welcome!

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

1st United Methodist Church activities

Summer is in full swing. Many are busy with summer programs for their kids, as well as vacations and all the other activities we Floridians engage in to stay cool and calm during our season of warmer temperatures.

First United Methodist Church of DeLand will continue to meet all summer, with Vacation Bible School, local summer missions camps for kids and youth, and the church’s Sunday-morning services.

Vacation Bible School was a great success this year, even though it was limited due to COVID restrictions. Participants had a great time on the Railway Express, learning about God while singing songs, doing crafts, eating snacks and playing games.

The church’s local missions camps for third- through fifth-graders gave young people the great experience of reaching out into our community and lending a helping hand where it was needed. This, along with the fun and fellowship that accompany these events, will provide lasting memories for years to come.

This Sunday, June 27, First Church will continue the series “They Walked With God’ (about how Old Testament heroes walked with God and how their lives inspire us to do the same).

The hero this week is Jacob. Jacob was a younger twin. He and his brother Esau had some interesting challenges to overcome from their younger days, but as they became adults, they were able to find a way to get along and live peacefully.

Jacob is important in that he had 12 sons, who became the leaders of the 12 tribes of Israel. Of course, we are most familiar with Jacob’s son Joseph and the story of the “coat of many colors.”

God changed Jacob’s name to Israel after Jacob struggled with an angel demanding a blessing from God. Jacob’s new name “Israel” means one who struggled with a divine angel. Of course, we recognize this part of Jacob’s life as it is associated with “Climbing Jacob’s Ladder.”

Jacob’s life was long and filled with many trials and many blessings. If you’d like to know how all that he experienced speaks to our lives today, you’re encouraged to attend one of First United Methodist’s in-person services at 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m. or 11 a.m. 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.

For more information, call 386-734-5113.

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Margie Dykes
Raised in Miami Beach, Margie moved to DeLand after graduating from Florida State University. She has a master's degree in community mental-health counseling, and retired after 12 years in substance-abuse treatment. Having worked at the DeLand Sun News during the 1980s, Margie came to The Beacon in 2002 in search of a second career. She helps the reporters; compiles obituaries, the calendar of events and religion news; and deals with a mountain of emails each day. Margie is the proud Nana to two grandchildren, Sophia and Alex.


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